The whole kit and caboodle at one time! That’s what happens when I’m under the weather for a few days, barely getting the necessities taken care of. Poor neglected blog! But I’m making up for it, all in one post, to wit:
When you are sick, dishes pile up, laundry is ignored, and meals are whatever can be found in the pantry or fridge that isn’t covered in mold, like week-old bread. Tuna- Peanut Butter Surprise is the dish du jour. But the worst thing of all is having to accept that any brain activity more advanced than breathing or blinking becomes nearly impossible. That includes creativity. Enough congestion, and one simply does not have room inside one’s skull for a single, creative thought. Raise your hands if you have found this to be the case, yourself.
Sadly, we don’t have an actual guest blogger today. Just me. So I’m sharing a scene from my upcoming book, Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3. In this scene, Rabbit is letting his best friend, Finn, know how he feels about Finn’s new nickname for him. As usual, he does so in his own, irrepressible manner, outmaneuvering Finn completely. Enjoy! (But do be prepared for Rabbit’s “raised in the wilderness,” mountain dialect. He’s being home-schooled, but has a long way to go. Those aren’t spelling errors, I promise.)
Rabbit grinned. “You always know the right words, Daddy. That there’s just what I was tryin’ to say.”
“You said it good, Rab,” Finn chimed in. “I understood just what you meant.”
Studying his friend through narrowed eyes, Rabbit finally asked, “So is ‘Rab’ what you’re gonna be callin’ me from now on?”
Finn gave him a devilish grin, all dimples and straight, white teeth. “It’s my new nickname for you. What do you think?”
Rabbit pondered his answer, then he shook his head. “It don’t seem fair, you get a nickname to call me, and I don’t got one for you. Reckon with a name as short as Finn, onliest thing I can call you is Ffff.”
Finn’s mouth dropped open. “Ffff? What kind of nickname is that?”
“That’s the kind you get when your name don’t have but one of them ol’ syllables,” Rabbit announced, and changed the subject. “So, are you gonna eat that there sandwich, Ffff, or just keep starin’, like I grew me another head?”
“You can’t call me Ffff! It doesn’t make any kind of sense.” Finn sputtered with indignation. “It’s just dumb.”
“I reckon it ain’t no dumber than makin’ up a nickname for a nickname. Rabbit ain’t my for-real name, you know.”
Mac could almost see the wheels turning in Finn’s head. He wondered if the boys might be getting ready to have their first real disagreement, but he should have known better.
The two friends simply stared at each other in silence, and then Finn started to giggle. “Ffff,” he said, with a shake of his head, and another giggle.
The corner of Rabbit’s mouth twitched. “Yep. I reckon that’s what it’ll have to be. Just Ffff. Easy to spell, though, ain’t it?”
The dam broke, and the boys flopped on their backs on the dusty road, hysterical with laughter. Rolling from side to side, they clutched their stomachs, barely able to breathe. Raleigh and Mac grinned at the sight, and then the sheriff burst into full on laughter, as well.
“Mac, that boy of yours is just too much.”
“He is that, all right,” Mac agreed, and joined in with the rest of them.
When everyone had calmed down enough to catch his breath, Finn wiped his eyes, and gave Rabbit an arm poke. “Tell you what. If you promise never to call me Ffff in front of anyone else, I promise I won’t call you Rab in front of anyone, either.”
Rabbit pursed his lips, pretending to think it over. “Hmm. I got me a better idea. Let’s don’t call each other neither of those things ever, no matter whether anyone else can hear us or not. Deal?”
“Deal.” Finn held out his hand, and the boys shook on it, faces completely solemn. Then they both erupted in giggles, and the whole thing started up again.
Mac and Raleigh let them enjoy the moment. It was a release they all needed after their earlier fright, and they’d have to get serious again soon enough.
Freshly Tweaked Cover for Harbinger
(I made Ol’ Shuck’s eyes creepier.)