Going to start this morning with an apology. I know some of you were getting ready for a Zoom event with us and Grace Draven hosted by Ashland Library in conjunction with Bank Square Books, but there was an unexpected development in our schedule. We have to postpone it for a bit.
It’s not cancelled. Only postponed.
We apologize. We offer a very small snippet as a tiny bribe. They won’t let us give you large snippets at this stage.
Bern had bags under his eyes, and they weren’t clutches, they were totes. He was chugging a Red Bull and staring at his laptop. Next to him, Runa nursed an iced coffee, her expression grim. Halle, her sister, slumped in the chair next to her, with her face on the table. Past Halle, Ragnar had the pinched look and wide eyes of someone who was trying his absolute best to stay awake.
The door swung open, and Cornelius entered, his expression grave. Matilda was next, her long dark hair gathered into a ponytail. She was carrying a fluffy Himalayan cat, whose full name was Go Mi Nam and who usually answered to “kitty.” Patricia Taft was the last to enter, carrying a trashcan. Some people had a stronger reaction to nightbloom than others.
Matilda walked over to Ragnar and deposited the cat on his lap. Ragnar blinked at her, startled.
“Comfort,” Matilda explained.
Go Mi Nam dutifully purred like a runaway bulldozer.
“Do I not get comfort?” Leon asked sadly.
Matilda walked around the table, hugged him gently, and petted his hair as if he were a dog. “It will be okay. You can shoot people next time.”