I'm making slow progress on my novel. Here's a small excerpt for the time being.
Danny and I were always testing each other—not in the way one usually thinks siblings test each other’s nerves. But rather, there was a push and pull between us, testing the other and challenging the other’s capabilities.
We often walked together by the creek bed. I would walk by the edge looking for a flat rock that might make a nice canvas, something to paint on when I got home. He would entertain himself by trying to catch minnows and crawdads.
“You know, I think you should try to publish your poetry eventually,” I said as I examined a rock and placed it back by the stream.
He was squatted down, ankle deep in water and rolled his eyes without looking at me.
“You know I just do that for myself. Not exactly the most practical career path.”
I shrugged. “There are a lot of Kentucky poets. You could be our town’s next big thing.”
He splashed me and I giggled as I turned away from him.
I knew Danny was a talented writer. He never shared his writing with me, but I’d stolen his journals more times than I could remember. He’d always scold me, but I knew he didn’t really mind. I think he liked having his words read, having someone close to him who was able to take a glimpse at all that he was holding inside.
I abandoned my search for the perfect rock, pulling off my sneakers and sitting on the bank with my feet in the water.
“Maybe you’re our ticket out of here.”
I watched his reflection in the water as he made his way over to sit by my side.
“Or what if you’re our ticket out?”
I often wondered what he saw in me. It seemed to me that if anyone had what it took to leave it was him.
He was filled with a silent rage that was terrifying at times to witness, but when he harnessed it, it was a powerful thing.
I felt certain in that moment that he would use it to transform his circumstances and find a better life. But not even his poetry allowed me to realize just how close he was to giving in to the pain instead of fighting through it. Or maybe it was there in his words all along and I refused to see it.
Enjoying and learning from this chapter as the pages turn