I have some of the most wonderful and incredible “friends.” I’m not going to call you followers, because you’ve become something far more than that to me. While this challenge of nanowrimo is definitely a solitary venture, it has meant so much to me that so many of you have reached out to pat me on the back to encourage me to keep going and I think maybe a couple of you have actually enjoyed this, which tickles me, because that’s what we want as writers. To engage people and to provide an escapist world.
The days are dwindling and seriously I feel like the words are as well. I didn’t expect to scrape out any words today, but fortunately managed to get some in. Tomorrow will definitely be iffy. Friday I need to have a grand slam of words. Maybe I’ll type the dictionary. 😉 Again, thanks.
Usual disclaimer: please recognize that this is draft…typos and badly used words are anticipated and welcomed!
Current word count:36,260
It had been a mistake. He understood that now as he sat alone on his second story balcony watching the waves curl on the Pacific Ocean. He should have stayed in Virginia with Phoebe, celebrated Thanksgiving with her family instead of running away. Because that is what he had done. He knew that now. He felt very much alone. Jared had stayed with Chloe and Tito had gone to Santa Fe to join his dozens of relatives. He had invited Kaden. He always did. This year he added: “Don’t stay alone on Thanksgiving, dude. It’s not good for the soul.”
The soul. Kaden felt like his soul was aching pretty badly right now. Yet, this is the way he had spent most Thanksgivings for years now. Alone. But before this year, he had been happy.
He had only been back for less than a day. He sipped his beer. A woman in a fluorescent pink bikini jogged along the beach. He could make friends with her. She looked nice. Nicely tanned legs. Tight butt. Wouldn’t she be happy to meet him? What a completely idiotic thought.
He leaned forward in his chair and set his beer bottle down on the cement. He threaded his fingers through his hair and closed his eyes and every time he did, he saw her. Phoebe. Those beautiful eyes smiling at him, except for the last time when they had been blazing with fire. He could go back. He could apologize. He could see where things took them. He could do these things. There was nothing to stop him but pride. And maybe actually being able to book a last minute flight for Thanksgiving, but that’s what was great about traveling first class. You were almost always guaranteed a seat.
He grabbed his cell and pulled up the airline website. Just making the decision made him feel lighter inside.
Phoebe was baking pies. Pumpkin and apple and a bourbon pecan. She didn’t know why she bothered with the last except that Kaden had mentioned it and she had been curious or nostalgic or hopeful. So she looked up a recipe and decided to bake one. It wasn’t like she expected him to show up. She was pretty certain that she would never hear from him again.
She sang along to the music on her radio as she mixed the ingredients for the pie dough.
She placed dough onto a floured mat and began to roll it into a circle. She heard her front door open.
“In here,” she called.
The sound of high heels echoed on the hardwood in the hallway.
“Just look at you, all domesticated. Cousin Phoebe, you look like you’re becoming an old maid,” Serena said her blue eye sparking, her very thin red lips pressed together in the semblance of a smile.
Phoebe dropped the rolling pin onto the counter. “Serena, what brings you here?” Phoebe asked, trying to sound nonchalant when that was the very last thing she felt. She tried to calm herself, after all Serena had never been a violent sort, unless you consider stealing someone’s ability to make music violent. Or stealing someone’s fiancé.
Serena was dressed in black. She wore a flowing black skirt, a black corset, and a black wool jacket. A brittle, self-delighted smile curved her lips.
“I hear you had my leftovers,” Serena said. “That’s a change. Usually I take your leftovers.”
“I think that was only once. And it was pretty childish on your part. You didn’t even want David.”
“Was that his name? I’d forgotten. What a milquetoast! Whatever did you see in him? Oh, forgive me. You loved him. You wanted to be his wife. I saved you from a fate worse than death, Phoebe, dear. You do realize that, don’t you?”
Serena glanced down at her long red finger nails and then raised her eyes to meet Phoebe’s. “But you’ve never appreciated me, have you?”
“What’s there to appreciate? It’s not like you’ve tried to be friends.”
The timer chimed on the oven. Phoebe grabbed the oven mitts and removed the two pumpkin pies from the oven. She slid in the apple crumb pie that was waiting and reset the timer. She tried to ignore Serena watching her, but she couldn’t. Knowing that Serena was there with an ax to grind was intimidating.
“He’s coming back to you tonight,” Serena said, her forefinger tapping her bottom lip as she leaned against the counter. “I’m trying to figure out what to do. What to do. Should I leave you little lovebirds alone? Or should I revisit his family’s bad mojo?”
Phoebe’s heart skipped a beat. She felt suddenly stupid with anticipation. “Kaden’s coming back?” Phoebe asked, hope stamping out everything.
“You are a little puppy dog, aren’t you? Will you be panting and jumping up on him when he arrives? So obvious. Do you want some advice?”
“From you? Not really.”
“Play hard to get.”
“Is that what you did with him? I noticed that went really well.”
Serena laughed mirthlessly. “You don’t know anything about him and I. I know he didn’t tell you anything. He wanted me to stay. He wanted me.”
“Actually that’s not what I heard. And, if that had been true, why did you curse him?”
“You’re such an ant, Phoebe. I could squish you right under my shoe right now and the world would be better for it.”
“Nice,” Phoebe said and returned to rolling out her dough.
Serena crossed the room until she was standing on the opposite side of the counter to Phoebe. She thumped her fist down onto the granite and the house shook. Now she had one hundred percent of Phoebe’s attention. Phoebe tightened her grip on the rolling pin and stared at Serena’s mottled face. Serena was usually beautiful with her black hair, pale skin, red lips and blue eyes, just the way you would imagine Snow White to look. You know, if Snow White were angry and witchlike and malevolent. But now, angry, her forehead lined, her lips drawn, she was fearsome and far from beautiful.
“I wanted to be a sister to you,” she said.
“What stopped you?” Phoebe asked. Serena’s claim took her aback. Serena had always been aloof. If she had wanted to have a more personal relationship, it had never been obvious to Phoebe.
“You. You’re so precious. Everyone loves you and you love everyone. I’ve shown Chloe the truth. You know that, don’t you?”
Oh, Phoebe thought. Maybe that’s why Chloe had been so antagonistic. She just needed a little Serena influence. Phoebe shook her head. What Serena said made no sense.
“So you thought I was precious and there was something wrong with that?” Phoebe asked.
Serena whirled away. Her gestures with wide as if she had studied for the theater. When she turned back around, her vibrant blue eyes were narrowed. “Yes. I don’t do nice.”
Phoebe grinned, she couldn’t help it. “Oh, please. Really?”
“Don’t laugh at me, Phoebe. It will be the very last thing you do, I promise you.”
Phoebe raised an eyebrow and then did laugh. “Serena, don’t threaten me.”
Serena’s face grew sharp and stern. Her mouth drew down at the corners and her lips compressed. Her eyes narrowed. It seemed as if her entire face tightened in upon itself.
Phoebe could feel power emanate from Serena and steeled herself. Suddenly the rolling pin began to bounce on the counter and Serena’s eyes went from Phoebe to the rolling pin and then Phoebe realized that it wasn’t Serena making the rolling pin drop up and down, but her. Serena’s eyes widened.
“Are you doing that?” Serena asked.
“What?” Phoebe asked, pretending that nothing was out of the ordinary, although, oh, hell, she could make a rolling pin jump up and down!
Serena backed away, eyeing the rolling pin and Phoebe as if she trusted neither. When she reached the kitchen door, she fled.
Phoebe crossed her arms over her chest and grinned at the rolling pin. She had a new power. A pretty cool power. Now, if only she could figure out how to control it.
end of day 11/23/2016