Recent comments have caused me to reconsider my updating and engagement processes. As such, I will do things differently. For one, I will post the full update on all of the various websites I visit that allow long text. I hope this will generate more engagement, at least on those sites. Additionally, I will include both the text and the related audio book clip in the same update. Those that wish to read only may do so. Those that prefer to listen to the audio book, which often includes music and sound effects, may do that, and those that might want to listen and read along can do that as well. However, please note that the audio clip will be available only on the Kickstarter update page, a link to which will be included on all websites other than Kickstarter.
Like any clip or excerpt from a larger work, this requires some set up.
The relationship between Joshua and Scoot is budding. In previous chapters, they have been meeting in the public park, getting to know one another. They meet on a bench that comes to have special meaning to Joshua. Not only is it where he meets and gets to know Scoot, it is where he and Ford used to talk. The bench has some metaphorical importance to the overall story.
In the previous chapter, Joshua invites Scoot to his place to look at his drawings and paintings. In this chapter, Scoot has invited Joshua to her place so she can display her hobby. She likes to make music.
Excerpt from “The Curmudgeon Code: Chapter 13 - Tuning Up”.
Scoot taps at the touchscreen, selecting some recordings, and flowing notes like the gentle caress of water begin to fill the room. The fluid notes are accompanied by random sparkles, and then supported with a gentle rhythm that pulses and grows.
Joshua listens, soaking in the sound, eventually closing his eyes. Images form in his mind. Pencil and paint combine with luminescent, shimmering shapes. With the presence of Scoot all around him, and the drawing of her fresh in his mind, the mental images move and flow with the waves of chords and high notes. He could not tell if the images in his thoughts followed the music, if the music was creating them, or if they came altogether prepackaged as a unit. Regardless, they are one in the same. The images express the sounds, and the sounds enhance the images. He sat, eyes closed, drifting in unreal visuals and floating on the surrounding sound.
He felt the loveseat move, which causes his mental dance to skip a beat. He opens his eyes. Scoot had moved from the music chair to the spot next to him. Her face is dreamy, her eyes nearly closed. He can tell that she sees visions too, and he wonders what they might be.
The two of them sat for quite some time as tune after tune poured into the air. Some were soft and flowing, creating loving images in Joshua’s mind. Some were bright and bouncy, and built brilliant colors that moved and changed shape rapidly. A few were grinding tunes, the heavy, pulsing rhythms taking the lead. They felt primal and passionate, or sexual and lusty. The visions they create pulse and pump.
Each piece speaks to him, and each gives him a glimpse into Scoot herself. Thin, light and bright tunes create images of a young girl frolicking, or playing with her parents. Springy songs conjure up visuals of the full-grown woman dancing and swaying, or playing curious musical instruments. Lush lullabies layer landscapes with dreamy melancholy and visions of Scoot floating on the air, while the primal pulsating pieces craft images of romance and passion. As one piece ends, Joshua craves for the next, the sounds being portals into Scoot’s very soul, and he wished to know her entirely.
With each new sonic vision, his knowledge of her grows. This is communication beyond words. Her orchestrations connect with his illustrations, giving them a life he has never known. Note upon note, beat upon chord, he was building a backlog of images he simply must paint or draw and all of them contain something of Scoot. He yearns for more impressions of her, for more about her life, for more about her soul.
A soft piece was winding down. It had filled Joshua with thoughts of love and family, of parents and future, and of growing old with a trusted companion. As its final notes fade away Joshua internally begs to know more about Scoot, and a somber dark tune begins. The colors in his mind lose their brilliance and fade into chaotic lines and angular shapes made up of sad grays. Curiosity wracks him. These tones and colors are so different from any he has experienced so far. Suddenly Scoot shoots up, goes to the music desk and shuts the tune off. Joshua’s spell broke. Scoot says, “I don’t want to listen to that one tonight. I don’t even know why that one came up.”