Monday, November 15, 2021

Short Story by Dani

Hi dear blog readers,

How's everyone doing? I hope this finds you well and in good spirits. 

I miss being here, but I haven't had any new stories to post. All the ones I have are unfinished, and the ones you know have been published for Kindle. "No Strings Attached" would be my next big project, but I haven't gotten around to it as I've been working on new stories and making sure my published ones are good to go. 

The past almost two years have been a doozy, to say the least. I know we are all trying to get through this as good as possible. For me, my writing has kept me occupied, but it hasn't been easy. I work in healthcare, and it's been tough and very stressful to the point of burnout. Life has thrown me a few curveballs, and I tried to deal with it as best as I could. 

Anyway, I was looking through old files and folders yesterday, and I came upon this unfinished idea of a short story. I had about five pages written on it, and when I read it, I decided I needed to finish this gem. I think at the time I wrote this, it was kind of an experiment, but it deserved to be finished, and so I did this yesterday. It also brought back my story "Caoimhe's Hands" to my mind again, which has been sitting patiently on my computer, waiting to be finished. 

I thought about where to post this short story, and the blog came into my memory. The story is fantasy romance; it is probably not overly devy, but it's romantic in a way. I enjoyed finishing it yesterday, and I wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy reading it; let me know if you did. 

I miss you and sending hugs out to you.

Yours truly, Dani 

(If you want, connect with me Dani Deveaux on IG, FB, GoodReads,WordPress, or as DevDani on DeviantArt) 

Short Story Cahal and the Maiden of the Lake

Saturday, November 6, 2021

New ebook in the making

Hi everyone!

This is a (slightly modified) repost from the original post that I scheduled for the wrong day. Sorry, Catarina!😅

I know it‘s been a very long time!! Ahhh… I’m so sorry! I literally have no excuse, life just happened. Picture me slinking in quietly again as if the past year hadn't happened (I mean... has it for anyone, really?).

I have great news! I’m currently working on publishing my story from this blog, Lobster with a straw, as an ebook. It took me a while to edit it but I’m finally done!! Yes, yes, yes! I added some chapters and a (steamy… 😊) epilogue and I hope you’ll very much like it. I got so much help from the incredible trio Rowan, Annabelle and Devo Girl - kudos, kisses and hugs to you three. I love you! So dear reader, if you are excited about this news, consider it their achievement.

I don’t have a publication date yet and I got overwhelming replies from those of you who read the original version of this post, calling for beta readers. Thank you so much to those who volunteered so quickly! I'm forever grateful and eagerly awaiting your feedback.

You can find the first, revised chapter of the new ebook here.

Cheers,

Lovis

 

PS: I am already working on new chapters of “Not Gay” as a thank you to those awesome beta readers I could win! 😊

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ is back!

 Oh wow, has it really been a whole month? If you wanna re-read the previous chapter or haven't checked it out, here's an easy link. I kept trying to finish this chapter, and when I did, I kept trying to post it but couldn't find the time. But fear not, I bring good news! I managed to get past it, I feel like the next ones will flow so much better. 

Here's the much awaited (I hope) chapter eleven!

I hope to make it next week. I've a bunch written already. Please please please let me know what you think! I'm worried the story is too... Stretched? What do you think? Should I try and be more concise and tie the loose ends already, or this pace feels nice for you? I've been writing it for so long that I can't really tell, haha 

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Be if from the comment box, or my email caterin.alighieri@gmail.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

No update :(

 Hey, lovely readers!

I am so sorry to say I don't have a new chapter for you this week... I have about half of it done, but there's still so much to go and I just haven't managed it. Life's been biting me in the ass lately, with work and just stuff destroying my general mood, hence no decent writing. 

I think I reached a place in the story where I know what I wanna do, but I don't know how to get there exactly. But I hope to get past it. I just need to trigger the right plotline. I hope you're still following Ben and Liv's journey.But I wanna let you know that I'll be here next week for sure. I really hate being such a slow poster now—I'll get the story going once again, promise.

It would help immensely if you'd drop an idea, perhaps a prompt?, in the comments. It could be something you wanna see in the story, a phrase, a word... Just to get my juices flowing. I'd love some motivation!

Anyways. Thank you ;) and again, I'm so sorry that I showed up empty handed today. Posting here has gotta be one of my biggest pleasures.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ Update!

 Hey, everyone!

I had this chapter ready last week, but I wasn't entirely happy with how it was looking, so I held it back so I could work on it. It's from Ben's POV, and there's not much of Liv in it. Sorry about that! 

Here's Chapter Ten

It goes back and forth between the present and his time in rehab—I hope it's not too confusing! I tried to get around it by putting the flashbacks in italic but I honestly think it's kinda lazy of me lol But I hope you like it, so please let me know. (This was also intially thought as a bonus chapter, but there's no way a bonus should be this long, so a chapter it is). Hopefully I'll have finished next week's chapter in time.

And the song is from brazilian queen of rock 'n roll Rita Lee, Reza.

Let me know what you think!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Sea Hag Update CH 18

 Chapter 18 is up!

Honestly, I'm sort of running out of written material at this point, so updates may be more sporadic while I try to finish it.

I thank you for reading and your lovely comments and I will strive to get this done in a timely manner.

<3

And here is the Table of Contents for ease of navigation.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Wednesday update!

 Hey! Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. It really means a lot to me, and I look forward to posting every week. 

I aaaalmost forgot about today's update because I hadn't fully edited the chapter, but I made it! So here we get to see a bunch of Ben's past. I feel like this chapter is kind of... Concentrated? It's shorter than the past ones, but there's lots of dialogues and I'm kind of wary about it, so please let me hear your thoughts.

Here's Onde Anda VocĂȘ, chapter nine!

I actually had a different idea for this chapter, but then it was too late to change (if I wanted to post in time). Maybe I can still make use of it next chapter. Hope you like it! Again, I edited and posted this using my mobile, so I hope I didn't let anything nasty through—let me know!

And give Rubel's Partilhar a listen! It's a feel-good song, pretty hard not to like.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ new chapter!

