Sweet Saturday Samples

Here is another snippet from my work in progress, Heartbreak Hill:

Tara suspected Leslie wasn’t resting as much as she should given her May 1 due date, but she claimed she felt fine. Energized even. Until today, that is.

“Tara!” Leslie called from the back room. Her voice held a frantic tone Leslie never used.

Tara flipped her chair over as she dashed down the hall. Leslie braced herself on the edge of the futon. Her back ramrod straight and her face pale.

“Are you alright?”

“Could you call Mark? I’m pretty sure I just had a contraction and it was a doozy.” If it was possible for Leslie’s body to stiffen anymore, it did. She blew out long, slow breaths. Then her body sagged. “It’s way too early for this.”

“Are you sure it’s not those fake ones?” Tara dropped on the futon beside her. She rubbed Leslie’s shoulders in a slow, circular motion.

“If that was fake, I don’t want to feel the real thing.” Leslie slumped against the back of the futon, shifting her hips to a reclining position. Leslie never slouched.

Tara hurried to her desk and grabbed the mobile handset, glad they’d upgraded the phones last fall. She pressed Mark’s preset and waited for him to answer.

“Hi Mark. This is Tara. Leslie had a contraction.” The words tumbled out. Tara knew Mark wouldn’t care that the message wasn’t polite.

“I’m coming.” Tara thought she heard the Suburban engine flare before he hung up.

Tara didn’t let go of the phone after hearing the dial tone. She wasn’t sure what to do. Should she call the hospital? Minnie, Mark’s aunt? Leslie’s doctor? Leslie seemed awfully calm for a woman going into labor a month and a half early. But Leslie handled crises stoically. If Tara had been in her position, she would have been hysterical. People three blocks away would be able to time her contractions.

“Mark’s on his way. Can I get you anything?”

Leslie’s lips tightened. “If you have an epidural stashed in your desk, that would be great. Although if I have another contraction, I’m going to ask you to knock me out with a club.”



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  1. I love the way you combined tension and humor in this excerpt. Very effective and good writing. Your last line was the best. I hope Tara will call Leslie’s doctor!


  2. I can feel Tara’s worry along with her. I’m so glad you’re revisiting these characters!


  3. Love the combination of tension and humor. Hey, wouldn’t we all like to have an epidural handy! The concern in Tara’s voice and quick action by Mark make this scene fly. Well done.


  4. Great excerpt. You need a little humor at a time like this!


  5. Love the calm humor you have here


  6. Ahh,m the sweet remenberance of labor… great way to lighten the mood with the humor.


  7. Oh, boy, can I relate to this! Brings back memories — nicely portrayed and FUN!


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