Showing posts from February, 2009

Chapter 10

"You just don’t want to leave, do you?” Gabriel said with a grin, glancing down into Lennon’s very dark eyes, dark brown infused with a thin ring of black on the outer rim. They were incongruous with her pale, pale skin.

“Nah. I’m a bookworm,” she replied, gesturing to herself. “The truth is, I don’t have a ton of patience for people who insist on fighting and being overdramatic.” She frowned, marring her smooth forehead. “Actually, I don’t have patience at all.”

“You’ve been patient with Gerry,” he pointed out. “Believe me, he’ll try anyone’s patience. He’s my brother and I love him but when you get him talking…and that takes some effort…he’s pretty opinionated.”

“Aren’t they all?” She said darkly. “When did he start writing?”

“He’s been writing as long as I’ve been singing. So, a while.”

She nodded slowly. Her eyes bore into his, direct, gleaming. There was something innocent yet knowing in her eyes. Particularly something knowing about him, although she didn’t really know him and …

Chapter 9

Lennon marched down the main paved road, her feet carrying her quickly to nowhere. It was Saturday, the day after an exhausting afternoon in Sedalia, and she’d intended to spend the afternoon annoying her sister over the phone.

But fate had intervened, in the form of a bellowing Nick followed by a high-pitched, screaming Stacey, who sounded unhinged. After a tense, silent drive back to Landslide, those two had gone off somewhere to talk, while Lennon had opened a Word document on her laptop and wrote out what happened. She hadn’t kept a diary since she was fifteen, but she felt the need to purge herself and the best way to do that was to type without censoring herself.

The drive had been uneventful. No state troopers showed themselves. Despite her trembling hands and constantly darting eyes, Lennon made herself swallow her anxiety. Stacey looked forlorn and Nick’s vein hadn’t retracted into place. Even though there were highways involved in the trip back, she was the only other altern…

Chapter 8

*As far as the climax of the story goes...well, this is certainly a contender for that title. It's a Stacey chapter.*

The lead roles were up for grabs for the August show, the biggest show that the Tallis put up annually because so many of the actors left with the arrival of the fall.

Len spent the morning of the auditions signing people in by the rehearsal room. Stacey worked a shift at Esme’s in the morning, went home, showered, and curled her hair carefully, reciting the sides into the mirror. She’d warmed up her vocals in the shower and after donning her outfit, rushed to the theatre. Her audition was at three in the afternoon.

“How’s it going so far?” Stacey asked, bending over the table where Len sat. Stacey quickly signed her name on the list.

“Twelve in for your part,” Lennon reported, pushing her glasses up her nose with her middle finger. “Everyone’s got the sides down. It’s the singing that’ll determine who gets what.”

Stacey nodded, a serious expression coming over her f…

Chapter 7, Part Deux

Gerry’s play was put up and performed for two days during the third week of June, and then it was time to strike the last play’s set on the main stage to make way for another one. Stacey and Lennon woke up and dragged themselves to the theatre at nine in the morning on Lennon’s fourth Saturday. Dressed in their sloppiest clothes, hair clipped up, the girls joined the rest of the cast and crew and sorted out what was to be kept in the theatre’s shop, which costumes could be reused, and then they summoned their coffee-fueled energy to physically crash down the simple backdrop.

Lennon stepped away from the set and then ran into it, trying to bash a hole through. Stacey laughed, karate kicking into it. Nick stood back and watched.

“Oh, I’m hungry,” Lennon said later, rubbing her belly.

“Me, too,” Stacey replied, turning away from Nick, whom she was parting with for the rest of the day. “I want a burger.”

“Sounds good.”

“Black Kettle?”


“You’re going to get us there,” Stacey said, lea…

Chapter 7, Part One

*I just finished the book. For reals. EEEE!!!! Anyway...massively long chapter. Will be posted in parts, as usual.*

“These,” Lennon spoke around a mouthful of food, “are the best damn pancakes I have ever had.” She chewed, swallowed and then stabbed the next syrup-covered portion of pancake on her plate.

Stacey stood beside the table and poured more coffee into Lennon’s cup.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you eat that much, little girl, since those couple of times when brunch was good in college,” Stacey commented. It was Tuesday morning and they were alone in Esme’s Diner except for the short-order cook in the back, who was probably taking a smoke break. With a shrug, Stacey slid into the red vinyl seat across from Lennon.

“As a rule, I don’t eat very much,” Lennon replied. “I don’t gain weight easily and I don’t lose any weight that I’ve gained, so…”

“Oh, whatever. You’re a hundred pounds, max. Some would say you could use a little more weight.”

“Most people have not seen me dance around t…

Chapter 6...Gabriel Enters the Picture!

The Tallis Theatre used to be a barn. It sat on a heap of land, half of which was now an asphalt parking lot. The theatre retained the general appearance of a barn, although it was painted brown and not red.

