Thursday, April 11, 2019

Awesome Excerpt Thursday ~ Pygmalion Revisited by Devon Layne

The myth of Pygmalion, the artist who fell in love with a statue he carved, has been a theme for countless authors, singers, and artists over the years. In this volume, author Devon Layne compiles six stories, each with a different take on the ancient myth.

The first is a simple retelling of the myth with “a little meat on its bones” and told in contemporary language. The second, “Lost Wax”, tells the story of a sculptor working with bronze castings whose clay molds begin to shape the model he is working with. “Whittled Away” is the story of an old man who converses with his long-dead wife as he whittles at a block of wood in his cabin awaiting his time to join her. When two artists meet at a Renaissance Festival but have different media for their art, we are left to ask what durable art is and whether clay and iron can mix in “Iron Alchemy”. What if it were the other way around and the art fell in love with the artist? This is the question asked in “Mixed Media”. And finally, an advertising copywriter describes his ideal mate in “A Thousand Words”.

Each story presents a different aspect, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always with a touch of romance and erotica.

Kindle eBook and Paperback:

Excerpt from “Whittled Away”:

THE MAN who chops his own wood warms himself twice.

“You always have something clever to say when it’s me who’s suffering.” Nonetheless, David set another log on the chopping block and swung his axe. It was a well-practiced swing of the blade and split the log smoothly. He picked up the pieces and tossed them in his wagon. He picked up the next log, almost too small to split. He’d spent the past week cutting the wood to the right lengths with his chainsaw. He’d hauled it out of the woodlot, but the larger pieces still needed to be split or they wouldn’t burn thoroughly. Some wouldn’t even fit in the fireplace.

He stood with the stick of wood in his hand and let the axe idle against his thigh. A limb had broken away from this trunk many years ago, leaving a protruding knob, long-since healed over with bark. The shape of the knot filled his hand with memories.

I was never as firm as that. And never a wooden lover.

“No, my love, but the shape is about right. I held those precious breasts enough times to remember.”

I went to sleep at night with your hands supporting them. I felt so secure.

“I think I’ll stop for now and go sit a spell.”

Don’t forget to drink something. And I mean water, not any of that cider that’s gone hard.

“I don’t drink that stuff.”

Don’t lie to me. I know better.

“I suppose you are spying on me from the grave. I’ll have water first.”

David dragged the two-wheel cart up to the house and stacked the load of firewood, keeping the breast-shaped log aside. He’d just keep that by his chair on the porch for a while. He pumped water and washed his head to cool off. The water was cold. October was already brisk and he was headed for a hard winter. As long as he kept a fire in the firebox, the pump shouldn’t freeze. But he needed to finish splitting that fourth cord of wood and if he was smart, he’d put in another. He drank his fill of the cold water and toweled himself off. There’d been no hard frost yet, so he figured he could do without a fire tonight.

Instead he fixed a simple dinner of rice and beans, cut a sausage into the mess, and sat on the porch with his plate.

Those cans of vegetables you put in won’t do your body any good unless you eat them.

“Always complaining about the way I eat,” he groused.

Just always want you to be healthy, my love. Was I really such a nag?

“I’d give my life to have you here nagging me now.”

I don’t think that was an answer. What are you going to do now?

“Hmm. Sit here.” He rocked in his chair and picked up the log. Maybe he’d whittle a little. He pulled out his Buck knife and carefully began stripping the bark from the block of wood.

Ooh. Like the first time you undressed me.

ISBN-13: 978-1939275622

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