Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Genre: YA/New Adult Paranormal
Lyndon Harker's living room was covered in mounds of paper. Shredded paper to be exact. Lyndon counted dozens of tiny mounds of ripped up, cut up, and obliterated stationery scattered about the apartment. Mostly old newspapers and out-of-date magazines. His home looked like a mole field.
"Isaac," he sighed, shutting the front door. He glanced into the open kitchen and saw the oven clock: 3:02. His interview was in twenty-eight minutes. He didn't have time for this. His unexpected lunch shift had cost him enough time.
He could hear his brother grunting back in his own room. Lyndon dropped his server's apron next to the front door, crossed to Isaac's room, and knocked.
"Hey, Eyes," he said, using his brother's nickname. "You in there?"
The grunting continued but there was no response. Lyndon considered this permission to enter.
Lyndon Harker's twin brother sat on the floor with a pair of scissors in one hand and a half-annihilated book in the other. Isaac was going to town ripping the text to pieces. A sliver of his tongue poked through his lips as he sliced into at least twenty pages at a time. Isaac grunted as he destroyed more and more pages — it was a rather thick book. Thicker, Lyndon noticed, than the destroyed newspapers and magazines in the living room. . . .
Lyndon realized what Isaac was chopping into and scrambled for it. Isaac jumped back, flinging the scissors behind him. Lyndon grabbed the remaining half of the text book from his brother, but it was too late. Mass Media in the 21st Century: 3rd Edition had been cut down the middle. It now read, "Mass Me in 3rd Ed."
"That's great, Isaac," Lyndon seethed. "This book cost $150."
"You're not in school," Isaac reminded him. Indifferent, he pushed Lyndon aside and grabbed the scissors. He held his hand out expectantly for the rest of the book. "Give it to me.”
"No, give me those," Lyndon said. He took the scissors from his brother and stood up, holding onto a now $75 journalism textbook. Fuming, Isaac dropped his head toward the ground. "What's the matter, Eyes?"
Isaac didn't respond. He picked at a loose thread in his left sock.
Lyndon checked the clock on Isaac's bedside table. It was almost ten after. Only twenty minutes left. He needed to change and go, but he couldn't leave Isaac in a state like this.
"Eyes, wait right here," Lyndon said. He hurried to his bedroom and grabbed the suit he had laid out before his morning shift at the restaurant and hurried back into his brother's room. He began changing at once, stripping off his uniform that reeked of steak-and-potatoes.
With his shirt and pants off, he grabbed his undershirt and button-up and returned to the topic of Isaac’s distress. "So what's wrong? Why are you cutting up half a library?"
"It didn't come," Isaac grumbled. He yanked out the loose sock thread and tucked it in his pocket.
"What didn't come?" Lyndon was buttoning the last few buttons, and then grabbed his pants.
"The chain for the drawbridge."
"What?" Lyndon was currently distracted. He had put his left leg into the right pant leg by mistake, and momentarily panicked when he thought half his pants were gone, fearing Isaac might’ve started his tirade on polyester. He quickly corrected his mistake.
"The chain, Lyndon. The chain!" Isaac groaned. He scrambled over to his castle. It was an enormous model built from plastic building blocks and sat in the corner of his bedroom. The structure was impressive and at least four feet tall. The turrets and towers were built with amazing uniformity and skill. But the drawbridge was the only piece left unfinished. At the moment, it lay flat, as if the king and queen had lowered it for guests, but as the drawbridge was without a chain to control its openings or closings, Lyndon knew the castle could be invaded at any moment. At least, that was what Isaac kept reminding him of.
"Right, I'm sorry," Lyndon said, tightening his tie. He needed a mirror to make sure it was on properly. "You speak with the mail woman?"
"She wouldn't talk to me," Isaac said.
Lyndon had heard this before. Isaac rarely spoke to strangers, especially women. Though born only moments apart, Isaac’s condition had stunted a normal and mature development. Lyndon would have to remember to catch the mail woman the next time he was off a lunch shift. Whenever that may be.
"Listen, Eyes," he said, grabbing his jacket and throwing it on. "I've got that interview at the paper in about fifteen minutes, remember?"
Isaac nodded, but he was still staring at his vulnerable castle.
"You think you'll be all right while I'm gone? I can take you with me if you want, but you'll have to wait in the lobby."
Isaac shook his head. No surprise there, Lyndon thought.
"Okay. I'll only be gone for an hour or so."
"Go!" Isaac moaned, shoving his face in his hands.
Lyndon sighed, but there wasn't anything else he could do for his brother. He checked the mirror in the bathroom between their rooms — the tie was a little short, but no time — and he barreled out the front door.
Luckily, he had found a parking spot in front of his building and was at his car door in a second. He unlocked the door and had one leg inside when he heard his name.
It was a female voice. He looked around and saw a young woman he had never seen in his life, and, by the way she dressed, he was sure he would've remembered her. She had bright frizzy red hair and wore a large purple shawl wrapped around her thin frame. He couldn't understand why a person would smother themselves in wool in the middle of the summer, especially in the humid climate of Arkansas.
But he had more harried concerns than her wardrobe choices. How was he supposed to tell her he was running late and couldn't bother to talk? Over the years, he was used to strangers greeting him in public. His parents had been well-known in the community while they lived, and during his teens, he frequently met their fans. However, the random meetings had waned in the last few years.
"You're Lyndon Harker, right?" she said, hurrying to him. Her red hair bounced behind her, and she pulled her shawl tightly around her shoulders. She had a face full of tiny freckles that lightened as she exclaimed, "You are him!"
"Yes, I am, but — "
"I've been trying to speak with you for weeks," she gasped. She was too young to be a fan of his parents. Most of them were in their fifties or older. His parents had died so long ago.
"Thanks. I — "
She cut him off again. "My name's Koral Waters."
Despite his hurry to leave, her odd name tripped him up. "I'm sorry. Koral Waters?"
"Yeah, yeah. I've heard it all," she dismissed. "And it's Koral with a K, okay?"
"Okay," Lyndon said. "I'm sorry, but I'm actually running late."
"Oh, I'm sorry!" she said, her cheeks flushing. "I didn't know. I should've known that, too. Shoot."
"No, no, it's not your fault," Lyndon said, confused by what she meant. She should've known? "I've got a meeting. And I just need to get there, like, fifteen minutes ago."
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