7 - Stumblin’ In

7 - Stumblin’ In

A Chapter by Tertia

Chapter 7

That Sunday night they came stumblin’ in to the house and felt their way down the hall, stopping at the landmark of the bottom of the stairs. The house creaked and there was a musty smell. ‘Where you going?’ he said.

‘Huh, where do you think,’ she said half falling over.

‘I thought...,’ he stopped mid-sentence, raising his eyebrows and looked up the stairs that disappeared out of sight.

‘Oh,’ she looked away, breathing impatiently. ‘You liked...’

‘...yes, didn't you?’

‘It was, uh nice, yeah, but that was exceptional circumstances,’

‘Bless this haunted house and all its ghosts then,’

‘Don’t say that,’ She moved closer, her eyes widening in the dark ‘You’re not falling for me, are you Verrs?’

‘Course not, we’re friends,’ he said, gritting his teeth, not knowing if he was lying or not, his mind in a state of confusion.

‘Or am I just an anybody?’

‘No, you’re you. It’s not... I cant explain. It’s just different,’

‘And?’ she said quickly, sighing heavily.

‘You’re more than a friend which puts you up here,’ he raised his arm up high with his hand flat. She took a couple of steps towards her bedroom door and turned on her heels, smiling to herself in the thinning gloom as the hall’s features loomed up like ships in the mist or like children appearing after a game of hide and seek, their faces uncertain and full of mischief.

In bed they moulded together as one, so much so he didn’t know where he ended and she began or where she ended and he began. She perfectly filled the gaps where he wasn’t. And all was dark and cold around them, but their world was complete. They talked through the night about everything and anything and he became more aware and aroused by her. He wanted to take things further, to love her, but there was that final barrier. Most men he thought, most men would, but he wasn’t most men, he was something more than that.

She watched him warily with knowing eyes as he became more relaxed and confident. She told him about her family and home on the Devon coast. She had two younger brothers and a sister, her house was always full and busy with people coming and going. Her mum was an older version of her and had her when she was young. They would swim in the sea summer to autumn on a beach where the tourists didn’t go and in winter go into a hibernation of sorts.

‘What about you?’ she said.

‘Me, ahh, well not much to say there,’

‘Oh?’ she let his closed statement hang in the air and sure enough the results came.

‘I live on the edge of a deadend town where the houses run out and the buses take you nowhere. Where the road disappears because there’s no more street lights and the other way the city takes forever to get to. I live in a place that’s so quiet the church bells are a shock and disturbance, where the nearest shop is a good country mile away,’

‘That was quite poetic in a depressing way, but you’re near the lochs and glens?’

‘Well,’ he hesitated.

‘And the mountains, surely you’re near the mountains,’ she said excitedly.

‘There’s a back route to all of it, yes. Across the lanes and fields and derelict lands. You can walk it, if you like a long trek, you could walk for days and see no one, it’s not like England. You may run into farm animals that are loose or a sudden storm that would ruin you. It is very cold at the best of times, this is like the Bahamas in comparison,’

‘Sounds interesting, I’d like to see it someday,’


‘Yes, people say it’s beautiful,’

‘Ah, it is. To me the islands are the most beautiful, they are untouched and as they originally were, but I like the remoteness of the mainland too, in the far north especially; no one’s ever been there a lot of it is unexplored,’

In that instant he realised he was talking to himself as he heard the quiet rhythm of her breathing, he looked down at her to see her at peace in the land of nod. She looked complete and innocent. Later he woke with a start as she was blowing words in his ear. ‘Lana, Lana, what about Lana?’ He sat up in bed, sweating, staring at the night. At the window and the faint veil of moonlight it offered.

‘What about her?’ he said.

‘What about who?’

‘the girl you met,’

‘I don’t know. What about her? What do you mean?’

‘You said it?’ he said.

‘I didn’t say it or anything. I’ve been asleep. You woke me up. You must’ve been dreaming,’

‘Oh...yeah...I must’ve, sorry,’ he said and absent-mindedly he kissed her and collapsed down on the mattress, staring up at the ceiling.

‘Someone’s got a guilty conscience,’ she said kissing him on the cheek and snuggling in as the rain came washing away the dirt and filling the gutters. The wind got up and rattled the dustbins and made the house creak. Black clouds rolled over blocking out the moon and stars. There was a distant rumble of thunder and Lucas got up and stood at the bay window watching out for lightning flashes. In the reflection of the glass he saw her stood behind him in a shimmer of white. She moved close and put her arms around him. ‘Come to bed,’ she whispered. He didn’t react and kept staring out at the rain-washed night, so she moved off. She watched him, continually assessing him and wondering about him. His bedside cabinet was a picture of still life. A half empty packet of paracetamol, an empty bottle of bud and copper coins strewn.

© 2021 Tertia

Author's Note

In chapter 8 Lucas sings in the shower

My Review

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"Where I stop & she begins" (or any version of this) is tired and cliche. Please apply your sparkling creativity & say that in a more original way. She says he's poetic & that's a fact! I love the poetic way you describe places in this chapter. As usual, smooth, realistic, revealing dialogue, especially the passage starting with: "‘You’re not falling for me, are you Verrs?' " and ending with " 'And?' she said quickly" -- this is a great example of how you are so good at delivering the nuance of push-and-pull & feeling when you write dialogue (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Months Ago

In this chapter Verrs and Daggs get intimate, the last paragraph intimating that they are about to go all the way. The chapter is more wordy than previous ones, as the two reveal themselves to each other more freely. The dialogue is excellent, reflecting the way people really talk.

Posted 2 Months Ago

I enjoyed the night scene especially the line where you said everything in the room looked like a ship in the most. Their description of their home town was vivid... I can paint a vivid picture of that. Also I always enjoyed the way you portrayed Lucas, his confused yet charmed nature. There is something very convincing, the way you described characters and the scenarios! Keep on going

Posted 2 Months Ago

i enjoyed this chapter of the book

Posted 2 Months Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on April 4, 2021
Last Updated on April 27, 2021
Tags: lust, attraction, linger, desire, story, chapter, trust, promises, life, jealousy, wild, discovery, emotions, people, relationships, freedom, reputation, morals, friends, feelings, home, lover



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