Chapter 16

A new novel in the making.

A New Novel in the Making

I'm working on a new novel. Here's the 16th 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

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Ever Young. Novel by Stefan Stenudd.

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Some Things Take Forever

When Caroline enters the kitchen, her father is occupied by his coffee and the newspaper. Her mother is just about to sit down by the table when she spots Caroline.

"It's about time," she says and picks up the frying pan from the stove to serve a fried egg on Caroline's plate. "It should still be warm enough."

Caroline sits down and starts the meal by emptying her glass of orange juice.

"Didn't you sleep well?" Ruth inquires as she refills the glass.

"Yes I did. Why do you ask?"

"You look a little drowsy. And aren't you quite pale, too?"

George looks up from his paper, but returns to it after a quick glance at his daughter.

"I'm fine," Caroline assures them both. "I just don't like mornings. You know that."

"Well, that's what coffee is for," Ruth replies and fills Caroline's mug to the rim. "Have it black this time, and you're sure to wake up."

Caroline makes a face, but takes a sip of it. Then she starts on the fried egg. Two slices of bread pop up from the toaster. Ruth is quick to snap them and put them both on Caroline's plate.

"You're usually in a hurry to get out of the house," Ruth continues. "You must really love school."

Caroline looks up at her and discovers a hint of a smile.

"That's what I live for," she replies.

They eat in silence for a while. Ruth and Caroline throw occasional glances at each other, but they only look at George when he turns a page of his newspaper, which covers a good part of the kitchen table.

When Caroline momentarily rests her hand on the table, Ruth puts hers on top of it.

"Caroline," she starts, catching her eyes, "how long is it since we did something together, as a family?"

Caroline just shrugs her shoulders.

"It's about time," Ruth continues. "That's what we need to do. Get away for some quality time, just the three of us. A mini-vacation of sorts."

"This time of the year?" George inquires, without looking up from his newspaper. "I doubt that I can get time off from work. The months before Christmas are the busiest."

"We could make it a weekend. Leave on Friday evening, home Sunday night. We don't have to go far. A couple of hours in the car takes us to so many nice places. A bed and breakfast on the countryside. It would do us a world of good, even if it's just for a couple of days. What do you say, Caroline? Would you like that?"

Again Caroline shrugs her shoulders.

"I take that as a yes," Ruth says with a smile.

"I don't see why we couldn't have that quality time right here," George protests, but with little more than a mumble.

Ruth lets out a sigh, but keeps her eyes on Caroline.

"I'm sure the change of air alone will be worth it. And we'll be free of chores. I, for one, would enjoy that. We'll be free from a lot of things."

George gets stiff, as if bracing himself. His fingers on the paper bend into claws.

"It's not that easy."

Ruth turns to him.

"What did you say?"

"It's not that easy," George repeats. "Some things take time, no matter what you do. A long time. That's just how it is. Some things take forever."

"George," his wife interrupts him, her voice almost shrill. "You don't have to tell me. Of course they do. But that's no excuse for not trying."

George closes his mouth firmly.

"Maybe two days won't make that much of a difference," Ruth continues, "but it's better than nothing. Much better. All three of us, we really need the break. We need... we need to move on."

There is silence. Ruth looks at George, who remains focused on the newspaper, and then at Caroline. She lifts her hand from Caroline's and leans back in her chair.

"It's what we should do. I'll look into it."

© Stefan Stenudd, March 2014

Chapter 17

All the chapters posted so far:
  1. Light and Dark

  2. Mumbles

  3. Don't Touch

  4. Not a Word

  5. Swings

  6. He Talked to Me

  7. Was It Quick?

  8. Flossing, Too

  9. The Lower Canines

  10. Two Dots

  11. The Creep

  12. The Goth Stuff

  13. Nine Months

  14. Like a Rat

  15. Morning

  16. Some Things Take Forever

  17. If He Doesn't

  18. One Little Thing

  19. Another One

  20. Playing It Safe

  21. The Netherworld

  22. Never Grow Old

  23. It Sounds Trite

  24. Dying Is Terrible

  25. Just Kids Playing

  26. He Didn't Know

  27. Maybe the Only One

  28. I Don't Hear It

  29. Honesty

  30. Secrets

  31. I Care

  32. Treacherous Longevity

All books by Stefan Stenudd

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Ever Young — vampire novel
Sunday Brunch with the World Maker
All's End science-fiction
Murder contemplation
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My Swedish writing

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Myths in general and myths of creation in particular.

The wisdom of Taoism and the Tao Te Ching, its ancient source.

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The ancient Chinese system of divination and free online reading.

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About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.