All signed up for ScriptFrenzy (writing buddy included). It begins April 1st. Can I write a 100-page script in one month?
Stayed tuned for that. This should be more fun than NaNoWriMo because a) I’ve tried writing scripts, but I’ve never finished one and b) based on my natural verboseness, not being able to tell everything going on in a scene will be sure to drive me crazy
So, in honor of…absolutely nothing…I bring you some snippets.
First, from Last Request:
That night, after we’ve worked, cleaned down, mopped the floors in the walk-in freezer and fridge, after Brixton has given the night’s leftovers of bread, fried chicken, and a container of collard greens to Marley, he and I go pick up Aimee in Brookline. I stay in the car while Brix visits his mother and takes our sleepy Aimee in his arms and straps her into the car. I slide down in the front seat so that Mrs. Davis won’t see me in the dark.
“You look ridiculous,” Brix says to me as he straps Aimee in. Her head rolls to the right and she lets out a snore. “Mom’s not even looking.”
“How do you know that? She could be peeking through a window. What were you going to do if she wanted to come out and help you with Aimee’s bag?”
“Put you in the trunk,” he answers, shutting the backseat door. He’s coming around to the driver’s side. I snort.
“The trunk. How Whitey Bulger of you.”
And from Iggy:
“Now, Iggy,” Sister Benedicta said, glancing at the shelves again. “I’m going to give you the same salve and some…ah! Water with lavender mixed in. Here.” She tipped the tiny bottle of water into a clean rag, releasing the heady scent. She gave him the rag and said, “Pat it against your cheeks. They’re turning redder by the moment.”
He grimaced for a second as the water stung his cheeks. But the coolness of the lavender soothed his cheeks after only minutes. He had gotten burnt in past summers; his skin would prickle red, sting for a few days, then peel off in small pieces.
A cool hand touched his forehead. Iggy jumped, startled. Sister Benedicta looked at him with a considered, serious expression.
“No heat illness, I think. No fever. You don’t feel dizzy, do you?”
Iggy felt as if his throat had run dry. “No. No, Sister.”
“Good. We must thank the Lord for bright days, of course, but they can be dangerous for those who are unused to much sun—as I fear we are. You’re sensitive to heat, Iggy. One of my sisters was the same way.”
Was it the silversmith’s wife? Her sister. His aunt.
Iggy twisted the small rag in both hands.
“Are you burnt anywhere else, lad?”
“No, Sister. Just my face.”
“You forgot your hat?”
He peered at her. “Yes. I went straight from lessons to being outdoors.”
“Ah. I hear that you are Brother Clement’s best pupil. I knew you’d be,” she said, smiling. “Already learning Homer and Aeschylus.”
“I haven’t read them on my own,” Iggy stammered. “Brother Clement told me the tales. His Greek is very good.”
“Yes. Remarkable, for he taught himself Greek, with some help from Prior Reginald.”
“Do you—do you read Greek, Sister?”
“Oh, dear me, no!” Sister Benedicta exclaimed. “Though I know the great epic tales, at least pieces of them. Now,” she said, voice turning brisk. “I think the lavender will have soothed your skin. You ought to take this with you. When your skin sheds, wipe the area with the lavender water again. It’ll make it less itchy.” She handed him a tiny bottle, taking the twisted rag out of his hand at the same time. She dipped her hand in the goopy salve again, took his chin and tipping it upwards, spread the solution over his cheeks and even his forehead.
Sister Benedict’s eyes were pale blue; in the dim lamplight, he could barely see the iris. She had smallish eyes and short brown eyelashes. Iggy supposed the nun was a brunette; he couldn’t ever recall seeing her hair.
“There,” she finally said.
“Thank you, Sister.” His heart was beating quickly, echoing in his ears. Iggy tried to keep his breathing steady. Sister Benedicta wiped her hand on another rag and replaced the salve on the shelf.
“What else have you learnt from Brother Clement?” she asked conversationally.
“Today, we studied some geography,” he said, finding his voice. “Brother Clement told me of an ancient Roman wall called Hadrian’s Wall. It’s near Scotland. Then he asked me to write something to practice my penmanship, so he asked me to write about Achilles and how his heel came to be the weakest and fatal part.”
“And how did it come to be his Achilles’ heel?”
Iggy explained, finishing by saying, “I don’t know why she didn’t just throw him into the river.”
“Perhaps he couldn’t swim,” Sister Benedicta replied.
“He had no need to be immortal!”
“No, but she was a goddess and was presumably immortal, so she wanted him to be as well.”
Iggy made sure his eyes bore straight into the nun’s eyes. Two years ago, Hugh Johnson, the silversmith’s son, had told Iggy that they were cousins. His mother, Sister Benedicta’s elder sister, had told him so, likely as a family confidence that Hugh had blurted out.
Only Tom knew that the nun could be—could be, for Iggy had no evidence beyond Hugh’s word—Iggy’s mother.
“Why?” He asked.
“She thought she was doing what was right for him. Obviously, she bungled it. But the intention was there, I think. She tried to do the best she could by her child. It’s what any mother would do.”
Her face didn’t betray anything. There was no softening, no sudden maternal spark. Perhaps her eyes seemed more intense, but it may have simply been their altered appearance as the pupils grew in the dimness.
Iggy stepped back. “Thank you, Sister. Good night.”
“Good night, Iggy.”