Stories To Be

Bits and Pieces of my stories. Some posts here will be continuances of a story. Some will be details or ideas for a scene or other part of a story that isn't next but I don't want to forget. Each post will be titled with the name of the story it belongs to, to keep things from being confusing.

Stories In Progress

  • Bane of Death
  • Tabled Unfinished Stories

  • Troia
  • The Lost Song
  • New Mutants: Angel
  • The Unending Story
  • Finished Stories

  • End, The - Feint of Heart Warning
  • Faith Winterfields
  • Flight
  • Chronicles of Gaia
  • Project, The
  • What's At S.T.E.A.K.
  • Poems

  • Sense of Wonder
  • Happiness In Health
  • Thoughts
  • Anticipation (of News)

  • Please let me know what you think!  Comment or e-mail me.  Both positive and negitive critiques expected!

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    December: NaNoWriMo and BoD 

    Well, NaNoWriMo ended last night, and I didn't win. The "power of the deadline" met "the power of the vacation", and lost.

    But I did manage to get over 30,000 words before the contest ended. That's still an accomplishment to me.

    I was SO sure I was going to win. But when you get blocked for ideas it's hard to keep going, and then being in another state with family and friends and relaxing... oh well. Just going to have to try again next year.

    In the meantime, I'm going to try and keep writing Bane of Death. If you have any comments, critiques, or whatnot on the stuff I've written thus far, please start sending them to me! At some point this month I should be starting to go through the current prose and fixing it up.

    Lastly, chapters 5, 6, and 8 are up on the website now. Chapters 7 and 9 are also up, but are not necessarily complete.

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    posted by Jennifer Michelle  @6:36 PM
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    NaNoWriMo Multi-Day
    - Future Scene 3 

    1206 words.

    Late one afternoon at work, Alicia's phone rang. When she answered it, Melinda was on the other end.

    "It's the hospital," Melinda said.

    "Thanks," Alicia replied, indicating she'd take it. Melinda transferred the call. "This is Alicia," she said to tell the caller the call had been answered.

    A male voice Alicia recognized but couldn't quite place the name for spoke, "Alicia, we were wondering if you could come in today," the man asked.

    "Uh...," Alicia replied, partially surprised by the request and partially stalling as she looked around for her date book. "Let me check." She pulled out the date book and began flipping through it. "Why?" she asked as she did so, wondering what was going on that would make them call her.

    "We've had a lot more patients than normal show up, all day long, and the influx isn't slowing down. It's that news report they ran last night," he grumbled. "Now everyone wants to be treated here. Emergency's been overflowing so much they started simply passing on serious cases to the rest of the hospital, and have been admitting many others without examination. Basically, we're very understaffed and are calling all the volunteers to see if we can get enough people to pitch in until we get through it all."

    "Ah," Alicia replied. She hadn't seen the news report on the hospital, so it must have been on a station other than the one she normally watched for news.

    Her schedule told her she was all clear for the day after work ended. "Yeah, I can be there. I work until five, I'll grab dinner on the way, so how is six?"

    "That will be fine. Thanks," the man answered.

    "You're welcome," Alicia responded. Then they both hung up.

    That evening Alicia worked almost as much as she had at the office, except at the hospital she was on her feet pretty much the entire time. Things got so cramped full of patients, the hospital starting diverting some to other nearby hospitals. But most of the patients refused to go, deciding instead to wait their turn to be seen and treated here. Of course priority at a hospital is not first come, first served. It's worst case handled first. Some patients had been waiting since the afternoon. With so many people coming in still, a request was made by the emergency department for someone from each of the other departments to come down and help filter through them all. Alicia offered to go.

    By midnight things had only calmed down to what was normal for the early evening, but Alicia was beat and she knew she had to be at work the next morning. With an apology, she called it a night. Following her head, so did a few of the other volunteers. The hospital staff on duty thanked them all for their help anyway, and faced the remaining sea of waiting patients with as much good manners as they could muster.

    At work the next day and the day after, people were talking about the hospital. By lunch time the second day Alicia was curious. "What's going on?" she asked a group standing around the lab's small kitchen.

    "We're talking about the hospital," Marion informed Alicia. "Did you see the news last night?"

    "Oh, about the success rate?" Alicia asked, a bit disinterested. She'd heard all she'd wanted to two days before while actually at the hospital.

    "No, no," Mark replied with enthusiasm. "Last night's report. It turns out the," he mage quote mark gestures with his fingers, "Dream Team, isn't doing any better than any other hospital staff in the state."

    "Yeah, they were debunked on ABC and CBS," Joan confirmed with a swish of the water in her cup. "But only the supposed Fab Five, the hospital itself still has the same stats."

