Monday, November 07, 2011

A 2 Z: Young Treasures

Yesterday I had the privilege of seeing my oldest niece in her acting debut as an Oompa Loompa in the musical Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. She did a great job! She has a wonderful singing voice, so it was cool that she got to use it and try out acting. I love the Willy Wonka story, so it was extra fun to see the Christian Youth Theater perform it. They were wonderful and the set was impressive.

I'm also focusing on Youth in my NaNo novel, Voices of the Dark, though as the title implies, the book looks at a darker aspect. My main character, Adria Kingston, is doing what she can to fight against child abuse.

Most of us would never dream of hurting a child, and indeed cannot begin to understand what could happen inside a person that they would allow themselves to so seriously abuse a little kid. Yet all around us there are children aching, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

But we do have the power to help. We can be aware of what is happening around us, aware of the children of our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and strangers. Be willing to step forward and do something if we see inappropriate behavior and teach our own children or students how to treat those around us.

Now for a short excerpt from the rough draft of the book. I'm way behind on my word count goal and have been busy and not feeling well at all, so thank you for your continued prayer and encouragement.

By Amy Michelle Wiley

We passed through the clinic's waiting room and I noticed a man standing near the reception counter. His muscled arm wrapped around a fluffy brown teddy bear. He stepped forward. “Adria Kingston?”

“Yes?” I frowned and put a protective hand on the child’s head.

“I’m Chaplain Jesse Carmichael.” He held out a hand. “I was told Garth Keane’s living relative had been brought here?”

“Garth Keane?” I shook his hand automatically, my mind racing to connect the name with something.

“The man who was shot today.”

small teddy“Oh.” I looked down at the child, who once again had her arms hugged around her body, her chin tucked tight against her chest. Garth Keane’s living relative. I tried to wrap my mind around that, connect the tiny child with the bloody body.

The chaplian knelt before her, his tall body folding in on itself. A smile brought out a single dimple in his left cheek and suddenly he looked charming, almost boyish. “Hi. I’m Jesse.” He held out the teddy bear. “Look what I brought you.”

Her gaze remained on the gray carpet.

“His fur is really soft. He gives great hugs, too.”

Her head still didn’t move, but I saw her eyes shift, fastening on the bear.

“Isn’t he silky?” Chaplain Carmichael drew the stuffed animal’s fur across her arm, back and forth. “Here you go. You can have him.”

A tiny hand reached out. Slowly, hesitantly. A pale finger, stained with grime, touched the tan fur.

Her hand snapped back to her chest.

“Wasn’t that soft?” The chaplain didn’t seem phased. “You wanna touch him again?”

This time both hands reached out. She caressed him, her hand trembling. Then she took the bear and pulled him to her chest. A tiny sigh escaped her lips.

I couldn’t help grinning at the man, a stranger though he may be. He looked up at me, his eyes glowing.

“Thank you,” I mouthed. I handed him my business card, but my gaze strayed to the child. She was in my custody now, officially my foster daughter, but I knew so little about her. I knew only that someone hadn’t taken care of her, hadn’t had enough love even to share with a tiny, precious girl.

In their neglect they’d forgotten to feed her, clean her, or even touch her. Was it possible they’d even forgotten to name her?

© 2011 Amy Michelle Wiley
As always, check out more "Y" posts in the "From A 2 Z 4 U & Me" meme at


Rita Garcia said...

Your niece seems to be taking after her talented and beautiful Aunt Amy!

We do have the power to help abused children. We can also give them the encouragement and a safe place to tell someone about the neglect and/or abuse.

Love the excerpt.

Patty Wysong said...

Hooray for your niece!! =]

Loved the excerpt, Amy!! Loved it!

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer said...

I love youth theater! I have a 12 year old friend who is often in plays. It's so much fun to see the excitement grow as the play date arrives.

Laury said...

It's so sad that many kids go through this, Amy. You're doing a great job on your writing! Keep it up!

I'm sure your niece made a great Oompa Loompa too! I saw the pictures:) Awesome!

Niki Turner said...

Your writing always draws me in, Amy! Keep up the good work!

Barbara Lynn Culler said...

Excited to read the entire story!