Author: Due to writer's block on TPotS, I wrote this for I Could Have Been More. IT's not a very good chapter, sorry! There really isn't much material for this part. Later parts, esp. ones with John/Cam in close proximity in the house, I'll try to make them better. Sorry if I disappoint this time around! :(
It wasn't the blue jumpsuit, or the rolled-up sleeves, or the trucks and trucks of materials, or the huge, Caterpillar heavy equipment vehicles stacked up in one corner of the field.
No, it was the very bright, yellow hard hat on her head that made Cameron Phillips into something entirely different – entirely appropriate for rebuilding the place where her heart was supposed to lie. Everyone who was anyone had a nice house, and Cameron would need something more than a little whitewashed cube to please John Reese.
For the average kid her age? If she didn't want to show someone her real house, then she'd take 'em somewhere else. But Cameron wasn't your average kid. Hell, you could argue that she wasn't even a kid.
"Lady, I'm looking for the guy who ordered this stuff," a burly man with a Caterpillar, Inc. ID had said to her just hours before.
"I ordered this equipment."
"How old are you, sixteen? Do you even know how to operate these things?"
"Yes, very well. I can build a working scale model if you like."
"Uh, no thanks. Look, just sign here, and call if there are any problems, all right?"
The burly man left very confused.
The longest journeys begin with a single step, it is said. And therefore, in the beginning, Cameron created the shack, and it was without a decent form, and she wanted to gain the approval of John and Sarah Reese.
And Cameron said nothing, but moved levers, and behold, there was an excavation in the ground where once stood a shack. And she saw how good it was, massive and sturdy on the face of the Earth. This was where her heart would reside for her stay in this Time.
Darkness followed when the terrain was sculpted according to her will. And the foundations of her new house spelled out the first day.
There had been few onlookers on the first day, but that was because no one knew a) what was going on; b) who was building what. When the first curious observers stopped by to look, they saw all manner of heavy equipment being lined up for usage, and assumed that a major construction project was about to take place. But when they observed just that one little girl doing everything, suddenly the rewinding of analog film cameras became very apparent.
Words and sentences were apparent too, like "There's a big new hole in the ground!" and also "Wasn't there a tiny little house there before, and isn't that the owner of that tiny little house who's using that big excavator machine thing?"
Come nightfall, most had left, but with the intent to return the next day. It was too curious an event to pass up.
And Cameron said nothing, but twisted dials, poured semi-liquid mixtures, and set up metal molds throughout the new hole in the ground – and behold, there was a concrete base. She then made steel bars in the ground, and wooden stakes like posts, and the base of the house was ready. Her house was ready to ascend to the skies, and Cameron saw how good this was.
Many watchers had been wondering about the safety of this girl, but when they saw her carry a 350-pound weight in her arms, they were shamed by their lack of confidence in this architect.
Darkness followed when the pillars of her new house were laid, and it was the second day.
And Cameron said nothing, but drove her trucks of wood, steel, and glass to the site. She took her arc welder and the other chattels of construction that she bore, and she was making the skeletal framework of her house. And Cameron saw how good it was; everything was made to perfection, and behold, the framework alone looked like something one could already live in.
Viewers of this curious sight took pictures and videos of the oblivious girl, who slowly formed her house with stunning speed and with only her working on everything. The new construction looked to be three stories in height, and very wide.
Darkness followed when the substructure was completely formed, and it was the third day.
And this time, Cameron said "cedar shakes" and it was done. Her mastery of the levers and heavy lifting led to the completion of a reddish, efficient roof made of overlapping tiles of wood. And Cameron saw how good this was, because no good house visitation saw rain seeping through the roof. John would be pleased.
Observers predicted a country-style house now that the girl's roofing was complete. Overall the thing looked like a fairly standard foray into suburban house design.
But Cameron was not done for the day. She proceeded to say nothing, and then added glass walls and exposed, shiny steel supports. She included a wooden porch, a Victorian-style banister for its railings, and a La-Z-Boy for the porch's rocking chair.
And Cameron said nothing, but embedded within her home the necessary electrical wiring and plumbing, and all the lights of the place were made to work. She did this with lightning speed and no mistakes, despite the hugeness of her house. And Cameron saw how good everything was, simply because it all worked.
Darkness followed, but Cameron's house was lit up with new lights now, and it was the fourth day.
And Cameron looked on the walls and said nothing, but removed them for they did not match what she saw in her magazine. She replaced them with a stony exterior, and added large plates of glass between walls. The whole affair was very pretty and shiny, and she saw how good it was.
By now, there was a lot of discussion as to what the girl's plan for her house was. It was something of a hybrid; Victorian influences were interspersed with clear country derivations for the façade, but a more modern, glassy approach went together with classic stone exteriors for the upper levels. The roof was a strange contrast to this structure of contrasts.
Actually, Cameron was just reading different pages for different parts of her house, so it was really just an uncreative, opportunistic hodgepodge of architectural principles. But what outsiders thought was that it was a work of postmodern genius, a fallforward to arbitrary selections of design eras; placing them in a vertical stack was apparently intended to emphasize some kind of symbolic timeline of style.
