Today, I’m taking part in the Aspiring to Inspire challenge, which was created by my good friend and fellow author, Y. Correa.
The idea for the challenge is for writers to share excerpts (no longer than 3 paragraphs) from their all their stories. By reading the excerpts, the authors will see what they’ve created and it’s a motivator to continue on with their writing journey.
This is a challenge I was excited to do and it gave me the inspiration I needed to get back to writing. I encourage all authors to take part in this challenge, trust me you’ll enjoy it.
Going Home Again
Rachel tried to wrap her mind around the events that happened the past few days. Dead. Mom’s dead. Rachel couldn’t believe it; when she heard the words from her sister’s mouth, Rachel felt like she had just been punched in the stomach, only it felt much worse. Many people believed Nancy was the type of woman who’d live forever; including Rachel, now it was difficult talking about her in the past tense. Whenever Rachel thought of her mother she pictured a vibrant, caring, and free-spirited woman, who survived a messy divorce and raised four rambunctious daughters. Out of all of her daughters, Nancy was closest to Rachel, mainly because she was the firstborn. Rachel and Nancy’s bond was so strong it nearly broke her mother’s heart when Rachel moved to New York after college graduation. But like any good mother she accepted and supported her daughter’s decisions.
Rachel always felt guilty for leaving her family for New York, but she had to follow her dream. She tried to remain close to her family by making surprise visits, weekly phone calls, and numerous emails. Rachel always wondered if she should have stayed in Norfolk, but she pushed those thoughts out of her head and reminded herself she had a wonderful life in New York: a great job, great apartment, and great boyfriend; she was very happy. Or was she?
Under the glare of the spotlight, sweat glistened on Alicia’s body as she swayed her hips to the guitar riffs and banging drums. The crowd went crazy as she sung Complex, a song she wrote about herself. She considered herself a complex woman; she had a collage of personalities. There was her rocker, tough chick, and tomboy personas, something she had to be to keep up with three brothers. She could also be a girly girl, into fashion, boys, and gossiping.
If it wasn’t for her rocker image, the Chinese tattoo on her right wrist, and the purple streak in her hair nobody would guess she had another side to her. Only those closest knew the real Alicia. Especially her brothers, they liked to push her buttons and that’s when her toughness came out, but whenever pushed too far she showed her sensitive side, just like any other person.
At twenty-one, Alicia was still trying to find herself, figure out who she was and what she wanted to be. For now she was known to local citizens as the lead singer of The Dark Souls, a band formed by her older brother.
Westmore: The Aftermath
When they were out of sight she stood in the doorway, she regretted the way she acted, yet at the moment all she wanted was to be by her daughter’s side. Everyone was hurting, Charlotte was affected the most; the pain a mother feels is indescribable.
“Mrs. Green, are you ready to go to your daughter’s room?”
She followed the nurse down the hall to the intensive care unit; she entered the room and saw Alicia’s body hooked up to ventilators and monitors. Her head and right wrist bandaged, small cuts on her face and arms. Charlotte pulled a chair up to the bed and held Alicia’s hand in hers as she broke down.
Westmore: Broken Ties
Laying on the bed in a Best Western, Zoey put her hands behind her head and closed her eyes as she thought about her screwedup life. She didn’t know what she was going to do, so in the meantime she made herself at home in the hotel. To make the place for comfy, she put up herteddy bear and Precious Moments figurines, her mother got her started collecting the items as a girl, whenever she felt sad she’d look at her trinkets and they’d make her smile, yet this time they did little to ease her depression.
She sat up and thought back to the last conversation she had with her mother, Gloria had misgivings about her daughter dating Peter and moving to Westmore. Gloria warned her it’d be a huge mistake, one she’d regret. Now that Zoey remembered the words it was amazing how true they were. Ever since she came to town it’d been nothing but trouble, now that she and Peter were officially over, and there was nothing else keeping her here, she decided her best bet was to leave. Even though Gloria would give her a constant reminder of “I told you so,” Zoey knew her mother would welcome her back with open arms and now she needed her more than ever.
A knock at the door made her get up and when she glanced out the peephole; she was surprised to see Jack. She remained silent and didn’t make a move hoping he’d go away, yet he continued pounding on the door.
As the morning sun arose, Andrew sat in his office behind the desk, occasionally he glanced around at the family pictures, knowing full well once the secret was out, everybody would turn their backs on him. I’ve had this coming for a while. I guess I ought to get used to being alone. He blamed himself for the mess, sure what Clayton did was horrible, but the fact that he kept the secret and caused the estrangement between his sister and the family was a million times worse.
Once the family learned the truth, they’d line up to give Andrew a slap in the face followed by a rash of angry rants. He couldn’t fathom the scene, but it’s something he’d have to deal with.
The rays from the sun filled the dark office; Andrew stood, ready to face the day head-on. His gaze turned to the portrait of his father and he whispered the words “I’m sorry” as he dreaded what was to become of The Braxtons. As he looked at the picture he heard Clayton’s voice. At first, he shrugged it off as fatigue, yet it persisted, repeating the line “fix this mess.”
Andrew walked into his bedroom and saw that Elizabeth’s clothes and other possessions were gone, the realization his wife had left him sunk in. He thought she was bluffing and in a few days she’d be back, but judging from the emptiness of her side of the closet, he knew she was serious. Unable to stay in the room, Andrew turned off the light and proceeded downstairs. What have I done? I’ve lost everything.
Even though he regained his position as CEO, the one thing he treasured most, he lost two of the most important people in his life, his brother and his wife. Based on their reactions, he knew they didn’t want anything to do with him ever again.
He poured a glass of whiskey to ease his sorrow, then he heard the door open. Thinking it could be Elizabeth, he ran into the foyer; however his mood dampened when he saw his son.
Westmore: New Beginnings
“Wait.” Andrew followed her and she faced him. “Don’t go.” He took her hand and placed his other hand on her cheek. “Stay with me.”
His eyes pleaded with her and his expression showed his sincerity, but Elizabeth wasn’t going to be fooled again. “I’m sorry, Andrew.” She removed her hand from his grasp. “You had your chance and you blew it.”
She walked to the door and had her hand on the knob ready to leave, but she stopped. “If I were you, I’d get in touch with your lawyer.” She didn’t look at him instead she exited the mansion, knowing that their relationship was over for good. Or so she thought?
*For this anthology, I used an excerpt from Westmore: New Beginnings, which features the characters of Scott and Melissa*
Melissa’s flower dress billowed in the wind as Scott drove the Harley past an old farmhouse. When they first got on the road, Melissa held on tight to Scott and closed her eyes, but as the trip progressed she began to relax and enjoy the scenery. The motorcycle made a right turn and Melissa tightened her grip on Scott, which he seemed to enjoy. Trees lined the paved road and as they came upon a rustic cabin, she knew where they were.
Within a few minutes they were at Hyland Lake, Scott parked the bike in the gravel lot and they sat there for a moment staring at the crystal blue waters. He took her hand and helped her off the bike, then they walked down the wooden steps. Melissa removed her sandals and she and Scott strolled along the lake. Scott reached for her hand and she was stunned, yet didn’t object to them holding hands.