Hey everyone! I'm sorry that I left you hanging last week—I actually had the chapter ready, but I had an insane week and was so absolutely tired that I forgot to post, and then it was too late. But here I am now!

Here's Onde Anda VocĂȘ, Chapter Eight

I hope you like it, and please let me know what you think. As always, I love reading your comments.

And here's the song that goes with it, Tiago Iorc's Hoje Lembrei do Teu Amor.

Enjoy!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sea Hag Update CH 17

 At long last! Chapter 17 is up.

Things are super busy, but I'm trying.

The Table of Contents incase you missed something.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ update!

 Hello there!

I'm glad you could enjoy the previous bonus chapter, maybe I'll post those every once in a while—what do you think? My weeks are about to get real busy, and as much as I'll try to keep my regular posts on Wednesday, I never know if I'll make it for sure. I'll try to have as many chapters and bonuses as I can under my sleeve ;)

Without further ado, here's

Onde Anda VocĂȘ's Chapter Seven.

Featuring lots of Ben and Livia spending some time together, and Bachan! 

Here's the music that comes with it, Nando Reis' All Star. 

Oh, and I wrote this chapter entirely through my phone, so please let me know if you can spot any typos, or grammar mistakes and I'll fix it asap. And I always love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment or reach me through my email, caterin.alighieri@gmail.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ — "why did you move my wheelchair across the room?"

 Hey, everyone!

I'm doing all this posting and editing through my phone because as it turns out, my PC decided it was time to retire, so I hope everything is looking fine. 

I had a crazy week and unfortunately couldn't work on a proper chapter for you, so I decided to turn this month's writing prompt entry into a small bonus chapter of sorts featuring Ben and Livia so that this Wednesday wouldn't go by completely blank. It's something a reader requested a while ago and I found a way to slip into the story. It's a short one, but please let me know your thoughts! 


Here's Onde Anda VocĂȘ' bonus chapter.


I hope you can enjoy it, and hopefully we'll go back to a regular plot schedule next week. Cross your fingers and check last chapter if you haven't already. ;)


TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sea Hag Update! Ch 16

 Apologies for missing last week's deadline. Here is where you'll find it, and I will try to be more diligent in the future


Edit: The TOC

Friday, August 13, 2021

New book out

Hi PD Fiction Blog readers,

just wanted to let you know that I finally finished editing and working over "For The Love Of Not Walking" and it is now available on Amazon Kindle and KU.

Some of you may remember the story from a few years ago and if you enjoyed it then, I hope you consider purchasing it for your Kindle so you can now read the new and improved version. If you enjoy it or any of my stories, please leave a review or rating. I am always happy to connect with my readers behind the scenes or on social media.

I am constantly learning and working on improving my writing, so my readers will have a good experience. I have some other stories in the works and may tackle "No Strings Attached" next. I know it needs A LOT of work.

I miss you and hope this finds everyone in good health. 

Here is the link: 

For The Love Of Not Walking

Love, Dani



Thursday, August 12, 2021

August Writing Prompt

 Thanks for all the fantastic prompt suggestions!  I think I have enough now for at least the next few months.  I'm going to only include one sentence in the prompt though, because that will produce the most variety in the stories.  

You can include the prompt anywhere in your story.  Or you can simply be inspired by the prompt even if you don't use it.  

Put your story in the comments!  Don't count on it accepting a comment longer than 400 words, but last time some people broke up their submission into two separate comments. 

Without further ado, here's the prompt:

"Why the hell did you move my wheelchair across the room?"

(I'm going to play by the rules this time and put my submission in the comments.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ chapter update!

 Hey everyone! I almost didn't finish this chapter in time for the Wednesday post, had a huge tech issue with my PC, but here I am! Didn't wanna leave y'all hanging after last chapter. This is a long one, with lots of Ben and Livia. Let me know what you think, and I hope you like it!

Here's Onde Anda VocĂȘ, Chapter Six

And here's the music that comes with it, Raimundos' Mulher de Fases. It's all about women and their phases, which I think fits well given the context, haha.

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Writing Prompt ideas?

Since our last writing prompt was such a fun success, I wanted to open the floor up to writing prompt ideas for next week.  Please put your ideas in the comment!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ update!

 Hello, lovely PD readers! I'm back with another chapter, and I know I've been promising more Ben action, and there's some in this one, but not as much as we'd like hahaha I hope you enjoy this chapter, it's longer than the past ones. Writing Ben and Livia's story has been such an amazing past-time, I just can't stop, haha!

here's Onde Anda Voce chapter five!

The music is Leoni's Garotos II. The background is that Leoni parted ways with his companion and bandmate Paula Toller and wrote a response to her song Garotos, in which she calls boys immature and reckless. In his version he basically says boys are just fools around women. 

Hope you like it!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Monday, August 2, 2021

Vote for Best Cover

Hi there, Devo Girl here jumping in on a day when I think no one else is posting. The cover of my latest novel, Flowers by Night, has been nominated for a cover contest on AllAuthor.com. 

 


 Please vote for my cover here: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/11970/

The cover is by our own amazingly talented Rowan. Let's support dev authors and artists by voting for her beautiful work. You may be asked to sign in either by Facebook or on AllAuthor.com. If you want to stay anonymous, get your vote in early, as the first 20 votes do not need an account.

The deadline is August 7 so don't delay!

The ebook is also on sale this week and next week for $0.99 at all online retailers, even outside the US.


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Lobster with a straw - Chapter 1

Some people have the gift to make an entire hall fall silent.

I’m proud to say I can do the same. Only Im none of those people you’re probably thinking of.

Of course it would be kind of great if it were my stunning looks that make people stop talking mid-sentence or the beauty of my smile causing them to stare wide-eyed. Sure, I try to keep my appearance as immaculate as possible. Which isn’t easy if you don’t dress yourself in the morning, shave your own face or brush your own hair. And yes, I’ve heard a few times that I have a sunny smile (mostly from women over fifty, though). But no, I don’t think any of that applies here. I’m pretty certain that those rows and rows of mostly middle-aged, gray-faced men in dark, pin-striped suits aren’t turned toward me now in almost perfect silence because of my style in clothing. Neither is it my voice, because I haven’t spoken yet and I don’t really plan to.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Juniper's Final Update

Thank you, everyone, for reading along and for your kind comments about Sam and Lucy. Here's the third and final installment in their little vignette. Can't wait to hear what you all think.

