First: Today is the launch of my ginormous blog tour. The first stop is at the incredible Books & Things blog. (If you're a reader, you need to follow this blog!) I've written a short guest post about the Native American themes in the Moonsongs stories, and shared a short excerpt from Witch's Nocturne (Moonsongs book 2). Plus, there's a giveaway. You can check it HERE.
Second: Speaking of the Moonsongs stories, the first in the series, Blood Fugue is free today only on Amazon. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, I'd be honored if you'd add me to your TBR pile. Also, if you know fans of paranormal, action, and/or horror, I'd appreciate you sharing this with them. You can get it HERE.
Third: Today is the start of the Overcoming Adversity bloghop. Basically, our blog/writing buddy Nick Wilford is trying to raise money to send his stepson to a special school. You can read all about the effort HERE.
In short, Nick asked bloggers & writers to share a short poem, essay, or flash-fiction piece based on the theme "Overcoming Adversity." I chose flash fiction, because frankly, I suck at poetry. Nick is going to compile all of the entries into a book to use for fundraising.
Before I get to my contribution, I want to say: Nick, I hope this helps in some small way. We're all pulling for Andrew, and I'm honored to be a part of this.
Here's my story:
|Photo courtesy of Cellar_Door_Films, WANA Commons|
Just In Time by E.J. Wesley
“Excuse me. I’m in a bit of hurry, sorry.”
Benjamin smiled, but was afraid the gesture displayed as more of a grimace. His knees ached, even though he’d just barely gotten off the bus. He stepped aside, letting the woman pass.
What else is left for men my age to do but to step aside and let things pass?
He hadn’t seen her come up behind him, but now that he had a good look, he wasn’t surprised.
A tight bun of auburn hair stood at attention atop her head. A dreary-hued knit suit hugged her body in a grip of fierce practicality. Her purse, a very reasonable shade of red, was wedged under her arm with military precision. Clock coils were wound less tightly.
Yet clocks never seemed to run out of time, did they?
Benjamin continued down the sidewalk, vaguely aware of his cane’s tapping announcement of each of his shuffling steps. His movement created its own sort of rhythmic clock ticking—the tick, tock replaced by click, scuff—as he went.
At last he came to an ironwork fence. Pausing, he sucked down a few gulps of the cool autumn air. He marveled at how the damp smell of decaying, fallen leaves could pull life back into him, even when—more and more with each passing day—his body repelled it.
He set out again. People in suits bustled past, offering their pardons as they went. None of them gave him a second glance.
Probably for the best.
Benjamin touched the brim of his well-worn leather fedora with each extended social grace, always carrying on. Soon, stone monuments began to appear at regular intervals beyond the fence.
The shiny, polished granite ones seemed almost alive, shimmering in the sunlight like torches. They offered a shivering soul some comfort, just as a flashing, neon OPEN sign might soothe the spirit of a road-weary traveler. Conversely, the marble ones jutted out of the earth like sun-bleached bones. They stole the warmth of the world with a sort of stoic greediness, taking great pride in being cold, and changeless in the light.
Mine will be granite.
Uplifted by the thought, his pace quickened. But each heavy marker he saw added a weight to his heart. Puddles at his feet reflected not only his face, but also the translucent face of the ghost he would soon visit.
Benjamin’s steps slowed, his thoughts turning murky and thick, until at last the burden threatened to overcome him. He stopped to mop his brow with his handkerchief—or maybe fall to his knees and declare himself used up—when he spotted a yawning break in the fence ahead.
Two snarling stone lions guarded the entrance. A jowly, middle-aged priest stood between them. The man glared at his watch, deep worry lines creasing his brow.
“Are you here for the service?” The priest forced an impatient smile as Benjamin ambled up.
“Yes,” Benjamin said.
He waited for the priest to look at him properly, and for the shock that would undoubtedly follow.
“You’re just in time then. I was about to—”
The priest looked toward the graveyard, and back to Benjamin, his face gone paler than the clerical collar around his throat.
Benjamin smiled, and held out his hand. “I’m Benjamin. Charlie’s twin brother.”
Hope you enjoyed! I'll talk more about my inspiration for the piece, etc. later this week in my IWSG post, of course. :-) Until then, please hop to the other participants and and give them your encouragement (and wish Nick luck on his endeavor, too).