DiSemblance Teaser: Cutting My Babies

Per the suggestion of the professional book doctor who analyzed DiSemblance before I sent it to an editor.  I tightened my point of views in the book by moving from 7 character heads to only 2. This means I had to let Boston’s chapter go.

This was really hard!

Since Boston’s perspective will become the primary perspective in the new book, Boston’s Quest, I thought it would be fun to publish most of the cut chapter in this post. Here it is! …Enjoy:

Blind with tears, Boston raced up her rickety porch, yanked back the screen door, and sprinted through her trailer. Passing her mother playing cards at the kitchen table, she slammed her bedroom door shut and flung herself on the bed. It was pitch dark inside her room except for the crack below the door that led to the hallway. Boston liked it that way. She felt safer in the dark than the light.

Last summer she had transformed her bedroom into a dark room. She covered the window with black plastic. Purchased a workbench from the Salvation Army store with some babysitting money, and then placed it in the area adjacent to the bed that her mother had reserved for a dresser. The workbench became her processing station. That was where she prepared her negatives, dipping the photographic paper in just the right chemicals for the effect she wanted and then hanging them to dry on the line she had strung up by nailing a rope into the walls between the top of her bed and the opposite wall.

The darkness hid the bleakness of the room with its bare sheet rock walls, stained carpet, and lack of furnishings—the only furniture beside the workbench being a single twin mattress, no frame.

Boston climbed under the covers, wrapping her body in the down blanket like a cocoon. A chair squeaked against the kitchen linoleum as her mother pushed away from the table. Boston stopped crying and looked at the crack below the door. Her mother’s feet appeared on the other side, blocking out the light as a soft rap sounded on the wood.

Boston felt torn. She needed her mother so much right now, but it had been so long since they had been able to talk to each other. More than anything, she needed to know someone else in the world cared about her. She tried to call out, but her throat choked with sobs and she pushed her face into her pillow to smother the horrible sound.

The door slowly opened. “Boston?”

Boston looked up, her eyes swollen red. Her mother was standing in the doorway bathed in the hallway light. Carmen Komen was an aged carbon copy of Boston, attractive and petite with long dark hair pulled back at the nape of her neck and concerned blue eyes.

“Sweetheart, can I come in?”

Boston sat up and held out her arms like she used to do when she was alone and scared as a little child. Her mother came to her. Taking Boston in her arms, she held her close against her chest, gently swaying back and forth as Boston’s tears broke loose again, wetting her mother’s breast.

“Shh, my darling,” Carmen cooed with lullaby softness like she used to do when Boston was a frightened child. “Everything is all right.”

Everything isn’t all right, I’m not two anymore. I’m eighteen in six weeks. “How can you say that? You have no idea what I’m going through.”

Carmen sat back. “Then tell me.”

Boston looked at her mother, wondering if she meant it. She pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged the blanket around them. She had been so mad at her mother for uprooting her from her friends and moving them thousands of miles away to this hole of a place to get away from their father that she had punished her with anger. Boston’s sullen disposition had killed their communication.

A year had passed and the distance between them had grown. How could she ever convey the extreme loneliness she felt from being ostracized at school, the horrifying terror of nearly being raped, the exhilaration of having the boy she adored come to her rescue, or the pain of seeing that same boy walk away like he didn’t even care if she were alive?

Boston searched for the right words. “Some boys attacked me.”

Carmen reached above Boston’s head and switched on the light. Horror had drained her mother’s face of color. Boston had to say something before her mother got the wrong idea. “I’m not hurt.”

“Did they…”

“Jason stopped them.”