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Thursday, May 8, 2014

#Excerpt from Autumn’s Child by Nicole Murray @LNMCreative #Fiction #GoodReads #Women

11:30 AM Posted by Mickalia Peck , , No comments
Aunt Libby slept through most days. The only thing she really enjoyed to do was eat grapefruit and watermelon. Bottles of pills with names I couldn’t pronounce cluttered her dresser and remained filled. She stopped going to her meeting once a week and after a month of avoiding anyone who called, there was a knock at the front door. I opened it and twelve strangers stood there like disciples in the doorway demanding to speak to Aunt Libby. They were polite but stern. People from all walks of life, a businessman in a high-priced black suit dressed with an undeserved sense of importance. An Asian lady with so many track-marks on her arm you could have rode a train on it. Five of them were white and out of place in our neighborhood and the others were just confused.
“Stay right there. I’ll see if she is home.”
The man in the business suit was the leader of the crew: “Come on, let us in. We know she’s in there.”
“Just wait one minute.” I turned around and Aunt Libby was standing in the doorway leading to the house.
“Go upstairs to Shay’s for a while,” Aunt Libby said as she waved me towards the stairs. Before the door to our apartment closed the Asian lady said, “You don’t have to run from us. We are all in this together.”
I wouldn’t dare ask what that cult was all about but after that I paid a little more attention to her. She was dropping weight like she had spent most of her days doing Bikram yoga. Aunt Libby’s makeup went from non-existent to having so much on you would have thought she was ready to lie in a casket and play dead. One coat after another she applied, piled it on but I didn’t know why because she never went out, just lounged around the house in her robe and face paint. She didn’t have many friends, and a boyfriend or a fuck buddy was obsolete those days so the purpose of clown-like preparations baffled me. Bottles of foundation next to bottles of vodka and she consumed them both.
I pieced it all together after I took a midnight trip to the bathroom one night, only to find Aunt Libby there in the dark. The light from the hallway snuck in and captured her face, framed it and she spoke the words, “Don’t look.” But it was too late. It was already revealed to me what she was hiding. Lesions dominated her skin; foundation concealed them by day but at night the mask had been washed away and her sins showed their ugly face.
I stood there as she sat on the toilet, Aunt Libby’s once plump body had withered away with her spirit. I knew that she needed me but I didn’t know why. So that’s why I stayed there under the darkness shadowed by secret. Looking at her moved me to want to sprint to get her makeup and cover up the skin of this stranger. To paint her face and arms back to normal or at least close to. I wanted to hide her, as she tried to hide herself. If only I could go back into the hallway, walk back into my room, get back under my sheets and hold in this urge to pee until she returned to her room.

“I am hurting. Fractured in places stitches can’t heal.” Autumn’s Child tells the desperate story of Layla, as a young and naive twelve year-old girl. Over ten critical years, her life quickly changes like the colors of the trees in autumn. The accidental death of her parents forces her to abandon her religious, middle-class lifestyle. She moves to the inner city of Chicago with her grandmother and aunt, her only living relatives. Layla tries to approach her new life with optimism, but the perfections of her past life haunt her tormented journey. After coming to grips with the reality over the years that her only aunt despises her, Layla soon discovers that she may secretly hold the keys to helping her aunt’s diminishing health in her hands. 

Layla’s faith and sanity are continuously tested as she matures throughout each season of her life. She stumbles through her newfound reality while learning how to play the distinct set of cards she’s been dealt. Layla’s neighbor and best friend, Shay, helps guide her from adolescence into adulthood. Autumn’s Child chronicles a life on the opposite side of the coin; where friendships grow out of tragedy, and the pressure of a marginalized life weighs heavily on pure souls. Layla must make many compromising decisions, all while perpetually asking the reader, What would you do? View Autumn’s Child Trailer:
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fiction
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Nicole Murray on Facebook & Twitter


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