Sunday 29 November 2015

4Q Interview with Author Chuck Bowie plus an excerpt from AMACAT

4Q Interview is pleased to have Chuck Bowie of Fredericton, NB, as our featured artist this week. This is Chuck’s second visit to the Scribbler. If you missed the first one, click on this link to read more of his bio or you can check out his web site which is listed below.

The Scribbler is taking a different approach to the 4Q today and adding an excerpt from Chuck’s latest release—AMACAT—following the interview.

4Q: I have had the pleasure of meeting Sean Donovan, your ‘thief for hire”, in your first novel – Three Wrongs, a highly enjoyable tale. I’m looking forward to reading your newest work. Tell us about AMACAT.

CB: AMACAT is an acronym for the three crimes that are committed in this second novel in the series. It stands for A Mask, A Cask and A Task. There are actually four crimes including two ‘tasks’. One happens just before the novel begins, so I’m cheating (but in a good way, I hope!)
My man Donovan is a thief for hire. He’ll go anywhere in the world to steal things for people, and he’s paid very well to break the law. In AMACAT, however, he’s using his skills to get his friends and a sister out of trouble. Somehow, he still finds a way to make money, though, because his conscience is a complicated mechanism.
I like applying multiple storyline arcs, or narrative arcs to tell mini stories that weave in and out of each other. For instance, in AMACAT, an acquaintance Donovan meets in Book 1 is being framed for a crime in her workplace: The Canadian Embassy in London. While they are ‘on the lam’, Donovan and his new friend, Beth, try to return a stolen mask in France, as well as searching for a missing barrel of wine, the titular ‘Cask’.
In Book 1: Three Wrongs, I’ve written a classic thriller. AMACAT, while adhering to the concept and format of a thriller, has moments within it that are a bit lighter in tone. For instance, there is a chase scene, but it’s on a cruise ship. And the chase takes two days on the boat! I had a lot of fun sewing the very tense scenes in among the occasional lighter scenes. And, as with Three Wrongs, I still make mention of food, wine, music and of course, travel.

4Q: The premise of a “thief for hire” is intriguing.  What inspired this character?
CB: In my previous career as a consultant for the Feds, I accepted a one-month assignment to work in Romania. I woke up one morning in a gorgeous four-star hotel—the second best one in the country—and the sun was shining, the weather was perfect, and the dogs and orphans were playing in the street under my window.
I thought to myself: what if someone was alone in a strange country where nobody knew him, and he had no conscience and a desire to make money by any means necessary? What circumstances might place him in that situation, and what skills would he have, if he wanted to take advantage of his circumstances? I began writing Three Wrongs that evening.
One thing I take pride in, is I make every effort to write what I know. In other words, I give myself permission to write about Bucharest (or London, Paris, or New Orleans) because I’ve been there. I know what it looks like, its peculiarities and eccentricities, so I feel like I can capture the personality of a place. Because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
I wasn’t trying to write thrillers before this series, but Donovan came along and insisted that I write him. So I did. He’s become a ‘friend’ of mine now. Ha!

4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or memory with our readers.

CB: When I was growing up, in a military household and later in a
rural home, no matter where we lived, there were always weapons around. I am the middle child of a large family, but we were all taught the consequences of mis-handling weapons and dangerous items. Some of the things I had access to at twelve-years-old included a bow and (hunting, or tipped) arrows, numerous hunting rifles—some vintage, some modern, pellet pistols, bb-guns, all manner of hunting and throwing knives, etc, including the famous Bowie Knife. And I owned my own machete!
However, I was a curious child and also found a WWII bomb in the attic, a heavy jar of mercury, a chemistry set, hatchets and axes; I can’t even remember all the dangerous stuff I had access to. And I had access to hundreds of books at home and thousands of books in nearby libraries. I believe these were part of my formative years, and when writing, I try to be creative in the ways my characters get killed or injured. It’s morbid, but such fun when it remains in the imagination, I think. One reviewer flattered me by worrying how I learned how to kill people so imaginatively. I laughed at that.

