Writers' Café

For those times in life when you need to have a serious talk.

Re: Writers' Café

Postby the_shankmaster » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:59 pm

Upside-Down (LA Noire, No Spoilers)

He was upside-down.

At least Stefan thought he was. He seemed to be, but he couldn’t be sure. Not with the horrible way the world was tilting, the grotesque manner in which it twisted all around him. He didn’t spend too much time trying to pin down which way was up and which was down. Much more pressing than his current orientation was the fact that he couldn’t feel his legs.

It wasn’t that tingly sort of numbness that happened from time to time depending on one’s position. It was a complete lack of any signals, an uneasy feeling of are-they-even-there, made worse by the fact that he couldn't see them under the dash. It had only happened to him once before. Cole had fallen asleep on the couch, his legs across Stefan’s, and seeing as Cole wasn’t really the kind to get his rest when he needed it, Stefan figured he shouldn’t wake the other detective until he absolutely had to. When the tingling set in, he decided, but it never did. Cole’s legs must have been pressing his in just the right spot, because Stefan felt absolutely nothing, and the realization worried him a bit. He reached across Cole’s legs to his own, thinking maybe it he rubbed them a bit, the tingling would start. It didn’t. He felt his flesh give a bit under the fabric of his slacks, but he didn’t feel it from the other end. It was like kneading dough. Dough that happened to be in the place of part of his body. It was too bizarre, too unnerving. He’d woken Cole up immediately and spent the next few minutes massaging his legs back to life, not relaxing until they felt normal again.

Would that help now? he wondered. He moved his arm and—no, it wouldn’t move, not the way he wanted it to. But he could feel it. Boy, could he feel it. Broken. He’d never had a fracture before, but it was unmistakable. At least now, after he’d freed it from its place against the door and his hand had gone straight for the ceiling, he knew that he was indeed upside-down.

It was ironic—no, Cole told him he’d been using that wrong. It was… funny? Appropriate? He wasn’t sure, exactly, but it was something. It was something that after so many years as a traffic detective, so many years of tracking down stolen cars and hit-and-run drivers, of investigating suspicious “accidents” he would find himself like this. There was nothing suspicious about this accident. It was as simple as most, someone not paying enough attention and making a mistake. Someone else, him in this case, not paying enough attention and reacting too slowly, and incorrectly to boot. Completely avoidable and yet…here he was. Cole might have something to say about fate, if it were anyone else. Only time would tell what Cole would say about this, but Stefan wouldn’t be the one to hear it.

He said a quick prayer then, thankful he had time for that. Not a Hail Mary or an Our Father, like he’d been taught. More like a personal letter to God, asking for forgiveness for his sins, asking Him to look out for his parents, for the other driver, for Cole. He wondered if Hanna would be waiting for him, his sister who’d passed away from pneumonia when she was only six. He managed a light smile; that would be nice.
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Re: Writers' Café

Postby 42th » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:21 am

Welp, its a new semester and I'm back in my writing courses again, so I've a new story.
I acknowledge that there's a few issues with this story, and it could easily be 2 to 3 times longer, but without further adieu:

