Iron Behind the Velvet ~ Chapter 35

The Mad Coupling of Hope and Force 1



It was loss ... and then it wasn’t – a moment’s vision of bleak landscape, then a starburst of light.

Was it– ? Had something–?

No, no. I would know. I would.

A settling – like feathers, like snow – banked against the feeling already a distant pain, a dream pain. Her reach closed on nothing.

They left the coffee shop under the monarch’s nylon wings. The patch of lawn was empty again, the street-side benches petaled with water. Though Joe had been teasing, she could have told him ... she hadn’t known the woman leading the Tai Chi.

But her companion – Long – and the boy, his son – Bao – at his side? Yes, I know them.

I felt a cleavage in my mind ... 2

There was her world ... and there was his. The web she determined to weave – gossamer strands of hope, of possibility – was a fragile ladder there to here. She clung to the framework, searching out the touchpoint for the next silken thread. 3


Catherine didn’t realize she’d left Joe behind on the sidewalk, halfway up the steps before she missed him at her side. He stood strapped with his bags, glaring up at the high floors of the building, oblivious, it seemed, to the drizzle beading on his unprotected shoulders, diamonding his hair. She hurried back to him, the ribs of the sheltering umbrella threatened by a pushy wind.

“Weren’t we just here?” He scowled. “I don’t remember a day I wanted to go in less.”

“You can’t? But last month you said–”

“Oh that’s great. Now you’re my personal playback button.”

“I hang on your every word, Joe.”

“Of course you do. I’m your boss.”

He peered right, then left; he scrubbed at his jaw. A flash of lightning reflected in every window along the street. They shared a look. Somewhere ... the rain fell on new grass and the breeze sang through glass chimes.

“Well,” he said, over the smack and hiss of traffic, “I guess ... let’s do it. It’s just another Monday after all.”


Courthouse Concession Stand
Under a mural of Lady Justice, Catherine waited at the concession stand as the pair in front of her stuffed breath mints, cans of soda and bags of pretzels into their suit pockets. Morose, one pointed to a bubblegum-pink bottle of antacid and slid a five-dollar bill creased down the middle across the counter. Before he’d moved from of the spill of fluorescent light, he’d twisted loose the cap.

“Mighty late, Miss,” the concessioner said. The crystal of his watch released, he read the time on the dial with his fingers. The man’s soft voice belied his height and girth and age. “I say we blow this hot-dog stand, you and me.”

“Thanks, Ramiro.” She laughed and touched his hand, accepting a long plastic bag for her umbrella. “This really is a more civilized hour–” she began ... and turned. Already across the lobby, facing the elevators, Joe shifted foot to foot. The cables clanged and she sprinted forward, unwilling to be left behind this time.

Deep within the gates, the catch groaned in release and Joe moved closer to the polished brass panels. At his elbow, she fast-stepped with him through the widening space. A straggler crossed the floor in a burdened trot, but Joe held up one hand and with the other, jabbed the buttons. “Private business, buddy. Next car.”

lighted elevator buttonsHe looked down at her and grinned. “You do know if you hold the ‘door close’ button and the floor button at the same time – like this – you get an express ride?”

“That’s not true,” she scoffed, but she watched the numbers flash. Two, then three floors passed. Four ...

“Let me try,” she squealed, replacing his fingers with hers.

Too soon their destination loomed. The doors would open to hum and chatter, to the jangle of telephones, the drone of the copier. Joe fell back, silent, and leaned into the corner, his hands braced wide on the tarnished railing. The car’s brakes squealed and clamped with a jolt.

“I wanna do better this time. Be better,” he said, his voice a rustle of dry leaves. Color stained his cheeks, more copper than rose, a blood-rush from a deeper struggle of spirit.

“What is it, Joe. Just ... tell me,” she begged over her shoulder, her fingers still flat against the call board. Her nails showed white. If I press hard enough, maybe ...

“You know me, Cathy. As well as anybody. I’ve ... never been able to give it. Always been that something ...” He shook his head and looked away. “I’m getting kinda old here. There’re some things I want. Really want.”

And? And? With her thumbs on the panel and with her will, she held the doors closed, though the locking mechanisms clinked in countdown.

“There was this ... well, once she ... I was watching her, just watching her work. And she caught me staring at her. My mouth was probably hanging open. She was so ...” He chuffed in disbelief. “I’m figuring she’s thinking, I’m gonna have to ditch this loser ASAP, but she smiled at me like ... like ...”

When he faltered, she shifted toward him, losing the even pressure on the buttons. The internal gates grunted in victory.

“Is it possible ...” He pushed off the back wall as the doors yawned. “How long do you think it takes?”

Ten days. In the exposing light, Joe’s expression was the surprise of sweet pain. Maybe less.

_____________


“Vincent. Gone. Where?” Mouse queried the few teams of workers still in camp. Their answers repeated – curious shrugs as they loaded their packs, filled their canteens. “Can’t just disappear,” he mumbled, making his way across the cavern floor. “Not like Mouse.”

Kanin stood hunched over the worktable, shifting through the collection of papers. “Where’s the map? The Woodlawn map? I helped Damien set up the rope harnesses, was gone ... maybe an hour.” He pushed his glasses tighter to his face, then rubbed the back of his neck. “I left the plans for Corlear Avenue with him. I guess I must have mixed it up with those.” He bent to the blueprints and drawings, thumbing the pages through again.

“Missing map? Missing Vincent? Hmmmm,” puzzled Mouse.

“What d’you mean, missing Vincent? He was here a minute ago. You think he took it?” Kanin straightened. “Look, Mouse. I’ve got to head up top.” The muscles in his jaw twitched as he squared his shoulders. “For my probation appointment. I’ll be back in a couple hours. When you see Vincent, ask him about that map. I need it. And tell him I’ll meet him at Jerome and 213th, the #4 site, third level, as soon as I can.” From his vest pocket, Kanin pulled a small spiral pad and the stub of a pencil. “Do you have a list for Dominic? We need twelve-inch spikes, a spool of cable and lashing chains. What else?”

_____________


“A full wiretap? You want to skip the pen register? The trap and trace?” Papers and photographs blanketed the long table; folders lay open and empty in the extra chairs. She blew out a long breath, dropped her forehead to her hands. Her nubbed pencil rolled to the floor. “Andy, Saul ... you guys know the rules. I can’t go to the judge with my smile. I’ll have one chance at this. We have to show probable cause.” She ticked off a finger, then a second. "Proportionality.”

“He’s buying buildings up and down that street. Haas must have gotten in his way. The guy’s connected. I know he is. It’s all right here.” The detective threw his arms out wide jostling his partner’s elbow.

