~Momma’s Rain~ (excerpt – chapter two)

WordWulf By WordWulf, 6th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2_b27v53/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

The Turner family has moved back to Colorado from Montana. It is winter & the family is destitute. Tim Turner’s half-sister, Phyllis, & brother-in-law, Jerry, have agreed to let the family stay with them until Tim finds work & is able to take care of his wife & children. Uncle Jerry despises his nephew, Timmy. It is late & all are asleep. Seven-year-old Timmy is hungry, decides to take a chance & get himself some bread with sugar on it.

~Children of Chance/Endings~

Excerpt from “Momma’s Rain,” a novel by Tom (WordWulf) Sterner.

~when love comes crawling~
~a child is born~
~reality of years~
~& the babe is torn~

Chapter Two
~Children of Chance/Endings~

Denver, Colorado
Winter, 1957

He tiptoed up the seven steps in his stocking feet, peered cautiously into the sleeping kitchen. It was eerily lit by the face of the clock and bluish shafts of light from the street lamps outside. Aunt Phyllis was a cleanliness freak. She kept plastic covers on the furniture. Her kitchen was all sharp and gleaming edges. Timmy felt the house watching him, a stranger in its midst. He took the last step up and stood outlined in the doorway. Nothing moved and neither did he. The sound of his breathing was a roar he wished to silence. How did Jerry do this, he wondered.

The refrigerator was a giant white monster standing just to the left of the door. His back against the smooth wall, he shuffled sideways until he stood before it. His hands trembled as he walked them up the side, to the top of the big metal box. A low rumble issued from inside it and he shuddered with fear. He felt as if it was a night watcher, a monster machine installed to keep food cold and gobble up thieves and trespassers. The rumble settled itself into a steady hum and Timmy realized it was the motor of the thing, a sound he had never noticed in the daylight hours.

He took a deep breath to settle himself down and, with a halting resolve, let his hands do their hungry raccoon business on top of the refrigerator. They found the open half loaf of bread in front and moved it aside. When he felt the next loaf, a full one, he undid the wire tie. Though the heel was his favorite part, he shuffled past it and the first half dozen slices. After pulling two from the middle of the loaf, he fluffed the bread back in place, retied the wire and placed the half loaf back in front of the others.

This done, he worked his way slowly across the kitchen, thankful for the cover of darkness but wishing he could see better. Uncle Jer took sugar in his coffee so there was always a big bowl of it on the table and a spoon ready for him to use. Timmy laid the two slices of bread down side by side on the table. They stared balefully at him, large blank accusing eyes, and white holes in the dark room. He had never stolen before but then he had never been this close to sugar bread. His raccoon hands were unable to find the spoon so he held up the bowl and tilted it toward his body. Sugar sifted over the edge and piled itself up on the bread eyes.

From the corner of his eye he glimpsed a shadow shape. All at once he was unable to hear the tick-tick of the clock or the now-comforting hum of the refrigerator. His heart beat, thumpity-thump, like a bass drum. It thundered in his ears, erased all other sound with its pumping of fear through his brain. Terror owned each of his senses and, in its monster grip, his love for sugar bread was forgotten. He knew what the blind know and never mind how. All doubt aside, there was someone in the kitchen with him.

Fear owned him as Timmy summoned up the courage to turn from the table and face whatever was behind him. He managed to turn around and, just as he did, a shape hovered over him. He was assaulted by its tobacco breath. Terrified, he felt a scream in the very pit of himself. Before it made its way out, a strong hairy hand planted itself firmly over his mouth and another clamped like a vice onto the back of his neck. He was dragged backward through the kitchen and thump, thump, thumped down the stairs. He had been physically punished by Momma and Daddy but this was something very different. Momma and Daddy loved him; the thing that had him now hated him. That knowledge flowed into him from the unforgiving grip of its claws, the spittle of its breath on his face.

