I thought I’d share another excerpt from The Whore of New Slum before I submit it. Next week I’ll be sharing a little bit from Leaving Home, Peter’s story. 😉
Excerpt: (copyright 2012 T.A. Chase)
Wendall gritted his teeth as he pushed through the crowd of people. The search parties were disrupting everything in New Slum, and Wendall found it annoyed him. Maybe if they didn’t put Abdur in danger, or keep Wendall from seeing his sister, he wouldn’t mind them so much. It was good business for the brothel. Oh the soldiers wouldn’t be using any of the whores, but they would be buying drinks, and so would others who’d stop by to talk about what was going on.
He jogged up the front steps of the hospital. After shoving open the doors, he greeted the nun at the desk.
“I’m here to see my sister. Please tell the Mother Superior that I would like to talk to her.”
“Yes, sir.” The sister reached for the messenger to contact the Mother Superior.
Impatient to see Molly, Wendall didn’t wait for the elevator. He ran up all three flights of stairs, barely winded when he reached the terminal ward. Wendall stopped to take a deep breath before going into his sister’s room.
Molly might be dying, but he didn’t want her to see him panicked in any way. She was a smart girl, and had to know what was happening to her. Wendall simply didn’t want her to worry about him, and how he might be handling her death.
“How’s my favorite girl doing today?” He bounded into the room with a bright smile on his face.
She offered him a weak grin in return. “I’m your only sister, so I have to be your favorite girl.”
“Not true, my darling. Not true at all.”
He fought back the tears, trying hard to continue to look happy while he could tell the toll the disease was having on her body. Her ravaged face looked almost skeleton-like. He swore she’d lost more weight in the twenty-four hours since he’d seen her last.
Leaning down to kiss her cheek, he wrinkled his nose at the odor coming from Molly. It was a sure sign that she was dying, and her human form was wasting away. Her skin was fragile and dry like all life had been sucked from her.
“You are looking rather…” He paused, unsure how to continue.
“Horrid is the word you’re trying to find.” Her laugh turned into a harsh cough.
Wendall rushed over to the side table, then grabbed the pitcher of water to pour a glass for her. After sitting on the side of the bed, he slid his arm around Molly’s shoulders.
“Lean on me while you drink,” he suggested.
Molly took a few sips before she pushed the glass away. “Thank you. I can’t seem to get rid of this cough, and I haven’t been feeling good today.”
“Then you must not wear yourself out, love. Would you like me to brush your hair?” He retrieved the brush set on Molly’s dresser, then returned to the bed.
After settling back against the pillows, he helped his sister to rest against his chest. Molly sighed as he ran the brush through her dull hair. All the tension in her body disappeared slowly with each stroke, and Wendall started to hum softly.
Memories of so many nights where he would brush Molly’s hair before she went to bed danced through his head. Their mother had died when Molly was only three, and while their father was alive, Wendall could stay home to take care of his sister. Being six years old, he didn’t want to take care of his little sister. He wanted to be out playing with his friends, but he didn’t have a choice.
He thought he did a good job, and then he turned eighteen and his father died. Wendall was left having to support Molly all on his own. It was one of the reasons why he chose to go into the sex peddling business. The money he could make on his back could keep Molly in a nice apartment, which being in the Slum didn’t mean much.
Wendall knew Molly appreciated everything Wendall had done for her, but she’d been swept off her feet by a man who promised her so much more than she had. Then he left her when he went off to war, and by then, she was sick. So Wendall had managed to get a pass to go to New Island where he found Molly and brought her home.
Unfortunately, she was so ill, the only place he could take her was the hospital. He did his best to make sure she was as comfortable as possible. Wendall glanced down to see that at some point, Molly had fallen asleep.
Wiggling slightly, he rested his head against the pillows and closed his eyes. He ran through his activities for the next several days to come. There were a lot of things he needed to do, not just for The Pink Carnation, but for other meetings as well.
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