Christian Fiction Friday–Cavernous #3
I’ve been working on polishing three different manuscripts this summer–Humbled Goddesses, a series of short stories to introduce my romantic suspense series, Pandora’s Deed, the first book in my series, and Cavernous, my YA dystopian.
Here’s another snippet from Cavernous, chapter one.
Thunder rumbles in the distance while I study Mom’s fake ID. It appears legit, with a barcode and organ donor signature on the back. The plastic’s even scratched a bit. How long has she kept this secret?
When Dad comes home at nine, I show him the license, keeping Amber’s shenanigans quiet. He careens forward, missing the chair and landing on the linoleum.
I extend my hand and help him into the seat, wincing as he grips my fingers tighter than he should. He sits still for a moment, and then releases me, swinging his arm in a wide arc across the table. The license flies to the floor. “Why? Why would your mom do this to us?”
“Wish I knew.” Kneeling, I pick it up and set it back on the table, unable to keep the quiver from my voice. “Sorry, dad.”
Squeezing his chin with one hand and rubbing his neck with the other, Dad inspects the ID for about thirty minutes. Then he scoots away from the table, bends over double, and rests his elbows on his knees.
I’ve seen him cry one other time, at Grandma’s funeral, and it was nothing like this–a total breakdown in heart-wrenching sobs. Returning to the armchair, I let out wails of my own.
After a few minutes, he excuses himself to the room he shares with Mom, which I’d think would be the last place he’d want to be. His scuffles thud through the wall. He’s probably searching everything she owns for any sign she’s been hiding another identity. With nothing else to do, I crawl into my bed and cry myself to sleep.
Around eight the next morning, the phone rings.
Dad staggers out of his room, glances at the caller ID, and starts the coffee. “Is Amber awake?”
“No. I tried a few minutes ago, but she didn’t budge.”
“I’m going to run by work.” He grabs his bulging leather satchel. “I’ve requested a leave of absence, and I’m getting my courses in order.”
“Okay, we’ll be fine here. You want breakfast before you go?”
I follow him to the porch.
Dad nods to a woman next door who drags two resistant little girls to a minivan. Four houses down, an older man in a fluffy blue robe walks out to get the paper. Doors slam, men in suits hustle, and car engines rev. Against the skyline, tractors putter across the fields, the part-time farmers returning to their subdivided homes after a few hours of morning labor. Typical day on Sycamore Street.
Dad mutters to himself as he stands between the car and the door. He watches me until I go back in to the kitchen then removes his wedding ring before dropping to the driver’s seat.
Filling a bowl with cereal, I blink away more tears.
Is Mom having an affair? I scan the ID picture once more. The detailed eye makeup and red lipstick take years from her already stunning face. Darker hair highlights her creamy skin, and the slight curl of her lips gives her a sultry air. An affair is a definite possibility.
About the book:
In a divided America, several secessions lead to the formation of a new nation, the Alliance of American States. Fueled by extremists who solicit members via social media, the Alliance has one weak point: Callie Noland, daughter of extremist leader Adrian Lamb. Can she maintain her faith in God and stand up to the man who calls himself Lord and Master?
The mission of the Cavernous trilogy is to incite a revolution for teen girls to delve into Scripture. Many of today’s society grasp at a meme-driven belief system and draw doctrine from Facebook and Twitter statuses. They need strong characters that write the words of God on their heart and take stands against slight untruths and injustices, especially the youth.