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Yup, once again I’m running late to the party here. I am a bit earlier than I’ve been in recent months; it’s late Saturday morning as I type this, even though it’s likely to be late into the afternoon or evening before I get it to post.
Those of you who read here regularly may have noticed that I’ve become fascinated (obsessed, consumed, bat-crap crazy; you choose the word) with Hamilton over the last few months. In all honesty, I’ve always thought Alexander Hamilton was a pretty cool guy, but I had no clue how much I didn’t know about him and his life.
Then I heard the musical, and my daughter, once she got into it, asked me to write her a “shipfic” where Aaron Burr’s daughter, Theodosia, and Alexander Hamilton’s son Philip end up together. Because I like doing things right, I started doing research to see if there was an actual historical point at which I could make it so. And because we happen to live in the same part of upstate New York that was once home to General Philip Schuyler (who just happens to have been Alexander’s father-in-law), and because we also happen to be an unschooling family, that research has taken on physical components.
This afternoon, for instance, the kids and I are headed to the “battlefield in our backyard”, Saratoga National Historical Park. We’ll be exploring the turning point of the American Revolution – the battles that encouraged the French government to offer assistance without which we might still be British colonies.
But all that is still an hour or so away, and I wanted to get this post at least partly drafted before we go, so...
Today I offer you the penultimate serialized snippet from “A Splash of Red,” my surreal fantasy story - the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license.
Yes, you read that right. Next week, we finally get to the end of the story, so things will begin to come clear...or as clear as they’ll get, anyway. And then I have to figure out what to share next...but that’s not a riddle for today. So let’s just launch into these eight sentences, shall we?
Context, such as it is...A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above. Last week, the woman and child finally began to find some resolution and unity – but then the child squirms free.
Fierce As a Plummeting Hawk
Standing, she tugs and wrestles and tears at the red dress, until it falls around her ankles, and then she kicks it away, fierce as a plummeting hawk once again. She stands naked and bold upon the moss, her toes digging in, her long tangled golden hair dancing with the breeze. Her eyes are merry, as a hawk passes high above.
“Hurry, hurry,” she says, reaching for me, to pull me up.
And I know. If she can bare herself to the hawks, to me, to the world, how than can I not...?
The hawks cry out, and the girl I was watches me.
I stand and strip, and know that she's studying the thickened body she will have one day.
What happens next?
How does this story end?
Next week brings answers...until then, you’ll just have to... wait for it!
Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review, which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.
That being said, I'd love any and all input and criticism you're inclined to offer.
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“Wait for It” 360