“Good God. Look out, will ya?” A moment ago Saul was thoughtfully inspecting the dregs of his third cup of coffee. Now a caramel-colored stain bloomed on the breast of his white shirt, channeled by wrinkles into his pocket. Glowering, he rocketed his chair backward and plucked a crumpled sheet of yellow paper from the garbage can, daubing without success at the spot. Across the table, Andy grinned at her, showing his teeth.

“Show me what you’ve got for exhaustion,” she said, biting back a smile.

There was a knock at the door, a double rap, and the knob turned. Rita leaned through.

“Your captain’s on the phone. Sounds urgent.” Rita slipped into the room, hugging the wall as Saul, then Andy charged past. “You need any help?”

“I will.” With the toe of her shoe, Catherine fished for her pencil. “Wiretap.”

Rita grimaced. “Owww.”

The detectives hustled back, their mouths thinned to grim lines. Saul gathered his notes and crammed them into smudged files, then into his tattered canvas case.

“Sorry, Cathy,” Andy said. One hand on the jamb, he surveyed the littered table left behind. “We gotta go.”

“It’s okay. I’ll get started ... give you a call.”

Catherine sorted the paperwork into piles. The crime-scene photographs she scooted together, tapped the edges even and slid them into an accordion file. She dragged a folder from the middle of the table and after a pensive moment, flipped it open. From a snapshot clipped inside, a robust Rupert Haas beamed with pride, his arms around his two grown children. Though his shop was in the same block as her favorite bakery, she’d never met him, but she’d seen his daughter at the station one afternoon. Saul stood with her in the corridor, his head bowed, nodding as she spoke. Her pointed finger punctuated her rapid-fire words; her brows were knit in fury. Saul spread his hands, palms up ... cradled her pain, but still, she stormed the hallway, wiping away incredulous tears. Her father went in to work early that morning ... very early ... a special delivery before Valentine’s Day. Roses, she’d sneered. Roses at four in the morning.

Joe’s door was open though he stood with his back to it, the telephone clamped between his ear and his shoulder. Around his revolving hands the rubber band stretched to a colorless loop. At her tap, he lifted his chin and the receiver recoiled on it’s cord, clattering along his desk top. The elastic shot from his fingers, splatted against the wall above his file cabinet, sliding down, disappearing behind it. Who know how many piled there.

“You’re finished already?” He grabbed up the handset, growled Later into it and dumped it on its base. “Good news, they’ve arrested–” He broke off when he saw her face and shoved his hands in his pockets. “What?”

“Saul and Andy got a call. Something bad, from the looks of them.”

“Any word on Haas?”

Catherine shrugged and sank to the arm of the couch.

“Damn." Joe's shoulders rounded. “I keep hoping he’ll wake up and just tell us it was Lemire or one of his goons.” He sighed. “Haas must’ve seen something he shouldn’t. Where are they on it?”

“Tripartite–”

The telephone buzzed. “Never mind that now, Radcliffe,” Joe said, his finger on the blinking button. “You gotta get to Queens.”

_____________


“She cries all the time. Luke doesn’t sleep. Nothing I do–”

“Well, she’s quiet now.”

“It won’t last.”

baby's crib
“There, there, sweetheart,” Mary said, her words offered to Olivia as well as to her baby, and to Luke, who stood nearby, a stuffed toy under each arm. Bent over the cradle, she loosened the tucked bedding. In her freedom, Althea squirmed, balling her tiny fists, kicking her feet, and though she was, for the moment, silent, her face pruned with sour disapproval, reddened in threat.

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning, Mary predicted.

Althea gulped and began, her howl furious and long-winded, growing in pitch like an on-coming train. His chin quivering, Luke clamped a white rabbit to one ear, a green and yellow turtle to the other. Olivia choked on a sob. She fell into a worn chair and looked away, fidgeting the lace doily draped over the armrest. Mary scooped the baby from her blankets, snugged her to a shoulder, patted her back. Althea was not assuaged.

“Father said–”

“I know what Father said!” Olivia snapped. Her hands flew to her cheeks. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry, Mary. It’s just …”

Luke scuttled to Olivia’s side, leaned against her leg. Keeping the turtle tight to his ear, he held out the rabbit for hers. Althea’s shrieks ricocheted off the lovingly chiseled walls. Mary was sure she saw sparks, the cries sharp as steel to flint.

“Have you tried this?” Mary draped the baby belly-down over her forearm and rubbed along her spine. “The pressure helps with–” A heartrending wail sliced at her words.

Luke, having climbed into his mother’s lap, pressed his uncovered ear to her chest. Olivia tucked him closer, her chin on his head. He shuddered in her arms. “You think it’s colic, but I’m telling you – it’s not.”

“She’s eating some rice, you said. Applesauce. Anything else? It could be an allergy.” Olivia answered with a stony silence. “Perhaps it’s something you’re eating,” Mary persisted. “Broccoli? Cucumbers? Those can cause a nursing baby some difficulties.”

Her response was an emptying sigh. Olivia’s skin was pale; her hair was dry. A darkness around her eyes accounted for every wakeful hour. But it was the defeat in Olivia’s posture that worried Mary most, the darkness in her eyes. New mothers were frazzled, often exhausted, but this was something more. During the year of Kanin’s absence, she’d never seemed so despondent.

“I think …”

“What?” Olivia mumbled, her cheek turned to Luke’s hair, her eyes nearly closed. “What is it you think?”

“I think we should go Above to see Peter. He’ll recommend someone to run some tests. I’m sure the results will ease your mind and then–”

“Tests? On my baby? Or on me.”

“Olivia, dear. Dear, dear Olivia.”

Althea’s high misery flattened to a snuffling hiccup, but at Mary’s attempt to lay her in the cradle, her eyes widened and her lips pursed. She’s going to blow, Mary thought, managing to stifle a tactless laugh. With one hand, Mary dragged the rocking chair close to Olivia’s side and eased into the seat, transferring the baby from arm to lap. Althea’s tummy to Mary’s thigh, the gentle, repetitive motion quieted her ... lulled her. Olivia watched, expressionless.

“What’s wrong with me ... with us ... can’t be found in a test or fixed with a pill,” Olivia whispered. Crystal tears pooled in her eyes, spilling in a slow cascade over her cheek and into Luke’s curls. “I know what it is. It’s loss.”

Mary counted – the push of her foot against the rug, the risings of her knee, the delicate whuffs against her steadying hand, a baby’s sweet breath ... and the waiting, all of it, the months, the years. Olivia’s. Her own

Enough. 

