...been revising a particularly troublesome chapter which my editor has deemed, "In need of a lift." (Whatever that means:)
13's been giving me fits. Keeping me up at night. The root cause behind my displaying the personality of a wolverine around Wife-Dearest and the Offspring, (not a music group.)
In any event, I thought I'd toss an excerpt to the wolves and see how it gets chewed upon. Feel free to say your peace...and as always, thanks for reading.
The orange tabby greeted me with an air of indifference as I returned from school, my cheeks numb from the biting wind. Winter was the only time of year when the cat's fur coat resembled something worthy of a pat. Perched on the hood of the Charger, no doubt in hopes of an engine still simmering from recent use, it took on the shape of a Browns's pom-pom, its protective fluff thickened for the season.
He offered me a slight tilt of his head as I stood before him, backpack slung over my shoulder. A pair of amber eyes, beautiful and deceiving at the same time, studied me, unblinking.
I'd tried sneaking him inside several times, but he always refused, turning tail and lumbering into the cold as if to say, "Come on kid, what do you think the coat's for?"
Katie and I had always considered him our cat, but chances are, so did every other kid in the neighborhood. He simply wandered up to Katie one summer afternoon, looking as if he was suffering from mange and in need of some lunch. He tried to purr for better effect, but only resulted in coughing out a balled up clump of grass coated in phlegm.
While we'd never officially named him, he seemed to react to a particular phrase from each of us. For Katie it was, "Aww, pretty kitty." For Dad it was usually, "Get outta my way."
I sensed a savvy intelligence when in his presence and not playing a prank on him. A yank of his striped tail or a snowball to the back of his head. Something in those eyes, bright like fired candlewicks in the dark. It was in the way he often looked at me. Like he knew what was happening to my family.
I reached out and stratched an orange tuft behind his ear. He leaned forward, eyes softening at my touch. If he did know of my family's crises, he wasn't talking about it. Which made him the only one...