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Thursday, December 20, 2012

(Untitled Story) Post 1

Another new story. This idea came to me last night. And it really is nothing more than an idea. If I could figure out the plot, it might turn into something more. But right now there is NO plot. Just idea. Tell me what you think :]




“You are the most foolish of all the foolish boys! You know that, right?”

I could see a small sliver of his hair from I grate I was using to look down into the cell. At the sound of my voice, he tilted his head until I could see his face. He smiled at me and pushed himself to his feet, turning to face me full on through the grate. His dark green eyes gleamed out mischievously at me, even in the dark night. “Course I know. But I also know that I can afford to do ‘foolish’ things now and then ’cause I know you and the boys can always spring me.” He attempted to look past me into the darkness beyond.

“You can stop looking. You’re not going to find them. Will and Allan are providing distraction for the guards and John’s playing lookout for me round the corner.” His eyes still held that mischievous gleam. I reached my hand through the grate and flicked his forehead.

He pulled back involuntarily, the gleam in his wicked eyes fading a bit.

“And,” I continued, drawing the word out, “just because we always can spring you, doesn’t mean we always will. You need to start being more careful before we decide you’re a lost cause. We do have better things to be doing with our time. Promise you’ll start being more careful.”

He took a step back and gave an exaggerated bow. “As you wish, my lady.”

I glared at him. “Promise! I want you to say it so you can’t back down later saying you never promised.”

He stood up straight, and pressed his face against the grill again. “And if I don’t.”

The sound that came out of my mouth was something like a snarl. “Then good luck getting yourself out!” I pushed myself up off the ground and started walked away, my arms crossed tightly over my chest.

“Mari, wait!” his voice had taken on that serious tone, and I knew he was done fooling around. “Come back, please. I promise I’ll be more careful in the future, but you’ve got to get me out of here!”

I crouched down by the grate and pulled out my dagger, pointing it at him. “I’m going to hold you to that.” I moved my dagger to the brick next to the grate. In a smooth move, I cut away the thin layer of putty surrounding the brick, revealing what only few people knew. The brick wasn’t attached to the wall. It hadn’t been for some time now. Not since we started making our enhancements to the prison a year ago in case anyone of us was foolish enough to get tossed in here.

I handed him the dagger through the grate so he could free the brick on his side as well. Pulling a smaller knife from my boot, I began digging out the wedges we’d installed by the iron bars of the grate. I sheathed my knife and retrieved my dagger. As I was doing this, he worked the grate until it fell free from its place. With its absence, we were able to push the brick from its resting place. The brick may have been free of any constraints, but it was still heavy. Soon, it was gone, and the hole left by it and the grate was big enough to climb in through. Or out.

I gave him my hand for leverage as he began to slowly work his way out. The physical exertions took their toll and we were both sat panting on the ground for a moment before erasing the signs of our presence. With a final touch, I reached through the restored grate and smeared clay from my jar along the edges of the brick. Though, I said smear, I wasn’t sloppy about it. It had to look the mortar on the other bricks or it’d all be ruined.

When I was finished, I turned to my companion and saw him donning the presents I’d brought for him. I waited until he’d slung the bow over his shoulder and pulled his standard hood over his head, hiding his features in shadow.

Then, we took off on silent feet, collecting our friends as we went until we were safely beyond the reaches of the prison.

 

>>>--------------------------->

 

The two figures hiding in the shadows of the prison courtyard waited until the girl and boy were safely out of hearing before they spoke.

Predictably, it was the doctor who spoke first. “What do you think, Sherlock? Will you take the case?”

Sherlock smiled at his companion. “My dear Watson, there is no case to be taken. We just witnessed exactly how this boy keeps getting out. Therefore, we’ve solved the security breach.” He looked carefully at the place where the two figures had vanished. “However, in the interest of interest, I think it’s time we took a closer look at this young, Robin Hood.”

Watson look at Sherlock, started for a moment. “But Sherlock, Robin is a ghost.” Then he paused as the pieces fell into place. “Wait, are you suggesting that that boy is Robin Hood? He’s nothing but a lad?!”

Sherlock smiled at his friend. “That is exactly what I’m suggesting. He may be a lad and a ghost, but he leaves some pretty heavy footprints. It’s about time we followed them to see where they lead.”



