Saturday, August 17, 2013

intermission: spring break 2084, part 1

Flashback, Spring break, 2084 - their native dimension.

April and Beau are 21, Summer and Vicky are 20. 

April ran out first into the water, thigh deep, warm and lapping around her knees. The sky was clear and blue and hot, and they were on spring break.

They were in college and there was a war going on. There was a war going on, and they were treating themselves to passed midterms and a spring break vacation. Summer always told April she didn't think about things enough, she didn't pay attention to what was important in the world, politics and war and real things. April didn't want to. Real things were too scary. Real things were too scary even before the war started. And now nothing was right or normal, no matter how they framed it, so when Vicky suggested spring break, April knew it was just what they needed. Summer said it felt so trivial. Maybe it did, after everything. But Vicky had rich and guilt-ridden parents, and they were paying for the trip -- even Summer's ticket -- so who would decline?

You had to let go of the past. You had to keep your spirits up and move forward. April didn't know much, but she knew that was the only way to survive.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

part 5: metaphors in caramel

This is not LH yet. Petaluma, California. Time unknown.

It wasn't New Year's Eve yet, though the calendar said it was December. The bunch of them had stopped StorySkipping for long enough to take note of the time of year. Winter. Christmastime? There was no snow here like they were used to in Lakeside Heights, but just a chill and early, darkened nights, and the overwhelming pressure of holiday cheer with none of the stress of celebration. None of them expected to be here long enough to need to buy presents.

Carly arrived that evening and April's bar was full of the usual suspects, apart from one. "Is Kyle here? He told me to meet him here."

"Yeah, he's here," April said, pausing her pour for a second to look around. "Somewhere."

"There's a football game in the other room," Carly said. "He's probably comatose."

Monday, February 11, 2013

part 4: due to unforeseen circumstances

This is not LH yet. Petaluma, California. Time unknown. 

Approximate ages: Mariah and Micah Buchanan are 35, Quinn is 13, Lily is 12, Ben is 7, Elijah is 5.

For Mariah Buchanan, it was an ordinary morning in what had turned out to be an ordinary life. Her story was told, a Happy Ending, and she and Micah were living out their Happily Ever After. It was better than she'd expected and more than most people could ask for.

She'd just cleaned up breakfast after having sent the kids off to school. That was when she heard the email notification on her phone. She always forgot to turn off those damn notifications. No big deal though -- it was probably just sales spam from the shoe store, spam from the bookstore, spam from the grocery store.

But for some reason, she felt worried. The school never emailed when something was wrong -- they would have called. But there was something wrong, and she knew it. She couldn't shake it. So she checked her email.

Monday, February 4, 2013

part 3: that kind of complicated

This is not LH yet: Petaluma, California. Time unknown.

Approximate ages: April and Beau are 25, Carly is 30.

The needle started to buzz, so much louder than she'd anticipated. She'd imagined a soft noise, like the whir of an electronic toothbrush. But not this -- this thing was like a jackhammer! But what did she know? She'd never gotten a tattoo before.

April cringed waiting for the impact. It wasn't the pain she worried about so much as the permanence. Forever is a long time. And she was poor, so laser removal treatments wouldn't be an option. Signing up for something was easy, but wasn't the removal part always the most complicated? Broken promises, leases, contracts, marriages, unwanted tattoos. Why did everything have to involve such commitment?

"No!!!" April screeched. "Wait! No, no. Not there. I changed my mind."

Monday, January 7, 2013

part 2: a hot, hot mess

This is not LH: Petaluma, California. Time unknown.

Approximate ages: Corbin is 33, Carly is 30, Leila and Matt are 29.

Carly was unsure when Corbin first asked her out. First of all, she knew he was living with someone... someone and her husband, however it was that worked. Carly didn't pretend to know the story there. She didn't think he was her type, or even that she liked him much at all. She knew from friends that he was supposedly good in bed, but knowing that some of her friends had actually been in bed with him was a little off-putting in itself. But she thought they could have dinner, some conversation, because she craved someone to talk to here, a thing so simple as companionship.

Carly lost all of her friends in the rewrite. All of them. They all made it into the novel and Carly got written clean out of it. No mentions, no references. She didn't even exist in the backstory.