Inside Yesterday's Gone: Episode 14
Dave here, and I want to change up how we’re posting weekly updates for the books. I had been posting the newsletter, but I wanted to do something a bit different… to give you a deeper look behind the scenes of each episode.
Sort of a Director’s Cut, if you will, but without any spoilers for this episode.
So here goes, Inside Yesterday’s Gone: Episode 14
Hot on the heels of last week’s Season Three opener, Yesterday’s Gone: Episode 13, we’re back this week with the ONE THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Cue dramatic music!
This is the episode that Sean and I have been mulling over, plotting, planning, and trying to get just right for a while. This is the one that really starts the ball rolling for Season Three’s primary storyline, which will finally answer the series’ most pressing question — what happened on October 15th?
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE BORICIO?
It also gives you a peek at what the serial killer Boricio Wolfe may have been like, had circumstances been just a bit different in his life.
Writing this alternate version of Boricio was both a thrill and a challenge.
How do you take such a well-defined character and say, Okay, what if he was a good guy? What if he was in love?
You have to keep some of the Boricio-ness of him, but play it out just a bit different.
I think Sean did a great job here, creating a sympathetic Boricio that you’ll love for completely different reasons!
Now a spoiler-free peek behind the scenes and the first chapter (which does contain spoils if you’ve not yet read through Episode 13)
FOR THE COVER
I wanted to do something cool with the cover which would indicate the big change coming for one of the primary characters. I love this photo. It’s dark, moody, and evokes the anguish we were looking to capture.
Starting with Season Two, we began putting subtitles on the copyright page of each episode, something which encapsulates the episode, theme, or is a clever nod at something within the story.
The subtitle of this episode is “We Are Accidents Waiting to Happen,” which is a play on the Radiohead lyrics in the song, “There, There.”
Not only is it one of my favorite lines in any song ever, but I think it represents the nature of fate, chaos, and people’s self-destructive tendencies. In other words, perfect for this series!
JUGGLING MANY BALLS
This Episode was a bit difficult to get just right, as it contains multiple timelines and alternate world characters. We published an Author’s Note to clarify a few things to hopefully make it easy to follow along.
Got any comments or questions? Ask them below or email us and we’ll respond.
Or come talk with Sean and I at Facebook http://facebook.com/collectiveinkwellpublishing
YESTERDAY’S GONE: EPISODE 14
NOW AVAILABLE AT AMAZON
FIRST CHAPTER SAMPLE…
Stop here if you’re not up to date on the series, or there WILL BE SPOILERS!
CHAPTER 1 — Boricio Bishop
Paddock Island, New York
Sunday July 10, 2011
FOUR MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT…
Boricio woke from the dark emptiness relieved to hear the sound of the ferry’s horn braying in the distance. It was either the ferry that shuttled people between Paddock Island and the mainland, or between Paddock and Black Islands. Which one didn’t matter, as either of them served as a sweet beacon, letting him know that the death and destruction he’d emerged from had only been yet another nightmare.
He was back in the real world, laying in the warm layers of blankets and comforters of Rose’s bed, unable to wipe the stupid smile from his face. Today was gonna be the day.
It was finally here, the day Boricio had been anticipating for more than a month, though in a way, he had been waiting since around six seconds after he first saw Rose, as she was wiping cheese from the side of her cheek before shoving another fork full of dripping omelet into her mouth.
She had been eating alone, just like Boricio, sitting two small tables away, overlooking the C-shaped harbor where all the Richie Riches docked their fancy pants yachts.
The yachts matched the menu, and while Boricio thought the prices at Schooner or Later were big-ticket ridiculous, the army of taste buds in his mouth were ready to declare war on his brain if he dared to claim the meal wasn’t worthy.
The mystery woman must have thought the same thing since Boricio had seen her sitting and wiping cheese from her face three Sundays in a row, always two tables away.
Something about her spoke to Boricio in a whisper. Her whisper was soothing, worming its way not into his head, but his heart, making Boricio long for more of what he’d never really had.
Boricio had been with more than his fair share of women, yet those encounters were the sum of his good looks and natural charm; thin and brittle connections that left him disconnected and cold. While he never doubted the existence of true love, Boricio had never felt the warmth of its fire. Something about the woman wiping cheese from her cheek, two tables away each Sunday, made Boricio believe true love could happen to him, and that he, too, could find the happy ending beneath true love’s clear blue sky.
