Ok, you guys were promised a teaser from One Crow Sorrow at the 900 like mark. Here it is! 🙂
Holly turned out to be quite a good cook for someone who ate so infrequently. She piled an enormous amount of food onto Alexander’s plate, and mine as well, because I was the youngest. I ate to be polite.
“There’s lots left over if anybody wants seconds,” she said “Honey, did you say you wanted some dessert?” Daniel simply shook his head, ‘no’. There was an obvious tension in the air between them as they interacted that evening, barely making eye contact. We all felt the strain and were doing our best to dance around it. Alexander, the only one who didn’t notice, ate with a gusto I both remembered and envied. Once you’ve had blood, food holds very little interest, and having to eat is more nuisance than enjoyment. By and large this was one bunch that wouldn’t be having seconds. Her parents hardly touched their plates, and Gavin, who sat in subdued silence most of the night, didn’t seem to be himself anyway.
After much coaxing for all of us to eat more Holly finally gave up and started clearing the plates. As she did a knife fell from her hands and clanged onto the floor. Her mother bent down and handed it back to her.
“Falls to the floor, comes to the door,” she said.
“Oh Ma, do you still say that?” It was funny to hear Holly accuse her mother of being old fashioned seeing as how they were both so ancient.
“It’ll be a man,” her father said. “Better watch out Daniel, he might be more handsome than you.”
“That’s impossible,” Daniel said trying to feign sincerity. Everyone laughed and for a moment it seemed that the heaviness in the air had lifted.
I felt a strange presence just then about half a second before anyone else realized he was in the room. A very handsome man of about thirty with a very pale completion, cropped black hair and remarkable brown eyes was standing in the kitchen with us.
“Room for one more?” he said. The plates Holly had been clearing fell from her hands and the sound of breaking glass filled the room.
“Ian!” Gavin jumped up and hugged him so hard that it almost knocked the man to the floor. I hadn’t witnessed Gavin smile this wide since seeing the young woman’s picture the night before. All at once the burden of that event seemed to be forgotten and he was totally wrapped up in the joy of seeing this man, whoever he was. His parents were smiling too; Holly and Daniel however, were not. Daniel had retrieved the broom and dustpan from a closet and was busy cleaning up the plates, but Holly just stood there, frozen.
“Rachel,” Gavin said taking Ian around to my side of the table, “this is my brother Ian.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said extending my hand and forcing my biggest smile. I could tell Holly was uncomfortable and I didn’t want to let her know that I had noticed.
“Well brother, nice to see you’ve done well for yourself. We were all worried about you for a while.” He shook my hand. Both his parents greeted him warmly and then he slowly made his way to his sister and brother-in-law. “It’s nice to see you Holly,” he kissed her on the cheek.