Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tangled Roots by Giselle Renarde
Title: Tangled Roots
Author: Giselle Renarde
buy link: http://excessica
Simone is having a bad day. Not only has she broken up with Toy Boy Toby, she’s been fired from her high-powered job! Now, in hopes of raising capital to start a business of her own, Simone must sell the old family cottage. But the lakeside cabin rejuvenates her soul, and her wise neighbour Moses sparks a new flame. Only with the guidance of this tattooed man devoted to healing can Simone overcome humiliation. Passion comes easy, but is this power-hungry businesswoman ready for love of the compassionate variety?
The city never looked like this at night. Never so still, never so serene. Having
forgotten to pack pyjamas, Simone lay naked, spread across the big bed. Though she still felt like berating herself over her actions toward Moses, waves of pleasure overtook her mind, pulsing like the music of a seashell. She closed her eyes.
The call of the loon echoed across the lake. Coooo-eee-ooo-eee-ooo… there
was nothing more hauntingly beautiful. …Eee-oooo-eee-ooo… Dark creatures, dappled like the night sky, they held some mystery, a secret knowledge humans would never
discover. Folding her fingers together, Simone blew into her hand, trying to speak their language. No, she wasn’t doing it right. How did they create that loon call as kids, she and Luc and Girard? There was a gap in her memory.
The pressure in Simone’s ears mounted until her head floated like a balloon.
What was this feeling, like something rising inside her? Like the beat of the drum.
Pounding, but no pain. Then, poof! It was gone. When she opened her eyes, there was
a flash outside the bedroom window. Like a little star exploding. Bolting upright, the cotton sheet fell to her waist. Another flash. Slipping out of bed, Simone crossed the room to get a better look.
Fireflies. Of course! An ephemeral buzz struck her palms, the memory of
catching those phosphorescent critters as a child. Fireflies! It’s amazing how things continue to exist, even after you’ve forgotten about them. The fireflies had been here all these years, only she had left.
And then there was another light. Fire off in the distance, near the water’s edge.
Yes, she could smell it now, that burning wood musk. Like a moth, she was drawn to it.
On the hook behind the bedroom door hung the housecoat her mom always wore: very
Scottish red and black plaid, with a black velour trim. Simone threw it on over her
naked flesh, tying a tight knot around the waist. Out the back door, slipping on a pair of old flip-flops, she was down the hill in flash.
On a log by the water’s edge sat her beautiful neighbour, still in bathing trunks.
Golden skin kissed by the hot orange glow of the flames, the flickering brought his
tattoos to life. They were growing, crawling over his shoulders. God, was he ever a
“Valcourt!” Moses greeted her. “Come, have a seat.”
Blowing guilty breath out through her mouth, Simone let the tension fall from her
shoulders. She joined Moses on the log, the heat from his strong body competing with
the fire for bragging rights. What a beautiful night it was, balmy and mild as it gets at the peak of a Canadian summer. And, God, there was nothing like that campfire smell. Like Pavlov’s dog, Simone drooled for marshmallows.
Overhead, the sky sparkled like a black velvet sheet littered with diamonds. “We
don’t have stars in the city,” Simone sighed. “Some nights, you’re lucky to spot even one.”
“It’s all the pollution from your damned SUV,” Moses poked the bear.
“What’s wrong with my Squidgy?”
“With your what?” He chuckled.
“My vehicle has a name, thank you very much. His name is Squidgy.”
“Tell Squidgy he’s killing the planet, will you?”
“Enough about my car!” Simone said with a smirk.
“Okay,” Moses agreed. “Then we can complain about the light pollution. All
those office towers keep the fluorescents buzzing all night. It’s crazy the way we take things for granted—energy, water, food—like there’s an endless supply.”
Moses closed his eye and took in a deep breath, his chest rising, expanding. As
he exhaled, the tattoos on his shoulders seemed to writhe and twist. If that man wasn’t careful, she’d be all over him.
“Are you…what are they called, like a shaman or something?” Simone played
Moses laughed, his beautiful face to the night sky. “No, not me. I’m just some
“I’m sure you’re much more than ‘just some guy,’” Simone flirted. Nestling her
head against Moses’ shoulder, she made sure her housecoat hung open just enough for
him to get a glimpse at the luscious curves of her breasts.
“Well, okay, yeah. I’m an artist. I work in rock.”
The rumblings of an imaginary bass line vibrated Simone’s core. “Oh?”
“Yeah, my work is a modern take on traditional Anishinaabe rock art. I’ll show
you if you swing by the studio tomorrow.” Moses pointed to the garage space beside
“Yeah, sounds good.”
Moses extended a peace offering. “Candy?” Black liquorice: dark, sweet and delicious.
Canada just got hotter!
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