What I Wrote Today – 5

What I Wrote Today – An excerpt from my work in progress, Beanstalk & Basket. Jack is stuck on the last page of his story and would be completely bored – if he hadn’t just met the girl from the story next door.

Coming to you fresh and unedited – subject to change before future publication. Enjoy!

WIWT5IG2

Jack’s mother was where he left her when he returned to the mansion that night — sitting at the long, shiny wooden table in the dining room, counting gold coins, stroking the magic goose, Gertrude, who sat peacefully in her lap. She was chatting with the enchanted harp, Penelope, who was sitting on the table strumming herself and clearly not listening. Penelope looked like a normal harp, only with a woman carved into the bow, and her enchanted arms stretched out and her nimble fingers strummed herself expertly. Jack had gotten rather tired of harp music, but he couldn’t exactly complain about Penelope. He’d rescued her from a giant and she was eternally undignified in her gratitude towards him.

“There’s my hero!” Penelope called, waving merrily to Jack.

“Hello, Penelope,” Jack said, waving back and hurrying past the dining room to the stairs that would lead up to his room in the tower at the back of the mansion.

“Jack!” his mother called sharply.

He stopped short and poked his head into the dining room. “Yes, Mum?”
She looked up from her stack of coins and looked at him over the top of her small golden glasses, which she’d bought after he landed them in the lap of luxury with Gertrude and Penelope. “Where have you been?” she demanded. “The servants told me you never came round for supper,”

“Uh…just out chopping trees,” Jack replied.
“Ugh,” his mother grumbled. “I wish you wouldn’t do that. You don’t need to work. If anything you should go out and play, not work,”

Jack shrugged. “I enjoy working,”

She scoffed. “Imagine that. A boy who has reached his happily-ever-after, with a fine home and all the comforts of life, feeling any sort of need to go out and work!”

Jack sighed. He and his mother simply did not understand each other. For her, work meant survival. For him, it was…necessary. Fun at times, yes, but it was more that he felt like he’d go crazy if he wasn’t doing something.

“I’m tired, Mum,” he said. “I think I’ll go straight to bed,”
“That’s what work does to you, Jack, it wears you out. Isn’t that right, Gertrude?”

Gertrude looked up, honked as though in agreement, and closed her eyes again.

“Goodnight, Mum,” Jack said.

“Goodnight, Jack,” she called back. “Rest up. Maybe tomorrow you’ll have a little fun,”

Jack thought about that as he climbed the spiral staircase to his room — the only room the servants weren’t allowed to clean. Whatever happened tomorrow, he was pretty sure it was going to be interesting. He was going back to the gap. Maybe he’d see Red.

 

Thanks for reading, God bless!

Clare

 

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What I Wrote Today – 1

What I Wrote Today – 2

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What I Wrote Today – 4

What I Wrote Today – 3

They headed out of the city on US-63. Isabel drove very fast and efficiently. She rolled the windows down and leaned back in her seat, a small smile on her face.

Tony gazed at her, his heart pounding. He looked across the car at her and took in the sight of her, windblown but the happiest he’d ever seen her. She was beautiful and wild and all he wanted was to touch her. He reached out and rested his hand on her knee. She rested her hand on top of his and kept her eyes on the road. Her small smile widened for a second.

“I haven’t done this in years,” she said.

“What?” he asked.

“Drive,” she answered. “Drive just to drive. Just to go fast and go far away,”
“Is that what you and Daniel did?”

She nodded. She lifted her hand off of his and turned on the CD that was in the player. Tony had never heard any of the songs that played, but the music seemed to turn their drive into a scene from a movie.

“What is this?” he asked.

“Thriving Ivory,” Isabel replied. “This album is from 2008,”

“I love it,”
“Really?” she asked. “Some people think the lead singer’s voice is weird,”

“No, I like it. It’s different,”

They fell silent and lyrics filled up the car.

You’re talkin’ in your sleep like there’s nothing more to lose/ Well hey you know you’re not alone,

‘Cause honey, I get lonely too, and it feels so familiar, must have been here before, singing ‘I don’t wanna go, but I don’t wanna hurt anymore’.

Tony kept his hand on her knee and she kept both hands on the wheel.

About half an hour later, Tony saw a sign for Lake Louise State Park, and Isabel signaled to exit. They drove into the park and Isabel let Tony pay the entry fee at the front office, then kept driving. They passed camping grounds and a picnic area, and finally, Isabel stopped the car and parked in a small lot beyond a sign that read Lake Louise Dam. She got out of the car, taking her coffee along with her, and led him towards the sound of steadily flowing water.

As they exited the parking lot, Tony saw the dam. It looked like a huge version of a fake waterfall set up in someone’s yard, with water from the lake spilling into the river, flowing down over the sloped concrete barrier.

