You can get the backstory on this rewrite at The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 1 (backstory).
Ed Voss stood in the middle of his orchard focusing on G. His only knowledge of G came from Maestro Fortuna, the stories he told him. And once Maestro Fortuna stood on this very spot with him and smiled as a shape formed in the air.
It took Ed a moment’s focusing to recognize the shape as female, its body’s curves outlined in earth tones of browns and greens and blues. Eyes floated in what now and again seemed to be a face, and he heard laughter.
No, not quite laughter. More like a chuckle. A playful chuckle, the kind of sound someone makes when they’re tickled by someone they know.
And a moment later Ed’s orchard came to life. Leaves budded, apples ripened, flowers opened, birds nested, bees buzzed, worms burst through the soil.
And that was just what he could see. Could feel. Hear. Taste. Touch.
Maestro Fortuna sighed as the shape faded. “Her gift to you, Ed, for inviting her here.”
But Ed couldn’t find her – communicate to her? – on his own. Not yet.
Possibly not ever.
The warm, August sun dried sweat on Ed’s bare chest and back, both permanently tanned from many summer suns above and below the equator. He took his ballcap off to wipe his brow and felt furrows there, as if plowed like his fields, and realized he was tense with concentration.
But that’s not how Maestro Fortuna did it.
Maestro Fortuna relaxed with slow, even breathing.
First lesson; Lower-Center-Relax-Breathe.
He descended through the levels of awareness of his training, cocked his head, and stopped.
Someone called his name?
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