Armed with this mud map to the end, it should be a walk in the park, right? Well it’s a good find, to think you know where you are going, until the characters show up and do their own thing. Gah!
This time is was Ramsey turning up at dinner with extra people. Extra people who look like the staff living and working in the house. But who are obviously not the hired help.
Gosh and then there was the moment in the shower when Sally Sparrow moment came to e… and I now have the opening written (you can read it below in a few minutes) and a half-written ending. With that I can unequivocally say, that despite all that goes on in Dalhousie, I will possibly be able to sell it as a romance book. It is still very much gothic horror, but that sub-genre has a very strong romance element to it.
But before I get ahead of myself, I need to finish the damn book. Then do all the additional research, redefine the characters in accordance to their new arcs, write a second, third, fourth and probably fifth draft.
Gosh – and all those words. I was aiming for 75,000 words. I’m sitting on 71,500 and I believe there are at least another 10,000 words to go. Perhaps a few more. The desire is still strong to finish this by Saturday night.
Bring out your cheer squads. I didn’t expect to be doing 4K days at this end of the game. And while the pom poms gather and the legs are warmed up, skirts pulled discretely down, a few words to open the actual novel.
* * *
The sound of rubber soles, squeaking and pounding behind her; the rhythm of panic mashed with the rumbling trundle of the suitcase wheels on polished floors and the eddy of conversations. Another punter late for a flight.
“Flight DJ424 for Sydney is paging passengers Dr Robert Selvaratnam and Mrs Robert Selvaratnam.” Mish stopped and looked up at the speaker. “Please make your way to gate 32. Your plane is boarded and ready for an immediate departure.”
“Miss Mulholland?” a voice called from behind. “Michelle Mulholland?”
A young man in a Flight Facilities t-shirt, ran toward her, looking between the screen on his phone and then up to her, as if checking a photograph. “Oh shit,” he puffed, stopping where she stood beneath the speaker, bending over to catch his breath. “I spend my whole life waiting for this one minute and I almost fuck it up entirely.”
He handed her an envelope, yellow and brittle, the ink faded by time, but the handwriting she’d know anywhere.
“She says her only regret was you’d never know. The rest would be taken care of.”
“I’ve never read it. None of us have, but we were told it explains everything.”
Mish sliced open the envelope. Instead of taking out the letter she withdrew the photographs and flicked through them.
“I don’t understand,” she said. The boy was gone, swallowed by the swell of passengers flooding the concourse from a recent arrival. She glanced the opposite way toward the departures lounge. She’d left only five minutes maybe more given she’d stopped at the ladies.
“Jokes on me, right?” she said aloud, turning slowly waiting for the hidden camera crew to reveal themselves. A minute passed and another, as she stood in the sea of humanity, all moving toward somewhere else while she felt anchored to this one moment in time. Endlessly caught. Buffeted by irrational possibilities.
When the host of the new reality TV show didn’t step forward to announce the joke was one her, she pushed across the tide of travellers and opened the letter in a small enclave between a coke machine and an abandoned luggage trolley.