Friday, December 12, 2014

War of Loyalties December Snippets



"You are the most hopeless lot I've had the misfortune to work with thus far." Jaeryn voice sank to an ominous quiet, and he put every ounce of anger he possessed into the whisper. "I want to know what this means."
*             *             *
Most of the sticky tables stood empty as Bethel traffic wound down for the night, and even as he and Fenton parted, the last few customers finished their drinks and wandered off into the June sunset. Jaeryn breathed in the yeasty aroma as he too got up and slipped out. He took a shortcut over the fields back towards town, and the gentle swish of grass, with a hint of damp from it darkening the black leather of his shoes, sounded pleasant to his ears after the abrasive conversation.
*             *             *
"Emmerson died today," Jaeryn remarked off-handedly, pushing his empty plate away. "So now the break we've been waiting for has come, and we are ready to begin in earnest."
"Excellent," Ben said. "I mean--never mind. What did he die from?"
*             *             *
The grey-haired, smooth-handed, slightly heavy-set butler looked the very bulwark of British integrity, and Ben could see at a glance why Jaeryn trusted him.
*             *             *
"You think I didn't refuse to keep a secret for your spy, so I should have no reason to draw back now." Ben twisted the envelope to the letter in his hands until Jaeryn pulled it away. "But I did not know what to do. When a man is trapped between two hard places, and he cannot determine which is better, the decision is never a simple one. And he keeps on making that decision over and over in his mind."
*             *             *
Jaeryn nodded and set his mug of tea down on the windowsill, its steam rising up like a little frosty breath.
*             *             *
The heavy aura of ages past and ages future hung over Ben as he entered Mr. Emmerson's library. Thousands of hard bound volumes lined the wall, and the shelves were so lofty that he estimated the ceiling at twelve feet or more in height. It smelled of dust and ink and wood polish, and that, coupled with the heavy silence, gave off a comfortable invitation for visitors to sit down and take their ease.
*             *             *
I haven't seen my father yet. I want to see him very much, but I am afraid to attempt it--I don't know what he's like, and living in hope of reconciliation seems better than knowing for sure that it won't happen.
*             *             *
"Mustard gas poisoning, I think he called it. But I don't know what that is, or how serious it might be. Do you know what it means?”
*             *             *
They passed a group of khaki-clad soldiers eating sandwiches from the canteens. The American twang and British drawl and Scottish brogue all mingled as men joked and laughed together, throwing apple cores into the waves, and betting on the longest toss.
*             *             *
"I'm the doctor's wife come to see you," she said. "Please don't feel embarrassed. There's nothing wrong with needing help, and we're here to see what we can do for you."
*             *             *
Every day some committee or other comes to the clinic asking for money, and every day Jaeryn Graham gives them enough to make them fairly dance with gratitude. But when they turn to me, I am forced to decline. I wish I could offer something to help as well. 
*             *             *
"Did they die?" Pearlie spoke hardly loud enough for them to make out the words, as she set a plate of wheat bread on the table.
*             *             *
She looked much more mature than he remembered her being when he left home for college. Rather pretty, now that he thought about it, with her small arched brows and dainty chin. Soft tendrils of blonde curls hung loose over her shoulders, for she didn't pin it up like Charlotte, and her blue eyes were set a little wide apart, with a nervous gaze that kept her from looking people in the face for long. Not only that, but she hung her head like a little girl who had been scolded too many times and couldn't face the world again.
*             *             *
"I'd rather you didn't mention I used those. Ryson doesn't know, and I prefer to keep them to myself."
Ben smiled at the secrecy. "Why? There's nothing wrong with glasses."
"Never admit you have a weakness if you can help it," Jaeryn said tersely.
*             *             *

They were his last link to the things he had loved so much and left behind him.

4 comments:

  1. And a very nice WoL blog post, Schuyler! :) I loved the letter snippets...poor Ben. :( And Pearlie's quotes. <3 We should read some snippets together sometime on Christmas break.

    What was the last link to the things he loved? I don't remember...

    "Mustard gas poisoning, I think he called it. But I don't know what that is, or how serious it might be. Do you know what it means?”
    >>Nice quote. ;)

    Love,
    Carrie-Grace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We *should* read some snippets. T. has been adorable lately. :)

      Last link is Pearlie and Charlotte. I liked the whole paragraph, but didn't include it as it was another contemplative/descriptive one.

      My dear! Mustard gas is *terrible*. Not nice. :P

      Love you. <3 Thank you for all your interest and encouragement.

      ~Schuyler

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  2. This was my favorite snippets post so far. I loved the first one...Jaeryn being intense...and poor Ben's awkward reaction to Emmerson's death, of course. And Jaeryn being embarrassed about wearing glasses. :) Also, the "frosty little breath" and the description of the smell of Emmerson's house were excellent. But my favorite was the description of Pearl near the end. "Like a little girl who had been scolded too many times and couldn't face the world again." That really tugs on my heartstrings.

    Thanks so much...I always get so excited to see that you've done a snippets post!

    ~the Philologist

    P.S. And yes! Mustard gas is not nice at all, Carrie-Grace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "frosty little breath" and Emmerson's library are near and dear to my heart as well. I have a beta reader constantly saying "No, this isn't right! You need to paint the scene!" So I am slowing down to paint it. Pearlie's description is my favorite with her, hands-down.

      You'll be even more excited about this month's other WoL post. ;) Thanks so much for commenting! It is always a joy to hear from you.

      Love,
      Schuyler

      Delete

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