Jennifer Eaton of http://jennifermeaton.com/sunday-snippets/ initiated this Critique Blog Hop. Post the first 250 words of a work in progress, check out the rules and join us. Other submissions are at the bottom of this post.
Thank you all for your helpful comments. Today, I offer the beginning of a short story with the working title, The Devil’s Game.
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Hurry up, ma. What’s taking so long?
Through the window, I watched Franco and Smitty already racing up and down the dusty road. The long arm on the cuckoo clock crept forward, a tentative lurch at a time.
My baby sister Caterina stacked and whacked her blocks on the sloping linoleum. She jabbered baby talk, drool sliding down her chin onto her chest. I turned to the clock again. Tick, tock. My chair creaked and groaned. A whiff of last night’s spaghetti sauce and Ciabatta bread still hung in the air.
The front door sprang to life. Urgent fists beat and pounded on it. The baby’s chin shot up as well. She clutched a red block in mid-air. With heart thumping and ears burning, I raced to see who it might be. Mrs. Fournier, from across the street, stood on the veranda clasping and unclasping her hands. Her face chalk white, she chewed on her bottom lip. “Excusez-moi…Melania, maman?”
“Getting groceries. She’ll be home soon. What, Mrs. Fournier?”
“Not worry mon enfant— qui…?”
“The P&G, I think, Mrs. Fournier. You want me to find her?”
“Non— Oui. Yes. Vous allez. Rapide!” She clapped her hands like a school teacher.
“I run like the wind, Mrs. Fournier. “Caterina?” I pointed to the baby, grabbed my jacket, and ripped across the lawn. Where would ma go first?
My lungs burned and my side pinched. Pebbles from the dirt road attacked my calves. I lost a penny loafer, lost my balance, hopped back up and shoved my foot back inside. I rounded the corner and up onto the sidewalk. Mrs.Pinto and Mrs. Swain blocked the sidewalk.
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