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Story a Day: Day 23 – “Noticed”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to choose a detail that only your character would notice in this story. I picked Carolyne from Flower Shop, though the story actually ended up being from Maeve’s POV.

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“Someone took some of those flowers.”
Maeve looked in the direction Carolyne was pointing. “What are you talking about? I don’t see anything.”
Carolyn pulled away and crouched down in front of the planted display near the corner of the sidewalk. There were plenty of them scattered around town. “I planted these,” Carolyne said after a moment. “I picked out the flowers, designed each of the spaces, and planted the flowers myself. Well, I had some help with the planting, but the rest I did myself.” She ran her finger over two partial stems in the middle of the rest.
Maeve hadn’t noticed that detail before. They’d been in the middle of a conversation, so she wasn’t sure how Carolyne had even noticed it. Although it didn’t surprise her too much. When it came to flowers, Carolyne seemed to notice everything. “Who do you think took them?” she asked.
Carolyne shook her head then straightened back up and reached out for Maeve’s hand again. “I guess it doesn’t really matter. Maybe someone wanted them for their sweetheart. If so, they gave their life for a good cause.”
Maeve smiled at that. Carolyne certainly did have a different way of looking at the world. Nothing was ever too bad for her to smile about it.
Maeve wished she could be that easy-going about things. But, she’d soak in Carolyne’s sunshine as long as she could.

Writing Wednesday: Cruising Along

Taking Mondays off from writing seems to be doing the trick for keeping my motivation up. Last week I had all my writing goals done by Thursday afternoon. This week, it’s looking like they may be done sometime today. Yesterday I managed to get through writing, editing, and half of plotting goals. Finished the plotting goals already this morning. I’m a bit behind on the reading goals, so I’ll catch up on those after I get the last of the writing goals done then probably start on next week’s writing goals.

I haven’t moved on to the next goal yet, so we’ll still count Craving You as what I’m working on and share more from one of the pieces I’ve written for Story a Day. This is from the other main character’s, Jeff, POV. Easy math today, 23 sentences for the day.

Someone dropped into the seat across from him, and he jerked his head up. “What are you doing here?” he asked Erik. That should be obvious, though, since he had an apron on over his clothes.
“I was back in the kitchen. Anna mentioned you were out here, looking upset. What’s wrong?”
“Not a thing,” Jeff said.
“Come on, man. I know you better than that. Something’s eating away at you. Why don’t you tell me what it is?”
Because he was part of it. Why couldn’t he see that? “I said I’m fine. I don’t need you of all people to be coming down on me.” He almost expected Erik to make some innuendo-laced joke. He usually did.
Instead the other man’s face paled, and he pushed up from his chair. “Fine,” he said. “I’ll just leave you here to wallow in whatever misery’s coating you. Have fun with it.”
“Shit,” Jeff said when Erik had returned to the kitchen. “What is wrong with me?”

What is wrong? Will Jeff keep lashing out? Or will he eventually let Erik in?(If he doesn’t, it wouldn’t be Romance, so I think we know the answer there).

Color Code:

Finished/Monthly Goal Met

Progress

Nothing Done

Set Aside

Plotting:

  • Primary: Craving You – Story Toolkit 
    • This Week – Locations, Act 1 Beat Sheet, Act 2 Beat sheet, Act 3 Beat sheet, Act 4 Beat Sheet, Timeline
  • Secondary: Craving You – Outline Act 1 
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Outline Acts 3 
  • Stretch: Heart to Heart – Brainstorm

Writing

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – Chapter 28 – 12221/~15000 words
    • This Week: Get through Chapter 27 – Through Chapter 27/27
  • Side Projects – 3350 words – 2837/3350 words
    • This Week: Riley Fire – 1000 words – 0/1000 words
  • Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 11.5/15 pages
    • This Week: 2.25 pages – 0/2.25 pages
  • By the Gun – 6 scenes

Editing

  • Primary: Flames of Renewal – Beta edits(I wasn’t sure if I’d get these back before the end of the month, so I hadn’t initially included it. But I did) 
    • This Week: Compile comments through Chapter 24– Through Chapter 24/24
  • Primary2: Stained Blood – Beta edits
  • Secondary: Short Story Collection
    • Bree & Jenny
    • Goin’ Down
    • Meeting Jonas*
    • Changing History
  • Tertiary: Paint Me a Picture – Transfer to Scrivener
  • Stretch: Law of Choice – send to CP 

