We are now drawing the near the end of the excerpts for Soul Cages. There will be one more post, next week, and then the posts will end. After that, various excerpts from new stories will continue to be posted on Mondays, but on an irregular schedule. There will definitely be new short stories and novels coming out in 2014, so you may want to sign up for the RSS feed or blog notifications so you know which Mondays have excerpts posted (the buttons are on the far left side of the website). Now on to the story…
L. M. May
Copyright © 2011 by L. M. May
Published by Osuna Publishing
This story is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogue, and locales are either drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.
Part Two. Broken Masks
Mom and Dad were so tense at Saturday breakfast I wanted to take my plate of waffles and eat in my room instead. I envied Henry, for he didn’t recognize the silence between our parents as repressed anger, and escaped the table after gulping down a few bites.
I was the first to speak. “Um, I was wondering if we can get key copies made to the house and security doors today.”
“Sure,” Dad said.
Mom cut her waffle into tiny bits.
“Just in case there’s an emergency,” I continued, “could we have extra copies made that I could hang near the back and front doors? That way Henry would be able to get out even if he forgets where his keys are.”
“As long as someone can’t reach them from outside by smashing the back door glass, I can’t see why not.” Dad said and gave Mom a querying look.
Mom pretended not to see it.
Dad humphed. He said to me, “We’ll save up the money and get the double-cylinder locks replaced. Also, it’s going to be a month before we get cable and DSL lines installed. Money is tight at the moment.”
I thought I heard a note of reproach in Dad’s voice about money. Dad was feeling the pinch of Mom not working.
Mom pursed her mouth. “Well, there’d be installation money available now if someone hadn’t unnecessarily spent it all to get out of doing repairs.”
Dad glared at Mom. “John deserves to be paid for his hard work. I refuse to take advantage of him.”
Mom sucked in her breath and clenched her fork so hard the sinews in her wrist showed.
Dad nonchalantly jabbed two sausages off the serving plate and ate them.
I waited awhile. No one spoke. So I said, “What about a landline phone?”
“Not needed,” Dad said. “This family has three cell phones.”
I said, “But Henry—”
“Can use ours,” Dad said. He got up and put his plate in the dishwasher. “I’ve got to do some paperwork this morning in the home office.” He said to Mom, “You can go ahead and take care of the groceries. I’ll help out by going to the hardware store once I’m done.”
Mom slammed her fork and knife down. “We’re supposed to do errands as a family today.”
Dad eyed her. “I’ll eat anything, so having me go to the grocery store is a waste of time. Henry can stay here with me, and you and Marian can go and take your time.”
I saw Mom swallow her rage.
“Later,” Dad said and escaped to the home office before Mom could get her voice back.
I helped Mom clear the table. The bars on the kitchen window and back door made the kitchen feel dim. Impulsively I asked, “Will we get the bars removed?”
“Yes,” Mom said as she put away the syrup and butter. “Dad and I want to get an electronic security system when we can afford it.”
I couldn’t resist asking, “How about if I remove some of the bars? There’s a drill I could—”
“No. There is crime here, though not as bad as the bars make it look. They need to stay until the security system is installed.
************** End of Part Two. 31. *****************
If you are reading this after February 3, 2014, you should be able to click here to go to the main information page of Soul Cages to find Part Two. 32.
Soul Cages is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Smashwords, iBookstore, Kobo, and other e-bookstores. A print edition is now available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and through independent bookstores either in stock or through order (ISBN-13 is 978-0615870465). Links can change over time, so click here to go to the main page for Soul Cages if any links don’t work.
Until next time, L.M.