Story:Unspooled/Drafts/Segments/Sam and Jim

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  • Composed on Write with Transformer on 26/8/2022 between 6:29 and 10:39 p.m., although with a few bits rewritten from memory in the second half because WWT erases input on page reloads instead of retaining them—hence its lowered priority in this author's toolkit from this point on. No AI intervention surfaced in the final result, however.
  • Built around the seed word prospicuous, chosen from wikt:Special:RandomInCategory/English adjectives after three similar candidates during late morning and afternoon failed to substantially catch on.
  • Last draft segment before the Unspooled volumes receive draft outlines; to be revised at some point later with regards to Uncle Matthew's lottery windfall and its benefits towards the Dixwell family.
  • This segment renews select characters and recycles plot coupons from the 2012 Marigot Magic draft.
Marigot, 29/6/2009 (Mon)

Once lunch was served—his first this vacation—Sam the raccoon stood up from his seat and approached Jim, Molly Gosmore's adopted son, who was two chairs away. (As with the rest of the Floribonde staff, Jim and Molly were cats—one skinny and big-lensed, the other short, fat, and barrel-chested.)

"Glad you became our guests, little stripes," said Jim with an ounce of gratitude, "because it's gonna get better from here."

"How so?" Sam wondered. "What's in it for us besides just houses and fields and raw-red roofs and frangipani?"

"For starters," said the smart cat, "the word of the day is...prospicuous."

"Pro-sick-a-wha-ha?"

"Exactly. It's a big word no one even uses anymore—but I learned it from a friend. Sent it through text couple months ago."

"Pro...nounce it again?"

"Pro..."—he articulated each syllable slowly—"spi...ku...aush."

"Pro-spi-ku-aush. Got it!"

"Know what that means in the northeast?" said Jim. "You can see Marie-Galante from almost anywhere between the Pagua and Penville. At least when you're hillbound—but the seashore's got a better view."

With all those trees and ferns and dirt and coconut palms in the backyard and beyond, there was already no way the raccoon cub would ever see it from those premises alone.

"But not to worry—I know those mice up the slope across the street. Good friends of ours—so's their old Hound. C'mon, Sammy. Once we remind the Wrights, they'll invite us inside."

"And make it quick," said raccoon mother Marguerite. "Remember, he's only a young débutant. Little by little, we say."

Not before a bit of holdup next to the brown Weirs sign, though. A donkey-steered wagon took its sweet time to travel the road; the rabbit driver was plum tired, evidently from hours picking crops on the fields.

¤¤¤¤

After fewer than ten minutes, Sam and Jim climbed up the lower part of the railless staircase. "Now you can see it for yourself," said the smart cat. "Quick look—don't wanna waste time."

"Upside-down plate?" the raccoon slurred out.

"Correct-o," Jim gave his best Desi Arnaz impression. "Now let's bid them hello." They sprinted across the right-angled hallway, and knocked on the mice's door.

"Afternoon. You're Jim, I presume?" the two heard a gruff old voice go.

"Sí."

"Brought over a visitor, are we right on?"

"Name's Sam—Sam I am."

"Then come on in," went the one in front, a mouseling by the name of Andrew, as his mother Imelda opened away. He was a foot shorter than Sam—two compared to Jim—and wore glasses as big as the latter. His arms were loaded to the brim with filler paper, pencils, and pens. He simply could not keep up for much longer, but gave it his all in greeting: "We're delighted to honour you here."

"And Twyla say hi, too!" squealed his sister, hugging Sam so much he gagged from neck pressure.

"She's always like that with newcomers," remarked father Richard. "She's young—she'll learn someday soon."

"Nice to meet you. Garcia at your service," said the hound. "I'm a cook—once fought with crooks."

"No wonder he always gets message after message delivered to him," remarked Jim. "Ever read Elbert Hubbard?"

"Neither have we."

"So have I—a lot."

A thought came through Sam as he looked across the dining room and peered at Garcia's apprentices in the kitchen. "Wait a minute," he said. "They're in direct competition with each other!"

"So it is," said the hound. "We even have bakeoffs every once in a while. Too bad it's not the same these days without Rosita—"

"Much less...Jennifer," lamented Jim. "A lot in my heart changed when she left. We were nigh inseparable—she was my girl!"

"But enough sad stuff for now," said Andrew. "Let's get to Marie-Galante. Did you know we're going there tomorrow?"

"As extras?" asked Sam.

"How did you even know?"

"Just a hunch."

"Matthew sent us an invite—"

"That's my uncle!"

"Hired us on the spot. More than extras—we're playing bookstore owners at Capesterre."

"Just as well," said Garcia, "because I hear four friends of Molly's are coming in a few. They're taking up lodging in our place."