Surprising Slips

Philippa Sylvia (Farina) Russell

Philippa Sylvia (Farina) Russell

Well, I’ll be darned. When I wrote an earlier snippet based on various prompts, I claimed that Sylvia didn’t strike me as a major character, the last thing I expected was to discover her as one of the principal ones after all! (Well, actually, Sylvia was already a part of Philippa – a powerful character I thought I knew thoroughly.)

She is the one who loves Vincent unconditionally, giving marriage a second try (versus Vincent’s first). Strong-minded, she sees much of herself in Dorinda, yet respects her husband’s quiet reserve regarding certain matters (ie, Dorinda’s birth mother).

I didn’t expect Philippa to wish to dismiss her first name in favor of her middle name (something that will unwittingly help Dorinda in her pursuit of a truth best left alone) because of the history of fights she used to get into during her school days. (Even her sons have a hard time imagining their mother as one who stood with a fist.)

Today’s meager word count was courtesy of a dare by a cabin-mate (thank you, Skywriter7!) – what can you write in 10 minutes?

Well, below’s the result, which led to the above discovery.

Gathering Winds

Sylvia returned the yearbooks to the bottom shelf of the bookcase, putting them in the proper order so as not to raise suspicion. She couldn’t believe she was doing this – helping her daughter seek out the one that no one spoke about in the house. Not that she was curious or jealous, but Sylvia felt safer knowing certain skeletons remained buried.

It irritated her that her oldest son volunteered to help, if only in the hopes of looking good in a particular politician’s eyes. Why the smartest one was star struck by stupidity was beyond her. That, she’d credit to her ex-husband.

“Hey, Mom,” Edmond said.

Sylvia caught the glass trinket before it hit the floor. “I hate it when you do that.”

“I knocked; no one answered. Dad at work?”

She nodded. “Want to help me keep your siblings out of trouble?”

He laughed, sounding like his father. “That’s a full-time job. Besides, knowing my luck, I’d be caught, framed, then sentenced for life just for meddling in Garrett’s dealings. Why?”

“Dorinda’s up to something.” Sylvia expected the usual brotherly defense, not silence. “What have you been up to?”

Edmond grabbed the softball from the shelf above, tossing it in the air lazily. “Nothing.”

“Your father could hear that lie a mile away.”

“Which one?” He glanced at the yearbooks, then at her before vanishing into the library upstairs. Sylvia was right behind him.

“So help me, I’ll let your father know what you’ve been up to-.”

“Why? Garrett’s already done that – tried to get him involved, I mean. Not too happy about it, either, and it has nothing to do with brown-nosing Lovett.” He grabbed a copy of one of the Lincoln biographies from the nightstand. “Have you tried just asking Vincent?”

“I don’t need to know.”

It was his turn to scoff. “Even he could hear that lie. Keep it up and you’ll be just as obnoxious as the grandparents.”

The back door slammed shut, Donald Russell’s voice rising in volume with every stomp up the stairs. Edmond was already down the stairs, out to the car to help Dorothy Russell into the house.

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