Just a little chunk of what I wrote yesterday — this from the POV of the villain. This section includes a reprise of sections of the John Masefield poem, quoted in its entirety earlier in the book, used to anchor the section and provide some direction for the villain.
Many of us, I think, use poetry as a roadmap for our lives. Though from the looks of things, a lot of people have chosen, “There was a young man from Nantucket,” as their guiding literary force …
“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking …”
He whispered the poem with his eyes closed, and smiled. She waited for him, in the right place at last. His star, shining from its predestined corner of the sky. All of his personal constellations fell into place.
He’d been waiting for a sign. Now he had one.
He had to look. He had to see — to see if everything was as perfect as it could be. He promised himself that he would not touch her this time. He had done so well for so long; not touching, just looking. Then he had slipped once, and that once had led to many times. So many times, so much — and finally she noticed him.
He did not want to frighten her. Not now, not when everything was coming together, when they would be together as they were meant to be. He would not touch her.
He would simply look.
With his eyes closed, with the stars in his personal sky bright and hard, glaring and chattering down at him, he nevertheless fell into her special brightness with the ease of slipping on an old glove. Brightest of the stars, clearest — the star he steered by. The skin he wore.
She walked, intent on her thoughts, from bright hot outdoor spaces. Walked easily — her knee wasn’t bothering he so much.
She stepped into vast, cavernous spaces, into white and gray and black, and beautiful red. He could see her in that space, could see him with her.
The interloper was with her, of course. He’d be easy enough to get out of the way — the doctor didn’t fit into the plan, and would not require any special treatment. The guard at the gate, too, could be put down with a single stroke, without extra care or effort. Neither of them were stars — they did not gleam or shine.
Two of the live-in people had removed themselves from the picture — he didn’t care about them either way. They were not stars either. Had they been in his way, he would have dealt with them. They were not. Lucky enough for them. The third, the groundskeeper, was still on the premises. The groundskeeper might prove a problem. He gleamed dimly among the stars — not bright enough to seek out, but bright enough to call for special handling, because he was a light — because putting out the lights called for … art.
Don’t touch her. Don’t touch her. Just look.
The police had accepted his gift. His careful, clever set-up had worked — but of course it had worked. He had moves the police couldn’t even imagine. The gift sat in a jail cell now, while reporters dug through the bumbling idiot’s past looking for clues to madness and trying to jam all the pieces of the puzzle into place. Reporters were useful that way — noisy as a pack of dogs, braying after the freshest scent, unable to look beneath the surface.
He almost opened his eyes when he smiled, and he started to break away from his anchor in Phoebe. He squeezed his eyes tighter, then relaxed them as he moved into her again. She traveled through the house and what he saw gave him a feel for it, for its layout and for its strengths and weaknesses. It was excessive — and yet, it was just right.
The white carpet, especially, with the swaths of black marble curling through it.
The white furniture.
They were blank canvases, on which he ached to paint.
“I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”