Monday, September 20, 2010

ExcerpTuesday Larian Wills

Blurb and excerpt, pg, from “It’s Still Tomorrow”

Fired from her job, her apartment firebombed, and her small amount of money dwindling too quickly, Sarah ran. Knowing that the terror would follow, she took the only refuge available to her, an unfinished house she’d inherited. She didn’t know she would also inherit a long legged hunk of good looking man that would set off every buried desire she’d ever had. Her vow to never practice witchcraft again ended when the terror threatened Dem. Her enemies learned that like vicious dogs, they should have let the sleeping witch lie.

She sat on the floor, one knee raised, elbow on the knee and hand hanging in front of her. She rubbed her thumb and fingers together furiously while she stared at a microwave in pieces in front of her.

“What are you doing?” he asked, wondering if the micro meant she was considering eating something cooked besides a hard-boiled egg.

“Just about giving up.” She pointed at the innards. “It worked fine when I put it in the car. Now it won’t even light up the display. I thought it might be a loose wire or fuse of some kind, but I can’t find anything.”

As she unplugged it by jerking the cord, he said dryly, “Maybe the plug is bad.”

“Tried that; put on a new one.” She turned the chassis to give herself a different angle and began pressing and pushing every connection she could see.

“Did you test the wall plug?”

“Clock worked fine,” she answered in preoccupation.

“I think you’re fighting a lost cause,” he told her going to the door. “You’ve got a new one anyway, when I can get to it. I’m going to hang the light over the mirror so the power will be off.”

Still preoccupied, she said slowly, “Don’t touch the…” Realizing he was already gone, she lunged up and ran. “Don’t touch the…”

She wasn’t talking or running fast enough. Dem touched the main lever on the breaker box, and his arm flew back as he yowled. She skidded to a stop behind him.

“Oops,” she said with a grimace as he backed off, shaking his arm.

“Oops!” he shouted at her furiously. “What the hell did you do?” Looking at the wire wrapped around the base of the lever to the battery it came from, he didn’t wait for an answer. “You shock wired it to a battery for an electric fence strong enough to knock a horse down?”

“Only jolt,” she answered. “Here, let me—”

She started towards him, reaching for his arm, and Dem backed away.

“What the hell did you shock wire it for?” he demanded, wondering also when she had done it.

“Stand still,” Sara ordered, catching him with one hand at his shoulder and the other at his wrist.

He stood only to avoid a wrestling match. Okay, so her hands felt cool as she ran them from his throbbing shoulder to his fingertips. Each time the throbbing from the high voltage shock lessening, like she was rubbing it out, down his arm and out his fingertips. It felt good, too good.

“That’s fine,” he told her abruptly and backed away. “Now tell me what’s going on.”

“You don’t want to know,” she said without resentment, leaning down to turn off the charge box for a system normally used to keep obstinate livestock in a fence. She flipped off the main, adding, “You want to complete your obligation, stay uninvolved, and get on with your life.”

He did. That had been exactly his intention and precisely why he hadn’t asked any questions about the things he had noticed. “You should report it,” he retorted defensively. It wasn’t his responsibility. It was the sheriff department’s.

“Naw,” she said slowly. “One of those ‘living in the country is different than living in the city’ lectures was enough for me, thank you.” She pointed at the charge box before walking away. “Don’t forget to turn it back on when you’re through.”

Following behind her, he told her, “Not everyone in the sheriff’s department is an ass. Hodges is…”

“The one they keep referring me to,” she finished for him. “He figures I can’t tell the difference between a dog shape and a man shape.”

Dem grabbed her shoulder to stop her, jerked back, and yowled again.

“Now,” she stated, turning back to face him, “you’re being a baby.”

“It surprised me,” he retorted. “You don’t expect to get shocked from touching someone.”

“Static electricity.”

Dem suppressed a desire to growl while asking, “Who’s doing it?”

“Don’t know and you are right, it’s not your problem.” She walked off five feet before she turned back. “Is it safe to ask a question?”

“What?” he growled, since he hadn’t said it wasn’t his problem even if he had been thinking it.

“It can wait,” she said with a flip of her eyebrows and walked off.

It took four of her steps with him following before Dem could take a deep breath and release it slowly. “What?” he asked again in a softer tone.

“I just wondered if you could put in the pantry shelves next.”

“I thought you’d want the kitchen so you can cook.”

“I never cook if I don’t have to. I would like a refrigerator though. Since I have a microwave, dare I hope one of those, too?”

“All of the appliances.”

“Can you get to it?”

“Not until after I move the cabinets.” He walked off. “I’ll start bringing them over in the morning. Turn your power back on. I’m through for the day.”

She returned to the box, flipped switches for the power and her booby trap, then stood staring at the space where he had been, the fingers and thumb of both hands working furiously. Even though the bland, empty expression on her face didn’t change, the motion began to slow but the pressure increased. When she did move, it was inside to the disassembled microwave. With both index fingers extended and the rest in a fist, she touched the offending appliance. Sparks flew, and there was a loud crack.

“If you don’t work now,” she told it calmly, “you’re going in the garbage.”

1 comment:

Rhobin said...

This sounds very good.