I seem to be particularly bad at not writing this Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings book. “The Undone and the Divine” has raised its head and insisted upon making its way onto paper. Here is the opening:
The ghosts spend their days profitably, doing precisely what they did in life.
Trading, gossiping, building, baking, shoeing ephemeral horses with u-shaped things made of smoke and wishes, sleeping when the sun sets and rising when it shows its face once more, fornicating as is only natural. Such coupling, however, is unsatisfying, for it produces nothing, neither pleasure nor offspring; ethereal fingers pass through gossamer flesh. Touches are felt no longer than the tiniest sliver of a second, with no lingering to salve the longing. At its heart, the village is broken and without purpose.
So when Delling crosses the burnt boundaries of Southarp, steps over the threshold still marked with deepest ash and visible under the grass and wild foliage after all the lonely years, the spectres go about their business, pretending that she is the one who is insubstantial. They ignore her although they long to know what she carries in the sandalwood box slung across her back. They wonder why she looks familiar. They are even more curious to note that she does not run screaming when she sees them.