Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fiction for August 20, 2010

We are spending the weekend in beautiful Big Bear California, to celebrate Nancy’s birthday this Sunday. Happy birthday to my favoritist* person in the whole world. I love you!

Friday Fiction can be found this week at Polliwog Pages, Vonnie’s fun blog for the young and those of us that refuse to grow up. Find the Linky tool there for all the great stories this week!

I’m taking a break from posting more of my current WIP, “Precocious by Consent,” as the next chapter is going to get some instant revisions after today’s visit to the real life location where it takes place. I scouted the location using Google Earth, but there is nothing as good as seeing it up close and personal to refine the details and make it right. It would have been “good enough” as-is, but it can be better.

Instead, I’m going to respond to a recent comment someone made on a Pod story excerpt. They wanted to read some of the back-story involving Dr. Marcel. In all the Pod stories I’ve written, the closest to actually showing the late doctor I’ve come, is a short dream sequence. This isn’t an oversight. I purposed early on in the writing that Anthony Marcel would only be seen through the memories of other characters, or through their perception of his writings or work. This week’s offering for Friday Fiction illustrates well the concept of how one might evaluate Dr. Marcel, based on what they choose to focus on. This is the first part of the chapter, excerpted from the second book, “Marta’s Pod.”

Chapter 8

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Gerald Lawton snored, providing the only discernible sound in the room they occupied on the island. Linda had regarded his snoring as annoying for many years, until he’d spent that week in the hospital after his cardiac episode. She’d realized that first night home alone in their bed that the snoring was him, and that annoying as it might be it served as an audible reminder that he was still with her. The prospect of never hearing that sound again had changed her perspective on it, and now the sound comforted her much as a security blanket comforted a young child.

Gerald had always slept easily; he’d commented many times that any problem that wouldn’t still be waiting in the morning wasn’t worth losing sleep over, and any that would still be waiting wouldn’t benefit from losing sleep. He seemed to have a knack for turning off his mind and allowing his body to fall asleep; a trick Linda had never managed to learn. Her mind continued to mull over the day’s events, leaving her unable to doze off despite being quite tired. Lying there with time to think, she considered many aspects of their situation that she hadn’t been able to focus on while the Pod had held their attention.

She had four daughters that she couldn’t talk about. Our families know we came to find out about Marta, but what can we tell them now? Will the government allow the extended family in on the secret, and maybe permit a family reunion out here? What will they think when they learn what Dr. Marcel did to the girls, creating them as mermaids?

She still wasn’t quite sure how she was handling that little piece of news. Her mind ran through various emotions as she considered Dr. Marcel’s role in the escapade. How dare he create children from our samples without consulting us? How dare he keep those children away from us? How could he think he had the right to manipulate the genetics of so many children in such a way that condemned those children to a life outside of normal society? He had been such a kind man when he helped us have Mark. He’d understood; he’d approached all our problems with such empathy that we couldn’t help but trust him. Had he even then been planning what he was going to do afterwards?

She wanted to slap him; grab him by the necktie and repeatedly hit him until she couldn’t move her arm anymore. She imagined screaming at him, asking him over and over who he thought he was, doing this to them and to those children. He was dead, though; she would never have the opportunity to make him stand accountable for what he’d done. She prayed that somewhere in Eternity Anthony Marcel was taken to task for his decisions. She imagined a dark place where Dr. Marcel would spend the afterlife, haunted forever by his deeds.

As she imagined that place, she found that she heard a voice speaking out of the darkness. “If the only parent that will ever love me was Dr. Marcel, then I don’t want to remember any faces other than his.” Marta’s voice echoed in her mind, evoking a completely different image of the doctor than what Linda wanted to see. Her grandson was named after him because Marta had loved the doctor like her own father.

She had four daughters she’d never known she had; she had a son-in-law who adored the one and cared for all of them. She had a grandson to love and spoil, though how she could hope to compete with Joshua Cardan and the Pod in that regard she had no idea. In a moment of sober reflection she realized that over all that, and even over her son Mark, the face of Dr. Marcel looked on. In spite of his flaws, she owed him more than she could ever hope to repay. For the second time that night she prayed, this time asking that eternity might have mercy on the soul of Anthony Marcel.

* - Yes, I know "favoritist" is not a real word. Nancy is still my favoritist person in the whole world.

1 comment:

Yvonne Blake said...

There's nothing like going "on location" for spurring your writing muse.