Outtake from MEC chapter 8

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Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by Ranger52899 on Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm

Pretty similar to how things ended up, but we decided Tom's POV was more important.

Flynn was woken out of his doze by a touch so butterfly light it was barely there, a brief, barely perceptible squeeze of a hand on his foot. He lifted his head in time to see Dale disappear out of the open door, and there was something about how he was moving that had him fully awake instantly. Dale always moved quietly and with purpose. The figure that slid around the door and out of sight was drifting like a ghost.

Oh kid, been braced for this to hit you all night.

But the waking him to come too was new. Flynn rolled out of bed and followed. Dale was sitting on the third step down. Positioned where he had both the family room and the landing behind him in clear sight for any possible threats approaching, arms wrapped round his knees, body very upright. He didn’t look round, but everything about him said he knew exactly where Flynn was and how many steps away. Very different to his exasperated why the heck am I doing this? manner of his recent night wanderings. With those, a swift, strong show of authority was what he wanted, and it immediately reassured him. That was not going to help tonight.  

Moving deliberately enough that Dale could be sure of exactly what he was doing, Flynn crouched beside him, putting a hand on his shoulder.

“What are you up to?”

He said it conversationally, his fingers resting near enough to Dale’s neck to discreetly find his pulse. Calm face, calm breathing, but his heart – was racing like a trip hammer. Around 165 from Flynn’s rapid calculations. The pupils of his eyes were huge, so blown there was barely grey left visible, but his gaze was dispassionate.

“I’m perfectly all right. Thank you. Do go back to bed.”  

Not that Flynn needed it, but that confirmed who was really sitting here on the stairs, and it was like seeing a ghost. The body was the man he loved. The current pilot… was one small boy. About four years old in a house in London, sitting in the darkness, outwardly the picture of grave possession. A sentry on guard outside his princess’s door, terrified but ready to stand up to whatever came out of the darkness for both of them.

This was what it had looked like. Tonight Dale was entrusting the sight of it to him. Slowly, quietly, Flynn took his hand away and sat down on the step beside him.  

“I can’t do that, kid. It’s ok. It’s going to be fine.”

“That’s unnecessary. Thank you.”

Flynn didn’t press further. Just joined in with sitting on the stairs. Instincts with decades of work with animals as well as men had already made him intentionally relax his muscles and slow and deepen his breathing. Dale wouldn’t be consciously aware of it, but gradually his breathing would seek to match Flynn’s rhythm and his body would be pulled to mirror Flynn’s. He and Riley both responded well to it. Whatever it did to his energy, whatever it did to the parts of him and Dale that were deeply intermingled, it would pass to Dale, along with the warmth of his body, the comfort of his proximity. Gradually Flynn felt the frozen control beside him ease a little. Downstairs the grandfather clock paused in its soft, steady ticking to chime 1am.

“I never saw the point of a triceratops having all those horns,” he said reflectively to the stairs after a while. “Something that eats plants doesn’t need all the hardware. It’s not exactly going to have to hunt down a fern, three horns are excessive.”

“Two.” Dale said softly. Flynn glanced across at him.

“I thought it was two on top, one in front?”

“The one….” Dale paused as if having to drag the thoughts up, “In front. Keratin. Not horn. Like fingernails.”

Wherever you lived, there were plenty of books, weren’t there kid? You read everything you could find, knowledge reeled away and never forgotten. And you couldn’t stand factual inaccuracy. You still can’t.

“Really?” Flynn relaxed further back against the stairs, stretching his legs. “Still not needed to hunt plants.”


“Like what? The triceratops were huge.”

“Tyrannosauruses were the same time and area.” Dale’s voice was still very soft but came slightly more fluently. “Northwest America. End of the Cretaceous period.”

“Crustaceans are fish aren’t they?”

“C r e t a c e o u s.” Dale spelled it quietly. “Cretaceous. 145 to 66 million years ago. ”

Atta boy.

The more frontal lobe function he used right now, the more blood was being pulled out of his hind brain away from fight, flight and freeze, and back into the areas where language resided. Facts, spelling, ordered thought, all of it was kicking his cortex back into action.

“I thought tyrannosauruses were scavengers?” Flynn said casually.

“It’s a theory. Not yet proven.”

“But a t-rex would just run a triceratops down, they’d stand no chance.”

“Large and heavy skull, two spearing horns, low weight and centre of gravity.” For the first time Dale’s eyes moved towards him, his body releasing very slightly from its fixed position. “Get the tyrannosaurus to fall and it will take it a while to get up again. And the speed is debatable.”


This little protector used its weapons well, and a very adult vocabulary was one of the biggest in the armoury.

I bet at four you were using phrases like ‘the speed is debatable’. We know it intimidated the crap out of Gordon.

Flynn stretched again, shifting position while his peripheral vision checked whether him moving caused Dale any increase in tension. When it didn’t, he said in the same casual tone,

“It’s cold here. Come on, I need a drink.”

He started downstairs, and while it took a few seconds, he heard Dale get up and follow him.

In the kitchen he lit the stove and Dale unobtrusively moved around the other side of the table to look out of the window, making it look like polite interest in the corral while effectively putting distance between them. Flynn took out milk to heat in a saucepan, found chocolate powder and marshmallows, and took down a couple of mugs. Dale’s arms were tightly folded, both a protective barrier and Flynn thought a subconscious attempt to give himself some deep pressure.

