December People Excerpt

I recently blogged the cover for an amazing new book by Sharon Bayliss, December People. If you missed it, see the cover and information. Here’s an excerpt:

David pulled the box of Crystal’s ashes out of his jacket. He lay down on the uneven sofa bed mattress in his office. He held Crystal to his chest. If anyone walked in, he would get caught cuddling with a dead woman. Especially abhorrent, since he should be trying to save his marriage with his living one. He closed his eyes and felt her weight on his chest. She moved up and down as he breathed. He felt better.

“You believed in ghosts,” he said. “Couldn’t you be one for a minute? Come back to me. Tell me what to do.”
Like a child, he waited, as if she really might appear there. He watched the ceiling fan spin in a mundane, non-magical way. The clock ticked. The computer whirred.

It did work…sort of. He fell asleep and dreamed about her. For some unknowable reason, his subconscious put her at The Galleria, a place she had never set foot and would never want to. She waited for him in front of the ice rink with the domed glass ceiling. She leaned against the railing and watched him approach her with one of her patented poker faces. But, as she watched him approach, the edges of her lips turned upward ever so slightly and her eyes opened a little wider.

“I’m sorry, Crystal.”

She stared at him.

“I know it doesn’t help, but I still love you. You saved my marriage by cutting me out. I wouldn’t have been able to stay away from you forever.”

She still said nothing, but gave a long, slow blink, like an acknowledgement.

“Our children are really amazing. They’re beautiful. I’m glad I get to know them now.”

Another blink. A longer one.

“Why won’t you speak to me?”

Her eyes gazed downward, then back up. She looked like a statue that could move only her eyes. He moved close to her. He feared touching her, as he feared to touch their children, afraid anything he did could hurt her. He touched his forehead to hers. The contact animated her slightly. He heard her breathe.

“Evangeline drew me a picture of your wings. Can I see them?”
He pulled back from her and waited. At first, he thought nothing would happen, but then she pulled her tank top over her head. She pulled her shoulders back and raised her chin, as if she wanted him to know she had no shame in showing her naked breasts. Then it happened. Two massive black wings spread out behind her, twice her height. Her wingspan rivaled a California condor’s. He reached his hands out to them.

“May I?”

An infinitesimal nod. He ran his fingers across the smooth feathers. They weren’t black. Not really. Each feather had the sheen of a different color. Blue. Red. Orange. Green. Yellow. Violet. The feathers fell around his fingers like water. She was gone.

Cool right? Keep reading here!

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