Reading:

  • Read: 20 books – 14/20
    • Inkmistress(Audrey Coulthurst) – Started this Sunday night. On page 201/387
    • Shelter By the Sea(Elena Aitken) – Started this Wednesday afternoon. At 38%
    • Exposed(Various) – Started this Friday afternoon. At 63%
    • Safe From Harm(Kate Serine) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Monday night.
    • Ever Touched(Erin Zarro) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. At 37%
  • Listen: 5 books – 17/5 books
    • Happily Ever Ninja(Penny Reid) – Started this Monday morning. On Chapter 11/26
    • Dating-ish(Penny Reid) – Started this Monday afternoon. Finished it Tuesday afternoon.
    • West Cork: Aftershow(Sam Bungey, Jesse Baker & Jennifer Forde) – Listened to this Tuesday afternoon.
    • The Knocked-Up Plan(Lauren Blakely) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. On Chapter 31/43

Social Media

  • Primary: Post 5 regular weekly posts – 16/21
    • This week:
      • Writing Wednesday
      • Fiction Friday
      • Stream of Consciousness Saturday
      • Weekend Writing Warriors
      • Sunday Summary
  • Secondary: Post 31 stories for Story a Day – 22/31
  • Tertiary: Make 3 Patreon posts2/3
    • This week: Post: Coming Soon

Crafting

  • Knit: Dunfallandy Baby Blanket
    • This Week – Finish Side 3 – 40/56 rows
  • Crochet: Boxy Blanket
    • This week – Get through Row 90 – 84/90 rows

Story a Day: Day 22 – “Strange Surroundings”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write about your character waking up in a space they don’t recognize. It doesn’t take Jonas too long to figure out where he is, though it isn’t a place he wanted to find himself again. This leads in to a Stream of Consciousness post I did earlier in the year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jonas groaned and turned his head to the side where he could hear some sort of beeping noises. It sounded too damn familiar, though he hadn’t heard it for months. It had been months, hadn’t it?
Maybe it had all been some fucked up dream, and he was still in the army hospital.
“You little asshole. I know you’re awake.”
It must have been a dream. Because those were the same words he’d heard when he thought he’d first woken up. Still, he muttered, “You’ve said that before, Toby.”
“Yeah, and I actually mean it today. I’m really tired of you scaring the shit out of us and making us think we’re going to lose you.”
Jonas wasn’t quite sure what his brother was talking about. What had he done this time? “I didn’t make the helicopter crash.”
Toby barked out a short laugh, and Jonas forced his eyes open finally. This was definitely a hospital room. But, it didn’t look like the one he had first woken up in. Not that he could see all of it, not clearly at least. So the partial loss of vision hadn’t been part of the dream. Damn. His brother was in his field of vision, though.
Even with that laugh, his brother did not look amused. “I’m not talking about what happened more than six months ago.” So none of it had been a dream then. “I’m talking about your boyfriend calling me in tears because he couldn’t wake you up. I’m talking about Isaac saying there was an empty pill bottle next to you, and I didn’t have a clue how many you’d even taken. I’m fucking talking about being scared they wouldn’t get you here in time to save your life.”
Jonas just stared at his brother. He still didn’t know what his brother was talking about. He remembered Isaac’s father attacking them. And his brother being there when he woke up on the couch, taking him back through everything that had happened for the police report. He remembered Toby handing him one of his pain pills, even though Jonas had refused to take any for several days before that.
And then…fuzziness. Had he taken more pills? He really couldn’t remember.
“What has gotten into you?” Toby asked when Jonas didn’t say anything. “Don’t you realize how much you’d be missed? How much it would hurt all of us, especially Mama. Why would you do this?”
“I didn’t…I wasn’t trying to do anything. I know you gave me a pill. Then, I crashed out. And I don’t remember anything that happened after that. Jeez, Toby, I’ve been trying not to take them just so this wouldn’t happen.”
“Since when?” Toby asked harshly.
“Saturday. I realized I was taking too many, and I didn’t want it to get worse.”
Toby let out a curse in Spanish before turning back to Jonas. “I can’t believe you. I used to think you were pretty damn smart, but right now you’re certainly proving me wrong.”
He flinched at his brother’s words. He didn’t know why Toby ever would have thought that. “So far you aren’t telling me anything I didn’t know.”
Toby let out a growl and paced over to the door. Jonas closed his eyes, wishing his brother would just leave. Maybe everyone should just leave him alone.