    "NBC's report said there are miracles going on in that hospital," Marion added. "If you believe in such things."

    "I do," Joan replied. "And why not?"

    At that point the conversation plunged into a religious debate. Alicia quickly excused herself from it, not feeling in the right mood to be in such a discussion. She made a mental note to watch, or at least record the news that night since she was helping out again at the hospital after work, to see what else was being said. It would be better to be prepared than surprised the next time she showed up for her normal shift.

    That night things were again very busy, but otherwise not very notable. Alicia went home exhausted, debating whether to call in to work the next day or not as she fell sleep.

    It wasn't until she showed up for her standard volunteer shift that things took a turn. There were reporters galore outside the hospital when she drove up. From the looks of things, most of them had also just arrived. Part of her wanted to ask why, to see what was going on. But something in her stomach told her she should just walk right on by, that she already knew what they were looking for and she didn't want to tell them the answer.

    Alicia managed to navigate through the crowd of curiosity that all the news vans had drawn. But once inside the level of curiosity didn't ease. All the patients had questions. Some of the nurses wondered if any of the doctors would get interviewed, and not so secretly hoped they would be interviewed themselves. Soon the chief resident came around and told all the staff there were under no circumstances to speak to the media, unless the hospital's liaison was with them and gave them the okay. Otherwise the only response they were to give was "No comment". The volunteers were asked to follow the same, or to go home.

    Alicia did her best to put the news crews out of her mind and not let them hinder her work. Most of the others did the same, they were professionals after all. Eventually the reporters grew tired of the run around and dead ends they were getting, or were called off to other stories.

    A few minutes after Alicia's time was up, Justin, one of the other volunteers who worked the same shift, returned from having headed out with a frown on his face.

    "I wanted to warn you, there's some guy with a microphone out there," Justin said. "He was pretty aggressive with me too."

    "Thanks," Alicia replied, her face darkening slightly.

    "If you want, I'll walk out with you," he offered.

    "Was he that bad?" Alicia asked. Justin nodded. Alicia nodded in return. "Then that's probably a good idea."

    On their way out to the parking lot, the reporter was still there and shoved his microphone in their faces as he started to ask questions. Justin grabbed the microphone and shoved it out of the way. "Look man," he said to the reporter with anger, "I already told you once to get out of my face. Don't make me tell you again," he threatened, intent heavy in his voice.

    The reporter backed off, though not sounding happy about it. Justin made sure Alicia got to her car fine, then Alicia drove him to his.

    Labels: , ,

    posted by Jennifer Michelle  @1:03 AM
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    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    NaNoWriMo Day 30
    -Future Scene 4 

    1447 words. I finally had some inspiration last night, for a full scene.

    (This part is dedicated to the nameless unknowns, and where the inspiration for this scene came from.)

    Tracy and Alicia rode along the river on their bicycles. They traveled fast enough to make it worth their while, exercise wise, but still slow enough that they could talk to each other. They chatted about things that had happened since they had last seen each other: how work had been, their families, recent weather and news, the lack of men in their lives, the drama amongst their common friends - all the usual topics.

    Today was the second day they rode together for exercise. It had been Tracy's idea. "Thanks so much for doing this with me," she said to Alicia for the umpteenth time.

    Alicia smiled at her friend's repetitiveness. "It's no problem, really," she reassured Tracy. "And it's not like I can't use the exercise!"

    "Yeah maybe," Tracy replied with only a touch of agreement in her voice. "I'm so bad at exercising. I mean, I can start doing it alright, but I just can't seem to keep it up! A friend at work said she works out with a partner, and that really helps keep her doing it 'cause they are each others motivation. She says it's a lot harder to bail on exercising when it means bailing on someone else and not just yourself."

    "So if one of us doesn't want to come out bicycling, we shouldn't tell the other in case both of us don't want to go?" Alicia asked with humor.

    Tracy chuckled. "I suppose if we're both lazy this plan isn't going to work well."

    They turned at a corner and started up one of the pedestrian bridges that crossed the river. It was made of cement but paved with bricks and lined with carvings. There weren't nearly as many people along the river nor on the bridges as on the weekends, but there were still enough this evening to force Tracy and Alicia to slow down as the crossed the river so as not to hit any of the people standing around looking at the view.

    Right after they passed the high point of the bridge, Alicia could have sworn she had just passed D. She looked back to be sure, and much to her dismay it was D. Frowning, she stopped, put her kick stand down, and got off her bicycle.

    "Alicia?" Tracy called from up ahead as soon as she noticed her friend was no longer with her. She turned around and started pedaling back.