 >>>--------------------------->

Robin was first through the window. He turned and extended his hand, helping me over the ledge. We stood in his room silently for a moment, letting our breath catch up to us. He was smiling at me, the thrill of the night rushing through his veins. I glared at him and turned to the door to leave. He snagged my arm before I could make my escape.

“Come on, Mari. Don’t be like that.”

“Robin,” I hissed, exasperated, “how do you expect me to be?!  My father would skin you alive if he knew all the crazy stupid schemes you got me tangled up in. You’d be out of this house so quick your ancestors would feel it.”

His smile was gone. He squeezed my arm a little tighter and pulled me close to his face. “Don’t stand there and act like everything we do is on my shoulders. You come up with just as many ‘schemes’ as I do, so don’t stand there and act like I’m a horrible person. You love the life just as much as me.”

I couldn’t respond to him. His words rang true in my ears and I couldn’t deny it. But I also wasn’t ready to stop being angry at him for letting himself be caught. Again. And he could see that. He knew too well how to read me.

He released his hold on my arm and sat down heavily on his bed. “I’m sorry, Marian. I know sometimes I do stupid things. But you have my promise that I’ll try to be more careful. I don’t know what else you want me to do.”

He looked tired and weary, the night’s adrenaline leaking out of him. I could see that he meant what he was saying in the downward curve of his shoulders and his lowered head. I walked to the door, opening it soundlessly. “Get some sleep, Robin,” I said, not unkindly.

I climbed into the sheets of my own bed in the room down the hall from his. Though I was weary, it was still a long time before my eyes decided to stay shut.

(Other Side of the Mirror) Chapter 1

I know I said I wasn't going to put any more of this story up on this blog, but I realized that the prologue and first two chapters are all so completely different from each other that I need to post them each to give people a little hint at what my story is even about. Since that hint doesn't show up until chapter two, I need to give you chapter one as well. Though, thinking about it, people could not read chapter one and still understand the scope of my story just fine. It is really more like a second prologue only slightly more unnecessary than my other prologue. But my second attempt at finding a good starting point for my story resulted in this and I really like it so you get it. (My first attempt was truly very awful. I wrote something like two pages and I hated nearly every word of it. It just was not working so I've been trying to find a different place to start my story, one that, you know, actually worked. As soon as this little starting point jumped into my head, I loved it. I had to change some of the details to accommodate but as I was changing them, I kept thinking "Why did I ever think this was a needed detail anyway? This works just as well.") It's a short chapter, but I really couldn't start in on her "moment that changed everything" like I planned on. The tone is so completely different from the rest of the story that I decided it needs to stand alone. And as the writer, that's my creative license.

Anyway, enough excuses, explanations, and begging you to read the chapter on my part. Without further ado . . .






Chapter 1
 

You know that point in your life when everything changed. Maybe you don’t. It’s possible you don’t have one of those points. I, on the other hand, do. That point will forever be in my mind like a lighthouse on the harbor shore. The brightness of it starting to fade when, BOOM! The light in the lighthouse has made another revolution, searing my eyes with its bright burning, leaving ghost lights of the memory hovering in my eyes everywhere I look. My only solution is to turn away from the lighthouse completely, turn my back on my past memories that only hurt.

I don’t want that hurt.

But I also don’t want to let go.

Letting go would mean losing my mom forever, instantaneously, instead dragging out the pain by losing her in little bits day by day.

Let me take you to that moment. That one moment that changed everything. It was actually a series of moments taking place much, much too slowly over the period of about ten seconds. But one of those moments sticks out in my mind clearer than all the others . . .

Oh wait! Maybe I should make some dramatic statements before fading away to the moment and the impact it had on everything in my life afterward. Rover does say that I can sometimes have a flare for the dramatics, but I don’t see any harm in it. Let’s see, what to say. Okay how ‘bout this:

Hi. My name is Sam. Short for Samantha if you weren’t quite able to pick up on the fact that I’m a girl. But I go by Sam, and nobody had better try to call me Samantha if they know what’s good for them. I had a good life, though, I guess my life now couldn’t be considered as bad, or actually, it probably could. But you’ll find out that for yourself later. Anyway, I had a good life. Right up until this moment. Everything changed in that one moment. Some things were definitely worse after. Other things . . . well I still haven’t decided if he is better or not, looking at the situation he got me into. Though, he argues that it was my choices that got me here which, is arguably true. But that doesn’t matter. It’ll matter later, but not now. That one moment is what matters now. Because, that moment is the moment my mom died and this whole mess got started . . .

