Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference)

*chapter “Seadreams” p. 81


Teenie is amazed to see that there is a seaweed curtain like a door. She parts the curtains and enters, captivated. Finds Devlin’s note in the abalone shell after shaking it to and fro. She hugs the note to her heart, rocking back and forth, listening to the sounds of the ocean.


(speaking softly to horizon, out to sea, to islands)

Dad I think you would like this boy


(Jax and Teenie the day he told her about writers and hats and they had shopped for one)


Every writer needs a hat Teenie


Teenie pulls the hat down, smiling and remembering her father. Unfolds Devlin’s note carefully, sees his signature, marvels at how much he said on paper. Close in on her face, reading intently, absorbing each word.


Pulls her journal and pen from pocket and begins to write back to him

*establishing EMPATHY

Teenie answers each line he has written we close in on his words, then hers.

Hi, Teenie

I’m really glad you left me this letter, because I really wanted to meet you

Hi Devlin,

thank you for writing this really long letter back to me. I really wanted to meet you too from the minute I saw you that day on the dunes, but it was like you ran away before I could say hi.

That day I saw you on the beach you were crying and so I didn’t want to bother you, even though you were in my secret driftwood castle.

I totally wondered if you built this sea hut, ever since I saw you. Nobody here ever built one of those like you did. I didn’t realize it was a castle though, until today when you added the door!

I’ve been really missing my old friends and that’s how come I wanted to be friends with you. I’ve only been here about two months and school is going to start pretty soon. I’m going to be in eighth.

I’m going to be in eighth, too! Maybe we’ll be in the same classes and stuff. I’m sorry that you miss your friends from back home. Do you like living with your grandparents? It must have been really hard at first, Devlin. It must have been really hard to move here and then have to start all over and make new friends. Right before school starts too.

I was like thinking you were my age too – but I wasn’t sure. It looks like you really miss your Dad a lot.

I do really miss my Dad, Devlin. He’s been gone for a really long time now and that day you saw me crying it was about him. I just missed him so much and it seems like nothing is any fun without him. He and my mom lost their jobs and he used to be a reporter for the newspaper in the Village. He worked there my whole life. He’s gone because he had to go south and try and find a new job. We had to sell our house too, and move. Sometimes I look up at my old house and I just get so sad walking by it. It’s that big white one on the hill. That pretty house.

Your mom sounds kind of cool – like she cares about the ocean a lot. It’s my favorite place too.

My Mom totally cares about the ocean, Devlin. She keeps on watching the news though and she is so worried about The Wave coming that she just sits there most of the time all day long in front of the TV. The doctor told me she had something called a “depression” and they gave her a whole bunch of pills to take. She doesn’t even seem like my Mom anymore, sometimes.

I hope we can meet again sometime

I hope we can really meet each other, too.

Sometimes it’s really hard to talk to anyone about how I really feel. Do you ever feel like that?

Devlin Underwood

Sometimes I do feel like it is pretty hard to explain my feelings to people, Devlin. It was like this summer when it got the hardest. My Dad was the one I talked to most. I could tell him anything and it was like he just understood me. It’s totally easy to talk to you though in a letter and I don’t know why, even. It just is.

Love, Teenie Alexander


(sits looking at what she has written to Devlin for a long time, exhales softly)

Dad you told me writers were always outsiders. Remember when you got me this hat?


Digital Camera

*Images from location at Loon in magic hour light


Devlin has been watching Teenie from above, sitting crosslegged atop the bluffs, in his castle, unbeknownst to her, watching. He has his uke and harmonica with him.

*core musical theme plays, sweeping sound

Devlin watches Teenie leave the driftwood hut, and walk in the waves with her pant legs rolled, until she rounds the bend out of sight.


(softly out to sea)

Maybe we can really meet each other soon, Teenie

Close in on his hand drawing a heart in the sandy blufftop. He draws the letter T inside it.

(picks up his uke and plays a song his grandfather taught him)

(hawks circling, images of dolphins out to sea, seals)

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Photo by Jonas Von Werne on Pexels.com

*to page 87 in novel.

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