Pearl Harbor Day. Our parents' 9-11. With all the rhetoric flying around, it's easy to see how we don't learn from history.
I've made a tough decision. If I want to become a commercial success as a writer, I need to start tailoring my work to what's commercially successful. Right now, juveniles are experiencing a renaissance because of Rowling.
I still wanted to deal with the theme of identity and choices, but I've restructured my current WIP to (hopefully!) appeal to a younger audience.
First draft. Please do not quote or repost anywhere. Thanks!
The first thing she remembered was the cut stone walls of the manor, and the way the sunlight crept across the marble floor. She narrowed her eyelids against the flood of light through the large window in front of her. A sidelight of colored mosaic on each side of the window cast fantastically mottled shades of color on her skin.
Outside, she could se the tops of trees. Upper floor, then. She moved closer to the window and looked down. A garden, meticulously laid out, with a hedge labyrinth at its end, farthest from the house.
“There you are, Sabri. Why have you hidden yourself away in the ballroom?”
Sabri? Somehow that name sounded strange—wrong.
She turned to see a girl of about seventeen years standing in the doorway. She stared while the girl watched her in turn with impatient green eyes. She opened her mouth to say something to the girl, and forgot what she would say. She looked at the room with its high ceiling and shiny floor and thought how it looked exactly as she expected a ballroom to look.
“Sabri? Sabriella? Are you even listening?”
She smiled a little. Sabriella. Of course. She had been Sabriella for fifteen years now and saw no need to change. So she opened her mouth and said, “Of course I’m listening.”
“Good. Mother sent me to fetch you. We’re leaving as soon as the carriage comes ‘round.”
“Where are we going?”
“Sabriella Charmaine, don’t tell me you’re listening when plainly you’re not! Mother told you not an hour ago that we are visiting the Millers. They have a sick child.”
“Hedi! Have you found her?”
Hedi turned her head and shouted. “She’s in the ballroom, Mother!”
“Well, both of you, come! The day progresses.”
Sabri followed Hedi from the ballroom onto a balcony that overlooked a grand entry hall. She saw that they stood on the third floor. She looked over the railing and saw the face of an older woman looking over the railing and upward from the second floor balcony.
“Coming, Mother,” Hedi said.
They descended a stairway wide enough to hold five people side-by-side. Mother met them at the second floor landing, giving them both a critical glance.
“Sabri, couldn’t you have combed your hair?” she said, and reached out her hand to brush Sabri’s hair away from her forehead. Sabri felt a jolt of something. Mother snatched her hand away with an exclamation.
“Ooh, static electricity!” Hedi said.
Mother shook her hand as if it tingled. She gave Sabri a searching look, then said, “Yes, of course. We should hurry before the day flies completely away.”
While they were being helped into the carriage by the family footman and settling onto the hard leather seats, Sabri whispered to Hedi, “Who are the Millers?”