(Camera, zoom out from me. Everything fade into blackness. And . . . cue the car.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

(Other Side of the Mirror) Prologue

This is the only chapter of this story I'm posting on this blog. The rest will be on my private blog Falling Through Time. If you wish to read more but haven't been invited to view my other blog, leave your email address in the comment section. I moderate all comments and won't let anybody else see your email.

This idea has been hovering around the edge of my consciousness for months and in the last week it has finally started taking form. Hope you enjoy.



Prologue

“Hurry up, Rover! They’re gaining on us!”

Six-year old Rover stumbled along after his brother. They’d been on the run for as long as he could remember. Rover’s lungs burned in his chest. The heat seemed to spread out from there filling his limbs. He felt so hot, he had to be was steaming. This wasn’t from running, though. Rover knew he wouldn’t be able to contain himself for much longer.

Rover hurried up the street. His brother jumped behind a building, and watched the street past Rover. He was looking for signs of Them.

Rover ran past his brother into the alleyway. An alley? There was no way out except the way they’d come. Rover couldn’t be sure why his brother chose this place to run to. His brother continued to watch down the street, waiting for something. The walls on either side stretched up so Rover had to crank his neck to see dark sky. It was darker than it had been the day before. The walls themselves were blackened as if by fire had scorched their surfaces. It probably had, Rover decided. The town they’d been running through was abandoned and as near as could be to destroyed while still standing. Buildings still remained everywhere, but there were husks, gutted out first by fires then by looters. They were in one of the first places to be ravaged by Them.

It had been risky coming here. They were always more safe in the sanctuaries. Never completely safe, but more safe then when they were out of them. But Talon had heard rumors that what they were looking for was in the ruins of Chicago. So here they were, gambling and, from the looks of it, losing.

Talon was eight years older than Rover. He’d been taking care of Rover his whole life. Rover had never learned what happened to their parents, and Talon refused to talk about it. Talon always seemed to know what to do, where they should go. The street adjoining the alley was littered with rusting cars. Someone trying to drive anything would find themselves out of luck. That is what Talon had been counting on. If They wanted to follow the brothers, they’d have to do so on foot.

The heat was becoming too intense for Rover to handle. He pressed himself against the wall for support as he tried to control himself. “Talon!” he called through gritted teeth.

His brother, Talon, glanced over at him. “I’m sorry Rover. You just need to hold it in a little longer.” His eyes held an emotion that was hard for Rover to read, especially in his current state. Rover closed his eyes and worked no controlling his breathing. He counted slowly in his head like Talon had taught him. The burning was still there, but it wasn’t in control of him anymore.

Talon broke through his meditation. He turned to face his little brother. “They’re here Rover. When I say now, you need to pull that same trick we did in Houston. Got it?”

Rover suddenly understood what they were doing in the alley. “But that was an accident. I don’t know if I can do that on purpose.” He was desperately afraid he’d let his brother down. Then They would capture them and it would all be over.

Talon left his position at the corner and knelt down in front of Rover, putting his hands on his shoulders. He looked his brother directly in the eye, and spoke with no hesitation. “You can do it, Rov. I know you can. You have a lot more control than you did back in Houston. You can do this, you have to believe that.”

Rover took a deep breath, feeling the heat respond inside of him. He nodded his confirmation to Talon, knowing that speaking would betray him.

Talon released him and resumed his position at the corner. Rover imagined for a moment that Talon had released him because the heat that he was overwhelmed with too strong of his brother too stand. But that wasn’t that case. The only person that could feel the heat was Rover.

Taking more calming breaths to control the heat, Rover half-turned to face the back wall of the alley. He pictured what he needed to do in his head. He saw himself repeating the action over and over. A sense of calm surrounded him. For the first time, Rover realized, he could do it. When Talon ran toward him, telling him it was time, Rover was ready.

He stretched his hands out to the back wall. The heat in his body gathered into his hand and shot to the bricks. With a breath, he clenched his outstretched fingers. Thousands of bricks pulled free of each other. Rover would have enjoyed watching that part in slow motion if he hadn’t been concentrating: millions of cracks spreading practically instantly across the entire surface of the wall, each brick pulling and breaking free of its neighbors . . . all of it happening silently. The silence is what always amazed Rover the most.

