So I took a break from writing the fantasy book that I have been working on and wrote something different. I woke up last night at 3:00 a.m. and had a book idea ramming itself into my consciousness. The idea wouldn’t go away. I had to write down the general idea. Below, I have written out the rough introduction to the book. I don’t plan on stopping work on the fantasy book, but I just needed a break. In my mind, this will be a very short book, less than 200 pages for sure. A middle-grade book, I think. We will see. In my head, this book is dealing with some heavy issues kids are dealing with even today. My current working title is My Forgotten Youth. Enjoy.
Introduction: The Abnormal Life
You don’t really question the things that happened to you as a kid. To you, it was just how life was and that was normal. It’s not until years later that you start to understand that your childhood might not have been completely regular. Example: My mom once told me that my father was a famous magician. I asked her why I didn’t have a dad and she said that he was busy working in Vegas and that the entertainment company that employed him wouldn’t let him take time off.
It made sense to me at the time, that my dad was a magician; too important to come and visit me. I told all my friends at school, and when they got old enough to realize it was a lie, they let me know, harshly, over and over. It was 1990 and I was eight years old. My mom would often disappear for weeks at a time, that was normal. My grandma and I would always order pizza when she knew mom wasn’t coming home. I got to the place where I hated the very smell of the stuff. Mom continually traveled up to Detroit with her boyfriends; sometimes just for the weekend, and others, for a month at a time.
We lived with my Grandma Susan. She had a little trailer that my grandpa had left her when he died. That was years before I was even born though. We all lived in Sissonville, West Virginia and my mom and Grandma had their own rooms, but I had the hall closet. It was big enough that my twin mattress could fit, but that was about it.
One morning, I woke up before I should have. Not sure why, but something seemed wrong. Sometimes you wake up because of a noise, but you think you just woke up naturally. It was one of those times when you feel like you slept for a long time. I was wide awake. There was the sound of clinking dishes in the kitchen and I walked in, the footed pajamas I wore had a hole for the big toe on each one, but they still made a soft shiff shiff as they slid across the linoleum floor.
The sound of my feet caused my mother to drop her little plastic purse on the side of the sink. When she did, amber pill bottles came plopping out on the counter and the floor. She was startled.
“Hey darlin’, what are you doin up?” She asked, smoothing her blond hair back from her face and licking lips that were too dry.
“I heard something, and woke up,” I said.
She was fully dressed in a short skirt and some of those fishnet stockings that girls loved to wear in the 80s, but that she was obviously too old to be wearing. Mom was fashionable; MTV was always on when she was home. Her bangs were the poofiest bangs in the whole town. While I always thought mom was pretty, in a “my mom” sort of way, I hated poofy bangs. She quickly picked up the pill bottles and began stuffing them back into the hot pink purse. One of them had rolled across the floor and my bare big toe twiddled it. I reached down and picked it up. It had my grandma’s name on the label.
“Oh,” I said. “This one is grandmas.”
A slight panic flashed across her eyes. “Yes, well I am taking it to get it refilled,” she said.
“Are all of those grandmas?”
She backed away from me and I was confused. “No, these ones are mine,” she said glancing towards the door. “Why don’t you mind your own business, huh? You think you know what’s best do ya? You aren’t the parent here! I am!” She screamed the last part, but immediately hushed herself, glancing towards the hall that led to grandma’s room.
“Mom, are you okay,” I asked, brushing off the harshness of her words. I learned long ago, not to take her harshness with any sincerity.
“I’m fine,” she hastily said, zipping up the little purse. It looked stupid, hot pink and almost rubbery. I thought it was like something a little kid would have, not a grown woman. She brushed tears out of her eyes. When had she started crying? Coming over, she kissed the top of my head. She smelled; sour, like ammonia. Like when our cat’s litter box hadn’t been cleaned in several weeks. Her arms were too thin, I could see the bones in her wrists. She had bruises up and down both of her arms, little scabbed dots all over.
“You be good okay. Listen to your grandma. I’m gonna be gone for a couple weeks, alright. I have a job up in Detroit I have to do. Robert says we can get some real good work this time.”
Robert was the current guy she called her boyfriend.
“Okay,” I said.
What else could I say? She looked back once, then walked out the front door.
I never saw my mom again.