4. Morning Explanation

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I woke up in sunlight and saw that my sister was standing by the window. She turned and smiled when she saw that I was awake.

“Morning.”

“Good morning,” I replied. I sat up on the bed. “You're still here.”

“I told you I would be.”

“I'm glad.”

I noticed she was wearing different clothes than the night before. I then realized they were mine, she had apparently raided my closet.

“Where are your wet things?” I asked.

“I hung them up in the bathroom to dry, hope that's okay?”

“Of course. Want some breakfast?”

“Sounds good.”

We walked downstairs to the kitchen and I went about turning stale bread into toast and peanut butter.

“Sorry, I was away. Have to get groceries later,” I said around food.

Dahlia shrugged and munched. “No worries.”

“So where have you been?” I asked as we finished.

“That's a long story,” Dahlia said. I waited expectantly. “Well, I ran away from the house during the storm, and took a tumble in the woods down past the creek. I think I fell down a hill and bumped my head, I didn't wake up until late the next day. I wandered around and read about the house getting wrecked in the newspaper. It wasn't clear about casualties, so I thought everyone died.”

“So what did you do next?” I asked. I felt anxious for her, all alone after something like that. At least the authorities had taken me somewhere safe and then found a way to get in touch with family.

“I was really scared, and hungry. I ended up getting something out of a restaurant dumpster in town.”

“You walked all the way there?”

“Yeah. I probably should have gone to the police or something but I guess I had it in my head that they'd blame me for the house burning down, since I was the only one who made it out. I hitchhiked down the highway, lied and told a driver that I had to go to my grandparents' house because my parents and I got separated during a trip. They bought me a burger. I kind of lived on the street for a while.”

My eyes went wide. “Seriously?”

Dahlia nodded. “I was really mixed up, scared about what had happened and confused about what I should do about it. I learned to pickpocket and shoplift, which I'm not proud of. Eventually I got noticed, I think by then I was in Chicago. I became a sort of courier for a street gang, nobody suspected the teen girl of being a runner.”

“Runner?”

“Yeah, I delivered messages and payments and stuff,” Dahlia shrugged.

“It sounds awful,” I sighed. My twin sister had resorted to criminal behaviour to survive. I couldn't blame her, and in fact I just felt sorry for her.

“You do what you have to,” Dahlia shrugged again. She looked tired but tough. “I made sort of a life for myself, running scams to make money. I didn't have a birth certificate or anything so it wasn't like I could do it legitimately. Eventually I got in with people who gave me a new identity, helped me out.”

I felt a bit of a chill, assuming that these “people” were likely the mob or something.

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Must have been hard to Dahlia

Must have been hard to Dahlia to lie to her sister like that...

Timing

I think contrasting where Dahlia's story is at this point with Calla's narrative makes an interesting comparison. Here she's lying to her sister, and we don't see her motivations or reasoning -- but in her story, she's trying to learn more about Calla and in some sense reconnect with her. I just find that dissonance interesting and hope the audience does too.

Where are you, Man?

There's been no blog post since "Babies!" and no story post for a few weeks. I don't know you personally or anything, but I consider myself a fan of your work, so I was just hoping for some kind of update on when to expect an update. I mean, it's totally understandable if you've got too much going on to post, but there are those of us out here in ReaderLand who just want to know. Is this the End? Or is there more coming?

Thanks Minelle

There's a blog update and I began Trepidation of the Spheres, and hopefully there will be some Diggory updates in the next few days.

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