In honor of the release of my debut novel, Of Dreams and Shadow, I thought I'd introduce one of the characters. Meet Sarah Jones:
Details…they were the making or breaking of any plan and he felt sure that his plan was perfect. He surveyed the yard one last time, slid back into his hiding place and waited. It wouldn’t be long now. She would open the door and come out to play as she did every morning: swinging, pulling her wagon, playing with her doll. Only this morning would be different; this morning would be special.
Laying in her wagon was his gift — a necklace he had taken from his mother. He was certain Sarah would love it. A door slammed, pulling his attention from the wagon to the patio where the little girl stood.
“Big…black...bug’s blood,” she said slowly. And then, looking rather pleased with herself, she continued a bit faster, “Big, black bug’s blood, big black blugs blug, blig black blug’s blug.” Shaking her head, she stepped off the patio, “I don’t like bugs anyway…well, maybe ladybugs…and butterflies,” Sarah added as a swallowtail fluttered by.
Sarah found herself following the butterfly’s trail, stopping when it lit upon a flower and continuing on as it once again took flight. “Come back butterfly,” she called as the butterfly flitted from place to place, always just out of her reach. The tinkling sound of her laughter floated across the yard to his hiding place. He couldn’t believe his luck. It seemed that fate was lending him a hand as the butterfly fluttered ever closer to the wagon.
Just a little further, sweet Sarah.
She stopped, looked up at the butterfly as it changed course and then set off in the opposite direction. He clinched his fist. Fate, he thought, is like a fickle strumpet. But patience on the other hand, was quite the virtuous lady. Damn. He hated virtuous ladies. And strumpets…they weren’t any better.
The swallowtail, perhaps tired of playing the game, circled around and carried Sarah back toward the wagon. Its flight was now one of purpose. It had nectar to collect and flowers to pollinate and a curious little girl was a hindrance. The butterfly, however, didn’t need to worry. It had lost Sarah’s attention. She had seen the gift.