Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Politics of Marriage

For my writing group last week, our topic was politics. Now, I don't know diddly about politics because hypocrasy and double speak make my head spin. So this is how I chose to handle the subject instead.

"Honey! Where are my cuff links?" Brodie called to his wife from the huge walk-in closet.
"Wherever you left them, honey!" She answered from the dressing room.
"I left them right here on top of the dresser."
"Then they're still there."
"They aren't! Where did you put them?"
Cassandra walked out of the dressing room in her underwear and stockings. "I haven't touched them. What do I need with a pair of cuff links?"
"I don't know! But they aren't where...." He found them, swallowing his angry comment.
Smirking, his petite, redheaded wife walked back in the dressing room. She came out a moment later in a sleek, tight fitting black sheath dress with black, strapless pumps on her feet.
"How do I look?"
He glanced at her, admiring the view, until she turned around. The dress didn't fit well across her rear end.
"Well, it's a little too formal, don't you think?"
"Sweetheart, nothing is too formal for one of your mother's big bashes."
"Maybe you'd look better in the sapphire blue dress you wore at our wedding reception?"
"Brodie, what's wrong with you? You're flushed. Are you ill?"
"No, fine." He dug at his shirt collar, trying to loosen his tie.
"Is there something wrong with my dress?"
"Well...." He held out his hands helplessly. "It doesn't fit like it did a couple months ago."
She put her hands on her hips, glaring at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means... well, sweetheart, in all honesty, it's a little snug."
"Snug? You mean it makes me look fat?" She turned her rear end to the mirror, staring over her shoulder. "Oh, my God! I look like a Hummer! My butt looks like the front end of a truck! And you were going to let me go to Lena's house in this? Malcolm Wallace Brodie!" She took off her shoes, throwing them at him.
"I suggested the blue dress for a reason," he said, ducking. "I didn't want to hurt your feelings. Cassandra!"
She slammed the closet door in his face. "Don't talk to me!"
"Honey, you're three months pregnant. Of course things aren't going to fit exactly like they did a couple months ago."
"I get it. I'm fat. Fat, fat, fat! Well it's your fault!" She bellowed from the closet.
"I wasn't the only one there," he mumbled, taking a step or two away from the closet door.
"I heard that!" She came out of the closet dressed in her bathrobe and slippers. "I'm staying home."
"Sweetie. Cassandra, you can't. Mom's expecting you. Us...."
"I can do anything I want. I don't have to go just because Lena expects it."
"Wear that pretty red dress you wore to Reva's wedding.... Or the one you wore to the opening last month. That was really cute."
"I don't want to go now. You said I looked fat."
"No, honey, I said .... you look beautiful, Cassandra. Please, come with me. You'll look gorgeous no matter what you wear. In fact, you could go in your robe and slippers and look better than any other woman there - even Lena."
"Your mother is a super model, Brodie."
He could tell she was softening. Pushing his advantage, he took her in his arms, holding her close. "I've seen pictures of Mom when she was pregnant with me. You totally blow her away. Do you know she gained nearly 75 pounds with me?"
"No! Lena? You're kidding!"
"Porked out. She was huge. Of course, I've never pointed that out."
"That wouldn't have been nice."
"You know what dress I'd like you to wear?"
"Which one?" She snuggled next to him, playing with his tie.
"That pink one you wore the day we met."
"That was a business suit. I can't wear that to a party."
"Well, maybe you'd like to wear this instead?" He reached into the top of the closet producing a dress box.
Cassandra's eyes glowed as she fumbled with the lid. "Oh, Brodie! It's beautiful! When did you buy this?"
"I got it the day after you told me you were expecting. I wanted it to be a surprise."
She held up the bright blue dress. The lines were free flowing, the material light and airy. It brought out the color of her eyes, setting off her red hair.
"You know what makes me the happiest?" He said as he helped her dress.
"No, what?"
"It's now a perfect fit." Kissing her, he thanked God he was well versed in the art of diplomacy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Excerpt from "Savage Heart"

