A (Fifth) Sneak Peek Into A Wounded Name

April 13, 2013 at 9:26 am (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , , )

I have a thing for prime numbers.

Just to let you know, today is the LAST DAY to enter the giveaway for the signed ARC and swag! After this, it’ll be a while before another giveaway goes up, so if you’re not going to BEA (more on that tomorrow), this is going to be your best chance. It’s super easy to enter, and I’ll be drawing a winner tomorrow morning.

And, without further business, here’s the snippet!
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Then it’s time. It’s been time so often today, but it’s time again, this time to close the lid and forever place Hamlet in darkness. The priest places a hand on the sectioned lid, then glances at the line of ravens in the front pew and asks if we’d like to pay our respects. The violet waits patiently in my palm, its fan-shaped petals a little wilted but the colors still true.

Claudius goes up first, his face impassive as he studies his elder brother. His face shows nothing, but then, it so rarely does. Claudius is not one to let others know his thoughts or plans if he can avoid it. He doesn’t touch the body, doesn’t even rest his hand on the edge of the casket but, instead, clasps his hands at the small of his back in a vaguely military stance that keeps his spine stiff and straight.

Dignity.

Propriety.

Gertrude joins him there, and one of Claudius’ hands floats away to rest on her back. His fingers curve over the small of her back, his palm against the swell of her hip. It’s an intimate stance. I’ve had much occasion over the past three days to study how people touch each other in support: a grip on the shoulder, the forearm, a hand placed gently against the shoulder blades, all things as though they could help the grief stand on its own. It’s too close for brother and sister, as they have been for nearly two decades, and yet there his hand rests, and she doesn’t step away.

Her blue eyes glisten, and tears tremble on her lashes but do not fall. She touches her husband’s cheek, leans down to press a soft kiss against his cold lips. Her hand shakes.

Dane stands abruptly, yanking me gracelessly to my feet beside him. He stalks up the steps to the altar, jerky as a badly controlled marionette. We pass his mother and uncle on their way back to the pew, and Gertrude’s hand brushes across my cheek in passing. The shiver crawls under my skin. Was it the same hand? From dead flesh to living flesh, could her hand tell the difference?
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Until next time~
Cheers!

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