Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Insults in the Rain

Hello all! Well, we have reached That Time of the Semester again - the time when I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to do all the things I need to do. This week is made much more insane but also much more awesome by the New Voices Literary Festival, in which I am a student guide and get to introduce the FIRST EVER YA writer invited as a speaker to Ithaca College. (This was totally my idea. Just sayin.' *toots own horn*)

Anyways, due to the insanity, you guys get a teaser today! YAAAAY. It is from my senior project / that Irish Famine novel. Maire's new friend Caleb is a shepherd at the farm Maire's ended up at, and she's instructed to bring him and the other shepherds dinner even though it's pouring rain. She runs into someone else instead...



She plodded across the fields again, pushing her sopping hair out of her eyes as she went towards the sheep pastures. The basket was heavy, and she wondered what four shepherds could possibly need that felt like rocks. But she dragged it along behind her, her hands slipping on the wet wicker, peering through the rain-splashed darkness to find some sign of Caleb. 

She walked directly into someone as she was looking the other direction for some sign of sheep or shepherds. 

“Augh – sorry, I didn’t-”

And then she stopped. The figure in front of her in the darkness was not Caleb or Sean or one of the other shepherds. It was not someone from the farm at all.

“You’re capable of apologies,” the Secrets Man said, his smile just visible in the dim light. “Interesting.” 

“What are you doing here?” Maire snapped, stumbling backwards. 

He had no reason for being there, in the rain, of all things. He had no reason for reminding her so starkly of her betrayal, of reeling her in again. She’d thought she was free of him, now he’d trapped her in this place. Thought he was done with her. 

“I just thought I ought to happen by, see how you might be holding up. It is a difficult thing to leave one’s family, after all.”

The smile, all she could see of his face beneath the shadow of his brow, widened slightly. 

“You tricked me,” she snarled, gripping the basket handle tightly, wishing it was something less unwieldy, something she could strike him with. “You said nothing about leaving them forever, you bastard. This is your fault.”

 “You can blame me if you like,” he said, shrugging calmly. “If that’s what makes you feel better about all this.” 

“I don’t-” she stammered, but then she stopped. She didn’t want to tell this man just how much she hated him. She didn’t want to tell him that she’d likely kill him given the chance. And she could not let him know how very broken he’d left her, and just how much she knew this was all her own fault. “Why? Why did you bring me here, of all places?” 

“I knew you’d be treated well, fed, paid, the like,” he answered. “That is what you wanted, wasn’t it? You wanted to save yourself. You can do that here.”

“But – why another Cunningham? Why a place that’ll just feed the English?” 

“Well, I thought you might like to have some familiarity.” 

Maire had no words for him then. There was no phrase found in heaven or hell that would properly express just how much she loathed him. 

“So how are you faring?” 

“Why should you care?” 

“Temper, temper!” he said with a laugh. “I’m merely being polite.”

“Why did you bring Agnes here? Why did you bring any of us here?” 

“Because there’s some good you can do here. I thought she could, but it seems that I was wrong.”


She spun round, looking for the sound of the voice, and saw Caleb materializing through the rain. He was going to see the Secrets Man, he was going to find out everything horrible about her. But when she turned again, the Secrets Man had vanished into the dark as easily as a puff of smoke.

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