Although this is from later in the book, I liked the interplay between the two characters so much, I decided to post it. This is from the sequel to "Indian Summer" called "Savage Heart" Manuel is the hero of "Indian Summer". Sailfish is his Indian blood brother. They are on a mission to spy on and infiltrate General Oglethorpe's troops. ~ Dellani

CHAPTER TEN
Eighth May, 1740
The sun was high in the sky as Sailfish and Manuel trudged through the tall river grass along the shore. This part of the country was much less traveled than some others. Mosquitoes rose
from the brush and rushes, feasting on their unprotected skin. Stinging flies swarmed around them, landing on the exposed pieces of skin that weren't covered by mosquitoes.
Swatting uselessly, Manuel led the way. "I'll be covered in welts and drained of blood before we arrive!"
"I did say not to come this way."
"I had hoped to cut a little time off our walk."
"I recall that argument being put forth at the time of our discussion. And what did I say in response?"
"The other way was better. You failed to elucidate how."
"I thought my assessment was enough for you, Brother."
"Yes, yes...."
"You usually take my advice without second guessing me."
"You're certainly a nag today. Perhaps it's lack of sleep?"
"Perhaps it's blood loss! Bear more to the right."
"I thought you weren't familiar with this path."
"I didn't say that. I said the other way is better. How would I know unless I'd also come this way? Take to the water. If we swim part of the way, the insects will be less troublesome."
"Are we going to argue all the way to Georgia?"
"It's a distinct possibility unless you let me lead."
"Fine! If that will make you happy and less of an old woman, by all means!"
"Shh!" Sailfish held up his hand.
Although Manuel was mid-cry, he halted, words bitten back. Listening carefully, he heard sounds that could only be made by man. The creak of leather, clank of metal and gruff commentary filled the air.
"At least we've found them," Manuel whispered.
They eased to crouch. Not even swatting the insects now, they listened. Perhaps they could gather the information they needed without infiltrating the camp after all? A flash of red no more than a score of yards ahead reminded them that the British too knew how to secure an area. Backing slowly, they made their way toward the river. Slipping silently into the water, they swam a half mile or so away before hauling themselves onto the bank.
"Now what?" Manuel asked as he squeezed the water out of his hair.
"This was your brilliant plan, brother."
"I hate when you're smug."
"And I hate when you're arrogant, so we're even."
Sailfish dug around in his waterproof pack for something to eat. He pulled out a packet of dried meat, sharing some with his brother. Manuel took the food automatically, with a nod of thanks.
"We can still approach them."
"Oh, aye. We'll not draw any attention marching toward a landing force. We'll be shot before we go a bow's length."
"How's your Creek?"
"Terrible. You knew that already."
Manuel nodded, gazing over the water. Chewing and swallowing, he continued to think. "If we had a good story, a strong opening...."
"We would still get shot before...."
"Pessimist!"
"Pest!"
"Shh!"
The men dropped low to the ground, listening. They heard movement, talking, the clatter of gear. Swearing quietly, they slid into the water once more. Fortunately, the sounds grew more distant as the scouting party passed. Instead of coming out of the water, they came up for air, kneeling on the sandy bottom of the shallows. The men looked at one another with consternation.
"If they catch us lurking in the water, we will not have a good excuse," Manuel muttered. "We either need to retreat or make up our minds how the hell to present ourselves."
"I had a thought." Sailfish said nothing more.
Manuel, never a patient man, bit back on his impatient outburst. Feeling his anger build, he reminded himself that his Indian brother was less inflammatory and much more even tempered than he. Where Manuel was a man of immediate action, his brother deliberated a long time. Also a man of action, Sailfish only acted when he was sure. On the rare occasion where he did something suddenly, it was because he'd been thinking of it ahead of time. Biting his tongue, Manuel said nothing.

I Love Dialogue from The Maker by Dellani

"If we agree," Wil stood looking at the far wall, not at his wife or the Sentience. "What guarantee do I have that they wo...