But I have been working on it rather steadily for the past few weeks, and I’m feeling confident that I will get there, and that this book will be finished soon. -ish.
You all have been waiting so very patiently for me to finish, though, and I’d like to thank you all for that. Therefore, here is an excerpt of GCA3: To See Clearly so you can get an idea of where this story is headed. I hope you enjoy it.
And SURPRISE! it’s not another story about Rahab at Grover Cleveland. The main character is Bracken Carnegie and the story is set two years before GCA1: Into the Flames.
Bracken got up and went to Analiese’s room. He rapped on her door and waited for her cheerful “come in” even though he could see through the door that she was just sitting on her bed. She had already changed out of her uniform and was wearing a Flogging Molly shirt and pajama pants.
Bracken sat down on her desk chair and propped his Converse up on the edge of her bed.
“Hey, there, stranger,” Analiese said. “What’s up with you?”
“I thought you wanted to talk about cheerleading camp.”
“Oh, what happens at cheerleading camp stays at cheerleading camp,” Analiese replied glibly. “I want to know if you found anything to do around here for the past two weeks while I was gone.”
“As much as usual,” he said. He thought about telling her about the tattoo, which was constantly reminding him of its existence with its itching, but he hadn’t gotten it to show off. It was there to remind himself that beneath the surface, he was different. That he would always be different. And that was something even Analiese wouldn’t understand.
“What are you thinking about?” Analiese asked, leaning over to scrutinize him. She had the same piercing deep blue eyes that he did. But they looked better on her pixie face, and he doubted they could see through solid objects.
“Do you remember Ianto?”
“Ianto?” Analiese scratched her head. “It sounds familiar. That’s a funny name, though, isn’t it?”
Bracken sighed; of course she wouldn’t remember. She had only been five, and Ianto, a teenage employee of their parents, wouldn’t have been interesting to her. “He was Mr. Jamison’s son,” Bracken said.
“Oh, yeah, I remember now. I had forgotten his name,” Analiese said. “He died when we were little, didn’t he?”
“You were thinking about him? Why?”
Bracken took a breath, ready to tell her about the vision, about how it was all his fault. But instead the words came out as, “No reason in particular.”
Her pursed lips told Bracken that she knew he was holding back, but she didn’t push it. She never did. Instead she said, “Mom’s being a jerk to me today.”
“According to you, she is always a jerk.”
“Yeah, but you’d think she could at least notice when I get home from a two-week camp. Like, ‘Hi, Ana, I’ll tell Maria to set another plate for dinner.’” Analiese flipped her hair. “Instead I had to go tell Maria I was back myself.”
“You love talking to Maria. And Maria loves to give you cookies and milk like you’re still five.”
“I know.” Bracken could almost hear the words she didn’t say: But that’s not the point.
They sat in silence for a minute, Analiese biting her nails and Bracken flicking his cigarette lighter on and off. Bracken had a vision of Analiese sitting in this very rom, packing to go off to her boarding school. Nothing too exciting there. What was the point of having visions if they were mundane things, things that he wouldn’t even want to change? What did Bracken care if Analiese packed three pairs of flip-flops?
Bracken heaved a sigh. The flashing lights of his visions often gave him a headache.
“What did The Patriarch have to say to you?” Analiese asked, probably thinking that was what the sigh was about.
“I got expelled from Manchester.”
“Big surprise there,” Analiese said. “You know, one of these days you could try not getting expelled.”
“Not getting expelled?” Bracken repeated, as if she had made a revolutionary suggestion.
“Yeah. Just, like, try not setting fire to the dorms. Or not playing strip poker with the dean’s daughter. Or not disassembling all the computers in the lab and selling the parts on e-bay.”
“I don’t need a list of all my grievances, thank you, counselor,” Bracken said. “And besides, the fire was an accident.”
“But why were you smoking in the dorms in the first place? Why do you do any of it in the first place?” Analiese crossed her arms. “You don’t strike me as the type of person to need attention from authority figures.”
“I do it to distract myself.”
“Distract yourself from what?”
Bracken stood up, knocking the chair over in the process. “I get enough of these interrogations from dad and my teachers. I don’t need them from you too.”
Analiese raised her hand to grab his arm. “Sorry, sorry. I’m sorry.”
Bracken sat back down. “It’s okay. I just…I know nobody believes me, but I don’t do it to get in trouble. I just…”
“Sorry,” Analiese said again. “So where’s dad sending you this time? Boot camp? Yank out that earring, and you’d make a fine soldier.”
“Ha ha, no thanks,” Bracken said. “No, he’s not desperate enough for military school yet.”
“So where is it?” Analiese asked.
“Does it matter? I’m just going to get expelled again.”