“Then we’ll go to him. To Kanin.”

“What are you talking about, Mary? He’s miles away. Hours. He doesn’t– He’s not–” Olivia touched her lips to Luke’s neck. “My little boy, my baby. It’s too far, too far. I ... can’t.”

“You can. You could have any of a dozen baby sitters. I'll speak to Father about the best entrance to use. And you won’t have to walk. I’ll ... I’ll have Sebastian drive us.”

“Sebastian? He drives?”

“I don’t know, Olivia. There’s much I don’t know about him." Much I didn’t want to see. "But he’ll get us there. He’ll get you there, because I’ll ask him to.”

_____________


Manhattan taxis in rain
She checked her watch. 11:40. The taxi barreled down Delancey Street, lurching from the change of every stoplight like sprinters at the gun. Even with the traffic, the driver promised she’d be at the precinct by noon. She didn’t think it possible, but if it happened, she’d have an hour to spare before her witness was scheduled for transfer to New Jersey.

If anybody can get this guy to talk, it’s you, Radcliffe.

There was little hope this man could shed light on their case. Picked up for open container on a drug corner, he had a warrant for domestic violence in Newark. It was luck. Two days before, Andy and Saul circulated his photograph to the precincts. A person of interest, he was related to a known-associate of Lemire, a much younger half-brother to the man they believed responsible for the attack on Mr. Haas, a man barely identifiable on the security tapes from that terrible night. Rita noticed the shadowy character at the edge of the screen whose image ghosted in a pane of glass, who chose that moment to check his appearance, his reflection caught for an inexplicable second by the camera’s eye before …

Before what? All they knew for sure was that Mr. Haas lay in a coma with internal injuries and thirty-three broken bones. The beating had occurred in the storeroom of his shop; the roses withered, dumped on the floor. Apart from suspicion and intuition, their hard evidence led to false doors and dead-ends and they had no idea where Lemire’s muscle was now. This brother might know ... something.

All morning, beneath her cogent thoughts, beat the snare drum of worry – Kanin, Mitch, Kanin. A dozen times, she considered calling the probation offices, asking to speak to Kanin’s case worker or to Kanin himself and a dozen times, she rejected the idea. No matter her approach, her reasoned preamble, probation would not allow personal calls, necessitating that she identify her official self. If he were there, how might she explain their connection? And if Kanin failed to meet his appointment, in the crush of Monday’s business it might be overlooked, but if she called attention to his absence …

She couldn’t take that chance.

Queens. Joe’s directive had been music to her ears, though she’d pretended exasperation until he’d shooed her out the door with the bribe of a long lunch hour and the address in Astoria of his favorite Italian restaurant.

Just get his statement. Get it before we lose him. 

Her cab rattled off the Williamsburg Bridge and already she had her questions parsed and bulleted. Joe didn’t expect her back until late in the afternoon and the 105th Precinct was but a five ride from the nursing home where Sam lived now. If Mitch were anywhere near, Sam would know. Sam would tell her.

______________


rain-washed window
She’d been ineffective, unproductive at work, every possibility she’d examined was tapped-out. She found a glimmer of hope in the memory of a garden party two years before designed to thank the many donors of precious smaller amounts, those who faithfully asked for each year’s birthday roster, who filled wishes from the Angel Tree at Christmas. But she couldn’t ask them for more, couldn’t trade on their feelings. She stood at the filing cabinet, the scrapbook open across her arms. Through the rain-washed glass, her gaze focused on nothing and she was drawn anchorless along a passageway of cobwebbed worry.

“Finally! Here’s the cafeteria’s wish list. A day early from their point of view, since they promised it tomorrow. Not a week late, like it is from ours.”

Eimear jumped at Zivah’s voice, unable to contain a squeak of surprise. The album she studied fell from her hands, the binding clips popping open on impact.

“That’s twice today, honey. Twice you’ve left your shoes behind.” Concern etched Zivah’s every feature.

With a pointed look at Zivah’s sock feet, Eimear stooped to retrieve the scattered contents. “If you’d wear shoes at all or with the taps as I’ve asked you to …”

“Watch your–!’

“OW!” The papers she’d gathered fluttered from her hand, skimming the ocean of floor. She rubbed the back of her head and, growling, slammed shut the topmost file drawer, staggered back against her desk. Her in-box balanced for a moment at the edge of it, then tipped like a sinking freighter and slid from sight. She winced at the crash, a sudden red and black anger darkening her vision. It was all she could do to refrain from the dramatic sweep of her arm, sending every book, every form and file, each and every trinket and photograph given to her by children she loved sailing across the room. She collapsed in her chair, her chin sunk to her chest, her eyes squinted against the pain.

“Oh, sweetie!” Zivah hurried close, her cool hands parting Eimear’s hair, searching out bruise or blood. “Are you all right? Let me get you the ice pack!”

Zivah dimmed the lights as she left the room, casting her office in a gray storm-light. Through one eye, Eimear considered the couch and its soft, crocheted throw. Sleep. To wander darkling in the eternal space ...4 She craved it. She stood, took a first step toward respite, a moment – but a moment – of oblivion and the telephone rang, dissonant and piercing though it was set to a low trill. Her answer met with silence ... then a rustling, a brittle laugh, the whap of what sounded like a screen door, then  ... silence.

Something wicked this way comes ...5 She closed her thumbs within the curl of her fingers.

They’d never withheld any truth from each other. Always, they’d promised.

I lathair an dorchadias, ta mo croi leat go deo.

Through the dark, my heart is always with you.

But how? How can I add to his burden.

Níos mó ná mo shaol féin.  More than my own life.

Her in-box lay in pieces, her rolodex intact but its contents strewn. She swept them up, fit the notched tabs to the frame again the task shutting out all but the memory of Martin's words ...

The weight of this on you. You must find someone who understands. 

Athair. 6 Always good with the advice. She spun the wheel to Catherine’s card, reached to call.

____________


The detective eyed the small brown paper bag on his desk. “Lunchtime,” he said, touching a tentative finger to a dark, purplish stain. “You do any good with him?”

Catherine shrugged. “What he told me, I’m not sure I believe, and what he didn’t say is probably what I want to know. I didn’t expect this much, really. So ... I’m happy. It’s something to work with. Thanks for finding him, Artie.”

“No problem.” He held out a triangle of sandwich, raised his eyebrows in offering. “PB and J. I think I have my son’s lunch by mistake. I don’t think he likes capricola.”

“Maybe he can swap.” She walked to the window. “It's still raining. I guess I’ll need a taxi.”

