Welcome Wednesdays – You’ve Got to Be Cruel to Be Kind

Welcome Wednesdays – You’ve Got to Be Cruel to Be Kind

Welcome to this week’s edition of Welcome Wednesdays!

Last week we talked about funny moments from books, and this week we’re taking a look at the reverse side of things.  Let’s delve into some more difficult emotions.  Authors, I want you to tell us about the most cruel, heartbreaking thing you’ve ever done to one of your characters.  Did you have their childhood pet run away?   Have their best friend betray them?  Kill their spouse?  Give them a fatal disease?  Blow up their home planet?  Tell us about it in the comments, and be sure to leave a link so we can read all the brutal details for ourselves…

 

I’ll begin…

This is an obvious one for me – it’s chapter 2-3 of DREAM FAMILY, when Sara is mistakenly arrested and put through a hellish day and night in jail.  I actually lost sleep while writing this, I was so upset over what I was doing to Sara.  Here’s a brief excerpt:

Lizzie is sitting right where she was when I walked in, in front of the couch, staring up at me.  She looks – I’ve never seen this expression on her face before – angry.  Not childish “I want ice cream and I can’t have it” anger, but genuine, heartfelt, burning adult anger.  And betrayal.  Emotions a five-year-old shouldn’t ever feel.  And it’s all directed at me.

Then she looks away from me, turns her feelings on her father.  “Daddy, you lied!  Mommy didn’t go to the hospital yesterday.”  That’s not a five-year-old’s voice anymore.  That much pain shouldn’t ever come out of a child’s mouth, and it’s spewing out of my beautiful daughter’s.

…I’m naked.  My legs are squeezed together.  The deputy digs into my arm, orders me to spread them, to step back into the footprints.  I keep telling myself there’s nothing more they can take away from me, and I keep being wrong…

…Brian tries to answer Lizzie, but she doesn’t give him a chance.  “I saw it.  I dreamed it!  Mommy told me to always tell you, but I didn’t, because you lied!  I saw you in the dream, Daddy!  You were all sad and angry because Mommy was in jail, where all the crooks go!  She was chained up, and she was in a jail cell with bars and everything!  I saw it, Daddy!  But you told me she was in the hospital.  You lied to me, Daddy.  Only bad people go to jail, and only bad people lie.  You and Mommy say that all the time.”

DreamFamilyV1

And now it’s your turn!

(when you’re done here, please stop by Exquisite Quills, where there are daily memes just like this one and plenty of fantastic authors you can discover!)

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3 Replies to “Welcome Wednesdays – You’ve Got to Be Cruel to Be Kind”

  1. A Wrong Way Home – An Excerpt
    Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1
    Matt and Kara’s Story by Alice Orr

    “Matt understood that Kara might have locked her door because she wanted to keep him out of her bedroom, but he couldn’t think about that now. The smell of gas was stronger here. He had to get to her, and he had to get to her fast. He shook the knob so hard that the door rattled against the frame, but it still didn’t open.

    “Kara. It’s Matt. Wake up.”

    She didn’t answer, and shaking the door was getting him nowhere. Matt took a long step backward then vaulted toward the door with his foot raised. He’d been so tired earlier he’d fallen asleep with his boots on. That meant the impact of his kick was hard and effective. The hinges groaned against the jamb.

    One more kick and the panel splintered. He reached past the jagged edges of the opening he’d made and found the door knob and plate on the other side. He grappled with the latch below the knob and yanked the door open, then he was inside. There was no mistaking the smell now. It was definitely gas.

    Matt didn’t stop to look for the source. He went directly to the opposite wall where the windows were. It was too dark to see what he was doing. He had to feel for the sill behind the drapes and reach past the blinds. He tugged upward hard on the window sash but, like the door, it didn’t budge.

    He tried to remember if there was a lamp or table nearby, something he could use to break the glass, but there was no time left for searching his memory. He yanked the blinds aside to make room for a clear shot at the window. Then he used his elbow to smash through.

    The pane shattered, but he barely heard it happen. All Matt cared about was getting to the bed and lifting Kara in his arms. Her body felt way too still, and that made him move faster than ever. He carried her to the window and thrust her face into the gush of chill air coming through the opening he’d made by breaking the glass.

    “Breathe, my precious girl. Please, breathe.”

    He didn’t want to carry her back through the house where the gas fumes would be growing stronger by the second. His own eyes had begun to water, and he could barely keep himself from gagging. He remembered the chair in the corner then, between the bedside table and the wall. He could smash the window with that.

    The last thing he wanted to do was let go of Kara. He needed to hold her close and keep her safe. But he’d have to put her down or he wouldn’t be able to get a solid enough grip on the chair to swing hard and smash the rest of the glass out of the window.

    He was about to lay her down on the floor and lunge for the chair when he heard the most wonderful sound he’d ever heard in his life. The strangling, gasping, choking sound of Kara struggling to do what he begged of her aloud a moment ago and was still begging of her in his heart. She was struggling to breathe, and several agonizing seconds later she did.”

    A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series featuring the Kalli family and – beginning with Book 3 – the Miller family also – in stories of romance and danger. A Way Home is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers.

    Alice’s Website. Alice Orr Books

    Alice’s Books. Amazon Author Page

  2. I can imagine the terror Matt must have felt as Kara, the love of his life, felt limp in his arms as he thrust her head into the night air and prayed that she would breath!

  3. Hm. I found this post a wee bit late, but I think the worst thing I’ve done thus far to my characters is to have Space Marine Peter Welmsley lose his fiancée, his best friend, and nearly all of his shipmates during a firefight. Now, he has to somehow get past the pain and start living again, but his family doesn’t understand. Worse yet, because of the extensive surgeries and physical rehabilitation afterward, he looks much younger than he actually is — he’s 69 (middle age, in the far future), and yet he looks like he’s eighteen again.

    But maybe I should just show you instead?

    From “To Survive the Maelstrom,” available now at Amazon:

    …it was nice not to hurt. But he’d liked his scars, no matter how strange the damned doctors found it. He was sixty-nine, not eighteen, and it was right that his body showed some wear. And he was tired of everyone—his friends, his family, his doctors—telling him to make the best of a very bad bargain.

    Or worse, that he should be happy, when so many had died at Hunin.

    But I’m not happy, he thought as he lifted the rocks off the tarp and placed them next to it precisely, just in case any of the were-mouse builders were about and needed to repair one of their ubiquitous pathways. He started to put up his tent. I’m a hero? When Lydia is dead . . . when Chet is dead . . . when most of Niobe is dead, how can I be happy? How can I even be sane?

    Yet the doctors had told him he was, in fact, sane. That he had post-traumatic stress, but it would pass, that his talents as a pilot had saved many—not nearly enough, Peter had argued, but of course no one listened—and that he was still needed. They’d given him some medication to take for the nightmares. He thought he wouldn’t use it—

    But he’d thought wrong, as the nightmares were too awful to be borne.

    ****

    So, how can Peter get past his grief and start living again? And how does an empathic were-mouse factor into it all?

    Barb’s website: http://elfyverse.wordpress.com
    Amazon link for “To Survive the Maelstrom” is: http://www.amazon.com/Survive-Maelstrom-Atlantean-Union-Welmsley-ebook/dp/B0105JDW6Y

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