Avenues of life?

And, after a long time full of guesses and fun, we have a winner!

In Avenue of Life, Stan Baker has to decide what to do with his life, now that it’s been given back to him. After being enslaved by a witch, the future is completely open, and that’s a terrifying notion for someone new to freedom.

How many roads must a man walk down?

–The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Time for a sneak peek!

“Well,” Sam started, having difficulty beginning, “you see…”

“We’re not going to make your decisions for you,” Dean interrupted, taking over for Sam. He folded his arms on the table. “As far as we’re concerned, your life is your own.” That statement was near and dear to his heart. After seeing the borrower’s mistreatment at the hands of the witch, Dean wasn’t about to be a party to anything like that.

“So if you want, we can keep you with us and find your old home,” Sam offered, listing out the choices the brothers had come up with during the long ride, “or we can find you somewhere else to live, somewhere away from humans.”

Dean shrugged, hampered slightly by the way his arms were crossed. “Or you can skip out on us now. We’re not keeping you a prisoner just because we’re bigger.”

Stan blinked, a confused frown pinching his brow as his attention switched from brother to brother as they spoke. The notion of being allowed a choice for his life was a foreign concept that didn’t process fully in his mind. To him, it made no sense. Sam and Dean were bigger, much stronger, therefore they held Stan’s more insignificant life in their hands. That made him theirs.

Didn’t it?

“I-I,” he stammered when he realized they were waiting for a response from him. He really didn’t know how to answer.

His only other experience with humans was Nicholas, and the witch would occasionally ask him questions that sounded like the answer would be an opinion or a choice, but there was only one true answer that would make him happy. What the brothers were offering didn’t sound so dissimilar to those, and even if they were otherwise different from Nicholas in almost every way, he didn’t want to make them unhappy.

December 20th excerpt:

Stan’s frantic run stuttered at the tremble of the aftershocks of the hunter’s impact through the floor. He glanced over his shoulder at the sudden threat that had invaded their home, and regretted it immediately. He thought he’d been terrified before just feeling the tremors of each step of the hunters’ entrance, hearing their deep, rumbling voices that seemed to vibrate the very air and send shudders through the smaller man’s chest.

But looking back…

Just looking straight on, he could see enormous boots well past Nicholas’ shoes. Rugged jeans seemed to rise straight into the sky from them, and Stan didn’t dare look up to see who they were attached to.

December 19th excerpt:

Stan’s blood ran cold as it sank in. Hunters! Without question, he turned and ran full tilt, keeping to the wall as Nicholas stood to face the men who had barged into his home and dared take on a witch.

December 18th excerpt:

“Do you love me, Stan?” Nicholas asked, leaning down so his eyes were closer to Stan’s level.

“Yessir,” Stan answered without hesitation.

“And are you happy with me?”


December 17th excerpt:

Nicholas unscrewed the top and Stan braced himself, expecting the witch to pluck him out and put him down somewhere. But it never happened. Instead, the jar simply tilted on its side, and Stan slid around on the old handkerchief he used as a cushion and blanket. Only then was Stan, jar and all, placed on the desk in the study just off the first room.

“Rest now,” said Nicholas in a voice that would almost seem gentle if not for the ever-present rasp in his voice that always warned of danger. “You did well, my pet.”