If anyone is interested, here's a link to Part 1 and Part 2.

Find Part 3 here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

New chapter!

 Hey everyone, I'm back with another Wednesday chapter! After last week's shorter one, this is a long one, hopefully not too long; Ben and Liv get to know each other better, and we get to meet Livia's family. I hope the last part is not too boring. Please, let me know what you think!

Here's Onde Anda VocĂȘ's Chapter Four

And the music is this reggae/rock one that I find really fun, Onze:20's Meu Lugar, hope you like it too!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Update! Sea Hag, Chapter Fifteen

 Can be found here. I'm so glad you like the story, it is motivating me to finish it like nothing else! That being said, I need some time, so future updates will be every other week from now on while I work on more chapters for you!

As always, your comments are life. Thank you so much <3

Also, here is the Table of Contents, in case you missed something.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Juniper's Update

Thank you all so much for your kind words last week about this story! Hope you enjoy the second part. It's short because there wasn't a good place to stop (otherwise it would have been LONG) and there wouldn't have been a third part.

 I'll admit, this story probably isn't the most devvy thing, but hope y'all like the characters/arcs anyway! :) 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ update!

Thanks everyone for the comments last chapter! This will be a relatively short one, compared to the past couple chapters haha. Hope you like it. Also, thank you Izabely for reaching me and helping out with some ideas and details for the story! And anyone can reach me out on my email caterin.alighieri@gmail.com with tips, questions, suggestions... ;)

So finally, here's Chapter Three

Oh, and the music recommendation this week will move a bit from the bossa-nova spectrum and enter a brazilian 80s rock: LegiĂŁo Urbana's Tempo Perdido Let me know what you think. See you next week for some more Ben & Livia!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Sea Hag Table of Contents

 



Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Five 

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Sea Hag, Chapter 14 is up!

 The link is here. Trigger warning for some fairly graphic violence in this chapter.

As always, thank yo so much for reading and double for the comments, you guys are so wonderful and helpful. I am honored by your feedback. <3 <3 <3


Edit: I've been informed that people like a Table of Contents, so here ya go! I will link it in further posts, as is tradition. :P 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Free Friday: I'm not a goddamn stroller

 This is a story from Selina based on the writing prompt:

Bear. That had been his nickname as long as he could remember. As a kid, it was because of his size. In high school, the monster blocks he made as a defensive end on the football field. In college it was a running joke because of his enormous appetite. Now — well, everyone knows that you should stay away from bears. They have a tendency to attack.

“Ben,” Alyssa turned, her auburn hair twirling with her. “Do you still want the phantom berry?”

Bear gripped his wheels and tried to focus on anything but the unintentional cleavage that was right in his face. He instead kept his eyes on the girl hooked over Alyssa's hip. Lily. She had Alyssa's pale blue eyes and jet hair, black like the grave he planned to put Chad in after the shit he pulled on his now ex-wife and daughter.

“Yoo-hoo.” Alyssa waved her hand in front of his face. “Ben Bearkley? Benny bear? You there?

He shook his head – the grizzly brown hair flipped into his eyes.  He really needed to stop putting it off and get a haircut. “Sorry, zoned out for a minute. And yeah, phantom berry.”

“Extra large, waffle cone, and jimmies in the bottom and on top.” Alyssa said with him in unison, grinning. She knew him too well. And that grin could undo him.

It was that grin that had him stripping her under the bleachers when they were 16. Those dimples that brought him to his knees to languish in her taste at 19. And that goddamn flash in those bright blue eyes that kept him going after the accident that changed everything.

He focused again on Lily. Three years old and still sucking her thumb. She clung so tightly to Alyssa, he worried that she might be a permanent growth. Weren't toddlers supposed to be more independent at this age?

Alyssa put her daughter down and whispered in her ear. Alyssa looked at Bear as she did, a knowing look on her face as Lily stepped over to his wheelchair.

“Ben bear. Up.” Lily held out her hands.

Without thinking, he lifted the girl under her armpits and placed her on his lap.  He had spent time with Lily before, but she had never asked to sit on his lap. Lily looked up at him with a huge white grin and wrapped her arms around him. He inhaled and used his hands to adjust the foot that shifted when she wiggled.

He looked to Alyssa who only smirked.

“I'm not a goddamn stroller,” he mouthed to her over Lily's head.

Alyssa shrugged and turned to the clerk to order their ice cream. Ice cream. Why had he thought getting ice cream with his ex and her kid was a good idea?  Especially now that things were officially, legally, and completely over between her and Chad. But... It was Alyssa. And Alyssa was so much more than just an ex.

“Ben bear,” Lily poked his broad chest. “Why do you like to sit down so much?”

This sort of question might have bugged him a few years ago, but coming from Lily it wasn't so bad. He waited a breath and saw Alyssa bite her lip as she waited for his response.

“My legs don't work like yours do anymore, so I get to use this cool chair. Want to see a trick?”

She nodded and he told her to hold on. In a smooth movement, he turned, popped a wheelie and went over the curb. He sped over to a bench, popped a wheelie again, and did a 360° spin.

Lily clutched his neck and screeched with laughter until he came to a stop.

“Again, again!” She demanded.

He obliged as Alyssa moved to the pick-up line.  He wheeled them over to a picnic table, settling himself at the end and depositing Lily on the bench next to him.

Ben couldn't take his eyes off Alyssa. Her teal blue top hugged all the right places and skin peeked out across her midriff. Those inches brought him back to a decade earlier. There were so many nights in the back of a pickup truck, afternoons under the bleachers after practice, frenzied mornings in her childhood treehouse, and the apple orchard.  Always the apple orchard. He looked down at his lap and adjusted. This he could not get used to. With his spinal cord injury, his control over those bodily functions could barely rival a 13-year-old boy discovering masturbation with a lingerie catalog.

He was almost 30 years old. Granted, four years of no action could do that to somebody. But getting a half-mast because of a peek or skin? But Lily pulled him right out of that mind hole.

