Alright, another chance to talk about my new book! Tessa Blurb is hosting a blogfest on The Nature of Magic. The goal is to write about your views on magic, or to talk about your character's views. Since Hunger has a ghost in it, this was a pretty easy assignment.
As a lover of magic, I'm excited about this fest and I can't wait to read what other people have written.
Hunger, Chapter 3
“When are you going to see him again?” asked my mom.
“Thursday. He’s in my French class.” I imagined finding Eric sitting in the back of the room, quietly contemplative like he was before. Before class, I’d plan in intricate detail everything I would say so I wouldn’t be caught unprepared like last time. Then I'd rehearse it over and over, and most likely get caught in the moment and not use any of it.
“How is, uh…” My mom glanced quickly at the exchange students. Kwan continued to stir while Suku cut up tofu. Kayla watched them and was no longer paying attention to us. Mom leaned closer and lowered her voice. “How is he handling it?”
My shoulders deflated. Of course, Mom had to ruin it by bring him up. I took her by the arm and pulled her into the living room where the exchange students and Kayla couldn’t hear us.
“Why do we always have to talk about him?” I asked.
“I’m just worried about you. He has a tendency to sabotage things when other people are happy.”
I rolled my eyes. I was so tired of talking about my ghost. He was just a presence that hung around the house, but Mom acted like he was a sickness or a disability or something. I hadn’t even seen him or heard him, though Mom had told me I probably would eventually. I just felt his emotions. My mom hated him because more often than not, his emotions were bitter and angry.
I didn’t mind him so much. He was like an ugly coat hanger you plan on getting rid of, but you tuck it into a closet and forget about. I could tune him out. I certainly wasn't going to let a jealous ghost shadow my excitement over Eric.
No one knows when it started, but for many generations back, the ghost has picked a member of our family to follow around. We aren’t sure how he picks the person to follow. I think he picks his favorite, but Mom says he’s incapable of affection. She thinks he likes women who look the same. I take after my mom more than any of my sisters, and she takes after my grandma, and so forth.
Before I was born, Mom secretly wished she would have all boys just to throw a wrench in his plan. Alas, she had three girls. She watched us as we grew up and tried to pick out characteristics she thought he would be interested in. She hoped, even though she knew it was a fruitless hope, that for some miraculous reason the ghost would move on and leave this generation alone.
She thought she knew who he would pick when I was about seven and she heard her name being yelled from my bedroom. If one of us said there was a man in our room, she’d know. We were a little young for it – he usually waited until at least high school to choose a girl – but she heard her great-grandma was picked fairly young. She wouldn’t put it past him to haunt a child. She ran into our room to see which of us had the nightmare, but to her surprise, both Callie and I had the same nightmare at the same time. We continued sharing nightmares for a long time: There’s a monster under our bed, we’d say, or there’s a vampire at our window, etc. Each night Mom went back to her room, dropped back onto her bed, and waited.
We continued having nightmares and every night she’d ask us to describe what we saw, heard, or felt to see if any of it resembled the ghost, but none of it did. She grew more apprehensive.
By the time I was ten, my sister and I had long since recovered from our night-frights and Mom thought she’d have to wait longer. She told me she would have preferred it if he kept haunting her for the rest of her life instead of passing to one of her children.
One night my little sister had a nightmare, only this time she said she saw a man in the room. Mom sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed Callie’s back to help her sleep, and she thought then that she knew. I don’t remember any of this, but she says I sat up in bed with a groan and said, “Stop being such a baby. He’d never hurt anyone. He’s just unhappy.”
She knew then that the ghost had picked me.