Thursday, 22 September 2011

Challenge RFW - Blue Moon!

This week's theme Blue Moon struck a nostalgic note! Hence I snatched this snippet from a modern historical I've had kicking its heels in a cupboard. It's set in 1964 twenty years after a wartime incident that changed the life of one woman in a shocking way, and left an American Army Air Corp pilot thinking he'd been dumped. It's a heart-wrenching re-union love story, in more ways than one.
This is part of the opening chapter. 

399 words: code MPA.

She slipped the record on to the turntable with infinite care: a few good winds of the handle, and then needle to outer groove. She could have placed it on the automatic triple-deck player, but this was a once in a blue moon treat. She hugged herself, swayed to the gentle rhythm, the words alone wiped away twenty years. Memories of another life another time flooded to the fore. In one sense it was pure nostalgia, in another unmitigated hell. Tears brimmed. She fought them back.
       She glanced at the letters on her desk, the sheer amount unbelievable. Why, why had her mother kept them? And why, in all these years had she never said a word, never revealed the fact that he’d come back? That he hadn’t died on that secret mission in forty-four. Oh God, how different things might have been had she received the letters when they had first arrived at the farm. Had she known then that he’d survived capture and in a German prisoner of war camp she would have waited, and hoped and longed for a happy outcome. To be denied that knowledge, utter cruel. To then be sent away in disgrace, unforgettable and unforgivable. 
       She leaned on the desk, tears spilling forth. It was all very well to think back to what might have been, but what about the person who’d helped her through her banishment and resulting distress. If her mother had stood by her instead of seeing pregnancy as shameful she would never have met David, and how fortunate she was to have loved twice and twice loved in return. David now taken from her, too.
       Out of love for an American pilot she’d gained a daughter. Her love for David had brought forth a son. And what of David, her rock, the man who had become her every thing? She could not now deny the love they had shared for fourteen years.
       She snatched at the heavy needle head and scratched the record in haste to obliterate the song and kill the music. She cursed the memory of a crowded dance floor, those oh so blue eyes, and his tight possessive hold. Now, with the letters in her possession, she knew Sophie's father had meant those three little words he had uttered so often when alone together: I love you.  Blue Moon had a lot to answer for.

To see entries by other participants go here.


li said...

That sounds like a novel that ought to be dusted off and worked on! I love it. I'm a sucker for wartime romances and such. Congrats for packing in so much in under 400 words.

One minor typo - end of second paragraph, "cruel" should be cruelty"?

Adura Ojo said...

I agree with Li. This is a novel to 'get write' now. I'm intrigued by her. I sort of want to...hear her talking to someone, and know more about her story:)

L'Aussie said...

Yep Francine, so far unanimous. Get the duster out and get this polished off and another one for the e-pub stable. There's certainly a lot going on in this snippet! Ooww! Scratching a record, noooo!


Susan Kane said...

That was awesome, and needs to be finished. A very current theme--what could have been + WW2. Write it!

Francine Howarth said...

Thank you all, Lisa, Adura, Denise and Susan, for your comments. The overall enthusiasm for a write-it-up may well push me into a rethink on this one. It's the time factor that poses a problem. I have a historical novella half written and a historical novel sequel at third chapter. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to hand over the ms to a secretary and say there you go, tidy it up. ;)


Ruth Madison said...

How sweet and beautiful! I wish we could see her confront her mother. It is so terribly cruel for someone to try to control another person's experience in life, to take away her ability to make her own choices.

Funny that we both turned to music as well as long lost love :)

Beverly Diehl said...

I love the progression with the record player, how in the beginning she's handling the record with such care, in the end deliberately scratching it. (Of course, if she did it in the opposite order, it wouldn't have played very well, would it?)

You might want to watch phrases like this: "utter cruel" - it could work as "utter cruelty" or "utterly cruel" but as is, not quite right.

I like the story very much, and her - whoever "she" is.

Anna said...

Dear Francine,
What an amazing stiory. I feel for your heroine and agree with the other commenters that you could and should do something with this text.

Thank you for your kind words about my Blue Moon-text. Yes, Carl is supposed to represent reason and the little people are everything that defies logic, like love.

Best wishes,

For the benefit of other readers:

Anna's REWers Challenge No 20 'Blue Moon'

Kiru Taye said...

Hi Francine,

Such wistful nostalgia. And she lost both men? That's really sad. I hope there's a happy-ever-after in this story.


Margo Benson said...

I'm with the others wishing for the whole story to emerge. A fabulous setting for love, betrayal, hope, sorrow and everything else! Wonderful piece.

Scheherazade said...

Intriguing, blue moon story of love, betrayal, and loss. Nicely done. I agree with the previous comment about the word, cruel. (I would choose utterly cruel.)

Wendy G. Ewurum: Blog Author said...

Utterly heartbreaking. I can't wait for the book. when do you think? LOL

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Ruth,

Yes, it would be great to see Patsy confront her mother. Unfortunately the old witch is dead, hence the letters have come to light! ;)


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Bev,

Yep, you're absolutely right on utter/utterly, ha ha but I excuse myself on the fact I had to copy the text from hard-copy and didn't check it through. I was late and posted in haste! ;)


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anna, Kiru, Margo, Scheherazade and Wendy,

It may appear as an e-book and paperback! Not for a little while, though, unless I can crack 2000 words a day. I need to clear the decks because I'm expecting revisions any time around end of 2011 beginning 2012 from the publisher in respect of contemporary novel, which is due release next July. ;)