The more I polish Manitou, the more I fall in love with this story. OMG it is so good – I can’t believe I wrote it 😉 Cheers to my muse! Here’s a pivotal scene in Chapter 2. Hope you like it!
I leaned in to really stare into my own eyes. Why did two people, three if you count Kanaan, say I looked different today? I turned my head side to side, lifted my chin. Nothing. I didn’t see anything different. My dreaded paleness was still the same.
I unclasped my mom’s necklace and laid it carefully on the counter away from the sink. The delicate chain was thin and it held a silver star my father had made for her in high school shop class. She wore it every day including the day she died. Now I wore it every day.
Once the steam rose from the shower stall, I stepped in and put my head directly under the water and stood there for several long minutes. The heat and pressure of the water felt amazing. But when the water cut through the ointment on my arm, it stung and the skull rushed to the front of my thoughts.
I hated when I allowed myself to be intimidated and that skull had intimidated me. That will stop tonight, I vowed. I pumped my favorite body scrub onto a puff. Inhaling the lavender scent, I promised myself to deal with the skull right after that shower and prove to myself once and for all that it isn’t magical.
That decision made, I quickly finished.
A towel wrapped around my body, I stood in the hall and took a very deep breath before opening the door to my room. I tried; I really tried to feel something. The terror that Ella felt or the bliss that MawMaw felt, but I didn’t feel anything at all. Some aura, I thought of the conclusion that Amaya so easily jumped to.
I closed the door and tugged on my most comfy pajamas. I psyched myself into a self-righteous tizzy that logic would prevail. It always prevails.
I took a seat at my desk and slid the file cabinet drawer open. I started to reach in with my bare hand, but decided to use the socks again. Not that I’m afraid of it, I told myself, but because I still didn’t know what the material was and whether it was safe to touch.
Gingerly, I took the skull out and put it on top of my desk. I turned it around and upside down looking for a battery compartment or circuitry to explain the regeneration. I didn’t find either.
Opening the pencil drawer, I fished around for a magnifying glass. Finding it, I inspected the surface up close with the lens. I was fairly certain that this material wasn’t human bone. It wasn’t anything at all close to what we had studied in biology. The opalescent abalone had a metallic-like sheen at certain angles and covered the skull completely and smoothly. Even the edges of eye sockets were of the same material. I was so engrossed with studying it that I forgot my fear and scratched it with the magnifying glass.
Through the magnifying glass, I could see the chalk like substance just beneath the thin layer of sheen.
The white sparkled and fizzed, filling in the light scratch I had made. I gasped, dropped the magnifying glass, and jumped out of the chair away from the skull.
“Oh my god,” I whispered to myself.
Then, I felt a tingling inside my arm. There were just a few skull flakes left sparkling on my wound – in my wound! I tried to wipe them off, but it was too late. I felt them tingling and burrowing into my flesh.
And then within seconds the flakes and the tingling sensation were gone, and so was my wound. The flakes had completely healed my arm.
I stood across the room from the skull and I couldn’t breathe.
“What the hell are you,” I whispered to it.
I expected Manitou to be released in September 2011, but I’m making such good progress that it will be published a month, maybe two, early. I’m so excited!
Thanks for reading,