True to Auntie Sis’ word, Crystal was escorted to and from school over the next few weeks. There was a severe lack of sunshine and a very present overcast, and as the days got colder and darker, she wondered when her punishment would be over.
Auntie Edna put up a brave front. Even when she was battling with ferocious winds that crippled an endless supply of ever-increasingly more expensive umbrellas. Wellington’s became a part of their regular wardrobe, something that Chelsea and the Mod’Ells had sunk their fangs into and hadn’t quite finished extracting enough blood yet.
It was the loneliest Crystal had felt for a long time. Elsie was still shaken up about what Constance had done to her and was showing no signs of getting over it anytime soon. Who could blame her, Crystal thought. It had been quite the ordeal, one which was going to take time to heal. She just wished that Elsie wasn’t freezing her out. She longed to talk to her, to comfort her, to help her through her worries; and to reassure her that as soon as her punishment was over, and she was able to go and see Morris and Cyril, it will all have been worth it.
She hadn’t had the opportunity to go and see her friends in the forest since Halloween. Auntie Sis was keeping a very keen eye on her; it was starting to grate now. Time was running out and if she stood any chance of deciphering the Lord of the Wood’s riddle, and finally getting the answers to her Grandfather’s disappearance, she needed to get stuck into that book.
Leo was like a strange go-between. He would spend alternate breaks with Crystal and Elsie, and had taken over walking home with Elsie which helped ease Crystal’s growing feeling of worry; if Elsie wouldn’t let her walk her home, she knew that at least Leo was with her, should Constance or her goons attempt something, they were together.
Crystal was glad of Leo’s company when it was her turn. She had given up asking him about Elsie because he had made it quite clear that he would not tell her anything. At least she could talk to him about what they had gone through. They had forgotten their argument from the day they met Alby. There were more important things to discuss now.
So I sat down to write a blog, but I wrote that. It’s the first draft of the start of Chapter 20. Having just read what I have written all ready, I guess it was natural that the next chapter would start coming out.
Truthfully, I am glad that it has because it’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything. I knew it would happen. I got to the end of the book’s title chapter (The Moon Machine) and there was a natural pause in the story, which coincided with Christmas – and working in retail really takes it out of you during the festive season.
I guess it’s interesting for you guys to see the very start of a new chapter, and the process behind it. You can see that there’s a sort of recap thing going on, which is more for me than for the future reader. This passage may not even make it into the finished story, but it’s a great tool for me to just have in my mind, fresh, what my characters have just been through before moving them on.
I’m on the final stretch of this novel now. This is the final third. I am pretty happy with the first two parts, and really, this last part should just write itself. I’m sure when I get over the hump of the natural pause, the story will take over and writing will become a natural part of my day again.
So, I’m going to love you and leave you now… It’s time to climb another mountain…