Update: In case you didn’t notice, I didn’t write during the day yesterday. Too much going on and that can be a hazard when you’re trying to get those 1667 words a day done.
So, I’m providing this section for Day 7 and am desperately hoping to catch up this evening for Day 8. I hope that there will be another post this evening.
The good things is that I have a pretty reasonable idea of what the next bit is going to be and then it gets hazy. Really, really hazy. 😀
I am open to suggestions.
Observation: I can feel dialogue wanting to take over so I keep drawing back and trying to describe the scene too. That’s not as much fun as writing dialogue.
Total word count: 11526
1810 words behind. 🙁
You can read previous sections here.
Waking up in the hospital is disorienting, especially since I only have the vaguest of memories as to how I ended up here. I remember feeling like I was drugged and in love; odd how those two things go together. My face colors as I remember chasing the blond tower down Main Street. I close my eyes and breath in deeply, hoping to allay the embarrassment.
There’s a hint of sage in the air, which strikes me as odd. It slightly covers the antiseptic smell and reminds me of my Granny who has been known to use sage to purify everything, especially when her sister-in-law, Great Aunt Rudy visits.
“You’re awake. Good,” Mom says as she hustles into the room. She puts her purse on the chair next to the bed and her hands on her hips. “The doctor is supposed to come by to see you and then we’ll get you home. Are you feeling all right?”
I grin, because most mothers would have led off with that question not used it as an addendum, but my mother has always been nothing if not unique.
“I feel a little strange.”
She arches an auburn eyebrow. “Meaning? You’re not in love any more, right?”
“In love.” I chew on the word a moment. So, so embarrassing…and strange. Yesterday’s memories are blurry. How could I have imagined myself in love with that man who I didn’t know nor felt attracted to? Thinking about that in conjunction with my soup disasters is enough to make my head start aching again.
“You’re looking a bit peaked. Let me go see if I can find Dr. Flirty and get this show on the road.”
I lean back against the pillow, feeling a lump beneath the pillow case. I pull out a little handsewn muslin sachet, exactly the kind my granny makes. She used to give them to me and my sisters before we’d go to school, “To keep the bullies away,” she said. The scent is mostly rosemary, which is comforting, making me think of Rose’s baking rosemary bread.
How strange that mom or gran would think I’d need protection in a hospital. Do they really believe this stuff works? I thought it was just gran being superstitious.
An hour later, Doctor Strangely Flirty, who is still hitting on mom, has decided that there have been no repercussions from my concussion and sends me home with instructions which amount to practically doing nothing for a few days. I guess that’s what I was going to be doing anyway until I can figure out how to salvage Soup’s On. Just the thought spins me around. I might have to face the truth that it may not be worth saving.
“What’s got your jaw drawing on the ground?” Mom asks as she slides behind the steering wheel of her red miata.
“Just wondering what I’ll do if I lose Soup’s On.”
“You aren’t going to lose it. We are going to figure out a few things this evening over family dinner.”
“But it’s Saturday…isn’t it?” I ask hoping that I haven’t somehow lost a day.
“Great to see you’re still on the ball despite a little old whack to the head. We’re having a special family dinner. On Saturday. Today. Because things have been going funny and we need to figure it out and find the source,” mom says, zooming toward the highway. In another life, if Mom hadn’t decided to be a writer, I think she would have been a race car driver or the driver of a get-away vehicle. I sometimes think she’s pretending to be just that when she gets behind the wheel.
Autumn’s come late this year, the latest I can ever remember, as the warm days of summer seemed to want to hang on, and the leaves are only now beginning to show signs of change just a few days before Halloween. It’s always a beautiful time in the mountains with the bright hardwood leaves against the cerulean sky. And the crisp scent with a hint of moisture and wood smoke.
I can feel mom’s glances at me as she navigates the curvy stretch of highway leading to my parents’ home.
“You’re awfully quiet,” she says.
“So are you,” I counter.
“Speak to me.”
“I don’t see what good a family dinner is going be, that’s all. I’ve lost my mojo and unless it comes back, my shop is going to fail.”
Mom chuckles slightly, her slim fingers tap on the steering wheel. How can this be funny?
“What?” I ask.
She shrugs, then whips the car onto the road that begins the climb through the woods to their home. “Just seems kind of naïve that you think it’s your mojo. Whatever that is. Is that like luck?”
“What other explanation is there?”
She reaches over and pats my leg. “That’s what you’re going to find out at family dinner. Just be patient til then and don’t fret. It will give you lines around your eyes and forehead.”
“Yes, because that’s my immediate concern.” At least my sarcasm hasn’t taken a hit. I fold my arms across my chest.
“—to know one, yayaya.”
For better or worse, sometimes it feels like my mom is my sister and not my mom.
I’m startled by the number of cars parked in the driveway, some are rental cars. There must be eight to ten cars parked haphazardly around the front of the house. I glance at Mom over the roof of the car as I get out.
“What’s this about?” I ask.
“Aww, you know. It’s going to be a little larger family dinner than we might normally have because there’s a lot at stake.”
“Huh? You mean my shop?”
Her eyes avoid mine, which is so unlike her. She’s not normally evasive. If my head didn’t feel so heavy, I might have pursued the topic. Right now, however, I only want to take a nap. The only people who sleep in hospitals, I realized as I lay awake for most of the night, were people in comas.
Aunt Lea rushes out of the house, the sunlight catching her titian colored hair, giving her a halo. She pulls me into a hug and then starts patting my back. With the smattering of freckles across her nose and wide brown eyes, she looks at least ten years younger than her mid-forties.
“I was so scared when I heard that you’d been hit by a car.” She pulls back slightly and looks me over, touches the bandage on my cheek. Her finger touches the bandage and she grimaces. “Poor dear.”
“Yeah, yeah. Fortunately for her the car was driven by Mrs. Munkley and was going about ten miles per hour. I think the car might have more damage than Sophie does,” Mom says with a laugh.
Lea rolls her eyes. “You’re always so sympathetic, Cat.”
Taking my arm, Lea guides me to the house as if I were an invalid, and I let her. It’s nice to be mothered, even if it is by your Aunt. “I’ve made some soup. Roasted root vegetable, your favorite.” she says.
I stop and look at her. “Are you kidding?”
Mom laughs. “No, she’s not. And it won’t be anything like your soup, Soph. I promise you’re not going to be chasing after some man. Come on. You’re gonna have a long evening ahead of you.”
As if that doesn’t sound ominous.
end of Day 7