Today it’s “All About Aunt Elizabeth.”
And really, she’s what Cobwebs is all about. It’s the story of her early life, as discovered by the narrator, Jamie Aldrich, her grand-niece. Elizabeth is part of every chapter even though she’s not there.
Here’s what happens in the first chapter when Jamie sees Elizabeth after arriving in Pawhuska, OK.
Aunt Elizabeth lay on the bed, her thin white hair falling in short wavy layers all around her creased face. Her dark brown eyes, sharp and inquisitive, focused on me and pulled me across the room. I grabbed those bony hands and squeezed them. My God how she has aged. She looked every bit of her ninety years.
“Jamie,” Aunt Elizabeth breathed. She pressed her lips together, raised her thin eyebrows and began to hum off-key.
It was ‘Name That Tune,’ and it only took three notes before I was singing along. “Take me out to the ballgame; take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care –“
Aunt Elizabeth stopped humming and closed her eyes. Her wrinkles deepened as she grimaced. She looked skeletal, far worse than I had expected.”
Their conversation continues, with Elizabeth snoozing some, and Jamie traveling down to the kitchen and back up to the bedroom. A spring thunderstorm pounds the house. Jamie recalls the Native American stories Elizabeth used to tell Jamie when she and her siblings visited as children:
“Mom thought the stories were too scary for us,” I said.
Aunt Elizabeth nodded. “Not any scarier than real life, my dear.” Her words lingered in the silence and then a crack of thunder emphasized her point.
Jamie changes the subject, reminding her of all the positive things Elizabeth had taught her:
. . . like “plant and animal names and the fact that everything on the planet was connected to everything else.”
“You needed to know those things. People never take the time to learn what matters most.” Aunt Elizabeth’s sad eyes roamed over my face.
Elizabeth has just told readers one of the all important THEMES of the book.
People never take the time to learn what matters most.
Watch for the second-to-last reboot post on Wednesday, and the last on Friday. Both of these will be character sketches as well.
Monday will feature a book project update prior to beginning a new series of posts in October, all about Ant Dens – A Suspense Novel (expected release date Nov. 1, 2014!)