So it turns out that all I needed to break my writer's block was a new season of Haven. Who knew?
This is dedicated to SandraDeee for writing me and asking me where the hell I was (to paraphrase). Thanks, lady. You gave me the kick in the tail I needed to get moving. :)
The characters belong to SyFy.
"Is it working?"
Claire's question brings Audrey out of her daze. She focuses her blue eyes on Claire's impassive face, frowns.
"Is what working?" she asks.
"Pushing the people who love you away. Pretending it doesn't bother you." Claire smiles quickly. She does that, Audrey notices, punctuates profound, personal insights with her dazzling smile and kind eyes.
Don't worry, that expression says, I won't tell anyone how transparent you are.
"Claire…" Audrey's tired of this conversation. "Can we talk about something – anything – else? The Red Sox? The Fall Festival?"
Claire's expression never changes, her eyes never shift or lose focus. It's what makes her a good psychologist; it's also what drives Audrey crazy most of the time.
"You and Nathan typically work the Festival together, don't you? Duke swings by, makes an ass of himself, spends too much money at the Kissing Booth?"
Audrey's sigh of defeat is audible. Her shoulders slump and she leans back against the couch cushions, petulant.
"Nathan is a little busy with Jordan McKee and the Guard. Duke and I are barely on speaking terms at the moment, much less Fall Festival terms. And Tommy's the new guy, so he's working the Festival with the guys."
Claire tilts her head to the side, regards her with neutral, owlish eyes. "So you'll be off, then." Audrey nods. "And you'll be doing what, exactly?"
Audrey has plans. Lots of them. They involve an afternoon at the library, a boat charter, and a conversation with the Teague brothers – not necessarily in that order.
She can't tell Claire that, though, because Claire will try to stop her…or worse, she'll try to go with her and there are some things in life Audrey just needs to do by herself. Like tracking down her origins in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
"I'm going to stay home, do some reading," she lies. "I'm way behind on my collection of trashy vampire novels."
She knows Claire doesn't believe her, but the psychologist lets it go.
She has two voicemails on her phone when she leaves Claire's office. One from Tommy, telling her he feels like he's being punk'd but the cider donuts make up for it.
The second is from Nathan.
"I'm heading back to town, Parker…I know you're not talking, but I'm not giving you a choice. This is big, Audrey, bigger than you know, and I'm not letting you go this easily."
She deletes it, turns off her phone, and walks three blocks from Claire's office to the Haven Public Library.
It's full of children and a handful of harassed volunteers. She waves at Carolina Flint, the new librarian, on her way past the circulation desk.
"Madhouse today," she says and Carolina blows blonde hair from her face, nods.
"Ayup. Archives?" she asks. Audrey nods. "Moved 'em up to the attic reading room a couple of days ago. Little more privacy up there." She pulls a key from her pocket, hands it to Audrey. A little girl runs by, dressed as a pirate and yelling 'huzzah' at the top of her lungs. Carolina shakes her head. "Quieter, too," she says.
Audrey laughs, sounding lighter than she feels. She pockets the key and makes her way to the stairs that lead up to the attic. Once there, she unlocks the door, enters, and locks it behind her. She'd rather not be disturbed while she's searching for her past and since she's got the only key in the building stuck in her pocket, she figures she's safe for the time being.
She pulls out boxes for 1983, 1956, and 1929. The first box she opens, from 1929, is empty. She flips the tops on both 1956 and 1983.
Empty. Both of them.
Well, nearly empty.
She reaches into the box from 1983 and pulls out something heavy and sinister. It takes her a minute, since her most recent memories are from a city upbringing, but eventually she recognizes what the object in her hand is and she drops it back into the box. She knows what it's used for, has seen the damage on X-rays in the morgue.
A bolt gun.