“You planning on walking somewhere?” Artie mumbled, the half-sandwich already downed.

“Just over to 112 and 221st.”

“Maryfields? That’s a ten block walk, not the best idea on a dry day. I’ll call down front. Somebody’ll drive you.”

_____________


Reception Desk
“Hello, hello, yes!” A high-pitched voice greeted her, but the reception desk was vacant. “May I help you?”

Braced on her forearms, rising to her toes, Catherine levered over the counter. “Sister Felice, is that you down there?”

A round figure clad in white crawled into view from beneath the desk. She sat back on her heels and clapped her hands. “Catherine! What a lovely surprise. It’s been too long, too long.”

“Have you lost something?”

“No. Not exactly.” Without further explanation, the woman scrambled to her feet and climbed onto her high stool. Even so, the crown of her veiled head came only to Catherine’s shoulder. “You’re here to see Sam, of course. He’ll be pleased; he’ll be pleased.”

Catherine grinned at the repetition. Sam complained about it, said the habit of it drove him batty, but she’d noticed that his ever-trembling hands quieted in the Sister’s, that he breathed more deeply, that he was easier in her presence.

“Wait, wait,” Sr. Felice sang out when Catherine was but two steps around the corner. “Haven’t you forgotten something?”

She laughed and returned to the desk, her hand deep in her purse. “There’s no getting past you, is there?”

Sr. Felice slapped a gridded sheet of poster board onto the counter, tossed her a pen. “A dollar a square. Ten dollar minimum. I mean, twenty,” she said, eyeing the contents of Catherine’s wallet.


Sam was happy here – soft music, good food, gentle touch. Companionship. She followed the yellow line on the floor to the sunroom, down a long hallway, past an arc of stained glass that reminded her of ... home.

His wispy white hair was trimmed, neat at the collar, and he was wearing a sweater she’d delivered to him just after the New Year. It had been too long. His back to the doorway, Sam sat opposite a wizened man, a man whose face was a maze of deep wrinkles, whose twisted legs were covered with a quilt Catherine recognized.

“Hi, Sam,” she called.

More rosy-cheeked than she remembered and only a bit more gaunt, only a little shakier, Sam stood and held out his hand to her. “Catherine! How nice.” She ducked under his arm, pressing a brief kiss to his smooth-shaven cheek. “See, Seamus!” he crowed. “I still have a way with the ladies.”

Sam’s companion cackled with surprising volume and a full measure of glee. His eyes were clouded, but still shone merry. In his lap rested a decorated box; in one knurled hand he held two tiny silver cups, in the other a small rosewood scope. Vincent had the very match for it on a shelf in his old chamber.

“Catherine Chandler ...” Sam made an unsteady bow. “Seamus Barry. Resident grouch and poker champion. No matter what he promises, don’t let him get you into a game.”

Ach, aye. I’m never cranky amidst the lassies,” Seamus said, his voice a whisper in odd opposition to his laugh. “And I never play for money with a lady.”

Did he just wink at me? She couldn’t look at Sam for fear of breaking into giggles and was just about to take Seamus’s outstretched hand in her own when the door to the kitchen swung open. A man pushed through, his eyes on his laden tray.

“Here’s tea for us now. Ah, but I heard voices so I've laid up for another guest.”

Catherine smiled and shook her head. Nothing ... nothing seemed impossible. “Hello, Martin.”




Click HERE for Chapter 36.


_______________


1. Pablo Neruda. A Song of Despair.
2. Emily Dickinson. Lost Thought.
3. E. B. White. Natural History (The Spider's Web). 1929.
4. George Gordon, Lord Byron. Darkness.
5. William Shakespeare. Macbeth. Act IV, scene 1. Lines 44-45. 1623.
6. Gaelic. Athair ~ Father

51 comments:

Brandy said...

Hah-ha! I am the gleeful first poster!

I smother you with kisses, Carole. Your chapter couldn't have come at a better time. I've spent the last two days in Nowhere, North Dakota. I've been through parts of N. Dakota that are really lovely, the Badlands and such, but this was not one of those places. I am a bit batty from all the long hours in the car, and your new chapter was a reminder of all that I hold to be lovely in the world.

Despite its hopeful name, the chapter seemed to be one long teeming frustration. Except for the marvelous moment of the "express ride" elevator. Poor Joe - he is such a fan favorite; perhaps we can find a nice girl for him too?

I really felt for poor Olivia, her unintentional outburst, and poor Luke's distress - another great moment with the stuffed animals as earplugs. I loved Mary's "can do" attitude, even as she failed at soothing poor fretful Althea.

GOOD cliffhanger ending! And here's Martin to cheer us all again! I cheered inside.

I had to search a little harder for this chapter's poem, but found inspiration from the same poet who gave us the lovely "I must marry my dream-boat/To my reality shore" line.

Happy sleeps to you, Carole.

"Between Nothingness and Eternity"

Barren of events,
Rich in pretensions
My earthly life.

Obscurity
My real name.

Wholly unto myself
I exist.

I wrap no soul
In my embrace.

No mentor worthy
Of my calibre
Have I.

I am all alone
Between failure
And frustration.

I am the red thread
Between
Nothingness
And Eternity.

Excerpt from “My Flute” by Sri Chinmoy

Carole W said...

Brandy! Look at the time of your post! You night owl.

Just a quick reply now, and a more in-depth one to come in a bit.

Thanks for such kind words, first thing. What a cheer to my foggy-headed morning.

The chapter's name: Yes, there was quite a bit of frustration, but each of them took an action - even Vincent, who disappeared with the map, not so willing to acquiesce, it seems; even Joe, who "pushed off the back wall" and recognized something in himself. Eimear, to talk to Catherine; Catherine to speak to Sam. And Olivia - she didn't protest in the end, a quiet agreement to Mary's plan. So, hope and force, coupled.

Mad Coupling would make such a good title for a gauzy chapter too. I sort of hated to use it already! Start your hunt, Brandy, for a most romantic poem because a reunion scene is approaching!

BTW - I found the elevator myth in a NYC-ite's blog. We don't have any buildings tall enough around here to test it.

Well, the dinger's gone off on my coffee timer. More later, when I'm more coherent.

Thanks, Brandy. It's always great to see you.

Carole

Krista said...

