Welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, the brain child of K.L. Schwengel.
First off – I had a very productive weekend! I came to a decision about the name of my female protagonist – perhaps a surprising one. I’m sticking with Audrey. It feels good to stand my ground 🙂 So, no more indecision. It just wouldn’t feel right to change it and she’d never forgive me if I did 😉 I’ve also decided on a title. I’ve scrapped ‘Outlanders’ because it caused too much confusion, and settled on ‘The Fifth Watcher.’ When I say settled on, I mean I’m about 75% sure! I’ll sit with it for a while before I set it in stone.
So let’s get to the math – I was going to go with a page/paragraph combination linked to the date, but I didn’t think it was fair to leave you hanging from last week! So I just added the numbers together, came up with 40 and shared with you the same number of sentences directly where I left off. It also helps me, because although I’m happier with the majority of the book, I’m still having difficulty with the first chapter. This way, you might be able to help me figure out what I’m missing! Oh, and feel free to tell me if something doesn’t ‘sit well’. I have thick skin – I can take it 🙂
Here’s how I ended it last time:
As I watched my father struggling for breath, I felt anger bubble to the surface. The disease had taken so much from him, from all of us. It was hard to believe this was the same man who had trained me relentlessly for hours, preparing me for a future only he could see.
Then I caught the look in his eyes, the steely determination that spoke of his character. Whatever else the cancer had taken, it couldn’t take that.
He sat straighter in his chair and began again in a raspy, uneven voice.
“I’ve had so many opportunities to tell you the truth, opportunities I squandered because of my own cowardice. When we lost your mother, and then years later when I met Ann and we became a family again. I should have told you then. It haunts me knowing how much I failed you. All the hours we spent together, preparing you for this, and not once did I share the truth about your heritage.”
I paused the tape before he could go any further because, even though I knew it was delaying the inevitable, I wasn’t ready to let go. Real or not, my memories were the only thing I had left.
It’s not that I’m a coward. Until that point, I’d spent my life doing my father’s bidding. The simple fact is, at the root of his paranoia was a genuine fear for my safety.
He had almost lost me once, and it haunted him. I was five years old when they came for me. I still don’t recall everything that happened, and perhaps I never will. But I know I got away.
That was worse somehow, being stranded in a place I didn’t recognise or understand. It was dark and cold, a place I was forced to revisit night after night in my dreams.
I remember the strange pull it had on me and though I didn’t understand it as a child, later, when I could identify the emotions, I knew something had been tracking me in the dark.
Perhaps that’s why I tucked the memories away, and why, when we continued to run from an invisible threat, I didn’t question it.
Looking into my father’s tired, drawn face, I couldn’t help but remember the man he’d been before the abduction; his sunny smile and easy-going temperament. That part of him shifted overnight, and to a young girl, the change had been terrifying.
He took longer to laugh, his eyes became troubled, and his face tense. In a way he embraced the soldier in him and forgot about the man. When I was old enough he trained me to protect myself, and we grew further and further apart.
I was thirteen when I began to rebel against his teachings, to question his decisions. Then my mother died and, for a while, nothing else mattered.
We found our rhythm again, and I continued to train without complaint, as we moved around the country.
I never felt a sense of danger, never once feared for my safety. But I came to believe he was the reason for that and I found my father again.
He was always there to protect me, and I relied on his strength. When my best friend died, he was the one to sit with me night after night as I cried myself to sleep.
However many friends I made, and however easy it was for me to connect with people, I did so with an understanding that those friendships were fleeting. Our lifestyle taught me the danger of attachments, and I was careful.
With Nathaniel it was different. For reasons I didn’t understand at the time, his family travelled with us. Right from the start.
Not an ideal place to leave it I know, but the math is there for a reason.
Thanks in advance for your feedback, and for reading.