Story a Day: Day 21 – “News”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story as a news report. I kind of broke from that at the end. This takes place during the short story I’m writing this month to post on patreon. I’m not sure if this part will make it into that or not. We’ll see.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I’m here at 664 Hillthorpe Street. Earlier tonight three fire companies were called out for a fully involved residential structure. The firefighters are still extinguishing the flames, but five juveniles were taken to the hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.”
“Were there any other victims?”
“No, Tom. I spoke to Chief Sollmann. It looks like the fire started with some faulty wiring downstairs. One of the juveniles said he was in charge of his siblings tonight while the parents were out for dinner. They are being contacted now.”
“What’s the status of the children?”
“Four are listed in stable condition. One…one was announced as dead on arrival.”
The head anchor came back fully on the screen. “We’ll have more information as it comes to us.”
The news switched to another story, but Rian could only keep staring at the screen. “I have to go, Tammy.”
“What is it? I thought your curfew wasn’t until midnight.”
“That was my house,” he said, waving at the television that was now showing the weather forecast. “I have to go. They said…they…”
Her arms went around him. “It’s okay. I’ll drive. They’ll all be at the hospital. Let’s go.”

Story a Day: Day 20 – “Text Conversations”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story in the form of a series of letters. I decided to go the more digital way. There are three people involved, or at least it seems that way. I’m planning on writing these characters’ story. It’s an idea I’ve had in my head for a while, though it’s changed a bit from the initial idea I had years ago(that I actually did start to write, but I don’t think I have any of it saved anywhere).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

5/1: In Nightborne game chat
CoachMage: I can’t believe you killed me again
NuttyHippo: That’s what you get for using the same technique over and over.
CoachMage: It usually works for me.
NuttyHippo: If they ever come across you again, they’ll be prepared for it, though. You need to mix up your attacks, or you’re never going to make it out of there.

5/5: Global Friend Messenger
MarshImp: Hello! I haven’t seen you on for a while.
NuttyHippo: Sorry. Got sucked into a wormhole. Or something.
MarshImp: Or something? That doesn’t sound too good. Did it at least take you to an interesting alternate dimension?
NuttyHippo: It’s fine. I’ve been through this particular wormhole before. It just sucks away all your energy then plunks you right down where you were.
MarshImp: Are you sure you’re okay? I’m here to talk if you want.
NuttyHippo: No, it’s fine. I’m just still a little tired from the trip. I’ll talk to you later.

5/8: Global Friend Messenger
NuttyHippo: It was nice meeting you. I’m glad Mom invited you and your daughter to dinner.
CoachMage: I’m glad I accepted. I didn’t realize the daughter she always raved about was the same knight I was always battling in the dungeons.
NuttyHippo: *laughs* Tell me about it. It was a shock to me, too. Mom doesn’t think much of my gaming, so it wouldn’t have even crossed her mind.
CoachMage: I get that. But I did have a good time. If nothing else, I’ll see you around in the dungeons.
CoachMage: but, hey, listen, I don’t talk about my daughter online. I know we aren’t all crazies, but you never know for sure. So, if you could not mention that in the dungeon chat.
NuttyHippo: Of course. I get it. There are things I don’t like to discuss online, too. Don’t worry about it.

5/19: Global Friend Messenger
NuttyHippo: You there? My plans changed for the night.
NuttyHippo: Marsh? It says you’re online. If you don’t want to talk, I get it.
MarshImp: No. I’m here. What’s going on?
NuttyHippo: Nothing, I guess. I thought this guy liked me. My mom introduced us, and we realized we already knew each other online. We couldn’t seem to get the same time off in the last couple weeks, and then we did, but he canceled on me. I don’t know. Maybe it just wasn’t meant.
MarshImp: Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Maybe he just got all caught up in his own head. I bet he’s regretting it now, though.
NuttyHippo: Ha! Yeah, sure. I doubt that. I seem to turn people off as soon as they meet me in person. It’s probably best we’ve kept our friendship online only. I wouldn’t want to lose you, too.
NuttyHippo: Shit. You went silent again. I said something wrong again. I’m sorry.
MarshImp: No. It’s fine. I just got busy. I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere. You don’t have to worry about that.

