Praying Excerpt

Excerpt from Praying

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After she made sure they were in bed, she went to stand on the porch. She looked up at the stars. She gave a sad smile. She remembered her obsession with them when she was four. Her dad had bought maps and books and helped her learn about each and every star. And the myths surrounding all the constellations. She knew it all. A quirk of hers. She was still just as obsessed with myths as she was then; except myths did not pay the bills, and she had much more powerful ambitions than being a professor. No, she wanted to change the world. And she was a sucker for power. That she knew. That she accepted. For as much as she loved the stars, she loved the world just as much. She wanted power. And she would fight to gain power to achieve her goals. But never at the cost of her siblings. Never. She shivered as she wrapped the sweater she grabbed around her tighter. The stillness of the night suddenly disturbed by a breeze of night frozen air.

Lysandra hated the cold. The chill in the air was unusual on an Iowa summer night; but it went bone deep. She was sure it was just grief. But she hated the cold. Heat was easy to deal with; she could strip off her clothes and lay in the bed of the truck, or on the hood of one of her cars, and get a tan. Or she could strip and dive into the pool, or the lake just down the road. When she dives deep into the cool water, she would come back to the surface feeling refreshed. Like the glacial lake water washed away, just for the moment, all the weight on her shoulders.

But the cold… she shivered as she wrapped her arms around herself; the cold was hell. For the cold, there was nothing she could do to escape that. It clutched at her like death’s claws and laughed at her as her lips turned blue. She had been in a few places, where no matter the layers, no matter the body heat, and no matter the temperature, the cold went deep into her bones as if preparing her for death. Each time she fought the cold of death. But the cold filling her bones tonight was a different type. It was not the fear of death. No, she knew that cold all too well in the spots she had been in during her time in the Army. No, this cold was a deep soul cutting grief that comes with losing one’s parents. Something almost every child must go through, but does not make the grief any easier to deal with. And that cold? She did not know exactly how to fight.

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