Excerpt: (As yet un-named) Sequel

I haven’t even published The Sunshine Line yet and I’ve already written two sequels! Well, for what it’s worth, I’ve been a busy little bee this year and hope to get The Sunshine Line and it’s first sequel both out this year.

For now, here’s a little teaser:

From: the July 28th 1992 chapter

Maybe she hadn’t decided or had had the matter taken from her hands. Either of those things would be a bee in her bonnet. Which is never to be confused with a feather in your cap, I thought, and realized my mind may have wandered a bit too far afield.

In fact, Amaleen was serving breakfast. I hoped nobody had been trying to speak with me while I zoned out. As I tuned back in, though, I realized that everyone was being quiet. A quick glance around the table showed there were more reasons than faces. Far be it from me to force small talk onto a silence of this quality.

As I said, I had tuned back in. I watched the faces of my companions, but they didn’t notice; their thoughts were turned inward. Forks shuttled food from plates to mouths automatically.

When breakfast was almost finished Amaleen reached her arm over the table so that her hand was over the centerpiece and snapped her fingers. It was a surprisingly loud sound, like a branch breaking in a storm. All three of my companions startled violently and Molly jabbed herself in the cheek with her fork.

Honestly, Amaleen!” she said, annoyed. “Was that necessary? Look at me!”

Yes it was necessary. Since when have I started doing things that weren’t necessary? Shut up.” She glared at all of us, daring us to make her day and suggest that her incessant coddling wasn’t of vital importance.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Time to get your brains moving. Almost time for these kids to go.”

Amaleen turned her back to get the coffee pot and Tom started sniggering. At first I thought he was laughing at Amaleen, which seemed nigh suicidal, but then I saw that the focus of his mirth was his wife. Molly had taken an ice cube from her orange juice and put it to the scratches on her cheek, where she’d stabbed herself. Bad idea. The citric acid in the juice stung badly and Molly started a stream of language I didn’t think she knew. I thought Tom had stopped laughing at her but at an odd sound I turned back and saw that he had his hands wrapped around his sides and was laughing so hard he was crying; he was just somehow holding the laughter silent.

Kristy’s expression was going back and forth like a tennis ball at a good match. On the one side she wanted to giggle at Molly’s unusual show of vocabulary, on the other side she wanted to admonish Tom for the excessive size of his mirth.

Amaleen returned to the table with the coffee and poured while trying to take in the scene. Then she set the pot down, “Oh, for ember’s sake, let me look at it,” she said to Molly.

Molly lowered her hand and displayed the reddish scratches. Amaleen appeared to think about what she saw and then she made an odd face. Finally she stuck her finger into her mouth and wiped her saliva onto the scratches before anyone knew what she was going to do. Our reactions were mostly speechless anyway. Aborted syllables followed by stunned silence as the scratches disappeared before our eyes.

They’re gone, Mom,” Kristy said, almost whispering, since Molly couldn’t see the scratches herself.

Well they certainly don’t sting anymore. But Amaleen, it would have been polite to warn me you were about to do that.”

Oh, really?” asked Amaleen in a bored voice.

Yes, dear, that sort of behavior would be shocking from a human. Of course, we don’t have healing powers in our saliva, or I guess we might have different manners,” she finished thoughtfully.

Probably,” Amaleen said. Then she turned to Kristy and I, “Are you two ready yet?”

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