Here’s a small excerpt from my book-in progress. I am now working on expanding my book and had the opportunity to get a “scene” to develop for my class that I’m really excited to share with you! This is not verbatim what will be in the book but the moment itself is very key for the characters as well as some of the themes and concepts expressed.
Call Me Mutt (excerpt)
“Not today though, there was no cast of characters to ruin the magic of her seventeenth birthday and despite her mother’s reservations she knew letting Vida out for the night was the only way to salvage it. This was one of the roughest years they had thus far, with Dad becoming angrier, his endless drunk tirades reaching critical maximum. Staying in the house was the fruitful promise of another night full of bantering, beckoning, and belittlement towards everyone and that was not the way she wanted to usher in seventeen. He can have the other days as he often did, the looming power of his presence was not anything she, mom or her sister could withstand, but this at least could be the calm before the storm.
Jackson had not given away too much detail about the night’s events which gave Vida’s mother no comfort, but she trusted her so she placed a kiss atop Vida’s head, gave a big hug, and escorted her out the door. Vida fingered the tiny silver cross she’d received from her mom earlier that day, rubbing and grazing the edges with her fingers wishing she’d put on the scented cucumber melon lotion instead of Shea butter. The oil made her hands feel grimy and was irritating the blister she’d gotten from cheer-leading practice even though mom swore to high heaven it would soothe it. Her dad had scoffed at the idea of getting any injury from cheer-leading that wasn’t a broken nail since to him it was as relevant as mold on bread. Don’t even let anyone tell you cheer-leading is not a sport; throwing people in the air was no small feat, literally being tasked with someone’s life in your hands. Vida’s short, muscular frame made the ideal base or as she like to call it “the pilot” that geared, steered, and prevented the flyer’s body from becoming one with the earth. Another long practice that Monday was filled with heavy elaborate stunt sequences that went awry when Justine had dug her new NIKE shocks into Vida’s hands.
She had tried to pop the blister, but she’d once again bitten her fingernails down to the last inch after a bad AP government test grade preventing her from being able to relieve the pressure, so it just continued growing as an ugly bubble on her textured palms. Her sister always teased her about the lines in her palms saying they were a road to nowhere with their twists, turns, and intersecting curves, but her mom said they were “growth lines “or “la amor de tu Vida”- the love of her life. Whether figuratively or literally she was right since the “the love of her life” was now sitting beside her, smiling from ear to ear his blue eyes dancing like a kid on Christmas searching for their coveted prize. The old worn seat black seat belt let out a familiar groan as she clicked the clasp, eyeing Jackson’s baseball gear thrown in the backseat; she anticipated the baseball would roll underneath her seat gliding back and forth between the back and front as it often did. She looked up from fastening the belt to a beaming Jackson who had a single white rose with a glittering jewel hanging on the tip of the milky petals.
“Oh my God” she breathed as he grabbed her hand, rubbing his thumb over the top lightly, the touch reminding her this was real not a dream.
“Babe, I know we’ve talked about this and I think we’ve grown so much together these past few years. Yeah, there have been some setbacks…” he paused looking down at the seat. She gripped his hand a little tighter, thumbing over the calluses in his palm; the rawness was still fresh from the week’s practice. Dating Jackson was easy, he was easy, being with him was a big comfy sweater on a bitter winter’s day, but she was not. Setbacks came in the form of Vida who is an injured puppy waiting to be let off a leash tied to a tree. She filled with her doubts, reservations, self loathing that had them going towards happily ever after and taking frequent trips into the dark, twisted enchanted forest they almost hadn’t made it out of THIS time. If he thought hard enough about the latest setbacks he’d take the ring back, she was sure of it, he’d regret giving it to her and further solidify the common fact that she didn’t deserve him, and if she was honest with herself, she didn’t. His hand grew still as he looked up, the white rose still held mid air between them…”