Thanks to the Beta Club at Fiction Groupie, I recently received a lot of great feedback on my opening to STRINGS. What better time to show off my new opening than during the first page blogfest? (Rhetorical question. ;D)See the rest of the first pages here
All this hot water is softening my callouses, and the cold wind chaps my wet skin. Not that Hanah will accept that excuse. Not today.
Our papa died only nine days ago, and while my eyes are still red and puffy from crying all the time, she's stone-faced as she watches me wash the dishes from his pomona, his first funeral supper. Making sure I don't contaminate her wash basins, most likely. She and my other sister Jeanette would be the first to call me unclean.
I know I wasn't supposed to touch him, that it was forbidden, but it was so sudden the way he went, collapsing on top of my mother in bed. He always joked that she'd give him a son yet, even though I'm the youngest of three girls. I don't know how we three all turned out so spiteful when my papa was a gentle man who laughed and joked all the time, and was never mean to a soul.
Ach, I want to cry again, but if I do, Hanah will tell Jeanette and they'll tell Mother that I stroked Papa's hand before the undertaker arrived to get him out of our wagon. I just wanted to touch him one last time before he was gone forever. How can that be so wrong? It's not as if I needed to worry about his spirit. He was just... gone.
"Hurry, girl, you've got to hurry," comes a rough female voice from behind me.
Hanah doesn't turn.
She has no idea that anyone is even there. And if I turn, that will just be one more reason for her to call me cursed, unclean. Marime.
I scrub garlicky stew out of a heavy iron pot, waiting.
Old Kira breezes through us, making both Hanah and me shiver.