I have finished that step on The Wolf & the Bear! I can now move on to the next step, which I am sure will take me a while. I think it involves index cards.

I am attempting to do StoryADay May, but so far have only written one story, to the first prompt. I will try to get caught up over the weekend. The second prompt needs more than a flash story (and could end up a novel, so I’m going to sit with it a bit and try outlining) but the third and fourth prompts will be great for flash once I sort out my angles.

This is supposed to be a month for capturing themes again, but haven’t been able to get to that yet either. My goal is to finish collecting the themes I need for that special project, and to finish the first draft (on paper) for the clarinet quartet I was working on in March.

Now, for your reading pleasure, I present the first (unedited) draft of “The Immortal Companion” [working title]. It clocks in at 637 words. I could probably cut it a bit, too. This was a fun story to write, and I have a few ideas of other places I might take these characters. What do you think?

You can see the prompt this is based on over here.

The Immortal Companion
by Janna Willard

© 2017, Janna Willard

The knock on the door was timid, not quite what I was expecting.

I opened the door.

“Hi Janae,” said the pre-teen. He was holding a note.

“Hey Jackson,” I replied. “That for me?”

“Yeah, Connor gave it to me on Sunday. Said to give it to you after the funeral.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. Of course he did. “How much?” I asked, digging into my jeans pocket.

“Whatcha got?” asked the opportunistic kid, watching my hand carefully.

I pulled out a bill and unfolded it. “Apparently… five bucks.”

“That’ll do,” Jackson said. He snatched the bill and stuffed it into his jacket pocket before shoving the note into my empty hand. “Thanks, Janae, see you around!” he called as he ran up the stairs to his own apartment.

“Not likely,” I muttered, closing the door. I looked around the dingy apartment—all we could afford on my barista’s wages, since I wouldn’t let Connor use his money for something better. Still, it had been home for a good five years. I’d miss it.

I opened the note.

Janae, I’m not dead. Meet me Tuesday night at 8, at McConnell’s. Connor.

So that was it, then.

I went to my laptop and found the e-mail I’d drafted to the landlord earlier, informing him of our imminent departure. I sent it and the resignation for the coffeehouse, then shut down the computer.

The worst part was going to be leaving Marco. I wanted to tell him in person, though; we’d been dating or over four years. I didn’t usually let myself get attached, but Connor had promised to behave, and Marco was…

Well, Marco was perfect.

I pulled out my phone and tapped out a text. Hey, are you free for dinner? We need to talk.

I put the phone in my pocket so I’d know when he replied, then started carrying things out to my car. There wasn’t much—the place had come furnished, and Connor’s wardrobe was, while oppressively flamboyant, fairly small. I kept my own clothing to a minimum out of habit: when you grow up with a mother who’s a caregiver to an immortal like Connor, you learn early on that stuff isn’t worth the time or energy.

Once the car was packed, I checked my phone. No reply from Marco. I wrote him again, since it was nearly five and I wasn’t sure how long the conversation was going to take. Never mind about dinner, I’ll just come over. See you soon.

* * *

Marco’s apartment was dark when I got there, so I let myself in.

The place was bare, just the furniture left. It reminded my of my own apartment.

I sat on the couch and waited for a while, playing game after game of Candy Crush. He didn’t arrive, and he didn’t text or call.

Finally, I had to leave to meet Connor. I sighed as I locked the door. No goodbyes.

* * *

Connor was sitting at our usual table at McConnell’s, nervously nursing a beer. I took the seat across from him.

“The car’s packed, s we can go anytime,” I said.

“You look upset,” he replied. His brown eyes shone bronze in the bar’s lighting.

I sighed. “Yeah, well, I couldn’t get hold of Marco.”

“Marco?”

“My boyfriend. I know you’ll remember eventually, but God, Connor, you promised this time. I got attached, more the fool I.”

“Oh, right, him.” Connor took a swig from his cup and gestured toward the door.

I looked up cautiously, and the breath caught in my throat. Tall, dark, and handsome: my Marco, holding a full duffel bag and backpack.

He spotted us and started over, smiling brilliantly.

I looked questioningly at Connor.

“Sent him a note, too.” He shrugged. “His name seemed important somehow, like yours.”

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4 thoughts on “Progress May 5, 2017

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