little to do with jon by jmforceton

4 Apr

“Little to do with Jon” (Link)

Mason’s Island, Mystic Ct. Thursday, July 10, 2008

Her laughter broke the silence. It was a relief. It was ambrosia for our souls. Usually, during this show, she was yelling at her favorite contestants on Big Brother. The silence in the den, her private space, meant that she had the volume off as commercials ran. As it happened, she was laughing at a particularly absurd commercial, something about Jon Hamm’s, john ham, in an upcoming Saturday Night Live show.

Normally during commercial breaks, she would make notes on her laptop, check email, Facebook, Twitter, or leave the den to top off her wine glass. The truth was, it was a pleasure for all of us, just to see her functioning and see her uninhibited joie de vivre returning. After all, she was the mother of a college student, three in fact, with three more young ones at home. That alone could make a person dis… But I digress; she’d been in a coma nearly three years, only regained consciousness four months ago, after very extensive and complex, endoscopic brain surgery following the horrific crash. Reports of her death had been technically correct, but premature. She would be forced to confront her worst fears when she

He stopped writing, put his glasses down on the desk and rubbed his brow. “I like that,” he thought to himself with a smirk. “I think I’ll polish that a bit, work around it and keep it in the story. She was lucky, after all, I’m not a brain surgeon, and you can only get so much information from the Internet.”

He was glad he had decided to resurrect her. She’d often been a riddle to him, and it seemed he hadn’t been able to get her voice out of his head. Once he decided, it hadn’t been that hard to do, and now it gave him so many more options.

He thought back to the first time she had spoken. It was two weeks after Amelia’s plane had been lost in the Pacific, he was eleven and he wrote a short story for Ms. Campbell’s class at Mather Elementary in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She was a very young aviatrix, a heroine named M. Mary Mayville, who crashed and was later found at sea. For seventy-one years, she had appeared as herself, or as someone else, in nearly every major piece he had written. In Obélisque II, she would be fifty-one, for he had aged her very slowly, and she had evolved into an unconventional actress and mother. What would never change was the fact that she carried Amelia’s same trademark intelligence, love of risk taking, and charismatic charm through her life.

He was sure her friends would approve of her survival. Many were writers, and while they couldn’t email her, they would likely send him their approval. Then on the other hand, you never knew, they might feel otherwise or not respond at all.

He paused a moment before he got up from his desk, glancing at the picture of his granddaughter Lisa among others on the shelf.  He was still euphoric that she read and enjoyed the Amelia Earhart biography he gave her several years ago. Lisa had so many of the same characteristics, yet he was confused by her position at the embassy, and wondered if there was more there than she could admit to. Of all people, he knew Lisa could not be happy as a bureaucratic desk jockey, an office worker. Yet she stayed there 3 years and now had a similar position in Cairo. He also thought for a second how fortunate it was, and how relieved he was, that she and Jimmy broke up. He had known from the start they weren’t right for each other. Both too independent by half, it would have been a sad tale for him to follow.

Finishing a glass of Cabernet, he decided he’d done enough for today, and he realized he had forgotten to call Pat back. Pat should have some ideas by now. Jimmy said he would talk to him on Tuesday, two days ago. Maybe it was time that they all met together, at least once.

Yesterday, returning from his research at the library, he noticed immediately, the unpaid phone bill was at the top of the mail pile. He was sure it had been moved. Unpaid bills always went to the bottom, yet there it sat, on the top. This was only the most recent of a number of troubling incidents in the past month, not the least of which was the glitch that erased, totally wiped, the first five chapters of Obélisque II, from both the hard drive and the backup. It seems odd happenings had started with the misplaced book a few weeks ago, his original marked up copy of Obélisque that he never found.

He was tired and it was already 11:00 pm, Pat was probably asleep. He decided to call it a day and finish Mary’s scene in chapter three in the morning. “Tomorrow I’ll call Pat’s cell,” he thought. He put his new digital hearing aids on the oak nightstand, kicked his leather slippers into the corner, turned off the light, and went to bed.

*     *     *     *

In an old warehouse across the harbor in Groton, a gray- haired man, maybe fifty, is sitting in what looks like a computer lab, talking on a cell phone. “OK, house lights are out, can’t see anything, infrared imaging shows he’s in bed. Yea, yea, that’s right, the stuff you got from the library yesterday could be relevant. We have a guy looking into it. Now we need the real reason for him deciding to put Mayville back in the sequel.” A pause as he listens and moves the mouse around, “OK, but remember, be damned careful, he’s retired FBI and the other guys a decorated Marine, special ops. If they meet face-to-face I want full coverage, no screw-ups like last time. If one of them farts, I wanna know about it. The old guy may know more than we think. Yea, Yea, you fruitcake I’ll email you a link to the Jon Hamm bit. Remember, call me early tomorrow. This guy’s usually up at 5:30 writing.”

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4 Responses to “little to do with jon by jmforceton”

  1. jadamthwaite April 5, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I’m really intrigued now! I think I probably say this every week, but the plot seems to thicken each time!

  2. ingridfnl April 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    I loved the sense of “play” in this piece. I feel the puzzle pieces falling into place.

  3. juleshg April 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    I am glad they are all back again this week. There is a lot happening in this peice and a lot of characters coming together but it really works well. Very tight and well written.

  4. jmforceton April 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Yes to all but, it’s starting to feel like I’m writing an Evonovich story in a room full of Maya Angelou’s.

    Maybe I should try writing advertising copy.

    Jon, trying not to be a Hamm, not.

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