First Ever Teaser Tuesday

My first ever Teaser Tuesday posting; this is from my YA historical/paranormal novel, Those Lost at Sea and Drowned. There is also a synopsis of my book under the Novels link above. This is a section I've added fairly recently, so comments are welcome and appreciated.

Isabelle (MC) and Doña Catherine have been invited to dine in the captain's cabin.

Captain Lee did his best to be charming, but he was not of the same class as the beautiful Doña Catherine, or even myself. He would start to tell a funny story and realize it was inappropriate for ladies, trailing off into a mumbled punch
line.

Eventually, he changed his tack and attempted some flattery. "Doña
Catherine, there is a certain kind of seaweed that grows on the Atlantic shore—it's a vivid green, and I do believe the color of your eyes comes close."

"Indeed?" Doña Catherine trod on my foot, a clear warning that I was not allowed to laugh at the captain.

"What's more," he continued, "you're mightily well-preserved for a woman old enough to be Miss Brandt's mother. Skin like a seagull's breast, you have."

Doña Catherine and I avoided each other's gaze; this clumsy effort would send us both into gales of laughter if we weren't careful.

"Skin like a seagull's breast?" She finally choked out. "Is that a good thing to have?"

"It truly is. Most people have no idea how white the feathers are on a seagull, or how soft they feel against the hand." He stared at Doña Catherine as he said this last part, an oddly intent look on his face.

As the silence grew uncomfortable, I asked, "How do you come by your intimate knowledge of gulls, Captain Lee?"

I regretted my choice of the word "intimate" almost immediately, as I felt a giggle well up. I hastily coughed into my napkin, but my question had its intended effect.

Captain Lee took his gaze off Doña Catherine to answer me. "I had a pet gull once, when I was a boy. I found her injured on the dock and took her home to fix her up. Snowflake was her name, and I used to sit and stroke her by the fire." His eyes went back to Doña Catherine again.

"What happened to Snowflake?" she asked.

"Once she started feeling better, she'd try to bite me. She siezed the tip of my finger one time, nearly took off the nail. I couldn't have that, of course."

"So you set her free?"

"No—my temper got the best of me and I wrung her neck. Kept her skin for a long time, just to stroke the feathers once in a while."

I no longer felt the urge to laugh, and the food lost what little appeal it held. I turned to our other dining companions, but Captain Lee's story had unsettled me and I found myself looking askance at his partners, Mr. Stevens and Mr. Vogel. I noticed that no matter how warm an anecdote they shared, their eyes stayed cold. The way Mr. Vogel ate turned my stomach, as well. He used the knife as a surgical instrument, separating bits of meat from the bone like a vivisectionist.

8 comments:

Ellen said...

"Doña Catherine, there is a certain kind of seaweed that grows on the Atlantic shore—it's a vivid green, and I do believe the color of your eyes comes close."

LOL. I love how awkward he is. This scene was so funny, some of the dialogue made me giggle out loud :)

Kate Hart said...

Same-- the awkward cracked me up. Nice switch there at the end from humor to tension.

Karla Nellenbach said...

I'm going to echo Ellen. I LOVe how weird Captian Lee is...it's cute, his awkwardness :)

Christina Mercer said...

Oh, I love what you did with this. Lots of humor and tension blended together. Great!

Bri said...

The switch for humour to tension that Kate pointed out way was jarring, but in a great way. Awesome tease!

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Wonderful! Thanks Angelica for sharing your wisdom and words:) - Rachel

Annie McElfresh said...

WOW this is great!! Loved it! Nice teaser.

Nancy Ashcraft Herman said...

I think I dated this guy.

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