In this tidbit from DREAMER, we see Jessa fine-tuning a story she’s written for a scholarship contest, and second-guessing herself, as usual. Finn’s having none of that, of course . . .
“What are you working on now?” he asks, taking off his headphones and moving the DVD player off his lap.
“It’s another story,” I say. “I’m thinking about entering it in a Flash Fiction scholarship contest.”
I can already see the question forming so I answer it before he can ask. “Flash Fiction is a short story that’s usually 500 words or less. You have to tell a lot in very few words.”
“And you could win a scholarship with that?”
“Yeah. It’s for Connecticut College. They’re a private school, and not very big, but their writing program is one of the best around. If I win the scholarship, it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll be offered admission, as long as I keep my grades up.”
“That sounds like a fine idea,” he says. “May I?” He gestures down to my journal and my hand covers it reflexively.
“It’s not very good yet…”
“Rubbish.” He reaches over and pulls the notebook onto his lap and leans back against the headboard next to me. I fidget with my pen and gnaw my lip as he reads, but after a moment I find myself studying his face again, the way the light plays along the line of his nose, the way his oh-so-long eyelashes fan out, the curve of his lips. I move back up to his eyes, and then flush hot red when I meet them dead on. His mouth quirks up into a smile.
“It’s all right, love,” he says. “I was staring at you the whole time you were writing.”
“You’ve known my face longer than I’ve known yours,” I remind him.
“Ah, but I don’t know you, do I?” he says. “Not entirely. I get bits and pieces. Like this story.”
“It’s not about me.”
“I can see that. It’s about me. Or I should say, your Finn.”
I start to tuck my hair nervously behind my ear, and he reaches out to help me. I feel the flush of my skin where his hand touches.
“This story is kind of a first for me,” I confess. “I usually write from my memories – both here and other places. He – you – told me once about the tree. I just went from there.”
“And with only that to go on, you’ve captured us well. All of us,” he says. “That’s quite the gift you have.”
Jessa and Finn have some very real struggles finding their real selves among all the selves they visit in their alternate universes. It makes for one adventurous ride! DREAMER arrives next Spring!