Saturday, April 25, 2015

Conflict in The Zion Trail: Sample Saturday

Conflict plays a big role in today's tidbit from The Zion Trail. Lije confronts his sister.

Conflict in The Zion Trail WIP
By the time the household awoke the next day, I hadn't yet cornered Sarah, so I made it my business to do so before breakfast. Milking the cow could wait half an hour. Finding out if my sister had conspired to injure or kill our father could not.

I came down the ladder from the dim loft room I shared with John and peered into the kitchen. The edge of a brown skirt slid through the closing outside door. My sister must be going to gather eggs.

I caught up in the muddy dooryard and stopped her with a hand on her elbow. She made a little squeaking sound, as though I had startled her, and whirled around, dropping her egg basket.

" she started to say, her face going white.

"Look here," I cut her off, feeling my anger rise. "Pa's going to be laid up for a week or more. What part did you play?"

She shook her head. "None."

"But you know who did it. I can see you do."

She kept shaking her head, her eyebrows drawn together so tightly that her normally smooth forehead looked like a freshly cultivated garden patch. "No," she moaned. "I didn't know

"Didn't know what?" I was so angry at having to drag the story out of her that I wanted to strike her. She must have seen my gathering storm, for she shrank away from me, making herself as small as possible.

"Please, Lije. I didn't think he would do anything. He only wanted to know about the baptism."


She nodded.

"Anyone else?"

"I don't know. We were alone when we talked."

"Were you kissing him?"

I don't know where the question came from. That was none of my business. Only the attack on Pa mattered now.

Her face turned from white to red, and I knew I had crossed the line of propriety. I put up my hands in a gesture of surrender. "Was he angry as you spoke?" I asked, trying to turn away her wrath.

Sarah took a long breath and let it out slowly. "He was not," she answered. "He was . . . courtly."

So she probably was kissing Hans, judging from the encounter I had spied upon recently. I restrained my impulse to make a fitting retort and wondered how I was to proceed. She denied any ill intention on her part.

"Has he threatened anyone? You? Pa?"

"He didn't like the Mormon men." Her voice barely rose above a whisper. "He didn't want me to join with them."

I knew that from the conversation I'd overheard. "Did Hans speak ill of Pa for deciding we would take the baptism?"

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this sample showing conflict. If you did, you'll probably want to sign up for my quarterly newsletter, "Marsha's Musings." Subscribers are among the first to learn of developments in my writing and publishing schedule. You also learn about sales and discounts, too. Click here for the subscription form. See you next Saturday!

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