Monday, 9 December 2013

Advent Book Quiz Day 9

Day nine of our festive quiz

Can you identify today's extract? Post the author and title in comments and you could win a fabulous prize! Closing date is 1st January, winner and answers will be revealed 3rd January. 

Good Luck :-)

He makes coffee. With two kinds of beans, and the grinder and the funnel and the machine, and that same unhurried meticulousness. We drink it in silence. It's Christmas Eve. For me, silence is usually an ally. Today it's pressing lightly on my ears. 
"Did you have a Christmas tree when you were a child?" I ask. A question with a trustworthy surface. But I ask it to find out who he is. 
"Every year. Until I turned f-fifteen. Then the cat jumped up on it. And her fur caught fire from the candles." 
"What did you do?" 
Not until I ask the question do I realize that I took it for granted that he would have done something. 
"Took off my shirt and wrapped it around the cat. That put out the fire." 
I imagine him without a shirt. In the glow of the lamps. In the glow of the Christmas candles. In the glow of the cat on fire. I push the thought aside. It comes back. Some thoughts have glue on them. 
"Good night," I say, getting up. 
He goes with me to the door. "I'm p-positive that I'm going to dream tonight." 
There's something sly about that remark. I scan his face, looking for a hint that he's making fun of me, but his expression is serious. 
"Thanks for the nice evening," I say.

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