4Q: What can your fans look forward for Chuck Bowie? What about Sean Donovan?
CB: I began by trying to write a single novel: Three Wrongs. Encouraged by my agent and publisher, I began the sequel: AMACAT. It was such fun to discover a brief encounter with a character in the first book became a major character in Book 2. Book 3: Steal It All drops as an eBook sometime around Christmas and I’m halfway through Book 4, tentatively entitled The Body On The Underwater Road, which is set in Niagara On The Lake and St. Andrews By The Sea.
Book 2 has a major narrative arc set in Prince Edward Island, which was fun for me, since I write international thrillers. But many of my readers are American and enjoy reading about Canada, because it’s international to them. Book 3 returns to England, with a visit to Romania, so that’s great fun for me. My publisher is encouraging me to write more novels in this series, and since for me ideas are easy to come by, I expect I will. My thief Donovan is seeking redemption from the business of theft for hire, but redemption appears to be taking its good old time for him!

I’m already thinking about Book 5, so, we’ll see. 

Chuck Bowie is currently writing the fourth novel in the Donovan: Thief For Hire series. You can read bits and bobs from him via social media:
Twitter: @BowieChuck
Or you can find him on FaceBook as well.

His novels can be found at Westminster Books in Fredericton, Tidewater Books in Sackville, Chapters or Amazon, or from his publisher: MuseItUp Publications. 

Here is an excerpt from the second novel in the series: AMACAT. In this scene, Beth and Donovan are hiding out in a hotel.



Covent Garden, London

Beth woke first, skipping the semi-conscious state and flying immediately to a quickened, fully alert state. She lay on her side, eyes slits, watching this stranger sleep in the bed across from her. She’d spent a few hours in REM sleep, filled with dreams of running through the back alleys of London, men in black trench coats leaping at her from behind garbage cans and down from fire escapes. She couldn’t catch her breath, and at the end of each alley, Donovan would open a door, calling to her. “In here! Quickly,” he’d whisper. But every door kept taking her to a new alley, with more trench coats to chase her. So she awoke, sweaty and exhausted, in  that most interesting of paradoxes: a hotel room containing two beds, each housing a stranger.

But Donovan slept on, a deep, trancelike coma of a sleep, the kind you arrive at, if you’re lucky, after having remained awake for thirty-six hours. She watched him for a while, asking herself how, in this Marianas Trench of misfortune into which she had careened, she could conjure up someone like him. He had known her for all of fifteen minutes, over a year ago. He didn’t really owe her anything of substance; why was he even bothering with her, let alone going on the lam with her? A thought crossed her mind, one that made her catch her breath. Was he involved, somehow? Wasn’t it convenient that he appeared out of nowhere to advocate for her? But then she calmed. She’d called him. She’d chosen to meet at the Fin and Fowl.

Beth glanced over to where his jacket lay, the front jutting at an odd angle. I wonder what’s in his pocket. He’s still asleep; I could just…take a peek. Pretend I’m picking it up…and…take a quick look. She stared at him, stole a glance at the clock, dared to take half a glance at the coat lying on the floor and then forced her slit-eyes back onto her companion, dead to the world and barely a yard away from her nose. Beth slowly drew the covers back and placed one foot on the floor, and then another, not daring to take her eyes from his face. She backed over to the article of clothing, fumbled down to pick it up and acted as if she was going to hang it up. Another glance back to Donovan, who was still out of it. She felt something solid within the cloth of the jacket, and kept on walking to the bathroom.

Once behind the door, she took out an envelope with nothing written on the outside, opened it and looked inside. There was well over an inch of bills: hundred pound notes, serial numbers in no particular order. Folding the flap back exactly the way it had been, she studied the envelope itself. There were no markings on it whatsoever. Beth put it back in the pocket, her mind overflowing with questions. She sat on the cover of the toilet, jacket folded neatly and placed sideways across her lap, smoothing the folds, mind racing. What now? It was then the bathroom door flew open and Donovan, wide awake, peered in.

