When we last left the Brechts (Ch. 1 was Oct. 3 and Ch. 2 was Oct. 7) Royal Jr. had just been married—and seemed to be undergoing some strange moodiness that no one could quite understand. Youngest son, Devon, was in college, but still living at home.
Since that time Devon had finished college and was looking for a job. With extra time on his hands, he began to write a book he’d thought about for a couple of years. A book about the time his mother, Brenda, was kidnapped by aliens. He’d been quite small when it happened but she, his father and his brothers had told him a lot about it. It totally fascinated him. So he spent a lot of time up in his room on the computer when he wasn’t job-hunting. He talked to his parents about his plans and they were fine with it, although, secretly, they did not hold out much hope that he would get it published. Brenda said she would contact John Lassiter and see if he could cut through some red tape or offer some contacts.
"Whoa, Mom, chill! I haven't even written anything yet. Well, not more than a few pages, anyway," Devon laughed.
"That's fine, but just keep in mind when you are finished, we can try to get some help from John."
Brenda was thinking of returning to work, but not sure what she wanted to do. She spent her days painting and sewing in her art studio and cooking for “her boys” as she called them.
That was okay with her, actually, she had a small but cozy kitchen and she liked spending time there and in the adjacent art studio. The studio had floor to ceiling windows on two sides and was light-filled, yet it was warm in the winter.
She got out of the house more often than Royal Sr. did. Going to the library from time to time and shopping in town mostly.
Royal Sr. worked in his greenhouse, but the cold weather pretty much kept him from any outdoor activity like fishing or jogging so he was writing a blog on his greenhouse. His work with vegetables and fruit was starting to pay off as he sold the produce. Many afternoons were spent up in his bedroom on the computer. It had to be afternoons, because his mornings were devoted to the greenhouse and exercise. He'd started working out a little more, since being indoors and enjoying his wife’s cooking was starting to cause him problems in the waistline department. He figured he sure wasn’t going to give up eating, so he’d just have to exercise. A lot.
He made juice from his own plants and trees. Orange juice was good for colds in winter--lemonade was cooling in summer! Unfortunately he got the two confused one winter day and almost froze to death in his own kitchen...
And it was definitely winter now
Devon's literary agent--and had it been tough to get one of those!--had submitted his manuscript to a number of publishers and Devon was totally amazed when one of them elected to publish his book. (Brenda and Royal suspected that John Lassiter had pulled a few strings). When he met the publisher (as had happened with the literary agent) she remarked on how very young he looked. Devon began to wonder if he should make some sort of attempt to look more “author-ly”, especially when they wanted to take some photos for the back of the book wrapper.
Accordingly, he changed his hair and grew a beard and mustache. He definitely looked older. Brenda didn't like it, but his dad shrugged "Young men have to go through these things."
Actually, Devon wasn't sure, himself, if he liked it, but the point was to look like a writer. He thought that had been accomplished.
When the book arrived, he was quietly ecstatic. He discussed the book with his father and read it by himself, too.
He thought he might want to write another book, his publisher sure wanted him to, but the publishing house wanted more on alien abductions. Devon really had no more stories in that regard. So perhaps his writing career was over as quickly as it began.
It was no excuse, but he’d just been so caught up in events. She had never even tried to call him at the house before she left, nor had she left a note, but then, she probably knew he was not there. Brenda said that the Flynns told her Lalique was coming back, but maybe she wasn’t. He thought about her often while he was on the book tour. It made him both sad and regretful. He’d taken her for granted and she didn't deserve it. He hoped when he got back to Pleasantview they could mend some fences...if Lalique returned.