Before getting into Fargo–which I am loving, by the way, and just waiting for the insanity to crank all the way up in the next couple of episodes–I headed back into a couple of scenes, one short and one almost thirty-five hundred worlds long. The first scene ended up losing a couple of paragraphs along the way, while the second–
Well, that’s another story.
The hospital scene is one of my favorites, because it takes everything that’s happened up to this point and turns it around. Though with how the novel has restructured itself, it’s a little more obvious about what’s going on with Annie’s efforts to do something, and Kerry is more this sad, little mope who doesn’t get out much.
And clueless as all hell. As you can see in his retelling of the day before in Amsterdam:
(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“You go with the other kids?” She knew the answer already, but Coraline wanted to hear if from him.
Kerry shook his head. “No. It was just Annie and me—” He giggled. “The Great Explorers, out on their own.”
“I see.” She didn’t allow her face to show what she was thinking. “What museums did you visit?”
“The Van Gogh and Rembrandt museums. I really loved the Rembrandt museum: The Night Watch was my favorite painting.” Kerry’s face brightened. “It was so big.”
“Oh, I know.” Coraline slowly rubbed the palms of her hands together. “I’ve been there, too, and that’s one of my favorite paintings as well.” Now to ask the real question— “Was that your idea, going there?”
He cast his gaze away from Coraline for a second. “Nah.” Kerry looked up, but didn’t look directly at Coraline; he appeared to focus on something across the waiting room, something she knew was out of sight on a bed behind a curtain in a darkened ward. “Annie knew about all these places, and since I’d never seen them, I went with.”
Coraline watched Kerry closely. He didn’t seem the least embarrassed by his revelations, and she understood why he looked across the room to Annie: he was remembering those events and was using her as a focus. “That was nice of her, Kerry. And it was nice of you to agree to go with her.”
“Well, you know . . .” He looked away once more, this time with a sheepish grin upon his face. “She’s a friend, and she really wanted me to see things with her in London, so when she asked if I wanted to go with her in Amsterdam—sure, I wanted to go.” Again the far off stare remembering events of the last few days. “I mean, it was great, just the two of us out there—”
“I’m sure it was wonderful.”
”Yeah.” Kerry’s face relaxed, his eyes turned once more towards the ward. “Oh, yeah, and we went walking along a couple of canals last night.”
Coraline leaned a little to her right as her voice fell into a soft, pleasant tone. “Was they her idea, too?”
“Walking by the canal?”
“Oh, sure. We didn’t eat in the hotel last night—Annie and I went to a cafe a few block away so we didn’t have to deal with everyone at dinner—”
“That was her idea, too, I bet.”
“Yeah. When we were done with dinner, Annie asked if I wanted to go and walk along the canals instead of going right back to the hotel, and I was like, sure.”
Whoa; getting asked to dinner and a walk along the canals. “How long were you out?”
“Um . . . maybe couple of hours.”
Oh, hell: there’s no doubt now. “Annie asked you to dinner, and when it was over invited you on a walk along the canals for a couple of hours.”
“Sure.” He didn’t get why Nurse Coraline was getting all excited; he didn’t think what they did last night was all that strange. “It was something she wanted to do, so I went with to, you know, talk, keep her company—that sort of thing.”
“Keep her company—” By now Coraline found it difficult to keep the smile she’d felt coming on a few seconds early from bursting out. “And you did this because you’re her friend.”
“Yeah, I mean . . .” Kerry found it impossible to ignore Coraline’s imperious grin. “What?”
She couldn’t keep her silence, keep what she believed the truth from this boy any longer. “Kerry, when you are first asked to dinner, followed by getting asked if you’d like to go for an early-evening stroll along the Amsterdam canals, and the person doing all this asking is a girl . . .” She shook her head. “She’s wasn’t asking you out as a friend.”
Kerry was utterly confused by Coraline’s last comment. “I don’t get it; what do you mean?”
What she means is you’re clueless, dude.
It all has a different vibe to it now, and it makes me very happy. I’ve a half-dozen scenes to rewrite, one of the a pretty major one–actually two of them–but once they are out of the way I can say I’ve changed my characterization of my two kids, got them where I think they really should be, and then move on to something else.
Like writing the novel.
‘Cause, you know, the torture has even begun yet.