“Do you love my mommy Ben bear? Mommy loves you.” Lily was observant. She had been watching Ben watch Alyssa.

He cleared his throat. “What makes you think your mom loves me?”

Lily got up from the bench and skipped around the table. She crouched down next to him, examining the spokes of his wheels.

“She said so. To Auntie Cath. She said she never stopped loving you and that she wished she had married you instead of daddy.”

His gut constricted. He wished that too.  After six years of dating through high school and college, they’d agreed to a 6 month “break” to be sure settling down together was what they both wanted.  He knew it would have been, if only Chad hadn’t gotten involved.    

Chad Sutherly. He had been Ben's biggest rival and the ultimate douchebag. When Ben beat him out for captain of the high school football team, Chad swore he would get Ben back. Ben thought nothing of it.  High school football- it wasn’t the end of the world.  It wasn’t even the start.

But Chad had gotten his revenge. He had gotten Alyssa pregnant at what should have been a one-night stand.  Then Ben had landed himself in a wheelchair.  All over a stupid high school football captaincy.

But Alyssa had kept in touch. She had been the first person he saw when he woke up after the crash.  Even though she was pregnant, she swore she would always be in his life. But Ben had pulled back and really lived up to his Bear nickname, especially after she had Lily. He couldn't face the constant living reminder of his failure with Alyssa.

“But Daddy is gone now. Aunt Cath said he is staying with his new skank on whore island.  I don't know where that is."  Lily picked a dandelion from the grass.

Ben had to swallow his gulp of surprise.  Of course Cath would have said that about Chad- Alyssa’s sister had always hated him.  He wondered if she had let Lily overhear that comment on purpose to repeat back to Chad.  It would be a very Cath thing to do.

Lily picked a purple flowering clover and added it to the pile she amassed.  “I wouldn't mind if you are my new Daddy. Especially if you love mommy.” 

Ben tensed.  What could he say?  He didn’t need to bear his soul to a toddler.  But had Alyssa really said those things?  And did that mean that Alyssa might want to talk about what the future might mean for them together? “Your mom is a very special person to me.”

As Lily tied her flowers around his wheel spokes, his heart lightened. Lily might be part Chad, but there was a lot more Alyssa in her. He could see it in her eyes, her curiosity, and in her mischievous grin.

“Can we do another ride? I promise not to squish you.”

Ben laughed and held out a hand to help her to her feet. “Hop on squirt.  You could never squish me.”

Lilly did, then paused. She wrapped her arms around him again and at him with a solemn expression on her face. “I love you Ben bear. Just like Mommy.”

The words hit him. He looked up into the sun for a moment and clenched his jaw.

“You're pretty great too,” he finally managed to get out.

“And I know that Ben bear can be nice, no matter what grandma says about you.”

Ben burst out laughing imagining Alyssa's mother, Pat, saying just that. She was never one to mince words.

He was surprised to hear Alyssa's voice behind them. She had come up with two enormous ice cream cones and a small dish covered in sprinkles.

“I hope you aren’t having too much fun without me.  Phantom berry for the Bear.” She handed over a waffle cone at least 8 inches tall with black raspberry ice cream, cookie fudge swirl, and a heaping portion of chocolate sprinkles. “And a unicorn special for Princess Lily.”

Lily wiggled with anticipation as she leaned forward for her ice cream.

“Come sit next to me, Lil. We should give Ben some space so you aren't blocking his ice cream.” Alyssa patted the bench next to her but Lily stayed put.

Ben shook his head. “She's fine. Not blocking anything at all. Anything.”  He held Alyssa’s gaze.

Alyssa raised an eyebrow skeptically. “I thought you weren't a-“ she cleared her throat “GD stroller?”

Ben shrugged and took a large mouthful of his ice cream. “You know me, I'm just a big teddy bear.”

Thursday, July 15, 2021

New Story: Juniper's

I've had an unusual amount of free time to go back and work on some things I had squirrelled away, so that's exactly what I've been doing lately! Juniper's is an old story with characters I'm quite fond of; but, it is a bit introspective and, yes, a bit melancholy, which is probably why I picked it to heavily edit this last week. Hope you all still like it!

It's a three-part little story, and I'll post the next two parts on the next two Thursday's. Until then, here is part one


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Onde Anda VocĂȘ, update!

 Hey, everyone! I wanna thank everyone who took the time to comment last chapter. I was really motivated to keep writing and so so excited to share the story with you! Also, it's insane that I thought I was the one brazilian reading the blog all these years lol. So glad I could find y'all!

This one is a bit long, but I couldn't figure where I should stop haha 

Here's Onde Anda VocĂȘ's second chapter!

I hope you enjoy it, please let me know your thoughts! Also, here's yet another music recommendation, Cartola's O Mundo Ă© um Moinho. I wrote this chapter listening to it on repeat; maybe I should make the story a spotify playlist lol

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

New Book: Such a Pretty Face

 I just wanted to let you know that Such a Pretty Face is LIVE on Amazon today for purchase!




I’ll let you in on a deep, dark secret of mine:

I’ve never had a boyfriend.

You heard me right. I’ve gone 27 years and never dated a man long enough for him to earn that title. And get ready to be horrified—I’ve never even kissed a man. Not even during a game of spin the bottle.

My mother claims my weight is to blame for my abysmal social life. If only I would follow her new diet tip about eating only carrots until I either drop 50 pounds or die from carrot poisoning. After all, I have SUCH a pretty face.

But now I have a new secret:

I’ve met somebody. Somebody amazing. Brody’s got his problems too, but he’s sweet and nerdy, and he’s also got a pretty nice face. And he really likes me, just the way I am.

Too bad Brody’s got a big secret of his own.  

Get it now on Amazon!

P.S. I would recommend anyone reading on the blog start over from the beginning, because there are several scenes I left out of what I posted here.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sea Hag Chapter 13

 Is up and can be found here 

**A trigger warning is in effect for this chapter as it contains a scene of sexual violence. The following chapter will also contain some violence of the non sexual variety, so please skip it if you don't feel that it will be good for you.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Writing prompt

 I mentioned last week we were going to try a monthly writing prompt.  Basically, post a sentence and readers could post comments with 200-400 word "stories" inspired by the prompts.  Here is this month's prompt:

I'm not a goddamn walker.

