Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Under the Winter Moon- New Short Story
This week, I'll be releasing Under the Winter Moon. It's young adult paranormal fiction, and it's a short story. Josephine Lewis, the main character, is a child coming of age at the dawn of the 1980s, in Mississippi. The story is rated PG, so it's fine for all my regular readers plus some newer, younger ones. It will be available on Kindle soon for a mere 99 cents. Just a little something to hold you over until Embrace the Night comes out.
Here's a little sneak peak at Under the Winter Moon.
Mama’s flouncy blue skirts rustled beneath her red cherry print apron as she hustled around the kitchen, trays of food balanced in each hand. Her brown skin glowed under the dim light, from the Vaseline she used to combat dryness. Stopping for a moment, she placed her hands on her hips and stared at me with steely eyes.
“Girl, if you don’t stop staring and help me, I’ll pop you good.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I stood from my spot on the peeling linoleum floor, straightening my own dress. I may have only been eight, but I knew Mama was serious. “What do you want me to do?”
“Well, you can start by sweeping the floor, then dust my knickknacks. And be quick about it,” Mama huffed as she thrust the broom into my hand. “I want you to finish before the New Year come and go.”
It was New Year’s Eve, 1980. The New Year would be upon us in a matter of hours, and Mama wasn’t about to lose her reputation for throwing the ‘best parties this side of the Mississippi.’ As I swept the old, well worn hardwood floor of our little house on Magnolia Avenue, I gazed out the window through the white lace curtains. It was just after dusk, and the street was nearly empty. I didn’t even realize I had stopped sweeping until Mama’s voice interrupted my reverie.
“Josephine! Child, go outside and sweep off that porch. And don‘t dirty up your party dress.”
That was me. Josephine Lewis. Mama named me after Josephine Baker, a woman she greatly admired. As I zipped up my winter coat and stepped out into the chill of the December night, I knew something was different. Not necessarily wrong, just different. I also knew that if I didn’t do what Mama had asked, I’d be in deep trouble. Just as I started to sweep at the far corner of our rickety old porch, I saw something. It was nothing more than a glimmer in the corner of my eye. But since there was no streetlight in our side yard, it was out of place. Cautiously, I leaned over the rail and gazed into the darkness on the side of the house. Again, I saw it; just a brief flicker of light, like a match had been lit and immediately extinguished. Intrigued, I jumped off the porch, broom in hand, and walked cautiously toward what I’d seen.
“Hello?” I called out into the darkness, my voice barely above a whisper. “Is anybody there?”
No answer came. A cold breeze swept through the trees around me, causing their branches to sway and dance. Then, directly in front of me, I saw the flicker of light again. This time, it grew in size, burning and widening right before my eyes, until it took shape.
It was the shape of a person.
Until Next Time,