Hump Day Hook is a weekly blog hop where writers are invited to hook readers with just a few paragraphs from a work in progress or published work. Visit their site by clicking on the button below for a list of other participating writers and share the love!
All this month (and maybe into next month), all of my snippets for Hump Day Hook, Sneak Peek Sundays and WeWriWa will be taken from The Last Hour of Gann, beginning with the first word on the first page, picking up right where the previous snippet leaves off, and ending only when I’m ready for the book to go live. To further motivate me, I am offering up a free Kindle copy of The Last of Gann to one lucky commenter. Just remember that all my books contain graphic violence and strong sexual content, so you must explicty tell me so if you want to enter the giveaway. The winner will be drawn at random just as soon as my last edits are done (You can see my progress in the WIP widget in the sidebar there. I’m in the second of three edits. This is the beta-reading phase, which takes the longest as we only meet once a week. The third round of edits goes very, very fast).
Good luck to all who enter and let the hour of Gann begin!
The eviction notice was hanging on the door when they got back from the hospital. The time stamp said 1:27 am, six minutes after Mary Shelley Bierce’s official time of death, an hour and twenty-eight minutes before her two daughters sitting in the waiting room had even been informed.
Amber sent Nicci in to bed while she stood out in the hall and read. The eviction gave them thirty days to either vacate or sign under the terms of the new lease, a copy of which was attached. Amber read them. Then she folded up the notice and slipped it into her pocket. She made herself a pot of coffee and sipped at it while watching the news. She thought. She said hello when Nicci woke up and that was all. She went to work.
The funeral was held three days later, a Tuesday. The insurance company covered the cost, which meant it was a group job, and although it was scheduled ‘between the hours of eight and eleven,’ the other funerals apparently dragged long and then there was lunch and so it was nearly two in the afternoon before Mary’s name was called and the cardboard case with her label pasted on the side slid by on the belt and disappeared into the oven. Nicci cried a little. Amber put her arm around her. They got a lot of dirty looks from the other mourners, even though it had only been sixteen years since Measure 34 had passed—Zero Population Growth, Zero Tolerance—and they had both been born by then.
Amber was used to getting dirty looks when she went out with Nicci. Sometimes siblings could pass themselves off as cousins or, even better, as just friends, but not the Bierce girls. Even with different fathers, they were each their mother in miniature and the three years between them had an oddly plastic quality: in the right light, they could be mistaken for twins; in the wrong light, Amber had occasionally been addressed as Nicci’s mother. Part of that was the size difference—Nicci was, as their mother used to be, fine-boned and willowy below that round, cherubic face, while Amber was pretty much round all over—but not all of it. “You were just born old, little girl,” as her mom used to say. “You were born to take care of things.”
She tried to take it as a compliment. The only part of Mary Bierce that knew how to be a mother had been cut out years ago and tossed in a baggie with a biohazard stamp on the side. The parts that were left after that didn’t give a damn about homework or lunches or scrubbing out the toilet once in a while. Someone had to be the responsible one and if Amber wasn’t actually born knowing that, she sure learned it in hurry.