OR

I'm not a goddamn stroller.

Use whichever one inspires you more.  There are NO RULES... use the prompt as your first line, within the story, or just as inspiration.  Since the comments are wonky, we would recommend writing it in another editor first.  If you have trouble posting, email it to me at razberripie@gmail.com and I'll take care of it for you.  And if you go crazy and can't stay within the 400 word limit (I couldn't quite make it), we can post it as a separate entry.

My own attempt is under the jump break...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

New Story. Onde Anda VocĂȘ

 Hi, everyone!

I’m Catarina and I've been a lurker for yeeeearsss. This is my first time "publishing"/posting anything in english. I'm a native Portuguese speaker so please, let me know in the comments what's wrong so I can fix it! I'm a nut for grammar... In my own language lol Can't make any promises here but I can learn ;).

I'm excited about sharing this story—I wrote several chapters in portuguese first, sticking to what I know, and then abandoned it for a while because I didn't feel like I could post it anywhere. So I decided to rewrite everything in english and share it here. It's taking me a while, but I could have weekly chapters for ya. I'm just so excited about it!

At first I thought about kind of transfering the entire story to a more americanized setting so it'd feel more familiar to y'all, but I figured 1) I'd be writing about something I don't really know and 2) we all could use some traveling during these pandemic times... So the setting here is Brazil-SĂŁo Paulo. Think of SĂŁo Paulo City as NYC but bigger. I'll try to explain stuff without it being too in your face, maybe adding a couple footnotes. If you have any questions or suggestions or corrections, let me know! I could use the help. And please, leave me a comment with your thoughts.

So here's

Onde Anda VocĂȘ

Hope you enjoy it!!!


P.S. The title translates to Where have you been, but with a walking pun that doesn't really translate. It's also a Vinicius de Moraes song that's really worth checking out.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Pretty Face update!

Thanks for the comments last week!  In this update, Brody and Emily get closer with the help of his PCA...

Chapter 6

Table of Contents

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sea Hag, Chapter 12

 can be found here.

You're all so great, thank you so much for your comments and support <3

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Writing prompt

 Since it has been relatively quiet here, Devogirl and I were thinking it might be fun to do a writing prompt (like an idea or a first line) and have readers write a 100-400 word "story" based on the writing prompt to post in the comments. I was supposed to post the prompt last week, but I failed to do it because I honestly could not think of one that inspired me.  I'm kind of low on inspiration lately.

So here's where I need your help:

Comment with a writing prompt.  Either an idea or a first line or whatever.  And I'll pick one of them to post next Thursday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sea hag, Chapter 11 is up

 Please enjoy here

Thank you so much for reading, and your comments keep me going. You are the best!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Sea Hag, Chapter 10

 can be found here.

This is another short one. 

They seem so much longer when I'm writing them, lol

Thank you for all of your kind comments, they are everything. <3

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Sea Hag, Chapter Nine is up!

in which we meet some new characters, and can be found here

Enjoy! Your comments give me life ^^

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Update to Pretty Face!

 Hi all!  I've posted an update to Such a Pretty Face!  Thank you so much for all the comments last week!

Chapter 2

And if you missed it, here's Chapter 1.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Sea Hag New Chapter

 Chapter Eight is here in which we get to meet more of Michael's family. Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Free Friday Short: Through the Door

Hi, everyone! I'm popping in with a little Free Friday one-off. :) One-off's (and recycled ones at that...) seem to be all I have time for these days... I hope you enjoy it anyway!  

I wrote this many years ago for a little writing exercise/competition that Ann over at Devotion House held on her website. Sadly, I don't know that website is still around, so I decided to post it here, too. The story I'm posting here has changed a bit from the original. Call it a second draft, if you will.

I hope you enjoy Through the Door. :)

Monday, May 31, 2021

New Story: Such a Pretty Face

 Hi all!


It’s Annabelle, back with a new book!  This is actually something I wrote and posted here many years ago, but I have significantly revised it and finished it and turned it into a book that I’m very proud of. It’s coming out in the middle of July so I’m going to spend the next month posting some of my favorite devviest chapters from it (not even necessarily including everything but staying chronological). I hope you enjoy it!  As usual, comments are appreciated, especially since a suggestion from one of the readers is behind the ending of this one.  I'll post on Tuesday from now on.


Such a Pretty Face

There are very few things in life I hate more than going to see a doctor.

Bee stings. That’s one. Cockroaches. That’s another. Anchovies—that might be a tie.

I really don’t want to be here right now.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

New Audiobook!

 


Hi everyone! I'm very excited to announce that my latest novel, Flowers by Night, is now available as an audiobook! I was very lucky to find a professional narrator who speaks Japanese. He did an incredible job, and it's amazing to hear the characters come to life.

You can listen on Audible, and if you bought the ebook on Amazon, there's a big discount. It's also available on Apple, Kobo, Google Play, Chirp, Scribd, and coming soon to most other audio sites. And don't forget to leave a review--I really appreciate it!

I have a few promo codes to give away, if you would like a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Just send me a message. Happy listening!

I also put up images on Pinterest if you're curious about the costumes, locations, real historical figures,  or other details.

The Sea Hag Chapter Six update

 can be found here

Things are heating up on the beach, now! 

Please enjoy.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sea Hag Chapter Five

 Sorry for the delay! I do my best to post once a week, but life happens.

Anyway, Here is the new chapter. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Sea Hag Chapter Four update

 is up and can be found here.

I'm going to change my publish day to Sundays as Saturdays have been too busy for me to reliably publish.

Anyways, hope you enjoy!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Such a Pretty Face, Chapter 2

 

Although there are some New Yorkers who have cars, most of us rely on public transportation. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and you don’t have to worry about cab drivers flashing you the finger during midtown traffic.

