Welcome back! This month I've been sharing pieces from my very first published fiction work, The Legacy. Last week, we saw a growing problem in Leigh's home, and she was forced to escape. This week's scene picks up where the last scene ended:
She stepped into the motel office to find Jenna sprawled in a padded chair, snoring. A tiny black and white television was tuned to the local nightly news.
“Jenna, wake up.”
The snoring stopped, and Jenna's eyes blinked. A mop of shaggy, strawberry blonde hair shook as she woke up and tried to focus on her.
“Leigh, it's you! Did you get bored and come to keep me company?”
Leigh instantly felt guilty. She and Jenna had been good friends in high school, but after graduation they had gone in different directions.
Jenna had married, and had two children in two years. Now divorced and living with her mother, she worked the third shift at the motel to make ends meet. The arrangement allowed her to be at home with her children during the day, when her mother worked.
“I guess I can stay and talk a while, Jenna,” she told her friend. “But I'm going to need a room for the night.”
Jenna frowned. “Again? Leigh, you've got to get out of there. One of these days your dad is going to force himself on you. You won't be able to get away. And it won't be pretty.”
Jenna was the only person who knew about her father's problem with alcohol and had first-hand knowledge of the way Frank took his troubles out on Leigh.
“I'm working on it, Jenna. It's just that Mom—”
“—will be able to take care of herself,” her friend insisted. “She's always gone, anyway. There are a couple of apartments open where Mom and the kids and I live. They're affordable, too. It'll be fun, Leigh. Why don't you check it out? Tomorrow.”
“I will, I promise.” She handed Jenna her credit card. “Here.”
“You want just the basic room, right?”
“Yeah, I just need a bed and four walls.”
Jenna rang up the charge and waited as Leigh signed the sales slip. She handed Leigh a card key. “Room 104. Right next door. So how are you going to get to work tomorrow?”
“I'll get up early and walk home. Dad should be sleeping by then, so I can change and go to work.”
“Grab a suitcase and a bunch of extra clothes. I don't think you should stay there anymore. I'd invite you to stay with us, but…”
“Oh, Jenna, I couldn't stay with you. I love your mom and the kids, but you've barely got enough room for the four of you. I'll find my own place. Tomorrow.”
Thanks for stopping by! The Legacy is free this month through the Astraea Press Book Club. All you have to do is email the coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org and specify what format you want.
You can find links to other excerpts by going to Sweet Saturday Samples!