Briefly, in part one, you're driving me home and I'm entertaining you with one of my stories.
"This island is woven together by an interlocking web. Paved roads connect groceries stories to the school, the community centre and to the church. But not all roads are paved."
"Don't I know it. Sometimes you feel like you're not in a car at all." You looked at me. "You know like you're on a horse."
I frowned and you said "Oh, sorry. Really, I am listening, Please, go on."
I continued the story. "On a gravel road." I nodded left, directing you to make the turn. "and down an overgrown forest path sits an ancient cabin. It hasn't changed since it was built some hundred years ago. Lovingly restored tenderly maintained but not changed." I took a short break, just long enough to say, "Yes, this is the road. Keep going."
You mumble something. Maybe about the road being so bumpy, but I ignored you.
"Practical in design, the cabin blends into its surroundings. Over the years, the earth has embraced the house--cradling, concealing it in--"
"Which house is yours?"
"Just keep driving, I'll tell you when we get there. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, concealing it in its green bosom. A thick layer of dust covers the life and love that dwells in this house. This house. This is the house. This is where I live. Stop."
"What? Oh." You stop but not in time. "Oh, sorry."
"Turn around in my neighbour's driveway," I breathed out slowly and reminded myself to stay calm. "The house swaddles and keeps its inhabitant warm through the winter of her soul. Within its walls, she still feels his presence."
You slowed the car in front of my house like you were expecting me to just get out. But I haven't finished the story yet. "You should park. You don't want to waste gas." And the story, "Here he lives, breaths. That's all I have so far. What do you think?" I expected a positive review or at least a thank you for sharing. But all you say is, "Are you terribly lonely?" Like that has anything to do with anything.
"Why would I be? My husband only commutes two days a week. The last ferry will bring him home." I crawled out of your car and up my steep driveway. Ah, the life of a storyteller.
Next post: Sunday, July 22nd at (approximately) 5 PM PST
I'll review The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
What's a circular plot? What are thriller authors--in particular--skilled at?