* * * *

Donovan woke from a dreamless sleep and looked across at an un-made bed. The bathroom door was closed, but there was something missing besides Beth. Shoes, pants, shirt. No jacket. Fully awake, he headed for the bathroom and, without knocking, threw it wide open. Beth stared back, knees touching and toes touching, eyes wide and bare forearms goose bumped. She stared straight ahead, at the front of his shorts, dropping her eyes to his bare feet, and then up to greet his calm gray eyes that crinkled at the edges.

He glanced at his jacket, which was folded sideways across her bare legs.


“Cold? No, and I don’t have a funny come-back.”

She took the jacket by its collar and held it out for him. “Don’t worry, it’s all there.” She stared somewhere in the vicinity of his bare chest.
Donovan walked in and sat down on the edge of the bathtub, his left knee grazing her right knee. He gently retrieved his jacket, placing it sideways across his lap, just as she had it a moment earlier.

“Sweetie, remember me telling you last night that you had to go to a debit machine and take out as much as you could, so our purchasing path couldn’t lead people to us? Well, wouldn’t you think I’d have to do that as well?”

Thank you Chuck for being our guest on the Scribbler this week.

Next week, Susan Toy of Bequia returns with her short story, Family Jewels.  Don't miss out on this author's fine storytelling.

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Sunday 22 November 2015

Guest Author Holly Raynes. A Nation of Enemies

Holly Raynes was inspired to write A Nation of Enemies by a family member who was a Titanic survivor and another who escaped from Poland in World War II. Combining lessons from the past with a healthy fear of the modern landscape, this novel was born. A longtime member of the Boston writing community, she has a history of trying anything once (acting, diving out of a plane, white water rafting, and parenting). Writing and raising children seem to have stuck.
The Scribbler is very happy to Holly as the featured guest this week. You don't want to miss out on the thriller - A Nation of Enemies.
An excerpt;

London, England - 2032
So, this is freedom. No sirens pierce the air. Buildings in the distance are whole. Yet the ground beneath his feet feels no different. Dr. Cole Fitzgerald glances past their docked cruise ship, to the horizon. The sky blends into the ocean, a monochromatic swatch of gray. A chill in the air penetrates him, dampens his coat and makes all the layers underneath heavy. When they left Boston, pink-tinged magnolia petals blanketed the sidewalks, blew across overgrown parks and the burnt remains of brownstones. He’d reached up and touched a blossom, still hanging on a limb. It’s remarkable to see beauty amid war.

