Excerpt from MOTHER TONGUE by Karen Stephen
I tapped my breaks as the first building in the tiny village came into view, a two-story house whose rear of rough, moss-covered stone lurked behind a façade of beige stucco. My gaze lingered on the checkerboard of cast stone at the point of demarcation. I felt an odd pulling sensation in my chest, as if someone was watching me from behind the white shuttered windows, each one tenderly surrounded by filigreed carvings. I imagined walking up to the oaken front door and lifting the brass knocker. The blare of a horn broke the spell and I drove on.