Welcome to the last pre-Christmas installment of Weekend Writing Warriors. Not sure if I’ll make it for next week’s or not, as we’ll be gone most of Saturday. I may just get it written later than usual(since today’s is getting drafted at 8:20 Saturday morning). Anyway, today I’m sharing the first snippet from Come Back Down, which picks up about 3 weeks after Into the Sun finishes and is from Birdie’s POV. Here’s the first 10 sentences.
I walked down the street, lifting my hand in greeting to the people who waved to me. There were a lot more on both sides of the street, and right in the middle even, than I was used to seeing. No one out here called me Birdie, which probably felt odder for me than it should.
Sometimes I forgot it wasn’t the name I was born with. It had become so much a part of who I was.
I got past the food carts and saw tables and tents set up with various crafts people were selling. It hadn’t been like this at first. Chief and Icarus had set this up as a way to give back to the community that took us in and watched out for us. Now, it had transformed into something else.
I wasn’t so sure I liked it.
Where is she headed? What is going on? And what is her real name? Stick around, and you should find out. 🙂
And you can always pick up World Unknown Review and read all of Into the Sun if you’d like.
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.
Welcome to another installment of Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for everyone who likes to write. Today I’m sharing a final snippet from Into the Sun. This week’s 9 sentences picks up right where last week’s left off.
”I’ll take her up to her room. If that’s all right,” I added, glancing quickly at Bull then back to Icarus.
Finally, Icarus nodded. “Yes, I think that would be best. You can get settled in, Cassie. We’ll figure everything else out after that.”
“You’ve changed,” she said.
His gaze went to her again. “So did you,” was all he said.
Into the Sun will be available to read in full on Tuesday along with the rest of the World Unknown Review(including one by our own Shan Jeniah). Next week I’ll have the first snippet from the sequel, Come Back Down, which starts a few weeks after this one ends and is from Birdie’s POV.
Since the second World Unknown Review releases in another week, I figured I could tease everyone with the beginning of my story that will be included in it. Here’s the first scene of Into the Sun:
I shoved the last bundle of clothes into the saddlebag before closing the flap. She stood there in the doorway, and I couldn’t bring myself to meet her eyes.
“Trace,” she called out to me, “you don’t have to do this.”
She knew I did.
My head jerked up at that one, finally looking at her. Another day, the anxiety in her eyes, the fading bruise on her cheek, the way she hung back would have made me want to comfort her. “Don’t call him that. Don’t you ever dare call him that again, Mom.”
“He raised you,” she insisted, her gaze darting out into the yard before coming back to me.
“He humiliated me,” I said. “He hit me.” He’d done all of that, once again, the night before. I couldn’t take any more of it.
“He took care of you.” I heard a certain desperation in her voice.
“He did his best to destroy me and you too. That man is not my father.”
“How do you know yours is any better?”
There it was, the truth she never wanted to talk about. The truth I learned at fifteen that caused my stepfather’s treatment to only get harsher.
“He couldn’t be much worse.”
“You can’t say that when you don’t know him.”
“Whose fault is that, Mom?”
“You don’t understand,” she said, wrapping her arms around herself. “He scared me.”
“And he doesn’t?” I gestured out toward the road where my stepfather should be coming from soon. I reached for the helmet sitting on the back of my bike but only held onto it for a moment. “You don’t have to stay either, Mom.”
It didn’t surprise me when she didn’t respond. Instead she said, “If your father’d had wings, he would have flown right into the sun. Where would that have left us?”
“Maybe with a man who could actually love us,” I shouted. “I obviously won’t change your mind. I’m outta here.”
I pulled the helmet down over my head and started to strap it on when she walked over to me. “Trace, wait.”
“Why should I?”
Her lip trembled, and I regretted my harsh words. I couldn’t change her mind, but she wouldn’t change mine either. She stepped up to me, resting her hands on my shoulders. This wasn’t an easy task for her, as my shoulders were nearly at her eye level.
“Don’t fly too high,” she told me. “I don’t want to see you burnt. I did what I thought best. I’m sorry you didn’t see it the same way.”
“I don’t see how this could be best, Mom. He hurt you, too. You know I have room on the back of the bike.” I tried again. “You can come with me.”
She only hesitated a moment then shook her head. “I told you I’m never getting on one of those things again.”
Again? I couldn’t ever remember my mother even talking about riding a motorcycle. My stepfather certainly didn’t approve of them. “You’d rather stay here with him than trust me to take you on the bike? I’d keep you safe, Mom.”
“He’s my husband, Trace. I have to stay.”
There was no more point arguing once she started on the ‘he’s my husband’ path. So, I turned away.
After straddling the bike, I turned back to her and reached for the visor on the front of my helmet. “I’ll call you when I can, Mom.”
She gave me a short nod, her arms wrapped tightly around her body. “Just take care of my son,” she said.
I flipped the visor down, twisted the throttle, and I was gone.