5/20: Global Friend Messenger
CoachMage: Sorry I had to cancel dinner last night. I really did want to see you.
NuttyHippo: Maybe it’s best if we just keep our relationship to the Nightborne chats.
CoachMage: That’s not what I want. I want to see you again.
NuttyHippo: Well, I think it’s all I can handle right now. I’m sorry.

5/26: Nightborne Game Chat
CoachMage: I’m seriously sorry if I screwed everything up.
NuttyHippo: The only thing you’re screwing up is your character’s experience points. You better start actually playing.
CoachMage: Hard to play when my head is all screwed up.
NuttyHippo: Then I guess you’d better get it straightened out. I’m no help with that.
NuttyHippo has left the game.

5/29: Global Friend Messenger
NuttyHippo: I am so tired. Tired of everything. I don’t think there’s enough sleep in the world to make up for this tired.
MarshImp: Are you okay?
MarshImp: Talk to me.
MarshImp: Please.
NuttyHippo: I’m fine. Sorry. My head’s just a mess. Dealing with…family. Stuff. It’s complicated.
MarshImp: I know dealing with your mom can get difficult. But, she’s handling things the best she can.
NuttyHippo: I never told you about my mom. I don’t discuss it with people I’ve never met.
MarshImp: I’m sure you have.
NuttyHippo: No, I’ve only ever discussed it with…Marshall. Damn it.
MarshImp has gone offline

5/29: Nightborne Game Chat
NuttyHippo: I can’t believe you. Who are you really?
CoachMage: I can explain. Please let me. We can meet somewhere.
NuttyHippo: You know what? I don’t even want to hear it. I don’t know if I can believe anything that comes out of your mouth anymore. I’m done. I’m just so completely done.
NuttyHippo has left the game.
NuttyHippo’s profile cannot be found.

5/30: Global Friend Messenger
NuttyHippo is not friends with MarshImp. Do you want to send a friend request?
Sorry, NuttyHippo cannot be found. Do you wish to invite them to Global Friend?

Sunday Summary: Back on Track

So, I took Monday off from writing(well, basically. I did finish off the chapter I’d been working on and I wrote a Story a Day piece). Tuesday I wrote over 3k on Flames of Knowledge. Then, I was able to get through the rest of my goals by the end of Thursday(actually I think it was by early afternoon). Which meant I was able to take Friday off as well. So, I think I will continue to do this.

She deigned to lay on my lap

Color Code:

Finished/Monthly Goal Met

Progress

Nothing Done

Set Aside

Plotting:

  • Primary: Craving You – Story Toolkit 
    • This Week – Character Arc 2, Romance Arc, Subplot, Event Brainstorm 1, Event Brainstorm 2
  • Secondary: Craving You – Outline Act 1 
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Outline Acts 3 
  • Stretch: Heart to Heart – Brainstorm

Writing

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – Chapter 28 – 10525/~15000 words
    • This Week: Get through Chapter 26 – Through Chapter 26/26
      • Connor’s face flushed an even brighter red, which Ames hadn’t even thought possible, but nodded. What was so complicated? Either he liked them or not. Either he accepted them, and until today they’d thought he had, or he didn’t. It seemed pretty simple to Ames.
        Apparently not to Connor.
  • Side Projects – 3350 words – 2837/3350 words
    • This Week: Riley Fire – 1000 words – 1017/1000 words
  • Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 10.46/15 pages
    • This Week: 3.25 pages – 3.375/3.25 pages
  • By the Gun – 6 scenes

Editing

  • Primary: Flames of Renewal – Beta edits(I wasn’t sure if I’d get these back before the end of the month, so I hadn’t initially included it. But I did) 
    • This Week: Compile comments through Chapter 15 – Finished through Chapter 15/15
  • Primary2: Stained Blood – Beta edits
  • Secondary: Short Story Collection
    • Bree & Jenny
    • Goin’ Down
    • Meeting Jonas*
    • Changing History
  • Tertiary: Paint Me a Picture – Transfer to Scrivener
  • Stretch: Law of Choice – send to CP 

