A Still Winter in the Mountains (Novel Excerpt Short)

Passage from Crescent Heart (Civilands #3), Chapter 9: Painted

Looking down at the empty glass in his hand, he decided this time to place it down on the ground beside him as it was. “I can’t let her go. I’m sorry. I won’t.”

“I understand.”

“She was . . . a still winter in the mountains. On a morning when the air is flavored with pine so crisp you can relish the taste as much as the smell. Its breeze goes far beyond filling your lungs though. It enriches your entire soul.”

A smile crept across his face as his heart increased its pace and intensity. “But somehow — somehow she’s more than that, too. Right at the moment you were starting to think there couldn’t possibly be more, there is. Because she’s also a storm. A hurricane others might try to steer clear of, but not you. No. You truly know her — her path and every bit of her form. So you run straight for the eye, straight through the bolts of lightning and crackling thunder, to her center and watch as she tears through the plains without a care in the world of what’s left behind. And you love every minute of it because as much as that winter air is a part of her, so too is the storm. And you wouldn’t have her any other way. Because all of it exists within you, and it feels like it always has until you become one. But then . . . then you lose it all.”

Staring ahead with the back of his head against the door, his breathing slowed before he started to break down, as he had so many times before.

“I . . . I need her back, Nova. I can’t go on without her. This is the only way.”

Not a reply or sound came.

“Nova? Are you still there?”

The silence only stretched.

William stood and tore open the door to find an empty bar. Gently closing it again, he returned to his seat and wept.

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