Encounters with the Writing Process
|Aiden's eyes shot wide open, blue and startled.
"Get under your bed, Aiden," he heard his father's voice. In an instant, he was off the bed and on his feet, feeling the chill of the late afternoon. The house was shivering, too, and the floor under his bare feet shuddered.
The six-year-old Aiden ran into the closet. How could he trust a bed in which he was made to take an afternoon nap against his wishes!
This had to be a game, San Francisco's game, fated during the Creation. The big one that came on October 17, 1989. No tell-tale signs with this one, but it was big enough to sink and crash the entire house.
Aiden, now 36, leaned against the back of the chaise-long on the porch and closed his eyes tight to recall.
A steadily clamped mouth, as if a notch carved at the bottom of a strong head, with a sense of calamity. Why can't he remember more of his father? Yet, his mother, how fine boned she is! So frail, and slim, with her protruding belly, carrying the brother which will never come. Yet, Aiden recalls the baby things, spread on the sofa from the purchases of the day before the earthquake hit: several brand new blue overalls with Donald Duck, Teddy Bears, and Superman on them; milky-white diaper-bundles, Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Powder, tiny socks, and a pair of baby shoes. He has tried so many times to imagine the baby feet that could fill those shoes, but it wasn't meant to happen.
Then, no more San Francisco for the orphan Aiden, a lonely child. He is in Long Island, now. Kings Park. A different place. Uncle Matthew's place. Aunt Nora who faults Aiden for just about everything, and to begin with, for existing. Granted, she is already over her head with Aiden's older cousins, Julia and Ivy.
Thinking back…Sometimes it hurt; it really hurt, Sometimes, he panicked because he didn't know how to handle it all. How could he know in his early ages that in stressful times of change, those who have a stake in the act of kindness could make the object of their kindness a punching bag?
"Aiden is wild. Don't believe him. He is lying because he has a switchblade. He's hiding it," Aunt Nora is screaming at Uncle Matthew, Aunt Nora the cheater, Aunt Nora who Aiden saw kiss another man in the living room, when others weren't home, and Aiden talked about it in his uncle's presence.
"No, Mom, that switchblade isn't Aiden's," Ivy butts in and is immediately sent to her room. Julia stays quiet, although she watches Aiden standing by the open window, bawling, and she knows the switchblade never was Aiden's but hers.
One single really bad earthquake. That was all it took.
Oct. 03, 2020-- CONTEST ROUND: Protagonist Background Story
All the other non-contest assignments are in "2020 NaNo Prep"