Alright, I know I’ve been promising Flesh and Blood for a while now. But how does a bone sound? I have been working on it, I promise! Word count is currently over 3,000 words, and it would be done… if it weren’t for all of technology revolting against me. If I didn’t know better, I’d say every piece of technology I own has come together, formed a union, and gone on strike. I’m currently using my mother’s computer whilst attempting to bring mine back to life. Anyways, back to the bone. I decided to give you a sneak peek into Flesh and Blood, throw you a bone for your patience. So, without further ado, here it is!
My fingers tingle as I grip the steering wheel tighter. My mind buzzes with excitement, and… well, alright, a little bit of nerves too. I’ve longed to do this for so long, but after everything I’ve done to my poor characters… planning to spend a day with them might not have been such a wonderful idea. After all, as their author, I’m responsible not only for them, but everything that’s happened to them – good and bad.
I turn on my left turn signal, the entrance to the barn parking lot dead ahead. Well, too late to turn back now. I make a mental note to keep an eraser in my pocket, just in case. They’re your characters Hannah. If anyone can control them, it’s you. I think to myself. I know I can control them, even if it comes down to threats. No character would dare hurt their author. But the purpose of this is to hang out without controlling, forcing, or threatening them. And as strange as it sounds, part of me is worried they’ll be disappointed.
I quickly park the car, steel myself against the heat, and walk down the hill to the barn entrance. No one’s around, just as I’d hoped. Even our stable guy, Juan, is out for lunch. Perfect. I walk briskly down the aisle, whispering hello to each fuzzy muzzle as I walk past and kiss my boy through the bars before unlocking the tack room door and stepping inside. My purse is slung over my shoulder, and in it, my pencil and notebook containing Ben and Jesse’s story. How strange it is, having entire worlds, hundreds of lives resting in your purse, frozen, just waiting for you to open them and give them life. The great burden placed on an author… we literally carry worlds on our shoulders. Or at least, those of us with purses do.
My pencil quickly scrawls across the page, and I pray that the plan we’ve hatched up works. I write a short scene into their story, in which I give them a transportation device, and schedule a meeting here in my world for noon. One last period, and I set the notebook on the floor before me, glancing at the clock. Just a couple seconds more, and they should be here. My fingers cross behind my back, and I send up a silent prayer. Please let this work… I don’t want to have raised our hopes for nothing! As the clock strikes noon, my book begins to quiver, the pages fluttering as if a breeze had reached out its fingers to ruffle the edges. The words swim and twirl across the pages, as though riding waves of water. My eyes widen, and a small smile flickers across my lips. It’s working! I blink, and then they’re there, standing before me. They’re just as I imagined them! …. DUH! I nearly smack my forehead at the thought. Of course they are. I made them.
For a split second, the three of us stand there, quietly gawking at each other. And then, at the same moment, Jesse and I let out an excited squeal and lunge for each other, wrapping our arms about each other in a giant bear hug.
“I can’t believe I finally get to see you! Feel you! Touch you! Smell you!” I bubble, giggling with glee.
“Ah! I know! This is so cool! I can’t believe it worked!!” She laughs back, smiling from ear to ear. When we’ve calmed a bit – or at least stopped jumping up and down like school girls – I look to Ben. He steps forward, smiling broadly, his eyes dancing like stars in the night sky.
“Ben!” I shout, throwing myself at him in a hug. He returns it softly, and I’m struck most by his smell… like gunpowder, rain, paper, ink, sweat, and campfire. I like it. It’s strong, reassuring. Safe. And everything I love. Well, except horses of course. But that won’t soon be a problem.
“Hello, Hannah. Lovely to see you again!” He says calmly, as Ben does.