Equilibrium Christmas storyOctober 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Equilibrium, Short story | 2 Comments
Tags: dreamspinner, equilibrium, snippets, tinsel and dust
I am back in New Zealand after my sojourn in the US, via a week in Hawaii for a conference. Hawaii was hot, it had excellent pineapple and outstanding bacon, and I spent a lot of money there. I’m delighted to be back home, mostly because of getting to sleep in my own bed and having more options for clothing than what fitted into my suitcase 7 weeks ago.
I bought some incredibly snazzy Doc Martens while I was away, I am ecstatic about those. But I didn’t really start this post to talk about all of my new swag. I started this post to talk about the weather. Sort of.
When I got home on Friday morning and did my laundry, all of my clothes had dried on the clothesline by that afternoon. Today, there was not a cloud in the sky, and I was quite unpleasantly warm and sweaty (oh, sorry, “glowing”) by the time I’d finished pulling up 7 weeks worth of weeds from my backyard. This is the time of year when I start avoiding going out into the sun for too long in the middle of the day, lest the pale, delicate flower that I am gets burned to a crisp in the ozone layer-depleted Southern Hemisphere sunshine.
All that means that summer’s coming. And in this hemisphere, it means that Christmas is coming too. About six weeks ago I mentioned that in December I will have a short story coming out from Dreamspinner entitled “Tinsel and Dust”; it’s a coda to Equilibrium, which picks up a couple of weeks after the novel ends and describes Michael and Ryan’s first Christmas together in Burreela. I don’t have a blurb for it yet, but now that we’re six weeks closer to release what I do have is an edited version, so I’m going to share a little bit of it with you now. I hope you enjoy it.
Michael first became aware of the warmth of Ryan at his back. He sighed, snuggling back into Ryan’s body and settling back down. But after a moment he realized that something felt wrong, or odd, not right; he rubbed at his eyes and blinked awake, to be confronted by huge blue eyes in a pale face just inches from his own in the before-dawn grayness of the room. He gasped and jerked back violently, elbowing Ryan hard in the ribs. Ryan grunted and curled in on himself, pulling away, but all Michael could do was put a hand on his chest so his hammering heart wouldn’t pound right out of it.
“Fu—udge, Jack, what are you doing?” he whispered fiercely. He looked at the clock. “It’s five in the morning!” They’d only been asleep for a few hours.
Jack smiled at him, not seeming to notice his mood. “Santa’s been!” he said, and ran out of the room.
Michael stared after him, then slammed his head back on the pillow. “Unbelievable.”
“Ow,” Ryan said from behind him, his voice muffled by the pillow. “Rudest awakening ever.”
“Sorry,” Michael said over his shoulder. “He scared the shit out of me.”
“What did he want?”
“Didn’t you hear? Santa’s been!”
Ryan groaned. “Christ almighty.” He rolled onto his stomach, shoving his face further into the pillow. “Santa wants to go back to sleep. There aren’t enough Tim Tams in the world to make up for this.”
Michael reached back and patted Ryan on the backside. “Don’t get too comfortable, Saint Nick. If I have to get up, so do you. That’s the deal.”
Ryan groaned again and put the pillow over his head.