I have no one to blame but myself. I knew it was a mistake, yet I did it anyway. After all, I read that book "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" to my kids many times, I know what happens next. So now you all want a glass of milk. No, that was the Mouse book. The Moose wanted jam. But it won't stop there, will it? Next you'll want an entire meal. And then dessert. And a sequel with brunch the next morning. Sigh.
So I knew better. And now I'm going to make it worse. Because once you give in, it's a slippery downhill slope. Before you know it, you've given the kids the credit card and sent them to the store for groceries with permission to stop off at the mall for a few things first.
But just so you know, there will be no more after this and here is why. The part that comes after this was originally the beginning. Until I realized it wasn't the right place to start. It is the first part I wrote, a long time ago. Frankly, it sucks-- um, no, that's not true. It needs a lot of work. It will be substantially re-written, maybe even completely deleted, once I finish the book. Which is absolutely normal. Expected. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced that if you don't go back and re-write the beginning after you finish the story, you have no idea what you're doing. Either that or you're so damn good it is beyond my ability to comprehend. Whichever, I am not going to give you that part no matter how loudly or how often you whine about it (yes, OH, I am talking to you). You're going to have to wait until I finish the story and go back and do clean up.
I'll get back to working on that just as soon as I copy and paste here. Keep in mind that even this part will change. Probably.
So here it is (why am I doing this?), the part that is not a prologue:
Excerpt from Tangled Webs, by Katherine James
Eugenia Westbrook was more than a little put out, to put it mildly. She stared at her tightly knotted fist and the edges of the crushed note that stuck out from the sides. She didn't see the wrinkled, age-spotted skin and had she noticed the slight tremor of her hand she would have attributed it to rage rather than age. The note had taken her abruptly back to another time and place, a place she didn't particularly want to revisit, a time when she had been an entirely different person. It was a life she had deliberately left behind.
She had committed the contents of the note to memory by force of long habit, deciphering the encrypted message with ease. The code was old and deceptively simple, one she'd not seen used in more years than she cared to count. The message had been clear and yet she was confounded by what the sender hoped to accomplish.
She thought of herself as retired -- as well she should be at her ripe old age -- though she knew it was a business from which one never really retired. Certainly, she was no longer active. In truth, she was no longer sure who was a player these days and who had chosen, or been forced, to take a more passive role.
And yet it seemed someone was trying to drag her back into the game. Or trying to make damn sure she stayed out of it -- permanently.
We'll just see about that, she thought, turning to the desk and picking up the remote control for the fireplace gas logs, clicking it to start the flames. She waited while they flared to a full roar, adding heat to the already stifling early summer afternoon, then walked over to toss in the crumpled note. Waited longer to watch as it was consumed by fire and dissolved into ash. The words, however, remained etched in her mind.
Loyalty ensures silence. So does death.
As she clicked the button to extinguish the flames and turned to leave the room, she couldn’t decide whether she was more offended by the implication than she was enraged by the not-so-subtle threat. It was time to consider her options and plan a course of action.
Whoever had chosen to poke this old, tired bear would do well to remember that she was, after all, still a bear.
Yes, I can already see things that I'll change. But not yet. First I have to finish the story.
Don't make me regret doing this.
Never mind. I already do.