Here’s a sample from my paranormal thriller, Lives of Ghosts, pages 138-40:

He glanced over at me.  “Are you feelin’ okay?  Yer looking poorly, so you are.”

I ignored him.  “Can Wolf come in?”

Donal moved further in to the room and added the wood to the growing pile on the floor.  He stood and turned his emerald eyes on me, full strength, as if educing an explanation for my blush with some supernatural mind-power.  I stared back, just as irreverently.  I squashed the daydream in my head and brought forth an image of Wolf’s lopped tongue and happy grin.

Donal’s Irish eyes narrowed to slits and his lips pursed together so tight they turned white.  Who was going to win the staring contest?

I won. 

He blinked and said, “He’s very comfortable in his dog house on the porch.”

“Please…?”

“Why d’you want Wolf in here?  He’s a wild animal and should be outside.”

“Because it makes me happy.”

Donal crossed his long arms over his chest and stood astride near the end of my little bed.  He resumed The Stare but it swiftly softened when I protruded my lower lip and raised my eyebrows in an effort to appear poignant.  The snow in his hair was melting, darkening it and causing his curls to lay flat against his head.  Despite his fierce and authoritarian projection, he became polymorphic, childlike yet resplendent. 

“It’ll make you happy?” he asked with the oddest tone, a cross between disbelief and wonder.

Seizing the moment, I nodded vigorously and appreciated this movement no longer caused pain.

“Yer a right pain in the arse…Rebecca.”

“W-what did you call me?”  Blood drained from my face in a wave of icy prickles as a spasm of terror clamped my stomach, creating a tight lump.

Donal smiled and shrugged seemingly unaware of my sudden panic.  “Rebecca.  Like the book.”

I thought about that as I fought to regain control of my insane reaction to such an innocent and pretty name.  If I couldn’t remember who I was then it made sense to call me something.  “Hum, well, I actually think I have more in common with Mr. DeWinter’s second wife, she was a no-namer too.  Rebecca was the evil first Mrs. DeWinter.”

“Do you want to be called something else?” he asked, his brows knitted with concern.

“No!  Rebecca is fine.  It’s better than being called Hey Lady.”

He smiled warily, grasped the doorknob and pulled open the front door.   

A bitter draft of swirling snowflakes coiled through the cabin like the twisted fingers of death, clawing and reaching for my soul.  The strong breeze almost doused the fire and my erratic, steamy breath puffed out in front of me as shadows darkened the room.  Through the open door, the wind seemed to moan ‘Rebeccaaaaa…’ as if the Grimm Reaper had just approved of and consummated my virginal identity.  Abruptly, the flames danced and stretched toward the black void of the chimney, fueled by the fresh oxygen. The heat rushed toward me, evaporating the chill and warming my exposed flesh. 

I jumped and cried out when a cold nose nudged my clenched hand.  Wolf was standing next to the bed, wagging his furry tail.

Forcing my pulse to slow down, I took a deep breath and scratched behind his ear, whispering “Hey baby” while searching his expressive eyes.

Copyright Shannon O’Brien 2012

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