Smelling of the smell of broken bakelite, the calico cat raced in from the foyer and leapt to the lap of longhaired Annie Winple.
No, she said, lifting down the cat.
It sulked away as the child rose, pulled at her jeans, and went to the window.
Mom, she called, resting her elbows on the sill. Mom will we be going to town today?
Glancing back to the empty room, she cut herself off, and turned fully to the window, leaning more heavily against the new wood. The lawn outside faded to yellow flatness, looking wholesome as the wheat fields at the art galleries back in the city had.
The yellow fields stretched outward, stopping only at a hard gold horizon, stretched tight to hold up the broad blue sky.
The girl sighed, breathing the smell of new paint and cut wood.
She began to turn to gather up the cat—she read that when a cat wants your lap, it’s an honor—but a bright dot appeared far off above the horizon, spit yellow, and turned to a red flame within a knot of black.
Mom, she called out.
The black absorbed the red into itself, and arced smoothly down toward the golden horizon, leaving a smoky tail.
Mom! Mom, she called louder.
The black knot touched the horizon and disappeared. A dark column slowly rose above it. The blue sky quickly absorbed the smoky curved tail.
The child had called for Mom enough; she’d learned to call enough, but no more. Mom would come if she chose or was able.
The child leaned harder against the sill, watching the smoke rise beyond the horizon, from wherever what’d fallen had disappeared.
"Claire" Sample Chapter:
Look Over Novel "Claire" - In which two brothers farming the US midwest witness an object blown from an exploding airliner fall onto their property. They are astounded by what they find the object to be--and see it as their key to fame and forture. The novel follows the ups and downs of their quest for the payoff they're sure is waiting.