Catherine Sinclair made her way across the now utter ruins of the lab, sneaking over and under fallen support beams and dusting off ash and debris here and there as she went past. The lowered gravity made it easier for her to make her way throughout the tangle of concrete and metal that was once her place of work. A few of the fluorescent lights were on, some flickered, but most were out. This was a good sign; at least some of the power generators hadn't been destroyed in the attack. The lonely doctor worked her way back to a dark corner where here workstation once was. She fired up the screen on her desk, it casting a pale light trying to drive back the dark. This dim glow ignited her hope. The intruders not only raided the compound but also raided ransacked their databases. While the raiders had been successfully fought off, what damage had been done was already done. Security personnel were yelling something unintelligible and fires were being fought off in the distance, but it was only now that the real damage can be measured during this lull of battle. Despite the fact that the enemy reinforcements were undoubtedly on there way and that her and everybody else in the building needed to be miles away by now, the least of her concerns was that the location of their compound had been discovered. What mattered most was that they were gone.
She first checked last of transportation logs, which displayed five unique registers. Oh, boy, this was going to be tough to explain to her superiors. Catherine entered in the necessary passwords, brought up the necessary programs, and began the trace. While she waited on the trace, Catherine moved as much of the files relating to Project Busy Monster to the external drive she had. She had to assume the worst and that the enemy knows their plans, she had to save as much as she could and leave nothing recoverable.
The trace finally finished and synced up the graphical display. On the screen was a rotating cylinder consisting of many finite points each glowing a dull blue. Five other points sprouted from the top and were approaching the sphere from various vectors like some vicious round of Conway's game of life. A pool of dread settled in the pit of her stomach. This was going to be bad. Catherine grimly kept track of each vector steadily inching their way toward their destination. One by one they collided, and she winced with each one. The onscreen cylinder blossomed into a frantic octopus; where each vector hit a new branch grew and flailed out. The cylinder spun faster and faster, and its colors went from a dull blue to a panicky red. Dire warning sounds she had only ever heard in practice drills and had dreaded to hear in actuality were blaring through her speakers. Two of the branches snapped off; the dots making them up evaporating into nothingness. Catherine let out a pained sigh. Billions of people created and destroyed in an instant. There wasn't enough time to let this settle on her conscience. She mentally swallowed this and kept her attention to the matters at hand. One of the three branches collapsed into the, as of still now, main branch. Catherine widened her eyes in surprise. She wasn't sure yet if this was a good thing or a bad thing, but for something of this magnitude to occur naturally was definitely unusually. She could at least take solace in that it merged near her end making this an easier fix. It was the other two branches that worried her. She didn't want to wind up like the other countless billions. The former cylinder had finally slowed back down cooling to a better than red, not as good as blue, purple and stabilizing into three distinct branches off a common base. The time line had finally stabilized. For now at least.
Each of these three branches could justifiably become the “proper” timeline if enough stress, whatever that may be, bent or snapped the other two branches off from where the timeline originally diverted. Catherine couldn't even begin to fathom what kind of alternate realities and histories have been created, but the thought of simply evaporating into nothingness made her shudder. People at the other ends may be frantically trying to save their version of reality or they might have no idea of temporal mechanics. The mere fact that she was still existing was a good sign. Even so, tempus fugit. She knew that better than anyone.
Catherine pushed her glasses back up the bridge of her nose. It had been three weeks since she began working at Vox Natura Research and Development, and she was seriously anxious to really sink her teeth into something, well, substantial. She reclined back in her office chair and continued flinging sharpened pencils into that Styrofoam-esque ceiling that offices like this always have. Catherine had graduated in the top fifteen percent of her class, generated a lot of research papers (though none were accepted into any journals or conferences), and fought her way tooth and nail to achieve the illustrious title of doctor of temporal physics. She knew she was on the right track with her theories and could even turn them into something practical and not just formulas on paper if only she had the proper funding and time to actually prove to those who couldn't appreciate her vision. Catherine had sent out proposal after proposal to every governmental and commercial A list research firm, every B list research firm, and even a few C list research firms and ones out in the colonies, and then she waited. And waited. And waited.