I’d prefer to take the subway. The subway clientele are several orders of magnitude crazier than the bus clientele, so it’s easier to blend in. After all, why would anyone stare at me when there’s a demented guy humping a pole? But—and it’s hard to admit this—in the last year, it’s become a bit of a tight squeeze to get through the subway turnstile. I’ve gotten worried I’ll get trapped in it at some point, which has made me shy away from the subway. Anyway, there’s a bus line that runs straight from the university to my apartment.

Today, the bus ride home is miserable. Usually, after my classes, it’s empty on the bus, but there must be some event or something going on in the city because at least three-quarters of the bus is filled when I get on it. I examine the remaining seats, contemplating my options, and finally squeeze into the outer seat of an empty double front-facing seat. I don’t like the front-facing seats because they don’t give me as much room, but it’s my only option if I don’t want to stand. And after working all day and taking classes all night, I don’t want to stand.

Of course, it’s too much to hope for to just have a quiet bus ride home.

About halfway home, these two adolescent boys board the bus. By now, people are occupying almost all the seats, and one of the few empty ones is next to me. But I’m going to be honest: there isn’t room in that seat for another person. I don’t take up two entire seats, but I take up at least a seat and a half. Maybe a small child could fit. But definitely not an adult.

So anyway, one boy pokes the other, and they snicker. They’re laughing at me—I have a sixth sense about this sort of thing. But I stare straight ahead and hope to God that they keep it to themselves and don’t feel compelled to say anything.

But like I said, I’m never lucky.

After about a minute of giggling, one boy says to me, “Hey, lady, how many fares did you pay?”

I turn my head away from him and don’t answer, hoping he’ll give up when I ignore him.

“Hey,” he says again. “Did you pay for two fares? Because you’re taking up two seats!”

Haha. Hilarious. I never heard that one before. What a creative and brilliant comment.

“You should pay a second fare,” he continues. “One for you and one for your fat ass.”

I wish I were the kind of big girl who could speak up to a jerk like that. A big girl who owns her curves like a rock star. I could tell him he’s short and that his soul patch makes him look like a pathetic loser. Or I could say something about how I’m proud of my body, no matter what anyone else thinks of it.

But I’m not that kind of girl. So instead, I sit there, my heart pounding. I’m a little nervous that everyone else on the bus is going to rally up and make me pay a second fare. I wouldn’t mind paying for two fares on the bus if it meant I’d get left alone.

Finally, I hear the voice of an elderly woman speak up from the seat in front of me: “You two kids leave that poor girl alone! What the hell is wrong with you?”

The boys laugh again, but they don’t say anything more and move to the back of the bus. Relief washes over me. They’re gone. It’s over—at least for now.

“Don’t let yourself be bothered by stupid kids like that,” the old woman says to me, turning halfway in her seat. She’s solidly built, and feisty, despite her white hair. Even though she rescued me, I cringe. The last thing I want is to talk about what just happened. Also, I know where this is going.

“Yeah,” I mumble.

“You’re such a pretty girl,” she continues, beaming at me. “Beautiful face. You just need to lose a few pounds and you wouldn’t have to deal with losers like those kids.”

“Yeah,” I mumble again.

“Have you ever tried eating a little less?”

God, this is almost worse than the two kids harassing me. “Mmm,” I say.

Her face brightens. “And then you could find yourself a nice boyfriend.”

Why does she assume I don’t have a boyfriend? Just because I’m alone on a city bus at nine o’clock at night and I’m (apparently) morbidly obese? Maybe I do have a boyfriend! Maybe I’m dating some wonderful, sexy guy, and I’m on my way to see him right now.

Except obviously, I’m not really.

The sad truth is that not only do I not have a boyfriend, but I’ve never had a boyfriend. And here’s my biggest confession of all:

I’ve never even kissed a boy.

That sounds bad. But then again, I’m only twenty-seven. I’m not fifty. There are plenty of years ahead of me for boy-kissing.

Plenty of larger girls have boyfriends. But I’m not some outgoing girl who knows how to flirt and show off my big boobs and shake my juicy booty. I’m incredibly, almost painfully shy, especially around boys. And since they’re not exactly falling over themselves to get to know me, that means I’ve been perpetually single. I’ve been on many dates, thanks to set-ups by people like Camille, but none resulted in even a second date, much less a romantic goodnight kiss.

Do I want a boyfriend?

Sometimes. Sometimes I want it so much, it’s physically painful.

But I’ve never known anything besides being single. I’m used to it. I have plenty of diversions to occupy my time. It isn’t all that bad.

Really.

_____

 

After I get off the bus, I pass the bakery next to my house. Most bakeries close early, but just to torture me, this one is open all day long. And they’ve always got amazing baked goods displayed in the window.

Today the thing that catches my attention is a cheesecake.

It’s not just a cheesecake. It’s a luscious, creamy cheesecake with chocolate drizzled on top of it. My stomach lets out a low growl—it looks so delicious. I want to break the window, grab the cheesecake, and eat it with my bare hands.

I’ve been good today—I had yogurt for breakfast, then that turkey sandwich for lunch, and a salad for dinner. But it’s left me feeling hungry and unable to resist a cheesecake.

I know how many calories must be in it. I’m the world’s expert at looking at a food item and estimating the number of calories. I’m usually accurate within fifty calories. And that cheesecake slice has got to be at least five hundred calories.

But I want it so badly, it hurts.

Resist, Emily! You can do it!

Would it be so tragic if I got a slice of cheesecake? It’s not like I eat cheesecake every night. Just one slice to reward myself for how good I’ve been this month. And it will make me feel better about what happened on the bus. One bite of that cheesecake, and I won’t be thinking about those boys anymore. Or that well-meaning old lady who made me feel even worse than the boys.

Before I can stop myself, I am marching into the bakery. A skinny kid is manning the counter, and he flashes his teeth at me. “What can I get you?”

“I… I’ll have a slice of the cheesecake in the window.”

The boy snickers. “Just one?”

“Yes,” I mumble.

A minute later, I’m walking out of the bakery with a white paper bag filled with a big heaping slice of chocolate-covered cheesecake. And now it’s all I can think about. I can’t wait to get home and devour it. And then I’ll be good for the next six months. No desserts at all.

I swear.