The din of discontent is constant. On the vast dock of England’s Southampton Cruise Port, a few thousand passengers stand in line, all on the same quest to flee the United States. He’s heard that three million citizens emigrate annually. But no one documents whether those people are more afraid of the lone wolves and militias, or of their government bent on regaining control. Cole isn’t sure which is worse. But London is a safe place to start again. They have family here, built-in support. No point in dwelling.
Beside him, Lily’s usual grace and composure are visibly in decline. He reaches out and gently strokes the nape of his wife’s neck, where pieces of her dark hair have strayed from her ponytail. The coat she wears can’t hide her belly, now twenty-nine weeks swollen with a baby girl. Cole wishes he could offer her a chair. Instead she rests on one of their enormous suitcases.
            Their son Ian sits cross-legged on the asphalt and reads a paperback. Throughout the journey, he’s gone along with few complaints. Ten years ago he was born the night The Planes Fell, the night that changed everything. Living in a constant state of fear is all he’s ever known. The joy and devastation of that night was so complete. To become parents at the same time terrorists took down fifty passenger planes…there were no words. It was impossible to celebrate while so many were mourning. 
The mist turns to rain as night comes. Every fifty feet or so, instructions are posted: Prepare left arm for MRS scan; Citizenship Applications must be completed; Use of electronic devices prohibited. Finally they cross the threshold of the Southampton Port Customs and Immigration building. The air is sour with sickness and stress and filth. Dingy subway tiles cover the walls of the enormous hall. Ahead, above dozens of immigration officer booths, a one-way mirror spans the width of the wall. Cameras, security officers, judgment. Cole’s skin prickles.
            In one of numerous queues, they finally near the end. Lily elbows him and juts her chin toward the front of the line. People are scanned and then directed to one of three signs: “Processing,”Return to Country of Origin” or “Hearings.” Bile stings Cole’s throat. He calculated the risk of this trip, turned the possible outcomes in his mind endlessly. But thanks to Senator Richard Hensley and the biochip he legislated, it’s all about genetics, DNA. Black and white.
The immigration officer at desk number 26 does not smile. The man’s shorn, square head sits atop a barely discernible neck. Without glancing up he shouts, “Next.”
            Cole hands him their citizenship applications. 
“Prepare for scanning,” the officer says. Wearing latex gloves, he holds the MedID scanner aloft, as Cole lifts his left arm. The officer scans the biochip, barely discernable under the forearm skin. The process repeats with Lily and Ian.
            “Mrs. Fitzgerald, please come forward again,” the officer orders.
            She trades concerned looks with Cole. “Yes?”
            The officer rifles for something under the desktop and his hands return with some kind of an apparatus. “What is that?” Cole asks.
            “IUMS,” the man says. “In-Utero MedID Scanner. It’s just another version of the MRS.”
            “What are you going to do with it?” Lily asks.
            “Ma’am I need you to lean forward.” He gestures with the scanner in his hand.
            Cole’s mind spins. They opted out of prenatal testing, wanted to enjoy their baby girl before knowing what her genetic future might hold. Despite his research, he’s never read about this technology.
            “New protocol.” The man smirks. He aims the scanner at Lily’s belly.
            “You don’t need a MedID? A blood test?” Cole presses.
            The officer shakes his head. “It’s an estimation but it’s good enough for our purposes.” He swipes the wand across her sweater-covered belly and once again regards the small screen.
With wet eyes, Lily wraps the coat tightly around her. Ian leans into them and the three meld in anticipation. They watch as he stamps each application. From this angle, Cole can’t read it, but he knows. Lily’s MedID number of 67 is eight points from the clean benchmark of 75. There’s a thirty-percent chance she’ll develop leukemia. A fifty-percent chance depression will strike. And a ten-percent chance she’ll be diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, both Cole and Ian are in the clear with MedID scores of 84 and 78 respectively. They have virtually no markers for disease. In the eyes of England’s society, Lily will be a drain on public resources. But what about the baby?
Wearing the same bored expression, the officer says, “Cole and Ian Fitzgerald you’ve been approved and may proceed to the Processing line. Lily Fitzgerald, you and your unborn child have been denied and will immediately return to the United States. Do you wish to make a plea?”  
            “We do.” A wave of nausea hits Cole. “What’s the baby’s number?”
            “The estimate is 74.” The officer taps his device and
reaches below his desk to retrieve a piece of paper from a printer, the medical summary for their family. He hands the paperwork back to Cole and directs them to the “HEARINGS” line. 