One day, out of the blue, she received a letter from Vox Natura Research and Development. She had been out of work for long enough for hunger to set in, so the fact that Vox Natura, a bioengineering firm, was wanting to fund her never even crossed her mind. The orientation was a brief whirlwind, and they shuffled her off to a corner office at the end of some indistinct, fluorescent hallway with the promises of piles of funding, free reign over her projects, and multitudes of underlings. So far they hadn't even given her so much as a coffee fetching intern lackey.
Another pencil lodged itself in the ceiling tile. Bugging her immediate supervisor, Mr. Prescott, about her position felt fruitless and worn out its novelty after the first week. He kept becoming scarcer and scarcer, and, while she did slightly enjoy the thrill of the tracking down where he had been hiding, it slowly became obvious after giving the same considerate yet slightly condescending answer of “Patience is a virtue” that he wasn't going to be changing his position anytime soon. She launched another pencil. Unfortunately this time, Catherine miscalculated and threw the pencil right into the office fluorescent light. It shattered showering her in sparks and glass and making her office noticeably dimmer.
It was at this moment that, Mr. Prescott, decided to walk into her office. The scene he just witnessed caused him to visibly loose his train of thought.
“Dr. Sinclair, we've finally found a suitable project for you,” Prescott said. Not nearly enough people called her that yet, and it still sounded strange and sugary sweet in her ears.
“What do you mean you 'found a project' for me?” Catherine asked. She wanted to head her own project, forge her own paths, and make her own mistakes if things came to that.
“I didn't mean to suggest anything contrary to your own designs, if you're thinking what I think you're thinking. It's just that we don't blindly start things without knowing it is viable to finish first and that there aren't other interested parties too.” Prescott attempted to sound oiled and disarming, and while it was enough to quell her rising annoyance and ire, something about its vagueness settled in the back of her mind like a feather that had finished falling. “One of our military contacts has reviewed your the body of your work and proposals and have expressed significant interest in funding your work.”
Catherine blinked. She missed the naïve optimism of those early days and months on her project. The sudden white noise jarring her out of her thoughts. The screen went snowy, dazzlingly bright in the dim light. Several deep thuds off in the distance caused some dirt and debris to shake loose from the ceiling. Time to go. She stuffed the external drive into her lab coat pocket and began working her way out. As far as she knew, she was the only one, at least in this reality, who knew about the time stream being split. She racked her brains trying to think of any other temporal research facility with anything remotely capable of scanning and hopefully building another temporal displacer. This problem had surpassed any petty colonial independence war.
Catherine finally made her way out of the ruins of the lab and that wing of Vox Natura. Her footsteps echoed along the metal corridors. Several officers ran past in their mad scramble, both trying to tend to the wounded and trying to salvage as much as they could before they fled.
“Help!” a voice called out. This caught her attention. She backtracked through some of the hallways to the source of the voice. She found Corporal Tippett covered in bite wounds and clutching a bullet would at his side. He was propped up near where one of the mortars in the attack blew out a whole in the wall leading outside. Of all those that were injured in the attack, Tippett probably suffered the worst. “The raptors, they've escaped,” he stopped to cough violently. “Tried to keep them in and sedated. But they went wild again.”
“I know. You did what you could,” she said, and assisted Tippett to his feet. She had already salvaged what she came for; now she could begin at least assisting in getting the wounded out. Together they made their way out into the former Mare Crisium. Most of the carefully planned ecosystem was usually pruned and coddled like it was the sultan's private garden, but out here in the sticks where human interference was still rare, things tended to overgrow and grow tall in the low gravity.
The two hobbled through the underbrush searching for any outgoing convoys, any other groups exiting out, anybody who could get them to saftey really.
It was the first time Catherine had been to this far flung compound. All the necessary paperwork had been processed, approved in triplicate, I's dotted, T's crossed, etc., and now she was finally been relocated to a different, distant branch of Vox Natura. It wasn't just a simple job relocation, but she had been explained that this would be a long term project that hopefully would spin off several more and they even provided residential facilities on the compound.
It did make Catherine shift uncomfortably in her seat the long ride over just to think how far removed from civilization she would be. In fact, they actually air lifted her via helicopter because what roads there had been to the compound had long since fell into disrepair, which made air travel was really the only viable method of transport left to the compound. The helicopter could only fly so fast and had to stick low because of the way the atmosphere was composed. Miles and miles of farmland passed, then forest, another stretch of farmland, and then forest for the last half hour of the trip before they landed.