In another breath, Rover turned to the open end of the alley, throwing his hands over his head toward the entrance like he’d watched kids do with soccer balls at the sanctuary in Los Angeles. With his hands, the bricks flew as one to the other end of the alley just as They first started making an appearance. The brick swirled harmlessly around the two brothers. The same couldn’t be said for Them. The bricks were littered in a massive pile from the entrance of the alley to the other side of the street. Those crushed under the weight hadn’t even had time to realize their dire situation until it was too late.

Rover collapsed forward onto his hands and knees with the sudden release of so much power. The heat had completely disappeared from his body, but it had taken all Rover’s energy with it.

Talon pulled him too his feet. “I’m sorry Rover, but we have to keep moving. More will be coming.” He maneuvered Rover so he was riding on his back. He ran toward the wall-less  building at the back of the alley.

Rover was too tired to notice the route they were taking, but sense that Talon was looking for an exit.

Something pulled at Rover’s consciousness. “Talon,” he whispered into his brother’s ear, “it’s here.”

Talon stopped cold. “Are you sure?”

Rover nodded against his brother’s shoulder.

“Where?”

“Upstairs, third floor, it’s the second door on the left.” Rover was certain how he knew, but he did.

Talon found the stair and started climbing. Rover could feel his strength returning slowly. Another flight of stairs, Rover felt the beginning of the flames curling slowly in his stomach. It would take days for it to come back as strong as it had been before. It used to take longer than that. Talon said it was because Rover was getting stronger. Rover didn’t know how he felt about that. Would the day come when he had to release the heat constantly to avoid being overwhelmed? Rover hoped not. He didn’t know how he could survive that way if it always left him feeling this exhausted. He would have no time for recovery. Rover had never shared this fear with Talon. His big brother had better things to spend his time worrying about.

He noticed Talon was panting when they reached the third floor. With some of his energy returning, Rover decided he could make it the rest of the way without being carried. Sometimes it was easy to forget Talon was only fourteen.

The second door on the left opened up into a room that was all but empty. The only thing that remained was a charred, floor-length mirror leaning up against one of the walls. Rover felt a blast of heat coming from the mirror, reaching out to him. Rover glanced over at Talon, but he seemed unaffected but heat. He was staring at the mirror, his mouth hanging slightly ajar. Hope and joy misted over his eyes. Talon leaned against the door frame for support. “We found it,” he whispered. “We actually found it!”

Rover walked over and stood in front of the mirror. He knew, in theory, what he would see, but looking in the mirror and not seeing himself looking back was eerie. In the mirror he saw a room that was similar to the one he was in. There were however a few exceptions, the lack of himself being one of them. The room that looked back at him, appeared slightly smaller than the one they were standing in. The walls were splattered with graffiti he couldn’t begin to hope to read. There was a broken table tilting awkwardly against the wall and the remains of a chair scattered on the floor next to it. Rover couldn’t help but wonder what story this room carried with it.

He turned back to his brother, and was surprised by the look of sadness painted across Talon’s face. What had happened to the joy and hope? Rover grabbed his brother’s hand and tried to pull him toward the mirror. “We should go, Talon. Like you said, before They show up and destroy the mirror.” Rover felt awkward. He wasn’t used to telling his brother what they should do.

Talon stopped a few feet from the mirror, not moving any farther. He smiled sadly down at Rover. “I’m not going, Rov. Only you are.”

Rover was confused and hurt. “You can’t stay here! What about Them?!”

“That’s why I have to stay. You don’t need me anymore. You have enough control of your powers to take care of yourself. I need to stay here so I can keep an eye on them, until it’s time for you to come back.” This plan sounded sound.

Rover understood why. “You’ve been planning this all along, haven’t you? I’m not strong enough to do this without you.”

Talon hugged his little brother. “Yes you are. You are more strong than I think anyone imagined. In a few years from now, nobody will be able to stand in your way.”

Tears trickled down Rover’s cheeks as he hugged Talon. “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too.” Talon’s voice came out raspy. He cleared his throat and stepped away, wiping at his eyes. “But I have an idea so we’ll still be able to talk whenever we want.”

“How?” Rover felt some of his own hope returning.

“We need to destroy both of the mirrors so They can’t use them. But first you need to use your power to cut out two perfect pieces. If they are exactly the same, they’ll stay linked even if we move from this spot. We’ll still be able to communicate.” Talon could tell Rover was still upset. Talon was sad too, but this was how it had to be. He gave Rover a small push toward the mirror. “Be brave, little brother.”

Rover looked back at him. “You too, big brother.”

He stepped through the mirror.