Oh, Carole. I needed this chapter this morning---it's a lovely diversion. :)

I love your Mary. Too often---because you really don't see her in any other way in canon---she's "just" the nurse, she's "just" the tunnel mom figure. What lies beneath that is a well of compassion and a whole host of steel...and that, you've shown very well here. If anyone can help Olivia and Althea and Luke, it's Mary. (And I confess to some rueful chuckling on Mary's observations of Althea's temper fit. My husband and I once spent eight or nine hours one night not sure if we'd brought a baby home from the hospital or Moby Dick. You know..."thar she blows!" :-P)

I'm glad Eimear is finally going to talk to Martin---and I had such a grin on my face when I realized that Martin was at Sam's home. Good on you.

Once again, great chapter :)

SandyX said...

I really wanted to read this chapter last night, but I finally gave in to the need for sleep and I'm glad I did - I thoroughly enjoyed reading this at a leisurely pace over my first cup of tea (out of coffee, ugh!). I really loved this chapter. It feels like all the pieces are coming together. You've brought us right to the edge of turning points in so many elements of the story... I feel like I'm balanced here, waiting to see how the next chapters will bring it all together. That last scene, with Sam... Seamus... the box... Martin's entrance...[sigh]. As always, I can't wait for the next chapter - but will, gladly and with appreciation.

Carole W said...

PS to Brandy:Poor Joe - he is such a fan favorite; perhaps we can find a nice girl for him too?

The Rosie/Joe romance is next after I finish I/V - or after the Ned/Jenny story - or maybe I can combine them! NO! Too Long!! One at a time!

I think he needs a good girlfriend too and some mode of entry into the Tunnel World. Rosie fits both bills, I think (hope). :-)

~ C

Carole W said...

Thank you Krista! Your comments always give me encouragement.

It's funny, I had no idea Mary would enter this chapter. I had this list in my head ... what is V doing, what is Father doing (didn't make it there) What is Olivia doing, etc. Then Mary showed up.

It was fun, really, because she's not exactly my favorite character in the show, but you're right. There's a depth of character there (after I rewatched Labyrinths and thought about her story ... so cryptic and so tragic)

We never forget the infant-crying times, so we - that helpless feeling when nothing works to calm them. There were moments when I really wanted to take Jenny back to the hospital and ask for a quieter, more efficient model. One that ... idled. She was a very 'awake' baby for years.

You meant, you're glad Eimear is going to talk to Catherine, didn't you? I need to check the story - I was awfully tired by the time I finished writing and posting. I hope I wrote that right.

I've had this scene with Martin, Sam, Seamus and Catherine at the Residence in my mind for over a year. Can you believe I'm just now getting to it?

~ Carole

Carole W said...

Sandy {{{shudder}}} Out. Of. Coffee??? I'm shaky just thinking of it.

I would have gone to bed with the chapter not posted if I hadn't given my word and even then I was late. I don't like being late. Thanks for your patience and I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed the chapter. You know how nervous I get with the postings.

This is the balance chapter. I've threatened and I promise that we're heading in for the last part (third?). I'm pleased that you found that here - and very glad to hear you liked that last scene. I've been wanting to write it - actually what comes next - for months and months. Hopefully, I can bring it in in under three weeks this time, closer to two, that's my plan.

Thanks so much for reading and leaving comments. It's great fun for me and important too, to keep me on track.

~ Carole

Sonia Who? said...

Hi Carole,

This chapter was full of frustrations but also hope. After reading it I'm guessing Joe is tired of being alone, not being in a loving, committed relationship, and tired of the same thing day in and day out, day after day. I'm having a harder time guessing what's the loss that Catherine portent from talking to Jenny.

I like the elevator trick. I think it works.

Wonder where Vincent's run up to with that map. Is he trying to figure out a way so the tunnel entrance to Martin's garden is not blocked? I hope so.

It's funny how Mouse thinks no one, not even Vincent, can disappear/hide from him.

Poor Olivia. I wonder if she could have Postpartum Depression, besides feeling abandoned by Kanin. Mary's right, it's time she does more than just sit around waiting for Kanin to come back.

Does this line have a reference number? - Red sky at morning, sailors take warning, Mary predicted.

Poor Eimear really needs to vent her frustration, someone she can talk to that will understand how she's feeling. Hope she can Catherine can have that talk soon.

Loved how Catherine finds Martin at the nursing home. Can't wait to read the next chapter, looking forward to their conversation. Just hope it's not just them talking and we can soon find out what's to happen with everyone else.

Thanks for the good read and keep up the good work.

I need to get productive again. Been kinda in a slump. Haven't tried to draw for at least 2 weeks. Hopefully I can get myself to draw again soon. As soon as I finish the last drawing I showed you, titled 'Touch', I'll email it to you. Hopefully you can post it here on your site before your next chapter. The 'Enrapture' drawing I'll finish in time for Winterfest.

Take good care of yourself.
Be well,
Sonia

Kemara said...

Carole,
Loved this chapter! All the threads are drawing together waiting to be tied into a perfect bow.

Your wonderful writing makes me ashamed to admit that I'm doing terribly at NaNoWriMo. I'm several thousand words below where I should be by now. The month has been, and will be, packed with social stuff, plus I just got a promotion/new position at work. I've just been too busy and tired to write. When I sit down at the keyboard I have the story in my head but actually typing it out seems too hard. Have you ever felt that way?

I'm not good at finding poems like Brandy is, but I'm listening to Miss Saigon tonight. That show has so many wonderful songs that could refer to Vincent and Catherine: "Sun and Moon", "Last Night of the World" and several more.

"Sun and Moon" from "Miss Saigon"
[KIM]
You are sunlight and I moon
Joined by the gods of fortune
Midnight and high noon
Sharing the sky
We have been blessed, you and I

[CHRIS]
You are here like a mystery
I'm from a world that's so different
From all that you are
How in the light of one night
Did we come so far?

[KIM]
Outside day starts to dawn

[CHRIS]
Your moon still floats on high

[KIM]
The birds awake

[CHRIS]
The stars shine too

[KIM]
My hands still shake

[CHRIS]
I reach for you

[BOTH]
And we meet in the sky!

[KIM]
You are sunlight and I moon
Joined here
Bright'ning the sky
With the flame
Of love

[BOTH]
Made of
Sunlight
Moonlight

Carole W said...

Sonia, you must put pencil to paper right away. Out of that slump, now!!! I'm very much looking forward to seeing the final version of "Touch" and "Enrapture" too.

You're right about Joe. I think things will be changing for him soon. You're right about Eimear too. Catherine will be very empathetic, won't she.

Catherine's feeling of loss was some transference across the Bond of Vincent's feeling about Kanin's suggestion to seal off Woodlawn, which would take Martin's companionship from him. And she had some portent about Jenny, which will soon be revealed. It WILL (I promise!)

