TODAY’S BREW: Salty Bones from Bones Coffee Co. (get the holiday sampler like I just did. Again. World’s Freshest Small Batch Coffee – Bones Coffee Company)
I may have mentioned that the sequel to THE HARPY is up for preorder now. Available through Audible, Kindle, paperback and hardcover on JANUARY 14TH, BABIES. Guess what? I’m posting an excerpt for you! Charity finds herself a new little friend in HARPY 2: EVOLUTION, a character I’m just crazy about, I can’t kid you. Without further doo-doo, here’s your excerpt! Now, please bear with me because WordPress? Likes to change everything all the time. I’ve been trying to change the font of this excerpt for a half hour. Trust me, this is the excerpt:
“I’ve never been much of a planner,” I said through the door, “but this seems like a good time to get you out of here.”
Shaking, a sheen of sweat coating her hot pink cheeks, Rose gingerly lowered herself into the puffy white chair in the corner of the room—a thing put there to make her feel at home, like she was wanted, a person and not a thing. But she was still a prisoner behind a locked door, the shackles still lying limp on the bed, people in uniforms deciding her moment-to-moment existence when they got to go home at the end of the day to a life they chose.
Rose swiveled the chair my way. It had been two days. Two days since I’d been home to Robbie. Two days since I’d left the kid. Two days where I sat in that train station, immobile, too sick of myself to be afraid or care what happened to me next.
But freedom called to me in the form of a little girl, the heat of her anger a beacon that I could see through time and space. I had to come back. If I wanted to live at all, I had to help her to help myself.
“I’m not trapped here,” Rose said.
“Right, you must love being isolated and what? Running laps in your eighties gym shorts outside? Why are you so sweaty?”
“Eighties gym…” She smiled. I was amusing to her. “I um, just show them how I do things.”
“What, Jane Fonda aerobics? What things?”
She just swiveled back around in her chair. “You’re a mess,” she said when I couldn’t see her face.
Definitely. Two days in an abandoned train station rolling in viscera will do that to a girl. “That’s neither here nor there. I always wanted to say that. Anyway, whatever you’re in here for, whatever they make you do, I can help you escape.”
“There’s no escaping what I am.”
There’s no escaping what I am. There’s no escaping what I am.
I ran my fingers through my hair like Robbie always did, a habit I guess I’d picked up. My fingers got caught in there, though. Never an easy way out for me.
“You know, kid, I’m a complete fucking stranger to you, offering you a way out, a fresh start or a chance to go home, whatever you want, and you don’t give me an inch, do you?”
When do I get to go home? I thought, shook my head to get rid of it. When are my tests over, when do I get to stop sweating for everyone else, when do I get a fresh start that’s real? Any good I do is sucked up in the bad that I am. There’s no escaping what I am, Harpy or not.
The thought brought into perspective what the Queen told me—time doesn’t exist for a Harpy. I slid down the door, felt the cold floor under me, solid. I’d never be different than this right now, never change.
Never heal. I wanted to try, for this kid. So she didn’t end up anything like me, and so that I could end up like someone else, too.
Leaning over, I threw up on the tile floor. Chicken bones and spaghetti and bile swimming in blood and half-digested flesh.
I heard a clicking noise over my head, the distinct sound of a lock being picked, and got to my feet fast no matter how shaky; you could never know what was coming through a locked door.
I fell back against the wall behind me, far from the door, vision of Carl Painter on the other side. It’s not his time now but time isn’t real and I was never safe. I came back to the now with every click of the lock. He is not real, not now, Charity, I told myself. Time might mean nothing, but reality was always there, promising some new surprise. And there was my surprise, clicking away.
The door lock popped open. The wide bolt, the size of a credit card, slipped to the left. Kid can pick locks.
Then her eyes at the window, the only part that could reach if she stood on tiptoe.
And she opened the door.
Rose Preston glanced at the puddle of puke on the floor, back at me. She pulled on a green tracksuit jacket. “You’ll be okay,” she said with a little smile. “I feel sick sometimes, too.”
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll love the new book!