Okay, we left of with Gramps and Wil going to the small community of Elie. This is just a part of what Gramps wants Wil to see on this stop, I'll share some more next time.
OH! And I'm working on two YA projects at the same time (that I'm counting. LOL!) so I'm hoping to have a snippet from my Immortal-type YA book, that I'm hoping will be my very first series, in a few weeks.
For now, I hope you enjoy this week's snippet.
The drive through downtown Elie seemed to take longer than the distance between Winnipeg and Elie. A plastic bag tumbling down the sidewalk, wrapping itself around street lamps as it went, was going faster than the car was. But he couldn’t step on the gas. How embarrassing would it be to be ticketed for speeding…above 45? His friends would never let him live that down.
Granddad punched Wil’s arm, snapping him out of his thoughts. “Great balls of fire, boy! Pull your head out. I told you to turn off and now we went too far!”
“Ow! Man!” Wil said, grimacing and rubbing his tricep. “That really hurt, old man. I know you haven’t forgotten how to talk. There are gentler ways of getting a guy to pay attention.”
“Well, now, I’m sorry. But I called your name five times and got no response. I’d have twisted your ear but I couldn’t reach up that far. Looks like you’re the one that needs the hearing aid.”
“Maybe I should just use yours since you never use it.”
“I use it. I just turn it off when I don’t like what I’m hearing.”
“That’s what I meant.”
“That’s not what you said.”
“Whatever,” Wil said, blowing out a sharp breath. He made a u-turn in the middle of the road and started back the way they came. “I seriously don’t know how you got Gran to stay with you for so long. Did you drug her up with Happy Pills every day or something?”
“She had a hearing aid too.”
Wil gave Gramps a side-glance and smiled. What a smart butt. “By the way, you got quite a powerful right for an old dude.”
Gramps tried not to laugh. “Yeah, well…don’t you forget it or I’ll get ‘cha again.” He stuck his hand up in Wil’s face and pointed out his window. “See that white building over there? Turn…off…there. Got it this time?”
“Not sure. Maybe you should talk a little slower and enunciate a bit more for me.”
Before Gramps had a chance to respond, Wil turned off where he was told and pulled up in the parking area in front of the building. Gramps was already getting out of the car before the engine was shut off. It wasn’t until Wil got out of the car, and saw the small cross over the door of the building, that he realized where they were.
There were bunches of white, purple, yellow and pink wildflowers growing in patches around the parking lot and church. There was a path winding around to the back area that was closed off by a gray fence. Wil could barely see over it so he guessed it must have been just under six feet tall. Stone slabs and nameplates pushed into the ground gave away what the area was for.
Gramps walked up the wooden steps leading to the front door. “If you stand there with your mouth wide-open like that, you’re gonna catch mosquitoes or something. C’mon! Got someone I need you to meet.”
Wil wasn’t comfortable in churches. The last time he’d stepped inside of one was for his parents’ funeral. He and God weren’t exactly on speaking terms then, at least not from his side of things. Gramps, his Aunts and Uncles all went to church every Sunday. When she was still alive, Gran insisted everyone went to church. It wasn’t just for the social interaction, which she loved so much. It was also so each of them became proper people, learning to respect others and treat the world kindly. Gran died just before Wil was born but the family honored her wishes by continuing to go to church. Everyone, that was, except him.
Wil 'got' all the reasons Gran gave for going, he really did. And he had the highest respect for his grandmother. But he didn’t feel he needed church to become the man he needed to be. He was a good person. He was responsible. He got good grades in school. He didn’t smoke or do drugs and stayed away from the crowd that snuck off to the farmer’s fields to drink every weekend. Gramps may have made fun of his friends, but Wil surrounded himself with honest, fun-loving guys. Gran would have loved them, he was sure. And he worked his butt off every summer to pay his own way through University. He didn’t need God. There was no room in his life for a person or being that would take his parents away from him so violently and without purpose.
“God doesn’t make things happen to people,” his Aunt Winifred had said one Sunday in an attempt to get Wil to join them. “People make choices and the results of those choices are what make things happen.”
“He could have stopped the accident,” Wil had said, refusing to listen to her cheap sermon. “Isn’t He supposed to protect bad things from happening to good people or some crap like that? What kind of God would kill innocent people?”
“God doesn’t kill people, Wil. He reaches back when those reach out to Him. You know, your dad could have waited out the storm. He chose to keep driving--”
“So it’s my dad’s fault?”
“No. I’m just saying that he chose to keep driving that night because he really wanted to get back to you, and--”
“Oh! So it’s my fault, then.”
Aunt Winifred sighed, putting her hands on Wil’s shoulders. “It’s nobody’s fault. God didn’t kill your parents or make that accident happen. It was just that—an accident. I was just trying--”
“Stop trying. Just stop. Nothing you or anyone else says is going to make me believe I need church or God or anything else like that. I’m not going and you can’t make me. Period.”
And that had been the last time anyone had tried getting him to go to church. He figured if he was keeping his nose clean in every other way, they’d overlook it. He knew they talked about his lack of religious guidance or whatever they called it. He didn’t care.
Wil stood with his hands stuffed in his jean pockets staring at Gramps on the steps. He shifted his eyes up to the wooden cross then back down at Gramps.
“Oh, come on, boy! It’s not gonna burn your skin when you walk inside,” Gramps shouted with his hands on his hips. Then his voice softened. “Look, there’s no service going on right now. I just gotta talk to the Reverend to open the back gate up for us then we can do what we gotta do and leave. Alright?”
Wil rolled his eyes, then shuffled up to the steps. He put his foot up on the first step and said, “If it does burn, though, there’s Holy Water in there, right?”
Gramps shook his head. “Trust me, son. If I can go through the doors each week back home unscathed, you’ll be just fine.”
I hope you enjoyed this week's sample. There is a purpose for Gramps making Wil go on this stop, trust me. You'll find out next week. hee hee. Be sure to enjoy the works of the other writers brave enough to share their own work (and there are some pretty great samples this week!) Click HERE to be taken to the main page.
Until next time...