Tough Shores… (An Excerpt From Butterfly in Amber)

You will get sprinkles and you will like it

You will get sprinkles and you will like it

What better way to try out this new website than posting a little excerpt from Butterfly in Amber, for those of you who crave some ice-cream!

I’m so used to Stiles always hovering behind me that it takes me a whole minute to notice he’s stopped a few feet away, in front of a different stall. His eyes dart my way—the professional never sleeps. I trot back to him to see what could have possibly distracted the steadfast Joshua Stiles . . . and stifle a laugh. Those tiny Christmas costumes were meant for dogs, as evidenced by the many pictures hanging on the shop’s walls, but it won’t stop him: I can already see the cogs spinning fast in Stiles’s brain as he examines a reindeer costume and its pair of felt antlers.

“Feeling inspired?” I ask.

He strokes his chin. “Could be.”

While Stiles rummages through the owner’s stock, a series of shrill sounds reach us, coming from the direction of the ice-cream truck. We look over our shoulders to check the source of the commotion. Flash tantrum: a little girl just collapsed in the snow and is now emitting otherworldly screeches. Stiles returns to his shopping, but I keep watching, fascinated. Apparently they’re out of strawberry cones, and the child is now attempting to tear her clothes off in a textbook case of possession.

The crowd too witnesses in consternation as the mom attempts to reason with the vile little turd writhing in the slush at her feet. Suddenly, a scoop of ice cream flies from the truck, fired at the kid with deadly precision. The shrieking stops. The air becomes still as the girl stares up at the old and burly clown leaning over the counter. Her round face is smeared with pinkish goo; she looks winded. Before she can open her mouth again, the clown finishes her with a handful of sprinkles that land in her hair and barks, “Seuraava.” Next.

In the US, that would probably go all the way to trial, but instead the mom simply picks up her child with a solemn nod in the clown’s direction. Tough shores.

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