In the three or four months before Boricio first saw her sitting just two tables away, he had been living with an edge of discomfort coating his sanity like a layer of rust. This perfect stranger somehow, and quite suddenly, stirred a longing inside him, a longing that promised to soothe the growing shadows inside within.
Boricio had no idea how which feelings were in his head, and which were the result of reality. He didn’t even believe in love at first sight — a product of romance novels and people yearning for something more than their boring, stale relationships — yet he couldn’t ignore how from the moment he saw her, the rest of the world seemed to have vanished like the wispy plumes of a dying fire. The vague promise of the amazing unknown was enough to push Boricio to his feet and move him to her table.
“Acapulco?” Boricio asked, pointing at a chunk of avocado lying beside a thin wedge of tomato and a quickly disappearing pile of egg; the gravesite of an omelet the waitress had set on her table around four or five minutes prior.
She looked up at Boricio, smiling. “It’s the best omelet on the menu.”
The music of her reply made him long to hear more of her song.
Boricio sat. “You’re right,” he said. “The Acapulco is the best omelet on the menu, no argument.” He shook his head, almost playfully. “But I never order from the menu.”
Boricio volleyed a smile; she batted it back. He said, “The kitchen will make anything you ask; you just have to know what you want.”
The girl chewed on her lip, looking up at Boricio with interested eyes. He wanted more, maybe everything she had. For a moment, she looked as though she wanted him too. “And what do you ask for?”
Boricio laughed, thrilled she was asking. “Are you sure you’re ready?”
She smiled. “Why wouldn’t I be? It’s not nuclear is it?”
Boricio smiled as if looking right into the center of a secret, then surprised himself by saying, “Boricio always knows what he loves.” He leaned across the table. “And the omelet I’m about to describe is enough to teach your tongue at least 10 new ways to savor.”
“Boricio?” she laughed, almost as if she couldn’t help it. “Is that your name?”
Boricio nodded. “Nice to meet you,” he said, extending his hand.
“I’m Rose.” She took his hand. It felt warm and sun kissed in his. “Tell me, Boricio, do you always talk about yourself in the third person?” she asked with a laugh.
Boricio returned the laugh. “Actually, I’ve never done that before in my life. I’m not even sure where it came from, but it came out before my mouth could stop moving.” He should have been nervous, but something about Rose made Boricio bold. He said, “Have I ruined my chances?”
“Well, I guess that depends on what you’re hoping to get!” She laughed, bringing a fresh sip of coffee to her lips. “And I suppose how great your omelet sounds. You do realize that ‘10 new ways to savor’ might be overselling it a bit?”
Boricio shook his head. “Well, that sounds like the testimony of someone who’s never had the pleasure of tasting the Boricio Breakfast Bomb.”
“Ha, is that what it’s called?”
“Yup,” he nodded, “and it’s had the name for a good five and a half seconds. Seven now,” he added.
“Okay, let’s hear it. The suspense is killing me.” Rose leaned back in her chair and smiled, then brought more coffee to her open mouth.
“Well,” Boricio said, eyebrows raised in display. “I’ve gotta warn you; this recipe is as definite as the details on any designer gown. And,” he added with a conspiratorial smile, “Schooner or Later is the only place you can get it, at least on all of Paddock Island. I’m only saying that to warn you that I might be setting you up for a Matrix Revolutions level of disappointment.”
Rose spit coffee through her laughter, passing the first page of Boricio’s geek test. She said, “As long as it’s better than Sucker Punch, I think we’re good.”
Boricio wanted more.
“So,” he said. “Does that mean you’re prepared to accept the risk?”
“I am,” she nodded, “as long as you realize that reality is the enemy of expectation.”
“Okay then,” he nodded, laughing, four minutes into their conversation and already feeling four feet from a fireplace. “Making the perfect Boricio Breakfast Bomb means starting with the right herbs, and when I say herbs I don’t mean the stuff they sprinkle on the white bread at Appleby’s.” He smiled. “I mean the genuine stuff: tarragon, chervil, coriander, etc. And that last one right there is the secret, the one that makes this Boricio Breakfast Bomb go nuclear,” he smiled wider. “Now, no one thinks of coriander as a fine herb, but that’s their mistake. I’m telling you, it’s coriander that gives the bees their wiry little knees.” He narrowed his eyes at Rose. “Please tell me you know what coriander is?”
“Of course,” she said. “Life without curry is like watching Sucker Punch on repeat.”
“Well, in that case, I think you’re gonna dig what I’m about to deliver.” He laughed.
