so very close to finishing what i am starting to think of as “book one.” only the end is becoming a four-act extravaganza unto itself; i am in the most foreign position of coming to terms with death in my own work. people are going to die, there is no way around it, and while i am glowing with pride that my hodgepodge plot should so mirror life, at the same time i find myself steeling for this last spurt of writing much as you would steel yourself for the impending death of an ill relative. it’s frightening, truly (truly! my newfound word-tic!) that pixels on a screen could feel this alive.
so i am steeling myself, and at the same time dawdling as one would, say, in a hospital waiting room, trimming useless bits and pretending there is a way out of this, that everyone will still be alive comes the end of this particularly troubled night.
. . . finally he continued on, settling himself at the far end of the hall to wait. Folding into himself, slowly immersing in his own mind, until the orchestra, the voices, all were muffled, the bodies passing around him mere shapes and colors, and there was only himself and that one door midway down the creamy white tunnel that was the hallway—
And then a finger jabbed him in the arm, and a voice barked, “I want to see Adrian.”
Magnus blinked, coming out of his reverie to see the peaked, glaring face of Louis-Pierre. “He is not taking audiences,” he said wearily. “You can come tomorrow night, we will be happy to receive you—”
“Claude is missing,” Louis-Pierre interrupted.
“You are certain of this? He has not merely disappeared, as Eugene did?” He gave Louis-Pierre a stern look. “I have already told you, Louis-Pierre, if Eugene suddenly appears hale and hearty after some country sojourn, and the two of you badgering us and threatening Michel—”
“It is no threat to ask for the service we pay for,” Louis-Pierre interrupted again. “I am telling you, Chevalier: Claude is missing, and this is becoming quite suspicious. We are fully aware that Adrian possesses the ethos of a Greek farmer and thus frowns upon the very culture he was assigned to govern, but like it or not this is France, Chevalier, and you would do well to honor its chosen sons. I only hope your utter ineptitude is in fact an honest expression of your abilities, instead of signalling a law based on bias?”