Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chapt. 44 (1st draft -- Father Daughter Talk)

It was the tone of her voice, not his name, that cut through his concentration.


Nothing unusual about his daughter calling him by his name, something she'd done since learning it as a child. He loved how it sounded spoken in the soft contralto she'd inherited from her mother. Ordinarily she said “Clem” with an easy affection that rarely failed to slip under the crusty exterior that kept most people wary in his presence. This time was different.


She so seldom put the little interrogative curl at the end when saying his name that doing so now, especially with a heightened volume, conveyed an urgency that was equally unusual for her. Yet, he hesitated. Focused so intensely on a scene in the mystery novel he was writing, he needed stages of disengagement to break free. Part of his brain was calculating the degree of urgency represented by his daughter's not rapping on the door. He took a deep breath and stepped back from his laptop.


“Yes, Mary Beth. Come in.”

The door started to open, tentatively. He took the knob and tugged it enough to reveal his daughter, whose beauty struck him, as it often did, with its startling resemblance to her mother's when they'd met. Her radiant face was composed and serious.

“It's Randy. He said he'll call you from the cabin. Sounded urgent.”

“Thanks, Sweetheart. Can you find my secure phone? It should be in the desk, top left drawer.”

Clement Botticelli returned to his laptop, looked at the screen briefly and saved what he'd written. He closed it then, knowing he was finished for the day.

The throwaway cellphone twittered less than a minute after Mary Beth brought it to him. He'd moved to the recliner next to the dresser where when he worked on his novel he wrote standing.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chapt. 43 (1st draft -- In the Arena)

It's the There's no swirling. What then? Ridge...circular no no no no...ripple! That's it! The ripple in the deep garnet red, rolling out from the...where the drop plunked into the deep garnet...the drop! Holy shit...
House Speaker Edith Glick's head entered a terrible clarity at this moment, one of several she then knew she'd experienced since things had started swirling...there it was again. Swirling. Of course! It was the swirling cognizance. In and out of realization and then loooong stretches of...what? How long has this been going on? Forever! Ever! No! It couldn't have it just seems like it forever forever ever but only an hour at the most how can this be? Omigod...another ripple ipple ipple ipple...WAIT! No more drops! It's the...Omigod I TOOK THE SHIT! No wonder I couldn't find the goddam capsule for chrissake! I took the goddam capsule I musta thought it was the goddam ginkgo biloba shoulda put the goddam thing in a different goddam thing oh shit SHIT I can't give this to fucking Kudlow! Not now! He's a dumb ass but if he goes down in a babbling ball of batshit and I'm already a babbling ball of batshit then that means next comes...
Despite her sudden panic she understood the extraordinary license she'd been given by the collective befuddlement President Morowitz's surprise performance brought to the room. Everyone was agape. An appearance by Morowitz was not scheduled, but this surprised few of those invited to the exclusive annual Gridiron Club dinner. So when his “show” seized the airwaves only minutes into the start of the program its organizers quickly lowered the projection screen and turned the roast over to the commander in chief.
Most at first assumed it was planned, that Morowitz was mailing it in. That he wasn't funny at first was no surprise either. It soon became apparent something terrible was happening.