Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chapter 58: Beau Breathes In The Absence

Fri, November 27, 2074 4:04 pm- Blue Heron Dr. (eastbound) Arbormoor, Pleasantview


The sky was blessedly clearing. Beau rolled down his window and brushed away the snow collecting on his windshield. The wipers had stopped working six months ago but his childish sense of priority dictated that he purchase a new stereo instead of putting his money towards a few highly necessary repairs. He regretted that now. It was going to be an ugly winter. Heater was on the blink too. Beau retracted his freezing palm.


The windshield blossomed into a milky fog. Beau tried to look around it rather than through it, growing increasingly bitter with Mother Nature as time passed, his stare meeting the shimmering landscape with disdain. Pine trees capped with snow only brought to mind the fact that he would be sleeping on the sofa that night, away from the leaky windows in the boy's dormitory. He hated winter. Hated it.

Beau reached towards the glove compartment for the all but spent roll of paper towels that he kept nestled away for just such occasions. His hand groped along the passenger side dashboard searching in vain for the compartment door while the fog grew steadily denser. Peeling his eyes from the road, he glanced to the side and when he looked up, something rather unexpected was squatting in his path.


An older woman in a tattered dress glared defiantly at him, not six feet away from the grill of his car. Beau gripped the steering wheel and made a hard right, punching the breaks. His aging tires skid on the icy road, bringing him almost full circle from where he had started. The world was moving much more quickly than he would have anticipated and the tail end of his car was soon set on a collision course with yet another unexpected blockade.


He saw her only as a flash of blue against the undergrowth. By this point, there was no control left to be had. He heard a hard thump near the backseat and saw a bit of pastel colored taffeta hit the window before drifting away like a bank of snow. The car came to a screeching halt.


Beau clutched his chest and tried to slow his ragged breathing. He didn't know what to do. He shifted gears and slowly, carefully backed the car up, thinking that he could better assess the situation from a slight distance. It was irrational but it was the best that his adrenaline-addled brain had to offer. He sat for a moment, adjusting and readjusting his wheels until he was parallel with the road again. Shutting off the ignition, he unlocked the door.


Beau did not have much of an appreciation for aesthetics but the girl in the middle of the road was all Titian hair and fluid angles. He admired the pink of her hand against the powdered gray of the asphalt, the ellipse of negative space that formed between her parted lips, the tension in her eyelids squeezed shut. All one hundred eighteen pounds of her, more beautiful than anything that he could imagine. Shakily, he lifted his body out of the car.


The girl was stirring. She rubbed her head in confusion and looked back into the thicket. She had been thrown quite a ways from where she was walking. And suddenly, Beau realized that the woman in the white dress was missing. He twisted on his heels. He bent down and checked underneath his car. It was impossible. There was no where for her to have gone.

"Son of a monkey's butthole." Beau pulled himself up to his full height with the sound of the girl's voice.

"Are you alright?" he asked.

"No thanks to you," she shouted back. Beau walked over to where she sat and helped her up from the ground. She yanked her arms from his grasp.

"Are you sure you're ok?" he repeated. The girl shot him a venomous look.

"I'm fine. What the hell is your deal, anyway?"


"I- There was someone else in the road. I swerved to keep from hitting her." Beau continued to glance around, incredulous of his own story. His piece of shit car was his only witness and it was, at that very moment, no friend of his.

"Really? That's the best you can do?" the girl seethed. Beau ran his fingers through his hair.

"I know it doesn't sound very likely but I swear there was someone. I could draw her face for you in the snow. That's how clear I am that I saw her."

"What the- What does that even mean? You're out of your mind! I could have been killed!"

"I'm sorry." The snow was starting to fall again. Beau nervously fiddled with the hem of his vest. "You shouldn't be walking around out here like this anyway."


"Well thank you for the warning, Captain Safety. I come home this way everyday and this is the first time some hallucinatory jackass has tried to plow me down with his car," she huffed. Beau studied the white clouds that passed through her lips when she spoke. Amid each billowing plume of steam, he breathed in the absence of her breath. When she exhaled, he inhaled. The rhythm was vaguely hypnotic. The girl snapped her fingers in front of his eyes. "Um, ground control to Major Tom! How's it going up there, space cadet?" Beau's vision refocused. Maybe she was right. Maybe he was losing his mind.

"Mother of God, you're a lunatic," the girl muttered, turning to walk away.

"Wait, I feel really bad about this. I'll drive you wherever you want to go," he offered desperately. The girl's eyes widened in amusement but the smile that stretched across her face was ripe with scorn.

"And you think I would jump in a car with you... Why exactly?" she asked.

"Because you need a ride and I need someone to grab the wheel in case I start seeing more stuff that isn't there," he said. The girl laughed dryly.

"Tempting but no thanks."

"Ok, how about this- You're probably better off riding in the car with me than walking around outside of it with me driving in your general vicinity."

"That's not logical."

"Yeah, well I'm starting to think that life isn't logical." She stared at him blankly for a moment and he leaned back on his heels. He couldn't let her go so soon. In all probability, he would not have these sorts of thoughts about another person for a very long time. Silently, she walked over to the passenger door.


When Beau got into the car and fastened the seatbelt at his waist, he found the girl adjusting the vents on her side. He didn't have the heart to tell her that the heater only blew cold.

"Where to?" he asked uncomfortably, tilting his rearview mirror.

"Home. Tellerman Farm," she replied.


