Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good night, stupid girl, wherever you are

As some of you may have noted, or, perhaps, not ;-)  I am in the process of writing a short story.  The bones of it came together, quite completely, during the extreme exhaustion in the weeks following my son's birth, during my dreams.  About six months after the dreams, I outlined a story, so as not to lose the details.

My son is now six, so rather than have a few odd sociopaths mucking up my un-sub-and-waking-concious mind, I'd rather write the story and get them out of my head.  I try to set writing up two days/week, but in my crazy life, I have to take it when I can get it, and right now, this is the time. See below for:

A segment from the horror story in progress. (um, disclaimer - we aren't at re-write yet.  We are at the 'putting the whole story down, in order, with enough words to make it into a story" part. It will be awhile before we hit the 'pulling out the too many words" part, and the 'cleaning up clumsy dialogue" part, that will make this less embarrassing  for all of us.  I haven't even got to making all my tenses and subject/objects agree, looked for wandering body parts, or other hideous gaffes.  First. Draft. Only.;-)

Sentimentality for my high school civics teacher, sadly now departed, inspired a good dose of this passage.  I've yet again taken out about 200 lacking words on the whole, and put in almost 600 useful words.

What you need to know:  The (um, wonkily-formatted) discussion is between our protagonist (the aforementioned "stupid girl", caught spacing off on a mysterious town disappearance, and her teacher, who is one of the best-liked, most respected, and most feared teacher in High School.  He's earned this distinction by understanding students better than most adults ever will, and pride in his job, which is to ensure that seniors graduate with Some idea of how the world works. God rest you, Mr. Sandon.

“Ok, Mr. Sampson – what’s for detention this time? Notes? Cleaning? Math tables?” She was pulling for cleaning, but betting on something new and freshly designed, on the spot, for her personal torment. Her Civics teacher was probably the most well-liked, respected, and feared, teacher in school. He was brutally inventive at making a point, and even she knew she had it coming this time, so she braced herself. He attempted to glare at her, and then hit her on the blind side.

“Why were you walking through the old theater last night?” The question genuinely surprised her, so her recovery was totally lame.

“Ok, you first. Why were You walking near the theater?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I happen to live in the neighborhood.” Sarah found herself on the receiving end of a Very. Pointed. Look.
“So, I know the locals there, quite a lot better than you do. Or, you probably wouldn’t choose that street for a late-night stroll. I didn’t see you walking your dog…” Holy crap. She was, actually, horrifyingly, blushing now at being caught, like a total amateur Nancy Drew. She licked her parched lips and readied herself for… a whopper. “so what, precisely, could you possibly have to do in a condemned building, on a school night, without telling even Anna what you were up to?”

Panic? Faint? Stigmata? All of the above???

“Um, Mr. Sampson?” think think think…
”yes. It’s still me”
“Have you ever heard of ....um, a prayer walk?” He looked shocked. He could buy this.
“Well, yes, I have. If memory serves, the last one in town was...” he closed his eyes and pretended to think about it, “about six and a half years ago, give or take a month. It was lead by four, frankly terrifying, ladies from the Womens Auxiliary, not one of them younger than 76. It lasted precisely ten hours and fourty-five minutes, and was followed immediately by a catered dinner at the Sand Bar; I believe they bought 2 rounds for the house. If I was of the Satanic persuasion, I would have been persuaded to leave without packing- they were that formidable, and, if I recall correctly, by the time I Left the Sand Bar, their crucifixes were actually glowing. Now, leaving all that aside, for a moment, I still want to know – what exactly were you doing last night?”

Sweet dreams ;-)


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