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Now, you might be wondering who this book I'm reviewing is by, because I didn't put the author in the title.
Or, you just tapped a random thing on WriteSpike and absolutely don't care about any of my other posts, which works too, but I'll answer that question above anyway: it's mine!
...Well, sort of.
Now, this is a blog for queer literature and all, but mainly, it's my blog, and I get to decide what I put on here: so, this is one of my works, except... it's not finished yet. So, it's more of an excerpt than a book right now--but, the end goal here is a book, which I will likely advertise the fuck out of on this blog. So, until I get that book, y'all get a small (or... maybe a bitesized?) portion of the book that I think are worth sharing and also because my need for attention is a bottomless pit.
For background--one of my current WIPs is called Just Desserts, it centers a 23-year-old baker of the name Nisay Ouch revisiting her hometown after her family left when she was thirteen with no explanation or any word. Everyone from her past is confused at her disappearance and subsequent reappearance, but her new business Bake My Breath Away distracts everybody she cares about from the questions they should probably be asking, and she's welcomed back with open arms--that is until the news draws attention to a serial killer roaming the city, labeled the Mirror Murderer. Their surrounded in controversy and mystery--their only victims are other criminals, and many argue that the people they kill (however gruesome it may be) had it coming. While determined to keep her head down, when all fingers are pointing at her, she becomes more determined to keep people's fingers out of her pies and ends up needing to prove her innocence in regards to the murders. And all that's going to take is some friends, her older brother's cookbook, a mystery that's probably perfectly solvable, and whatever social skills she can pretend she has. The worst problem she has to face? If she's going to prove she's not a murderer, she has to prove she might be something much, much worse.
Needless to say, I'm very proud of the plot, and I'm an attention whore, therefore y'all get to see a part I'm really proud of. This isn't the first time I've shared my writing--it probably won't be the last.
"Alright." Nisay runs her flour-covered palms on the apron over her thighs, and turns to face her friends head on. "Let me tell you a story."
She hunches herself over the counter, folds her arms onto it and looks up at them seriously. Bonita's face is still pinched with concern, an arm raised to thumb over the cross pendant of her necklace—everybody else doesn't look concerned so much as they look… anticipatory. They know this is serious. They know nobody's gonna like what she's about to share—and that includes Nisay.
"When I was a little girl," she said. "Most people believed in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. I believed in ghosts." Actually, they all did—but she can't lose her flow to add that on, and she needs to make this quick—she has a carrot cake in the oven, and a ticking timer on the counter. "Specifically, that they—as in, all ghosts, maybe ever—resided in my attic. My evidence? In the middle of the night, I would hear their feet scraping on the floor, right above my head. They would snarl, and hiss, and slam their fists onto the floor—like, like they were trying to break through it. For years, I believed they wanted to crack a hole into my ceiling and snatch me from my bed. Like aliens, but without the lights, and the crop circles, and the machines. My whole family told me I was crazy—until one day, when I was nine, I went up there with my stupid little Polaroid camera, dressed up like a journalist, and decided I would find evidence of these ghosts. Three steps in, a box tipped over and poured itself at my feet—y'know what was in there?"
Nick's got his hands in his pockets, his sleeves rolled up to his forearms, and his bottom lip between his teeth before he tentatively asks, "…Human bones?"
"Close!" Closer than she's gonna say. "Five raccoons."
Mary-Anne says, "That's nowhere near close."
"It was five raccoons," Nisay persists. "That was what I was hearing at night. Not wandering spirits, or remnants of the dead—" Okay, that last one's a lie, but sometimes, lying's the morally correct thing to do. …Or… legally correct, at least. "It wasn't ghosts at all! It was just a nonstop raccoon sex party going on above nine-year-old-Nisay's head every night."
Bonita's concern has turned to absolute bafflement. "…I don't understand."
"What I mean is…" She sees a face in the glass door of her bakery, looking in, watching, and prays it isn't who she thinks it is, and prays they don't come inside. Her prayers have never been answered—but maybe this one will be, this time. "…when you hear hooves on roads, sometimes it's horses, and sometimes it really is a zebra. The most-likely answers aren't always the right ones. Sometimes, the hooves are zebra's, and sometimes, the ghosts in your attic is actually an on-going raccoon orgy."
They're silent for a long moment—she decides this must be a good sign, claps her hand down on the counter and smiles up at her concerned friends. "Good talk."
She goes to check her timer, and right before she gets to the kitchen in the back, Johnathan calls out, having been silent for this whole time, "So… did you, or did you not kill that corpse we found in the dumpster outside?"
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