Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

From my current WIP:

She shook her head and curled up even tighter. Screwing herself into a tight, grieving knot. She could not even tell the maid that she just wanted to be left alone and scarcely heard her when she said she was going to send for the doctor. She hid her face in her skirt and wept helplessly. She clawed at her hair until it fell in a dark, disheveled veil over her face. It clung to her wet cheeks and concealed the mocking daylight from her. It was better that way, it should have been raining, it should have been dark. She sobbed his name and called to him but there was no answer, just a yawning chasm of darkness. She slid from the chair and clutched the fringe of the faded rug, lying in a pool of warm light. She wrapped her arms around her knees and kept crying. She was still crying when Tatiana returned with the Doctor and her father-in-law’s butler.
The Doctor’s hand was light on her arm, “It’s all right, Madame. We’re here now.”
“But Sasha’s gone,” she sobbed, “I want Sasha.”
“I know,” he said, gently, “I know.”
Natalia fell silent and peered at the doctor through her tangle of hair, “Why did it happen? Sasha was so gentle and kind.” Her breath hitched, “He wasn’t meant to be a soldier.”
“Life can be cruel, Madame.” His arm slid behind her back, “Can you sit up for me.”
Shaking, she complied. Her eyes burned and her throat felt as if it had been scraped raw.
He took a bottle from a black leather bag, “I’m going to give you some medicine,” he told her, “It will calm your nerves. You need rest, Madame Orlova.”
She wanted more than rest. She wanted oblivion. She wanted to find refuge in a warm, velvety darkness forever. She sipped the bitter, thick liquid meekly and prayed that it was the last time she would see daylight in this world.


  1. Very tense, emotional scene, and Russian names! That makes me happy. Is Sasha her husband or her son?

  2. How sad. Very emotional scene. Good job.

  3. Anguishing. I thought there were few too many descriptions of her pain in the first paragraph. I felt it detracted ever so slightly from the emotional tone. Taking a few out might strengthen it even more.

  4. Thanks, guys!
    Sasha is her husband.

  5. You do a great job of pulling us into her devasting pain. Was it a sudden death?

    One thing I would suggest is that you vary your sentence structure a bit. Eight of the eleven sentences in the first paragraph begin with "She +verb, as do all of the sentences in the final paragraph. The short sentences work well to evoke the bluntness of her pain, but the repetitive structure is somewhat distracting. Perhaps you could combine some of the sentences or place some subordinate clauses in the initial position.

    I'm intrigued by your story...what is the time period?

  6. Thanks, Julianne.
    You're right about the excess of 'shes' I noticed that the other day, so they will be taken care of when I go back and do my revisions.
    Sasha was killed in WW1. The story is set in St. Petersburg/Petrograd during WW1, the Revolution and the Civil War.