Reading:

  • Read: 20 books – 13/20
    • Yours for Christmas(Susan Mallery) – Started this Sunday afternoon.
    • Inkmistress(Audrey Coulthurst) – Started this Sunday night. On page 150/387
    • Oaths(Lindsay Buroker) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. Finished it Thursday afternoon.
    • Shelter By the Sea(Elena Aitken) – Started this Wednesday afternoon. At 19%
    • Origins(Lindsay Buroker) – Started this Thursday afternoon. Finished it Friday afternoon.
    • Exposed(Various) – Started this Friday afternoon. At 53%
  • Listen: 5 books – 14/5 books
    • Joy Ride(Lauren Blakely) – Started this Saturday morning. Finished it Sunday afternoon
    • Neanderthal Marries Human(Penny Reid) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Tuesday afternoon.
    • Friends Without Benefits(Penny Reid) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. Finished it Wednesday evening.
    • Love Hacked(Penny Reid) – Started this Wednesday evening. Finished it Friday morning.
    • Beauty and the Mustache(Penny Reid) – Started this Friday morning. Finished it Saturday morning.
    • Ninja at First Sight(Penny Reid) – Started this Saturday morning. Finished it Saturday afternoon.

Social Media

  • Primary: Post 5 regular weekly posts – 15/21
    • This week:
      • Writing Wednesday
      • Fiction Friday
      • Stream of Consciousness Saturday
      • Weekend Writing Warriors
      • Sunday Summary
  • Secondary: Post 31 stories for Story a Day – 19/31
  • Tertiary: Make 3 Patreon posts1/3

Crafting

  • Knit: Dunfallandy Baby Blanket
    • This Week – Finish Side 3 – 28/56 rows
  • Crochet: Boxy Blanket
    • This week – Get through Row 80 – 80/80 rows

Sometimes he loses motivation halfway off the couch

Story a Day: Day 19 – “Report”

