Monday, August 20, 2018

Talkin' Heads #11

TITLE: Let the Canyons Weep
GENRE: Adult Historical

Jesse was abused by her now-dead brother & is having violent nightmares about him, endangering her pregnancy. Old Katie, using the Celtic power of insight, tries to relieve her fears.

The spell grew deeper as the old woman caressed the girl's temple. A memory encroached upon the empty spaces the poppies had left behind, making its way into Katie's consciousness as their spirits joined together.
“Mama,” the girl whispered. “Mama.”
The old voice soothed her, the gentle fingers continued their circular journey. The girl moaned softly and, turning to the old woman, wrapped an arm around her waist, held on to her as a baby would.
“Mama.” The stress was gone from her voice.
“Yes, my dear. I am here.” Katie resumed her caress, circling the girl's temple with light fingers. Time passed, and still her hand did not stop, did not tire. The girl twitched.
“What is it, my dear?” This is the moment. She has found the flaw in her happiness. “What has frightened you?”
“Oh, Mama, it was Russell.”
“Hush, macushlah. He cannot harm you. I am with you.” The tense little body relaxed and Katie ventured a new question, “What has he done?”
“He hurt me. Mama, don't let him hurt me.”
“No, macushlah. Tears stung the old lady's eyes. “None shall harm you. You are safe. I am here.”
“But Evelyn...”
“Has Evelyn harmed you?” Katie did not believe this could be so.
“Oh, no, Mama. Only Russell... oh, don't let him, Mama. Don't let him hurt Evelyn.”
“Evelyn is safe,” crooned the old woman. “You are safe, also. I will protect you. There is none who shall harm you. None who shall harm Evelyn.”


  1. I would expect the old woman to have more of an emotional reaction to the revelation that Russell hurt the girl. Otherwise, this works fine as far as I can tell from this brief excerpt.
    You might want to call the genre "historical fantasy."

  2. Hi, Mark, thanks for your comments. I see where you're coming from, but Katie had previously discovered that Russell hurt Jesse; now she's trying to get to the root of the nightmares. That's one problem when length is so limited -- it's hard to get all the background in.

  3. I'm a little confused by the POV here. It seems to bounce around between the old woman/Katie, the girl, and the narrator. Given how short this passage is, I think you need to stick with just one POV.

    Good luck!

  4. Thanks Holly. The scene starts off in Jesse's POV, then her spirit merges with Katie's, so the shift there is deliberate. Can you be more specific about where you hear the narrator voice? I'd definitely have to fix that. Thanks again!

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