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Well, it’s been…*looks at watch* — um– a while. Sorry about that. Got caught up in things, i.e., life, the universe, and the insane ambition to work on three separate projects at once. You can imagine how well that went.

Ah well. Lesson learned, and now here I am all fresh and new and shiny (really: I got this new moisturizer and it’s alarmingly sparkly. I feel a bit like a Cullen trying to pass as a human), hoping to rejoin the Great Interwebs once more. And in an effort to avoid having to actually think about something to put down here, I thought I’d start with a Teaser.

–Hey, come on, blogging is not like riding a bicycle.

Unless you mean me riding one for the first time in many years this past July, wherein I managed to stop traffic, terrify dogs, inadvertently collect a surprising number of tree branches, and thoroughly mangle all three sprockets while trying to shift a single speed, after which I had to walk my pretty new bike home like a rube.

If that’s the kind of bicycle riding we’re talking about, then it might have some parallels to my remembering how to blog.

Anyway. A Tuesday Teaser, for your amusement and my comfort, from one of the many simultaneous projects that made my head explode a little bit.

***

“So did you check out Sam Willis at the mall yesterday? What was up with that shirt?

Audrey’s hair was purple today, probably in preparation for the upcoming start of school. She leaned over the counter in the kitchen, intent on her work, which was scribbling a stylized dragon on the dark flesh of her forearm with the pen she’d liberated from Aunt Claudia’s purse. Willa dumped a plate of chopped onions into a frying pan and stirred: a moment later the kitchen filled with the smell of cooking vegetables.

Aunt Claudia might come down today, if she made something that smelled tempting enough.

Of course, Aunt Claudia might also stay in her mom’s old bedroom forever. She certainly hadn’t done anything in the past week to suggest she had other plans.

The frying pan and the dark glass of the stovetop faded suddenly in a hazy fog. Willa squeezed her eyes shut, wiling her vision to come back. Ever since the lightning, her eyes blurred at inconvenient moments, turning solid objects into faint shapes that looked as though they would disappear like smoke. The pins-and-needles sensation that had plagued her for hours after the strike often came with it.

Add to that the fact that Babcia Tessa looked at her like she’d grown a second head every time she came over, and it had been kind of a hard few weeks.

“Willa. Willa. Hey, snap out of it!”

Willa blinked, realized that the burner was on high and the broccoli was blackened. She blurted a curse as she shoved the frying pan over. “It’s okay, I got it, it’s not–”

She looked down and groaned. The stir-fry was a steaming mess. “Crap,” Willa growled, and flipped off the burner.

“Pizza again?”

“Pizza.” Willa sighed. “I fail at life.”

“No, baby, just at cooking.” Audrey abandoned her skin art and picked up the phone. “What do you say, let’s try something crazy this time. No more of this pepperoni and tomatoes conformism. Trust me?”

Not really, Willa thought –Audrey had, after all, been known to mix peanut butter and cocktail sauce and call it interesting— but she nodded anyway, not actually caring, and slid the burned mess from the frying pan into the garbage while Audrey called Gina’s Pies and ordered them dinner.

Audrey’s arm came around her waist. Audrey’s chin dug into the point where her shoulder and her neck met. Willa set the frying pan down and sighed, trying not to tense up at that touch.

Everything made her twitchy lately.

Doc Gordon, who had wrapped her burned feet in gauze and who still called to check in on Aunt Claudia’s shoulder (and her mental state too, no doubt) every few days, told her it would take months for her body to recover, and said she should be grateful she’d lived through it.  “Messed up your nerves some, darlin’,” he grunted in his fabulous southern accent every time he took her blood pressure and scowled at the gage. “Might be a while before they settle again. Just take it easy, okay?”

What did he think she was going to do, rush out and hit every club in town just because she’d lived through it? Or maybe because she’d never wanted Dan to live with them and now he was…

Not living at all.

For a second the guilt was so huge she was afraid she was going to throw up.

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