Two pointed ears and a small head covered in short silky fur peeped from underthe sofa’s valance. A black cat emerged, stretched, and leaped onto the arm of the sofawith incredible grace and an inquisitive yowl.“This Tomas.” Mrs. Lee waved an introductory hand. “My machka.”The cat poised itself on the armrest, leaning toward Lisa, gold-green eyesregarding her gravely. His right paw came up.“Oh, he’s beautiful!” Lisa placed her hand under the cat’s paw. It was soft,smooth and as warm as David’s hand had been. It pressed briefly against her fingers,claws grazing gently before it withdrew. With a second, softer yowl, Tomas leaped fromthe arm and settled himself in her lap. He blinked and regarded Lisa solemnly.“You like cats?” Mrs. Lee asked.“I love them,” Lisa assured her. “And this one is so…so…”“Ain’t he, though?” David muttered. Lisa wondered if he ever spoke in anything other than a low growl.“He likes to think he’s really macho,” Isaac laughed. “A real ladies’ man…uh, cat.” He flicked a finger at the cat’s ears. Tomas dodged, cocking his head to look at Isaac. “Right, Tomasso?”“I’d have to agree,” Lisa answered, reaching out and stroking the furry head.Tomas pushed against her hand. “He’s a very handsome dude.”David smiled and the two brothers looked at each other. They seemed to besharing a private joke, which Tomas didn’t appear to appreciate. Growling softly, he bestowed a surprising glare upon the two.Suddenly, they all seemed to be staring at her. Even the cat. Four pairs of eyes riveted on Lisa. Waiting for her to drink her tea.Lisa began to feel uneasy. A startling panic twisted in her stomach as she realized she was alone in a van with three strangers, two of whom were very large and muscular and standing between her and the door. And Mrs. Lee— She might be old but that walking stick of hers could be a very deadly weapon.Was this a mistake? Undoubtedly. People were always saying she was toofriendly for her own good.All together, they smiled. Tomas purred loudly, claws kneading at her thighs.“Well! Since you’re safe and sound now—” Putting down the cup, Lisa set the cat aside and stood up. For a moment, his claws clung to her skirt. Hoping she didn’t sound frightened and certain she failed, she extricated Tomas, grimacing slightly at the single snag his claws made in her new skirt, then shot a pretend glance at her watch as she went on, “Guess I’d better be on my way. I’ve people waiting for me and they’ll beworrying.”Liar. Her housemate wouldn’t be home for another two hours.She aimed herself for the door behind the two young men. Neither moved. The twisting inside grew tighter. Lisa stopped.“Isaac,” Mrs. Lee called softly, and gestured.He took a step forward, raising one arm.Lisa stumbled backward, her own raised, preparing to ward off a blow, thenrealized he was holding out his left arm to his grandmother. Around his wrist was a small gold chain with tiny disks dangling from it.
“Here.” With a twist of her fingers, Mrs. Lee pulled one disk free. She held it out to Lisa. “You take. For helping me.”“I couldn’t—”“You take. Otherwise I owe you.” Taking Lisa’s hand, she placed the object on her palm, closing her fingers around it. “Is wish-charm.”“Wish-charm? What’s that?” It looked like a small gold coin but theinscription… She’d never seen symbols like those before. Are they Romanes?“Good for one special wish. Baksheesh. You keep safe. Use carefully. Don’twaste on pepperoni pizza!” Mrs. Lee shook her finger and laughed.“I won’t.” Lisa laughed, too, her fear disappearing. “I promise.” She studied the charm, feeling a strange gratitude. “It’s beautiful. Thank you, Mrs. Lee.”This time when she turned toward the door, Isaac and David moved aside. In a moment, she was outside, down the makeshift steps and at her car. When Lisa climbed into the Civic, and waved, they raised their hands and waved back.As the car drove away, however, Mrs. Lee said, “A good girl, but too trusting. She needs protector.”“She’s pretty. I like her.” David straightened, adding “For a gaje, I mean.” He and Isaac glanced at each other and then at their Grandmother. “So, Gram, which one of us will it be?”She looked at Tomas.“Oh, Gram, no.” The protest was half-hearted, as if he knew it was no use to argue.The cat was crouching on the sofa. He looked at Mrs. Lee and then at the door through which Lisa had gone, tail twitching angrily. He shook his head as if seconding David’s protest.“You heard me,” Mrs. Lee said. Tomas transferred his gaze back to her. Hedidn’t move. “Go!”“You heard Gram,” Isaac prompted.Tomas stayed there a moment longer, giving a single grrrwl of protest before leaping to the floor. David pushed the door open and Tomas leaped out. Isaac came to stand beside his brother. “Good luck, Bro. I mean it.”The cat looked in the direction the car had vanished. After a moment’s hesitation, he threw a strident yowl back at the two men standing in the door before starting down the street with a graceful, long-legged lope.They waited until his small figure disappeared around the bend in the road before going back inside.“Still don’t see why Tomas gets to have all the fun,” David grumbled.“You call that fun?” Issac elbowed his brother in the ribs. “Would you like to change places with him?”“What do you think?”“I think you’d better shut up.” Isaac pulled the camper door shut and locked it.
Buy Links:Paperback exclusively from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/cat–romance/cat–fantasy/gypsy-charm–21-detailAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Charm–Icy-Snow-Blackstone–ebook/dp/B01JNV7X92/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524754110&sr=8-1&keywords=GypsAbout the Author:Icy Snow Blackstone was born in 1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics. She married a minister, raised seven children, and lived there all her life.Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone (aka author Toni V. Sweeney) lives far from her Southern roots in Lancaster County,Nebraska, where she continues to write romances.As of 2017, Icy Snow has eleven novels published by Class Act Books. Hercontemporary romance, Tuesday’s Child, was given the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2014. A SciFi romance,Earthman’s Bride and Vietnam-era romance Jericho Road, have also received awards.She is also the author of Jericho Road, Bargain with Lucifer, Brother Devil, and GypsyCharm, romances all set in the South, as well as the paranormal romance The IrishLady’s Spanish Lover.Learn More about Icy Snow at: http://www.classactbooks.com/our-authors/manufacturers/icy-snow-blackstone
I recently posted poetry on another blog. It’s not something i do regularly- write poetry, I mean. But I recommend writing poetry to stretch your skills. Poetry is a different way of observing. You must make your view compact yet compelling. Try it. You may find an unexplored talent.
The damned cat died.
Old age, I suppose,
That mangy hair-ball.
Remember her silly kitten act?
Chasing dust balls from under the bed
To scatter tatters across the rug
And sneeze pieces clinging to her whiskers.
How many times did she drop an offering
At my feet or on the back step?
Mighty hunter of baby birds and mice
And once a two foot long snake.
Grooming in a ray of sunlight,
She’d stare contemptuously at my entrance
When I opened the door
Her tongue a tiny pink raspberry.
A purring lump against the small of my back
On cold, lonely nights.
Her raspy tongue would lick my chin
And tickle before I pushed her away.
So the damned cat died.
And I’m putting her ragged toys,
Bowl and collar into a brown bag.
To dispose of. Maybe.
I’ll miss the damned cat.
Much more than I ever miss you.
So tomorrow I’ll get another kitten,
Although I can’t think why.
Tonight there is an empty doorstep.
And a cold hollow at the small of my back.
And I’ll cry again, for both of you.
But mostly because the damned cat died.
I couldn’t find a picture of Winnie. She was a grey domestic.
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