When I get upstairs to my apartment, I place my precious paper bag containing my cheesecake on the dining table and go into the kitchen to get a fork. I live in a “cozy” two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side with a single bathroom and something that the building manager called a “kitchenette.” I wish I could say that I have the place all to myself, given how tiny it is, but I don’t. So while I’m rummaging through the utensils, which are totally disorganized, my roommate Abby wanders out of her bedroom.

“You’re back!” Abby clutches her chest in relief. “I was worried. You’re usually back earlier than this.”

“Yeah…” Making those copies for Brody ate up at least half an hour, everything considered. “I’m sorry. I should’ve texted you.”

When I moved to Manhattan shortly after college, I knew unless I wanted to live in a studio apartment the size of a closet, I would have to have a roommate. That’s how Abby came into the picture. We started as roommates, but now she’s morphed into being my friend. She thinks she is, anyway. I’m not so sure.

I hear the crackling of a paper bag, and I look up sharply. Abby is peeking inside the bag I left on the dining table. “Oh, Emily,” she sighs.

I grit my teeth. I know what Abby is going to say, and I don’t want to hear it. She’s a yoga instructor and a bit of a health nut, and often I suspect that I’m more of a project for her than a friend. A project she’s not doing very well with.

“It’s just a small slice of cheesecake,” I say.

“It’s gigantic!” she says. “You shouldn’t be eating this. I’m going to throw it away for you.”

And then, to my absolute horror, she picks up the bag and tosses it in the trash.

“Abby!” I cry.

“I’m trying to help you, Emily,” she says in her calm Yoga Abby voice.

“I don’t need your help,” I growl. “It was one small slice of cheesecake.”

“Listen.” Abby smiles at me. “Can’t you let me make you a dessert? I’ve got a delicious recipe from my Vegan cooking class that’s less than a hundred calories for two servings.”

Let me assure you, Abby does not have a “delicious recipe” from her Vegan cooking class. She baked me a Vegan cupcake once, and I almost broke a tooth on it. When she makes something on the stovetop, I stay in my room because the smell is so bad. But she’s trying, so I don’t say anything.

“Please?” Abby asks.

My shoulders sag. “Honestly, I’d rather just go to bed. It’s getting late and I’m exhausted.”

She nods and puts a hand on my shoulder. “Be strong, Emily. You can do this—I believe in you. I’m here for you.”

“I know.”

And then she hugs me. Of course, her skinny little arms only get three-quarters of the way around me.

We retire to our separate bedrooms. I sit on my bed, wincing as the springs creak under my weight. There’s an indent in the center of the mattress where the springs have permanently collapsed from the impact of my sleeping on it every night. I think about my diet. How I watch every single morsel that goes into my mouth, and somehow it doesn’t seem to matter. I just keep gaining. I don’t know what comes after morbidly obese… horrifically obese? Shockingly obese? Whatever it is, I’m on my way there. No matter what I do.

So I may as well do what I want.

I get up off my bed. I open the door to the bedroom as quietly as possible—Abby is nowhere to be seen. I tiptoe into the kitchen and open the garbage can. I pull out the white paper bag and sneak it back to my room.

_____

 

I’m sitting in a normal chair in my evening class today. I arrived very early and swapped out a chair from a different classroom with one of these chairs. I’m not taking another risk about not being able to get up.

I also sit on the end, on the same row as the door. Partially because it was easier to drag the chair in. But also, this way I could leave extra room for Brody to get inside and not have to do like ten maneuvers to get his chair to turn around. My entire life involves maneuvering around tiny spaces and feeling awkward about it, so I sympathize with his frustration. I want to help the guy.

It pays off. Brody shows up and sees that I’ve left a spot for him next to me, and he looks thrilled. He flashes me a smile that makes his whole face light up. He has one of the most infectious smiles I’ve ever seen—it’s almost impossible not to smile back. “Hey, Emily,” he says.

He remembered my name. “Hey, Brody.”

“You remembered my name,” he says. He looks as pleased I felt.

Because I’m going to be photocopying my notes for Brody at the end, I spend a little extra time on them. Usually, I take decent notes, but these are especially good. A few times during the lecture, I look up at Brody and he grins at me.

At the end of the lecture, Brody respectfully allows me a few seconds to heave myself out of my seat before he clears his throat. “Hey, Emily, I hate to bother you again…”

“You want to copy my notes,” I say.

He smiles again. Christ, he’s cute when he smiles. Even cuter than Jack. Except Brody isn’t gay. Granted, I couldn’t tell with Jack, but in retrospect, the signs were there. Brody isn’t gay though—you can just tell. I would bet my life savings.

“Yeah, I would,” he says. “Please?”

I notice he says “please” a lot. Even though it’s proper etiquette and you’re supposed to say please, let’s face it, most people don’t say it. But Brody always does. Considering how much he has to ask for help with things, I guess it’s a good habit to have. He was raised right.

“Of course,” I say.

“Thanks so much,” he says. “Your handwriting is really good. Your notes are excellent.”

“I’m glad it helped you,” I say.

For the second time, we make the harrowing journey to the copy machine. I watch Brody as he pushes his hand into the joystick on his chair and his lower body bounces with the imperfections on the floor. I’m curious why he needs that chair. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s paralyzed. He goes a little slower this time, so I don’t have to jog to keep up with him but I’m still walking more briskly than I normally do. Most people don’t realize I can’t move as fast as they can, because I’m carrying around more weight. And once again, we’re having trouble locating the copy machine. I never realized how big this building was.

“What do you think of Dr. Nichols?” Brody asks me.

“He’s pretty good,” I say. “I like the lectures so far.”

“Are you trying to get a Master’s or a doctorate?” Brody asks me.

“Just a Master’s,” I say. “For now. You?”

“Ditto,” Brody says. “I’m a code monkey now and this is the only way I’ll ever get to advance at work.”

I wonder what sort of work he does. A lot of people with a disability like Brody’s might just stay home and do nothing. I appreciate his ambition.

“Oh, I know,” I say. “That’s my situation too.”

“Not that I don’t like my job,” he says. “But I’ve got higher aspirations, you know? I’ve been on kind of a hiatus from the degree and now I’m trying to pick things up again. I took some classes at Queens College but those mostly sucked. Anyway, it’s too big a commute from where I live now.”