            “Seventy-four,” Lily whispers. Her skin is ashen.
            One number away from being a clean, cherished 75. It might as well be twenty. Denied is denied. Still, they’re prepared to fight. The rumor is that immigration judges rarely turn away individuals with specialized degrees.
Down the corridor, they enter another section of Immigration as Cole rehearses his speech silently. They join one of the lines, each ending at a glass-encased booth. A digital monitor hangs atop each one with the name of a judge.  
“How do you feel?” Lily asks.
            “Like I’m about to kill someone on the operating table.” Cole reads the name on the booth ahead. “Let’s hope Judge Alistair Cornwall is having a good day.”
            They will have five minutes to make their plea. Gavel-like sounds punctuate the hearings as the lines move ahead simultaneously. Cole’s heart pounds as he clings to his CV, Harvard and Yale doctoral certificates. Sell, sell, sell. I’m a commodity. My family is worth more than numbers.
The gavel sounds. It’s their turn. Cole slides the stack of papers through an opening to Judge Cornwall. Wiry gray eyebrows fan out over the judge’s dark eyes. He glances briefly at Cole, then turns his attention to the documents.  
“Proceed,” says the judge.
“Your honor, I’m Doctor Cole Fitzgerald, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. For the past six years I’ve been on the Bioscience Board there, which has lead the world in testing protein-based drugs targeting cancerous cells.” Cole coughs, glances at Lily. “For five years my wife, Lily, has been on a prophylactic course of medication used to delay or completely stop the onset of Alzheimer’s. Your new scanning system has just informed us that Lily’s carrying a baby girl with an approximate MedID number of 74. But with eleven weeks left in the pregnancy, there are still opportunities to gain that one point needed to give this child a clean number. We’ll make it our priority. I realize the immigration safeguards are in place to insure England’s physical and economic health. And I assure you that the four of us will contribute to the well-being of this country.”  
            The timer sounds. The judge peers over Cole’s shoulder at Lily.
“Mrs. Fitzgerald,” Judge Cornwall says. “You’ve brought quite the trifecta with you.”
“Excuse me, sir?” Lily slides beside Cole.
“Cancer. Alzheimer’s. Depression.”
Her mouth opens, closes.
The judge continues. “Fortunately, cures seem to be on the horizon. But they’re not here yet.” He flips through the paperwork. “After reviewing your case and considering your statement, my decision is to grant you, Dr. Fitzgerald, and your son Ian, temporary visas. However, I am unable to grant both Lily Fitzgerald and the unborn child the same. Mrs. Fitzgerald, your health is cost-prohibitive and as for your fetus, there is already an endless line of children in our medical system.”
The timer sounds. Thirty seconds to argue.
“Please, sir.” Cole’s chest tightens. “My son needs his mother, and I need my wife. Our new child needs a chance. My services to your healthcare system will be of great benefit and I’ll work tirelessly to make sure your investment in me is a wise one. Ian will thrive in your schools. And we’ll treat our daughter in-utero, as I mentioned. She’ll grow up and contribute to your society. I swear she will. Please.”
The final timer goes off.
“But you can’t guarantee it, can you?” Judge Cornwall slides the papers back through the slot. “No one can predict the future and many a parent has been disappointed in the outcome of children. One never knows. I regret to tell you that my decisions are final.”
The gavel sounds. People behind them in line push past to get in front of the judge. In silence, the Fitzgeralds gather their things and move along the white tile floor, marred by a continuous gray smudge. At the entrance to the two final corridors, Lily moves toward the “Return to Country of Origin” sign. She says, “I want you and Ian to stay.”
            “No,” Cole says. “We tried. We did our best. It didn’t work.”
            “It worked for the two of you. You can be safe here.”
            “It’s not an option, Lily.”
            “I’ll go back. Have the baby. Maybe Kate or Sebastian can help us get visas.”     
Cole shakes his head. “You can’t ask an FBI agent to help you do something illegal.”
Ian watches them wordlessly.  
            “This isn’t forever.” Lily reaches for his hand and presses it between hers.
            “What if Ian stayed here with your cousins?” Cole suggests. “He’d be safe while we work things out at home.”
            “No way,” Ian interjects. “What if you don’t come back?”
            A river of people flows around them, arms and suitcases jostling them. The faces around them display raw emotion, nothing hidden: joy, angst, fear, relief. A security officer stationed a few feet ahead of them signals people forward with a waving hand.   
            Finally Lily nods. Defeat burns in Cole’s gut. The three of them wrap arms, touch hair, kiss cheeks, and hold on as they savor the one moment they have left in this safe haven. And then it’s time to go. Once again they pick up their belongings and head in the direction they no longer want to go. Back home.
 Thank you Holly for sharing your work.
For those that are interested you can read more about Holly and where to buy her novel at these links.
Watch here next week when the 4Q Interview features Chuck Bowie of Fredericton, NB and an excerpt from his latest thriller - AMACAT.


Friday 6 November 2015

Guest Author Jorja DuPont Oliva

Jorja DuPont Oliva is the author of the Chasing Butterflies series.  After chasing her own butterflies, the opportunity to write a book became possible when she discovered Michael Ray King’s “Go write” classes.  Novel writing would never have been possible without the motivation and inspiration that the classes gave her. Jorja believes Chasing Butterflies represents change and going after your passions. Therefore, that is what she has done.
Jorja DuPont Oliva weaves stories of small town outlook with a touch of magical charm. Jorja’s quirky, southern writer’s voice makes her stories relaxing and easy to consume in a day.