After she collected her personal belongings, she found Sergeant Eckels there at the helicopter pad waiting to officially welcome her.
“Greetings, Dr. Sinclair. Your reputation proceeds you,” he grinned at her from behind dark aviator sunglasses. Sergeant Eckels struck her as a caricature of General Patton but more round and squat. She could just imagine him wearing some overly official dress uniform instead of the army fatigues he wore now, with medals just hanging off his chest, wearing Patton's trademark peaked cap, and pointing at things with a riding crop.
The other thing that struck her about the compound was how old it was. She had been told she was going to a state of the art facility; what she was looking at might have been a state of the art facility ten to fifteen years ago. It wasn't that the place was falling in, but there were signs of decay: rust on the bay doors to the warehouses, plants growing out of cracks in the concrete, and small things like that. An odd thought occurred to Catherine.
“Gen... I mean Sergeant, how many people are stationed here?” she asked.
“A little more than two hundred,” the military man said not really paying attention to either her or the question.
It was the little odd things which kept cropping up that made her stop to pause in nervousness at times. Though there was little she could do about it other than throw herself into her work. What could she do? Just quit and walk off the premises? She was miles away from anything remotely resembling civilization. Besides she was finally here and living the dream. She was finally able to plan out what she wanted to do, sit down, and do it. Catherine wanted to understand the time stream better and fully believed she could actually make a small proof of concept time machine to send small items back and forth and study its effects on the local time stream. Her investors wanted something larger and more practical. Oftentimes, the materials she requested were odd and exotic that she thought would take weeks to acquire or obtain in large quantities. She didn't feel compelled to question too deeply those who did daily gun drills and target practice.
It was finally time to unveil the machine she had been brought on to create. The machine was a story and a half tall and had to be housed in a specially designed bunker, auditorium style. The temporal displacer itself looked like a cross between a pair of Tesla coils and a tuning fork. Catherine, Sergeant Eckels, and a few of her high ranking lab aids were standing up in the second floor balcony while the rest of the compound inhabitants gathered near the bottom a safe distance away.
“Are you sure this will work?” Sergeant Eckels was looking at the temporal displacer when he asked that question. So far, every time Catherine had interacted with the Sergeant, he always had those sunglasses on.
“I've been over the calculations myself multiple times and personally oversaw the construction of this displacer,” she said. It was time to throw the switch. Soft blue light flooded the air; an occasional crackle of electricity spouted off one of the towers. The crowd be
“Is this safe for humans to use?” the sergeant inquired never taking his eyes off the displacer.
“Um, so far we have tested sending plants and mice forward and backward in time, but, um, we haven't been able to send anything larger until now,” Dr. Sinclair said.
“Close enough,” he said, his shades reflecting the indoor lightning.
Until the raid on the Vox Natura compound, Catherine didn't really know that they were affiliated with the colonial rebels. She had some inkling that something strange was going on, but she simply dismissed what she saw and tried to bury herself deeper into her work. Before any of this happened, she didn't really feel for nor against the rebel cause, all that mattered back then was her work and proving that she was right. Now none of that mattered, partly because she had already proven that she was right and partly because she will have to suffer the consequences of being right. Even being forced into one of the two factions no longer mattered.
Catherine and Corporal Tippett were making their way through the forest underbrush. It wasn't as easy to do so when there wasn't wild animals to trample the undergrowth back down. Both of them ducked down into the bushes when they heard other footsteps and voices approaching their position. Corporal Tippett winced from being dropped to hard, and Catherine gave him a panicked, apologetic look. The voices were getting closer, and both Catherine and Tippett were hoping they wouldn't get shot at again.
“Hey! We got a couple more survivors over here! One of them injured! Don't worry we've managed to set up a rendezvous point, and we've managed to salvage some medical supplies...” the soldier trailed off as he noticed Tippett's bite marks. Project Busy Monster was a pretty secretive project; a select few in this colony knew about it.
“We need to get to Sergeant Eckels as soon as possible.” The doctors tone chilled the ignorant soldier.
They finally arrived at the rendezvous point. Sergeant Eckels was sitting on top of some crates on the back of a jeep, his hand propped up his head. It was the first time she had ever seen him not wearing his glasses.
“Sergeant,” she began.
“No. Don't call me that. We lost. We were blindsided and torn to pieces. Out of nowhere. Please, don't call me that,” he rubbed the bridge of his nose like he had a migraine.
“Sir, we have much bigger problems than that.” And Dr. Catherine Sinclair began to relate what she knew.

