September 11, 2011

Tea leaves – prologue

Filed under: books — unwriter1 @ 7:54 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Below is the prologue to “It was in the Tea Leaves.” I would appreciate some feedback.

“Miss, the last words your mother spoke were, ‘It was in the tea leaves.’ Can you… “

She interrupted the paramedic.


 “The son of a bitch finally did it. He said he would kill her and he finally did!”


That was all she could say.


At that point she collapsed. The paramedics brought her around at last.

“Ma’am, your dad beat your mother; he didn’t poison her. At least there’s no evidence of it. We didn’t see any cups or tea leaves.”



It was in the tea leaves is our private code for trouble, and almost always it meant that Dad was taking out his rage against whatever—on Mom.”

Mike, Karen’s father, was arrested, and this time he was charged with murder. The laws of the day did not recognize spousal abuse. Karen had seen her mom used as a punching bag all too often, but never had it been as bad as this. The police knew their house well, as they had made many visits in the past, but they could never do anything about it. Once it escalated to the point of hospitalization, they had enough for a charge of assault. But Mike had gone the extra step and made this beating fatal.


Karen was a witness for the prosecution at her dad’s trial. Like almost everyone else, she was stunned at the verdict: second-degree murder. He hadn’t preplanned to kill her. Right! He just beat her beyond recognition! She went to the cemetery and leaned down on the fresh earth.


“Yes, I will be at every parole hearing. I’ll make sure that monster stays behind bars forever. “



  1. Hi, Ron!
    Sensitive subject, and sadly all too familiar for far too many people …
    The reader is taken straight into the action, so objective #1 (turn the first page) is ahieve.
    .??Slight nitpick?? I felt this was too LONG for a ‘back cover blurb’ but at the same time a bit short for a PROLOGUE.. Love your style of writing!

    Comment by Paul McDermott — September 12, 2011 @ 4:14 am | Reply

  2. The subject matter is gripping and definitely makes the reader want to keep reading. However, I think you need to keep the whole prologue in an active scene with dialogue instead of using the two paragraphs of narrative to “tell” what happened.

    Keep going!

    Comment by Joyce Scarbrough — September 12, 2011 @ 6:53 am | Reply

  3. Ron, this story is a winner. I wish you would start the story without a prologue and use this as the beginning with a lot more embellishing, description, location, and enhancing. In my mind I already have questions. I forgot that it was supposed to be a prologue.A perfect hook. If you used this as the first chapter you could always break it up by somethng like this. CHAPTER TWO – Fifteen years later. Then start in witih the new part. Let me know what you do.


    Comment by Pee Wee (Sylvia Hamilton) — September 12, 2011 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  4. I’d keep reading.

    Comment by Patty Miler — September 12, 2011 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  5. Quite nice post. I merely discovered your current web site as well as planned to say that I had actually liked surfing around your site articles. In any event I am subscribing to ones feast so i we do hope you write once more soon!

    Comment by Beats By Dre — September 22, 2011 @ 2:03 am | Reply

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