Jorja’s debut novel - Chasing Butterflies in the Magical Garden was published 2013. By many readers’ accounts, her stories are colorful, honest and inspirational with a touch of innocence. Jorja’s second book in the series – Chasing Butterflies in the Mystical Forest  just released October 2014. We continue on a magical journey but this time in the mystical forest with a more mature, and evolved Dee and Lizzy. Each story Jorja writes has a lesson. Not only has this story shown the growth of her characters but also has affected the growth of her writings.

Jorja has just released the third book in the series – Chasing Butterflies in the Unseen Universe published Oct. 2015.

Jorja’s books contain symbolic meanings of nature’s beautiful works of art. Her unique prologues also contain a view into the eyes of creatures of air and earth as they look at human struggles. The chapters contain quotes from all areas of beliefs from Biblical, spiritual, inspirational and self-help.

An excerpt from Chasing Butterflies in the Mystical Forest.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land,
or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”- Helen Keller


“Rip? Are you all right? Ripley?” A muffled voice asked becoming clearer in the darkness. My old tired eyes slowly opened. “If you can’t beat’em join’em I always say.” Above me stood a foggy version of an older silver headed Dee. As I started to sit up, my sight slowly focused on the person standing in front of me. It was Dee; she was coherent, and talking to me.
“I can see you.” I exhaled. “I can see...And you...You are here.”
“Are you alright? You took a nasty fall.” Dee asked as she helped me to my feet. Dee brushed at the leaves that were clinging to my pants.
“You are really here, and I can see you.” I exhaled the disbelief. I glanced around and noticed we were no longer at the nursing home. We were standing in a strange wooded forest. Are we in the bayou? Where are we? Am I Dreaming?
“We aren’t dreaming.” Dee smiled.
She hears what I’m thinking?
“I do.” Dee grinned. “Can’t keep no secrets from me. At least here you can’t.”
“I’m confused.” I pondered what was happening.
“Are we gonna have some fun or what? I’ve been cooped up with old people for way too long. By the way, thanks for reading to me every Wednesday. That was the only sanity I could get in that place.” Dee just grinned.
“Where are we?” I looked around not recognizing anything.
“The Mystical Forest, I come here a lot. More so now.” Dee patted me on the back and strolled around a birch tree. “You gave this back to me. When you started reading to me, it helped me remember this place. Cool place, right?” Dee picked at her teeth with a twig she had scooped up from the ground. Dee’s silver hair started to color itself to the most beautiful color of red I had ever seen. The worn tired eyes she carried too began to smooth out. She looked just as she had when we were young women.
“You are...Young.” I stumbled over my words. “I can see you and you are young.”

“We...We my dear, are young.”
I looked down at my hands. My hands looked so much as my mother’s looked just a few years before she passed. My age spots lightened, the crises and wrinkles straighten with each blink of my tired eyes. I slowly stood straight and I no longer had a slouching posture. I feel amazing. Every ache, every stiff part of my body was gone. I too am young again.
“So you want to live, right?” Dee smiled. “Let’s get the hell on it then.” Dee grabbed me by the hand and pulled me along, towards the most beautiful rainbow that stood at the edge of the forest.
“Wait, we need to grab the book.” I glanced back to where the chair sat moments before. The book was no longer there.
“We don’t need the book now...” Dee just smiled at me. “We are in it. Come on... let’s get to the Garden...Lizzy should be there. Oh boy do I have a surprise for you...”
An excerpt from Chasing Butterflies in the Unseen Universe

