A to Z Challenge 2013

Friday, March 20, 2009

Without Further Ado...

The following is a snippet from my book-in-progress, A Moment To Breathe.

The windows on the Metro were covered with a thick layer of ice and snow when Jonathon raised his head up. Looking around, he saw his mom asleep in the front seat and his sister was lying across the back seat. Something had made him wake up, though he wasn’t sure what. He heard some sirens somewhere up ahead getting closer, so he waited and listened. Soon enough they passed by, maybe a street or two over, so he lay back down and snuggled into the warmer blankets. He pulled his feet away from the cold of the back window, shivering for a moment. He wished they could go to one of those beach places he saw on the magazine, where it was all sunshiny and warm. Since it was still early, he fell back asleep after a moment, dreaming of playing in the sand and building castles.

Rosalie heard him moving around back there somewhere in her subconscious, but since he quieted down she tried to adjust her position and get a little more sleep. The shelter wouldn’t have space available until the afternoon anyway, and she had no more money for breakfast. She knew she should get up and stand on her usual corner, hope that somebody would hand her a dollar or two. But she couldn’t leave the children alone here and couldn’t take them with her either. She reached down under the seat for her bottle, but she could tell when she grabbed it that it was most likely empty. She had drank it all last night, trying to keep herself warm until she passed out.

She drifted back down, dreaming of days long ago. She hadn’t always been so cold and hungry. Her mother used to wake them up to the smell of coffee, home-cooked tortillas and sausage. Ramona Sanchez would get up sometimes before the sun and peel some potatoes too. Then she’d make the tortillas just like her mother had taught her. Someday she’d be able to start teaching her little Rosalie too. Emilio would be sipping his coffee and slowly reading the paper. They both were proud that they had managed to teach themselves English. Sometimes they both had a little difficulty, but they got by. They had a warm little house, Emilio worked hard every day, and soon they might even be able to get a bigger house, have a couple more children. Life here was much better than it could have ever been for them in Juarez.

“Rosalie “she called, “Tiempo de levantarse dormilón.” She turned back to her cooking, but soon enough she was walking into the other room to shake Rosalie awake. “Get up you silly girl,” she said. “You’re gonna be late for school again”. Rosalie slowly would crawl out of bed, rubbing her eyes and staggering into the kitchen to give her papa a kiss on the cheek. Emilio doted on her sometimes, but after all she was his only baby girl. After a breakfast of tortillas, some beans, potatoes and sausage, Emilio would walk her to the school bus and head off to work.

3 comments:

Michelle H. said...

I like this very much! Thanks for dropping by my blog!

Chad said...

An interesting start. I made some alterations to it, but many of them are probably of some personal preference. Take it as you will :)

The windows on the Metro were covered with a thick layer of ice and snow when Jonathon raised his head up. (You might try describing this more... “raised his tired head up.”)

Looking around, he saw his mom asleep in the front seat and his sister lying across the back seat. Something had made him wake up, though he wasn’t sure what. He heard some sirens somewhere up ahead getting closer, so he waited and listened. Soon enough they passed by, maybe a street or two over, so he lay back down and snuggled into the warmer blankets. He pulled his feet away from the cold of the back window, shivering for a moment. He wished they could go to one of those beach places he saw on the magazine, where it was all sunshiny (sunny?) and warm. Since it was still early, he fell back asleep after a moment, dreaming of an afternoon building sand castles and playing in the waves. (Maybe put a little bit of separation between the two progressive tenses (dreaming, playing) and clarify sand castles.)

Somewhere in her subconscious Rosalie heard him moving around, but he became still, so she tried to adjust her position and get (more colorful verb? Steal, perhaps?) a little more sleep. The shelter wouldn’t have space available until the afternoon anyway, and she had no more money for breakfast. She knew she should get up and stand on her usual corner, hope (hoping) that somebody would hand her a dollar or two. But she couldn’t leave the children alone here and couldn’t take them with her either. She reached down under the seat for her bottle, but she could tell when she grabbed it that it was (if she could tell, then it is not most likely, but certainly) empty. She had drank it all last night, trying to keep herself warm until she passed out.

She drifted back down, dreaming of days long ago. She hadn’t always been so cold and hungry. Her mother used to wake them (who is “them”? The whole family? Her and her siblings?) up to the smell of coffee, home-cooked tortillas and sausage. Ramona Sanchez would get up sometimes before the sun and peel some potatoes too. Then she’d make the tortillas just like her mother had taught her. Someday she’d be able to start teaching her little Rosalie too. Emilio would be sipping his coffee and slowly reading the paper. They both were proud that they had managed to teach themselves English. Sometimes they (you just used both, so probably better to take this one out) had a little difficulty, but they got by. They had a warm little house, Emilio worked hard every day, and soon they might even be able to get a bigger house; (I think this should be a semi-colon... or perhaps a hyphen -)have a couple more children. Life here was much better than it could have ever been for them in Juarez.

“Rosalie “she called, “Tiempo de levantarte (levantarse is too formal for this situation) dormilón.” She turned back to her cooking. Soon enough though, she was walking into the other room to shake Rosalie awake. “Get up you silly girl,” she said. “You’re gonna be late for school again”. Rosalie would slowly (I think it flows better switched) crawl out of bed, rubbing her eyes and staggering into the kitchen to give her papa a kiss on the cheek. Emilio doted on her sometimes, but after all, she was his only baby girl. After a breakfast of tortillas, some beans, potatoes and sausage, Emilio would walk her to the school bus and head off to work.

Eric said...

Thanks for the comments. Chad, I will definitely take all of your notes to heart.