Just hope it's not just them talking and we can soon find out what's to happen with everyone else.

Ooops, do you find Martin a bit long-winded? LOL. You may be disappointed, because there's a fair amount of talking yet to come. But the gears of the ending action are engaged - much like the elevator doors - and they're soon to open.

About the saying Red sky at morning, sailors take warning ... That's something I've heard all my life - just an old timey weather forecasting. I used it here because Althea's face was turning red. I did some research though - to try to answer your question - and there are references to the red sky predictive both in the Bible (Matthew XVI:2-3 - and Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis.

Thank you for reading along and being so patient and supportive. It means a lot to me.

Carole

Carole W said...

Kemara, I'm headed to Rhapsody to listen to Miss Saigon. I hate to admit I don't know the music, but on the other hand, I love finding new and wonderful things. Thanks! The lyrics do sound written for V and C.

Thank you for liking the chapter. I am drawing the threads together but why did I pull off of so many spools? It's daunting, kind of, but I'm glad you've stuck with me and I'm grateful for your encouragement and support.

Now about Nano ... If I manage 2 or 3 chapters a month, that's at most 12000 words. Far short of a Nanowrimo challenge. Don't diss your efforts there! Even if you don't finish in the month, you are so much further along than you were on November 1!

Have I ever felt that way? I have story but it won't come out? oh, boy, have I! I get frustrated, stymied for ONE word, the word that, until it is exactly right, no others will follow. And even after all that angsting, I tweak for weeks. It can be very frustrating.

Let me know how the novel writing goes. I hope next year to join in.

~ Carole

Kemara said...

Carole,
Please let me know what you think of Miss Saigon. It's by the same people who did Les Miserables, another favorite of mine.

There's a wonderful song that Kim sings to her little boy. Every time I hear it I think of Catherine held captive and waiting for baby Jacob to be born.

"I'd Give My Life for You"
You who I cradled in my arms
You asking as little as you can
Little snip of a little man
I know I'd give my life for you

You didn't ask me to be born
You why should you learn of war or pain?
To make sure you're not hurt again
I swear I'd give my life for you

I've tasted love beyond all fear
And you should know it's love
that brought you here
And in one perfect night
when the stars burned like new,
I knew what I must do

I'll give you a million things I'll never own
I'll give you a world to conquer when you're grown
You will be who you want to be
You, can choose whatever Heaven grants
As long as you can have your chance
I swear I'll give my life for you

Sometimes I wake up
reaching for him
I feel his shadow brush my head
But there's just moonlight on my bed

Was he a ghost was he a lie?
That made my body laugh and cry?
Then by my side the proof I see
his little one, Gods of the Sun,
bring him to me

You will be who you want to be
You, can choose whatever heaven grants
As long as you can have your chance
I swear I'll give my life for you

No one can stop what I must do
I swear I'll give my life for you

Vicky said...

I'm here, finally... I'll try to come earlier next time, our friends here beat me with their lovely comments until there's nothing more to say. ;-)

AAAAAHH! "Hello, Martin". I jumped and squeeled and clapped...and then "To be continued"!

Thank you for another wonderful chapter, Carole. I cheered at Eimier making that decission, (finally!) It will be great help, for both of them. I suddenly saw the "An impossible silence" Joe there, he just makes me want to hug him. Go Mary! Olivia needed to pull herself together. And now that everyone is apparently taking action, what a set of new beautiful things to come!

Big hugs, Carole.

PS: I never knew Father's mom was Catherine too! :-D hee

Vicky said...

Psst: Hey, that's my watch!

Carole W said...

Hi Vicky! Aww, the Impossible Silence Joe is so vulnerable. He's such a great guy. I want him to be happy.

Ramiro, the concessioner in Catherine's office building, is a real person -actually an amalgamation of two real people with businesses inside the Courthouse.

I'm dying to get to the Eimear/Catherine conversation. After The Watcher experience, C will have much to say, but E will have questions too. I really can't wait to get to it - and C will make a decision of her own too. OOOH. Drat that I need to run the vacuum!

I'm glad you enjoyed it - things are converging! You know I always appreciate your thoughts and words.

~ Carole

Carole W said...

In an email, Ann sent a link to a lovely song by Heather Dale that for her - and with me - resonates. I think particularly of the dark days after Outsiders, when Vincent removed himself to the nameless river far, far from Catherine's light.

Hunter by Heather Dale.

I'm amazed, every day, by the beautiful.

Thank you, Ann. Please, do share more.

Carole

Ann B. said...

Carole,
Thank you for posting the link for me. I was hesitant about doing it myself. Since it really has nothing to do with I/V I did not know if it was appropriate or not. That song immediately made me think of V and C and I wanted to share it with you all.

I was so glad to see Martin again! And Vincent took off with the map?? Good for him! I don't know about y'all but I think Mitch definately has something to do with all of this. Could he possibly have a daughter with his initials? Hmmm, somthing to think about. And a hint to you Carole, to lessen our suspense somewhat or who knows what we will come up with!

Kemara,
The song that you were kind enough to share with us "I would give my life for you" literally left me stunned. It is SO perfect for the situation you described. I can see Catherine singing that to baby Jacob as she waited for him. I was reading the comment at work (I know, I should not do that but I can't help it) and someone actually asked me if I was OK. Then she saw the screen and just shook her head at me and went about her business. I am NOT obsessed! I AM NOT! Hee Hee

Anyway, thought you should know how much I appreciate your sharing that with us.

Carole W said...

Obsessed? Me neither!! LOL.

I promise some answers to the Mitch question in #37. I'm afraid, Ann, that I will frustrate you with slow writing. I do try, but I am pretty hard on myself and sometimes I do a lot of staring at a blank screen. Sometimes I spend an hour putting in and taking out the same word over and over. It's sad, really.

Perhaps if I had more chocolate ... I'm all out of the Callebaut Michelle brought me from Calgary. Sob!!

~ Carole

RomanticOne said...

Was I the only one to notice the reference to Seamus? Wasn't he the priest before Martin - the one who told him about what was below? Now he's at the same nursing home as Sam. Coincidence? I'm as ready as Catherine for her to get back to Vincent. When you love someone as much as they love one another, even a few days apart can seem like an eternity. Besides, one kiss can dissolve all frustration. Since Caatherine has been dealing with so much frustration, Vincent is in for one heck of a kiss! :-)

Carole W said...

R1 - yes, indeedy, Seamus was the original owner of the box Martin dug out of his drawer, and the depositor of the keys to the locks on the tunnel entrance doors. Perhaps he'll have something to say, given that C and Sam and Martin all know a shared-something. The great energy is swirling nearby ...

