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I Don't Feel Like Talking to You

I'd rather be playing Angry Birds in Space right now, but that's not really on the agenda.

Because I don't feel like talking to you, there's this.

From The Heckmasters - Wystan.

 Wystan glared. “I can paint five times faster than you and still do a better job than the sorry attempt you're trying to pass off.”
“Doubt it,” Tell muttered.
He knew a ploy when he saw one. They'd get out of the heat sooner with another set of helping hands. Rhia would likely be pleased by the gesture too. He imagined her smile and the way her eyes lit up when she was happy.
“I'll do it, but someone owes me dinner as payment for my painting expertise.”
Expertise. Oh, thank God, we've got Wystan on our crew now. We'd be lost without him,” Tell muttered. “We ought to be grateful his expertise only costs us the price of dinner.”
Eban smirked. “All right, Mr. Expert. Let's see you finish a wall by yourself and we'll talk dinner.”
Wystan ignored them, painting in silence for several minutes. He cleared his throat. “Do either of you remember the last time there a flower grew here?”
“Like a thistle?” Tell scratched his eyebrow, leaving a red smudge amid the dark hairs. “Some kind of weed?”
“There were still some left for Mom's funeral.” Eban dropped his brush into a paint can. “Pretty sure they all withered right after. Why?”
“I saw one growing by the fountain.” He'd stayed awake last night, debating whether he ought to tell them about it. There didn't seem to be any harm in mentioning he'd seen one. Especially because he'd just come from the fountain and amazingly enough, the flower was still there.
Eban and Tell stared like he'd announced they were going to walk on the moon.
“I'm serious.”
“Show us.”
“It's right in front of the angel. Anybody with eyes and half a brain could see it.” He didn't want to walk back down there in the heat.
Tell wiped his hands on his pants and walked away from the schoolhouse. Eban followed.
“Guess we're going to see a stupid flower,” Wystan muttered under his breath.
He half-believed he'd imagined it and getting his brothers to study it would confirm he hadn't lost his mind. He didn't want to seem too eager. Who knew what it meant, a flower growing in town after all this time?
They marched toward the fountain, a row of Heckmasters who probably looked as though they were going to face off a monster instead a tiny plant. They gathered around the fountain, carefully avoiding the angel's disapproving gaze.
“Yep. That's a flower,” Tell said.
“Where did it come from?” Eban touched on of its tiny green leaves.
“No idea. I saw it yesterday and I came back to see if it had died today.”
“Seems to be doing well. Right under the angel's eyes. Hmm.” Tell shifted his weight, folded his arms over his chest and continued to stare at the purple blossom. “What kind is it?”
“Maybe it's been dormant this whole time. It happens,” Eban said. “Or a bird could've carried the seed here. I'd say it's evening primrose, but it ought to be closed up right now. They usually bloom when the sun starts to go down.”
“Hence evening. Thanks for clearing that up,” Tell grumbled.
Wystan rolled his eyes. “Knock it off. At least he has a guess.”
“What do we do about it?” Eban asked.
“Nothing. Leave it be. There might be others, or it might be a one-time thing.”
Tell frowned. “What if someone tries to pick it?”
“You could stand guard over it and shoot the people who try to pick Berner's only flower.” Eban elbowed Tell.
Tell shoved him. “Wys said knock it off, remember?”
They were no better than they'd been when they were young. Wystan sighed. “Children, play nice.”
“But really, should we tell everyone?” Eban straightened and became serious again. “Seems like a shame to keep it to ourselves.”
Wystan rubbed his eyes. “It's bound to die soon. Maybe no one will notice it, but if someone does, they're going to want answers we can't give them.”
“You aren't saying we should pick it, are you?” Eban looked horrified.
“It's a flower, not a baby,” Wystan growled.
Tell stared it again and Wystan wondered if he was trying to read it like he had so many demons.
“No, I think we should tell them. We haven't seen an honest-to-God flower in years. It's call for a celebration.”
“That's the dumbest thing I've heard since you two decided to paint the schoolhouse.”

“You can just sit in the jail while the rest of us have some fun then.” Tell smiled at the flower, as though he shared a secret with it. “Yep. A party.”


  1. Well, fine. I don't feel like talking to you, either. *sticks tongue out

    Good excerpt, though. :)

  2. AHHHHHH, love this excerpt. This book is going to be amazing.


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