Molly gave me a sour look. “You know what I think about this type of laundry.”
I did; everyone did. Elyse Flayme’s best friend Meritxell has always come up with ways of using magic further and delay Arrenia’s destruction, and Elyse always said: We have to choose what is important to us, Mer.
We talked into the night. Most of the time I listened. I realized that Molly Khan had been locked in this house by herself for far too long. Their false starts came out. The horizon faded to a buzzing black as she went through the various versions she’d tried and rejected. She looked in the notebooks for half-remembered lines. The truth is, they all sounded great to me, but Molly wasn’t happy.
All the while a certainty was growing in my head.
Molly Khan emptied the second bottle of wine, and when I asked her about Elyse Flayme – I asked what Elyse was hiding; what this avatar was capable of in the end – it was animated. She had looked for more to drink in the kitchen, but that question brought her back to the balcony: she said one thing, then another, and another as I cheered her on. I was the only witness: there, in the dark over the ocean, something came out of nowhere: an end.
A moment later, Molly was sitting at her desk and started typing what she had just explained. I collapsed on the bed in their small guest room. My last thought before falling asleep was that I had successfully accomplished my mission: approve the author, secure the future of the franchise. Maybe I made a commission … just a tiny fraction of that $ 20 million.
That morning I found Molly in the exact same spot. She hadn’t slept. A low section of coffee cups had joined the high-rise of notebooks on her desk. Her keyboard rattled like a subway train; it raced down the tracks and didn’t stop at any of the stations. She was absolutely focused; no part of her moved but her fingers, racing toward her target. Was that how she had written all the books?
I trotted into the kitchen afraid of disturbing her, because it would be expensive to break the spell, and because I was afraid she would turn around and her eyes would look like Osric Worldender’s, pits of shadow that crackled with black lightning.