Archive for the ‘The Fetch’ Category

Glimpses of THE FETCH

October 26, 2010

 

In honor of the softcover of THE FETCH this month, here are a few excerpts with some Fetch-ish images.

(from Chapter One) Calder was a Fetch, a death escort, and had been since his own death at the age of nineteen. He had been a Fetch for 330 years, and so had seen many women in the Death Scenes to which he had been sent. He’d watched women drowning, one with seaweed twisting her gown into a mermaid tail, another in a pond surrounded by lilies that glowed like funeral offerings about her floating hair.

He’d seen women lost and broken in ivy-choked woods and in open fields where they lay fallen in the snow, half covered like gravestones. Some died safe in their downy beds, some forgotten in alleys.

He had also seen many women who tended to the dying – this one washing her sister’s face with lilac water, that one praying and weeping with her father. Some had been nursing soldiers, others dreaming beside husbands they did not realize had ceased breathing.

For the last 330 years Calder had seen thousands upon thousands of mortal women, so he did not understand why, on this day, the sight of this particular woman afflicted him.

(from Chapter Two) . . . for a Fetch, Calder was young. The Order of the Fetch, on the other hand, was old–it began when the ruins of the first garden could still be found hiding in the desert beside a river, a blanket of green vines having grown over her like a shroud, and, in this moist cave that was once Eden, at the heart of her darkness, the Tree of Knowledge bowed to the earth.

Abel, the second son of Eve, the first to die in Eden, became the first Fetch–he was there, in a rocky field east of the garden, standing over the body of his father as Adam took his last breath.

(from Chapters Fifteen & Sixteen ) Calder saw and heard the men at the same moment. The crunch of leaves and twigs under foot. The glint of one man’s damp forehead, the flash of the shovel blade. There were two of them, only a dozen paces down the slope. Calder spun around and threw his arms around Ana and Alexis, held them to his chest and kept his back to the men. Both brother and sister were perfectly silent. He stood as their shield and they trembled together under his chin.

He held his breath and could feel Ana and Alexis do the same as they listened to the soldiers tromping through the leaves below them. One coughed and wheezed as he marched; the other sighed as he swatted at bushes with the shovel.

“Maybe dogs had them,” said one.

“Dogs? You’re an idiot.”

“Wolves, then.”

And now higher up on the slope, above their hiding place, more footsteps and the swishing of branches and ruffling of shrubs. It seemed they were surrounded by searchers. Calder willed the men to overlook them. Ana hid her face against his shoulder. Calder tried to imagine a wall around the place they stood, making the three of them as invisible to the guards as he used to be before he’d borrowed a body. He imagined the men seeing the white of his tunic and their skin, and the black of his hair and the coat that Ana wore, as the dark and light of a gnarled and mottled tree trunk. The three were so still, they were rooted to the ground as steadfastly as any larch or fir beside them.

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