16262! (One less word, and it would be a palindrome.)

After much squandering of time doing not much, I started on the second half of my scene, and wrote an additional thousand-ish words, bringing my total for the day up to 2,913 words, and my total word count to 16261 (plus one.) Yes, I wrote one too many words, and ended up passing a very cool palindrome. I like numerical palindromes, so for now, I will claim 16261 as my number. 

My goal for the day was 3,000 words. But I really wanted to pass 16K, so even though I’m just under my goal, with 10 minutes to midnight, I’m going to call myself done for now. I hit the end of the scene, it’s a good ending, and tomorrow I can start fresh.

Also, it’s a Marie scene that makes me happy, so I’m going to snippet it. I realized that most of my snippet scenes are Dexter scenes, and I’m not sure why–I’m enjoying writing both stories, but Dexter seems to be more snippet-able, for some reason. I think it’s because she has slightly snappier dialogue. Anyway. A Marie snippet. It’s that damn cat again…

“I was talking more specifically about your own future, Marie. You must be thinking about colleges by now.”

“I did a tour of a few this summer before going to Bolivia,” Marie said. “I’ve been getting brochures from half the schools on the East Coast for a year now.”

“And what strikes your fancy?”

Marie hesitated. “I don’t really know. I don’t really have a chance of getting into the Ivies.”

“Oh, but I disagree,” Bernard said. “I think that you might be exactly what a school like Princeton or Harvard would want–intelligent, dedicated. The time you spent in Bolivia, for example, shows your initiative. That’s why I’m urging you to reconsider your Independent Study. This is an important semester for you, and it may not send the message you want to college admissions officers.”

As Bernard was talking, Marie’s eyes caught on something on the far end of the room, behind him. There was a window, and sitting on the sill, licking one of its white paws as if it didn’t have a care in the world, was a cat. The same one she’d been seeing all over campus the last two weeks.

The cat stopped licking it’s paw, though it still held it in the air, and turned its head to stare at her with yellow-green eyes round in a white face. Except for its face and paws, it was a mottled dark gray.

“Damn cat,” Marie said, getting up from her desk carefully, trying not to startle it. 

“Excuse me?” Bernard said, turning in his chair.

When Marie got up, the cat leapt, out towards the trees behind the school. Marie blinked. She could have sworn that the cat was inside the room. Apparently not.

“I’ve been seeing this cat for the last couple of weeks,” she explained, moving toward the window sill it had been sitting at. “Ever since I moved in–it’s gotten into my room and I’ve had to chase it out twice already. It must be a stray. I’m terribly allergic to cats, so of course it chose me to follow. I thought I saw it in here, but it was sitting outside the window, I guess. It just ran off.” 

“It’s odd that it keeps getting into your room,” Bernard said, coming up behind her. “Have you had someone come check to see if there are any holes that it could be coming in through?”

“No,” Marie said, looking out the window. She thought she could see a flash of white and gray in the distance, though it was hard to make out through the trees. She looked down at the sill. It was a good 6 feet from the ground below, and awfully narrow for a cat to sit upon. Not that she knew anything at all about cats.

“Well, leave it for now,” Bernard said. “Perhaps talk to your Dorm Mother about it if it gets in again.” 

Marie followed him back to the desks to continue the college talk, but her eyes kept returning to the window, and the trees outside. At one point, she saw a young girl walking through the trees, holding the cat. She wanted to jump up and yell to her, but when she blinked, the girl had disappeared again. There was nothing but the late summer leaves.

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