excerpt from my novel, early in chapter 2.

“That’s—a god damn—vulture.” Jonny says. “I wonder if it escaped the zoo or something.” Jonny looks up to the vulture, “And it’s over my mother’s old loft.” Jonny says. “This is pretty ominous, huh Nell?”

Nell is silent. Jonny continues without paying mind to her silence.

“A lot of people…I guess would assume that is ominous, but I have to be positive. You know for the first time in my life, I’m thinking about mortality or something and maybe this is just another sign. But you’d say, ‘Jonny, you don’t believe in that superstitious nonsense.’ And I’d agree with you, but maybe there is some truth the symbols or something that we deem important. That vulture, on my mother’s, god damn loft is telling me something, which is funny because I was just thinking about vultures a while ago. I can put it into perspective or whatever, or I can dismiss it but this thought a while ago Nell, about vultures, was how when a vulture stalks the dead, it will wait before it has died and swoop down to feast and peck at the body. I thought about it in reverse.” Jonny says, “That vulture is my family.”

There is a long silence after this as Jonny thinks about his vulture, a grim bird with black hollows for eyes, diseased. He envisions this bird to be just as rotted as the corpses it eats but as he thinks he thinks of the end, the vulture already at the corpse and he rewinds the actions from decomposition. The body raising from the desert, constructing itself from a wind blowing east, slowly unearthing the bones, long buried in the sands. The bones, like a plant, begin growing muscle sprouting slowly over vast amounts of time, the red fills in dark and sickly at first but as veins root themselves like encircling tendrils the muscles get lively and more vibrant until flowing with blood. Then patches of skin like grass grow outwards, wrapping the muscles in pale blue layers, and the blood flows to the skin and it glows pink and lively. Yet there is a large hole in the chest, an empty cavity, waiting for something. The vulture comes, stalking backwards toward the corpse, its belly and mouth full of organs, bones and flesh and it perches over the corpse and dips its head in the hole. After some grueling minutes of egestion, it evacuates the contents of its stomach into the empty cavity of the corpse, savagely and furiously putting everything where it needs to be, mise-en-place. The vulture, using its beak as a suture, sews up the chest, and then flies away. The looming shadow of the vulture flies counter-clockwise above the corpse as it is born into a forgiving desert.
writing is done, editing has been underway since august, i have probably another few months of hard editing, i turn it into my publisher and they give me back their opinions for a second edit, i finish those and it is off to the press (hopefully)