Saturday, February 11, 2012

Novel in progress excerpt. 2-11-12

         in which Emily is a young adult.  She is an employee at a thoroughbred training/breeding farm and is checking in guests at a charity event at her employer's estate.

           Emily checked the fancy folks in, as they arrived in their finery. Everyone was in a cheerful mood; what was not to celebrate? A great party, delicious food, music and a dance floor, plenty to drink, art, and the noble feeling that it was all for the horses. There was a gap in the stream of arriving guests, so Emily leaned down to retrieve her Chapstick from her ever so inappropriate purse, which she’d stuffed under the chair. She buttered her dry lips – a leftover from her childhood, when her lips were always so chapped that they would bleed – still leaning over her bag, replaced the Chapstick and closed her scruffy purse. When she sat upright, a man stood smiling at her, waiting on the other side of her table. She thought for a moment that she had forgotten how to speak.
“Could I have your name, please?” she finally sputtered.
She thought he must be from Hollywood. She rarely watched TV and almost never went to the movies, but this guy… She felt herself blush, something she hadn’t done since the eighth grade when that stupid Tommy Boyle had snapped her bra strap through her shirt and she had punched him and split his lip. The blushing part didn’t come until the principal said he had to call in her foster mom. She had never caused trouble before and dreaded the notion of her foster mom having to come to school.
“Emerson Hunt.”
She blushed even hotter. What was she thinking about stupid Tommy Boyle for? She scanned the list, which was in Mrs. Trent’s neat, but unfamiliar handwriting, looking for ‘Emerson’ without finding it.
“Have you paid?” she asked, not daring to look up.
There were four couples waiting behind Mr. Hunk, er Hunt. Where the heck was his stupid name on this list? And why the heck was she blushing, and when did it get so hot and stuffy in the dumb tent?
“May I look?”
He leaned over the list, and she turned it partially sideways so he could see better. His arm brushed hers, and electrical sparks jumped back and forth, creating what Emily was sure was an audible hum. She started to sweat. Oh for the love of God.
“Here I am. Lucy wrote me down as ‘Edgar.’ That’s my real first name, only no one uses it. No one but Lucy. In addition to being my aunt she’s my godmother, and feels it’s her duty.”
He wondered why on earth he was telling this beautiful young woman about his family history.
“It is my duty and my privilege,” said Lucy Trent walking up behind Emily.
Lucy's blond hair was streaked with natural silver, and she had a warm, open smile. Emily felt strangely safe around her. Even though she could feel the woman sizing her up, assessing her, this Lucy Trent felt comfortable, familiar. Normally Emily would feel threatened by Lucy’s interested and penetrating stare, but she surprised herself by basking in it.
“You were named after your father, who was named after his father - who just so happened to be my father, and they were both excellent men.”
She had a drink in one hand, and a leash in the other. At the end of the leash, was the most charming, enchanting little dog Emily had ever seen. It was a female, black with a white neck, legs and blaze, and big brown sparkling eyes. She looked like she had worn her own little black formal dress to the party. As soon as Emily smiled at the dog, it launched itself into her lap, sticking its pointy nose in her ears and licking her face.


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