For previous installments, please see the category heading for NaNoWriMo on the right side bar.
Remember on Day 1 when I said that reading this might be akin to rubbernecking or watching a train wreck? Well, Day 1 was okay, but here we are at what I’m going to call Trainwreck Day 5. This is what happens when you just aren’t feeling it, but need to type words anyway, especially since my intent was to share it here with you all. The writing here for me feels mechanical and without inspiration, although my thought early this morning was: Saturday, yay! An entire day to get down to business. Business sucked. I don’t think economics were involved. Heh.
If I had the luxury of really writing a novel, erm….yes, I guess this is really writing a novel so to speak, I probably would have stopped and aborted mission for today.
One more thing. I read an essay by an author talking about how they wrote. They said they saw everything like a filmstrip and that the scenes unwound just like that. You walk into a room and begin recording and in turn begin writing and describing what you see. On a forced novel march, sometimes you forget that. During NaNo, you’re just getting words on paper/screen. Words =friends and enemies.
Enough excuses. Day 5 awaits.
Word Count: 8351
Phoebe entered the diner and glanced around. Sunday mornings were always busy at Pete’s. People sat on benches outside of the diner waiting and more stood inside.
She smiled cheerfully as she moved around them, wondering if Kaden had managed to snag a table or maybe he hadn’t even arrived yet. She expected that he would be easy to see with his fedora and sunglasses.
She smoothed her lacy purple top over her dark navy denim jeans and moved farther into the crowd.
“Who are you looking for, Phoebs?” Maggie, the waitress who had been at Pancake Pete’s no doubt for half a century, asked.
Phoebe was about to say, Kaden Roarke and then thought better of it. “A guy wearing sunglasses and crazy fedora?”
Maggie nodded. “Interesting guy. Does he have a problem with his eyes?”
“He does have a condition,” Phoebe said.
“He’s back there,” Maggie said and jerked her thumb to the other room toward the back of the building. Phoebe smiled her thanks.
He was there at the very farthest booth still wearing his sunglasses and fedora, staring intently at his cell. She couldn’t help grinning. The fedora and sunglasses seemed so obvious in this little diner. But, as had always been true of this quiet beach town, most people minded their own business, even if they did glance curiously at him.
Kaden waved at her when he noticed her approach. He actually stood up and kissed her cheek, which surprised her, although she hid it. Maybe underneath it all Kaden Roarke had nice manners.
They ordered breakfast, drank coffee, and chitchatted about the town and running until their food came.
Phoebe poured blueberry syrup until it pooled around her pancakes and then she looked up at Kaden’s bemused expression. “What?”
“That is a lot of syrup,” he said.
“It’s made with real blueberries and not corn syrup. It’s like heaven in a bottle,” she said, even going as far as to snag a forkful of pancake drenched in the blue syrup and moan as she sucked it from the fork.
“I may have to revisit calling you a hardass,” he said.
She frowned. “Don’t do that. Consider me a dichotomy of soft and hard.”
He leaned back and sighed. “Damn, thanks for that image. I’d like to find all of your soft places.”
She raised an eyebrow at him as she took another bite. “What’s it like being a rock star?”
He grinned. “I love it. Making music. I’ve never been able to figure out the drugs part. Why drugs when making music is such a high? Drugs just impair your ability to play your instrument. All of your instruments, if you get what I mean.”
“It always comes back to sex with you, doesn’t it?” she asked.
“If you’re lucky.” He chewed on a strip of bacon and then chuckled at her expression. “You should think about it, Phoebe. I am good.”
“Let’s just finish eating, okay? While I still have an appetite.”
“Your call, cher.”
They ate in silence, or as silent as it could get in Pete’s Pancakes where the noise reached near airplane decibel levels.
Phoebe used her last bite of pancake to sop up the remainder of the blueberry syrup before she patted her lips with her napkin and cleared her throat.
“Aunt Philo thinks that you were probably cursed before Serena,” Phoebe said in a rush, never one for beating around the bush.
Kaden choked on his coffee. “What?”
“There’s some kind of residual footprint thing,” Phoebe said. “It’s probably ten or more years old. Any thoughts?”
He nodded. “Sure. I think this is about the craziest shit that anyone’s ever said to me. How’s that for a thought?”
Phoebe nodded. “Well, it is a thought. I’ll give you that. Not an altogether useful one, though. Try harder.”
“Come on, Phoebe. This is crazy. Ten years ago I was just about to start college.”
“Go back earlier. Tell me if your family had any run-ins. Anyone who’d want to hurt them by hurting you.”
He thought for a moment and then shook his head. He pushed his plate away slightly and leaned back, his fingers twirling the end of the fork.
