Brenda Drake is having her Show Me the Voice Blogfest and I’ve decided to post the first 250 of my new MS.
WARNING: It’s barely edited, but I wanted to get some early feedback on the voice. This is my first foray into first person, but I’m really enjoying it. Here goes!
My life began the night my father died.
I lay on the straw pallet with my sisters and listened to Comito’s snores and Anastasia’s even breathing in the dark. An animal snorted, probably the scraggly new bear Father had acquired to train for the Greens, a beast scarcely fit for the spectacle of the Hippodrome. I scratched my stomach and kicked Comito, none too gently. The fleas were bad tonight and Constantinople’s summer heat made the stench of the nearby garbage heap especially pungent. I missed our old home in Cyprus, the salty smell of the Mediterranean and the cicadas’ screams amidst the olive trees. Our ramshackle house near Constantinople’s amphitheater could scarcely compare.
I heard a shuffle in the dark—possibly a rat—but then my father grunted.
“Quiet, Acacius.” My mother giggled. “You’ll wake the girls.” She gave a little moan, followed by the sounds of their lovemaking. I snuggled into Anastasia’s bare back and drifted toward sleep.
“Acacius.” My mother’s voice woke me. She sounded annoyed, the same tone she used when my father played too rough with us girls. There was another sound, a thud like a sack of flour hitting the ground. “Acacius!”
“Mama?” I opened my eyes, but wished I hadn’t. My father lay facedown on their pallet, his arms crumpled in strange angles under his bulk.
Departing this life in the throes of passion is probably as good a way to go as any—in later years I’d wish such a fate on many men—but now was not a good time for my father to greet Saint Peter.