For those of you who are curious as to why I’m still checking in; NaNoWriMo is not over. My novel is done, but I’ve still been writing and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been editing too. Getting the first draft of my next ‘Meeting Each Other’ story down as well as editing my offerings for the anthology and a piece of flash I’m hoping to submit to a competition. Small things, y’know.
Unfortunately, I can’t post any of it here; not if I’m going to be submitting it to different places here there and everywhere, but I wanted to let you know that I’m still writing.
I’m also using this week as a check in for other activities.
I’ve been going through my ‘freelancing’ folder and decided that I really should get back to doing a bit more work. Paid work, that is. Obviously writing stories for publication is eventually (I hope!) paid work, but in the short term, if I want skates then I need to be doing more scribbling.
That means tomorrow is my last day off. November will be over, December arrives in a flurry of cold and my nose will be back to the grindstone. Except for the days off I’ll have for Christmas of course. :p
In truth I’m quite looking forward to reflecting on November in my wrap-up and pointing my attention to December. In fact, the end of the year is looming (I tend not to think about it until Christmas is gone, but then you only have a week!) and I need to make some plans. I need decide where I’m going, what I’m doing, what I want! Don’t you just love that feeling? Planning and looking forward? Peering back and reminiscing?
Anyway… in the meantime, I guess you need another sample from the SORB project. Hereeeeeeee we go!
“I thought we could spend some time together. Look up some more decorations, finalise the goodie bags, that sort of thing.”
It took several seconds to realise that he was talking about prep for the wedding. It seemed a million years away that she was last thinking of what should go into the goodie bags and whether or not releasing doves at a pre-arranged moment was cliché. Another person. Another life.
“I thought you hated the goodie bags.”
“I don’t hate them.” He took a deep breath and started again. Softer this time. “I don’t hate them. I just don’t think they need to cost as much as the cake.”
She sighed. “That’s kind of you but I don’t feel up to it today.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to. I just don’t think I can concentrate on it today. I’ve got so much other stuff to do.”
“For the museum? Maybe I can help you.”
Again, the thought of her job was the furthest thing from her mind. She hadn’t enough thought about ringing Donna to explain her absence and it was only because of her father’s intervention the day before that she wasn’t in big trouble at the office.
“Not the museum.” She murmured.
“What then? Whatever it is, we can do it together. Let me help you.”
“You mean that?”
“Of course.” He reached around the mug towards her hand. “I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to snap at you, I just— you’ve got to admit, it’s crazy, right? Why would you joke like that.”
Ileandra felt her expression go back. Pulling away from Nick’s advancing hand, she swiveled the laptop to show him the screen. “This is what I’m working on.”
Peering around the mug, Nick stared at the screen. His expression hardened into one of deep lines and serious pools. His eyes darkened. Very slowly, he stood and pushed his chair back from the table. “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull, Ileandra, but I don’t like it. I’m going out.”
He walked around the table.
Panicked by the finality of the statement, Ileandra leapt up. She grabbed his arm. “Don’t go!”
Stopped dead, he turned and looked back. His gaze fell upon her hand as though it were a dangerous and ugly thing. “When you’re ready to talk to me properly, then we can talk. Until then, let go of me.”
She felt tears prick her eyes. “Please Nick, you have to believe me. I’m not making it up. I’m not!”
“Let go!” He wrenched against her grip, balancing himself as if he would be free, but Ileandra tightened her fingers and refused to budge.
She saw the anger in his eyes. The the confusion as he pulled against her grip. Then the fear.
“Please talk to me, Nick. I’m so scared. I just need help. I need someone to help me.”
“Let go of my arm.”
“Just stay with me. Please. We don’t have to look at the website, we can look at the goodie bags like you said.”
“You’re hurting me.” Fear started to thread through his voice now. It glimmered in his eyes. Poured through his skin. “Let go.”
His fear spiced the air like a good seasoning. Ileandra inhaled and felt the delicious scent of it strike a chord in her mind. Like picking a trio of piano keys to play an ugly chord. It struck her mind like a bell and left her trembling, fighting with the appearance of fangs in her mouth.
Biting back a sob, she released his arm.
Nick cradled the limb to his chest, holding it gingerly as though in pain. He gazed at her, shaking his head, before walking- no, running out of the room.
Minutes later Ileandra heard the front door slam and knew she was alone in the house.
He hadn’t even had a shower.