First Draft Excerpt


It was the season of apricots again. As the sun rose and stretched its sleep-aching arms, it grabbed for the blushing fruit like a greedy infant. Liliana looked on without concern while the orchard’s tidy rows of trees were being inhaled by the horizon. She could only think of how stupid she had been to take that man—no, that scum—back into her arms as if nothing had happened.

Before her frustration turned into blind anger, Liliana’s sight fell on the wooden crates. Each meant money to her. She filled one crate and that was food on the table today. She filled another six and that was the overdue water bill—maybe. Liliana let out a breath like a deflating balloon. She knew no matter how full these crates were, it would never satisfy the gaping hole left by her family’s debt.

She had nightmares that didn’t stay behind the black bars of unconsciousness. They came fleetingly throughout the day… She sat under a great apricot tree, as big and slithery as Leviathan, and it trembled and moaned in wrathful winds. First, the fruit fell here and there, but like the first drops of a storm, they quickly gathered speed. With no time to run, she was buried under a mountain of apricots. Left to rot with their flesh giving off a sickly sweet stench. No escape. She only awoke once the oozing pulp poured into her mouth, suffocating her scream. And when Liliana did wake up, she could never shake off a lingering thought: Maybe soon the season will be over.

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