"Oh." Beau did a double take. It hadn't consciously occurred to him before but her accent, her body language, the way she turned her gaze to the ground every time their eyes accidentally met-- He could have sworn that she was a Townie. "What's your name?"

"Felicity Bennett," she said quietly.

"Oh." She was a Townie. He wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that.


"Yes, I am Townie-born," she said, reading his mind. "And if that makes you feel strange then you are free to dump me back where you found me, which you'll probably be doing anyway after you strangle me to death or whatever it is that psycho killers do these days." Beau felt the color draining from his face.


"I'm- No, my best friends are Townie-born. I'm not a- a bigot or anything I just-" He didn't have the means to finish that thought. She was staring right through him and he, by comparison felt extraordinarily small. "Let's start over. My name is Beau," he sputtered.


He couldn't have said what it was about her. She was pretty, that was true enough but there was more to it than mere prettiness. Beau tapped his fingers on the steering wheel and started the ignition, diminishing beneath her gaze like an ant frying under a magnifying glass. Felicity settled in her chair.

"I'm trusting you with my life, Captain," she announced. And there was nothing more to say.


  1. Ah-ha! I knew it was Beau in the preview pic!

    It would seem that he has a crush. Interesting development here.

    Felicity's a real firecracker, isn't she? Got some real spirit there, that girl does. I can't wait to see what you do with both of these characters.

    And Beau's outfit! *dies*

  2. *hahaha* Oh man, I've been waiting to unleash that outfit on Beau for SO LONG! I miss A+S2=Error!

    Ok, here's the thing- Beau and Felicity are about to embark on very separate adventures that are going to take them very far away from one another. BUT I am determined that they will be brought back together. Somehow. Some way. It must happen. And it isn't just destiny. There was meddling afoot, as there often is when something weird happens in Arbormoor, Pleasantview.

  3. LOL!!! Felicity is A LOT nicer than I would have been if someone hit me with a freakin' car!! But I do love her spunk! And Beau just looks adorable confused!! A d'awww moment really!

    *rubs hands together*

    Meddling is afoot? Awesome!

  4. Yeah, I was actually having to curb my desire to make her as mean as say, Madeline would have been if he had hit her with his car. *hehe* Poor Beau. First he's a homicidal maniac. Then he's a racist homicidal maniac... He's never going to get a date.

    Women who appear out of no where and vanish don't just grow on trees. :p And come to think of it, neither do drowning rescues where the rescuers begin their rescue several minutes before the actual drowning.

  5. Whoa...I'm shaking my own head over the old woman in the tattered dress. Poor Beau; he has no idea does he? And Felicity is absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Son of a monkey's butthole is right!

    This was awesome Pen, I simply love Felicity and I can't wait to see more of her. Is her family tree up?

    I feel like I cheated because I was also harrassing you online while reading this over and over. But I am absolutely brain farting over the old woman. She just HAPPENS to show up in the middle of the road just at the right moment for Beau to hit Felicity and ALMOST kill her. Forshadowing, I say, forshadowing.

    You're really good at descriptive writing. You're opener bossed it.

  7. Gayl: Beau has no idea what just happened to him. But I suppose that if enough strange things start happening to him, he might begin just going with the flow.

    Veron: Oh yeah, the Bennetts are on the family tree. Click here.

    Hehehe Coincidence? Probably not. :)

    Thanks, Veron!

    *runs off to read Sessions*

  8. I swear I've read this about 10 times, staring at both the old woman and Beau and Felicity and everything. And the way you describe Beau sitting there in the car with NO workable wipers because he wanted a stereo? How about a heater while you're at it, Beau!

    You always draw me completely into the moment no matter where you decide to place it. Out in the snow or inside a restaurant. I just love it!

    I don't believe in coincidences so I'm sure there's a reason why 'old woman' engineered it so that Beau smacked into Felicity. Who really has guts to get into the car with him!

    Wonderful, wonderful writing!

  9. hahahaha Beau's car is a piece of crap. And if he keeps driving like that, he'll soon have a lot bigger problems than the wipers and the heater.

    Thanks, Beth!

    I do have to wonder why Felicity got in the car with him. She might have recognized him from school but he didn't recognize her. And even then, it's still hard to understand why she would do that. Ah, the impetuousness of youth.

  10. the impetuousness of youth? How about really cute guy and a great excuse. Yeah snowy road he might run into me (ummm...probably not) SNOWY ROAD and whatever else she can come up with!

    you got to be kidding!!

  11. LOL, Beth! Snowy road, no windshield wipers and his tires have very little traction. And it could very well be that he looked adorable there, pouting and stammering and wide-eyed staring. Maybe it was clear to her that he was harmless.

  12. Aww, Beau has a crush on a Townie girl! And she lives on Tellerman Farm. Dum Dum Dum! This was very amusing indeed. I can't wait to see more of these two.

    I have to ask, what set of eyes are Felicity, Beau and Adelaide using? I remember the first time I read the story I was mesmerized by Adelaide's eyes, but I only remembered to ask about them now.

  13. *hehe* Poor, poor Beau Broke.

    Oh! Someone asked about those eyes in the comments section ages ago. I need to find the links again. I know the eyes are by Haelene and they're defaults. Let me see if I can track them down.

  14. The non-defaults are here. It's the file labeled "sparkling eyes".

  15. Oh yay! Thank you :D

    Figures Helaene would make them. She always makes the best stuff.