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Stories from the Verse
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Chapter 50: Takano 29
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Hastings 202
As the week progressed, Tommy’s mind kept returning to what Johnny Angel had said, and one point struck her. She actually was living as if this were a dream. It wasn’t just that things happened to her and she followed the flow rather than making choices--she had in fact made choices along the way. It was rather that she didn’t really prepare for what was ahead. Certainly it was difficult to do that, since absolutely anything could be ahead, but since she got here she had been living as if she would be staying at the Billings’ until she awoke. She had spent maybe a week or so traveling through a forest, but now that she was here she treated that as a part of the dream that was over. She might be back in another forest next week--well, that was unlikely, as she did not expect to be killed in this quiet suburban neighborhood just yet. But she was going to be out of a job eventually, once Tammy was old enough to become what they called a latchkey kid. Wait, did they have latchkey programs? Did they even call them that? Well, she’d find out.
She should try to see Johnny Angel again. She probably had a million questions for him. Trouble was, she couldn’t think of any.
However, she was going to have to stop treating this like a dream, and start planning ahead. She should expect that there would be more camping in the future, so she should get some camping gear--a sleeping bag, certainly, maybe a tent, a backpack, a canteen, rope, a lighter, maybe matches. She hadn’t really done any real camping, so she wasn’t sure what she would need. On the other hand, she did have some wilderness camping experience, of a sort, so if she could find a store that catered to camping supplies she could look at what they had and figure out what she needed. Maybe a first aid kit. Maybe a sewing kit.
She was torn. On the one hand, there were obvious things, and she could start making a list. On the other hand, this was about five decades before she left home, and she had already faced the fact that a lot of things she took for granted in her time didn’t exist now. Did they have disposable lighters? What would be in a first aid kit? Figuring out what she needed was going to be partly dependent on what they had.
It would also depend on what kinds of places she could imagine. She only had one pair of long pants, not counting the pajamas, and they had been very important hiking through the woods. She had thought of a coat, and that might be an important thing to have, as well as some kind of boots.
How far would her money go? On the positive side, she expected to get at least a few more weeks of work here. On the negative side, if the job ended she would be hard-pressed to figure out what to do next. Probably she would not be able to rent an apartment, given her apparent age and her lack of I.D. That was something to ask Johnny: how could she get legitimate-looking identification?
Jot it down.
She opened a text file on her pad and started making lists--things she should buy, questions for Johnny, possible problems. It was time to stop treating this like a dream.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #370: Characters Confront. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: