It also gave me a chance to post this beautiful image from DaniJace over at the Wana Flickr Commons. Thank you for allowing others to use your photos.
I'm starting off this month's round of special excerpts with a snip from my short story, A Halloween Tail, available from Dreamspinner Press. I love the characters and the tone of this story. Where else have I written lines like these:
Dark, curly hair. A soft growth of beard. Lines of character, lines of pain. And the eyes… I sighed. The man was a god. Hands down. No questions asked. Genetics had conspired to put together this perfect package that was lit from within with a kind of incandescent electric charge. At least, I felt like I was getting zapped.
Oh, that was just the Snickers bar under my ass. I shifted a bit to get more comfortable.
But as much as those lines make me laugh (and some days, it's not hard to do), that's not the excerpt I'm posting today. Sorry. Let's get back to the point of this post which was to start out my October excepts. BTW, if you'd like to read a review, you can click here .
Summary: When Lionel gets strong-armed into baby sitting and taking his niece trick-or-treating, he suffers the humiliation of the big purple costume and follows through. Little did he know that the hideous purple tail would catch the attention of one black-dressed god!
It’s not that I didn’t like Halloween.
It’s just that this year, instead of going to an absolutely fabulous party at my favorite club (called Lowlands, by the way – no reflection on the clientele) with an absolutely hunky date, I was at my sister’s house watching while she and her husband got dressed up to go to their Halloween party.
“This is not shaping up to be a good idea.”
My tone was well modulated, firm and resolute. The only problem was that she wasn’t paying any attention to me, not that she ever did.
“Maybe I’m not the best person to do this.” I tried again with the voice of reason.
“You’ll be fine.” My sister murmured in a half-hearted attempt to placate me. Her thoughts were already filled with the fun she would be having later this evening as she finished applying her makeup. MY thoughts on the other hand were filled with dread.
“My ass looks fat in this costume.” When all else falls, go for sheer vanity. Hey, sometimes it works. It didn’t look like tonight was going to be one of them.
“It’s only for four hours. 240 minutes. And that costume fit me fine last year.” My sister’s full attention was now turned my way and her exasperation was evident. I hate to say I did derive some small measure of satisfaction from the way the lines on her face detracted from the make-up job she’d just spent so much time on.
”Can’t someone else take her Trick-or Treating?” I was almost embarrassed at the whine in my voice.
“You’re Anne’s Uncle and my brother. You are doing me this favor so that I can go out with my husband to my first Halloween party in ages. You are also doing this because you lost the bet we made about your last so-called boyfriend. “
I’ll give it to my sister. She can be absolutely ruthless when the need arises. Apparently the opportunity to go socialize with other adults instead of ten-year-olds qualified for need. I mean, honestly, don’t you think it was a pretty low blow to bring up Xander? How was I to know that wasn’t his real name but just something he borrowed from a cheesy television show to impress me?
And no, we won’t discuss just why that name impressed me.
“Besides, you have start doing something to make up for coming over every year, going through her candy bag and stealing all the good stuff. THAT’s why your ass looks fat in that costume.”
Did I mention my sister was heartless as well as ruthless?
“No buts. I’m going to a party with Mike. You are taking your niece out Trick-or Treating. You will watch her. Walk beside her. And you will not talk to any strangers.”
“Shouldn’t you be telling her that?”
Sheena, Queen of the Jungle turned her piercing gaze back upon my complaining frame. “I’m telling you. No strangers. Not when you are watching your niece. I don’t care what their costume is.”
She walked off uncaring of my muttering that trailed behind her. Leaving me alone with my niece. An orange pumpkin head flashlight in my hand and the costume from hell on my back. It was going to be a great night. I could tell already.