Also, I'm considering retitling this story as "This Busy Monster", but I'm not sure.
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Re: Writers' Café

Postby helios » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:57 am

The first three parts of my (currently) on-going Battlestar Galactica fic. Yes, it is essentially self-insert fic. No, I don't care :P

“Strawberry, or chocolate?” The girl behind the counter asked.
“Uh, man, um, I, um.” Owen stared at the board, indecision etched painfully across his face. He chuckled nervously “This, um, this is harder than it should be.”
“Take your time, sir.” The girl looked at him, boredom apparent on her face.
“Uhm. I think I'll go for chocolate.” He finally decided.
The girl scooped out a curl of ice cream, and dumped it into a paper cup. This was followed quickly by a couple of squirts of flavour syrup, topped up with milk. She slammed it into the machine, and stared into space while it whirred the mix into a shake.
Methodically, almost robotically, she sprinkled shaved chocolate over it, and jabbed a straw in.
“No charge for Colonial pilots.” she muttered, handing over the shake. Owen looked at me, and then back at her.
“Thanks.” He took a sip from the shake, as we stepped outside the shop.
“Well, that was nice.” Owen said, as we strolled leisurely along the street, basking in the sun.
“It was. Good shakes, too.” I replied, my free hand dug deep into my pocket, in an attempt to protect it from the surprisingly biting wind.
“Only thing is, how did she know we're pilots?” Owen mused, sipping his shake. I spun around, walking backwards, and slightly in front of him. I poked out my finger, and pointed it carefully at a point on his chest.
I stared at him, challenging him to look down. He set his jaw, and stared back.
“No way I'm falling for this again. Not this time.” He said, narrowing his eyes.
“Maybe this time you should.” I said, managing, barely, to keep pace.
“I'm sure I should. But I'm not going to.” He said, grimly.
I slowed my walking speed just enough that he bumped into my finger. I swept it up, snapping up past his nose.
“DAMMIT. Frak you, Eli.” Owen swore, rubbing his nose.
“Your wings, my friend, You have them pinned to you lapel. She saw your wings.” I said, chuckling as I slipped back into step beside him.
“Seriously? I thought I left those on my other jacket.” Owen muttered, looking down. “Whatdaya know. Wings, right there.”
“Funny that. You put them there, they stay there.”
“Hey, don't blame me for wanting to show them off. We worked frakking hard to get them.”
“I'll drink to that. Chuck me your flask.” Owen fished out his flask, and unstoppered it. I took it from him, and took a slug.
“Damn that's good.” I tipped a finger or so into my shake. Owen held his shake out, and I tipped a decent slug in.
“Keep going.” Owen said expectantly. I rolled my eyes, and tipped another finger or two in. I handed the flask back, and Owen stoppered it, slipping it back into his pocket.
“To not dying well enough that they let us keep flying.” Owen declared. I raised my cup, and clacked it against his.
“To not dying.” I agreed. I took a drink, and coughed.
“Alright, that was a bad idea.” I coughed.
“Whisky and strawberry shake was not a good idea.”
“Goes well with chocolate.” I raised my eyebrows.
“You think everything goes with whisky.”
“I do not.” I opened my mouth to come up with some kind of witty retort, but Owen cut me off; “Sometimes ambrosia is nice.”
I snorted.
“What? It's true!”
“True or not, you're basically an alcoholic. I'd call you on it more often, if you were any worse at flying drunk than sober.”
“Thanks. I appreciate the vote of confidence.”
“You got it, bud.” I clapped him on the shoulder.

