Speak begins at a party. Speak wraps around a time when we transition from Junior High to High School. Speak is a story of a girl who lost her voice due to an unspeakable act. Speak is her journey to find her voice again, to heal, to refusing to be a victim.
Laurie Halsie Anderson writes a compelling story that doesn’t shuffle away from the negative reactions and poor decisions of friends and family. This story has been out some time but I continue to recommend it to anyone who likes to read a story that is real, a story that one can sink their fingers into, a story where one can feel the emotions of the main character.
And if you are not a reader, Speak is also a movie, well done, closely written to the novel.
Scheduled to release this Friday, June 17, 2016, soon you will all be able to enter in this amazing world that developed from a post-apocalyptic photo shoot. Fourteen authors and two fabulous editors combine their talents to bring this world that centers around one character, Ghabrie, and her struggles to survive in a fractured world.
Now for a sneak peak:
UNDERNEATH by Denise Callaway
“I will be glad when this project is complete,” responded Cievette dully. The tunnel rats had a knack for thievery, stealing anything from food and clothing to power. They only found independence in the deep spaces beneath the cities. Over the years, they had learned to network with the rats of other cities, sharing skills, trading resources. Cievette’s skill was one of those resources, holding her in a rare regard. Her assignments were often dangerous and having Eisle to cover her had gotten her out of a tight spot or two.
Taking over at the code screen, Cievette studied what Eisle had managed to unravel. “Not bad, Eisle…keep this up and they are going to start sending you out on your own.”
His quiet laugh rumbled as he settled in near the door. Commander Harkins made it clear that Cievette and her safe return was his assignment. He had only learned to rattle a bit of code to pass the time. Besides, Cievette was a patient teacher, for all her complaints. She glanced his way as his eyes closed, appearing to be asleep, though she knew he was alert on some level. In fact, he was watching her through veiled lids as she dug through the code. The projected image of the interface glittered around her fingers like jewels. Where his code barely scratched the surface, she would dig trenches through those seemingly impenetrable fields.
Emerson arrived into Benning on a rainy Wednesday. His mind was occupied as he walked from the bus stop to his destination. As he looked up, he realized it was taped off by the police. He had been out of town for several weeks but what could have happened to Beatrice? He sternly looked about when his eyes rested on the Abandoned Artists. Perhaps they could enlighten him on current events.
Avery and Allie were both found in the Gallery, now opened to the public. Avery spotted him first. “Why, Emerson! It’s been awhile! How have you been?”
The older gentleman’s dark velvety voice warmly greeted the young artists. “Yes, it has. I’m glad to see the art community is thriving.”
“Indeed,” chimed in Allie. “We are so appreciative of investors such as you that made it possible. We are starting a few community outreach projects, art lessons, and we even have had a couple of other local artists approach us about renting studio space. It turns out the old fire station can hold much more than anticipated.”
Emerson nodded, appreciating the positive report. “That’s wonderful. I’m glad to hear of your success.” His expression changed to one of concern. “Now, can you tell me what is going on with Miss Bea?”
Allie and Avery exchanged looks. “Well, her disappearance was noticed on Thursday. However, nobody has seen her since around Monday.”
Avery jumped in, “Yes, I saw her ride off on her bike on Monday. They found it at the bus stop. Really, I think it’s all kind of dead ended right there.”
Emerson nodded, “Hmmm…well, Monday is the date on this letter I received from her. Perhaps I should visit the police and see if we could figure this out.”
Emerson bowed his head towards the ladies and replaced his hat as he exited the room. Pulling the letter out of his pocket, he knew the police would find the contents interesting…and perhaps equally bewildering. “Bea, what have you gotten yourself into?” he said under his breath.
If you are just joining me for this A to Z Challenge, make sure you drop back to A to get the full story. I did not enter this intending to build an ongoing story. However, sometimes these things happen like gossip in a small town. Enjoy! And stop back often, grab a cup of coffee at Debbie’s Diner and mosey on over to the Gallery.
Debbie dashed over to the counter with a hot cup of coffee for Officer Baker. “So, how’s it going?”
Baker lifted one corner of his mouth and his eyebrow before replying, “About the same.”
“No news yet on Bea?”
“It really bugs me, too. She just vanished. The ads page was missing and I’ve combed through it a dozen times to try and figure out what was on her mind when she left.”
“I heard you found her bike near the bus stop. Maybe she is visiting family or friends out of town.”
“If that was the case, she would have likely made arrangements for Beulah.”
“Not necessarily. She may have set out enough food and put out some extra litter.” Debbie turned away, wiping the counter thoughtfully. “That would let her slip away without anyone needing to know.”
Watching her tell-tale movements, Baker asked her in earnest, “Debbie, do you know something?”
Sighing, she turned to face the officer. “I do…but I don’t know if it is important. And I’m afraid to divulge a secret between friends on a hunch.”
Lowering his voice, he stated, “I’ll keep it out of the report if it is significant, Debbie. What do you know?”
Leaning in so that no one would hear, she answered, “When Bea and I were teenagers, she disappeared for a few months. Her parents weren’t concerned. Said she was helping her aunt while she recovered from an accident. When she came back, she wasn’t herself for a while. We had been good friends and one day I found her crying in an empty classroom. I asked her what was wrong and she asked if I could keep a secret – and I have until now. She told me that she wasn’t taking care of her aunt. Actually, the opposite was true. She had been pregnant. She was forced to give the child up for adoption. The young man she was dating at the time had been drafted. I understand that he didn’t come home. That’s why she never married. I don’t think she ever got over him.”
The officer considered this new information. He would have never suspected such a story about Beatrice Bevins. This new piece of the puzzle may prove useful. “Thanks, Debs!” He drained his cup, dropped a peck on her cheek and a tip on the counter. “You will always be my favorite!”
“Just protect that secret. I hated divulging it…but I’m worried about Bea.”