NaNoWriMo Day 10, Soup’s Off

soup's off cover

Observations: Honestly, I’ve been so busy today trying to figure out how to get my little rescue dog to me (without me roadtripping 1000+ miles) that I didn’t know if I’d settle myself down to write. Come on, what’s more important a beautiful dog….or NaNo? 😉

I am definitely writing for fun now. What are your impressions? Is this something, after being severely edited and molded, that you could imagine yourself enjoying?

My feeling at this point is that Sophie is only just beginning to come into her character. It’s a process of self-discovery.

Disclaimer: Yup, still a DRAFT. I have not read this one over. I apologize for that. I’d probably still miss a few typos…but not all of them.

And thank you to anyone who is actually reading this. You have my heart…well…not literally. 😉

Total word count: 16736

66 words ahead (ut oh, tomorrow’s get ahead day!)

You can read previous sections here.


Chapter Seven

“So, you’re a witch,” Nikki says, as she takes a bite of her egg salad sandwich. She nods and her eyes become round. “That’s why you have genius soup.”

“You really can’t say anything.”

Her eyes are serious as she nods and gazes at me. “I understand. They burn witches, you know.”

Okay, well, I hope that hasn’t been done for a few centuries, but if the idea of my burning stops her from talking, I’m good with it. I nibble on carrots and roasted garlic hummus as we sit on my back deck.

Mom finally released me from “observation” once she was satisfied with my promise that I wouldn’t do anything too strenuous. I would just go home and veg, which turns out to be literally true as I dip another carrot.

“Sorry I didn’t see you in the hospital. No one told me. And I thought you might be peeved at me about that whole thing with Heath Lawrence and me letting the dog out of the bag.”

“Cat.”

“What?”

“Cat out of the bag.”

“You don’t have a cat. Oh, are you going to get a familiar like now that you’re a witch. Does it have to be a cat? Could you get a monkey or a bird or a dog familiar? This is really exciting. I wish I were a witch too. Do you have to be born into it? People join covens, don’t they? And become witches? Maybe I could do that. We could be kickass witches together like on ‘Charmed.’ I always wanted to be Pru, but they got rid of her because I think she was a total beyotch in real life. Which is a shame. Did you get that? Which…witch? Maybe I do have a superpower.”

Suddenly I’m exhausted but not sad. After much discussion last night, we concluded that Isla being disgruntled probably hexed my soups because she thought and said things over the vegetables I cooked with. Case in point, her talking about falling in love at first sight and then me, high-tailing it after the blond tower because he was the first person I saw. I wonder how it would have been different if Heath had been the first person I saw. And, why exactly, did I go there?

Nikki bumps my arm with her elbow jostling the carrot I am dipping into hummus. “Do you have to do witch lessons now? Do get to learn how to be a witch? Do you think your mom would be okay if I came along? I may not be born with witchy powers, but I bet there are things I could learn, like mixing potions. I could be a potion mixer,” she says, nodding and gazing into the distance.

Potion mixes. Now I understand the little sachets of protection herbs.

The sound of an approaching car, tires kicking up gravel, makes me glance at Nikki. I wasn’t expecting anyone.

Reluctantly I go inside the cottage to the front door and see Heath Lawrence emerge from a rather boring looking blue sedan. He straightens, glances around. I wonder what he sees? What does he think? That I’m a hermitess out in the middle of nowhere? That I may have the smallest cottage he’s ever seen? I grin at the thought.

I open the door before he can knock. His fist still hovers, his fingers flex, and he smiles.

“Hi. Are you better? I heard that you decided you were in love with Yuri, despite my warnings, and chased him down Main Street and was hit by an elderly woman.”

“All true. Unfortunately.”

Nikki appears behind me. “Hiya,” she says, bouncing on the balls of her feet. “Why are you here?”

Thank goodness for Nikki who is never subtle. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know the meaning of the word, or that such a trait might exist.

He’s momentarily taken aback. Obviously, he doesn’t have a Nikki in his daily life. His blue-green eyes cloud over and my spidey sense, who knew I had that, tells me that he’s fishing for an answer which is going to be a total lie. Out of habit, my arms cross over my chest. What do I know about Heath Lawrence? His grandmother says he’s covert. Is he a spy? Is that why he says or knows Yuri is a spy? Spies. Why would spies be here in Rosemead?

Crap. Magic soup? No. It can’t be about me or my family. That’s just ego, right? Maybe not. Maybe this is the kind of thing that bears watching. What if they think we have powers that they could use? Damn, what if we do have powers they could use?

“I just wanted to make sure that Sophie was okay,” he says.

