Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Extreme Snow and a Snowy Excerpt
Lately it seems like records have been broken everywhere and I'm not talking about the Olympics eithers. I live in Dallas, Texas and we had snow on Christmas Eve, leaving us with snow on Christmas Day..something we have not seen in these here parts for quite some time. A White Christmas was something even my great great grandparents had not seen. It hasn't happened since the 1800s! Usually the sun is shining and it's fairly warm on Christmas Day here. It's even been in the 70's before. That's more like a Texas Christmas.
And now...we just had what the weather folks call "the once in a lifetime" snow fall!! It snowed quite a bit in the 70's when I was a kid but usually five inches max. It snowed 12 1/2 inches here last week!!! We made two snowmen..well...two snow ladies and one was a snow witch, complete with a Halloween wig and green nose, broomstick and pet frog. We made tons of snow ice cream and snow cones. My two year old just loved to eat the snow plain in a giant plastic bowl as he watched his cartoons. Normally, if we get snow at all, it's not fit to eat, not clean enough..dirty and icy. This was pure champagne snow, powder fresh and white, white, white. It was so yummy! I watched the news and saw how officials in Canada were trucking snow in for the Olympics. Hey, come down here and get some! We have PLENTY!
Well, now most of the snow has thawed. Our snow ladies are two mushy piles in the yard but we'll never forget the record snowfall of 2010! We were snapping pictures of the kids in front of the snowman. I had a flashback to the 70's when I sat on my dad's knee next to our snowman. And now my babies are on my knee. It was cool to finally get the snow back from our childhoods and THEN SOME!!!!
I thought it fitting that I'm writing a novel set in Alaska when we receive record snow!!! Here's a teaser from my novel set in Circle City, near the Yukon Flats.
Zoe stacked frozen venison steaks into the oversized freezer on the back porch while the puppy relieved himself near a frozen boulder. She heard a twig snap then the sound of crunching snow. The puppy didn’t weigh enough to crunch snow and wasn’t near the woods. She felt someone watching her and reached for her rifle leaning against the cabin. A gray blur flew past her and she raised her rifle. She blinked. And then the puppy was yelping, held in the jaws of an enormous gray wolf. Zoe took a step forward, cocked the rifle. The wolf growled, baring his fangs while the puppy dangled helplessly, kicking like a frenzied jack rabbit. She took a step forward and from out of the woods and the sides of her cabin, a circle of wolves emerged, all of them growling, approaching with canines flashing. Huge wolves. Like the one she’d killed by the creek. Like Jack’s mother.
She blinked and realized in a split second that she’d never kill them all. She took a step backward onto the porch, reaching blindly for the door behind her while she struggled to hold the rifle up with one arm. And then one of them from the left pounced on her. She screamed and fought as the wolf snapped at her throat, spilling blood, nicking her with one sharp canine. Her world swam before her. The panic and fear was all too much. She knew she would soon die and though it would end her pain, she realized in that final moment of consciousness that she wanted to live. More than anything. Jacob’s face flitted through her mind and she felt the sensation of her husband holding her close, breathing into her ear.
Another wolf bounded into the cabin and changed into a man when his feet hit the worn wooden floors. He grabbed the wolf by the neck and slammed him against a wall. “I want her alive!”
Lord of the Wolfen turned and growled at the lesser wolf now shaking his head in the corner. “Take her to the caverns,” he ordered.
The wolf nodded in answer and was changed in two steps, now a bulky man with black, spiky hair. He grabbed a quilt off the bed and wrapped the woman carefully. Blood oozed from her neck. He licked it clean and then hauled her over one shoulder. When the three stepped outside, the wolves were now all changed. All of them were men except for the young woman that carried the whining puppy.
Dacien withdrew a wooden flute from his coat pocket and blew three silent notes. From both sides of the cabin came four dog sleds, led by a fleet of rambunctious, glorious, white Alaskan huskies, blue eyed smiling creatures of servitude. Kory took the puppy in his hands and held him to him, breathing in his scent. “We’re going home, grandson.”
The Wolfen boarded elaborate sleds with red velvet covered seats and fastened fur lined hats over their heads. This part of the woods was secluded with only a few homes between Zoe’s cabin and the caverns, but they could not risk being seen as wolves, particularly during hunting season. The few times they’d actually come across people, Kory used his Russian accent and had said they were vacationing in the area. He’d remembered to erase the person’s memory on all but one occasion. And it had been a grave error. The local sheriff had stopped them, looking for some hunters who had reportedly killed two polar bears. And it had been true. Lord of the Wolfen had killed two of the creatures for the waxing ceremony. They’d feast with the young males coming of age in the clan. The sheriff had let Kory go, bidding him a safe trip but the wolf had smelled the man’s disbelief, a scent akin to dry earth. The Wolfen were now being watched and Kory continued to curse himself for failing to hypnotize the man and erase his memory when he’d had the chance.
A fierce north wind blew the snow into their faces, but the dogs knew the way. Night had fallen when they reached the caverns. Dacien leapt from his sled, turning into a wolf in mid air, springing into the cave and down the narrow, freezing pathway that led to the secret snow covered entrance. Upon arrival, he changed back, reached into his coat pocket and unlocked the circular roof, allowing the clan passage into their home underground. The caverns of the Wolfen were 1500 years old. A mansion beneath the earth with two dozen rooms, housing Lord of the Wolfen, his family, his brothers and their families. It was their loyalty to one another that had kept them alive and thriving for so long.
Tisa’s banishment had been hard on all of them and now her death had plunged them all into darkest mourning. But there was much to celebrate tonight. One of the pups had survived. The woman’s sacrifice to the Holy Trinity would at least now be delayed. She would not die for killing Tisa. Not tonight. Kory would allow his grandson the grand honor, but first he had to grow into a man. A Wolfen man. The Kontar and Ivan would be dealt with soon. And Kory knew just how to punish them all for his daughter’s death.
Happy Reading and Happy Writing!