But I still feel like I essentially have done nothing today.
And that's okay, although it does mean there's only one day left of this lovely four-day weekend, which is blazing past at the speed of sound.
I finished NaNo, hooray! The story isn't quite done, but I'm actually pleased with it, which is something else considering I didn't even have a plot when I started (hence why it started so slowly!). I wrote the "last" four thousand words just yesterday (for the win), and I'm about to get to the climax now, which means once I read through for edits, additions, subtractions, etc., it should clock in around 75,000 words or so, and I believe it's Young Adult Urban Fantasy when all is said and done.
Justin turned and looked down. At his feet was a strange little cat. Or a very odd ferret. He wasn’t sure which. It was cream-and-ginger, almost the same color as Barney, one of the many stray cats that Dad had taken in and come to be beloved family members. The creature, whatever it was, was looking up at him with the hopeful, friendly smile of a Disney animated sidekick. It had eyes that were the bright green of fresh Arizona winter grass. “Who are you?” Justin asked again.
“You can call me Ferguson,” was the prompt reply this time.
“Or Fergie, if you like that better.” It sat back on its haunches, and raised a front paw. “Pleased to meet you.”
Justin paused. He wasn’t by nature a suspicious person, but strange magic was, well, strange. It was also rare. This was something none of his magic studies had prepared him for. “I’m Justin,” he said, somewhat hesitantly, and carefully took Fergie’s paw in his fingers and shook it.
“I beg your pardon, but what are you?”
“I’m a carret,” said the creature. “Don’t tell me, there’s none of us over there,” it nodded toward the mirror. “That place always has looked pretty depressing, if you ask me. You’re better off here.”
“But I need to get back, you know. My family is there. And what happened to my brother and Janey?”
“The ones who were dancing? I’m guessing they’re fine. But really, I wasn’t kidding with you. You couldn’t have gone back once you saw the mirror. I’ve seen it happen before. If you’d turned around, you would have gotten really lost.”
“Beats me. Come on. You can only get back by going forward.” It, perhaps he, stood up, flicked his tail, and trotted off along the flagstones, back through the greenhouse.
Justin took another look over his shoulder. It felt to him that it would be a bad idea to touch the glass again. “It was when I passed the ironwood tree, right?” he asked, feeling with his magickal senses, hoping for some clue. Everything was tingling with magic, and he wasn’t good enough to tell exactly where from and what it meant. He wished his oldest brothers, Matthew and Danny, were here. Between them they were able to handle anything weird like this, Matthew the powerful translocator and Danny the ultra-sensitive, who could feel even the smallest grain of magic and tell you everything about it.
Just about anyone in his family would have been better coming here.
“You’ve manipulation magic, haven’t you?” asked Fergie.
“How did you know that?”
“I can feel it.”
Justin looked again at the mirror. “I’ll get back, Zach. I promise,” he whispered, then followed after the carret. “What is a carret, anyway?” he asked.
“What I am,” replied Fergie. “I’m really sad we’re only on this side of the mirror. It always seemed to me everything else was replicated on that side. Not too many people come through, though. They turn back and get lost, and never find their way out again. But I could tell you were magic, and figured you could get through.”
Justin considered that as he walked with Fergie through the greenhouse. When they reached the door, Fergie sat down again and looked up expectantly. “I haven’t thumbs, you know,” he said.
“So how’d you get in here?” asked Justin, opening the door.
“I slip in and out. I came in here with Jeannie, but stayed when she left.”
“You’ll meet her.”
We have a surplus of pie. I made gooey pumpkin cake, but we froze what was left of that, since my family sent us home with both a complete pumpkin pie and a custard pie (neither of which Barb likes much, sadly), so hopefully anyone who comes tonight will want pie.
Lots of pie.
I can't find the lighter, so all the Christmas candles sit unlit now. (Yes, I have matches. I'll do that eventually, if I can't find the lighter.)