The Dutch Uncle: Excerpt #3

The following text is an excerpt from my National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) effort. Excerpts appear in no particular order.

The Dutch Uncle tells the story of Crijn, his sister Mariëlle, her former landlord Jasper and his daughter Harriet (Harry). It is the story of lost loves, forgotten chances and the problems people create for themselves and others.



Crijn lowered his voice to a gentle tone.

“When you stopped doing something, she stopped doing something. You closed down a part of your life and she closed down a part of hers and all she felt she could give away was her voice.

“It’s because I yelled at her…..because I told her to shut up,” Jasper responded. 

“It’s not because of that Jasper. For God sake!” His voice elevated in tone, but still whispered.

“Everything doesn’t have to be about you. Maybe she stopped speaking because she didn’t want to tell you what she had seen. Maybe she stopped speaking because she felt to sad to speak. Maybe she just ran out of things to say. It doesn’t matter why she stopped. What matters is how you help her to find her voice again”

“But we’ve tried…’

‘What have you tried? Doctors? Pills?’ He paused and sat down with the palms of his giant hands on his thighs.

“What about love? What about sitting with her at night, reading to her, taking her for walks, taking her away from here? What about being happy in front of her? Did it ever occur she doesn’t talk because she thinks you’re unhappy and you don’t want to be bothered? God, even I don’t want to talk to you sometimes…..

“You never stop talking to me Crijn. Your voice is all I seem to hear” Jasper shook his head as he said this. 

“Well, it’s good for you to hear some wisdom”

Jazz, you can’t take things away from life and not expect it to make a difference. If you cut a tree down, the bird has nowhere to build a nest. If the bird has nowhere to build a next, the eggs have nowhere to hatch. If the eggs don’t hatch, we don’t hear the beautiful bird-song”

“Do you make these things up?” Jasper said with a smirk. 

“Just play something. Just sit down and try. Billie won’t hate you from the grave if you sit and play. Jazz. Let her see you happy. Let Harry see how you can be a happy father again.”

Jasper had tears welling in his eyes. He knew Crijn was right. He always knew Crijn was right.




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