I decided to take part in #samplesunday, a Twitter hashtag that links to one of your books or works-in-progress. The idea is to post your sample, and then read and retweet other people’s samples.
In this sample, Talia is starting to regret her promiscuous lifestyle, and to wish for something different.
My infrequent confessions went something like this:
“I have not been chaste, as a maiden ought,” I would say to the priest.
“With whom have you not been chaste?”
“A butcher. A baker. A candlestick maker.”
“And are you sorry for these sins?”
“No, I can’t say that I am.”
“Then until you are, your soul will bear its burden.”
The local bachelors talked about me, I know. They traded stories—but they always went happily to my bed. To the aisle? Never.
I spoke of it to Harla, sometimes. “I would make a good wife,” I said.
“I’ve no doubt of that,” she said.
“I’m ready to be faithful to a good man who would have me,” I said. “I would devote myself to him and his children.”
“You’re thinking of Willard.”
“Did you love him, then?”
“I didn’t think of it as love. There wasn’t any time to think of anything but having him.”
“We all thought you went mad for him.”
“I did. I wanted his child.”
She looked at me in shock. “Out of wedlock?”
“I couldn’t have him, so I wanted a piece of him.”
“Then, you really did love him.”
I didn’t reply, but I did wonder about that. Why did I offer myself to him? Although to lie with him had been my own choice, it would have never been a choice I would have made had we been able to marry. I thought of the child I had wanted so badly, of little Aurora who was never conceived. She would be coming on her menses about now, had she been born. More often, I thought of Willard. Eventually, I realized that I had loved him, just like Harla said. It was the only explanation that made any sense.
And it was the only explanation that accounted for my odd taste in men. I was picky, in my own way. I looked for the men so often rejected by other women: the too thin, the too chubby, the too pocked, the too graying. But I also looked for shyness, for awkwardness, for the socially inept. Was I looking for another Willard? Perhaps. I never found one, but I did find some men who stayed with me for lengths of time that measures in months rather than weeks. One even stayed with me for over a year.
Only one was handsome.
I bet you think you know what is going to happen in the next scene. However, I think it will surprise you. It certainly surprised me.