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A Scene I'm Really Proud Of

There's a meme going around that says to share a scene you're really proud of. I am so pleased with this scene -- it's one of the best I've ever done, in my opinion. Because this is what it feels like. This is real.

Spoilers for Silver Bullet!

Her room was perfectly comfortable, with a double bed and a dressing table and a very fluffy pile of white blankets. Alma undressed and stood a moment in her combinations, looking in the mirror. Her skin was pale against the ecru silk, nipples showing through the fabric darkly. When had they gotten so brown? When had her breasts gotten so heavy? You didn't notice it under thick winter clothes, but in the silk combinations it was obvious, even without the little pooch of a tummy. Just a little pooch. Maybe she'd gained a few pounds. It didn't look like anything. Not yet. But there was a change in the way she stood, a balance that was different. Her body didn't lie to her. She knew.

Last time it hadn't been like this. It had ended before it was so plainly written on her skin. She felt so well, so strong, like nothing in her life could ever go wrong, whole and healthy and on top of the world. But it could go wrong. It could go so terribly wrong, and she was so old.

Alma put her hand to her belly, touching the silk softly. So long until summer, and so hard not to start imagining. Now, for the first time, she felt like someone else was there. Not just that her body was doing something wonderful and strange, but that someone else was with her. She wasn't alone in the room. There was someone else, sleeping and small, but present.

As though the doors of life and death had opened, and at last someone had passed through. When Gil had died she had felt that moment, that moment of awesome change when his body was empty, when the real Gil stood behind her, his hand on her shoulder, while the hand she held limp between her own contained nothing. She had felt him go like trumpets unheard, a continental shift beneath the threshold of sound.

And now she felt it in reverse. Someone else was present. Here, in a hotel room in Oak Lawn, Illinois, someone else was here. Someone stirred, woke, thought. Some miraculous connection knitted.

"I know you're here," Alma said aloud. It sounded strange. Of course no one could answer. But there was presence, just as there had been when Gil died, a mighty wind rushing in through open doors.

A creeping sensation, like indigestion. Like gas passing through her belly, just a faint whisper, a tiny and strange discomfort.

The baby moved.

Tears overflowed her eyes and ran down her face, splashing on the lace edge of the combinations. It moved. That's what that sensation was. It was moving inside her. Like the last touch of life in the faintest movement of fingers pressed in hers, this was the first.

She answered, somewhere beneath Alma's heart, not with words but with the pressure of small limbs. I am here.

"You are here," Alma said. Her voice choked. "You are here, and I will love you forever. I promise. I will love you forever."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC)
I remember that scene. It made me cry. *happy sigh* Thank you for sharing it this morning!
Jul. 3rd, 2014 11:25 pm (UTC)
It kind of makes me cry too. I'm glad you like it!
Jul. 3rd, 2014 02:40 pm (UTC)
I love love love that scene.
"i am here."
Jul. 3rd, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you love it too! That's one of the "realest" scenes I've written, because that's just what it felt like the first time I felt my daughter move.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC)
Will this book be formatted to audio? I love your books but have a rough time seeing the print. Thanks.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Audio
I hope so. I try to get them all in audio, and I'm hopeful Silver Bullet will be too. I'm glad you enjoy them!
Jul. 4th, 2014 03:54 pm (UTC)
I loved this the very first time I read it and I love it no less reading it again.
Jul. 4th, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad! :D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )