Novel Excerpt

by Shaindel Beers

When she was six-years-old, she'd left her doll out in the yard by mistake, and her father had run over it with the riding lawn mower. For weeks afterward, she would find tiny, flesh-colored bits of plastic, sometimes a shred of calico dress, a blue marble eye with lashes still attached, and would sob uncontrollably, those heart-wrenching sobs that children lose their breath to. She'd always wished she'd had a mother who had sympathized with her, who had held her when she cried, but her mother had firmly said, "If you can't take care of things, then you shouldn't have them," and turned back to the dishes. She wondered if her mother remembered saying that. Or regretted it. Or felt justified the day she had had to call and tell her that Saniya was gone -- that there was nothing that could have been done -- and had to admit that she was in the house answering the phone when the car had run over her daughter, crumpled the life out of her forever.


Shaindel Beers, author of Old Country, had felt silly attempting to write a novel (even though the first four chapters had gotten her into grad school) - after all, she'd only had one short story published. But after this crazy year of 13 published poems, 5 short stories, and a book contract, she thinks she just might go back to it. This excerpt is (possibly?) from her novel in progress, "When Hearts Lie Fallow."