For those who are interested, here’s the bit that follows right after the one where Nora meets Gretel.
Like the last bit I posted, this is raw and unedited, and probably bears only the faintest resemblance to what the final version will be like. Please save critique for December, since I’m still just trying to crank out 50,000 words between now and November 30th. (Although, the way this story is going, it’ll wind up taking closer to 200,000 to get the whole thing out. Sheesh!)
I feel obliged to give a small trigger warning; there is nothing graphically depicted except for the aftermath of nightmares. If you’re inclined to get triggered by that, then stop reading when they’re getting ready to go to sleep.
Gretel, part two:
This is the part I made sure not to talk about with Robin. It’s all so confusing, and keeps getting more messy the further I go. I know I’ll have to talk about it at some point, but I think I can keep it to myself until I’m a little more sure about what’s going on.
Gretel settled down, rummaging through my art supplies, and I went into the kitchen to think about something for breakfast. As I looked through what was in the kitchen, I couldn’t help wondering whether she was going to still be there when I was finished. I peeked around the doorway, and yup, there she was–Not my good pastels!
“Wait. NO! Gretel, you can’t mess with that!”
She stiffened. Her eyes were big and I saw a pout coming on. I took a deep breath. “Gretel, it’s fine with me if you color. I just would rather if you used something else, instead of those. Here, I should have gotten you the crayons and paper.”
I went to the shelves, and pulled out the box of ninety-six crayons. Then I pulled a stack of blank paper out of the printer. “You can use these. See, ninety-six colors. It will be plenty. Those ones you had, they’re special for me. I don’t like to share them very much.”
She was still holding onto the pastels, and didn’t look likely to let go. I dug inside, for the patience to deal with it. Come on, I told myself. You deal with little kids all the time. You can be patient with this imaginary little kid, too.
Right. Imaginary, but making a total mess of my art supplies.
“But I can be very careful,” she bargained.
I shook my head, and reminded myself to be patient. “No. I don’t want to share those. But you can use these crayons however you like. I bet you will enjoy them even more.”
A thought occurred to me: How did a fairy tale character even know about coloring? Oh, right. Because she’s a figment of my imagination, and I know plenty about coloring.