Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursdays and Sneak Peak

I like Thursdays. Sorta. It's pay day. Plus, Fridays are usually easier days at work. It's just that with half the company off, there's a big push to get stuff done that gives me a migraine.

I've been on this diet-but-not-really thing for a couple of weeks now and hadn't seen any results and was starting to geta little disappointed. Until... I tried on a pair of pants that I couldn't button or zip and, while still snug, they button and zipped. Let's just say I was a little giddy. :)

Halloween is tomorrow but I'm not dressing up like some of the weirdos I work with. I'll probably do my Evil t-shirt and the devil horns headband thing. It's worked for the past two years.

On the Christmas present front: still only have Avery's done. Plan on ordering Grandma BJ's and two of little brother's next Friday and then doing the rest of the shopping when I get to Harlingen. Ken wants to go halves on a present for Mom and Mom has ideas for both Dad and Grandpa Harvey so I figure I can just pick up something for Grandpa Richard while I'm doing all that shopping!

As far as reading goes: JT's started the other In Death book before I had a chance. Quadratic equations are fun but vector's kick my butt.

On the writing front: 3 chapters of Ashwood rough draft done but that muse is on vacation this week, it seems. I need to rewrite my Keeper chapters, but I'm too lazy. Ghost of a Girl is almost done.

For an early Halloween treat, I'm posting a short holiday story that's part of my NaCl series.

October 2001
San Diego, CA



"Pretty please?"


"Pretty, pretty please with a package of Oreos on top?"

A pause, a hum, a chin scratch. "No."

Joss tilts her head to the side and produces the pout responsible for the convertible on her sixteenth birthday and the trip to Hawaii after graduation. It's gotten her out of arguments with Nate before but doesn't seem to be working this time. When it's obvious that he's not going to budge, she huffs and stomps her foot. "You're no fun."

"Yes, because you scaring yourself stupid and then having nightmares until Christmas is my idea of fun." Nate crosses his arms over his chest and glares. It's a pointless argument because there's no way he's going to cave. "We'll do the Rocky Horror midnight showing, we'll do the round of parties, and we'll hand out candy, but we are not doing Haunted Manor."

Two weeks later

Joss glances over at a brooding Nate. His grip on the steering wheel is so tight that his knuckles are turning white. She's got the urge to say something, anything, to break the silence but isn't sure she can come up with anything that won't piss him off any more. Or any less. She slumps further in her seat and fiddles with the zipper on her jacket as they drive in nearly unbearable silence towards their apartment.

Nate knows she's watching him. He can feel her eyes boring holes into his skull but he can't look at her. Not yet. His heart is still racing, his head aches and his hands hurt. He probably won't have full use of his right hand for a few days. His left arm is sore and he's sure that when the bruises form, they'll be in the shape of Joss' fingers. He's still trying to figure out how in the hell he got talked into something so incredibly stupid.

"I'm really sorry."

Nate purses his lips and presses down on the accelerator. "Don't Joss. Just... don't"

He hears her sigh and the soft rustle of fabric as she sifts to stare out the window. Guilt creeps in to slowly replace his anger. He tries to hold on to it, but he's never been able to stay angry with her for long. He reaches out with his right hand to squeeze her shoulder. "You can sleep in my room, tonight."

She turns her head and flashes a grateful smile. Thank God! She was afraid she'd have to beg or spend the night huddled outside his door because there's no way she'll be able to sleep by herself for a good long while. Not after everything she's seen.

Nate pulls into his parking space and kills the engine but doesn't unlock the door. He cups Joss' chin so that she has no choice but to look him straight in the eyes. "Next time I say no haunted houses, I mean absolutely no haunted houses. You got it?"

She nods as best she can with his hand on her chin. Satisfied, he releases her and unlocks the door. The tension that made the drive home nearly unbearable is absent as they walk to their apartment. Rather than entering first, Joss lets Nate go in and turn all the lights on. She hangs her coat on a nearby hook and peers up at the clock. "Wanna watch The Great Pumpkin?"

"Sure. I'll pop the corn while you change."

Joss pauses at the doorway to her bedroom, a small smile curving her lips. This may cost her some groveling when bedtime comes around, but it's too good to pass up. She makes sure she's inside with the doorknob firmly in hand before leaning out. "It's okay to admit you were scared, too." The door shuts seconds before a pair of muddy boots smash against it.

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