Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Two days work on The Shipwrecks of Time, ch. 14. "The Safe House of Francis Delacorte." I first cut the word count by about 200 words, then upped it by about 100 words. I'm still not entirely happy with the chapter, by it is by gar time to move on to ch. 15. "The Long Walk of Carole Harris." Did some hand doodles for the chapter, which I now realize are from the wrong POV. But I haven't been inside Wilma's head in a while, so I need to give her some face time. Or do I? 

An excerpt!

14.    The Safe House of Francis Delacorte

Easter was unseasonably warm, reaching into the 60s. There was a possibility of rain. College students rioted in Fort Lauderdale. They looted delivery trucks and attacked a bus. Girls in bikinis and sweatshirts cheered as burly frat boys with bleached hair and peeling noses picked up a Volkswagen Beetle and ran up and down the street just for the hell of it. It all seemed incredibly juvenile compared to the race riots of the year before and Carole wondered why riots by Afro-Americans received more attention than riots by rich white boys. Was it simply that the latter were more pointless?
     The oil tanker Torrey Canyon, out of al-Ahmadi for Milford Haven, took a shortcut between Cornwall and the Scillys and ran aground on Seven Stones reef, spilling more than a hundred thousand tons of crude oil into the English Channel. Gale winds drove a slick of oil ten-inches thick onto the holiday beaches of Britanny, Normandy, and Cornwall, killing seals, seabirds, and the tourist trade. The Royal Air Force bombed the wreck trying to set the oil ablaze and burn it off. Animal-lovers rushed to wash the petroleum-fouled sea-life. No one knew what to do in such a novel situation, so they improvised frantically. The detergents did more damage than the oil.

     Spring was a fragrant time and yet it seemed to Carole as if it wore Frank out. He worked late almost every day, and sometimes Carole saw him in his office when she prepared to leave. He searched through books or large folders, ran photocopies on the Xerox machine after Nelson had gone for the day. He numbered and filed – all things that Carole was supposed to do! Did he not trust her? Once, when she offered to do the collating for him, he grew abrupt and withdrawn, and Carole worried for hours what she had done to offend him.
     “Nothing,” Wilma told her later. “He’s having a hard time, is all.” But she would not say what it concerned, and Carole noted that Wilma and Frank spent much time in each other’s company.

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