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Hillary’s dad and his new wife are leaving on a belated honeymoon this morning. Hillary, in an effort to get them out of the house as quickly as possible (so she can go camping in the woods all by herself, unbeknownst to them), is preparing a send-off breakfast. Meanwhile, she’s remembering what life was like before her step-mom moved in. I’m trying to differentiate what’s happening now (not in italics) with what happened after her mother died (in italics). Is it clear? Did I pull it off? [Note: this excerpt is creatively edited to fit the length restrictions.]
She remembered the day after her mother’s funeral, the day she and her father had to start living daily life alone together, the day they had to learn to face the new normal. Dad had instructed her in the fine art of cracking eggs so that little pieces of shell didn’t defile them.
With a wooden spoon, she stirred the eggs just a little. Soon, she was so skilled at making scrambled eggs that it became their Saturday morning ritual. Why did she ever stop? She set the table and stirred the eggs some more while the aroma of the coffee wafted upward.
Hearing her parents stirring upstairs, she put two pieces of hot toast in the bread basket and stuck two more uncooked slices in the toaster. Then she remembered: she stopped making breakfast when Dad married Kate. The first Saturday she lived with them, Kate just made breakfast herself, like that was what she was supposed to do. Without even asking, she started replacing Hillary in Dad’s life, just like she replaced Mommy.
I know it’s short (the limit is ten sentences), but what do you think of this small excerpt from Chapter 18? Any suggestions on how I can make it better? Please comment below.