A sharp rap echoed from the door, and he started. Charles jumped up, knocking the chair over, but he did not stop to right it. He covered the few feet between the table and door and flung it open. The night air invaded the stuffy cottage, and the sting of it forced him to take a deep breath.
Master Fretwell, a portly man with white hair and a crumpled cloak, stood in the doorway rubbing his bloodshot eyes. Charles resisted the urge to grab the doctor and march him into the bedroom where his wife lay so ill. Instead, he stepped back and waved the man inside.
Master Fretwell entered, removed his hat, and bowed his head. “Forgive me for taking so long. I’ve been at the Abbey.” He spoke in a cheerful but weary voice. “Mother Superior had an emergency. The children in her care came down with the measles.” Master Fretwell gave Charles a wry smile and struggled out of his coat. “Her penny-pinching ways are legendary in these parts, so for her to call me out, well, I knew she was in over her head.”
Charles grunted. He had no desire to make small talk, but the doctor was an important man, and Charles did not wish to appear churlish. Maria’s life could depend on this tired looking man.
Master Fretwell rolled up his sleeves. “Now, my good fellow, what seems to be the problem?”
Maria’s scream from the next room spun Charles around, and he sucked in his breath. “My wife.” He couldn’t keep the panic from seeping into his voice. “She’s getting worse.”
Charles followed Master Fretwell into the room where Maria lay. He struggled to control the shaking in his legs. The doctor set his bag on the floor next to the bed and leaned in. Maria’s eyes squeezed shut, and another moan erupted from her. The doctor placed his hand on her stomach, and his eyes widened. Charles stepped to the side of the bed and peered over the doctor’s shoulder. “What’s wrong with her?”
The doctor straightened up, his bushy eyebrows drawn together. They look like a caterpillar crawling across his forehead, Charles thought to himself. He shook his head to be rid of the thought. His wife needed him alert and ready.
Master Fretwell bent down to Maria and took her hand. “You’re not ill, my dear. You’re having a baby.”
Charles stared at Maria and blinked several times. Baby? At their age?
The doctor pulled the bedclothes off Maria. “You’re in labor.” His voice was soothing. “I need you to do as I say. I estimate you’re in your seventh month, and the baby is small.”
Maria shook her head. “I didn’t know. How could I not know?” The doctor squeezed her hand. “It’s unusual at your age, but I have seen it before. Now, Maria, I want you to breathe. Don’t be afraid.”
Charles held Maria’s hand. He murmured soothing words to her each time another contraction caused her to cry out. It wasn’t long before the doctor ordered her to push...~~~
“We need a brand new story
And this time we do not fall from grace
We are not banished from the garden
Naked and in disgrace
In our new story We are kings and queens
And we finally know what being human means”
The Perfect Tear
By Connie Lansberg
You know, every once in awhile, it's great to read a fairy tale... I enjoyed some of those recently on television, but then they kept on and on pulling in more stories, characters...that I began to think that they had forgotten how to end with a Happy Ever After... It was therefore a delight to read Connie Lansberg's debut novel, The Perfect Tear!
As a singer-songwriter, Lansberg chose to build her story on top of music...the sounds, the vibrations, the notes. It may take a little time to get into the story because of this, but it soon is easy to follow, especially with Eleanor as our main character facing what is happening in that sound sphere where you may find yourself even too deep to be able to live!
It all started as part of a competition... The contestants were to create musical entities, the winner of which would topple the present leader of their world! Big Stakes!
Tsera, the lady on the cover with the windblown hair😊 had been ruling the land for a very long time.
The dual pink moons hung low on the horizon. They lined up at an angle, which told Lerion he would be late if he didn’t quicken his step. He allowed the sacred energy emitted by the city’s impressive dwellings, which were hewn out of crystals and rose thousands of feet into the sky, to move through him. The imposing outcrop was the result of an ancient trauma, and Lerion often spent hours wandering through the maze of majestic formations. He considered it a form of personal meditation.
The Dutriad, shaped like a double inverted tetrahedron, dominated the city center. One tip rested on the ground while its opposite point reached into the atmosphere. It had no visible means of support and was considered a masterpiece by Tsera’s predecessor.
Tonight, the steps abounded with animated novices. They came ready to hear the outcome of their creative endeavors. Lerion threw his shoulders back as he approached the structure, then flinched. The physical intensity of their combined excitement tore through him, and he had to steady himself. He looked around then took a breath and marched up the stairs. This public ordeal would all be over soon. Lerion forced his lips into a polite smile to feign interest in the creations of his fellow novices. Their zealous chatter and heightened alertness pulsed the length of the room. They seemed foolish to him, but he concealed his disdain. In his society, social transparency was the norm, but Lerion enjoyed a secret talent. He excelled at hiding his feelings from the collective. This gift came in handy as he struggled to maintain a pleasant countenance...