About V and C and some together time. Of course, they want it, I want it - if only the hours would fly by!! Yet there is a lot of story to come. I'm sorry it's frustrating, and it's one of the many problems reading a story still in progress. If I actually had the whole story written, I could post more regularly, like every week and then it wouldn't seem like months since they've seen each other. But I don't - and the truth is the holidays are coming up with the interruptions associated with that and you know ... :-(

But when they do come together - and they will - I'll make sure the curtains are open and there's enough candle light and everyone's in a talkative mood.

~ Carole

RomanticOne said...

Hey, real family comes first. V and C can always wait. In fact, they've become very good at it. You enjoy your holiday and happy holidays to everyone reading, posting, etc.

Carole W said...

Thanks, R1 - I want to wish you and everyone a Happy Thanksgiving too!

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell everyone who reads and comments or emails - or just reads- how grateful I am for the interaction, the exchange of ideas and poetry and the encouragement to pursue a dream.

My daughter will be bringing her very significant beau to dinner this year - a first! We're pleased he's coming, but that means I will have to clean in a more enthusiastic manner. eep!

I wish the day were longer or that I could work faster. I hoped I could work more aggressively during November, an unofficial participant in the Nanowrimo experience, but ... alas. I don't want C and V to have to wait much longer either, and by the end of Monday, they're going to have quite a bit to discuss. :-D

I really think one of the helpers needs to run a little bed and breakfast for tunnel folk to use when necessary. It would help if they would be located nearby the work site too. Both Kanin and Olivia and V and C could use a comfy spot for some R&R.

~ Carole

Joyce said...

Just completed the chapter and it was another great one! Although I get impatient for Vincent and Catherine to reconnect I am really enjoying the characterizations you are doing of the other tunnel dwellers. You can do so much more in writing about them then the show ever would have been able to do - if it had even been an inclination of the writers.

With the holidays coming up, it is important for you to do the things you need to with your family but please remember your on-line family will be waiting for the next installment.

I hope that everyone has a safe and very happy Thanksgiving. Meet you in The Tunnels soon!

Joyce

Carole W said...

Thank you Joyce! The thought that I have an on-line family is a warming one. It's wonderful, really. I think of you all often.

I'm so pleased with your comments about the characterizations. In my imagination, the community is so vibrant and the inhabitants multi-layered, complex individuals. How I wish we had more than 44 episodes to visit.

This next week promises to be busy and I won't make my two-week posting promise, I can already tell, yet the chapter is progressing. There's a lot of activity to coalesce into one place, but I go to sleep thinking about it and it's the first thing on my mind in the morning, right after coffee.

~ Carole

New York City Utopia said...

Talking about your online family... I may have become a lurker but I'm right here ;-)

Carole W said...

NYCU! I was getting worried about you - thinking it was something I said ... or wrote!


I have been thinking about you. I was going to write and tell you to show your face or else I'd come over there looking for you! I'd enjoy a trip overseas ... but I'd rather hear from you. I do hope all is well. I miss you!

~ Carole

Vicky said...

Let me add my wishes of a happy Thanksgiving to everyone here. Thank you, Carole, for another whole year of yourself in this great journey. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones, all of you!

Hugs from Paraguay. ;-)

RomanticOne said...

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I gave myself a gift and re-read "A Great and Thorough Good." It's always nice to go back to a great story. It helped me reconnect with V and C's new beginning and what their future could lead do. Iron/Velvet has stayed on track. Thanks to you for a wonderful story and the inspiration to keep on dreaming.

Carole W said...

Thank you Vicky for thinking of me, for your good wishes and for your gifts of support and enthusiasm and such kindness. I doubt I can find the words to express my feelings - but it is so special to be able to share the welling in my heart that Vincent and Catherine bring. Like Catherine, I needed family - and I found one, a big one, one that is all heart.

Big tunnel hugs,
Carole

Carole W said...

R1! You've started my day off in a most wonderful way. It means a lot that you would reread a story. And your belief that I/V is on track behind A Great and Thorough Good makes me feel really good. Your words are such a confidence booster!

I was scanning through some episodes last night for some screen caps. I never tire of the moments between Catherine and Vincent. They just inspire dreams, don't they? I was all googly and weepy within an hour. They deserve a happy life together always and forever.

Now, I shall type all day! I've shaken the carbohydrate overload - I think - and my mind feels sharp, or at least sharper.

~ Carole

RomanticOne said...

Regarding your expensive computer program - try e-Bay. It's so unfair that the best programs should be so expensive. The deep discounts that students get tells me there's quite a mark-up on them. Maybe Santa can bring it to you. :)

Anonymous said...

Our Dear Carole!
Vicky's right - every comment here reflects my thoughts exactly. You are so amazing and we are all so very lucky.

So many people and events on the brink of coming together. So much happiness and joy to anticipate with all the relationships.

And RomanticOne is so right - even though it's been just a couple of days for C&V - it seems like an eternity!

We will anxiously, but patiently, wait for the next chapter.

Isn't it a wonderful thing something we all love so much has brought so many people together - when I feel lonely, I know my tunnel family is near.

jitterbug

Carole W said...

Hi Jitterbug - It's good to hear from you! You are so nice - when my spirits flag, I need my tunnel family too. I'm glad you're still with me!

I'm very worried that you will want to strangle me with chapter 37 since for V and C, it is only mid-afternoon on Monday. They've been apart less than 24 hours! LOL. And yet, I'm afraid to count the seeming months since ...

There are several hours and some very important twists and turns to the story to happen before V and C see each other again, but unless the muse directs me otherwise, it will be on "Monday night".

If not finished before, I promise a reunion for a Christmas present (Hanukkah comes too early this year!). They will have lots to ... talk about.

It's still almost a week away - the day Rosie installs her statue (Saturday). I look at my story map and think, oh dear, there's a lot of story left to tell. I don't want to start to hurry it now ... do I?!

Carole

RomanticOne said...

You could hurry a little bit. We won't mind. :)

Joyce said...

Good morning Carole. Well I won't say I have been patiently waiting but I have been waiting to read the news that chapter 37 is almost here! And that patience is being rewarded. I am realy looking forward to the next installment. Thank you for providing so many pleasurable moments.

Joyce

New York City Utopia said...

As I may have written before, I'm torn. I can't wait to reach that Saturday in your timeline and find out... about everything! How you've chosen to weave your plot elements together, the unveiling scene, the evening that follows, the exact moment where you put a full stop to the actual I\V novel... But I'll be so sad when it's over, even though we know you have plenty of material for sequels (mark how I'm already using the plural!) and in the meantime we'll all console ourselves with reading it again from beginning to end.

