Thursday, March 5, 2009

Friday Fiction for March 6, 2009

Friday Fiction this week is being hosted by Shirley over on her blog, Sunny Glade. Don’t miss Mr. Linky and the great fiction submissions this week.

One piece of feedback I received from the early drafts of Precocious by Design was a bit more development of some of the characters. Katy/Katya, particularly, turned into a more prominent character than I’d originally intended, and it seemed the reader needed more insight into her.

I’ve written three additional chapters to the story so far, two of which are from Katya’s POV, and one from Faye Timmons’ POV as she converses with Katya towards the end of the book. Her first appearance in the narrative is as Katy, a girl from the Agency sent to fulfill a performance contract with Gary. Part of her awakening in the story is as she reaches an understanding of the difference between being Katy and being Katya.

In the Friday Fiction entry from
November 14, 2008, Gary Duddeck mentions having gone on a date with Katya, rather than carrying through with a date with Katy. I decided I needed to show that date from Katya’s POV.

Chapter 25
Saturday evening

Katya sat on the blanket, enjoying the concert from the grassy area behind the concrete benches. The final song before the intermission was Vivaldi Concerto Rv 93, and as the closing measures of the Allegro movement echoed from the bandshell, she closed her eyes and pressed closer to Gary.

He removed his arm from around her shoulder to applaud, and she sat up straight. Wiping her face with her hands before joining in the applause, she sniffled and cleared her throat.

“Are you okay?” Gary asked.

She nodded. “It’s just – so beautiful. The music; the park – no one has ever treated me like this before.”

He kissed her, placing one hand gently towards the back of her head. This is different, she thought. This is tender, instead of greedy or forceful, the way most men kiss me. Is this what it’s like when two people are together because they choose to be, instead of because it’s a business contract?

“Did you like that last arrangement?”

“Very much so; did you?”

“I have a special appreciation for that Concerto; I’ve played it on guitar before.”

“My mother was a musician,” she said, barely able to speak as the emotions flooded to the surface.

“What did she play?”

“Oboe; she told me once that she had been accepted to the Mannheim University in Germany.”

“Mannheim is an exceptional school. Did she finish?”

“She never went. She – had me, and was unable to pursue a career in music.”

“Well, I suppose there are worse reasons to forego an education.”

She let that comment go unanswered. “My mother taught me to appreciate classical music; to listen for the subtleties and nuances of the different instruments, and how the compositions were written and arranged to make the most of the blended sounds.”

“My instructor always told me if I could play classical guitar, I could play anything on the guitar.”

“Do you still play?”

“Not as well as I used to, but it’s one of the few joys in life I have.”

“Would you play for me, later, after the concert?”

“I’d love to.”

She stood and stretched, adjusting the long skirt Gary had bought for her from the mall. It felt strange to not only be dressed as an adult, but to act like one as well. The skirt and blouse almost felt decadent; the cost of getting adult fashions in a child’s size hadn’t bothered Gary a bit, and while she’d originally resisted the idea, she was glad he’d persisted. All of the clothes she owned, and most of the clothes readily available in her size, looked like little girl clothes. I don’t want to go out with the girl Katy tonight, Gary had said when encouraging her to try on the outfit. I want to go out with Katya, the woman.

Excusing herself for a trip to the bathroom, she returned just as the conductor bowed to the audience and ascended to his platform. She sat down and snuggled back under Gary’s arm, surprised that – despite her previous performance with him – the hand never strayed from a polite contact.

Only three compositions were slated for the second half of the concert, but the three pieces with their various movements, filled most of another hour. The audience stood for a thundering ovation, the musicians bowed, and people began to meander away from the amphitheater.

They held hands as they walked towards the parking lot, and there was again a marked difference in the way it felt versus all the previous times she’d held hands with a client. Maybe it was just her imagination, but always before it had seemed the hand holding hers imparted a sense of control; this had more the sense of cooperation. She didn’t have the feeling that he would grip tighter if she tried to slip her hand away, and just for an experiment did so. He made no comment when her hand withdrew, and when she’d finished brushing her hair back with both hands, his resumed the contact with no greater pressure than before.

“I saw you kissing that child,” a woman’s voice scolded from behind them. “I should call the police on you.”

They stopped and turned around. “Excuse me?” Gary said.

The woman ignored him. “You don’t have to be afraid, sweetheart. You can tell me if he’s done anything to you. I won’t let him hurt you.” She reached for Katya’s hand.

Katya twisted her free hand away from the woman. “Look, lady; I know you mean well, but I’m not a child. I’m twenty-four, and you’re interrupting one of the nicest dates I’ve ever been on.”

“You don’t have to cover for him. There are laws to deal with men like him.”

She pulled a cell phone from her purse. “There are laws to deal with women like you, too. You either leave us alone, or I’ll call the police myself.”


“Listen; I know I look like a child, but I’m not. The cosmetics industry may think the idea of looking eternally young is great, but I can tell you from experience it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you’re really insistent on butting into my life, I can give you the phone number of a police lieutenant to call, but he’ll tell you the same thing I just did. You can waste your time making phone calls if you want, but I’m going back to enjoying my night out.”

The woman stared at her, with mouth slightly open.

“Is that offer to play your guitar for me still good?” she asked Gary.

He smiled and turned back towards the car, leaving the concerned woman behind. “Anytime you’d like,” he said.

She wrapped both arms around him, walking almost sideways to maintain the embrace. I could get used to this, she thought.


LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh, wow, she looks that young, eh? I'm surprised the lady didn't hit him with her purse!

I love your smooth writing and especially the gentle romance. It flows so easily and keeps me wanting more.

Hoomi said...

The premise in the story is that both the murder victim, Ilsa, and Katya are paedomorphic - adults retaining juvenile characteristics. While Katya is 24 years old, she appears to be about 11.

Joanne Sher said...

Fascinating and beautifully written. Love the characterization of Katy/Katya, and her interior monologue especially.

Lynn Squire said...

Very interesting and creative. Good job with the characters.

Julie Arduini said...

This was really engaging, I want to read more about her. She definitely seems fragile with hope in the romance department!

Catrina Bradley said...

I feel cheated, only getting this tiny glimpse into what has to be a much bigger story. (In case you can't tell, that means I liked it. :D)