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September 17, 2010 / theoldsilly

Hugs and an Excerpt for Y’all

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my new novel, Beware the Devil’s Hug. Enjoy, and would love to hear from you in the comments. Have a great day in Bloggydom, y’all.

Excerpt From Chapter Nine

The Old Man got off first and extended his hand, assisting her down the three steps to the crumbly and littered sidewalk. “You okay, my lovely?” A dog yapped in the distance, street paper trash ruffled in the breeze. Faint thunder far to the east.

“Yeah, I’s fine.” She pointed west. “It’s just a couple blocks down, then a right. Follow me.”

They walked the distance in silence. Shortly after making the right onto her parents’ street, Destiny held a finger out. “Over there on the right. The blue two-story.”

They walked the last twenty yards, ascended the porch steps, and The Old Man stood to the side as Destiny rang the doorbell, followed with a couple knocks on the aged, peeling oak door. A stir and footsteps were heard from inside, fast steps to the door preceding a short pause. A second later the sound of several locks and bolts being undone was followed by the door swinging wide open revealing a fifty-ish, stout, short, yet still pretty black woman. She covered her smiling, wide mouth with her hand in a gasp, clutching at her heart with her other hand.

“Destiny. Oh, baby, come here to Momma, Precious.”

Destiny stepped in wearing a gracious smile and accepted her mother’s open arms and long hug. She loved the smell of her mother, and the musky odor of the old, long-lived-in home felt in a strange way comforting. After a moment, her mother, feeling Destiny’s back and sides, pushed her back and said, “Honey, you’s way too thin. You not eatin’? Let me look at you.” She stepped back and shook her head. “Oh, no. No, this ain’t gonna do. You gonna eat something before you leave here, li’l miss. Momma don’ play that.” She folded her arms and widened her stance in an ‘I dare you to defy me’ expression.

Destiny giggled, shifted her stance to wink at The Old Man, and turned back to her mother. “Moms, let it go, okay?” She patted her tummy. “Just stuffed myself with pizza, I’ll have ya to know.”

Mother looked her daughter over, skeptical. “Hmph, well, you’s as skinny as a toothpick, honey.” She paused to look over at The Old Man. “This here who you was tellin’ me ‘bout?”

“Oh, sorry, Moms, but yeah.” She took The Old Man by the hand and said with zeal, “Moms, this is Iam. Iam, this here’s my mother.”

Kassandra Jackson looked him over, stunned. Even in decent clothes and cleaned up, Destiny knew, he probably looked way to old and uncomely for her daughter. Kassandra forced a smile and extended a welcoming hand to The Old Man after a quick side glance to Destiny and a look that told her, we need to talk.

“Pleased to meet you, ahm, I’m? Your name again?”

The Old Man shook her hand and smiled. “Yes, it’s spelled I, a, m. Iam.”

“Hm. Well, now. Different. Oh, my, where’s my manners? C’mon in, make yourselves comfy. Destiny, take Iam here into the livin’ room. I’ll fix us some coffee, okay?”

“Sure, Moms.” Destiny led The Old Man away as her mother shuffled off to the kitchen.

Kassandra called out over her shoulder, “Cream an sugar, too?”

“Yeah, Moms, for me anyways.” Destiny looked at The Old Man who nodded. “Him, too.”

Groaning came from a back room. It’s him, Destiny knew. The old bastard’s …, she caught herself, my father is in the back bedroom, and suffering. Poor man, she forced the thought. She glanced at The Old Man, sitting beside her on the worn, red and black, corduroy sofa, who smiled back her with a perceptive expression. An old, saggy-backed calico cat walked into the room, looked Iam over, walked nonchalantly past him and nestled against Destiny’s leg, purring.

“Aww, hi, Kittikins, how’s my baby doing?” she said, reaching down to pet the cat. She turned and said to Iam, “She’s got to be like, mmm, fifteen years old? She was only two when I left home, but I guess she ain’t forgot me somehow. We was like this,” Destiny twined her forefinger and middle finger together, “when I was livin’ here. Oh, come here, baby.” She picked Kittikins up and set her on her lap, stroking the animal that by now was filling the room with contented purring. The grandfather clock sounded seven times, chiming its chorus to the feline’s refrain.

Kassandra came back with a loaded tray emitting dark roasted aromas, set it on the black, chipped Formica coffee table, and handed Destiny and The Old Man their cups. She sat across from them in a creaky wooden rocker and took a sip. A woeful howl came from the rear, causing her to look down with a tired frown. She let out a weary wheeze and looked back up at her daughter. “Destiny, I cain’t tell you how much I appreciate you comin’. Dad’s not got long, they say, an he be in a world o’ pain.”

Destiny finished stirring the cream and sugar into her coffee, raised the cup to her lips and blew across it. She set it down, sure it was still too hot. She looked into her mother’s eyes. “Moms, I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t wanna come at first, cuz, well,” her shoulders rose and fell, “you know, but,” she put a hand on The Old Man’s leg, “Iam sez the best way for me to get all like healed inside is to forgive my father for what he done to me.” Destiny’s eyes filled, dripped, and she whimpered.