“I’m waiting for you to prove it.”
Boricio continued. “You’ll also need butter — real butter not that fake sh . . . crap — and you’ll have to ask your waiter because they’re gonna want to use oil in the kitchen. And while there’s nothing wrong with oil, oil isn’t butter. Now you don’t need a lot.” He paused, then said, “It’s like a kiss, start right, and everything that follows is infinitely better.”
Boricio luxuriated in the blush of Rose’s cheeks as she shifted in her seat.
“Besides,” he said, “how can you not love the sound and smell of butter in the pan?”
“It’s impossible,” she said. “But I can’t hear or smell it all the way out here, so the omelet has to be damn good. So far it sounds like an herb omelet with butter. So what makes it so bombtastic?”
“Well,” Boricio said, “that’s because we’ve not yet discussed the dairy. There’s no water allowed near a perfect omelet, which is why the Boricio Breakfast Bomb needs milk or cream. Fortunately, Schooner or Later makes their omelets with milk anyway, so you don’t have to ask.” Boricio leaned across the table. “Now here’s the part that’s gonna blow your mind, and why Schooner is the only place on Paddock where you can order this omelet.”
“I’m ready,” she said. “Blow my mind.”
Boricio laughed. “You’ve gotta use mizithra cheese.”
“Mizithra?” she cried. “That’s too salty. And it would taste horrible with coriander. Blech!”
Boricio shook his head. “Nope,” he said. “It’s a perfect blend. It’s what the gods would eat if they ever ate breakfast.”
Rose laughed, shaking her head furiously back and forth. “Sorry, but that sounds terrible. I feel like I’ve been sucker punched.”
“Have I ever lied to you before?”
“No,” she said. “Not that I know of. But I’ve only had five minutes to catch you red handed.”
Boricio wanted more of her, maybe more than he’d ever wanted anything else. He wanted to give her a lifetime to catch him red handed in all the lies he would never dare tell her. Boricio’s desire made him bold. “Promise you’ll try it,” he said.
She wrinkled her nose and said, “Okay, I promise I’ll try the Boricio Breakfast Bomb. Someday.”
Boricio waited through three seconds where he almost didn’t unleash his heart, but swallowed and said, “How about I make it for you? I make it even better than Schooner.”
“If you make it better than they do,” she said, “then why come here?”
“Because otherwise I’d never have the chance to meet you.”
Boricio was as surprised to hear himself say Because otherwise I’d never have the chance to meet you as he had been to hear himself speak in the third person.
Boricio ate at Schooner or Later because he liked to leave the house on Sunday morning, and get away from Black Island, where he stayed rent-free in one of the small furnished houses provided by the Guardsmen who paid his salary. Paddock was a short ferry ride, the place was nice, and he loved to chew his food while staring out at the water.
Rose knew the truth by the following Sunday, and had lived it with Boricio each Sunday since. Now, several months later, the day Boricio was waiting for had finally arrived.
He had been planning the morning for a month. Boricio was taking a short vacation, and wasn’t scheduled to be back at Black Island for the next five days. Rose had delivered the final pages of her manuscript the week before and had little on her plate until she started her next novel in November. They would spend five days together, uninterrupted, and after breakfast, they could spend them celebrating their engagement.
Boricio rolled to Rose’s side of the bed, empty but warm. She was probably making coffee. He was about to yell for her to stop, because Boricio had wanted to wake up nice and slow and sleepy with her, lying in the coziness of freshly laundered sheets for a while. They could caffeinate themselves later.
Boricio knew things wouldn’t go quite according to plan when he heard what had to be the sound of Rose weeping in the bathroom. He tore off the sheets, leapt from the bed, and then sprinted down the hallway and burst into the bathroom.
“You okay, baby?”
Rose nodded, shook her head, then nodded again. Boricio looked down at the thin strip of white plastic in her hand, then at the blue line dividing the middle.
Oh. . . Wow.
He had to hide his surprise, lest it come off wrong, and said, “It’s okay, baby,” as he pulled her body against his.
She mashed her face against his chest as her soft cry fell into a full sob. Boricio swallowed on repeat to keep his tongue in his mouth. His words had to be perfect. Rose was too fragile, shuddering against him as her swirling emotions were licked by uncertainty’s fire.
They had barely grazed through the one or two conversations they’d had about having children. Their relationship was still young, even though they both considered their union inevitable. Boricio was certain Rose felt the same as he did — they would spend the rest of their lives together. But she’d also feared having kids and how it would change things, as it had for so many people she knew.
