“How dare you do such a thing? You irresponsible, senseless, goat!”
She hung her head in silence, listening to her mother’s tirade. It wasn’t the first time, and wouldn’t be the last. She had done the unforgivable. Again. And her mother would teach her a lesson, again. Despite the many punishments for her carelessness, the little shepherdess couldn’t contain the family sheep. She’d try to steal a quick read from her poetry collection, and the sheep would caper, making her the scapegoat.
— — — — —
“Oh, childhood experience,” she reminisced, when her interviewer asked what had inspired her Pulitzer-winning novel, Black Sheep.
He crouched over the parchment, fingers, enveloping a phoenix quill, quivering in agitated uncertainty. A thousand thoughts flooded his mind, creeping doubt attempting to clamber onto his bony frame.
He cleared his throat to help clear his mind. Characters had walked in and out as remnants of a shady past. He’d animated them, but ended up eliminating them altogether. He’d fallen in love with some and out with others, spending days staring at the sky, his mind wandering.
Throat clearing hadn’t helped. Heaving, instead, he dipped his quill in the ink bottle and scribbled, “It was the best of times,”