A Grave Longing

Hello all!  My two words for the flash fiction challenge were:  longing and inscription.  Take a look and see how I did! “Blimey, it’s bloody cold tonight!” hissed Samuel as he shoved his spade into the dirt.  “Reckon, Dr. Van der Veran ever come out he’self and dig these up?” “Doubt it.  Now get back to work, ya bleedin ninny before we freeze to death,” Arthur replied in a stage whisper. Arthur was sure to keep his ears peeled for any sudden sounds or rustling noises.  The penalty for body snatching was imprisonment and a large fine.  Best not to be caught when you barely have the money to eat. A loud thunk sounded as Arthur dug his spade into the frozen ground. “There she is!” Samuel smiled. As Samuel reached down to move the dirt aside and open the lid of the coffin, Arthur took a look at the gravestone.  The light of the full moon illuminated the inscription on Miss Clara Berry’s stone: Remember Me As Thou Pass By As Thou Art Now So Once Was I As I Am Now So Thou Wilt Be Prepare Thy Way To Follow Me 1809-1827 A sudden chill raced through Arthur’s bones as he realized Miss Berry was his age.  He had read of her death in the papers.  She was found strangled in the garden of her home.  No suspects.   “You gonna help me or am I gonna have to lug her back to the Doc’s lab me’self?” Samuel hissed, his breath fogging in the chilly night air. Shaking himself out of his stupor, Arthur jumped down into the hole and came face to face with the eternally young Clara Berry.  She looked familiar to him.  Had the article in the paper included a picture?  Her strawberry blonde curls could not draw his attention away from her angelic resting smile.   “She looks like she’s asleep, don’t she?” Samuel asked. “Don’t matter none now.  Let’s get to work,” he replied as he began lifting her out of the coffin.  His eyes caught on the golden, heart-shaped locket hanging around her neck.  It was small and delicate, with roses surrounding a simple gold heart in the center. “Bet that’d catch a pretty penny,” Samuel stated. “Ai,” Arthur grunted as he worked to purge all personal items from her body to be left in the coffin.  It was a felony to take belongings from a grave, even pricier than taking... read more

Summer Reading?

Well folks, I’m about to drop a well-kept secret on you that I’m sure will shock and astound you!  Are you ready?  For most public librarians, summer is the time we do the least reading.  I know what you’re thinking.  WHAT?  But you’re a librarian, Anna!  Isn’t reading, like, your job?   Sadly, it is not.  When summer rolls around, my sole purpose is to ensure that YOU have the BEST summer reading experience EVER. I plan programs, I ready my awesome teen volunteers, I make sure we’re not going to run out of incentives when you come to tell us you achieved all your reading goals. And I love it!  But to be honest, because we’re all friends here, I get very little reading done during the summer because I’m too busy.   One book I did manage to make time for was The Leaving by Tara Altebrando.  This thrill ride of a YA novel begins with the mysterious return of five teenagers who went missing on the first day of Kindergarten.  The teens remember nothing of where they’ve been, who took them, or each other.  And no one can remember the sixth kid who disappeared with them but didn’t return.  Told through the perspectives of two of the kidnapped and the sister of the one who didn’t return, this is one of those novels you can’t put down. Fair warning: it will keep you up at night until you finish it because you just have to know. What I loved about this novel is Altebrando keeps you guessing with her narrative.  You never know who to trust.  She scatters clues here and there, some with purpose while others are red herrings.  I found myself loathing one of the narrators right from the start but as more is revealed, I began to see the character’s purpose.  It’s one of those books that grabs you from the start and keeps you up at night thinking about it. So there you have it!  Enjoy The Leaving by Tara Altebrando and show your local librarians some love for sacrificing their summer reading lists.   Happy... read more

A Tribute to the Sidekick

Every protagonist needs a best friend, right?  They’re usually the one your protagonist relies on the most.  Maybe he’s a bit sarcastic?  Maybe she’s the polar opposite of your protagonist.  Nine times out of ten though, this magical creature is the source of humor in your story.   Why am I bringing this up, you might ask?  Well, in case you haven’t figured it out, we are focusing on humor here at WWAT and my favorite bits of humor usually come from the plucky, often sarcastic, but always loyal best friend/sidekick of the protagonist.  These noble beings appear in stories, often with little character development, and provide wisdom, support, and laughs to your main character.   One of my favorite comedic sidekicks is a recent discovery for me.  I started watching episodes of Teen Wolf (thanks Amazon Prime!) to see what all the hype was for.  It’s your classic tale of nerdy guy falls for new girl at school.  Nerdy guy is nervous about trying out for the lacrosse team (yeah, this is now the “in” sport?).  Nerdy guy gets bitten by a werewolf and now must hide his wolfy secret from the girl he loves.  Classic right? Sure we are all sympathetic towards our main character Scott, the new werewolf, but what keeps us tuning in every episode is Stiles.  Yes, this loyal, comedic best friend of Scott who, in his own words, “refuses to be the Robin to Scott’s Batman” is what turns this show from another angst-filled teen soap to a fully-rounded gem of a story.  (Full confession:  I’m only on Season 1, so this could all change in later seasons).  Stiles’ hilarity during serious situations makes everything bearable.  This is one sidekick who could easily have his own spin off. And isn’t it time the sidekicks told their own stories?  Here is a great example of a loyal sidekick breaking out on her own exciting adventure! In the newish YA novel Dumplin by Julie Murphy, Willowdean Dickson has always been a sidekick to her model best friend Ellen.  Willowdean is witty and a self-proclaimed fat girl.  So when she decides to enter the Miss Clover City beauty contest, all hell breaks loose for her and her small town.  I love this novel because it is so obviously the story of a plucky sidekick who finally gets to do something amazing!  There’s love, friendship, a little family drama, and plenty of humor.    So next time... read more

Introduction and Inspiration

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