Stacey led Lennon through wide, heavy wooden front doors into the lobby, which was narrow and carpeted in red with framed photos of past performers and past shows. The front box office was tight and small. In a past life, it had been a stable stall.

The thick doors to the house were propped open with chairs and Stacey sailed through them. The theatre—any performance space—was home to her.

“This is the place,” Stacey said, voice carrying through the space. Lennon glanced up at the exposed wooden rafters and saw lighting, sound equipment and rigs before her eyes wandered down to the stage, which took up the entire far side of the descending auditorium. It looked like the stage was nearly five feet off the ground.

Lennon placed a hand on the back of a lacquered wooden chair. The hou…

Chapter 5

Stacey’s apartment was on the first floor, in the corner of her building and faced both the incomplete courtyard and the road. Under any other circumstances, Stacey would not have been able to rent an apartment of any livable size on her own, but living costs were unusually cheap in Landslide and the theatre subsidized housing costs for its actors.

That was how Stacey ended up with a small two-bedroom apartment. Her former roommate had finished her run at the Tallis Regional Theatre in April, so Stacey found herself with an extra bedroom for the next few months.

The living area connected directly to the floor-mat-sized dining room and the tiny kitchen, which was little more than a counter, cabinets and a refrigerator on one wall. A narrow hall, with a linen closet, led to the bathroom and a small bedroom on the other side, facing the courtyard. Stacey’s bedroom was at the very back of the apartment, and from her window, the road and the driveway were visible.

What little furniture Sta…

Chapter 4

*Before I post the actual chapter, I want to let you know that these chapters will be posted fast and furious now because, except for the very last chapter of the entire thing, it's finished! Also, this chapter introduces Stacey and Missouri to y'all.*

The flight from New York to Kansas City wasn’t very long. It was a little over an hour in the air all told, with no delays and no major moments of turbulence. She took a cab to the Amtrak station, where she would board a train due east, leaving her in a town called Sedalia. Stacey would pick her up there.

Lennon found a seat in the train, put her duffel bag on the seat beside her and stared out of the window, eager bespectacled eyes taking in all she saw. In the Northeast, she would’ve seen small towns pass with patches of the track gliding alongside Long Island Sound and through big cities like Boston and New York. Len dredged up half-remembered hamlets in Connecticut along the coast, the entire town consisting of a few blocks …

Chapter 3

Lennon took her first ballsy step in what she would forever consider a start to a new life and a new dimension of her.

She quit her job with two weeks’ notice. The two weeks’ notice in itself was Lennon’s accrued vacation time.

The night before Lennon had to clench down everything in order to remain civil with Etta, Stacey had sent Lennon an email filled with details about her theater troupe and their main stage theater in Landslide, Missouri. Lennon had been unable to stop laughing maniacally at her computer screen, from the relief pouring through her body at finally quitting her awful job. But mostly, she was laughing at the name of the town.

“The town’s called Landslide?” Lennon asked Stacey incredulously.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Stacey sighed. “For the record, there hasn’t been a landslide here ever. It’s basically pretty flat. But we’re sort of in between Columbia and KC.”

“Okay.” Len sighed. “Missouri, Stace?”

“Don’t say it like that. I was offered a job in Montana, too, you k…

Chapter 2, Part Dos

“Maybe you’re being too existential about this,” Etta said, wringing her hands over the table in a way that made Lennon’s skin crawl. “You belong here, Len, with us.”

“Us?” Len repeated, raising an eyebrow. “Who is this ‘us’?” She reached into her purse for her wallet, as the two sat, plates pushed toward a meeting in the middle. They’d requested the check a few moments ago. Lennon felt her heart beat audibly and in her mind, the urge to bolt out of Etta’s presence made itself loud and clear. Lennon repressed it. She had amazing self-control that way. If only adults could storm out of situations they didn’t like without seeming impolite…

“Me…” Etta said. “The gang, of course, silly.”


“I mean, really. You’re not thinking of moving to Europe the way you wanted to in high school, are you? Because you haven’t done that, after all.”

“Thanks for reminding me of the things I haven’t done yet,” Lennon said shortly. Oh, thank goodness, the check. Lennon grabbed for it, reading off the…

Chapter 2, Part One

*This one's 10 pages on Word, so it's being split into a few parts*

Len hustled out of the building at her lunch break, down to the corner to buy a burrito and a soda. Her office was a few blocks south of Bryant Park and she sat on the open grass there, with what seemed like thousands of other people, all dressed in office attire.

There were too many goddamn people in this city. There was no breathing room. Other people’s talking interrupted her thoughts. And despite the number of people, here she was, alone in the crowd once again.

Len pulled out her phone and scrolled through her contacts list. Alexandra was temping until she found a more permanent job and temping kept her working hours unpredictable. Len and Etta had drifted apart, Etta a ghostly presence at birthday parties, glassy-eyed and so squirmy that one time, Lennon had reached out, held her shoulders and forced her to stay still for just a second.

Madeline, her best friend, would either be working or sleeping, sinc…