I feel like every day I wake up with zero words, and a new goal. Every day I wonder if I can do it. What is my character going to do today? Where are we going now? How can I show the journey she's taking?
And every day, I close the program, and look at the word count, and I feel fulfilled and hopeful, and frightened of the next day too.
But I am now sitting at over 34,000 words, and I am still on track to finish! And, I think this is one of the most rewarding challenges I've ever faced.
Dikko appears. His face is different, his skin browner and more wrinkled, his teeth longer somehow. He is exactly the same, but almost a different person nonetheless. Terica knows that when she writes this it will be hard to convey the difference along with the sameness.He smiles with his long teeth behind his thin lips. It is still friendly and comforting, but almost disconcerting now. The man gestures, and Terica turns. They are in front of a townhouse, it is Terica's townhouse, that she lived in many years ago. But even though she recognizes the home, it too is different, it is red with white siding, and it has a cedar door. It is an amalgam of several houses she lived in throughout her life. And she recognizes the commonality between them.She almost died in each one. By her own hand.She backs up. Tries to back up, since they are the machine of light, it is impossible for her to move on her own, but she feels her body drawing away. She doesn't want to see this, not this death. Not these deaths."We have to, you have to know this," Dikko says softly. His lips and mouth don't move, it's as if the sound comes from all around them, emanating from the machine they are, that they are in."I can't," Terica whimpers, she feels like she is trying to pull her body away, trying to windmill her arms to avoid these deaths. It is harder than watching the little girl reach desperately for air.Suddenly, with a woosh and a swell, they are inside the house. It too looks like a combination of furnishings and finishes from three other homes. From three other rooms.Rooms where in sadness and desperation she emptied a bottle into her mouth. Rooms where she saw no future, no hope, no tomorrow. They are rooms with walls that stared at her uncaringly during her darkest moments, mocking her pain, selling her sorrow."You tried to commit suicide three times." Dikko states the fact. He doesn't need to ask questions here. He knows everything, everything about Terica, probably everything about the world.But she answers anyway, "Yes," she whispers, her head down, heavy with shame."You threw away a precious gift."With effort and fear she drags her head up. "It was a cry for help, I didn't mean it. I never wanted to die, I just hurt. It just hurt."Even though Dikko can barely hear her quiet words, he knows exactly what she is saying and feeling. He tells her, "You succeeded once." His voice is soothing, almost disturbingly soothing.