Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Paragraph... Plus Paragraph #2

       Jesus Arturo Alvarez was born on the thirteenth of September in the year of the Lord, after Whom he was named, nineteen hundred and ninety-six.  It was a Friday, and also market day in the village of Guadalupe, Arizona, which lay just east of Ahwahtukee and southeast of Phoenix proper.  During her most severe labor pains his mother screamed at the nurses for a drink and his father pinched her hard on that soft skin just above the elbow and told her to shut up.  She didn't feel the pinch but she told him to go to hell anyway and then bit him on his left hand between the thumb and forefinger.   Forever after Jesus' father had a crescent-shaped, dotted-line scar that he would rub absentmindedly with his right thumb during conversation.

On the same day, in a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, which lay just north of Tempe and northeast of Phoenix proper, Vicente Juan Nunez was delivered by a male nurse named Sonny.  His mother had an epidural and his three aunts and father stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a line down the right side of the hospital bed and took turns telling her to breathe and push.  She spent fourteen hours in labor and when, inevitably, she released her bowels, her husband turned to the window and tried not to vomit.  It wasn't until Juan grew a full head of hair that his father could look at him without experiencing a small wave of nausea.  


  1. Second paragraph holds up to the quality of the first Hilary. Is your manuscript complete? If so, that query critique might just turn up into something better...

  2. Oh, thanks, Ben! Sadly, it is not finished; I'm actually a bit stuck on it right now. Then I wandered over to your blog and read one of your guest posts and it whacked me in the face and told me to quit being a weenie and go write. Nice to online make your acquaintance!

  3. Same here :) don't be a stranger. Because I promise you I won't!

  4. Hilary I read your short story "The Pragmatist" it was really good. Would love to read your novel once it's finished. I'm now one of your followers. Keep writing.

    Also enjoyed your 2nd paragraph here.