She reached forward and touched his hand and it was like an electric shock went through both of them. The fork clattered from his fingers onto the plate and she jerked her hand back, the tips of her fingers feeling like they had been burned. “Dang,” she said, placing her fingertips against the side of her juice glass.
He looked at the top of his hand where her fingers had been. Red stained in the pattern of fingertips. She gasped when she saw the mark.
“I guess you and I aren’t having sex,” she said.
He placed the bottom of his glass of ice water over his hand. “Can you explain what just happened?”
“Nope.” She raised an eyebrow at him. “I have heard you were hot to touch, though.”
“Nice. You’re making jokes. It hurts like hell, in case you’re interested.”
A remorseful expression quickly moved over her face. “I’m sorry. I really don’t know what happened. I think a visit to the Aunts is in order.”
Aunt Caroline dabbed fresh aloe onto Kaden’s hand and listened while Phoebe explained what happened. “Interesting,” she commented when Phoebe finished. “So you just reached over and touched him? No static?”
Kaden laughed without humor. “You’re kidding? This wasn’t like dry static electricity. It was a burn.”
Aunt Caroline nodded. “I can see that.”
Kaden sat on a stool in the kitchen of the café, feeling as if he had just entered the Twilight Zone or an episode of Charmed, not that he had ever watched that show for the stories. He had to admit though, this Phoebe maybe even sexier than the Phoebe on that show. She stood there, watching intently, biting her lip. God, he wanted to bite that lip.
Aunt Philo entered carrying a large black, ancient looking book. She shook her head when Caroline and Phoebe looked at her. The book slid from her fingers with a thud onto the counter.
“I’ve looked through the book. I have no idea what’s going on.”
“Maybe Phoebe has a superpower,” Kaden suggested. “Fire Woman.”
Caroline shook her head. “Naw. We don’t do superpowers. At least, not those kind anyway. Or at least we didn’t used to. I’m thinking some kind of force field.”
“Because that makes more sense than Phoebe suddenly acquiring superpowers?” Kaden asked.
Phoebe chuckled then bit her lip when Caroline shot her a glance.
“What I mean to say is that the first curse may have had a built-in parameter in case there was a threat to it.”
Kaden sighed. “Okay. I’ll bite. You have an idea of what this is all about. Share.”
As Caroline explained the previous night’s conversation about voodoo and old curses, Kaden’s face paled significantly as a memory came to him of when he was a little boy of seven or so. He had once stumbled into a barn where a ritual was going on. A ritual he didn’t know anything about or understand except that he had wanted to save that poor chicken. There had been a young man by the chicken, his eyes glassed over, causing Kaden to think about zombies like the ones he had seen in an old black and white movie where their eyes were opaque white. He had been shooed away then, yelled at by an old woman with wide frightening eyes that haunted his dreams for months afterward.
Another memory jostled him, a memory of seeing that same woman seven or so years later, talking to his grandpa near the bayou. His grandpa had tried to give her something, but she had thrown up her hands and said something in a language Kaden hadn’t understood. Then, seeing thirteen year old Kaden, she had pointed a finger and yelled at his grandpa. “It ends with him,” she said. “You all end with him.”
It struck him as strange how those memories had slipped away from his mind when for such a long time, they had haunted him. That woman’s eyes had haunted him. Even now, just remembering the fierceness, the otherworldliness, he shivered slightly.
Phoebe noticed his expression and was about to reach out her hand to touch his shoulder when Aunt Philo grabbed her wrist. “I don’t think that’s wise.”
“Phoebe’s a threat to the curse,” Caroline said.
“Because she’s powerful?” Philo asked.
“Or something else. I’m betting it’s the something else.”
“There was an old woman who pointed at me and told my grandfather: you all end with him. Does that mean something?” Kaden asked.
Aunt Caroline and Aunt Philo exchanged glances. Phoebe looked at them both, recognition causing her to bite her lip. “It’s what you two were talking about last night. Aunt Philo, you had already seen it, hadn’t you?”
“Seen what?” Kaden asked.
“Aunt Philo sees the future. She can also see your past by touching you,” Phoebe said.
“Phoebe!” Aunt Caroline admonished.
“Oh, please. He has every right to know what’s going on. I don’t think it’s a huge secret that Aunt Philo . . .”
“Enough, Phoebe. We don’t tell all of our secrets in front of outsiders.”
A heavy silence fell over the kitchen and Kaden really wanted more answers, but the look on Aunt Caroline’s face halted discussion for the moment. But just for a moment because he was pretty sure that he needed to know what the hell was going on and whether anything could be done about it.
dead end of Day 5