Twilight, in the summer, slightly unreal. In a rowboat, on a lake. My parents’ friends have a cabin, which reminds me a little bit of a dacha in a Chekhov story, especially the banality of the conversation on the dock. I am lying in the rowboat, counting the stars, and their daughter Renee is at the oars, and we hear the faint murmur of adult conversation, at the end of the dock, in the gathering dusk. She leans over and kisses me as I’m tracing constellations. She doesn’t say what it means, and I don’t ask.
I tell it in present tense, because it’s still with me: odd, tenuous, detached from the rest of my life.
She blots out the stars, warm and close, and then moves aside and the perfect starry vault rises over me, and I feel as if I might fall straight up into it, falling forever into turquoise and ultramarine depths, through the shivering veil of the aurora, as the waves gently lap against the sides of the rowboat, and we rock on the bosom of the lake.
As I begin revisions on The Shape-shifter’s Tale, I will be posting character interview excerpts for the main cast of the novel. This week’s excerpt comes from the interview with Emma, a forensic pathologist who returns from excavating mass graves abroad to find witch hunts unfolding at home.
Weekend Writing Warriors offers eight-sentence excerpts from a variety of writers; see the other excerpts here.
Publication Update: The Vampire Variations challenge story, now titled In the Laboratory of the Night, will be released in late July from Glass Knife Press. At that time I’ll post a roundup of all the Vampire Variations stories currently available.