Carole W said...

R1- I wouldn't blame you for hanging up the phone on me, but there's a lot of story yet to come and I can't really skip any of it.

Joyce! I'm chagrinned to admit it, but I will try your patience. I try my own, particularly when I dither for an hour between the words 'turned' and 'whirled'. Cross your fingers for me - that the muse doesn't take a long coffee break today - or heavens forbid, a vacation.

2009 had its challenges in Real Life and I'm hoping 2010 is smoother. My goal (and I'd better get busy) is to finish I/V by Winterfest in February. (Though even as I type that, I'm shaking my head in disbelief.)

NYCU! Thank you for having faith that I can weave all the plot lines together, that I actually WILL find an ending spot. You know I'll do my best not to disappoint and to make it worth the long, winding, slow-train trip. It's good to see you.

Off to type now! As fast as possible!

Carole

Anonymous said...

Hi Carole,
Please stick to your story outline - it's a tribute to your writing that we want more, more, more - fast, fast, fast!!!! It will be well worth the wait to have this intricate story brought to it's conclusion. There are so many wonderful things to come. You keep us on the edge of our seat waiting for all of them. And the element of danger - on my.

Then we'll start reading everything over while you rest a bit, but then we'll want more, more, more - fast, fast, fast!!!!

XO, jitterbug

Carole W said...

Hugs to you, Jitterbug! Thank you so much. I'm overwhelmed and touched by your confidence and generosity. A little panicked by the path in front of me, but inspired too.

So far today, the muse is nodding her head. Words are flowing. Soon, she whispers.

~ C

RomanticOne said...

Nothing good ever comes easy. Your story is more than good so it stands to reason that you struggle because you want to get it right. It has also been said that we are our own worst critics. You're too hard on yourself. As faithful readers, whether we turn or whether we whirl, we truly enjoy the movement. And, oh yeah, I'm too far gone to ever "hang the phone up" on you! I still check frequently on the progress of my favorite couple.

Carole W said...

Wow, R1 - thanks for that! I'm grateful that you're sticking with me and very grateful for your kindness and support and enthusiasm for a story that I never, ever expected to be so long. It's taken on its own life, I guess, determined to dance itself out.

Off to type - I think, hope, pray that I will post this evening! (Monday)

Carole

Michelle K. said...

I didn't realize I was this far behind - for some reason I thought I'd caught up to the 40s at least, but here I am, back at 36 and woefully behind! In any case, can I just say first and foremost ... this chapter is wonderful, Carole! I'm so happy to be reading it on your blog again - there's something so rewarding about seeing it on your site, in all the beauty you've created here. And of course, being able to leave comments per chapter is something I'm thrilled to get back to. Far, far better than reading on the kindle, though that has its benefits, too, of course!

Now for the good stuff ... SO MUCH ACTION in this chapter! Eimeer needs to speak - she carries too great a burden alone. And Joe ... you know how I love Joe! You write him wonderfully. Truly.

Olivia is dealing with a lot, and I feel for her. I get so angry at Kanin for putting her in this position, but she is so strong! I've always liked her, though I wish more had been done with her in the series. You humanize her wonderfully.

And the best part ... Martin and SAM? Oh how I love that connection! You're full of surprises and I can't wait to keep going ... (and sorry I'm so behind, but I'm going to catch up, I promise!) Fantastic chapter, as always!!

Carole W said...

Mich, thank you! I had to reread the chapter myself - sometimes I feel behind in it too, so no apologies. I'm just grateful to see you here.

We share a great love for Joe, don't we. ;-) That little Joe/Cathy scene in the elevator with the buttons … even though it's a tiny scene, is one I most enjoyed writing. There's so much playfulness to him and he has so much heart. I'm glad he seems well-enough captured.

That Martin! He gets around doesn't he? He's a merry fellow, in the happiness business. I'm glad you're enjoying him.

Kanin - will he ever get with the program!? As I write this reply, Eimear is gearing up finally to spill it all. I've been looking forward to this chapter for months, literally a couple dozen of them!

Thank you so much for reading, for your comments, Michelle. You know I'm always eager for your response.

Carole

Krista said...

Here we are again, eh? :) This was...oh, I needed this again this morning. (Yes, I said that going on two years ago now and it's true yet again.)

I think what always amazes me about your characters, your stories, is how grounded they are in the real world. It's one thing to say, "Oh, Catherine's relationship with Vincent is trying at times but also filled with magic," but quite another to show what it must be like to live on the border between two worlds. It's a side of Catherine we don't see often enough in fanfic or in canon, and I'm loving the realism you've brought to their story.

Oh, and I squeed again when I saw Martin at the nursing home. Even though I knew what was coming, I was still all sorts of happy to see him there.

Great job, again and still,

Krista

Carole W said...

Wow, thank you, Krista. I know you know how your comment made me feel. It's all I've ever wanted to do. That the characters and their struggles seem real … well, I'm just so very pleased.

And oh, I'm glad you're glad to see Martin at Maryfields. :-) I want people to enjoy him and the next couple chapters are very Martin-y.

Hugs for your kindness and for rereading.

Carole

RomanticOne said...

Once again, in my mind's eye, I am with Olivia and Mary and witnessing their worry. I am hurrying along with Catherine and Joe, privy to their conversation and strategy to catch the bad guy. And then...in one sweet moment I see how Vincent is always there in Catherine's heart. When Joe reveals his interest in Rosie and asks the question about how long it takes, Catherine's mind and heart go to those ten precious days spent with Vincent. I was instantly transported. I don't know how you do it, but I love it just the same. I also love when you use Celtic phrases. It's such a romantic language. Great chapter.

OKGoode said...

I just shake my head in awe of you.

Carole W said...

OKGoode, you're a sweetheart for saying that. Every chapter post makes me quake with nerves, even these that I've posted once before. It really makes a difference to know you're reading. Hugs.

C

Carole W said...

R1 - I'm touched by your words. There's nothing that makes me feel better than to know the story seems real to you and that even with the new characters, it's connected to what we saw on screen and love about V and C. I never want to lose the long thread. You made me a really happy writer today and I needed the boost.

I've had a bit of an internet connection problem - I think they're working on the lines in my area - and I'm late responding to you, but please know that I've copied your comment to read when I'm feeling blue or nervous or worried about how to say what comes next. Thank you.

C

NYC Utopia said...

Carole... what they ALL said!

Carole W said...

Oh, Claire. Thank you. Big hug.

C