“Another round, my good man!” I said, cheerfully drunk, sliding across a handful of notes to the bartender. He grinned, and poured me a pair of pints. I grabbed them, and hefted them over to where Owen and I were sitting.
“Here we are!” I said, slamming the glasses down on the table. I sat down, sliding one over to Owen.
“To being frakking awesome!” Owen declared, raising his glass in a salute.
“To being the cream of the Colonial Military!” I responded, raising my glass, to clink it against his.
A sudden silence behind us was followed by the scraping of several chairs.
I paused, stopping just before I took a drink.
“That scraping sound what I think it was?” I asked. Owen nodded, downing his pint. “I'm guessing Marines? Big burly types taking exception to our celebrations?”
“That's about the whole of it. Five of them. Big burly types.” Owen replied, wiping his mouth.
“Shaved heads and unit tattoos?” I asked, and took a long drain of my pint.
“They appear to be wearing sleeves, so that's a “no idea” on the tattoos.” Owen leaned in. “But, I can confirm the percentage of shaven heads to be upwards of 83%.”
“Eighty three percent?” I almost choked on my drink, laughing.
A pair of hands grabbed the back of my chair, and spun me around. I found myself staring right at the stomach of one rather heavily built man. Given the cut of his jacket, and what Owen had mentioned earlier, I would have had to go with Marine. I looked up to see an angry face staring down at me. His jaw looked like it had been carved from solid marble with a laser made from pure rage.
“Hello there. I'll be with you in just a moment.” I spun around in my chair, and stood up, back to the marines. I grabbed what little remained of my pint, and drained it.
When I turned back, Marble-Jaw had a vein visibly pulsing in his forehead. I clasped my hands behind my back.
“So, gentlemen. How may I help you?” Marble-Jaw, evidently the leader of the bunch, given that he was obscuring my view of the other's enough that I couldn't come up with witty nicknames based on superficial features (Which was more than a little irritating), leant forward, and placed a large meaty finger on my chest.
“So.” He said, slowly enough that I could detect the menace dripping from the single word. “You think you're better than us?”
I stared him straight in his angry, bloodshot eyes.
“Better than you? Yes.” I saw his eyes narrow in anger, and his torso twist back, as he geared himself to teach me a lesson.
He flung a fist at me. I took it square to the jaw. As I felt my feet leave the ground slightly, I decided that just taking it perhaps wasn't the best plan. But then again, it's not like my plans ever looked like a good idea at the start.
“Nice shot.” I replied, wiping my mouth, making sure there was no blood. My jaw clicked back into place.
“My turn.” I drew back my arm, clenching my fist. Before I could swing, a pair of boots flew past my shoulder, and collided solidly with Marble-Jaw's chest.
He went down about as hard as you might have expected, with a 'oomph', as the force of the blow slammed Marble-Jaw's breath out of him.
I grabbed Owen's arm, helping to steady him as he nearly fell off of Marble-Jaw's bulk.
“So.” I said expansively, to the rest of the marines. “Would you like to see if you can take a shot?”
A big blond fellow with a scar across his cheekbones looked at his comrades, and stepped forwards. I called him Scar-Boy. He was matched by the one on the far side of the group, a hulking redhead built like a proverbial shithouse. Brick, I decided. No, Brick-Head, I corrected, as I noticed the oddly square shape of his haircut. Which explained the 83% shaven stat Owen had mentioned earlier.
The other two of the group, No-Neck and Mr-Chin, named for their respective lack of neck and oddly large chin, moved ominously towards Owen.
I leant over to Owen.
“This might get a little interesting.” He looked at me, amusement scrawled across his face.
“You think?”

