The Torch Passes (Tahoma)

Since I didn’t get around to writing an original post for Monday, let’s finally move out a 2013 post that languished in my drafts folder after I decided not to use it as part of that year’s A to Z.

Font: Tahoma

Year created: 1994

Chapter: “The Torch Passes”

Book: Cinnimin

Written: 23 July 1996-10 April 1997

Handwritten

This is Part XVI (16) in my current table of contents for my magnum opus, set from 11 December 1960-1 April 1963. Not including Parts I put on hiatus because of writer’s block or focusing on other projects, this is the one that took me the longest at a single stretch to write. Seriously, I could’ve carried a pregnancy to full term in the time it took me to write this! Even the notebook is depressing, without any covers. This was not a happy time in my life, the summer of ’96 and my junior year of high school.

But I do like it because so much happens here, many things setting the seeds for future storylines. Some new characters are also introduced, foremost among them the immigrant Laurel-Esterházy family from Blackpool, England and Győr, Hungary. Ophelia Laurel will eventually marry Cinni’s son Serop, and several other people in the family (the second generation as well) will marry into Cinni’s family and other important town families. Even some of the ones who don’t [marry into these families] become important characters, like Kathi and poor ill-fated Lauren, who’s going to die of AIDS at the stroke of the new millennium.

Some really stupid storylines met their well-deserved death here, like Cinni’s loopy Stalinist phase (don’t even ask), Cinni’s association with the weird Russian immigrant Bouncer at The Club, and young Anastasia reading banned Soviet books in secret. New ones, more germane to a real family/town saga, began taking shape. And, of course, the torch began passing from Cinni’s generation to her children and her friends’ children.

Some highlights:

“Henry, may I borrow these velvet handcuffs?” Julieanna asked as she casually walked into the bathroom, savoring their horrified looks at being caught in the act.

[Kit] burned an extremely important paper Rob was working on for his spastic boss once she got back home. Then she finished off an entire cheesecake his secretary had made him for a Christmas gift.

“Well, I was cold, and baby was shivering, so I decided to start a fire. I saw those papers in the box of logs, so I thought they were a rough draft which you wanted disposed of, Robert!”

Luke was crying. “I look like Hitler from the waist down! Thanks a lot, you pagan Commie!”

[After Helouise has walked in on her before JFK’s inauguration and refuses to leave] “Close the door! My excretionary life ain’t nonea your business!” Sam started crying.

“Close the door! I’m sorta involved in a private matter!”

“What did you do, drink nonstop before you got in here? You’re still making!”

“You just spent seventeen minutes making onto a photo of President Kennedy!” Helouise was appalled. “Give me that bag, freak!”

Sam was so scared she started urinating again. Helouise was seething.

Julieanna gave the finger to every person attempting to slow her down and bumped several cars off the road before she finally drove through the wall of the emergency room and knocked a man on an oxygen tank into the wall.

[After her soap actor husband Kevin has said the reason he hasn’t slept with her in six years is because of a “bit too real” car accident on the show] “Oh, the hell I did mind! I have wanted a second child for three or four years now!” Julieanna started crying.

[After Kit springs a surprise visit on him in Amsterdam, all four of her small children and her lover in tow] “Why don’t you ever do things like normal people?” Gary demanded, at the desk now. “There are psychologists in England too!”

“This is crazy Kit Green, her lover, and her four kids,” Gary whispered. “She came from England to see me, then drove around Amsterdam for three hours looking for my office!”

[During the Most Popular Girl competition for the new generation, which Cinni has rigged so Anastasia will win and Bélgica will lose by a landslide] “I wonder why Bélgica ain’t practiced more,” Cinnimin said calmly. “She’s doin’ ghastly!”

“Poor sportsmanship,” Lucinda announced. “A fourth negative ten! Tens for all the others. Shall we disqualify Bélgica?”

“Lookit these judges!” Bélgica was crying again. “Your mom, your aunt, onea your stepsisters, your cousin, and onea your stepsisters-in-law!”

[Kit and Sam have found themselves roommates after having babies on the same day] Kit pressed a button, making Sam’s bed shoot up and down. Adolfa slipped to the floor and screamed, while Sam’s water spilled onto her pillows. She was fuming.

Sam was humiliated by the laughter of everyone in the room. Tears of rage in her eyes, she ran to the bathroom, slipped on amniotic fluid, and broke her leg. Needless to say, she spent quite a few months abed.

WeWriWa—Urma gets worse

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I’m now sharing snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, the chronological second of my Atlantic City books, set from March 1939 to the dawn of 1940. It underwent a radical rewrite in 2015, and I recently completed the fourth and final version. I plan on a late February or early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were baking cookies when two strangers entered the kitchen. They now know these interlopers are Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., who’ll be living in their household until further notice. Urma has lost no time in showing some very ugly true colors, and just used some slurs against Sparky’s Jewish family and the Italians next door.

Mr. Filliard crossed his arms. “If you value my charity, you won’t do anything to the Smalls or Vallis or use those ugly slurs again. They’re respected neighbors and friends whose excellent character I vouch for. Now would you like to get settled in?”

“I guess we have no choice.” Urma turned around and stalked off to her suitcases. “But you’ve got another think coming if you believe my Samantha will be sharing a bedroom with a heathen. Mortez and I will find another place to put her, even if she has to sleep in a closet or the barn. I wish we had the money to dine out every day rather than profane ourselves at your table.”

The nine lines end here. A few more follow to complete the scene.

Samantha looked at Cinni and Sparky. “Please, call me Sam. My mother usually calls me Samantha, but I prefer Sam. My real name is too long and unusual, even if Sam sounds very boyish.”