“What is happening here?” I asked as we walk through the rainbow, into a field of sunflowers. Each flower pivoted towards the suns beautiful light. As if time was moving in fast forward yet standing still at the same moment.
“We are special Ripley. We were born, as what they call star children. We were placed on earth to change things. To help people. Like earth angels.” Dee glanced at me as she moved the massive sunflowers out of our walking path. “We are good. We help people see things that are unseen. Like wireless internet.” Dee smiled.
“I don’t understand.”
“Remember when cell phones, wireless technology, and cordless phones came to be? We had to try to explain how it worked to your parents, right? How information was all around us but yet they didn’t see it.” Dee stopped walking for a moment.
“I guess. I still don’t understand what that has to do with what is happening with us, here. Now.”
“That is exactly what is happening to us. Our brain is made up of energy that I call my soul, you call your conscious, and Lizzy called it her muse. Like cellular energy or wireless internet. Love is that connection, an unconditional connection. Our bodies are only the vessel, like the phone. The phone helps retrieve the signal.”
“So, are you saying we aren’t in our vessels right now? We are only energy waves? Connected by unconditional love?”
“Exactly! Star children are those that know they are connected through these energy waves. You have heard the saying kindred souls, right? There is no cord holding us together. Only an invisible thread, energy wave of unconditional love.” Dee began to walk again. “We are only a small part of a bigger something. Each of us has our own function. Like this book, we are the characters, each of us different, but connected together we make up the story.”  Dee stopped again and tapped her pointer finger to her lip three times.  “Kind of like cells in your body. They all work together to help the body function or the vessel per say.”
“I kind of understand. I guess what I am really wanting to know is... Where is my vessel? Are we dead?’
“Ripley, I’m as healthy as a horse, you heard the doctors. It’s going to take more than you having a nasty fall to kill me off.” Dee grinned. “Your vessel is fine, and you aren’t dead. They...I’ll explain more of that to you later. For now, let’s go live. We can even get a chance to visit with Lizzy.”
“But...I thought...So Lizzy is...She is here?”
“No, not really here. Like I said, we are all a part of a bigger whole. She isn’t here, but we are there. I know I’m probably confusing the hell out of you. We are in the book, remember?”
Dee always had a way with words. Although at times they were complicated and eccentric. Her idea's always helped me see things I would have never have noticed, or seen if it wasn’t for Dee. Dee sometimes even help me understand the wrongs of the world and how maybe the wrong’s weren’t so wrong. How everything had a consequence, a reason or a function.
“Speaking of Lizzy, remember back before Lizzy moved in with us? How we use to almost-know how each other felt, and would answer each other before the question was asked. We were connected then.” Dee smiled. “Remember in Mrs. Lily’s 1st grade art class, you, me and Lizzy had painted similar garden pictures. Connected!” Dee squealed and then she continued. “We weren’t friends back then but we were all three connected. Almost like we knew we would always meet in the garden.” Dee smiled with a confirming nod. “Oh yeh, and when Lizzy moved back into town? You said yourself you knew she was back before you even called her parents’ home. You said, You felt her presence. Remember?”
“I was never good at remembering that kind of stuff. Honestly only recently have I been flooded with all kinds of memories. I
gave credit to the book.”
“Oh yes, the book. Kind of funny, you say you want to live, yet every time the book is read you are living. In whoever is reading the book, you are living in their imagination. You will live forever.”
“It isn’t the same.”
Dee stepped over top of some old railroad tracks the sunflowers had grown to cover up. I followed. “Oh but it is the same. I wanted to stop by here to see how the old house was doing.”
Only a short distant away stood the old house Dee was so very fond of. She inherited it after her father died. She always talked about having some connection to it. Even before she learned her family owned it. Maybe she is right about being link through unconditional love.
The house stood just as I remembered. I too always loved the old house. As to why, probably the stories that seemed to come from it. Mostly ghost stories. I never believed there were ghost.  Dee’s theory of energies somehow made the house and the stories all make some sort of crazy since. A lot like my old sofa and the memories that still sat upon it.
“Let’s go check it out. It should only take a minute.” Dee grabbed for my hand. “A minute.” Dee huffed. “I always forget time doesn’t exist here.” She dragged me by the hand towards the old house.

Thank you Jorja for sharing your delightful story on the Scribbler. Please follow this link to find out more about this  accomplished author and where you can buy her novels.

The Scribbler had planned on hosting the 4Q Interview with Mathieu D'Astous but due to time restraints, the interview is not ready at present but we are working on it with hopes to post it soon, possibly next week.