Posted by: Trisha Leigh | September 14, 2010

Tuesday Teaser – A Bit of Levity

I’ve been posting on Mon, Wed, Friday but have decided to break the cycle this week to post a tease. Partly because I want to share something fun  – but mostly because I don’t have any ideas for blogs tonight.

This is a BRAND new WIP for me but its different than my other stories. Its fun, and I daresay I little lighthearted. At least so far.

Hope you enjoy!

The ghosts were at it again.

I felt the familiar tickle of icy fingers as they trailed up the backs of my legs, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake. I pulled the sheets and blankets close around my chin, hoping maybe if I ignored her she would leave me alone. I knew better. The mattress shook at thirty second intervals over the next five minutes, as though an invisible knee banged into the side. I relented and popped my eyes open.

No one was there. Not that I expected to see her.

It had been a restless night, and not solely because of Mrs. Windham’s cranky spirit. The others had been awake as well, roaming the upper floors. Creaky floorboards, slamming doors, and wind that blew through our closed up house combined to make sleep difficult. Gray, early morning light streamed around the heavy curtains and I glared at the empty room. “Geezus, Mrs. Windham. You couldn’t wait past dawn? What in tarnation do you want with me so early?”

Silence and the vague scent of decaying roses answered me. That woman didn’t want anything but to be a nuisance. My aunts said they’d angered the spirits, but never divulged what transgression had earned us such an infestation of haunted souls. The authenticity of their statement seemed questionable since we couldn’t get the ghost of Anne Bonny out of our boathouse and my aunts, though ancient, could not have been alive to anger an eighteenth century pirate.

As far as I could tell, my aunts never did much of anything at all, save sew and weave on that damnable tapestry.

I looked longingly at the bed, then rubbed my eyes and yawned. Might as well get a head start on breakfast. My stomach rumbled its agreement as I brushed my teeth and yanked my light blond curls into a bun at the top of my head. I’d shower later, after my run.

At the bottom of the winding staircase the kitchen waited, dark and silent. This early, empty part of the day brought me happiness, and I often rose before my sisters and aunts to enjoy the solitude. The old women rarely rose before early afternoon, since they measured, sewed, and wove deep into the night.

This morning, though, my aunt Aisa joined me as the first steaming pancakes came off the griddle. I turned and jumped at the sight of her, my heart leaping into my throat. The back of a mahogany chair held me up for a moment as I set the plate down with a shaking hand. Aunt Aisa chuckled, the deep wrinkles in her powdery white cheeks stretched wide. “You’re about as jumpy as they come, Maurtia. Don’t go on about them spirits keeping you up again, either. Tune ‘em out, girl.”

I didn’t answer, irritated at the fright she gave me. Instead I plopped butter, syrup, grape juice, and silverware onto the giant, dull, pockmarked table and slid into the seat across from her. She grabbed a pancake and slathered butter on one side, rolled it up like a burrito, and took a bite. Aunt Aisa gazed out the window as she chewed, ignoring me. I buttered and syruped my own pancakes then ate them off a plate with a fork like all normal people do.

My aunts were triplets, like my sisters and me. Though my sisters and my resemblance ended with our curly hair, my aunts were identical, from the tops of their wild white tresses, past their rheumy blue eyes, down to the tips of their bare toes.

They refused to wear shoes. Ever.

Mostly that meant my sisters and I did all the grocery shopping and other errand running that involved leaving the property.

We figured that’s the reason they’d taken us in as orphaned infants – so they could go about their business and never have to associate with proper society. My aunts, known around town as the Moirae sisters or simply the Sisters, were not actual relation to us. Our parents, whoever they may have been, left us squalling on the Charleston, South Carolina docks when we weren’t but eight days old. The Moirae sisters felt a connection to us because of our triplet status and took us home.

Lucky us.

They said the only thing they knew about us were our names, printed on cards and pinned to our brown, yellow, and red onesies. Now, in my opinion they could’ve changed those. Especially mine.

Instead here we were sixteen years later. Nona, Decima, and Maurtia Parcae.

The last bite of my breakfast disappeared as my sisters stumbled into the kitchen and fell into the chairs on my left. Nona pulled the last two pancakes toward her, doctored them, and began to eat, not noticing when her long brown curls dipped into her syrup.

Decima – Dee to everyone – tucked her deep red ringlets behind her ears and gave me a manipulative grin, her blue eyes shining with mischief. That face might charm other people but I knew the truth – she wanted something.

I relented without being asked and went back to the griddle, fixed another heaping pile of pancakes, and set them in front of her. Nona finished and carried her plate, along with mine and the still staring Aunt Aisa’s, to the sink. She perched on the edge of the counter, her bare heels tapping the cabinets as she studied me through intense, green eyes. “You look tired, Maury. Up late with your ghosts again?”

The ghosts never bothered Nona the way they did Dee and me.  She wasn’t teasing, though. Nona rarely joked. “Yes. Mrs. Windham mostly, the old bag. I’ll be fine.”

“Mrs. Windham is better than old Otis Bainbridge. He spent half the night plucking out my eyelashes every time I snored.” The circles under Dee’s eyes told the tale of her own restless night.

“You girls need to leave those poor old souls alone. They’ve been through enough.” Aunt Aisa turned her attention from the empty back yard. She seemed surprised to see Dee and Nona had joined us.

Dee rolled her eyes. “Aunt Aisa, they’re the ones bein’ difficult.”

I smiled a bit at Dee’s Southern accent. Though we’d been brought up in the South, the Sisters speech didn’t bear the slightest affectation. As a result, neither did ours, though Dee liked to play at an accent around town. She’d perfected a rather good one.

Everyone in Savannah loved Dee.

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Responses

  1. Nona, Decima and Maurtia, huh? Hmmm…

    (nice job!)

    • Are you hmmm-ing because you don’t like the names or because you recognize the names?

  2. I’m hm’ing because I recognize their meaning.

  3. Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson? Ha, I love the picture.
    I take it your teaser is an excerpt from your novel? It sounds really entertaining, and I might even read it, though I don’t usually hit-up the YA genre. I’m sure I couldn’t write in this genre if I tried, so kudos.
    I have a few teasers myself. In fact that’s most of my blog site. Honestly, I am really pushing for some professional (or aspiring) input and constructive criticisms. If you’re interested, or have time…
    Looking forward to more of these. BTW, how is your agent treating you? I may be looking for one in the near future (fingers crossed).

    • My agent is treating me wonderfully while still pushing me to be my best. She’s great. I will stop by your blog and check it out!
      Also, thanks for the compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt!


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