Darkness followed when she replaced her walls with sturdier and more appropriate panels, and it was the fifth day.
And Cameron said nothing, and brought to her house all manner of home appliances – televisions, gas ranges, a refrigerator, a microwave oven, air conditioners and more – and also such things as a couch in front of the TV, and a dining table for eight people, and many nice beds. She made the whole setup look as though a family of five fit there. Her decorations were inspired by interior design magazines. The curtains were very good.
Skeptics who saw what sort of stuff she moved in said that she wasn't a very good chooser of furniture. Why mix a chartreuse couch with a beige set of throw pillows? It didn't make sense.
But when there was the brief opportunity to peer inside, whenever the curtains were open on her immense windows, there was always mental applause for Cameron. She was a genius. Nothing could have prepared the outsiders for such a controversial and yet effective take on interior design. It was like a feng shui wave that didn't come with mystical spiritual connotations.
In truth, though, she just bought everything that was at least 35 off at the local furniture store.
Darkness followed when the last of the furniture was fully moved in, and it was the sixth day.
The seventh day saw her returning to school, for it was a Friday. Cameron gave her excuse letter to Mr. Ferguson of Chemistry fame, who greeted her with an odd smile.
"Hey," said a familiar voice next to her as she sat down.
"Hi, John," she responded.
John smiled at her. "You were gone a while. How was it?"
"Very good," she said and smiled back. "My grandparents are fine. I also ate lots of ice cream."
"That's great," he said. "Ice cream. And your grandparents."
"Shh," she suddenly shushed at him. "Mr. Ferguson is watching."
They sat down together after all classes for their meal together.
"How was Math, John?" Cameron asked.
"Oh. Math. It was, uh…"
"Don't tell me. You passed every quiz."
"No, more of like…well, if pass means I didn't get a score of zero…"
"Well, I, uh…failed every test."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"Looks like I need you after all, right?" John laughed, and then his voice quickly died down. "I need you after all?" What's wrong with you, kid? Look before you leap! You don't keep this pretty girl around for math help, do you? She's a friend! And a hot one! Dumbass!
"Right," Cameron responded mercifully. She didn't flip him off! "So John, are you still up for going to my house later?"
And you forgot that offer. Smart move, John. "Oh no…damn it, I forgot to ask my mom."
"Ask me what, John?" Now that was scary. Sarah Reese could teleport?
"MOM!" John said as he jumped out of his seat.
"Hi, Mrs. Reese," Cameron said daintily.
"Hello, Cameron. Welcome back. Good trip to your grandparents'?"
"Yes, very. I had lots of ice cream and memories."
"Both are good for you. Now what's this, John?"
"What are you doing here, mom?"
"I like the meals here. Thought I'd have one myself." She sighed, and then asked again; "Now what's this, John?"
John looked uneasily at the two females staring at him, then turned to his mom. "Cameron's…uh, she's invited me over to her house. Computer class help for her, and math help for me."
"Why not?" Sarah answered immediately.
"I…uh. Wait. Really?" John was incredulous, and it showed on his face.
"Yeah. You haven't gone out much, John," Sarah said to her disbelieving son.
Oh boy, was he in disbelief. Are these two working together? Since when's my mom not been so uptight?
"Thanks, Mrs. Reese," Cameron said with a bright smile on her face. "I'll take care of your son. Although my parents are out for a few days and we'll be the only ones in the house…" John's heart skipped a beat at that. "…I can cook for us. And it's a safe neighborhood."
"Good." Sarah beamed. "Don't stay too late, John. You don't want to impose on your friend."
"Oh, what? No, no of course not." John laughed.
"I'll see you later tonight, then, John," Sarah said, and winked. She left the two for her truck, and drove off.
"Yeah…" John tapped his fingers on the table. "Why is she nice?" he asked himself about his mom.
"She's not uptight," Cameron said. "You are."
"What?" he asked back.
"That's what she said."
"Well…" John scratched his head. That was partially true. A lot of his mom's apparent authoritative nature was actually John's own choice to see his mom like an Amazon queen, and him being too meek, in a sense, to change anything that she said.
"Let's go, John," Cameron suddenly said and pulled him off his seat so that they could walk to her house. It was only half an hour away.
"Holy shit," John observed when he saw the house.
"I get that reaction a lot," Cameron stated matter-of-factly. "Why's that?"
"That is one hell of a house," John said. The girl must have hidden riches somewhere…Christ this thing is a work of art.
"We can go inside."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. This is my house."
"I know…" John still stared up at the three stories of magnificence. "It's…really, a really nice house."
"Thank you. I built it."
"What?" John almost yelled back.
"I had it built. Took a few months but it was worth it in the end."
Cameron took John's hand, and suddenly he was very warm all over his body. Her touch was really soft.
"Let's go inside."
He complied. They went inside.
Therefore, on the seventh day, Cameron rested.