“You’re talking too much to those girls, Samantha,” Urma called. “Please get your suitcases and stop fraternizing with them if you know what’s good for you. I already know none of these people are our kind. We’re so much better than they are. If only your father had asked a less liberal friend for assistance.”

Sam turned around and went to join her mother.

WeWriWa—Rooming arrangements

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I’m now sharing snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, the chronological second of my Atlantic City books, set from March 1939 to the dawn of 1940. It underwent a radical rewrite in 2015, and I recently completed the fourth and final version. I plan on a late February or early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were baking cookies when two strangers entered the kitchen. They introduced themselves as Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., and said they were directed to Cinni’s house and her father. Urma, the mother, has begun showing her very ugly true colors as an intolerant fundamentalist.

Cinni’s father just came in and explained the Smarts lost their apartment to arson and need a place to stay till they find a new home.

Cinni pulled a piece of peach rock candy out of her left pocket and tossed it into her mouth. “I’m sorry they lost their apartment. They must really want a fresh start if they came all the way here ’steada staying in the D.C. area.”

“There’s too much godlessness and sin in the capital,” Urma said. “Perhaps a smaller city will be more conducive to living a perfect fundamentalist Methodist life. Samantha in particular doesn’t need any temptations, as strong as she is in her testimony.”

“Where will we be rooming, Sir?” Samantha asked Mr. Filliard. “I’m used to having a bedroom all to myself, and good Christians shouldn’t have to share a home with heathens. It’s bad enough my father isn’t religious enough.”

“You’ll be in the attic with Cinnimin and Sparky,” Mr. Filliard said.

The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.

“There’s also a private bathroom across the hall. Their bedroom is much larger than my own master suite, since it takes up almost the entire attic. I bet you’ll really like it.” He turned to Urma. “You and Mortez will be on the second floor, in a small bedroom my children’s nanny used to use. I won’t insult you by asking you to use the maid’s room on the first floor. When my family had a maid, she lived here in the guesthouse with our cook. That room is an extra closet now. I feel sorry for maids forced to use such small rooms.”

*********************

Though the Filliards went from riches to rags after the Stock Market crashed, and took quite awhile to chase the wolf from the door, they were able to retain their rather large house thanks to selling almost all their possessions. A few well-off friends also helped with money.

Despite the size of the house, it wasn’t considered a mansion even when the Filliards were rich. It was built and used as an upper-middle-class house for much of its long history.

WeWriWa—Finally an explanation

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I’m now sharing snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, the chronological second of my Atlantic City books, set from March 1939 to the dawn of 1940. It underwent a radical rewrite in 2015, and I recently completed the fourth and final version. I plan on a late February or early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were baking cookies when two strangers entered the kitchen. They introduced themselves as Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., and said they were directed to Cinni’s house and her father. Urma, the mother, just started showing her very ugly true colors.

Copyright Dr. Bernd Gross

Samantha stepped forward and eyed the three large cooling cookie sheets stuffed to the gills with treats, temptingly advertising chocolate, apricot, raspberry, strawberry, and apple fillings. “May I have some cookies? I’ve never seen cookies like this before, but they look so delicious.”

“They’re called hamantaschen,” Sparky explained. “These cookies are supposed to look like the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, the villain in the Book of Esther. The holiday of Purim is coming up, so we’re making them to celebrate.”

“I’ve never heard of that holiday,” Urma said.

“It’s a Jewish holiday, Ma’am.”

Both visitors shrieked as Mr. Filliard came into the room from the other side.

“Who are these people?” Cinni asked her belovèd father.

The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.

“They introduced themselves, but didn’t tell us what they’re doing here or why they want to see you.” She refrained from asking the more impolite question, why someone who didn’t even look thirty had a child who appeared the same age as herself and Sparky. Later on, if the Smarts remained in town, she could suss out the details of that dirty laundry.

Mr. Filliard sank into a chair and rubbed his temples. “I hate to bring in new longterm houseguests without telling you well in advance, but this was very last-minute. I’m friends with Urma’s husband Mortez, and when he told me they lost their apartment to arson and were looking for a more permanent home in another city anyway, I felt it was my duty to give them a place to stay. I can’t say no to a friend.”

WeWriWa—The Smarts introduce themselves

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I’m now sharing snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, the chronological second of my Atlantic City books, set from March 1939 to the dawn of 1940. It underwent a radical rewrite in 2015, and I recently completed the fourth and final version. I plan on a late February or early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were baking cookies when two strangers entered the kitchen. Cinni just volunteered to help them find the address they’re looking for.

“I’m Samantha Smart,” the blonde said. She spoke with a slight Southern lilt, but not the full-out Southern drawl of the hated Adeline’s parents. “We’re from Washington, D.C.”

“I’m Urma Smart, Samantha’s mother,” the brunette said in an even stronger Southern lilt. “I insist you call me Urma. I’m too young to be called Mrs. Smart, no matter what traditional etiquette dictates.”

“Fine by me.” Cinni pulled a piece of grape rock candy out of her right pocket and popped it into her mouth. “I go to school with a girl who’s also named Urma, but she goes by her full initials, U.C.L.A. How can I help you?”

The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.

“We’re looking for Mr. Holden G. Filliard. My husband told me this is his address, 11 Maxwell, a three-story Georgian ashlar stone house. He also said there’s a barn on the property and that it’s next to a huge mansion.”

“H.G. Filliard’s my father. This is technically our address, but you’re in the guesthouse.” Cinni indicated Sparky. “My best friend Sparky’s family lives here. There’s a door in the living room leading into the main house, if you want a shortcut.”

“What kind of name is Sparky for a human being?”