Kassandra regarded The Old Man for a few seconds, then said, “That right? You’s the one could finally git through to her?”

The Old Man brought two fingers to his lips, a small smile playing across his mouth, looked with sincerity into Kassandra’s eyes, which were also tearing up. “Ma’am, your daughter is a wonderful person.” He put his hand on Destiny’s, still on his leg, and leaned forward. “I love her. And I wanted to help her. She’s just been hurting inside, aching and empty, and went down some terrible paths in her young life as a result. So if advising her to come here and make things right between her and her dying father is, as you say, ‘getting through to her,’ then, yes, that would be what I did, but,” he took Destiny’s hand and held it to his heart, “ultimately it is she who has done this for herself. You should be proud of her.” He turned to smile at Destiny. “Lord knows I am.”

“Lord knows Iam,” Destiny said in slow repetition, gazing back into The Old Man’s eyes with a sudden realization. Wow—the Lord knows I am—Iam is his name. Did I die back in the apartment an this’s all some kind of vision or somethin’? Is Iam really an Angel?

“Honey? You all right?” Her mother’s words snapped Destiny out of her speculative pause.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry, was just thinkin’ about somethin’ is all.” She lifted her cup, drank one swallow, another, set it down. More moaning in the back prompted her to clap both knees with her hands, stand, and say, “I’m ready, Moms. Take me back to see my Daddy.”

~~©Marvin D. Wilson~~

(Beware the Devil’s Hug now availabled on Amazon, at All Things That Matter Press, and most major bookstores)

~~~~~

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21 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh / Sep 16 2010 6:43 am

    Did she die and become an angel?

  2. unwriter1 / Sep 16 2010 7:48 am

    Good choice of excerpt. The rest of the book is just as good.

  3. karen walker / Sep 16 2010 8:27 am

    You sure do know how to tantalize and tease, Old Silly.
    Karen

  4. L. Diane Wolfe / Sep 16 2010 8:51 am

    Can I guess what happens next????

  5. Kissie / Sep 16 2010 10:32 am

    Bookmarking this one, you know I’m a slow reader. 😉

    Hey, did I win a copy of this yet? I thought you said the people hosting the tour would get a copy. Okay, will be back.

    • theoldsilly / Sep 17 2010 5:26 am

      Ahm, you DO have a copy, Kissie … I sent all the hosts an e-copy (pdf file) of the whole book waaaaay long ago, my dear. 🙂

  6. Elizabeth Spann Craig / Sep 16 2010 10:57 am

    Nice excerpt, Marvin! Congratulations on this release!

  7. tashabud / Sep 16 2010 3:57 pm

    I like what I’ve read so far. I want to know now whether Destiny was only dreaming or not.

    My copy of “Beware The Devil’s Hug” is still saved in my hubby’s Amazon. Com shopping cart. He’s just waiting on some Blueray movies that are presently out of stock to become available. He’s going for the no shipping charges on purchases of $25.00 or more you see. I’m all for saving money, especially in this economy.

    Tasha

    This will give me time to finish the 3 books that I’m currently reading.

    • theoldsilly / Sep 17 2010 5:27 am

      Tasha, awesome – can’t wait to get your feedback after reading Hugs!

  8. Patricia Stoltey / Sep 16 2010 6:30 pm

    Are you passing out hugs, Marvin? Since I’m about halfway through Beware the Devil’s Hug, that’s kinda scary. It’s a great concept for a novel (and some pretty good writing too).

    • theoldsilly / Sep 17 2010 5:27 am

      Thanks, Pat – looking forward to your review and the stop at your blog on the tour!

  9. ReformingGeek / Sep 16 2010 7:29 pm

    Very nice, Marvin! Good Luck with the book sales.

  10. Stanley Berber / Sep 17 2010 5:23 am

    Awesome scene, Marv – and really left me hanging – can’t wait for my copy to arrive now!

  11. Cactus Annie / Sep 17 2010 5:30 am

    I just got my copy and had to NOT read this excerpt when I realized I wasn’t that far in the book yet … don’t want to spoil the surprises, lol. GREAT book so far, Old Silly!

  12. Helen Ginger / Sep 17 2010 9:43 am

    Love that his name is Iam, Marvin.

    Hope you sell tons of books.

  13. heidiwriter / Sep 17 2010 9:09 pm

    Very intriguing! You hooked me.

  14. yvonne lewis / Sep 18 2010 12:26 am

    This sounds as though this is going to be a good sale, an excellent choice to read.
    I hope it does well as you have worked so hard and deserve all the luck you get.

    Yvonne.

  15.  / Mar 31 2011 8:50 am

    good posting, i definitely enjoy this website, keep on it.

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