Posts Tagged ‘Cherry Laurel’
Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by John Woodward | 3 Comments
It’s been muggy and rainy here in Tallahassee, so we’ve been indoors a lot, working on RAVEN. We’re pleased to report that we are now on Chapter Nine. In the meantime, we also wrote the Prologue to CHERRY LAUREL. Tell us what you think.
Over the American Southwest, between Dallas and Los Angeles
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Four-year-old Cherry Laurel looked out the window of the airliner as it made a a great, sweeping turn to the west. She watched the skyscrapers of the city until they disappeared in the haze. She loved big buildings, the kind her Daddy drew so that other people could build them. But today she was unable to enjoy the view. Something was very, very wrong in her life, and she lacked the understanding to put it into words.
She looked down at the sneakers her Daddy made her put on in Dallas.
I don’t like these ugly boy’s shoes. I want my shiny Mary Jane shoes back. But Daddy put them in the suitcase. He put away my dresses, too.
She wore blue overalls, and her hair was cut short, with bangs, but no bows. For the first time in her short life, she felt out-of-place. Daddy dressed her like a boy, with a baseball cap. He called her “Laurie,” not “Cherry Berry” or “Cherry Laurel.” Mommie was somewhere very far away and Daddy wouldn’t say where.
“Daddy, when will we go back to the Treehouse?” she asked. “Is Mommie waiting for me there? Is she finished with the Circle?”
Her Father shushed her. “Laurie, your Mother is a long way away. We won’t talk about her now.” Even in a relatively spacious First-Class cabin there is no real privacy, so Adair whispered. “Here,” he said in a more normal voice, “I got you a present. Something for the plane ride.” He handed her a package wrapped in paper printed with fire engines and Dalmatians.
She unwrapped the paper slowly and neatly, the way she did everything. It was a drawing kit, with shading pencils, a drawing pad, rulers and T-squares and an instruction book with pictures of big buildings. “Thank you, Daddy! This is bigger than my other one.” She studied it for a second. “It doesn’t have colors.”
“Grown-ups use pencils without colors, mostly. You’re ready to draw like a grown-up. Draw something for me, Laurie. We’ve got a long flight. Imagine a new skyscraper.”
She worked for a very long time, drawing a tall, round building with antennas, a landing pad for helicopters and on the very top, a little grove of trees with small, winged people flying among them. Her father dozed while she worked. When she was finished, she woke him up to show off her work.
Her father frowned. The drawing kit had several large erasers. He took the biggest one and used it to remove the tree grove and and the winged people, before handing it back to her.
“Very good, Laurie. Now it’s perfect.”