We've been got a lot of rain lately, which is good, because then we don't have to worry about fires, but it does make flash flooding a concern. There was a lightning clap so loud yesterday that the cats came into the room and stared at me like it was my fault.
I'm going to do something really fun tomorrow night, and I can't wait. I'll post about it either this weekend or Monday.
I still don't know what's going to happen with Emilie and the Hollow World and Emilie and the Sky World, with the closing of Strange Chemistry, the publishing line. Waiting to find out is kind of nerve-racking. If you were ever thinking of getting them, or any of the other Strange Chemistry Books, you might want to think about doing it soon.
For the heck of it, here's the first couple pages of Emilie and the Sky World:
Emilie took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
Twilight had fallen, and the quiet street smelled strongly of dinner. Karthea's house, like all the others, had a chunky stone facade and wood-framed windows with cheerful curtains and potted flowers on the stoop. The gas lamp on the corner had already been lit, glowing bright in the failing daylight.
There was no answer immediately and Emilie began to wonder if Karthea had closed the school temporarily and gone on some journey. If so, it was less of a disaster than it would have been a fortnight ago. Emilie had money enough for a room at an inn or boarding house, but it would be disappointing not to see her cousin. And wandering through town looking for a suitable place to stay was considerably less daunting than it had been a fortnight ago as well, especially considering that she had company.
"Maybe she didn't get my letter, or the package I sent," Emilie told Daniel, who stood patiently beside her. "Though I'm not arriving when I said I would."
"I think I hear someone inside," Daniel said. "It's nearly time for dinner, maybe she's just busy with--"
The door flung open, and Karthea stood there, wearing an apron and holding a partially peeled beet. "Emilie, you're days late! I was so worried!" Her eyes fell on Daniel, and she frowned in confusion. "Where have you been?"
"Karthea," Emilie said, smiling. "I have had an adventure!"
Karthea's eyes widened, then narrowed. She grabbed Emilie's arm and dragged her inside. To Daniel, she said, "Excuse us, please," and shut the door.
They stood in a dim hall, lit by a gas sconce and from brighter lights in the room at the far end. Emilie could hear the voices of young girls somewhere nearby, and a clatter of dishes. It smelled homey and comfortable, of books, dust, boiling beets from the kitchen. She took a deep breath. She had meant this place to be her refuge; it felt better to be coming to it as a guest.
Karthea still held her arm, and was trying unsuccessfully to look intimidating. Karthea was mostly Southern Menean like Emilie, with warm brown skin and dark eyes. She and Emilie looked a little alike in the face, though Karthea was taller and myopic and always wore eyeglasses. She had inherited their side of the family's somewhat unmanageable hair, and hers was just as frizzy and curling as Emilie's, in the process of escaping from the band she had tried to use to confine it. "Are you eloping?" Karthea demanded.
It was so unexpected, Emilie laughed. "Of course not!"
It was the laugh that convinced Karthea; Emilie saw the relief and chagrin in her expression. Karthea said, "Oh. But who's that young man?"
"He's Daniel, one of Dr Marlende's students. He needs a place here in town to stay while we're waiting for the doctor and Miss Marlende to get back from Meneport. I thought you would know of a boarding house."
"But who are the Marlendes?"
Emilie lifted her brows. "So can Daniel come in?"
"Oh. Oh!" Flustered, Karthea pulled open the door. "I'm so sorry. Please do come in."
Daniel stepped inside, smiling diffidently, trying to look harmless. He was only a few years older than Emilie, and Southern Menaen as well, with brown skin and curly dark hair. He had replaced his cracked spectacles with a spare pair kept on Dr. Marlende's airship, and looked much more respectable than when Emilie had first met him in a cell in the sea people's fortress. Emilie said, "Daniel, this is my cousin Karthea."
"How do you do?" Karthea frowned again, but this time in concern. She nodded toward the sling Daniel wore. "Your poor arm. What happened?"
"He was shot in the shoulder," Emilie said. At Karthea's horrified expression, she explained, "It's part of the adventure. And it's a long story, so we should sit down."
June 26th, 10:56