A New Novel in the Making
I'm working on a new novel. Here's the sixth chapter of it. Let me know what you think about it. You find a Facebook comment form below the text. I post each new chapter when it is completed. The first chapter is here: Chapter One
He Talked to Me
In the Altenburg kitchen, George stands by the sink, looking out the window at Caroline and Fred by the swings. Not much more than their silhouettes are visible in the distance and darkness at the far end of the garden. He keeps his eyes on them as much as he can, while doing the dishes. He has a colorful apron on, and the way he is doing the dishes he needs it.
Ruth clears the table. Now and then she glances at him and at the absentminded way he handles the dishes.
"How's she doing, do you think?" Ruth asks.
"Fine, it seems. She looks just the same as always."
"That can't be."
"I just tell you what it looks like. They're enjoying themselves in the swings, his sister and his best friend. Not a care in the world. Kids forget quickly."
He lifts the dish brush and points at them, out in the garden, splashing some water on the window. But Ruth's eyes remain on George.
"How can you say that? They were twins!" she says with emphasis.
George lowers the brush and returns to the dishes.
"Well, tell me what it looks like to you," he mutters. "It would have been different if they'd both been boys. Or girls. Then they'd always have a lot in common. They'd be linked for life. Remember how they grew apart when they reached their teens. Boys and girls, they live in different worlds. It's puberty."
Ruth opens her mouth, but closes it again when George continues.
"Caroline entered it first, as girls do. Immediately she distanced herself from her brother. It's normal. But Thomas couldn't understand why. He wanted them to stay as close as they had been all through childhood, but suddenly she didn't want him around, didn't even allow him into her room. I tried to explain, but how could he get it? I prayed that he'd soon enter puberty, too. Once he did, the problem was gone - in an instant. One day he just said: 'What do I care?' That was the end of it."
Ruth stops what she is doing. George does the same when he notices. He waits for her to speak. His shoulders rise ever so slightly and he leans on the sink, as if wanting to sit down on it.
"That's not my impression at all. I thought that they got along fine," Ruth says and rests her hands on her hips. "I never saw any change. Hell, how many times didn't they gang up on us to get what they wanted? How many times weren't we sure they both laughed behind our backs? Like siblings do. Like twins!"
She leans forward, intending to take a step towards him, but her feet stay where they are. George keeps his mouth closed.
"George, have you forgotten how many times we discussed how not to let it get the best of us? They were particularly cunning when they got at us one at a time, and we were so upset when we found out. I'm pretty sure it was kind of a sport to them. They were allies, also in puberty. Especially in puberty. That's when they really started to take advantage of how gullible we could be. That's when they needed the most. Would they have been able to do that if they'd grown apart? Would Thomas have joined forces so willingly with Caroline if he felt that she had turned her back to him? Not bloody likely."
"Well, he talked to me about it, a number of times."
Ruth glares at him, but he makes sure not to look into her eyes.
"He talked to me," George mumbles and returns to washing the dishes.
All the chapters posted so far: