Search is loosely based on a real incident. The incident remains, the story is greatly different.
Enjoy. And remember, it’s still a work in progress. These chapters are rough drafts. I completed a rough draft of the entire novel on 1 June 2021, ~ 8:30pmET. It’s ~103k words, 42 chapters. I mention in earlier posts “…it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.”
It’s seen and done.
Read Search Chapter 13
Search Chapter 14 – Wednesday, 23 January 1974
Stephanie sat in Gio’s dorm lounge and looked up as he came down the stairs. “Did Jeri talk to you yet?”
Stephanie rolled her eyes. “You want me to say it?”
“Yes, in fact. That way we’ll both know what we’re talking about.”
She whispered, “About me being pregnant.”
“Are you sure you’re pregnant?”
“Didn’t you tell me I was pregnant?”
“I’m not you. Do you know you’re pregnant?”
“Is two months late pregnant enough for you?”
“Are you regular?”
She looked at the worn carpet and shook her head. “Talk about conversations I never thought I’d have with my best friend’s boyfriend. Yes. I’m regular.”
“And what do you want to do about it?”
“I want to get rid of it. What do you think I want to do about it? Aren’t you the voodoo man? Aren’t you suppose to know these things?”
Something Gio’s grandfather said echoed back at him. Do not do what you’re not asked to do? Was that it? Something about asking people three times? To make sure they understood what they were asking for? “Let’s go outside.”
“Don’t you want a jacket?”
They stood in the damp, ocean-filled, mid-January cold.
“What do you want me to do? Specifically. Don’t mince words, don’t speak in metaphors, use clear, plain, direct English. Tell me exactly what you want me to do for you, okay?”
She closed her eyes and shivered. “Well, go ahead.”
Wet, heavy snow fell. A flake, then two, then more. They brushed her shoulders like epaulets and gave her a white, crystalline crown.
“Go ahead and what?”
“I said I’m pregnant. Do something about it.”
“What, specifically, do you want me to do?”
“Can you make me…you know…un-pregnant?”
“Un-pregnant? Never heard it called that before.”
“Nobody knows. I haven’t told anybody except you and Jeri. Can you take care of it for me?”
He stood still and stared but his eyes woudln’t focus. He felt…he sensed…movement. Felt himself moving. Something. Something not sensed since childhood. Since Grandpa.
No, not moving. He stood still, his eyes on Stephanie. She moved.
He widened his gaze. Everything moved. Everything but him. He was the center? Everything happened around him?
He shook his head, no.
Too solipsistic, that.
No, he also moved. Differently.
But he stood still.
And moved faster than light.
Parts of him separated and flowed around Stephanie, whirled around her, ghosts made of wind.
He shimmered. He held it within.
Stephanie stared back at him. “What do you mean, no? You’re not going to help me?”
The shimmer focused. The ghosts made of wind. It collected on them. They flew off, showed him things. He watched through their eyes.
He looked at Stephanie through someone else’s eyes. Saw not-his hand reach out, cup a breast, tweak a nipple.
“He’s noticed your bras are filling out more.”
“Especially that black one with the nipples cut out.”
Stephanie put her arms over her chest and mashed herself down. “How do you – ”
Another ghost, another body. “Yeah, he even told some people at his club – he goes to Myopia, right? – about it. Said your cups runneth over. They wanted to know if he was going to help you get rid of it. He laughed.”
Her face reddened. She wrapped her arms around herself and shook as the cold penetrated her bones.
His head wagged from side to side.
“You did that before, when you found the speedtrap on the way home. What’s going on?”
His eyes closed. He swiveled his head, one ear forward then the other, a blind man seeking out the source of a sound.
“He said you might be interested in doing a party. Entertaining all six of them. He’d get a cut, of course. Soemthing…a finder’s fee?”
“They have a standing suite at the Suisse Chalet in Danvers. Party there at least once a month. He said he thought you were ready.”
She sat in the slush at her feet. “Ready?”
He felt himself slowing, returning to the earth, returning to the cold, returning to the wet, heavy snow falling, melting on him as soon as it touched, his ghost-bodies came back to him. One entered him. He doubled over with the impact.
He heard his grandfather whisper to him. “Lento.” Slow.
He opened the shimmer, gave the bodies a point of entry.
His grandfather whispered. “Esatto, Gio. Come quello.” That’s right, Gio. Like that.
The ghost-bodies entered him. Shared their information. Showed their travels. He focused on the red-faced woman-child before him.
“Something about being double-vagged? Not sure what that is, really. Seems to involve acrobatics or flexibility, something like that.”
Stephanie screamed and ran.
Gio’s legs folded under him. He sat in the snow. A raven landed in front of him, cocked its head right, left, right again, seemed to nod and flew off.
Two dorm mates found him curled into a ball quaking in the snow.
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