Sample Saturday: “Through the Opera Glass”

Hi, everyone. I thought I would share something seasonal for this week’s sample. Enjoy!

ttogA Theme of Gratitude
Written November 19, 2012
Clever Fiction writing prompt: “I will be thankful …”

November 1943
San Francisco, California

Clarice opened her black-and-white composition book and picked up her newly-sharpened pencil. Mr. Adams had written the week’s theme on the blackboard, and all of the Presidio Elementary School students in his class bowed their heads in concentration as they wrote about gratitude.

Clarice’s pencil scratched a little as the words flowed onto the paper.
I am still a little confused about Thanksgiving. My mother is from France and did not grow up with it. My daddy grew up here, but his mother is from Ireland and they didn’t have it either. It feels like an excuse to eat too much food, and so many people are hungry with the war on. We are not having a big feast this year; Mommy and Grandma Kaye want to save the ration coupons for Christmas.

I am not confused about gratitude, though. I am grateful for all of the blessings I have. I have a home, and warm clothes. My daddy is not in the war; he says he remembers the first world war too well. I have friends, although I miss Grace Sakamoto. It’s hard to be fully thankful when my best friend is living at the Tanforan horse racing track because she and her family are Japanese. Grace has written me a few letters; she says that it is very hard there, but at least they are all together. Some of the big boys in the camp are joining the Army, Grace says, and their families are torn apart.

Mostly, I will be thankful for my grandmother, Claire, who died in France when I was very little. Mommy says I look like her, and that my attitude about being kind to people who are different from me is my inheritance from her. Claire loved horses and music, just like I do. I am glad that Mommy thinks I am like her. Claire came here with Beau-Pere, Mommy’s stepfather, to start a new life. If they had not come from France, Mommy and Daddy would never have met and I would not be here to write this theme.

Clarice closed the copybook and walked it up to her teacher’s desk. She returned to her seat and looked out the window at the autumn fog that blanketed the city. There were blessings yet to count, but she’d done her part for the day.

Author Sharon E. Cathcart took up a challenge in 2012: to write flash fiction and full length short stories based on various prompts. Each story features one or more characters from In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera or its sequel, In The Eye of The Storm.

Brimming with historical detail, the stories in this collection range in place and time from 19th Century Persia to post-World War II San Francisco.

Through the Opera Glass is the 2014 runner-up for “Best Short Story Collection” in the eFestival of Words Independent Book Awards.

Amazon (click on this link to be taken automatically to the site for your country); Apple Books; Barnes & Noble; BOL (Belgium & Netherlands); Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); FNAC (France); Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints if you are part of the program); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Librerias Gandhi (Mexico); Livraria Cultura (Brazil);  Love’s Sweet ArrowMondadori (Italy); Overdrive (via your local library); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten Japan; ScribdSmashwordsWalMart.


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