Well, that sounds mostly honest, if he really cares about me, which he probably doesn’t. So, that makes it dishonest. Immediately I raise an eyebrow, which makes him raise an eyebrow. My eyes immediately drop to his lips. I have never seen a man with such full kissable lips. I wonder if he’s a good kisser. Stop. Right now stop. He’s probably a spy here to use me and my family. He’s definitely not to be trusted.

“I am okay,” I say.

Nikki nods. “I bet you could have called to find out how she was.”

“I don’t have her number.”

“Hmm. Your granny has her number.”

“I didn’t want to ask my Gran. She sometimes takes things to another level when they aren’t supposed to go there.”

“Meaning?” Nikki asks. “You’re not interested in taking it to another level with Sophie?”

I snort.

He frowns. His eyes fall to my lips and I can’t help but let my tongue snake out and lick them. Not really on purpose. Seriously.

“I barely know Sophie.”

“Which makes it a little strange that you would just show up at her door unannounced, don’t you think?”

Nikki nods at me, her ombre layered hair bobbing, and her coffee brown eyes piercing in a way that means: I’ve got your back. And she does. My best friend can sometimes be ditzy but at other times can be totally amazing.

Heath seems at a loss for words, and neither Nikki nor I are inclined to help him out. He glances to the side with his mouth open, perhaps hoping that some logical words will fall in.

“Okay. So, what I really want to know is if you’ll got out with me.”

My newly acquired spidey sense says: nope, that’s not honest. There’s something else going on here, and things are definitely not what they seem. If it weren’t for the fact that I just discovered I was a witch from a long line of witches, maybe I wouldn’t feel as skeptical as I currently feel. Heath Lawrence wants something from me and it ain’t my body…unfortunately.

I toy with the idea of saying “yes” and then making him squirm. That could be fun. On the other hand, I am going to say “no” and see what he does. Maybe he thinks that his charms are so charismatic that I will fall under his power. Could I?

I drop my arms down to my sides. “Do you want to come in for a few minutes?” I ask, while I decide what to do with you, I don’t add.

He glances at Nikki as if she might be the deciding factor. He shrugs. “If you want me to.”

Nikki raises an eyebrow and is about to say something when I jump in. “Sure. Come on in.”

When he passes by, I notice a bulge under his brown leather jacket. Is he toting a gun? Nikki evidently notices too and her eyes widen and she mouths at me: “a gun?”

Have I just made a mistake? No. Why would he want to harm me…us?

“Have you had lunch?” I ask, my grandmother’s teachings kicking in. If you have a guest, you must treat him in the best possible way, even if he’s a horrible person. Just add a few “bless your hearts” and all will be well.

“I have egg salad and some potato and leek soup.”

He smiles. “How are your soups these days?”

I shrug. “Tastes good to me.”

“I’d love some then.”

Brave man, I think. Unless he knows something. Why am I so suspicious? He couldn’t possibly have my mother’s home bugged and know that I’m a witch. But if he’s a spy, couldn’t he have that ability? He could be James Bond. Except he’s a bit short and tattooed. Does he stir or shake?

I ladle the creamy potato and leek with dill soup into a bowl, butter a few pieces of Rose’s parmesan-rosemary bread, and then set it on the table in the kitchen.

My cottage is small. There’s no two ways about it. However, that means that it’s excruciatingly clean, which I like. However, that means that when there are several people in the house, it begins to feel slightly claustrophobic. Or is that me?

Nikki leans against the kitchen counter, her arms folded across her chest, eyeing Heath as he sits at the table. If he’s aware of her evil-eyed stare, he doesn’t show it. Maybe spies are inured to that kind of thing.

I sit at the table and jerk my head for Nikki to sit. She frowns and then petulantly sits on the other side.

Heath looks at us. “You two aren’t eating?”

“We ate already,” Nikki says, folding her arms again.

He looks like he’d like to say more, especially considering her defensive posture, but he shrugs, takes a bite of bread and sighs. “Honestly, I’ve never tasted better food than this.”

 

 

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3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 10, Soup’s Off

  1. keep on going Sascha, I don’t think I could write and not edit and that slows me down quite a bit. I am on schedule but need to keep catching up on weekends. I hope you got the little new buddy home safely. Am reading your novel and enjoying the story!

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  2. Yeah, Sascha, sorry I don’t have time to read all the instalments. Pretty much laziness on my part. (I am trying for disarmingly honest.) 🐒 I like the fantasy field, it suits your writing. Well written, the pace is great, and the details, the characterisation, like the friend who pours it all out without taking a breath.

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