Bits and bobs, from several projects in the works. All Settlement characters, though I’m playing around with another prequel, as well as a different, what-if, possible world scenario.
He lifted his glass “As you see.”
“Me too. Scotch?”
He turned to face me and smiled. “Scottish. As in, I am a Scot.”
“Oh.” I felt myself flush. He certainly was. “I meant your drink.”
“Oh, aye,” he laughed. “Islay malt. No my favorite, but it’ll do.” He turned his head toward my table, where my half-finished drink sat slowly melting. “What’re you having?”
His eyes cautiously moved over my face, looking suddenly hesitant. “Am I to extrapolate that you’re Caipirinhan?”
I giggled and flushed further. “No, I’m American. I just like them.”
“Aye, a warm and hospitable people, the Caipirinhans. I like them too,” he smiled, and looked me straight in the eyes for the first time.
His raised arm fell, and he kept blinking, trying to clear his head. He looked at the people, drenched with rain, who stood in a circle around the mud pit where he’d been fighting. Drops ran down his steely shoulders and back, plastering his trousers to his narrow hips and tense legs, and turning the blood pouring from his nose and ear into diffuse pink streamers.
When Anna Reyes was fourteen years old, Leo Tolstoy told her that happy families are all the same. Anna, who had already developed what would be a lifelong habit of credulity in the absence of disproof, threw the borrowed copy of Anna Karenina into the corner and, after making sure that Abuela was still outdoors chatting with the neighbors, muttered “Horse shit.”