I have a confession to make: I completely lost track of my NaNoWriMo goals due to, well, I’m going to say ‘my life’. But! I have been working on some other things, like revisions and playing about with some new stories, which I’m really enjoying. I usually post something from WIPs on twitter, so you might have seen some already, but here’s a snippet from my NaNoWriMo project. Which I’m still keeping on with! Just. Maybe not to 50k…
He fumbled to answer Amanda’s call. “This is Felix. Is everything okay?”
“Everything is great. Nelson came through, and we’ve got you a fiddler. Or anything with strings, it sounds like. He’s some kind of virtuoso. You can add that mandolin piece you’re always talking about.”
Rising from the couch, Felix crossed to the tall windows that overlooked Canary Wharf. Ethan had wanted a penthouse apartment, but Felix preferred being close enough to peoplewatch. His childhood had been removed from crowds and he wasn’t used to them in person, but observing the to and fro of human traffic from a distance was soothing.
“I’m not sure about the mandolin, but I’ll keep it in mind. He’s good, then? And he’ll do the tour?”
“He’s been doing session work for a while, supporting himself through—get this—a folk music degree. That’s why he hasn’t been touring with anyone else. He’s looking to get back in. I’ve emailed you some of his stuff, have a listen and let me know what you think, but he’ll be there tomorrow anyway. I think this could really work out.”
As Amanda spoke, the keys in the kitchen started to jangle, insistent, clattering against the marble countertop. A headache started to grow between Felix’s eyes and he closed them, resting his forehead on the cool pane. Concentrate on the things you can change, his therapist said. He could change the future. He couldn’t do anything about the past.
“This virtuoso have a name?”
Paper rustled as Amanda checked her notes. “Oliver Der—Oliver Dervin-Petrenko. Hell of a name, isn’t it?”
Felix’s mouth felt numb. “It’s Ukrainian. His mother’s from Ukraine.” He ached, like old wounds were reopening. The keys rattled more loudly. “I have to go.”
Ending the call with a shaking hand, Felix slipped his phone into his pocket, opened his eyes, and turned to face the kitchen. The keys stopped rattling, but as he crossed the room, the air still felt heavy with a presence. Not malicious, or at least Felix didn’t think so, but—watchful. Expectant. He’d always been that way, Felix remembered. Forced himself to remember, as it seemed no one else did.
“I’m going to see Oliver tomorrow. Do you remember—Hey!” Felix ducked the keys flew toward his face, protecting his head with his arms. He stayed crouched when they landed, waiting. When nothing happened for five—ten rapid beats of his heart, he eased to standing.
The presence was gone.
I hope everyone is doing well with their November goals! If not, come hang out on twitter and we can commiserate together 🙂