The Orphan, The Soulcatcher, and The Black Blizzard Tour stop -> Excerpt

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Author Kimberlee Ann Bastian has stopped by my blog today with an excerpt for her blog tour. Check it out!




From Chapter 12: Grocer Sylvester Pawlak – A stand alone chapter between Act I and Act II to introduce Charlie’s employer.


The call of the Union Stockyard siren drifts throughout the streets of Bridgeport, ushering in the start of a new day. The putrid smell of the yards wafts in the air stinging the portly man’s nose. It is a rather chilly, May morning as gusts of wind stir mischievously, which are unusual, even for the Windy City.

“Curse the butchers of the world,” he grumbles.

The portly old man stands dressed in his white apron, trousers, and his signature red shirt, on the Aberdeen Street corner in front of his store. He sweeps the sidewalk with his broom, but has a feeling the effort to tidy up is a wasted one. He gives the occasional nod to folks as they pass by, irritated he cannot yet coax them inside as he is running behind schedule.

“Gut, mornin’, Grocer Pawlak,” says a sultry woman’s voice. Her Polish accent is as thick as her permanent.

The man looks away from the sidewalk to return the greeting, his eyes sizing up the tall woman standing in front of him.

“Aw, Mrs. Hamerski,” he replies in a pleasant, gruff voice. “Best of the morning to you as well, it’s nice to see you out and about. How are Mr. Hamerski and the kids?”

“Oh, well, thanks for asking,” smiles Mrs. Hamerski as wind tousles her tan skirt. “Ooo,” she squeaks, pressing her hand down on the rambunctious cloth. “Interesting bluster we’re having,” she adds in an attempt to veer from her embarrassment.

“Indeed,” says Grocer Pawlak as pleasantly as possible. He hates storms. The only good thing about them is that people stock up on dry goods, but instead of capitalizing on the situation, he still has his store closed. Why, because his stock boy has not yet arrived for his morning duties, leaving him with a partially stocked store, which is no way to run a reputable business.

“I beg your pardon?” chimes Mrs. Hamerski.


“Oh, nothing,” says Grocer Pawlak, trying to save face. He does not want to alert Mrs. Hamerski that anything is amiss. She, after all, is the most gossipy woman in the neighborhood. “Is there anything I can do for you, Mrs. Hamerski?” he asks, changing the subject.

“Oh, yes,” says Mrs. Hamerski. “Your brother, the butcher, said you were getting a new shipment of flour in this morning and I was wondering if it has arrived yet.”

Grocer Pawlak wiggles his nose at the mention of his brother, that no account backstabber. “No, I am afraid the freight truck has not yet arrived this morning; running a bit late it is,” he lies with a grin, his eyes disappearing into the folds of his dimpled cheeks.

“Oh, all right then. I’ll just stop by a little later then. I’ll give your brother your regards.”

“Certainly,” replies Grocer Pawlak.

“Well, good day to you then, Sylvester.”

“And to you and yours,” says Grocer Pawlak, holding back his temper as he watches the tall woman round the corner of his store. He grips the broom handle tightly, angry that one of his most valuable customers is walking away empty-handed. Even her pleasing disposition leaves a bad taste in his mouth. He looks down the street again.

“Where is that boy?” he gripes.

Grocer Pawlak goes back to sweeping the sidewalk wondering if his good-for-nothing, younger brother has anything to do with this, especially since their most recent argument left them both at odds with one other.

“Maybe the scallywag offered my boy double the wage, or offered meat perhaps,” he mumbles. “Maybe the old coot is trying to teach me a lesson. Well I’ll show him a thing or two.”

Grocer Pawlak lifts his head to the street again, this time managing to make eye contact with two toffee-colored eyes. He snatches up his broom.

“Excellent,” he says greedily.

He turns away as if to ignore the boy, already formulating the words he will say to him when he arrives. There will be no mollycoddling him. Without a backwards glance, Grocer Pawlak enters his grocery not bothering to wait for Charlie.

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3 comments

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12 June, 2012 delete

Hey Cierra,

Thanks again for letting me stop by your blog and for being a part of my book tour. Hope you enjoyed reading the book:)

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JoyAnne
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14 June, 2012 delete

Nice blog! Following you now, please follow me back!

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I love it when people comment! :D