It’s the beginning of November, and here in the U.S., that means Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. It’s nice to have a day to be thankful for everything that’s happened in the past year, but I feel like we should be grateful all the time. I try to be, anyway. There is almost always something I can be thankful for, even in a really crappy week, like a mug full of my favorite tea or hot chocolate.
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I’ve noticed in recent years that a lot of people, at least in my social media circles take the whole month of November to be thankful for something each day, which I love to see. I don’t post those myself, though on my Facebook page, I do start every day with something that is making me happy, or I try to (some days it’s hard to find happy so early in the morning, haha). Today I have lots to be grateful for: it was daylight when I got up this morning (that is a big deal for me, I hate getting up in the dark, so setting the clocks back last night made me very happy!); the boys popped in, so I was able to send some potato soup home with them (that slow cooker recipe I made the other week was amazing!); I was able to get my new day-job computer set up relatively smoothly earlier so it’s ready for work tomorrow morning; I had outside/neighborhood kitty time more than once today; I had time to get this month’s manuscript project printed out and ready for me to work on it. I could probably find a few more things today that I’m thankful for, but I think you get where I’m coming from.
Now, I’m off to actually have some of yesterday’s soup (southwestern corn chowder; the verdict: it’s good, but not really very much spice to it, so if I do it again, I’ll bump up the hot peppers and seasonings) and sit down with this month’s writing project. Before I go, I have a little snippet for you from the third book in the Medusa trilogy, Freeing Medusa.
Hunter had to do more digging to find Katharine than he’d guessed would be necessary. It took him several hours and finally a phone call to a friend at the DOT to get her mailing and street addresses. By then it was too late to call or show up at her door unannounced. But he headed there in the morning after checking in at the office to see what Mary Ann had on tap for him. Luckily, he had a couple hours free before he had to meet with a new client.
He debated getting her a gift certificate for a lingerie store to take along, to replace the underwear he’d destroyed, then decided that might be a little much, considering he was still virtually a stranger.
Instead, he picked up a fistful of daisies and drove across town to the address his buddy had given him last night. A neat little one story white house with an attached garage. Two narrow flowerbeds flanked the two steps to the front door.
And a tall guy in black shoved open a window at the side of the house as Hunter eased his car along the street.
Heart pounding faster, he didn’t stop in front of her house as he’d intended, but down the street several houses, and the way the homes were spaced on her street, it was far enough that the guy wouldn’t hear him and automatically assume he was coming to Katharine’s. He left the daisies on the seat and sprinted back to her house, through her neighbors’ yards. He peered around the corner of her house. The side window was open, and there was no sign of the man. He was inside.
Hunter’s pulse quickened even more. No time to call the cops. He stepped up to the front door, noting the alarm company sticker in the front window. He didn’t want to do damage to her door, though, or alert the intruder to his entry, so he pulled a pick out of his pocket and jiggled it carefully in the lock until the latch gave. Then he stepped inside, holding his breath while hoping the alarm would take a few seconds before it went off.
There was silence through the little house. Maybe she hadn’t set the alarm. He shut the door with no sound. Then he heard a low voice.
Good thing he hadn’t given up carrying. He whipped his gun out as he crept through the living room, past the empty kitchen and an office. He stopped when he got to the open door of the bedroom, leveling his gun on the dark man standing over her bed with a wicked-looking, slightly curved blade in his hand. In the open collar of his shirt, a gold pendant gleamed around his neck, something too small for Hunter to see exactly what it was. A few feet from there, the curtain fluttered in the breeze coming through the open window.
“Drop it,” he said evenly, hoping Katharine stayed right where she was, lumped beneath her blankets.
The guy jumped, startled, clearly so absorbed in his own plans that he hadn’t paid any attention to the rest of the house. Good thing for Hunter, and for Katharine. Bad thing for the intruder.
From the corner of his eyes, Hunter saw movement on the pillow, but he couldn’t take his gaze off the intruder to see what it was. He just hoped she stayed in her spot on the opposite side of the bed long enough for him to deal with this asshole.
“Do you really want to stop me?” the other man said in heavily accented English. “From killing this monster?”
“No monsters here, buddy. Drop the knife. Now.” He jerked his gun a little, indicating the rocking chair in front of the closet where the knife wouldn’t be easily reachable again. More movement on the pillow, and this time, it looked like a couple of snakes in his peripheral vision. Couldn’t be. He kept his gaze on the other man. “Do it.”
The other man’s dark eyes narrowed, mouth tightening, his expression furious. “It is my duty to kill the Medusa.”
Hunter cocked his weapon. “If you don’t drop your weapon now, buddy, I’m going to put a very large hole in you. One you will not recover from.”
The dark guy muttered something Hunter couldn’t understand, something foreign, and, after a few more seconds, tossed the blade away, but not where Hunter had indicated. Instead, he threw it over the bed so it stuck in the plaster wall beside the mirror attached to her dresser. When Hunter glanced away from him to be certain that the dagger hadn’t done any damage to Katharine, the intruder leaped out the open window.
“Dammit,” he muttered, striding to the window in time to see the back of the other guy vanishing around the neighbor’s back porch a few dozen yards away. He pulled his head back in and froze.
Those were snakes on the pillow, several of them.
“Katharine,” he said quietly.
“You should go, Hunter.” Her voice was choked, hushed.
He frowned, his gaze still on the snakes. They were in her hair. “Honey, there are snakes–”
“I know. You should go.” She sucked in a harsh breath, and the lump of her under the blankets contracted.
His frown deepened. That couldn’t be. The snakes were not just in her hair, they were her hair. His eyes widened, and his jaw dropped. “Honey, I think you’d better tell me.” His racing mind called up the other man’s words–“the Medusa.”
But those old myths weren’t real.
One of the dark snakes lifted its head from the pillow in his direction and hissed at him.
So, while I go work on Katharine and Hunter, what are you thankful for this week? I’d love to hear what makes you grateful, even when it isn’t Thanksgiving.