    "Hang on," Alicia answered without looking back. As she approached D she scanned the bridge for any clues of what might be about to happen. At first she didn't see anything unusual. Couples holding hands. Bicyclists, joggers, and power walkers. A group of teens hanging out next to one side of the bridge joking around with each other. For a moment Alicia thought perhaps one of them was going to do something stupid and take a joke too far. But she felt D was on the wrong side of the bridge for that.

    She looked opposite the teens, and saw someone standing alone staring out over the river. Nothing usual there either.

    "Something wrong?" Tracy asked from beside Alicia, causing Alicia to jump slightly in surprise.

    Alicia glanced at Tracy as her nerves calmed, then she looked back at D, who suddenly disappeared. "Uh, I'm not sure," Alicia replied honestly. She glanced around the bridge again, to see if D had moved or was indeed gone. The only thing that had changed was the person who had been gazing across the river was now talking to a lady. The lady held up a camera to the person and smiled her thanks. As she turned to get into position, Alicia saw the other person, a young man, wipe his eyes as he turned away from the river to take the lady's picture. The lady didn't appear to notice. After the picture was taken, and the camera returned to its owner, the man moved back to the side of the bridge. And D reappeared.

    As Alicia started to run over, the young man looked down at the river and cursed.

    "No! Wait!" Alicia yelled out to him.

    The young man made no sign of realizing she was calling to him. He quickly climbed up onto the thick cement wall. "No one cares," Alicia heard him say to himself as he stood up, not seeming like he was going to pause in his attempt.

    She managed to touch his leg before he stepped off. "I do," she said quickly. "Please don't jump."

    The young man looked down at her, quite surprised. "Please?" Alicia repeated.

    Tracy caught up with Alicia, coming to a stop on the other side of the young man. She looked from one to the other, completely unsure of what to say. "Don't do it," was the first thing that popped into her head.

    "We can talk," Alicia offered. "What you're about to do is permanent. Do you realize that? You can't be that bad off."

    "At least tell us what's wrong, maybe we can help," Tracy added.

    He nodded, and bent down. He put his hands on the wall and slide his feet out from under him, on the side where there was a bridge beneath them. He sat down, ran one hand through his hair, and started to cry as he poured his heart out.

    They found out his name was Daniel, and that he hadn't really wanted to kill himself but he hadn't felt like he had a reason not to. Things in all parts of his life had gone very bad over the last year or two. He told them he had come here for a last shot. That if anyone had have asked him if he was okay, he wouldn't jump. He said that for a moment he thought the woman with the camera was going to be that person, that he would tell her everything and she would call someone and it all would be okay. But she simply wanted her picture taken, and he was a nice guy so he did that for her.

    "We will call someone," Tracy assured him. "Things will be okay."

    He nodded. "Thank you," he replied gratefully. Then he looked up at Alicia. "I didn't even see you. How did you know?"

    Alicia shrugged a bit sheepishly. "Uh...," instinctively she looked around for D, but did not see her. "Just a feeling I had." Alicia put her hand on his arm. "Come on, let us take you somewhere. You shouldn't be here anymore."

    Daniel nodded. Tracy got the bicycles and followed as Alicia led Daniel off the bridge. Once they were away, they called 911 to find out who they could call to come for Daniel. Then they found a bench to sit on and talk while they waited for help to arrive.

    Once Daniel was safely in the hands of professionals, Tracy looked over to Alicia with the same question on her face that Daniel had asked on the bridge.

    "What?" Alicia asked in response to the look.

    "How DID you know?" Tracy asked. "His back was to us and we were moving too fast for you to have seen what was on his face," she pointed out. "He looked like anyone else standing on the bridge watching the waters. And even if we had have been walking by and noticed he was crying..." she fell quiet for a moment, then looked down at her hands. "We probably would have acted like everyone else and just minded our own business," she admitted softly. "When did that become a rule of society?"

    Alicia nodded slowly. "If I hadn't have seen what told me he was about to kill himself, yeah, you're right, we would have just gone by without a thought."

    Tracy looked back to Alicia curiously. "What did you see?"

    Alicia bit her lower lip and rolled her eyes away from Tracy. Finally she thought of something to tell Tracy. "I suppose you could say I had a premonition."

    Tracy gave Alicia a dubious look. "Does this go back to that thing you don't want to tell me because you don't want things to change between us?"

    Alicia's face scrunched up and she nodded.

    Tracy smiled broadly. "The important thing is you saved a man's life," she said to change the subject. "Someone who needed saving from himself." She moved over to Alicia and put her arm around Alicia's shoulders. "You're a hero! You know what that means, right?"

    Alicia thought a moment. "Ice cream?"

    "You bet!" Tracy replied. "Whatever kind you want."

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    posted by Jennifer Michelle  @11:55 PM
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