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Diamond Dust 1

BELOW: AN EXCERPT FROM BOOK 1 OF THE LIGHTHOUSE CHRONICLES

Purchase the rest of the book here, or read book two for free.


The first time Max heard the voice, she was four years old and about to be hit by a bicycle. Her father was still alive and they were living in what was called the Combat Zone of Boston before it was less-insultingly known as Chinatown, nestled between the sprawling public park of the Boston Common and the glass-and-granite Financial District.

Her parents had been fighting quietly again, trading barbs under their breath and scornful looks when one thought the other was looking. She was young enough not to know what they were yelling about (she still didn’t now), but she could sense the tension and biting anger collecting, stirring and fermenting, soon to explode from their tiny apartment like a bottled soda did once after Max shook it. As her mother watched television and her father chopped vegetables for lunch, each ignoring the other, Max sneaked outside with her Barbie doll and its pink plastic jukebox.

(“It actually played music,” she would tell Ben one day, “just a few notes, but it was so cute. I miss that thing, do you believe it?” And he would nod, understanding, and gently rub his fist in her hair.)

She wanted to get away from the stuffiness in their home that existed even with the windows wide open. Max never knew what to say or do, never knew when those moment of thick air between her parents were coming, and all the usual cute things she did to put smiles on their faces didn’t work then. Whenever she asked what was wrong, her parents would say, “It’s too important for you, Maxie.” The only thing to do was stay out of their way.
She sat on the front steps, watching the occasional car go by on the street.

I wish I knew important things, Max thought. I could handle important things. She gripped Barbie’s plastic legs. They don’t even know what to do with those things. Barbie’s feet were bare. Her pink plastic heels were always the first of Barbie’s things Max lost. She tried to picture something Important. A tall glass building came to mind, high as the sky like the Prudential Center they shopped in sometimes. But who fought about buildings?

If they divorced, who would get the little girl? Would no one get Max? Tears sprang to the little girl’s eyes. Her parents, what was wrong with them? Who was willing to lose everything, lose their home and Max, all for a silly building? What building was it? Frantically Max thought of all the buildings she’d been in recently. Was it her school?

Her fingers ached, reddening under her grip on her Barbie. Fighting over a building. She wouldn’t even get to keep her toys.

Through the open windows she could hear her parents start to yell two floors up. This was it. It was starting. She wouldn’t get to keep her parents or her toys.

Then she’d do away with them herself. Max flung her Barbie as far away from her as she could. It flew in an arc, legs and arms askew, and landed softly on the street. Its face looked at Max, blankly smiling. The tiny pink jukebox disappeared from sight.

Max instantly regretted the loss. Barbie was probably furious now too! She ran to fetch it, reaching the edge of the sidewalk and putting one foot in the street before she heard a voice say –

Don’t go any further, please.

Max paused to look around, and the bicycle zoomed past so closely that Max’s outstretched hand touched chrome for the briefest of moments. The voice sounded like Daddy’s, but Daddy was yelling upstairs wasn’t he? There was no one else around.

If you want your doll, get it.

Not-Daddy’s voice again, but it sounded kind, and she obeyed it. Max grabbed the doll, looked around for the pink jukebox but couldn’t find it, then returned to the safety of the front steps.
I helped you so I’ll be your friend, okay?

Not sure if she could answer him aloud, Max nodded.

If you like, I could tell you whatever important things you want.

That was exactly what Max wanted. The voice began telling her stories, fairy tales, parables, most of which Max did not realize the meaning of until she was fifteen years old. Her parents never learned of the bicycle. Max never found the pink jukebox.

Purchase the rest of the book here, or read book two for free.

10 comments:

  1. Interesting start. very descriptive and clear, I will definitely read on :)

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  2. hmm.. interesting story.. I bet it could me more spine-chilling if the voice sounds like a lil girl not her Dad.. :)

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  3. oh yeah, that'd be horror movie style haha... for the plot though it has to sound like a guy -- and she's a kid, so every guy sounds like her dad.

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  4. I'm excited. I want to know to know what happens next. I'll be back.

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  5. Thanks for the comment, LLnL!

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  6. Arriving late to the party.

    Great start. I like the authorial voice. Has a Stephen King feel to it.

    I'll be back.

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  7. I'm glad you enjoy it. Thanks for the comment!

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  9. This is Sora from WFG. This is a good start. I like the way you show the feelings of divorce through the eyes of a child. It seemed natural and didn't feel forced. I will be reading on.

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