52-Week Writing Challenge: Week 26
Evidently I don’t have enough to do — or I’m a glutton for punishment, because I’m adding July Camp NaNoWriMo to my never-ending (or ever-growing) to-do list. Calla, a romantic comedy, is my 30-day project.
Calla Barrett is a modern-day Cinderella.
Okay – not really.
She’s an accomplished RN and head of nursing at Montford Jones Rehabilitation Center. Calla is attractive, intelligent, respected, and well-liked.
She’s also thirty-four, single with no prospects… and she lives with her eccentric mother, Rose, who may or may not have a mild case of dementia.
Motivated by a close friend’s wedding and the bold heroines of her favorite novels, Calla sets a new course for herself and plans to escape the tiny farm town of Reedsville, Missouri.
No one wants Calla to leave—especially sisters Daisy, Iris, and Violet. If Calla moves away, they will have to take care of their mother. Wealthy sportsman, Birdy Ellison is determined to marry Calla… and teach her to skin a deer.
Calla Barrett’s first steps to a new life give her hope, but a newcomer’s temporary stay in Reedsville tests Calla’s determination… and her heart.
When family and friends butt in, chaos ensues, and Calla will have to pull out all the stops to get her happily-ever-after… and not skin any deer.
Determined to kill the annoying fly, Rose raced around the room swatting in its general direction, overturning her iced tea and breaking a vase in the process. The fly flew through the doorway into the kitchen with Rose in hot pursuit.
“Look at her, Cal. How could you leave her? She needs you here.” Older sister, Daisy Barrett-Newman, was close to tears.
Sitting in the corner nursing a tumbler of gin, Violet Barrett raises her glass. “She’s right, Calla.”
“And what about Vi, Cal? You know she hasn’t been herself since,” Daisy leaned towards Calla, whispering, “you know…”
Giggling, Violet sets her glass down, pops off her prosthetic leg and waves it in the air.
“The accident, Daisy, the accident. Say it with me, “Since Violet lost a leg in a car accident!””
Rolling her eyes, Daisy glared at Calla as if to say, “See?”
“It’s my turn, Daisy. I missed out on moving away for college. I had to turn down a marriage proposal-”
“Oh, he wasn’t the man for you-”
“But that was my decision to make, not my family’s. I’ve lived my entire life in this house. I want out of it and Reedsville. I want to see the world… or some of it. I want to experience new things and meet new people. I want a life. I want to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon. I want to take photos at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I want to walk into a New York pizzeria and order a slice!”
Violet pointed her fake leg at her older sister. “She’s right, Daisy.”
Daisy waved them both off. “Now you’re just sounding like one of those broads in those crazy bodice rippers you always have your head buried in.”
“Way to date yourself, sis. They haven’t been called bodice rippers in a generation.”
“Then what are they called, Miss Well-Read?”
“For your information, they’re called historical romances, and they’re just one of the literary genres I enjoy reading.”
Calla smirked, a maniacal gleam in her eyes.
“I also enjoy psychological thrillers. The kind where the ever-put-upon, loving sister snaps, has a mental break, murders her entire family, then rides off into the night… laughing.”
Daisy takes a step backward, horrified.
Rose Gentry Barrett re-enters the room carrying a white bone china dessert plate… with the dead fly lying in the center.
“Told you I’d get him.” Sitting the plate next to the spilled iced tea, Rose grabs the remote and turns on the large, flat-screen television.
The sisters watch her in silence while Rose turns to her favorite station… The Weather Channel.
“Gonna rain in Topeka!”
Lowering her voice, Daisy continues her pleading. “Cal, be reasonable.”
Defiant, Calla crosses her arms across her ample chest.
“Snaps, Daisy. Murder.”
Emptying the gin bottle into her glass, Violet continues her giggling. “I don’t want to read that book. I want to see the movie!”