The second edition of the World Unknown Review releases today. So I figured I’d share another snippet from Into the Sun, my novella that is included in this collection.
I had pulled a chair out at the table when I heard a pounding of feet out in the hallway. I stiffened, but Icarus grinned as the door was thrown open. “Birdie,” he said, “what have I said about flying in the house?”
The light giggle had another part of me stiffening. God, what was wrong with me? She didn’t sound like she could be older than fifteen. I’d just turned eighteen. That was all kinds of wrong.
“I’d heard you were home. I missed you, Dad.”
Dad. If I was right about Icarus, that made what I felt even more kinds of wrong.
I still hadn’t turned around. I wasn’t sure I could. But, Icarus said my name softly again. I could hear the worry in his voice. Did he think I was having another panic attack? No, this was much worse than that.
I turned around, and I couldn’t quite keep my gaze from going to the girl. Tall like him, but her skin was darker than either of ours. Her hair was dark too, nearly black. But, her eyes, I couldn’t even say what color they were. Some gold, brown, and green all mixed together. She was beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I could even breathe while looking at her.
“Another one, Dad? You’re gonna run out of room if you keep collecting us.”
“Never,” Icarus said and kissed the top of her head. “My heart grew two sizes that day.”
It almost felt like some kind of inside joke, but I didn’t have a clue what the punchline might be. Now, she looked at me, and I really couldn’t breathe.
I didn’t think I’d ever seen a more beautiful girl. I thought I’d been wrong when I’d judged her age by that giggle. She definitely looked more grown up than fifteen. Especially with the way she filled out those tight jeans and the snug t-shirt. My mouth dried right up.
“Birdie, this is Trace. No last name until he learns he can trust us.” He flashed a smile at me then said, “Trace, this is my little wounded bird.”
“Jeez, Dad, are you determined to embarrass me? My wings certainly aren’t broken anymore.”
More inside jokes, or shared history at least. I didn’t know what any of it meant. “Nice to meet you,” I managed to get out.
She flashed me a smile then Icarus said, “Can you go in and let Cookie know he needs something to eat. I think he’s skipped a few meals.”
I hadn’t had a real one since the night before I’d left home, but I wasn’t going to admit that. “I’m fine, really.”
“Trace, sit down,” Icarus ordered. “You’ll eat then I’ll show you up to your room.”
I found myself sitting without another thought. Birdie laughed and leaned a hip on the corner of the table, only inches away from me. Her chest was right at eye level now. I forced my gaze up to keep it on her face.
She smirked and looked over at Icarus. “This one’s polite at least. I’ll go get his food.”
He stopped her for another forehead kiss. “He wasn’t towards you, and he’d be right back out on his ass.” He said this with a pointed look toward me.
I swallowed and let my eyes fall to the table at the obvious warning. But, Birdie only laughed. “I don’t like ’em polite anyway. I’ve spent too much time around you raunchy bunch.”
“Who’s being raunchy toward you? I’ll-”
“Dad, stop,” she demanded. “None of them are. Just relax. I’m all grown up now. You don’t need to tend to me anymore.”
You can check out the rest of the story, and 9 others now.