He and Deja had been back to Strauss Estate a half a dozen times over the years since they had gone up to Durbin, but they hadn’t stayed at the Estate House – when they came, it was to camp in the mountains, or to stay at the lodge at the lake. Deja’s rooms had been kept just as they had been left. Martin moved through the suite, unpacking their baggage, uncovering things he had forgotten he knew: a small yellow pillow filled with hulled rice Deja had liked, a painted bowl on the stand by the bed, the smooth honey-colored wood of the combs in Deja’s bath. The contract that had lived in these rooms seemed impossibly young to him.
After he unpacked, he braced himself and went downstairs.
The house was fancied up for Winter Holiday, with lead crystals on every light source, crystal beads spilling from the planters, elaborate lace hangings on the walls, and foil cutaways on every surface that might take them, not to mention sweetwood burning in fireplaces. The floors gleamed with polish, metal and glass shone bright. Even the contracts had new clothing. Wasn’t everything jolly.
Chapter 12 of Kelly Jennings’ novel Broken Slate is now on the website!
This tense, invigorating novel shows the origin of Martin Eduardo, a “contract” who must battle not only societal discrimination and oppression, but also the indoctrinated restrictions within his own heart and mind. Broken Slate is being serialized online for free. It updates every other Tuesday.
Read a short story about Martin Eduardo, published in issue 13 of Crossed Genres: Lunch Money.
Mirrored from Crossed Genres.