Friday, March 14, 2014

Out of the Garden, Part 7

Read the story from the beginning here.

Part 7 by Cherry Odelberg.

“I’m your grandmother, Bree.”    
“I know that, Gran. I didn’t ask who you are. What are you?”
“A widow,”  I faltered. Not just any widow, Don’s widow.  
“So? That’s no big reveal.”  
“I haven’t taken to widowhood very well.”
“There are rules about that?”
“I . . . I’ve been trying to cope, I . . .”
Bree studied me for a moment with that frank stare of today’s generation.
“I’ve been under a doctor’s care. A psychiatrist.”
“Peta thinks you’re a crazy lady?”
For a moment, I wished I could tell Bree everything--share with her the way Granny and I did when I was young. Someone should know about Peta and me, about when we were kids, and about Peta and me, and Don as teenagers. Should know about Granny and her magical stories. About my loneliness now. Would Bree believe the Her? I wasn’t even sure how to believe the Her.
“Got hold of yourself yet?” Peta intruded a second time. 
A feline yowl erupted somewhere in the vicinity of my right knee. 
“A cat!” spat Peta. “You and Don and your shared love of cats.” She sneezed. “Get it out of here.”
Silently, I collected the lid of honey from the counter and followed Hector down the hall to the bedroom.  He marched on velvet paws, tail at full mast. I sagged against the door and breathed, “I need a drink.” 
I thirst, I thought. Give me to drink. Neachtar.
I filled a tumbler with water from the master bath sink and drank. I flicked a few drops of water into the honey, and swirled the lid. On my knees, I offered it to the fragile being lying in the shoebox.
“What are you?” I repeated the question of the day.
I knew what Granny would say. Fairies, Angels, Mythical creatures, they’re real. They are all representations of someone you know and love-or fear. Maybe they are a figment of who you are, or who you dream to be.
“What are you?” I whispered again.  

Cherry Odelberg is a longtime friend of Novel Matters. She loves to play piano (so much, she teaches it) and hike in the gorgeous mountains surrounding her Colorado home. She has every readers dream job, managing a bookstore. She always adds zest and insight to the Novel Matters community. Thanks so much, Cherry!


Patti Hill said...

She knows fairy language? There's a reason for her tension with Peta? I want to know!

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Well done, Cherry! I love the conflict between Peta and Hector! I was imagining him climbing on her lap (you know how cats always cuddle the person who hates them). He might meow in her face and give the game away except she might not let on that she understands...
Also how you turned the question around at the end.
Each Friday we learn more about our characters and the tension mounts. Am I alone in wishing there was more speculation behind the scenes? In a true collaboration there should be lots of discussion. Not to influence anyone else or give away plot twists. Just to turn this into a writing exercise.

Patti Hill said...

Henrietta: Who would you like to hear from?

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Everybody! I want to hear from the dear souls who call Novelmatters home.
Who has an idea? Who has an opinion? Who has a question? Are we brave enough to even hint at what the biblical implications of magical realism are? Where is God going to show up in our story?
Has anyone read any other stories in this genre, Christian or not?
Am I stirring up too much dust? Please imagine it is fairy dust!

Cherry Odelberg said...

Henrietta, did you hear from your editor during the process? Bonnie worked me hard (hard because the rest of life went on) and it was a tremendous learning experience. (Not the least of which was learning more about myself) I never mean to be difficult with editors, but I want to ask tons of questions and have those discussions and sometimes it comes across as arguing. Had the time frame not been so short, I am sure I could have exasperated her completely.

At the moment, I am feeling pretty subdued, but your suggestion of discussion wound me up again.

Megan Sayer said...

Henrietta I thought about your question here during church this morning. It's a topic I've thought about a lot over the last few years - magical realism, what being a "Christian author" looks like, how do I worship God in my writing.
Then I thought about my garden. I realised that never, not ever ONCE have I EVER seen the words "John 3:16" written on a flower petal.
That might sound dumb, but it helped me very much. When I write I give glory to God because I am using my creative gift. That's where God shows the "ands", "ifs" and "maybes" and every verb and noun (wonderful or otherwise) of my offering to Him.
I've read a million and fifty stories in this genre. I grew up on them, loved them, now read them to my children. Granted, most of them were written FOR kids, but not all. I adore adult fairy stories, maybe because they were such a part of my childhood.

Cherry - well done. Good job! I'm dying to hear all about your editing experiences though...did your chapter change much in Bonnie's hands? How so?

Megan Sayer said...

Sorry if that came across as a bit high-handed or rude - it wasn't meant to. It's just my revelation, for my situation. For what it's worth :)