“Alright. That hurt.” I said, leaning back, trying to keep the ice pack on my face.
“Yeah, it kind of did.” Owen replied, his voice muffled through a handful of bloodstained cloth held against his face.
“Maybe it was a bad idea.” I mused, closing my eyes and feeling the cold bricks of the cell wall against my shoulders.
“Maybe. I don't like it when my face hurts like this.”
“As you've spent the last hour telling me. Has it stopped bleeding?” I asked, opening one eye.
Owen cautiously pulled away the cloth.
“It stopped about half an hour ago, for the most part. But it's still going on and off. Mostly every time I move my nose.”
“Any idea if Liz is coming?”
“Well, they'll have called her. No idea if she's gonna come.”
“She came last time. Then again, she said it was gonna be the last time.”
“She said that the time before.”
“And the time before that.”
“True. So, basically, it's a crapshoot.”
“I don't think your fiancée would appreciate being referred to as that.”
“No, probably not.”
“Certainly not, I would think.” A female voice echoed slightly in the cell. I looked through the bars, and beheld a woman in a blue sundress. The slight curls of her light brown hair caught the sunlight streaming in through the window, shining a near-halo around her head.
“So, what are you two in for this time?” She said, hands on hips, her eyebrow raised.
“Protective custody.” I replied proudly. “Too many burly marines out for our blood.”
“Oh really?” She asked. She was either not impressed or she didn't believe me.
“Yup. Apparently, two pilots should not insult the honour of an entire marine troop.” Owen brightly replied, talking around the cloth at his nose.
“Who knew, right?” I quipped.
“Well, at least you two aren't going to be disciplined this time.” She sighed, as the guard slid the cell door open, and Owen got up.
“They started it. Also, I blame Owen.” I said, as the two of them embraced.
“You always blame me.” Owen muttered through Liz's hair.
“Because you always start something. Somethings. All things. You start them.” I said, closing my eyes, opening them, and trying to get up off of the bench.
“You look terrible.” Liz said, looking me over as she and Owen separated.
“I feel terrible. I'm pretty sure I've only just stopped being drunk. And I got hit first. In my face.”
“He did.” Owen said, “It was impressive. The guy had a fist like an anvil.”
“They always do, hun. They always do.” Liz sighed, as we headed out of the cell.
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Re: Writers' Café

Postby UnknownBearing » Sat May 19, 2012 8:05 pm

What I have so far of my current project. Only a couple paragraphs in, based on Neighborhood #2 (Laika) by Arcade Fire.

Alexander was a troublemaker. There was no doubt about the crook in his grin shadowing his last prank, or the comfy content in his dark eyes when he slammed the door on his shouting parents. Today's door happened to be the front door, and the world around Alex was on the brink of summer. Heat clung to his t-shirt as he crossed the thirsty yard and laid his bare feet on the hot pavement. Alex waited until the scathing burn turned his soles white, and he was ready to run.

Rich must have seen his older brother do this a hundred times since he could remember, and he always wondered where he ran to; but Alex only ever came home when the sun had disappeared, moving beneath their feet. Never through the front door, he always scaled the porch and in over Rich's windowsill.

"No telling and I'll take you to the arcade," Alex would say to Rich if he was there in his room playing with his Legos. It was an old joke since the arcade burned down a long time ago in the heat of a summer. At that young age, Rich understood it meant empty promises, but he kept Alex's secrets all the same because it meant they were brothers.

Now Rich was older and colder, and since the front door was locked he clambered ontop of the same porch overhang his brother had climbed so long ago. Rich pressed his palms over the dew on the glass of his window and slid it open. It felt like climbing through a mirror. He could imagine seeing his younger self as an imprint against the wallpaper, gazing at him with questions in his eyes. Where were you? What have you done?

Rich's room was untouched - clothing left strewn across the floor and hanging from the ceiling fan, drawers eviscerated from their compartments. It felt like years since he left, yet the feelings were always here in this room, waiting for his return to make it feel like only seconds ago.

Could he sleep now? His bed was naked, stripped of its sheets. It called to Rich simply, lay down, rest your sores and aches, forget that you'll ever wake up - but something else was calling louder.

The letter waited for Rich downstairs on the kitchen table. He circled it, thinking about how many times the people in this house had ignored its presence. It sat there, half folded over, waiting for another set of eyes, someone who wasn't too afraid to disturb it. He touched the edge of it gingerly, expecting it to crumble to dust. The paper blossomed like a terrible flower.

The letter now having exposed itself to Rich begged him to drag a chair out from under the table. He could hear the words before he read them:
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Re: Writers' Café

Postby Owen » Sat May 26, 2012 5:43 am

I like it - I'd be interested to read more. The Arcade Fire have strange lyrics but I definitely feel like they're better than most at writing weird lyrics that feel like they have a story behind them (even if you don't know what it is), so it's interesting to see that explored :)
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