Silence is Golden Excerpt

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It was a silver medallion no bigger than a shilling. At one end of the coin someone had punched a hole into the metal and looped a silver chain through it. Alfred peered closer at the marking on the disc and sent a questioning stare to his friend. “St. Christopher?”

“The patron saint of travelers and a fitting gift for an adventurous young man. May it guide you and keep you safe in your journeys.”

He stared at the engraved image of the stooped figure of St. Christopher, his gnarled hand clutching a staff and a child clinging to his back. The edges had been worn to a smooth finish that rolled like polished glass between his fingers, and he knew he held a cherished memento. “Are you sure you don’t want to keep it? This seems like an odd talisman for a Protestant minister to have. Perhaps it has sentimental value for you?”

William regarded the tiny piece of silver in his outstretched hand and took it into his own, running his fingers over the smooth edges. “My mother was a Papist from the Scottish Highlands. After her family was evicted from their land, they immigrated to  England, where my mother met my father, William Blackburn, Senior, also a minister. My mother loved my father, so when they married, she converted and was a dutiful Protestant the rest of her life. But she didn’t give up all of her beliefs.”

The metal disc spun in the air before them. “Before I left for France, she gave this to me with the promise it would keep me safe. She said even though we would never see each other again in this life, the medallion would reunite us when it was time.”

“If you will never see each other again, how can you be reunited?”

The disc stopped spinning, and William looked at him, a sad smile on his face. “My father died while I was in the war. When I returned, I learned through interviews with my old neighbors that my mother left home after my father died. She was coming to find me in France but never made it. For years I have wished to find where she might be.”

Grabbing Alfred’s shoulders and turning, William pointed off into the distance at the vague shape of a building. It was difficult to see through the rain and fog, but he observed the rising profile of a humble bell tower. “A church?”

“I took a walk yesterday after the noon meal and found myself there. I rambled into the courtyard and behind the building, where I found a small graveyard. I was tired and discouraged. My quest to find my mother seemed hopeless, and in pursuit of her whereabouts I had lost my way, becoming someone I no longer recognized. With your words ringing in my ears and the evidence of my failure a heavy weight on my soul, I fell to my knees and prayed. The medallion around my neck  warmed. I grasped it from my chest, looked up, and saw it. Her grave.”

“Whose grave? Your mother’s?”

“Yes. As impossible as it seems, I found my mother’s grave among the other headstones of the tiny church.”

“You were reunited,” he whispered, awed by the strange turn of events leading his friend to this location. “What a coincidence!”

“Or an act of God. However you want to put it, I found her. My search is over, and here I will stay.”



via Daily Prompt: Loop

11 thoughts on “Silence is Golden Excerpt

    1. Thanks for reading and offering your opinion, though I feel your critique is too vague. What did you object to? Usually when people discuss flow, there is something on an instinctual level which is troubling. I’m curious as to what you found out of place. Often, too, what one person feels is a lack of flow is no more than disharmony with an author’s voice and one’s inner voice. I’ve found that to be true on many occasions.

  1. I don’t know if I can express it properly. I read it and reread it. 1. I found it hard to visualise 2. It took me effort to know who owns the medallion, William or Christopher.
    3. Dialogues are long are long and winding.
    4. It was a small excerpt; but, I didn’t have the voice in my head while reading it.

    I think this is all because this is a stand alone excerpt. Never mind, it’s a well written piece, I am just not picking. You might like to give attention to it once you complete the draft.

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to reread and comment. This was detailed and gave clear direction on how I could make it better (at least for the next book. this one is published and off to the printer’s). I hope I didn’t come across as confrontational when I was truly curious as to what you thought. Feedback, and I’m talking thoughtful suggestions for how to improve (not the ‘haters-going to-hate’ reviewers who say a book is awful but provide no concrete proof) is always welcome, so thank you for taking the time to reread and comment again. What is your genre? I looked on your website, did some reading and thought historical fiction?

      1. I am just a wannabe writer. My expertise is more in reading. I didn’t intend to criticise for the sake of it. I don’t claim to be an expert but have read a lot in my life. I just expressed what I felt but it doesn’t mean I am a better writer. Average players also make good coaches. As far as my writing is concerned, I have written some 30000 words of a fantasy fiction. But I am stuck and now. Moreover, when I read it, I find a lot of it just plain crap. Now I am trying to learn and write again.

      2. I didn’t take what you said as criticism, and many of my best betas are average players, though truth be told that’s all I feel like on most days. I enjoy having dialogues about writing, whether my own or someone else’s work, so please engage! I’m going to follow you so we can talk writing 🙂 Fantasy was my second choice! I liked the excerpt I read from chapter 23, I think it was. And TBH, most writers think what they write is crap. I send my beta some pages and tell her it’s awful and I’m done writing forever, and she makes some suggestions but tells me for the most part it’s good. As writers, it’s difficult to judge our own work. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Do you follow freedom with writing? I think they just published several links to short story contests, and one was for fantasy. Just an idea…

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