The daily 1667 didn’t come easily that day, but it certainly wasn’t as troublesome as it was on past days, either. The next day Mia had exhausted her idea supply. Even worse, her characters acknowledged it.
“But I don’t wanna play today, Mia,” Amy said as she walked around a gallery. “Can’t you just leave me here?”
Mia looked around. Ian wasn’t far behind, though he was looking up at a glass-blown chess set instead of following Amy. He gazed at the king and queen of this set, these tiny objects that he had no clue about yet.
“Haven’t you seen your little brother yet?” Mia asked. Amy looked around. Ian had grabbed the queen of the set and was looking at it. It really was a finely-crafted queen, too, with perfectly smooth edges. But Ian didn’t realize this, and he started to play with it like it were an action figure. Amy looked around the gallery after realizing what Ian had grabbed.
“Ian!” she yelled, running toward him. But it was too late. He ran away from Amy, queen still in hand (Mia wondered why he hadn’t thrown it on the ground yet) and toward the entrance. Amy kept chasing him, knowing that if he stole that piece she’d be doing a disservice to an artist.
Amy wasn’t the person who caught Ian, though. A tall man wearing a fedora did. “I found him hanging around the front door,” the man said. Amy noticed that he held Ian in one arm and the queen in the other hand. “He said something about wanting to get out.”
“Whoa, what?” Mia said, tugging Ian out of the man’s arms. “You can’t just jump into a stranger’s arms. You’re four years old. You’re supposed to be suspicious of strangers. And what about you?” Mia asked, looking at the man. “Who the hell are you?”
“Me?” the man asked. “I’m the person who made the chess set. Let me show you.” The man escorted Mia, along with Amy and Ian, over to his chess set, and Mia saw that a new plaque appeared.
“Chess on glass,” the plaque said. “By Cole Hamilton.”
“Chess on glass?” Mia asked. “Is that the lamest name ever or what? I thought you were supposed to be an artist.”
“I am,” Cole said. “It doesn’t mean I’m wonderful at coming up with names for pieces. Besides, you’ll change it later anyway.”
“Sure, or I’ll just cut you out of my novel altogether. Who said you had the right to be here?” Mia wondered if all this was a crazy mistake. Was her entire novel a crazy mistake? Wasn’t Amy supposed to go on some adventure involving her parents’ mysterious past? She hadn’t even touched that yet.
“Oh no,” Cole said. Mia noticed that he was now eyeing Amy. “I haven’t made a mistake at all.” Cole approached Amy, Ian still in one arm, and said, “Good afternoon, ma’am. I hear you’re really into art.”
“Why yes,” Amy replied. “I’m also missing my little brother.” She looked at Cole and noticed that he was holding Ian in one arm.
“Your brother?” Cole asked. “Is that who this is? I was wondering why he took so–”
“No!” Mia yelled. “For the love of God, Cole, stop being an asshat. You’re an artist, not a jerk. Just…. stop it.” Cole didn’t stop it, of course, and he kept fumbling with his lack of vocabulary and experience with other artistically inclined women. Mia paced them, somehow managing to type with one hand and hold her laptop with the other and finally giving up after Cole said, “So you know, the art gallery is a great place for a date.”
“No!” Mia yelled. “Just shut up, Cole. Shut up. Please, for all our sakes.”
“I don’t want to intrude upon your property, Mia,” Cole told her. “Well, actually, I do. You see, Amy and I… we were meant to be together. Granted, we were meant to be together–”
“Until I write you out of the story,” Mia said. “Just ask her out so I can get it over with.”
“All right, but I just wanted to flatter Amy some more.”
“Trust me, you’re only digging yourself into a hole now.”
“All right.” Cole turned to Amy. “Would you like to go out sometime?”
“Oh, that sounds lovely. As a thank you for returning Ian?”
“He can come too. We can make this a family outing. Mother-son bonding, you know.”
Cole knew he had blown it when he saw the look on Amy’s face. Even her blush turned the color of the rest of her usually pale skin.
“He’s not my son,” Amy told him.
“He’s not?” Cole asked.
Amy shook her head. “No, he’s not. And if you believe that, then there will be no date from me, family-friendly or otherwise. Goodbye.” Amy grabbed Ian and walked out the door of the gallery, making sure to grab a pawn from Cole’s chess set on the way out.
This is the first time I’ve reread a scene before the day of posting it. I barely remember writing this scene. Mia never knew that she’d wind up writing a chick lit novel, did she? Because it looks like that’s what is happening.
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