I look at him in surprise. “Are you from Queens? Like, originally?”

Brody nods and raises his eyebrows at me. “Yeah. Are you?”

“I am!” I say excitedly. It’s the first time I’ve felt like we aren’t just making awkward small talk. “Where in Queens?”

“Fresh Meadows.”

“Jamaica.”

Brody grins at me. “Did people ever ask you growing up how you managed to get into the city all the way from the Caribbean?”

“Yeah, all the freaking time,” I laugh.

“Where’d you go to high school?” Brody asks.

“Townsend Harris.”

Brody gasps. “You’re kidding! Me too!”

“Well, it’s the only decent high school.”

“That’s for sure,” Brody snorts. “Hey, what year did you graduate?”

We determine we were two years apart in high school—he was a junior when I was a freshman. I try to remember from my freshman or sophomore years if I saw a guy zipping around the halls in a power wheelchair. Seems like the kind of thing I would have remembered. But I’m drawing a blank.

“Of course,” he says, “you were an underclassman while I was a super cool senior. So we couldn’t have interacted unless I was, like, pushing you down the stairs or something.”

I stare at Brody in surprise. He doesn’t look like he’s in any position to be pushing anyone down any stairs, although maybe he was a little more mobile back in high school. That doesn’t seem like something he’d have done at any age though. Maybe it’s just his face deceiving me, but he seems like one of those genuinely nice people.

“I’m kidding,” he finally says when he sees the shock on my face. “Seriously though, what’s your last name?”

“Davison,” I say.

“Emily Davison.” He rolls my name over his tongue. I have such a boring name, but I like the way it sounds when he says it. Some of my irritation over not being able to find the copy machine wanes.

“What’s your last name?” I ask him.

“Nolan,” he says. And before I can comment, he says, “Yeah, I know, Brody Nolan. Could I be any more Irish?”

“Could be worse,” I say. “Your name could be… Seamus Murphy.”

“Or Flynn McMahon.”

“Or Finley O’Sullivan.”

Brody finally laughs. “Okay, you’re right. Could be worse. But Brody Nolan’s pretty bad. Especially with my face.”

I look at Brody’s face. As I’ve said before, he’s got a pretty attractive face. He’s really good-looking. So I have absolutely no idea what he’s complaining about. He doesn’t even look Irish aside from the hint of red in his hair, not that Irish guys are intrinsically bad looking or anything. “What do you mean?”

“I have freckles!” Brody says.

I look closer, close enough to smell his spearmint breath, and my own breath catches just a bit. It turns out he’s right. He has light freckles, mostly over the bridge of his nose and over his cheekbones.

“They’re practically invisible,” I point out to him.

“They were horrible when I was a kid, but they mostly faded when I hit puberty,” he explains. “But if I went out in the sun without sunscreen, I’d have a serious recurrence.”

“Well, I wouldn’t have noticed them.”

“Most people don’t.” Brody shrugs. “But that’s because most people aren’t paying much attention to my face, you know?”

You can’t accuse Brody of not having self-awareness. He’s right—you see a guy in a power wheelchair and his face isn’t the focus of attention. Nobody looks at my face either, except to tell me how exquisitely pretty it would be if only I dropped a hundred pounds.

“Hey,” Brody says. “Are you by any chance related to Cammy Davison?”

I freeze. He’s talking about Camille, of course. Back in high school, everyone called her Cammy. Then she went to college and reinvented herself as Camille. It shouldn’t surprise me he knew Camille—she was very popular. “Yeah, she’s my sister.”

Brody’s eyes widen. “Wow, you’re Cammy’s sister? That’s… surprising.”

He doesn’t have to say what he means by that. Everybody is always surprised I’m Camille’s sister. Because she’s beautiful and I am… me.

Brody notices my expression. “I just mean… she had blond hair, right? And you… you have darker hair.”

Right. Because that’s the only difference between me and my sister. It isn’t like I’ve been through years of people telling me how pretty my sister is. If she’s skinny, why can’t I be?

I would have thought somebody like Brody would be more sensitive. But apparently, he thinks just like everybody else.

We turn yet another corner. My thighs are starting to hurt. Why are we having so much trouble finding this copy machine each time? When I get home, there’s going to be an angry red rash all over the insides of my legs. He doesn’t get it. All he has to do is push that joystick.

Brody is looking down the hall and frowning. “Wasn’t it right here?”

“Obviously not,” I snip.

He scratches at his chin with his curled-up right hand. “Maybe it was in the other direction…”

Oh no. I am not walking all the way back the way we came. My thighs will literally start bleeding. I mean, does he think I have all night to do this with him? I’m sure he wouldn’t drag Cammy all over the floor trying to find a copy machine. No, Camille is the sister everybody loves and I’m the one people take advantage of. Like by bugging me for my notes every single lecture. I’m the only idiot who would agree to do this.

“I’m sorry,” I say in that same clipped voice. “I have to get going. I can’t spend half an hour wandering the hallways with you after every class.”

That infectious smile dies on his lips. “Oh…”

“Sorry,” I say. “Maybe you should ask somebody else next time.”

“I apologize,” he says quietly. “I don’t want to be an imposition. I’ll just ask Dr. Nichols to give me copies of the notes from now on. I won’t bother you again.”

“Well, that just makes more sense,” I say, pushing away a stab of guilt in my chest. “He’s the professor, so I’m sure his notes are better than mine.”

Brody nods and flashes me a tight smile. “Yeah.”

He looks so hurt, I immediately want to take it all back. I shouldn’t have been mean to him. I’m just feeling cranky because my thighs hurt so much, and also I went out on a date with a gay guy last night. And then when he compared me to Camille, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. But I didn’t feel like he was taking advantage of me. He seems like a nice guy. He probably barely even knew Camille.

As I stand there, trying to figure out if there’s something I can say to make it right again, Brody does a one-hundred-eighty-degree turn in his wheelchair. He zooms down the hall to get away from me as fast as he can, and I can tell he’s never going to talk to me again. And that thought makes me really sad.

To be continued...