“I got you, Little Jesus! I knew it was you sneakin’ around and gettin’ into the bread!” Uncle Jer pushed Timmy’s face into the cot and hissed into his ear, “I’m gonna take my hand from your mouth, you slobbery little bastard. You so much as squeak and I’ll tear off your fuckin’ head and shit down your neck! Do you understand?”

Timmy nodded his head in the iron grip of his uncle’s hands. Uncle Jer let go of him, turned him over, on his back, and pinned him to the bed. Timmy inhaled a ragged breath, a half sob, and stared into the monster face a fraction of an inch from his own. The eyes in the face were darker than the night. They glowed menacingly in the hatchet of Uncle Jer’s face. Hate lived there and nothing else. He wiped the hand with Timmy’s saliva on the front of the boy’s coat and glared at him in disgust. His voice was a feral snarl, dripping with the promise of pending violence. “It’s all about you with your Mom and Pop, ain’t it boy? Well, I got somethin’ else for ya. Mebbe a l’il bit what your brother gets all the time. You ain’t a pimple on his ass, boy.”

He put his hands around Timmy’s throat and squeezed slowly. Unable to breathe, the weight of his uncle’s body pinning him down, Timmy glared back into the dark face with a growing hatred of his own. Uncle Jer laughed low and mean, released the pressure on Timmy’s throat, and then slapped him lightly on both cheeks. “Go to sleep, Little Jesus. Steal from me again, cross me in any way, your ass is mine.” He got up and left the room without another word.

Timmy pulled himself up and huddled against the wall in the corner of the creaking cot. He tucked his feet under him and felt his body trembling violently. Cold sweat swarmed over him. It started in the bare toes peeking from the holes in his socks and crept across his body to the end of each standing hair. Ice is cold but fear, that lone province of low dread, is frigid beyond any material liquid dimension. His eyes would not close in sleep. They were afraid, in fact, to blink. He was trapped in the cage of Uncle Jer and Aunt Phyllis’ house. If he told his parents, trouble with no end would begin. Where would he and his family go? What would they do? He drifted into an eerie and fearful half-sleep, alienated in a bare and square world, halfway up the stairs and halfway down.

Revues at Amazon
~Tom (WordWulf) Sterner~
~Momma’s Rain~ (excerpt – chapter one)
~Momma’s Rain~ (excerpt – chapter seven)
~Momma’s Rain~ (excerpt – chapter eight)


1957, Alcoholism, Americans, Art, Blood, Child Spousal Abuse, Colorado, Denver, Fathers, Love, Memoirs, Mommas Rain, Mothers, Novelist, Parenting, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Poverty, Sons, Survival, Tom Wordwulf Sterner, Writer

Meet the author

author avatar WordWulf
I write novels, poetry, songs,nonsense & lies. Sometimes truth sneaks in when I ain't lookin'.

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author avatar clayton
7th Sep 2011 (#)

Wow what a story......expecting more like this.....

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author avatar WordWulf
7th Sep 2011 (#)

Thank-you, Clayton.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
7th Sep 2011 (#)

You had my heart in my mouth all the way through this piece. Eerie stuff!

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author avatar Songbird B
7th Sep 2011 (#)

Powerful and so atmospheric, Tom..What a writer you are!

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author avatar F E FITCHETT
8th Sep 2011 (#)

Awesome story!

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author avatar Maria Malone
10th Sep 2011 (#)

Your writing keeps you glued to the page and wanting to read more Tom!

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author avatar WordWulf
11th Sep 2011 (#)

Your comments inspire me:-) I'll do an excerpt of Chapter Three soon. I'll have to write a piece about the dreaded synopsis. I'm finding excerpts are much more expressive of the quality and impact of ones writing. I've written hundreds of synopsis pieces, managed to land an agent with one but it was what they refer to as the pitch. I learned that in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest last year. Momma's Rain made the first cut based on the pitch. Yikes:-)

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