Boy oh boy, what a day. Spent part of the day (which was dressed in a lovely, dreamy, steady, slow rain) dancing between reading HP:7 The Deathly Hallows, and working on the final chapter of Book Five of The Lone March Series. After that, the epilogue (which, incidentally, was the very first scene I envisioned for this book) and then the first draft is d.o.n.e. So much excitement--ooh, for those who've been reading my blog from the beginning, let us say so much folperlacion;)
Anywho, I spent an unfortunate amount of time this afternoon/evening running errands and doing necessary tasks for financial sustentation, so sadly, I have not been able to finish the book today and complete my goal of starting this blog with, "It seems rather fitting and auspicious that I am uploading the final installment of Chapter One, Book Two on the very day I have completed the first draft of Book Five." Oh well. Technically, the statement is in the blog now, so I did get to say it, even if it's not true.
So I am intending to copy and paste the last section of the chapter straight out of my Amazing-Colossal-Man-sized Word document right into this here blog, but first, I wanted to get real with you guys for a sec. I don't know if that's the right term, but it felt good, so I typed it. Here's the thing that I want to say: These books I'm writing about this March chick are literally, 100%, genuinely getting better and better with each new installment. I know you're thinking, "Biased much?" but really, I know it to be true. It's based on many international statistical analyses. That's not really true. But it is a conclusive fact. Yes, I realize no one can dispute me, seeing as I'm the only one who has actually read every bloody word of every bloody book (and knows the plot for the next three bloody books) but I cross my heart and hope to die--when you all have read them too, I know you'll agree. So much excitement--oops! folperlacion.
Probably I didn't need to put all that in a blog, but I did need to get it off my chest for some reason and I'm not gonna erase it. So there.
And now, for the final installment of Chapter One from the Upcoming Moon-Ache, Book Two in The Lone March Series...
Da-du...um, how do you do a drum-roll in text? How do you type a drum-roll?
Chapter One, Part Three:
As I stared at my soup, I pictured Mr. Harper running into the kitchen to assemble a pouch of ice for me, and also making me soup just a few minutes before. His kindness and concern for my safety were not exactly in keeping with the way the pack made the ravens out to be. Sure, when I first met him and he’d been all intimidating—and even threatened me—I had the same attitude about him. But then, he’d basically saved my life by telling me what I was and getting me to the people who could help me through my change. Hell, there was no ‘basically’ about it—he did save my life. And now, here he was doing it again.
Despite my gratitude, I couldn’t help wondering why. Why was he putting himself through this for me? Some girl he didn’t know. Some girl who was just his son’s debate partner. Some girl who had no connection to him other than being were. But I wasn’t even a raven, like him—I was a wolf. According to the wolves, we were supposed to be enemies. Weren’t we?
I recalled what Quinn had said about not calling them by their names because they didn’t warrant that much respect. And I remembered when the pack had come to get me, Elliot had said that thing about Mr. Harper wanting to be absolved (although, he had derogatorily called him ‘the bird’).
What did they mean? What did Mr. Harper need to be absolved from? Why did the ravens not deserve the respect of the wolves?
I could only assume that there was some kind of miscommunication going on. Mr. Harper was taking care of me the same way Quinn would be, if he was here. Regardless of what the men think, I had to take that into account.
Still, their opinion couldn’t be completely unfounded—it had to have been borne out of something. So what did Mr. Harper need absolving from?
I had just decided to talk to him about it, when he returned with a zip-lock bag full of ice and directed me to stretch out on the couch. But, after he gently lifted my ankle and propped it up on a pillow, laying the bag of ice on it carefully and sitting back down in the chair in front of me, I completely lost my nerve. It wasn’t the time to try to get all in his business with personal questions. He was being really attentive of me and I needed to appreciate that more. So I just went back to concentrating on my soup.
He watched me eat for a while before finally speaking slowly. “What do you know about what has been happening the last few days?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, gulping down a swig of water.
“There have been…incidents.”
I suddenly remembered Elliot’s confrontation with Quinn while we were still locked in the Cage. He was bragging about taking control of the pack and letting them loose during the changes to run wild. “They didn’t observe lock-down.” I knew what that meant. “How many?” I asked flatly.
He picked up my even tone and applied it to his own words. “Twenty deaths.”
“Oh my God.”
“Mostly in the Tyler area.”
With that I wasn’t hungry anymore, so I put the near-empty bowl on the end table next to me. I ignored the aberrant weirdness of Mr. Harper putting his hand on my knee when I saw his expression. I had never seen him so benign. It almost seemed out of place with his dark, angular features.
“March,” he said.
“What?” I asked, confused.
He pursed his lips and shifted his eyes between mine. When he spoke, he spoke each word slowly and carefully. “I need you to remember that your being here must remain hidden. So when I tell you this, try not to be too…vociferous.”
“What is it?”
“It’s your parents.”
“What?—What about them? What’s wrong?”
I shook my head in disbelief. Such a brief statement—only two words—and yet filled with so much weight.
“They got them,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
I fixed my vision on the pattern of the Oriental rug beneath my toes, feeling instantly vacant and fuzzy. It had a burgundy background swirled in gold strands around the edges with drops of emerald at each end.
“They…they can’t be gone,” I strained, but my voice sounded far away, even to me. He didn’t respond so I looked up at him. “They can’t be,” I repeated.
“I wish I was.”
“No. There’s been a mistake. They’re not gone. Just missing. We have to find them,” I said, throwing myself into a standing position, but he stopped me and pushed me back down.
“They were found in the front room of your house three days ago.”
He caught me as I began to slide off the couch and onto the floor, and moved, from his chair opposite me, to sit next to me on the couch, pulling my body backward into him and putting his arms around me while I felt myself being pulled away, till I knew I was completely absent—present in the room only in the physical sense.
Something about the pattern of that rug—about the shape of those gold swirls—seemed abrasive and made me feel assaulted, so I turned my gaze onto the banal print of a sailboat on a grey bed of water, framed and hanging on the wall, which, I thought abstractly, seemed out of place with the rest of the décor and was, admittedly, less than consoling.
Why? Why them? Why now?
I felt like I was falling through the air at a thousand miles an hour and everything in me screamed and begged me to stop, but I knew I was sitting as still as could be.
What do I do? What can I do? I’m a nobody. I’m an orphan. In the last three days I’ve learned that I’ve lost two sets of parents. How many people have had to lose two sets of parents in the span of seventy-two hours? What are the odds?
But I knew I didn’t care about the odds. I was just delaying the act of grieving because I knew once it started, that would mean it was real. Acknowledging the pain makes it real, and I didn’t want it to be real.
But they’re gone.
Then, suddenly, my tears made their grand entrance in one massive gesture and I heaved and sobbed silently after that.
I was crying so hard I could barely take a breath before I was blowing it back out in soft wails, so I stopped inhaling altogether for a while and just felt the pressure building up in my chest. Somehow, it was soothing.
Seeing the uncharacteristic redness of my face, Mr. Harper said, “Breathe.”
But I couldn’t. I didn’t want to breathe anymore. I didn’t want to breathe ever again.
The End (for now)...(of Chapter One)...(Stay Tuned for Updates on Release and Other Info!)
PS. Probably I could have just typed D's for that drum-roll, huh? Eh...