There was a family with three small boys playing noisily around on the far bank, running in and out of the trees, but otherwise, the place was deserted. Isabel walked right up to the dam and slipped off her shoes before sitting down on a portion of the barrier wall. Tony took his shoes and socks off and sat down beside her. She had a melancholy expression on her face as she stretched her leg out to let the water from the dam spill over her foot.

The little family came back across the shallow water and left, taking their noise away with them in a minivan. It was quiet except for the sound of the water and Tony’s heart pounding away in his ears. He broke the silence after a few minutes. “Why here?” he asked.

“This was our place,” she said, looking out at the lake. “We’d come here whenever we needed to talk.”

Tony popped the lid off his cup, sloshing a little on his hand. He licked the coffee off his knuckles and looked at her. Her gaze was fixed on the water, as though she was were seeing something that made her very sad.

“So that’s what you want to do right now?” he asked. “Talk?”

What I Wrote Today – 2

Tony hadn’t slept since seeing Isabel at the diner. He just lay awake, staring up at the ceiling, resting his hand on his chest and feeling his heartbeat. It always scared him how fast his heart could beat. He wondered if that was how he would die; his heart would beat too fast and explode. Or something. He had no idea if that was a medical possibility. He’d learned not to Google his own symptoms after he’d convinced himself he was having appendicitis his freshman year of college.

He started getting up at four every morning and going out to sit on the steps, smoking and drinking coffee, waiting for her, hoping she would come by. He was so confused. He told himself that all he wanted was an explanation. Why had she kissed him if she was with someone else? Every girl Tony had ever been with had cheated on him. He knew had badly it hurt to be on the other side of that. But, if he was being completely honest, he didn’t care. He just wanted her to be with him. He’d forgive anything for her to be with him.

The third morning he was out on the porch, he thought he was imagining the sound of footsteps coming from the right around 6:30. He looked up, and saw Isabel…but she was on the opposite side of the street. His heart leaped into his throat.

She saw him and looked away, picking up the pace so she was practically running.

“Hey!” Tony called, getting to his feet. “Hey, wait!” He ran across the street even though he was only wearing socks and blocked her path, putting up his hands to stop her. “Wait, just wait,”

Isabel took a startled step backward. “What do you want?” she demanded.

Tony tried to speak, but his heart was beating so fast it took his breath away.

“I’m going to be late for work,” she said and started to walk around him.

“Wait!” He reached out and grabbed her arm.

She wrenched her hand away and shoved him away from her. She stood, staring at him, her eyes wide and fearful. “Leave me alone,” she said. “You were waiting for me, weren’t you?”

Tony took a deep breath. “Yeah. I needed to talk to you,”

She pulled her hoodie tighter around her. “I don’t want to talk to you,” she said softly, and turned on her heel, hurrying away.

Tony stood, feeling his stomach twist as he watched her get away from him. “So why did you kiss me?” he called after her.

She stopped and turned to look back at him. “Sorry. I…I got carried away. I shouldn’t have done that. It was really insincere. I’m in love with someone else.”

Tony sighed. “Daniel, right?”

Isabel’s eyes widened. “How do you know about Daniel?”

 

From Being Daniel, coming this year, maybe. 👍

Thanks for reading, God bless.

Clare🌻

 

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Happy Winter Solstice!

Confession time – I honestly haven’t been writing since NaNoWriMo ended. I was, for a while. I was writing blog posts for Blogmas. But even writing my writing actual blog posts has kind of shriveled up since I unexpectedly moved to a new place a week ago. No regrets, but I realized, “Hey, just posting something on my blog isn’t the point. The point is to be writing. Every day.” So this morning I intentionally sat down to write…something. Anything. This is what I came up with. It isn’t much. It may not even make it into the final draft of Being Daniel. But I wrote something, and that’s what counts.
What I Wrote Today 1 – 12/21/17

Jill came over. The door wasn’t locked so she let herself in. She found Nick sitting on the floor in front of his couch, gazing at Tony who was fast asleep.

She went and sat down beside him. Without speaking, she slipped her arm around him and he took her hand.

“How is he?” she asked softly.

Nick shrugged. “Slowly sobering up,”

“How are you?”

Nick sighed. “I’ll get back to you on that,”

Jill kissed his cheek and rested her head against his shoulder. “You aren’t going to throw him out, are you?”

Nick scoffed. “Of course I’m not going to throw him out. What would happen to him if I did? He would never admit it, but he needs me. I’m all he’s got.”

Jill nodded slowly. She studied the pinched expression on Tony’s sleeping face. “Poor guy,” she murmured.

“It’s mostly self-inflicted,” Nick said.

Jill smiled sadly. “I know,” 

“I love him, Jill,”

“I know you do,” she said. “I love him, too.”

 

Thanks for reading, God bless!

Clare

 

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