Friday, July 13, 2012

A Revised Nugget From CADE: Care for a sneak peek?

As I have been working on this lately, I thought I would share with you a wee bit of the revised version of Cade. Just a little reminder, this has been revised, not edited. So please overlook any errors. Thanks and I hope you like it.


Some type of music played in the background, but it was only an echo in my ear. The sky a gray so dark, it was as if my mind had conjured the weather—my thoughts dark with present events. Someone touched my shoulder, guided me to stand under the crisp white tent that was seemingly virtuous among the gloom. Standing there amongst my friends, my co-workers, people that claimed they knew them, I stared at the twin black caskets that were to be lowered into the ground. Lilies white as snow contrasted against the black. They had been my mother’s favorite. They were uplifting, she said. They always had brought her good luck, she had smiled.
Now they were nothing, but a slap in my face. She hadn’t been so lucky this time.
I felt my best friend’s arm steadying me. I smelled the comforting scent of Nina’s perfume to my right. Her gloved hand resting softly on my arm. I watched my childhood nanny—the only remnants of a family I had left—weep openly in the chair in front of me. This was really happening. It wasn’t a bad dream, it wasn’t a prank—someone’s version of a morose gotcha. My parents were dead; both of them gone to a fate that didn’t make sense. Bad things happen to good people, but did it have to happen to them?
Had I done something wrong along the way to deserve this pain in my chest? No, everyone had assured me. I hadn’t been at fault. But when you lose someone so quickly, the what-if game can’t be avoided. Your mind isn’t a thing you can just shut off.
My body was a different story though. My senses were on auto-pilot, my face wet, but I couldn’t feel it. How could I not feel my own tears? When had I even started crying? All I knew in this moment was I couldn’t watch this, but I had to. I had to remember this moment for the rest of my life. I had to watch what was left of them go into the earth to be swallowed up by the final darkness.
On that note, it began. A slow lowering of fancy boxes that meant nothing compared to the people inside of them. Foot by foot they left me. Inch by inch my heart burned to follow them. To lay on top of those boxes and close my eyes, to go to sleep and never wake up. Because without them? I didn’t know who I was. My parents had been my everything and now? They were nothing.

Would I ever know that kind of love again--that forever, steadfast, unquestionable kind of love? No, probably not.
An early evening fog rolled in from the other side of the colorless horizon. Tides swept in from the north, sending water lapping at the rocks some forty feet below. Filling my ears were the small sounds of the world around me. Leaves rustled like tiny whispers on their tangled branches. The darkened woods filled with towering trees behind me was like a soundtrack to the pain in my heart. Echoes in the distance were the ghostly horns of tonight’s arriving fishing boats and that sound alone tugged a tear from my already glassy eyes.
Another blast of wind slapped my face on its way through and I shuddered, pulling my coat tighter around my shaking body.
Despite the frigid cold that crept over me like a true caress from lady winter herself, I let the air assault me as I sat on the cliff overlooking Bennett Wharf. This spot was not only a reminder of my previously perfect past, but it was the only place in all of Bennett County that I would truly get the solitude I craved. After a few weeks of floating on autopilot, everything seemed to be catching up with me; life, my feelings, work, people, the after math of it all.
So here I hid away from the world. My chattering teeth gave way to a pained sound, followed by a warm wetness coating my cheeks. And slowly, I opened the lid on the emotions I had held back for the past fifteen days.
We would never again share this place together. He would never again sit on that rock right there and look at me with that sneaky little half smile, or ruffle my hair with his large calloused hand. Never again would I smile just from hearing his deep baritone voice or watch him brush a hand through his all too perfect salt and pepper hair.
Never again would she show up here with a thermos full of something steaming hot and a smile that was meant only for us. Never again would she be a phone call away with the perfect words for a horrible situation. Never again would I smell her vanilla perfume that lingered in the room after she had walked through it.
They were gone and they weren’t coming back. I couldn’t play that one sentence through my mind enough—it never seemed to stick.
Pulling out the handful of tissues in my pocket I tried to clean up the mess that covered my face, but it was no use. Who the hell was I kidding? Now that I’d started leaking, I wasn’t going to stop. Never having been the crying type—favoring anger over weakness—it took all I had to learn to breathe through the tears. Gripping the edges of the flat rock I sat on, I let out my pain across the open waters.
This is what my friend Nina must have meant by ‘it’ll come to you’. At the time I kind of just stared through her and watched people that had barely known my parents act like they were truly suffering over my loss. Now though, I sympathized. I understood what they had felt all along, grief.
Nothing seemed to lift this feeling. Not the water, the sounds, not even the epic view this cliff provided. The wind carried the fog covering the coastal view of downtown back over the water, and the glittering lights of the small stores and restaurants finally peeked out into the night. Four schooners were docked at the local marina; their masts decorated with the colorful flags of the locals. With a sniffle, I could remember the bright colors of those flying flags and the shouting banter of the fishermen as they passed below our unseen perch on the cliff.
Huddled together, side by side, on our flat seats made of stone, my father and I would make up stories of where those men had come from. The adventures the grizzly fisherman had partaken in. What foreign realms had these heroes in yellow slickers seen? How many fair mer-maidens had this band of sea swarthy fish shippers saved from the evil sea king of the south? Smiling a little through the haze of tears, I could still remember the exact moment that I revealed to my father that maybe mermaids weren’t my thing...


  1. Wow... I love it :) Cade was one of my favorite stories and I'm so glad you decided to revise it and make it longer.

  2. Oh yeah, that really works. This is an excellent way to start it out.

  3. It's a little dramatic, but it totally works for it. I love it! Great start.

  4. You can really see Cade's heart here. Well done.