Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, fiction, suspense on May 21, 2013


About Lawrence Weill:

Lawrence Weill is an author and artist in western Kentucky. In addition to novels, he writes short fiction, non-fiction articles and books, and poetry. His work has appeared in a wide range of local, regional, and national journals. He and his wife live in the woods overlooking a beaver pond.

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What should a woman do if she believes she is the mother of the second coming of Christ? This is the problem Lara Joyner faces when she comes to believe, through her visions, through the look on his face, through her cards, and through the thousands of hidden signs she sees in nature, that her son is Christ incarnate.
Incarnate is driven by this woman’s character and readers struggle between wanting to sympathize and knowing she is deeply troubled. In the end, we discover how her delusion turns many worlds upside down, as well as how faith overpowers reason. The story follows Lara and her two sons as she pushes Dale to perform miracles and save humanity. Although obviously unable to
do so, he goes through the motions to protect his little brother Louis. Told alternately from Lara’s perspective (in the present tense) and from the other principles in the story, the plot follows the trials brought on by Lara’s spiraling madness, her husband’s desperate search for his family, and the children’s bewilderment and fear.


Dale sat in the dark of the back seat, listening to his mother’s vague humming and the roar of the engine, with an occasional growl as other cars came out of the dark before them, their headlights sending a shadowy moment of light across the ceiling of the station wagon. When he could see, Dale looked at Louis, who sat next to him with his eyes closed tightly, or at the ashtray in the center of the backside of the front seat. He didn’t know why he looked at the small silver square, smudged with fingerprints, a corner of some cellophane wrapper sticking out of it, a vague stain trailing from a corner onto the vinyl of the seat it was attached to. Somehow, looking at it reassured him. Sometimes the cars that passed in the darkness honked several insistent honks as they came near, and Dale would feel the car swerve one way or another. When he felt the car swerve, often he heard the cars blare their horns in long, sustained honks again as they passed, the sound whining and changing pitch as the car sped past. The wipers rubbed, giving forth a grunt. Dale sometimes looked at his mother’s head, her hair cut loose and frizzed by the rain, but most of the time he couldn’t see her much. It was too dark in the big car. But he could see Louis well enough. He couldn’t miss Louis, who was now resting his big head on Dale’s shoulder. Whenever they went over a bump, Dale could feel Louis’ head bob. He wasn’t asleep, as far as Dale could tell, and the weight was getting to him.

“Move,” Dale hissed as he shrugged his shoulder, but Louis just bounced back. “Get off me, Louie.” He shrugged harder now, and his little brother sat up with a scowl.

“What?” Louis rubbed his eyes and turned his head down.

“You weren’t asleep.” Dale whispered, the way they always did when their mother drove. She didn’t listen to them much unless they started fighting and yelling, which they didn’t do all that often, or at least it didn’t seem so to Dale. And they had learned early on that if they were quiet, their mother ignored their conversations. Besides, she couldn’t understand Louis that well anyway, with the quiet way he spoke most the time.

“I was, too.” Louis sounded like he was sorry about something. He looked at the floor.

“Was not.”

“Was too.” Louis looked up and looked like he might cry, and his voice rose a level.

“Shh. Okay, you were sleeping.” Dale glanced up at the back of his mother’s head, but she wasn’t listening. Louis sat still for a moment, as if Dale’s agreement with him had thrown him.

“Where we goin’, Dale?” Louis whispered again now too.

“I dunno, Louie.” Dale shrugged, his hands facing up, flat.

“Ask her.” He looked at the floor again. His voice cracked like he was afraid.

“No, she’ll tell us when she’s ready, Louie.”

“Why won’t she tell us where we’re goin’?” Louie raised his voice to begin a cry.

“Shh.” Dale looked up and saw his mother glancing around.

“You two okay back there?” She glanced back towards them, but she wouldn’t be able to see them, as far down into the seat as they were sunk. At least she never seemed to know what they were doing, or saying for that matter, unless Dale told her himself.

“You said you’d tell us where we was goin’.” Louie said it in not much more than a breath, so that Dale himself almost couldn’t hear him. Louie kept his head lowered as he spoke, as if asking the question was wrong, forbidden. They could never tell if any question Louie asked would bring a small pat on his head or a quick backhand across the cheeks.

“What?” Their mother turned around more now, trying to decipher Louie’s whispered whine.