As promised, the following is a tiny snippet from Book #6. It's one of the very first things I wrote, when I first started writing this book, two years ago. I will not tell you where in the book this section falls; you'll just have to wonder. The timeline is stated very plainly but there's no knowing at what point I start this book so...heh heh heh...
Look, it's not often I get to tease people in good fun--you gotta gimme somethin'!
“Can you sleep?” He repeated the doctor’s question, prompting me, as he stabbed the dying end of his cigarette into the ashtray on the little table next to him and immediately started patting around for his case and matches to light another one.
“How are you sleeping, Miss Howe?” the kind old owl doctor with the salient eyes asked me for the third time.
“She’s not sleeping,” he answered for me, his impatience with my lack of response showing fully on his face now. He tapped the soon-to-be-lit end of his cigarette against his little silver case with deliberate but gentle effort and slipped it into his mouth. Soon the match was struck and setting the tip alight as he pulled the smoke directly into his lungs. This was the only outward sign of his stress—his chain smoking. Saxon Pierce was a poised, together man. He didn’t turn colors at upsetting news, vomit at seeing a friend die; he didn’t ball inconsolably or mutter to himself in a thin whisper. His hands didn’t even shake. They were perfectly in control of themselves, perfectly capable of moving about his person, performing idle tasks such as lifting his small glass of golden-brown liquid to his lips, lighting and holding his cigarette, and stabbing it out when he’d sucked it down two minutes later.
“Miss Howe?” Dr. Beasley started. “Would you like something to help you sleep?”
I saw from the corner of my eye that he held a vial of pills in one hand, but it was only from the corner. I kept my eyes on Saxon, still refusing to speak.
I hadn’t spoken aloud in three weeks. Today marked a month since Avery’s funeral. It was a month of deprivation, both involuntary and self-inflicted. I felt sick whenever I ate, so I ate very little and didn’t enjoy the chore at all. What little I was able to sleep was nothing but bad dreams. I would have welcomed more peaceful sleep; it was a good way to make time go by faster, but I had no control over my dreams.
I saw recovery as an unlikely possibility—it certainly felt impossible—but I couldn’t help thinking that my situation was going to change eventually, whether for the better or the worse, and I so desperately wanted something to change that I wished time would go by faster. But it was out of my control. I was a victim of the storm, a prisoner of my grief.
I spent most of my time sitting in the window. I didn’t know who or what I was waiting for, but it was the only place I was comfortable. It also gave me warning when people arrived to visit me, so I had time to get in bed and pretend to be asleep before they came in. They never wanted to wake me, so eventually they would leave. Sometimes they would wait a while, hoping I would wake up; I’d have to pretend to be sleeping for over an hour at a time on some days. But it was worth it not to have to visit with anyone.
My friends came every weekend (Ethyn was never among them) and Quinn and Graham came once a week with Brigham, who made it back the day after the funeral. They’d told me they would keep me informed about what was going on with them by calling me on Graham’s cell phone, but apparently they couldn’t resist seeing me in person, even if they had to come into a ravens’ nest to do so. In the beginning, they talked to me while I faked sleep, updating me on what was happening at the den and beyond, but they stopped doing that before long since I never showed signs of rousing or hearing a word.
Most of the time, the ravens knew I was pretending, but I still tried to fake sleep when they came in, like I did with the others. I just didn’t feel like talking about what was going on in my head—or the rest of my body. And I didn’t have the energy to pretend things were okay. They weren’t. And my melancholy was mine and no one else’s.
It's not much, but then I never give too much away in these sneak-a-peeks. It's more than what I gave away from the last one though. So, what do you guys think? Leave a comment below--or leave one on Facebook, Twitter, etc--and let me know:)
PS. Next Up: The Official Moon-Wake Summary!!