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


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.

Trading in His Shelter for Danger (Tahoma)

Font: Tahoma

Year created: 1994

Chapter: “Trading in His Shelter for Danger”

Book: And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away (original working title: And Jakob Limped)

Written: Probably April 2012

Computer created on: 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro

File format: Word 2004

I’d originally written and scheduled my T post to cover “The Torch Passes,” Part XVI of Cinnimin, but I decided to move that into my drafts folder and go with something a bit more recent and polished. I also love the title of this chapter. Bonus points if you know the song I got the title from!

“Trading in His Shelter for Danger” begins at the end of June 1943, when 17-year-old Jakob officially joins his friends’ partisan group, which specializes in assassination and sabotage. Though Jaap still has a heavy limp at this point, he’s very enthusiastic about his service. During this chapter, he finds his loyal dog Ben and has his first meeting with the girl who later becomes his wife.

Some highlights:

Jakob tossed his bag on the bed and began rolling up his clothes.  Many years ago, Ruud had taught him that clothes took up less space when they were rolled instead of folded.  He gently stroked the pair of pants Luisa had sewn a patch on, and the shirt she’d sewn up a tear in.  He was glad none of his shirts had any noticeable holes or yellow stains on them from having had those hideous yellow stars sewn on for almost seven months.

“Yes, Meneer.  I don’t mind spending days or weeks just sitting around playing cards and spying, so long as I still get to kill Nazis and NSBers.  Quality counts more than quantity.”

Jakob called to mind the ugly, evil faces of Ruud’s three assassins as they walked towards the road as though nothing were amiss.  In spite of the hot weather, they were wearing long lightweight jackets to cover the weapons in their holsters.  If one of Ruud’s assassins were among the enemies in the car or at the hotel, all he’d have to do would be to reach under the jacket, aim, and shoot.

“And remember, it’s not real murder,” Leendert said. “Only real murder is forbidden by the Ten Commandments.  Killing in time of war or in self-defense is allowed in the Bible.  God doesn’t want us to be pansies who don’t defend ourselves.”

Leendert noticed his discomfort and linked his arm through Jakob’s. “I’ll be your crutch on the right side, and you hold onto the banister with your left hand,” he whispered. “Just hop up on your good foot.  You can do this.  After we’re through here, you won’t have to navigate stairs for a long time, probably.”

The doorknob began rattling and two voices began shouting in German.  Leendert pulled out his gun as he got the door.  Jakob got up and lunged towards the fat one, squeezing his hands around his neck, pushing him onto a bed, and holding his knife against his throat.  With his other hand, he patted him down and felt no weapons.

Jakob looked up and saw Leendert had the other resident backed up into a corner at gunpoint.  This was sure enough the liver-spotted Nazi who’d ripped up the ter Avests’ picture of Princesses Juliana, Beatrix, and Irene.  The richness of the choice overwhelmed him.  Should he choose the easier target, the fat cougher, or make a name for himself by choosing the liver-spotted Nazi?

“That’s for what you did to my mother, you piece of sewage.” He put the smoking pistol back in his holster and limped towards the dying body to kick it in the head and kidneys several times. “I bet you never thought you’d someday meet your death at the hands of one of your intended victims.”

“I think he likes you,” Dries smiled as the dog licked Jakob’s face. “I’m not much into superstition, but I think it’s probably true that animals have a sixth sense and know when they’re around someone who loves animals.”

Jeronymus laughed. “Methinks the gentleman protests too much.  We won’t think you’re less of a man if you admit you liked the girl.  I’d actually think less of you if you’d never liked a girl by your age.  Did you ever have a sweetheart or do anything with a girl before we met you?”