I’ve passed the 40K mark, and it’s downhill from now. The story is going well, I’m actually pleased with it. It’s pure Jack, and so far, he’s coping. Kids have a way to put a hitch in his stride. If I sound like Jack, Terry, Claire, Isabel are real to me, it’s ’cause they are. I know them more intimately than myself. And, really, sometimes they’re more fun to be with than “real” people.
Here’s another unedited excerpt. Feel free to send feedback if you wish. Comments are open.
Eve opened her eyes, smiled sweetly. â€œHi, Jack,â€ she said. â€œEve went beddy-bye.â€
Ice cold water in the face wouldâ€™ve been less shocking. Not only was Eve talking, but she knew the name Iâ€™d given her. I hadnâ€™t called her by her name once. How did she know it? For that matter, where did â€œbeddy-byeâ€ come from? Okay, maybe Isabel had said it to her and she remembered it. That still didnâ€™t explain her knowing the name I gave her. Nowhere in the information Iâ€™d read did it indicate that Phoenixes were telepathic or mind readers. According to the data, their intelligence level was borderline retarded. Although that wasnâ€™t the impression I had from Eve.
From his place beside her, Fred looked at me. Blinked. Began to wash.
â€œYouâ€™re a great help,â€ I muttered.
Then I remembered the diaper bag. And Claireâ€™s theory that, somehow, I was deflected from exploring it fully. Three times, now, Iâ€™d opened the first zipper, found diapers and formula and food, but as soon as I thought of opening another, something happened to make me forget what Iâ€™d been about to do.
Iâ€™d already seen a lot of weird things in the past year, so the thought that some kind of charm or magic compelling me to forget the bag. Maybe that was a bit too much and I was beginning to get cabin fever.
Iâ€™d seen Isabel take the bag into the guest bedroom. â€œStay,â€ I told Eve. She nodded, her eyes serious. Sure enough, the bag sat at the foot of the bed, the bright yellow and pink jarring with the muted colors of the walls and bedspread. I picked it up and brought it to the coffee table. Eveâ€™s eyes lit up. She clapped her hands. I remembered the power bar. â€œThe kid must be hungry,â€ I muttered to myself.
â€œHungry. Yes!â€ She laughed. Here eyes changed color, the blue deeper, the gold brighter.
I unzipped the middle zipper, dug for the bar, tore the foil wrapper, and gave the bar to her. â€œThank you,â€ she said very politely after a second, looking up at me. Then she dug in. I suddenly remembered my mother asking, â€œAnd what do you say?â€ after sheâ€™d given me something.
Thatâ€™s when I knew it for certain. There was someone in the apartment with me.