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Taylor's TIme


Taylor's Time logo - a young woman with hair blowing in the wind

Hey, look, it's me again!

And even better, it's Taylor, too!

She's got an excerpt from another novella-in-progress here.

I haven't seen it before, so let's get into it!


- Kendra


Paper Wings

(A Novella)

Chapter Excerpt

Jack & Chocolate



The outside air was frigid, and going into town couldn't be avoided anymore. I was uncomfortable with the idea and had begged Jack to ask Ma if the two of us could stay home, Ma gently refused.


"You need to get out of the house." she said, touching my hair. "That's the only way you'll get comfortable."


So, we got into the Woody and drove away, my stomach lurching with the car as it bumped over the train tracks.


"Hold your brother's hand," Ma instructed when my feet hit the sidewalk. "Don't let go."


I listened, gripping Jack's hand so tightly in mine that I was sure we'd both lose feeling in them soon.


"Relax, Max." Jack said as we took our first steps. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you."


With a jolt, I remembered Alex corning at me in the woods, threatening to hurt me. I remembered Jack stopping him, burying him in a foot of icy snow with the help of a weakened tree branch.


I looked toward Jack's voice and nodded.


I used my stick to help me locate any bumps or cracks in the sidewalk, but Jack did most of the work. He stopped at curbs, said, "Let's go," when it was time to move again, and walked at my much slower pace. Jack hardly ever walked anywhere. After minutes of walking, I felt him stop. He loosened his grip on my hand, leaning forward a little. Ding! A rush of warm air hit my cold face as he opened a door and led me inside.


"Where are we?" I asked.


Jack wrapped his arm around my shoulder.


"Take a whiff." he told me.


I raised an eyebrow, but after walking the town with him as my guide, I knew I could trust him. I did what he said, flaring my nostrils. The scents flooded in one by one. The first one, sweet and crisp, reminded me of baking with Ma, of pounding the dough as she prepared the apples. The second one, strong and spicy, made me think of the pines that surrounded our home. And the third, silky and smooth, brought back into the warm glow of the candy shop. In my head, the images were clear, undistorted, as if my eyes still worked. In a flash, I saw the shop, the dark brown walls, the red countertops and the shelves and shelves of treats, some coated in caramel and frosting and nuts, others neatly wrapped. I even saw Arthur's smiling face waiting for us at the counter. Then, in another flash, I saw nothing again. I thought I'd be sad, but I wasn't.


Jack took my hand and led me further into the shop. My stick struck wood and I knew we were at a shelf. Before I could figure out how I was going to tell Jack what I wanted, he lifted me like he did the year before and held me in the air.


"Reach up and to your left!" he said.


I did so. When I felt something smooth and rectangular, I grabbed it. The wrapper crinkled as I was set down. I felt it again, marvling at the smoothness of the wrapper and wondering why I'd never noticed it before.


"Peanut butter chocolate bar." Jack said after a moment. "Your favorite, right?"


I didn't say anything. I just kept feeling that wrapper, letting my fingers memorize every crease and wrinkle. After a while, I smiled and nodded.


"Wait here," Jack said.


I heard him rush away, no doubt retrieving his favorite treats. A feeling told me that I didn't really need to wait. I had my stick with me and Jack had taken my candy bar before he left, so I had an extra hand. I made my decision, swallowed and turned to my right. I took my first few steps, feeling confident. The floor beneath me felt as smooth on my cane as the candy wrappers felt in my fingers. The ball kept me walking right as one side grazed the walls and the shelves.


The ball hit something ahead of me and I reached out. The tips of my fingers brushed the top of a cool and smooth surface.


I'd made it to the candy counter all by myself, completely unaware that Jack had seen everything.




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