Words for the day: 2745 (across two sessions)
T-shirt: The Book Was Better
Best song vibe: “Pressure” Billy Joel (1982)
Today’s goal was to hit the 7500 in total. I stupidly thought it would be easy because I knew exactly what was going to happen today. Tabitha was off to meet Ramsey for the first time, to set foot inside Dalhousie on the orientation evening she speaks about in her email. What took up perhaps a paragraph in the jettisoned emailed fleshed out most of today’s word count.
It totally sucked and emphasised my previous thoughts about me not ever being a plotter. it took forever to get the 2700 odd words out.
The introduction to the house and to Ramsey is dodgy at best, but it is there to be honed in the future. I can see the bare bones of what it will be. The house looming up all spooky and Ramsey materialising from the shadows looking at his fobwatch.
Tomorrow it’s what goes on in the room and the Tabitha’s realisation she can have it all and more.
What struck me as I reached the end of the word count today was Tabitha’s diary says she took Christian with her into the house so they could play out their affair in the relative safety of the house. But writing tonight, I saw that wasn’t the real reason. Tabitha takes Christian into the house so she won’t be alone or outcast in the midst of people who are confident in themselves and their art.
She’s not the strong sassy woman she writes as in her diary. She is full of self doubt, riddled with fear. She is endlessly lost in fantasies of a different life and always coming up short when her fantasies fall well beyond that of reality. In this, she will have a good character arc as the time with Christian will empower her to believe in herself, to be stronger. To strip away the version of herself she detests. She refers to herself as a disaffected mother, a scared wife, bored part-time tutor and disillusioned writer.
Oh, and the sculptor finally introduced himself: John Hardgrave. But as we know, he will always and only ever be, ‘the sculptor’. Not surprising, within minutes of him and Tabitha meeting they are at each other!
Here is a small taster from today:
Tabitha swallowed hard, clutching the purse to her stomach as though she could push the dread brewing there back in.
“I have a family. It isn’t possible for me to spend all night here. They –”
“What if I were to ask you to trust me, Miss MacLeod.”
Never trust a man who says, trust me. Especially if he has it on his tie. Joel had that fucking Garfield tie with trust me on it and look where that ended up. Jesus, what was I thinking in coming here?
“I’ll need to make a phone call,” Tabitha said, knowing it was a lie but one that would buy her five minutes to think. Enough time to, at the very least, send Christian a message in the event she became the next victim in a mass murder or disappeared off the face of the earth never to be seen again.
“I say we trust, Ramsey,” the sculptor said. “What do you have to loose, Miss MacLeod.”
She hated the way he emphasised the Miss in her name, as if calling her out in the ruse of a double identity.
“There is no we here,” Tabitha bit back. “You don’t speak for me.”
The sculptor shrugged. “Call a taxi then and let the rest of us get on with the business of being here.”
Tabitha rankled at his suggestion that she was somehow expendable, inferior to the rest of them.
Ramsey walked over to her. “I appreciate your concern and your reluctance. But I cannot emphasis how important it is to me, to have you as part of this residency, Tabitha. For what you will bring to this group.” He offered his hand to her. “May, I ask you reconsider and come with us upstairs.”
The young maid reappeared and her tray was quickly filled with empty glasses and she was gone again.
“Fuck it,” Gordo-Ham, the one in the seventies shirt, said. “I’m in.”
“And me,” Becca and Ham-Gordo said in stereo.
All eyes were on her, as though the entire thing would fall apart if she dared to say no.
“Lay on, McDuff,” she said, attempting to lighten the mood, drawing on the fantasy version of herself who was radiant and socially adept but failing dismally in quoting McBeth’s death words.
“And damn’d be him that first cries, ‘Hold, enough!’” finished Ramsey, the curve of his moustache going up with the smile punctuating his words. He closed his hand around hers and together they lead the group toward the sweeping staircase at the end of the foyer. As they climbed the heavy-carpeted stairs he leaned in to whisper in her ear, “You are the first to not misquote the bonnie bard, lassie.”
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
“Aye, lassie. Protest too much indeed.”