Please welcome author Erin Fanning! Her novel, Blood Stitches, is a strange yet funny look into the paranormal world of the Mayan and knitting. Blood Stitches is a novella available in eBook. It is available now from Lyrical Press/Kensington!
Enter for your chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! This giveaway is provided by Erin Fanning!
**Don’t forget to enter the giveaways running all month long! Click here to check out these great giveaways!**
By Erin Fanning
In this twisted version of Snow White, Esperanza, one of the characters from my novella Blood Stitches, finds an old mirror in a second-hand shop. When she discovers the mirror can talk, Esperanza decides to combine its magic with her own.
The mirror rested behind a rose-filled vase and a basket of yarn in swirling shades of blue. Esperanza had glimpsed the yarn through the window of Huntsman’s Second-Chance Consignments, and the colors made everything else fade away as if she stood in a black-and-white tunnel, the yarn its only source of color, pulling her into the store.
She held the yarn, debating its purchase, when she noticed her reflection in the mirror. But it was all wrong: a glimpse of arm and flash of cheek, as if something inside the mirror blocked the rest of her likeness. She yanked out the mirror and dusted the oval surface with the sleeve of her shirt.
A tangle of metal leaves encircled the glass, and she stared at her face—dark eyes, upswept hair, red lipstick. Then the image shifted, revealing only pieces of her—an eyebrow, upper lip, right ear—some kind of an illusion, like a funhouse mirror.
She had to buy it.
Mr. Huntsman, himself, rang up the purchase. “This mirror hasn’t had a home for a while.” He winked as he smoothed a strand of hair over his otherwise bald head. “You’ll enjoy its company.”
She nodded but barely heard him, having grown accustomed to his odd comments and innuendos.
Once at home, she installed the mirror over her dresser and smiled when the reflection only revealed her forehead and chin. She imagined the rest of her face floating in an alternative universe.
She soon forgot about the mirror. Her knitting gathered around her—scarves in every shade of the rainbow, paper bags full of twigs and leaves, and a sweater made from blood-red yarn with bobbles protruding like scabs. She sat cross-legged in the middle of her bed and selected one of the scarves.
As she started to knit, a gruff voice said, “Aren’t you going to ask me a question?”
Esperanza froze. Her younger sister Gabby and best friend Frank were downstairs going over their Calculus homework. Was this one of their pranks? Esperanza glanced around. The door was shut tight, and she could just make out the murmur of Gabby and Frank’s voices in the kitchen, located below her room.
“I’m waiting,” the voice, irritated this time, said again.
Esperanza turned toward the mirror. A man’s face appeared in the glass. Thick sideburns covered his cheeks, and he chomped on a cigar, blowing smoke out of the side of his mouth.
Esperanza blinked. The only talking-mirror she’d ever heard about came from Snow White. Everyone knew the fairy tale, but she hadn’t expected it to become a part of her life. On the other hand, she wasn’t surprised. Magic, after all, was an everyday occurrence for her. It flowed from the tips of her knitting needles.
“How about it, lady?” the man said. “I’ve been silent for a long time, and I’d really like to get back to business.”
Placing the scarf down, Esperanza slipped off the bed and stood in front of the mirror.
“I don’t have all day,” the man said. “Well, actually, I do—”
“What is it everyone’s asks?” Esperanza smiled, enjoying this interruption from her normal routine and wondering how she could integrate the mirror with her own magic. Perhaps she could break it into tiny pieces and weave the shards into her knitting. “Who’s the fairest of them all or something like that?”
“Boring, but if that’s what you want… Global or local?”
“Local,” Esperanza said.
A couple appeared in the mirror. They sat in a café, sipping coffee and staring into each other’s eyes. Their hands intertwined as they spoke.
“Sage White,” the mirror said, “is the fairest of them all.”
The woman had black hair like Esperanza’s, but blue eyes and pale skin, the opposite of Esperanza’s bronze complexion and brown eyes.
But it was the man who captured Esperanza’s attention. His features—white-blonde hair, green eyes—meshed into perfection. He possessed a quality impossible to define, an intoxicating appeal.
Esperanza had to have him.
“I beg to differ,” she said. “He not she is the fairest of them all. Where can I find him?”
The mirror-man scrunched up his nose and spit out the cigar, which disappeared somewhere into his reflective world. “Ingrate,” he mumbled and barked out the man’s name—Ethan—along with the address of a café.
Esperanza knew the place well, often stopping in for its bold, black coffee. She appreciated the coincidence. It gave her confidence. This was meant to be.
The next morning, she sat at a table next to Sage White and her boyfriend, Ethan, so close his scent of ivory soap and pine needles wafted over to Esperanza. She breathed it in.
Sunlight streamed through the café’s picture windows. People rushed by on their way to work. Someone tapped on the door, trying to get a friend’s attention, and a barista dropped a cup, the sound crashing through conversations. Ethan and Sage continued staring at each other, heads touching.
Esperanza crossed her legs, pulling up her skirt in the process. Still, Ethan concentrated on Sage, only the man with a handlebar mustache, two tables away, nodded appreciatively at Esperanza. She smoothed her skirt back down and studied the couple between sips from her mug.
Snippets of their conversation floated her way. A shared loved for Charles Dickens. A bike tour planned for later that summer. So they were not only gorgeous but also interesting.
She concentrated on Sage. What was her flaw? Then she saw not one but two. A red pimple, camouflaged with makeup, popped out on the bridge of her nose, and, when Ethan bent down to tie his shoe, Sage’s eyes wandered to the pastry case.
Esperanza pushed away from the table, ready to work.
Back in her room, she selected her finest yarn in a blend of pastels, and, using a lacy pattern, she began to knit a shawl. As she worked, she pictured Sage no longer svelte but with double chins and her face covered with angry pustules.
“Who’s that for?” the mirror-man asked, smoke wafting around him.
“Not for you to know,” Esperanza said, but he wouldn’t stop talking, jabbering endlessly until Esperanza had to leave the room.
Over the next few days, as the shawl progressed, Esperanza added delicate silver, gold, and ebony beads to the yarn. They reminded her of sprinkles on top of a cupcake, and she imagined Sage stuffing the pastry into her mouth.
When Esperanza finished the shawl, she wrapped it in pastel tissue paper and attached a small card to the top, reading, For Sage, from an admirer. The package resembled a confection.
She coaxed Sage’s address from the mirror-man, who was angry because Esperanza no longer spoke to him, and left the package in Sage’s mailbox. Now all Esperanza could do was wait and hope Sage would wear the shawl, letting Esperanza’s magical knitting seep into Sage’s bones, melding with Esperanza’s imagination.
A week passed and once again Esperanza sat in the café, one table over from Sage and Ethan. This time, though, Ethan’s eyes wandered away from Sage, who swelled with at least ten extra pounds and picked at the oozing pimples covering her cheeks. Esperanza felt Ethan’s gaze on her and she shifted, giving him a sideways glance.
She’d counted on him being a little shallow, and he’d proven her right. In less than a week, he’d be hers. Next up was the chatty mirror-man. She pictured herself with a sledge hammer, smashing it to smithereens, then using the bits and pieces of glass in her knitting. The damage their combined magic would make could be apocalyptic.
She smiled at the possibilities.
Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of a mountain biking guidebook, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.
Want to read more from Erin Fanning?
This giveaway is provided by Erin Fanning!
One lucky reader will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Available May 12, 2015 from Lyrical Press/Kensington
About this Book:
It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…
Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster…And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.