“I learned to make this Philip’s way,” he said conversationally to Dale’s back. “He had a knack with it, particularly in the middle of the night if you were cold and feeling miserable.”

“Not for me, thank you.” Dale said quietly from the window.

Taking no notice, Flynn mixed chocolate into the steaming milk, poured it into the two mugs and added marshmallows to both. He picked up the mugs and headed for the family room, not looking back.

“I feel in need of a fire to go along with this.”

 Dale shadowed him slowly while he lit the fire. Flynn brushed soot off his hands, pulled a blanket from the couch down onto the floor and spread it there on the hearth rug, and took a seat. Dale came to sit on the hearth stone, several feet away from him. Without looking at him, Flynn silently held out a hand.

He waited for a while before Dale’s hand very slowly came into his. Flynn lifted his other hand to cover it between both of his and held on.

“You can’t help.” Dale said quietly, although he didn’t pull away.
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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by Dells on Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:07 pm

I LOVE the way 8c turned out, but I also love seeing Flynn’s perspective here, thank you for posting!! I’m so grateful for the addition of The Rag Bag for this stuff.
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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by loyalpainter88 on Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:12 pm

Thank you so much !!! 
I love love you guys ! 
This is an exceptional peek into the workings of the mastermind!! 

When I was reading this chapter through Tom's POV I had thought how Flynn would be seeing and analysing the situation and he knows it's the 4 year old that's driving the car and how he gets him to open up about dinosaurs.. I had wanted to see how Flynn does that ... 
It is indeed interesting  thought process ... And am glad u had decided to go with Tom's POV coz it provides more depth to Dale's struggle and how Tom relates to it ... And Paul helping him ... It was a family affair ... Each helping the other in some way ....

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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by synystraal on Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:40 pm

ranger wrote:The current pilot… was one small boy. About four years old in a house in London, sitting in the darkness, outwardly the picture of grave possession. A sentry on guard outside his princess’s door, terrified but ready to stand up to whatever came out of the darkness for both of them.

Tom's POV added empathy. The addition of other family members added unity. Flynn's POV offered poignancy. All powerful writing. I agree that Tom's POV is most expressive of the moment but this fragment is lovely. Thank you for posting.


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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by Hayjude on Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:22 pm

I agree with the others. Though I enjoyed seeing Flynn’s inner dialogue it was the addition of Tom, Jake and Paul that really rounded out that scene. Thank you for this snippet.
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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by Dizzy on Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:39 pm

The original chapter made me think of the poem below.  But this chapter written in Flynn’s POV makes me think of it even more.

Dale doesn’t have a hundred tiny soldiers, but he does have the men of FCR.   Who are stronger than tiny soldiers.

As a child, Dale felt he had to stand guard for the scary monster-things for his mother.  Now he’s facing them as an adult.  But this time, Dale has his men helping him fight the scary monster-things.  He’s still frightened, but he has strength he’s gaining from Flynn, Paul, Jasper, Riley, Tom, and Jake.

Bo Burnham Mar 2015
Wooden Soldiers
I bought a bunch of wooden soldiers.
I bought them from the store.
And now a hundred tiny soldiers
guard my bedroom door.

So if you're a scary monster-thing
who wants to go to war,
my bedroom door is open.
I'm not frightened anymore.

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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by JL on Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:45 pm

That poem brings an image I love to my mind.  I picture Flynn, Jasper, Paul and Riley standing guard around Dale's bed as he's slipping, while Dale's family friends--Tom, Jake, Gerry, Ash, et. al., as well as the very alive spirits of David, Philip and Roger, all standing like guarding sentries in the hall outside his bedroom door.
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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by Blue Stocking on Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:34 am

I I love this View of Flynn’s thoughts and feelings through this time.  Thank you!
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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by szdominick on Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:39 am

Thanks for posting! It was fun seeing Flynn’s POV. Fantastic writing as always!!

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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by Chris Dangerfield on Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:40 pm

Such a present of this POV. I like the final better if only because Tom is so attuned to Dale... maybe second only to Jake. His observations, the inclusion of Paul and the gelatin and his surprised witnessing of the small boy were so powerful.

It's easy still to imagine that Flynn did most of what is written in this out-take. Touching him to check pulse, etc...

It's just so lovely when the whole family joins to help one of their own in need.

Then there is the genius followup of adult Dale calling his old school-master and getting a real insight into his child-life. The evolution of the scene in the final is genius.

However, I think this POV exists in it's own form and powerfully informs what came to be. Thanks so much. Such a treat to read an author(s) explorations.

x, C
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Re: Outtake from MEC chapter 8

Post by jkfan on Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:05 pm

I have NO idea how I missed this one, but I loved it - especially the details from Flynn's POV.  Love how he relaxes his muscles and regulates his breathing knowing that both Riley and Dale will subconsciously mimic the actions.  I'll have to read this scene again in MEC, but I think Tom thought Flynn was bringing up dinosaurs to engage the 'child'.  Here, it appears Flynn was doing that to force Dale to engage the frontal lobe of his brain and disengage from the 'fight or flight' part.  

Flynn was so attuned to Dale physically as well as emotionally - well, I'm just repeating myself.  I REALLY liked this POV.

One thing that stands out to me is that Flynn and Paul both used a similar technique to engage and calm the four-year-old Dale.  Flynn talks about dinosaurs to get Dale to participate in a conversation, while Paul gets Dale to help make marshmallows to force him to concentrate on something physical.  Both are designed to gently move Dale away from the 'fight or flight' impulse he's stuck in.
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