Lerion wishes to become ruler of his world and is the finalist selected to seek leadership. Tsera is, however, not ready to give up her throne...and by various actions, readers find that Lerion is held, searching for Three Vibrations!
And magically as time goes by, our Eleanor is growing rapidly, not yet knowing that she has been born to a mother with a wonderful gift, and at the right time Eleanor would receive that full gift to continue her mother's work. However, her mother dies...
As does the world around them begin to die, thanks to Lerion.
Eleanor's father cannot take care of Eleanor, needing to find work and he places her in an Abby, where other children are being sent, while parents tried to make a living in this new desolate land... When she goes, her father gives her a beautiful comb which would have come to her, with training, from her mother. She wraps it in old material and hides it at the bottom of the bag she would take with her... It would be a major tool to use in performing her duties...For instance, she would tip one of the prongs to make a sound, then she would repeat the sound with her voice...and...magic!
Mother Superior has been making a fortune on taking in these children, but is very harsh to them, despite the concern from the other nuns...
But Tsera comes to meet Eleanor and begins to explain what her mother would have been doing...For one thing she learned that there were others who also had this gift to help nature in any way needed. Until she is 16, however, Tsera gave her "songs" which she could use in the meantime! Some of them Eleanor already knew from singing along with her mother...
“The ‘Be Will Be’ song.”
“I’ll start then, shall I?” Maria said.
Eleanor listened for a moment
and then joined her light,
childish voice with her mother’s.
What will be will be, if it’s meant to be,
And if it’s not, we then must see
Even that, my love, is meant to be.
You cannot miss what is not yours
Of that my love, you can be sure.
But if a thing is meant to be,
and you are brave and can believe,
A certain magic you can weave
to bring the thing that’s meant to be
Into your own reality.
Every time her mother had worked in her garden or collected herbs, and more, she would sing... So when Eleanor started working in the Abby garden, she would do the same... and the garden grew and flourished and provided plenty of food for all the children and nuns... Soon Eleanor and her friend took over the gardening efforts and during that time, they met two lads who had been scouting around and finally
made contact with the two young girls... In fact, there in the enclosed garden, the four of them had grown up together and were great friends. And as they grew older, their feelings grew stronger. But the two boys had kept a great secret from the girls...and it caused much turmoil when it was revealed! But this is the romantic part of the tale and is wonderfully drawn out to pull readers into the plight of the two young couples!
One of the more interesting characters is Mother Nyx who has been changed and placed in a prison she can't escape by Tsera. She was a friend of Lerion, but is the type that will play both sides in order to achieve what she wants... But she's become something quite different since she's been banned into a strange cave-life existence, drinking strange potions...and not remembering much, if any, of her previous life...
She's fun because readers are never quite sure what she is really up to, especially when she starts "helping" Eleanor in her question to find The Perfect Tear...
There's another little character that plays a major part as Eleanor's best friend. You can see him in Eleanor's arms on the front cover of the book... And whenever he's around, you'll hear a bell ringing...
Note that the pictures shown here are not in the book, which is straight text. These pictures were permitted for use by the author who is working for future uses of her story. The Perfect Tear is completely new, yet holds some remnants of past stories we seem to remember. Her first statement about not being banished from the garden allowed my mind to roam over similarities and a welcome change where love is the driving force and even though there is much turmoil and desolation, the ending indeed is a happily ever after story that is wonderfully conceived, engineered, and presented. You may find that some of the musical correlations are beyond readers experience, but they are easily learned and followed as we move into chapter after chapter.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me. I enjoyed also listening to many of the author's songs...and found a number which somehow reminded me of parts in the story... You can ignore them or listen, based upon your interest!
Best wishes on this possibly being made into a movie...but for now, I highly recommend that you read the book and get to know the story because later, original music just may be added and we can really see how much music changes the world through songs and love...
Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in Melbourne Australia. She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her most recent original musical project, Alone with Bees, performs her songs written especially for The Perfect Tear. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming.
She also received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created.
Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and Television School in Melbourne and later, worked exten- sively with Marcy Kennedy on the book. She has two more stories to complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book finished by 2016.
“The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn’t and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why.
Because, I’m not unique or different–I’m exactly like you and I love that.
We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry.
You may or may not understand what I’m trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same.”
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