In case you missed it, it turns out I finished Alice and Finch, but didn’t publish it… so here’s the beginning of the end.
Finch slept until the next dusk. He awoke frequently, and fervently, and every time he did, his eyes searched for Alice. She was there every time after the first.
“Ah, mother?” Finch looked around, “Ah!”
Alice was gone, it was just Jutt. Jutt looked a lot like Finch’s mother, except that her face wasn’t as wide, and her hips and chest weren’t nearly as laden with healthy layers of motherly fats.
“Yes Finch?” Jutt turned to him.
He immediately realized what was going on. This was the second time he had woken up injured and looked on by a pretty girl. He wasn’t going to embarrass himself this time.
But after asking, “Where’s Alice?” He realized that he had failed.
“She’s getting you food. And bandages.”
“Keep breathing. My mother told me about this. There was a guy who got a lung infection in her gang because he wouldn’t breathe deep enough.”
“No!” Finch shouted. Talking didn’t hurt, not as much as inhaling did, “I can’t leave her alone! Where’s Alice?”
“Alright, dear, just go back to sleep. I’ll wake you up in a bit to make you breathe some more.”
Finch gave her a dirty look, as if he really were a child again. Jutt just smiled.
“Hey Lex?” He said.
“If you see my mother, tell her that I want to see her again.”
Alexandre “Jutt” Dirge nodded solemnly, “Don’t worry, dear, I will.”
Finch, comforted, went back to sleep.
He was woken up only twenty minutes later to the sound of arguing n’juzu. Or rather, arguing women.
“No, you can’t bind his chest, that’ll make things worse! He needs to breathe!”
“Well! Well! Well!” Alice stumbled, “Help! I want him to have my help from me!”
Jutt shook her head, “Look, the second, er, the first think he did when he woke up was ask for you. If you want to help, just be there next time he wakes up.”
Alice glanced at Finch and stopped. She dropped the abnormally large bandage roll and sprinted to him, crossing the temple in a vigorously short period. A second, maybe. She grabbed his hand, and almost broke more bones.
She instantly loosened, “No, no! Did I break more of your parts?”
Her face was bright red.
“No, I don’t think so.” Finch proved it to her by moving his fingers inside of hers.
Alice spent the next few minutes feeling his body parts, squeezing things and asking, “Does this hurt?”
He realized that she was testing his pain thresholds. He was amazed. He didn’t think Alice was that clever. Jutt watched them, amused. She half hoped that he would grab the one piece of anatomy that they didn’t share. She did.
Jutt laughed, and Finch inhaled, causing his ribs to pain him. “Don’t touch that!” He managed to growl between clenched teeth.
Alice withdrew, “Why? What? Ah!”
Jutt took Alice by the elbow and took her away to explain a little about how men and women were different, and also, to Alice’s horror, how children came to be planted inside of a womb.
Finch fell asleep to her soothing words, filled with technical terms and unrelenting description. Lex was enjoying making Alice feel entirely uncomfortable, and also a little curious.
When Finch next awoke, he heard Artus talking to Jutt.
“Yeah, he seems a lot better. I figured it’d be okay to let him get a full cycle or two of sleep. That’s three or four hours, you idiot. Learn basic biology.”
“Hey, you’re the genius not me.”
Finch opened his eyes. Alice was still red faced, and she was looking around, bashful. She noticed his stare, and they locked eyes. Neither person blinked for over a minute. Eventually, Finch’s eyes began to burn.
He whispered so quietly that Alice had to lean in.
He repeated, “What did she tell you?”
“Everything!” Alice hissed, “You adults are all so disgusting!”
She pointed at her chest, “I’m almost happy that Plainkind don’t have breasts!”
Finch gave her a wary look.
She blushed, “But I wouldn’t mind if we… but later.”
Finch nodded, “Yeah. Later sounds good.”
He sat up.
“Alright, good folk. It’s time that I told you all of my news. Chloe would like to meet with Alice. She looks a lot different now, and Chloe thinks that we could use that to our advantage. She’d also like to know if Alice has any sort of genius… for personal curiosity apparently.”
He found that breathing was a little easier now. When Lex looked at him, he took his prescribed ten deep breaths. Then he stood up.
“Let’s go. She wanted to meet today.”
Alice nodded, and then Finch’s blood rushed to his head and he promptly lost his balance and fell over.
A few minutes later, he was on Alice, piggyback, his nose no longer bleeding.
“As I said, let’s go!”
They all shared a laugh, and Finch let Alice carry him to the castle.
Sorry for the mix up!