Saturday, April 14, 2012

A to Z Challenge - M is for Mousy

This story spans the entire month of the Challenge.
If you're just joining me now, please start with A is for Abby.

M IS FOR MOUSY

"Don't puke on my boots." Demetrius wasn't smiling, but she could still hear the amusement in his tone and wanted to smack him for it.

"I'm not going to puke." Abby leaned against the trunk of the tree, waiting for the world to right itself. In the Ways, she couldn't tell up from down or that there was solid ground under her feet. Demetrius hadn't been bothered by the Ways at all. Of course, he had been traveling them all his life, but she still wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of seeing just how badly her mind had been tossed around on their short stroll.

By the sounds your stomach is making, I think you're going to puke, Tawa said.

"I'm. Not. Going. To. Puke." To prove her point, Abby straightened up and pushed away from the tree. She swayed a bit, but held herself up. Walking, well, that was going to be another story.

"It's a wonder you're still conscious and sane. The Ways have driven humans to worse things than puking in the grass." Demetrius smirked a bit this time.

Abby opened her mouth to yell at him for not telling her that bit of information before taking her into the Ways, but she snapped her mouth shut. She never asked and they needed to get to Wisconsin fast. She had too many other things on her mind when they left her loft. Like how his body had felt pressed to hers and how he so easily set her heart pounding.

"Okay. We find a road and a cab. Burrows is doing a signing at a local bookstore this morning." Abby dared take a step and didn't fall over. One foot in front of the other. Step, limp, step. Don't think about Demetrius. Children's lives were in danger. She adjusted her backpack over her shoulders. Tawa was near weightless, but the book seemed to weigh fifty pounds. "I'll talk to her and see what I can find out."

"We'll talk to her." Demetrius corrected her.

I have a few questions of my own I want you to ask, Tawa added.

"You'll wait outside. You'll likely scare her." Abby shook her head.

"Or she'll be so charmed by my good looks that she'll tell me anything I want to know." He flashed her a grin.

Abby rolled her eyes and then sighed. The fae had a good point. She had read Burrows' bio on her website. Burrows wasn't married. A handsome man might be more welcome than just another fan. A flash of possessiveness went through her at the thought of letting Demetrius do such a thing. This helped to make up her mind. "Fine. All right. You're Plan B. But only if I don't learn anything from her."

That pacified Demetrius and the taxi ride to the bookstore kept him quiet. When they got out of the cab and she paid the driver, she was going to make a smart remark about Demetrius puking on her boots. Seeing his pale face, though, she held her tongue. Instead, she remained silent as he took a moment to compose himself.

The bookstore was called The Window Seat. There were half a dozen cozy nooks with great views for people to sit in and read. When they went inside, the line to get a book signed was curled halfway around the building. Abby groaned under her breath, but walked to the end of the line and waited her turn.

"I'm going to walk around," Demetrius said near her ear and disappeared from her sight amongst the shelves.

Abby spied him a few times walking the perimeter of the store pretending to browse. She let her gaze wander. After a few minutes, a small girl bumped into her leg as she hadn't seen where she was going.

"Sorry," the girl cringed and hurried off to catch up with her mother before Abby could say it was okay.

Abby didn't know why the child had seemed afraid of her. In fact, it was too quiet in a store full of children. There was no laughter or squealing. None of them were running willy-nilly around the shelves or shouting at each other. The children looked overly tired, big circles around many of their eyes. They weren't getting any sleep. She didn't have to reason out why. This was far worse than the area she lived.

Demetrius came up behind her and startled her. He laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"There's a bulletin board at the other side of the store." He was whispering. Why was he whispering? "It's covered in missing children posters."

How could no one else see there was a problem? Why wasn't the media all over the fact not just one but several children were missing? Where was the Fearless that was suppose to watch over this area? There were too many unanswered questions. More so, too many big unanswered questions.

Abby almost didn't realize she was at the front of the line until Demetrius nudged her. She blinked and put on a friendly smile as she stepped up to the author's table. Burrows was a small, mousy woman. Her glasses sat on the tip of her nose and her brown sweater had too much fuzz. She didn't look like a woman who wrote scary stories.

"Hi. It's nice to meet you." Abby took the book from her backpack and held it out to Burrows. At the same time, her hands started to glow.

32 comments:

  1. Sounds a fascinating read, Christine. Great idea to serialise your book.

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  2. Ohhh, I hate it when we get to the end! Hurry up tomorrow lol! :D

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    1. Hehehe! Oh no! Tomorrow is Sunday. So you'll have to wait until Monday!

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  3. Another great piece Christine - I can't wait to read more! :)

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  4. What? You can't end this section here. Must read more. Oh, wait, I can. *grins*

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    1. Hehehe! You can dangle that in front of everyone and tease them. ;)

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  5. Oh it's going to get messy in that bookstore!

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  6. Look forward to the rest of your challenge run…can’t believe we’ve had 14 days already!
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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    1. I know! It's going by so quickly, but it's so much fun.

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  7. hmmm Burrows is the trouble, maybe?


    *~ MAJK ~*

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  8. Great stopping point. These later chapters are becoming real mini-cliff-hangers.
    Best wishes,
    Anna
    Anna's A-Z, the letter M

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    1. Thank you! I hope you love it all the way to the end. :)

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  9. I've just caught up with this week's installments and now I don't want to stop reading! I'm so intrigued by Burrows and her book, and now the missing children in this part of town. There's so much suspense in addition to the great relationship and banter between the characters. Can't wait for Monday to read more! :)

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    1. Thank you very much! I'm so happy everyone is enjoying the story.

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  10. this is kinda strange to me today---just a couple of days ago, i visited my aunt, she was in terrible distress--convinced that someone had taken her children---she never had any---looking forward to your blog

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    1. That's very weird. And really fitting for my story.

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  11. Wow - intriguing twist - missing kids - are they the same ones as the quiet kids in the bookstore? Love the bookstore name by the way - it sounds heavenly - The Window Seat.

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    1. Thanks! I think that's an ideal version of a bookstore for me. I've always wanted my own window seat.

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  12. What a great story. Definitely a page turner. Interesting setting and set up.

    Denise

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  13. Augh! You're going to leave us hanging until Monday?
    This is really getting to be an addiction for me... Must read more!

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  14. Nice and great story .Really interesting.I can't wait to see what you write next........ sell my house

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  15. Abby is going to go postal on Burrows!!!!

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  16. I love Demitrius' attitude about things. lol He always makes me laugh.

    Seems Burrows might be in trouble/ :-O

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    1. Demetrius was so much fun to write. You have to love the wild fae for that reason!

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