11/13/2022 NaNoWriMo, BANSHEE BEACH: 1817/29883.

I was going to just get some wordcount in – I watched television today, without shame – but then I hit a rhythm.

“Gah,” Lucas told me. Right now he had a face like a fish: open, kind of flapping, and no sound coming out. It had taken me five minutes to explain the situation, and I could almost see the gears lock up in his brain as he tried to follow along.

“So, yeah, it was just upper class fun and games. But, hey, nothing really bad happened, right?” I thought about it. “Except to the xylophone. But that just means there’s one less xylophone in the world, so it all evens out.”


“And you’re going to get paid! Twice, even. Sofie’s gonna match whatever the highest amount you get for the other statues, plus a little extra for your troubles.” I leaned forward. “Just between you and me, amigo: go ahead and make sure that extra ain’t little. Just to drive the lesson home, right? Oh, and the Smithees will be happy if you can do this little thing for them, too. Their Aunt Dolores — you’d like her, I think — would just love to make some friendly deals with the Adventurer’s Guild. I guess just to keep things friendly. So, that’ll work out for you.”


I sighed as I stood up. Clearly the guy needed some time to work through all of this. “Look, we never did have that breakfast, so why don’t you go get cleaned up, and we can go eat?” As I passed Lucas, still sitting in his chair, he suddenly started fumbling, like he was trying to say something, anything, that could somehow make all of this make any sense.

I grabbed his shoulder. “Forget it, Luke. It’s Cinderella.”