I'm happy to welcome Piper Punches to Self Published Sunday. Piper Punches lives in the far west suburbs of St. Louis with her husband and two daughters. The Waiting Room is her debut novel. Piper is excited to connect with her readers and encourages everyone to stop by her website and say hello. In the meantime, she is currently working on her second novel, 60 Days, which will be available April 2014 and a short novella, Missing Girl, available January 2014.
Waiting rooms tell stories. They are a medical purgatory. Some sit in the waiting room for hours to be shone the light, graced with blessings. For others this is the final holding room before they are delivered into hell; facing uncertainty, despair, sadness, even death.
When Charlotte receives a note on the day of her mother’s funeral containing a cryptic message, she is confused and intrigued. Although she knew that waiting rooms told stories, she never realized that part of her own story resided in this seemingly neutral environment. But, then again, why should she be surprised? Her mother had secrets. Charlotte knew this. She just didn’t know how life-altering those secrets could be. . .
A stunning debut novel from Piper Punches, The Waiting Room weaves a tale that reveals the complexities of family, the invisible bonds that connect people, and the pain that can reverberate through the choices we make. Told from several points of view the story becomes clearer and clearer with each turn of the page that the secrets we keep aren’t always ours to take to the grave.
It happened a few weeks into the New Year. The townspeople claimed that they could hear the anguished cries coming from the Gold cabin in the wee hours of the morning; the hours of the night right before sunrise when it is the darkest and coldest. Of course, this is country folklore and gossip. No one would have been able to hear a sound. They wouldn't have heard the cries of a mother in labor. They wouldn't have been privy to whether or not Gavin Gold had been so mortified at the sight of his son that he snuffed the life out of him. There is no way they could have known how desperately Sylvia had clung to her mother's weakening hand, urging her to push, begging her to stay with them.
Sylvie later recounted the circumstances of that night to Harold, years after the incident. She told him that after an exhaustive labor, Laurel Gold lay in the sweat and blood soaked bed, lifeless and gone. The baby boy had been born into the world silent. Sylvie and her dad had delivered him, but it was clear from the beginning that the baby was wrong.
"Mongoloid," Gavin had whispered or maybe it was monster. Sylvie couldn’t remember. She only knew that she had to preserve a moment with this little baby, who had for a brief second been her brother. She held him in her arms, kissed his head, and rocked him as her mother would have.
For what seemed like hours Sylvie had held onto the baby, while her mother lay on the death bed and her father slumped against the wall with his head in his hands. Eventually, they buried the baby together. He was never given a name. He was buried in her mother's arms on the cabin's property. In one night two lives disappeared. One had no record of death; the other no record of life.Sylvie only recounted this tale one time in her life then never spoke of it again.