For the first time in her life, she was truly happy. Everything had lined up — her career, her finances, and her relationship — in perfect harmony. Having a child would disrupt that harmony. The only question was, to what extent?
As Rose held the piece of plastic in her hands, Boricio imagined all the thoughts racing through her mind that they’d made a horrible mistake — that they’d done something wrong, something to jeopardize their perfect future by accelerating their present.
Life was hard enough without having someone kick you from the inside, but there was something remarkable about creating something from nothing. Becoming a parent turned humans to gods. Though Boricio had harbored fears, they melted away seeing Rose holding the strip. Maybe he wouldn’t be perfect, but he wouldn’t be the monster his father had been.
This was a blessing.
And there was no better time to propose, than the day when you found out you were about to spend the rest of your life being a father.
Rose was scared. Maybe terrified. Boricio had to be careful, especially since a big part of her fear was likely his fault. He had always been evasive when their conversation drifted toward his childhood, the vicious years before Will. He had never said anything specific, but Rose was sharp, smart enough to see that Boricio’s early life had bled far outside the lines of a healthy childhood, and she had likely hypothesized at the many marred hues which colored Boricio’s personal history.
His life with Will had been mostly blue skies, but life before that was dark — spilled ink that still blotted his dreams with repellent memories of monsters that no amount of therapy, pills, or hugs could ever hope to erase.
Boricio owed it to Rose to open the drapes on his past, if for no other reason than to give her the truth of who he was. True love deserved nothing less, just not today. Today was about their future, not his past.
Boricio continued to stroke her hair as Rose cried herself to a sputtering shudder. He pulled her deeper into his arms, then pushed her slightly away, crouching a third of the way to the floor so their eyes aligned.
“Baby,” he said. “I’ve never lied to you, right?”
She nodded her head.
“Do dogs have three eyelids?”
“Does the human brain generate enough power to light a light bulb?”
She nodded again.
“Does mizithra with coriander kick unholy ass?”
She laughed then cracked out a half-broken, “Yes.”
Boricio squeezed her hands inside of his. “This is the best news ever. Especially this morning. So thank you.” He smiled. “This is great for us, I promise. Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. And I’ll stay that way until this afternoon, and then I’ll be even happier.”
Boricio took Rose by the hand, then led her to the bedroom. He stopped in front of the bed, turned back toward her, then lifted her hands over her head.
Boricio pulled her tee shirt from her body, and while he was always especially attentive to her breasts — he called them her rosebuds — he quickly passed them after a light kiss, dropping to his knees and burying his face in her belly. His lips lingered at her button, then he finally stood, pushed her back to the bed, and peeled her pink panties down her legs and past her ankles.
Boricio showed Rose how happy he was until they both fell asleep.
They woke up nearly two hours later, closer to lunch than breakfast. Boricio’s arms were still wrapped around Rose. He lightly squeezed her to see if she was awake.
“How was your rest?” she said, turning toward him.
“I never really fell asleep. I was thinking instead.”
Boricio brushed the side of her cheek. “Me too,” he said. “I was just keeping my thoughts in the middle of my snores.”
“You mean your thunder,” she laughed.
Boricio lightly slapped her cheek, a tickle really, then climbed over her body, hopped from the bed, held out his hand, and pulled her from bed. They kissed again before heading into the hall, then into the bathroom for a quick shower together.
Boricio dried off, then threw on a pair of jeans and a black tee. He grabbed the step-stool from the kitchen while Rose finished applying her makeup, then, as quietly as he could, he crept back into the bedroom, over to the closet, then up on the ladder. Boricio reached for the small black box shoved all the way at the back of the top shelf.
He lifted the lid, smiled at the ring, then slipped the box inside his pocket.
Boricio returned the stool to the kitchen, then poured a tall glass of orange juice for them to share. She was suddenly in the kitchen, smiling. “You seem so mysterious this morning,” she said.
“No mystery,” Boricio said. “That’s just change you’re sniffing. And I think you’re the one who started the morning getting all Darwinian on me.” He opened the door, waited for her to step out, then followed and closed the door behind him. “I always figured that if you don’t like something, it’s your job to change it,” he said. “And if you can’t change it, well then you have to at least change the way you think about it. But since the day I met you, Rose, I haven’t wanted to change a thing about my life, or any of the ways I think about it. But this change is good. This change is great.”