Today’s Story a day prompt was to tell a story “direct to camera”. I probably didn’t do it exactly right. But, I did have Jonas telling his brother about the attack by Isaac’s father.

~~~~~~~~~~~

“I was sitting on the couch with Isaac. Get that smirk off your face, Toby. You said you wanted to know what happened here earlier today. “I’m trying to tell you.”
He waved his hand at me to continue.
“Like I said, we were on the couch, and there was a knock on the door. I was going to get it, but I didn’t have my leg on. So, Isaac got up. I didn’t know what was going on, so I tried to get up. Then, Isaac fell back into the living room. His father was right there. Isaac told him he couldn’t be here, that he needed to leave before the police showed up. Of course, he refused. And he hit Isaac. I couldn’t get over to him.” I held up my hand. “Don’t interrupt me, Toby. Please.”
He nodded, and I drew in a deep breath to continue.
“I told him he had to leave, but of course he didn’t listen, either. That’s when I called you. He saw that and knocked the phone from my hand. I just hoped you were still able to listen. He hit me in the face, kicked my bad leg. The rest is kind of blurry. But, Isaac told him to hurt him instead. That he was used to it. He stepped on my chest. Not Isaac. His father.”
Yeah,” Toby said slowly, “I figured that.”
Of course. My brain was feeling fuzzy, though. Stupid pain pills. Which was why I needed to get the rest out before I was completely useless. “Isaac kept asking him to stop hurting me. And asked him what he wanted. He said for Isaac to pay. He still blames him for being in prison.”
“That’s his own damn fault.”
“I told him that and managed to get him off my chest. Isaac threw something at him. I was trying to pull myself to my feet…foot. I told him to run. I just wanted him to get away from his father. The next thing I know was the officers coming in to check on me. Then you and Isaac and the paramedics were there. And that’s all I know.”
“He didn’t say how he planned to make Isaac pay.”
“No. I don’t think. Probably killing him. He can’t control Isaac, so what else would he want?”
“All right. I don’t have any other questions right now, then. Go get some sleep. I know where you live if I need more information.”
Ha, my older brother thought he was so funny. “Go be a cop. I’m going to sleep now.”

Fiction Friday/Story a Day: Day 18 – “Arrested”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story in which the reader only hears one side of the conversation. I also combined it with a dialogue prompt I found on pinterest: “If we get arrested, it’s your fault”.

I haven’t started planning Neil’s story yet, but I’ve got some ideas. This may just happen during it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“If we get arrested, it’s your fault.”
Neil came to a stop on the sidewalk. He’d been heading to his sister’s apartment, but those words made him pause. Neil looked around, trying to find the source of the statement. But, there was more than one person talking on the phone.
Then, the voice said, “I’m serious.” But, it was followed by a laugh. “No, I won’t take the fall for you. Seriously, do you think I’d survive in prison? I’d totally take the first deal to squeal on you.”
Neil didn’t usually eavesdrop on conversations he heard in public. But, this was one he couldn’t ignore. If someone was planning a crime…
That laugh burst out again, and he almost forgot about his civic responsibilities. That laugh made him want to do more than just stop a crime in progress. The sidewalk had mostly cleared as he neared his sister’s apartment, but that voice still came from in front of him.
“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s really not. Her dad already hates you. And she’s related to like two dozen cops. I’d say it’s a really bad idea.”
That had Neil freezing again. He was related to a whole bunch of cops, his dad one of them. And he knew one person his dad not quite hated but certainly didn’t have a whole lot of trust in.
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t help you, Silas, just that it’s not a good idea. I’m almost to your apartment now. I’m sure we can come up with a much better plan.”
Neil burst out laughing then moved ahead of the other person to open the door of the apartment building just as they hung up the phone. “It seems we have the same destination. Though it sounds like my sister isn’t home.”

Story a Day: Day 17 – “Drained Away”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story in 14 sentences. I’m visiting with Carolyne and Maeve again for this one. If they’re strangers to you, you can visit with them in Flower Shop, Maeve, and The Ugly Duckling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carolyne walked toward the diner, sure she had made a huge mistake. She never should have called that number. What did she even think would come of this?
But, she was going anyway; she just couldn’t seem to stop herself.
Carolyne pushed into the diner and glanced around. She knew just about everyone in here, but it took her a long moment to find the person she was looking for.
Maeve lifted a hand and waved at her. Carolyne took a deep breath and headed over to her. The other woman was grinning, and it had a smile curving Carolyne’s own lips. The nervousness slowly drained away.
Maeve stood when Carolyne reached the table. Carolyne thought she’d shake her hand, but instead Maeve hugged her. “I’m so glad you finally called me.”
And just now, Carolyne was glad she had, too.

Story a Day: Day 16 – “Wake Up”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story using only dialogue. This happens during the short story I’m writing to put up on my Patreon page this month. It’s back story for my Flames series. There are several different people in this, so it may be a little confusing(when I add dialogue tags and such later, it will be clearer), but I did try to make it clear who was talking.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Wake up!”
“Go away, Adrian.”
“No, Callum. You have to get up.”
“It’s not even morning yet. Let me go back to sleep.”
“No, you have to get up. There’s a fire. We all have to get out.”
“You get out. I’m going back to sleep.”
“Damn it, Cal. Get up.”
“Ow. Why’d you pull me out of bed? I’m…Oh shit.”
“That’s smoke. I told you we need to get out. Go get Darcie. I’ll get Connor.”
“What’s going on?”
“We’re going to be fine, Connor. Don’t worry. We’re getting out.”
“Why?”
“House is on fire. We’re getting out. Shit, shit, shit. Are you okay?”
“It hurts.”
“I know. We’re almost out.”
“Stay here. I have to find Dory.”
“You can’t go back in there, young man.”
“Just take care of my brother. My youngest sister is still in there.”
“The firefighters will get her. You have to stay here.”
“Here they come, Adrian. They got her.”
“Darcie, she’s not moving. She’s not…Is she okay?”
“We didn’t get there in time. I’m sorry for your loss.”
“I’m sorry, Mom. I tried. I couldn’t get to her.”
“This isn’t your fault, Adrian. It isn’t anyone’s fault.”
“But, I was in charge while you and Dad were gone. I shouldn’t have let it happen.”
“You didn’t. It just happened anyway. And you got the rest out. We’re going home now.”
“How? It’s gone.”
“Your grandparents’. We’re staying there for now. Your dad already took the others to settle them down.”
“How are we going to go on? Dory was the best of us.”
“Together. That’s the only way we can do it.”

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