“There you are, Jeep!” I said to young Ms. Thompson the other day. “I haven’t heard from you for awhile.”
“Oh, there YOU are,” she said back, seeming a little cross. “So you didn’t forget me after all.”
“No, no, I think about you all the time. I stopped hearing your voice.”
“Right. Me and Blaine and Bill have been chattering away and running around tarnation, but you didn’t hear any of that,” she snapped. “Do you know how hot it is in Snoggle Swamp? We could have just picked up Snooger and been on our way, but you haven’t been there.” She grabbed my hand, not in a friendly way, and splayed my fingers. “Not broken, then. I didn’t think so.”
“You know how to hear my voice?” she said, her eyes flashing with a flame that accentuated her red hair. “Sit down and listen for it. ’Sall there is to it.”
“Point taken,” I said ruefully.
“Point taken — but hearing given? promises renewed?” she asked with a combination of restrained fury and skeptical hope. “Get us out of the swamp and back on the road, and I’ll forgive you. I always do.”
“That’s what I like about you,” I said.
“No, you like that I’m on Venus meeting giants and snoggles and searching for a missing prince while running from the Castle Guard,” she said with a flip of that hair. “You don’t care whether I forgive you, or you wouldn’t disappear for days at a time, sometimes weeks.”
“Cut me some slack, Jeep, I’ve been trying to get this novel done, really.”
“Excuse me? W.P.?” Blaine asked from just behind Jeep. Blaine, of course, is a vampire, but it’s not like that sounds.
“Hey, Blaine, how are you?”
“Not as mad as Jeep, but I just wanted to ask,” he said with that droll, lilting voice of his. “I think if you were really trying to get the novel done, you’d be finished by now. You’re always writing, just everything except our story.”
That was a low blow. I could tell by the sinking feeling that he was right.
“You’re right,” I said. “I’m going to get serious, starting now.”
“You know why I don’t believe you?” Jeep said with a smirk.
“Instead of getting us out of the swamp, you’re sitting here writing a blog post about it.”