Boricio opened the door to her Mini Cooper and kissed her softly. Rose kissed him back hard, like she wanted to pull Boricio back into the bedroom. He wanted that too, but he wanted breakfast and all that would come after even more.
The drive was mostly silent — a sky of sunshine fine with Boricio. The flat of his foot kept slapping the pedal, coasting through the empty four-way stops, and quickly closing the short distance to Schooner or Later, where he would ask Rose if he could watch her wipe cheese from her lips every Sunday for the rest of their forevers.
Quiet was best — it gave Boricio time to reflect, and perhaps even perfect his proposal. He thought about how grateful he was to have someone like Rose calming the grizzly that had been waking inside him, the same bear who had been sleeping at the mouth of Boricio’s cave as long as he could remember. Just when Boricio thought the old monster was finally ready to open its eyes, stretch its arms in a yawn, then amble outside the cave, Rose came along to wave it back inside.
Boricio had spent the last month obsessed with the idea of marrying Rose. She would probably want a wedding, maybe invite her sister, Mary, from Missouri. Boricio would be happy to go to the courthouse on Tuesday, since he still wanted to spend Monday in bed.
Boricio had even started looking for a house. They were comfortable in Rose’s place, where Boricio had been staying recently — though he still kept the place on Black Island for nights he worked late — but if they were going to raise a family, they’d need a bigger place, something Boricio had considered a few weeks before he had seen the blue line neatly dividing the center of the white plastic.
Boricio found a pair of houses that would be perfect for the two, and now three, of them. Both lay in Paddock island’s interior, where houses were much cheaper, though Boricio thought buying a house somewhere else, off the island, would be better. Boricio’s work at Black Island wouldn’t last forever, and Rose could write anywhere in the world, though she preferred to live near the water. But the US of A was a mighty big place, with several long coastlines to choose from. Besides, who said they had to stay in America? Boricio would live anywhere with Rose, wet or dry; red, white and blue, or any color of the rainbow.
Only one dark cloud sat in the middle of Boricio’s otherwise perfect blue sky. But it was ink black, and held every memory of his monster father, the demon who murdered his childhood, then flooded it with ghosts who never stopped haunting.
The ghosts were still there; they lived in the cave with the bear. But they were afraid of the air around Rose, which was one of the million reasons Boricio wanted to draw his breath beside her. On the short drive to Schooner, those wretched memories were only a flutter, flickering through his mind like the final shot in a fading reel.
He would be a great father. All Boricio had to do was be the opposite from the heap of unspeakable that had been his father. Boricio wouldn’t tell his son to be a man; he would show him how to do it. And if he had a girl, well then, he’d spend the rest of his life loving his junior Rosebud more than any other girl in the world, except for her mommy.
Schooner or Later was one block away, nestled between calm water and the rest of Boricio’s life. He looked over at Rose and wondered what she was thinking and if she had any idea what was going to happen, any clue about what he’d been planning.
“We’re going to Schooner or Later?” She said as she realized where their route was taking them, then shook her head. “I thought we were doing something different this morning. A surprise? I’m not even sure I’m hungry.”
“That’s okay,” Boricio said. “Order something sweet to pick at, while I mow on the mizithra missiles in my breakfast bomb.”
Rose took off her seat belt, then turned to Boricio.
Boricio turned to meet her gaze and caught the widest smile he had ever seen.
She knew, and something was so beautiful in her knowing, Boricio couldn’t break her stare. She held his gaze and wouldn’t release. Boricio surrendered inside it.
By the time Boricio realized he was driving off the road, Rose’s Mini-Cooper was crashing through the first table, flying half way across Schooner’s relatively small Patio. The first table was empty, but the second wasn’t.
Boricio swung the steering wheel hard to the right, narrowly missing a pair of brunchers sharing a waffle before crashing through the wood and lattice separating Schooner from the water.
The Mini-Cooper landed on a boat, then tore into the cabin’s interior. Boricio looked to his right as Rose was thrown hard from her seat. Her head smacked the dashboard, which launched a fat chunk of blood from her throat onto the windshield.
Another jolt lurched the car back then forward and sent a piece of the boat crashing through the glass. Boricio felt a sharp pain stab his left eye and hot blood gushing down his cheek.
He turned to look at Rose — to see if she was okay — but the crunch of metal, shatter of glass, and water rushing into the cabin around him sent the world to black before he could see her.
To be continued…
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Yesterday’s Gone: Episode 14