I was going through my WordPress feed today (something I don’t do as often as I would like, but I do more often than I should when I’m supposed to be revising) and I found this post by T.A. Munroe. She’s taking part in ChikLitMay, and a bunch of writers are posting content from page 45 of one of their works. Please do check it out.
My genre is Magical Realism, at least for my current series, not ChikLit. But I kind of like the idea of this exercise, even as I find myself a little nervous about it. As a reader, I sometimes find getting a piece of the story out of context a little disorienting or even off-putting. And I’d hate to off-put anyone. As a writer, I’m a wimp. 🙂 Ah well.
Page 45 of Bright Aster is when Tess officially meets Liam, the owner of the corner store and the one who makes the best coffee in the entire city (possibly in the world). If I ever meet Liam in real life, I’m going to make him make me some coffee.
Source:©waferboard coffee steam 1 Coffee break. 120512-55 Original Image
Here goes – Bright Aster, Pg 45:
He was one of those people whose ages are difficult to pinpoint. Older than thirty, younger than forty-five, was her best estimate. In a way, he made her think of a young sea captain. He had a kind of orderly wildness about him. She sensed a slight accent that she guessed was Irish.
As she finished her tea, Liam started to fidget with his cup, turning it methodically in the saucer. Twice, he opened his mouth as if to speak, then he closed it again without a word.
Finally, he said, “So tell me.” He leaned in and caught her eye. “Do we need to contact the police?”
Tess had thought it was nerves that made him tongue tied, but when he finally spoke, she heard anger. The question and the anger confused her. Did Liam know about Alex? Then her eyes widened, and her face felt hot. She shook her head emphatically.
“OK.” Liam blushed but some of the tension left his face, and the fire behind his eyes went away. “Can I ask, how do you communicate? Sign language?”
She shook her head and mimed writing, but the truth was, she didn’t communicate.
“All right. Do you want to talk about it?” He got up, as though to look for a pen and paper. She put her hand on his arm to stop him and shook her head. He sat back down looking relieved.
“Understood. Look, ever since you’ve become…friends with Walt, I have been kind of watching you.” Again, Tess raised an eyebrow at him. He continued, “That wasn’t meant to sound as creepy as it did. It’s just, you’re nice to him, and I appreciate that. I think he’s a good person, so I think you must be a good person. And pardon me for saying this, but you seem kind of alone. I’ve got three sisters back home. For their sakes, I would like to make sure you are safe, at least. Could you just give me a number where I can reach you if I don’t see you for a couple of days?”
Tess was touched by his concern, and she could tell he was being sincere. She dug her phone out of her pocket and opened up a new contact. She typed “Liam” and realized she didn’t know his last name either. She handed it to him. He struggled a little with the unfamiliar contact program but managed to add “Nolan” and his number in the cell field.
She tapped the new contact, began typing, and tapped send.
A chime sounded from Liam’s pocket. He took out his phone, and glanced at it.
Hello Mr. Nolan. My name is Teresa Gilbert. Please continue to call me Tess. Thank you for protecting me that day, and for today. I think you’re a good person, too.
He grinned, and the corners of his eyes crinkled in a way that made him seem boyish. “Please, call me Liam. I am happy to help.”
She typed again: And thank you for the tea. You were right. It was a better drink for a crisis. I’m sorry I fell apart in your store.
He laughed. “You wouldn’t be the first person I made cry down there.”
So that’s it. I hope your not off-put. Well, of course I hope you’re thinking, I MUST know more. 🙂
If you MUST, Bright Aster is available on Kindle