So, here is a snippet from a current work in progress - it has no name
Hannah’s scuffed her feet on the road and dust flew up, before settling back down to create a light film on her brand new black patent shoes. She didn’t know how much longer she’d have to stand here and be quiet, but Mama promised her a chocolate chip cookie if she behaved and didn’t go ‘stirring up trouble’, as Mama liked to put it.
Mama was talking to the preacher, and they both kept nodding and the preacher kept patting Mama’s arm. Hannah tugged on her mother’s hand and her mother looked down. Hannah had never seen Mama cry in public before, but her eyes were all red-rimmed and she looked terribly sad. Almost as sad as Hannah had been when her dog ran away.
Mama patted her hand. “A few more minutes, Hannah. Be a good girl, okay?”
More ladies from the church came out and each stopped to touch Mama, or take hold of her hand. Mama kept sniffing into her hanky.
Finally, there was no one left in the church to come out, except for Mr. Granger. And he’d be there for hours cleaning up all the flowers that had been scattered around the front of the church.
Hannah thought it had been pretty. Large and small bouquets placed in different areas, creating a pleasant smell. The prettiest one had been all white flowers, lying on a long shiny brown box. The box must have been important because it was placed in front of the preacher, and almost blocked the middle aisle.
Mama put her hand on Hannah’s shoulder. Hannah knew that when Mama did that, she was fixin’ to go. She wondered if there was any milk to go with the promised cookie.
“Thank you, Pastor. You’ve been a blessing.” Mama shook the preacher’s hand.
“I’m here for you Mrs. Doyle. If you need any guidance or want someone to pray with, you call.”
“I will.” Mama took hold of Hannah’s hand. “Come Hannah. We’ll go home now.”
The preacher turned his caring brown eyes to Hannah. “You take care, child. Don’t forget to come to Sunday school.”
Skipping alongside her mother, Hannah loved the walk home. Her Mama was usually so busy, or tired, Hannah didn’t get to spend time with her like she wanted. But this whole week Mama had been home and lots of people stopped in, bringing all sorts of goodies to eat.
Their little fridge was crammed with so much food Hannah thought it would take years to eat it all. When Papa got home, he’d never believe it.
Thinking of her Papa, Hannah stopped skipping and slowed to a walk. Where was Papa? He’d never been gone this long before. Hannah tried to count how many days Papa had been away this time, but she couldn’t remember when he’d left.
Papa travelled all the time. He’d tell her stories of all the places he’d been, and people he’d seen. Her favorite was about the great white castle, and the king who lived there.
Papa didn’t call him a king, but Hannah heard Papa say he was the country’s leader, and everyone did what he said. Hannah imagined long, wide hallways, and grand staircases. Papa knew all sorts of important people and that’s why he was away from home a lot. Papa said the king trusted him the most, and gave Papa important gifts to keep safe. Gifts she’d seen him take to the old shed outside.
She'd snuck into the shed once, to see where Papa put them, but all she found were tools, and smelly gas cans. Papa must have brought them back into the house. There were lots of hiding places in the house.
When Papa was home, he’d play all sorts of games with her. He’d play eye spy, and hide the button. He told her the best place to hide something precious was to place it in plain sight.
Once she figured that one out, he had a hard time hiding the button on her. She’d wait quietly in her bedroom while he hid the button, and then spot it within minutes of walking in the room. Sometimes he’d move a picture, or put books in a different order and see how long it took her to realize something in the room had changed.
Papa wouldn’t play the memory game with her anymore, because no matter how many cards Papa laid down, Hannah never forgot where a card was once she saw it. He said on his next trip he was going to bring back more puzzle games for them to play.
She knew Mama missed Papa, because when he was gone, and Mama thought she was asleep, she would hear her crying. In fact, Mama was crying when the man, dressed all in black, crawled through Hannah’s window.
Hannah slid out of bed, and scuttled underneath. He was so quiet; she almost couldn’t hear him walk across the floor. Big feet stopped by her bed, and she heard the bed covers rustle. She shrank further into the corner under the bed. The feet turned, and left her room, the door closing quietly behind him.
She stayed there for a long time, and didn’t move even when she heard a zinging noise. There were sounds of furniture being turned over, and breaking glass. Then silence and Hannah still didn’t move.
She’d fallen asleep, and woke to voices shouting and then rapid footsteps thundered down the hall. Her door flung open and work scuffed boots appeared in doorway.
“She’s not here.”
“Oh my god. Do you think whoever killed Ruth took her?”
“I don’t know. We have to call the Sheriff, and form a search party. Maybe she’s hiding outside somewhere.”
“She’s only four, Bob. Anything could happen to her.”
Hannah recognized the voices of Mrs. Busey and her husband, Bob. Mama liked them. Said they were good people, and she didn’t know what she’d do without them.
Hannah crawled out from under the bed. Her legs stiff from being curled so tight. Mr. Busey turned when he heard her shuffling, grabbed her tight and squeezed.
“Oh thank the Lord, you’re safe.”
Mrs. Busey hurried over.
“Hannah, are you all right child?” Hannah gazed at the kind, older woman. She’d been crying and her cheeks, normally bright red, were pale.
“Yes ma’am,” Hannah mumbled. “Where’s Mama?”