The Collected

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Here is a piece of our current work in progress, coming soon.

  • Turner Collins

I wasn’t naive as to why I’d ended up where I was. I knew the lifestyle I had chosen could land me here. I was aware that my choices, my mistakes, they all had consequences. I knew all this and somehow I had still believed that the group of people I had chosen to dedicate my life to would protect me from this fate.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

The small 6 x 8 cell that had been my home for the last six months was my price to pay for those mistakes.

-Dach, The Collected

A new Turner Collins piece

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So, as previously mentioned Collins and I have started a new piece of writing and we are pretty excited about it. After much thought and debate we’ve decided and finally figured out where our niche is, what genre works best for us. Now, this story is in the very early stages, but we’ve begun writing the first workings of it so I have decided to share a little piece with you today. Now, I’m not going to give any of the plot away, because this one is a doozy and I can’t wait for it to finally come to life.

Enjoy!

I grew weak in my grief, my forehead hitting the same window that gave me the last glimpse of her. My eyes, heavy and closing of their own accord. I hadn’t cried in years, I had toughened myself to this life. But nothing could hold the single tear that fell down my stubbled cheek back. It fell, long and wet down my face. I would have wiped it away, had I had the use of my hands. I had to stay strong, not just to get through this trial, through jail, but to get back to my Penny. My sweet little girl who didn’t deserve this. The guilt started to eat me, more than it ever had before. I had always justified my decisions.
It was what was best for my family, to provide for them.
I would never let them be involved.
I was strong and could handle myself.
I wasn’t qualified to do anything else.
I was invinsible.
The guys would help me, protect me.
In the end, none of those reasons worked. I wasn’t indestructible. I wasn’t a good father. I wasn’t a good person.
And Penelope had paid the ultimate cost.

-Turner

 

quote of the day

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mock

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

This world is already so full of negativity and judgement. Before you jump to conclusions, take a step back and try to understand them.

-Collins

200th post! (sneak peek of new story)

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surfTurner and I have been piloting our blog for long enough that we have finally reached our 200th post. That’s insane. We are very grateful and humbled by the amount of people who can relate to us and what we have to say. Honestly, we never thought many people would appreciate what we create. It’s been really a wonderful experience to step out of our comfort zones and post our writing and poetry for other people to enjoy. Our followers have given us so much confidence in our work and the courage to take our work to the next level.

To thank all you wonderful people, we wanted to share a sneak peek at our current novel venture entitled “Riptide.” (the photo above gives you an idea of what the story will involve.)

The bus station is large, with pale green linoleum flooring that clicks as you walk on it. The big windows let it light from the street lamps outside. It’s basically deserted, apart from a middle-aged man curled on a bench sleeping and a couple checking their watches and chatting quietly. The last time I was here, I went with my parents to pick up my aunt Millie. It was the middle of the day and bustling with bright cheery people. This is a stark contrast to then.

Hesitantly I approach the ticket counter where a bald man with red cheeks and a tight shirt counts ticket stubs. He eyes me dully.

“What can I do ya for, kid?” he drawls.

“I’d like one bus ticket please,” I say.

He rolls his eyes and taps the board behind him which indicates the places the buses go. “Where to?”

Good question. I hadn’t though that far. I check down the list. Houston, Detroit, San Diego, New York. None of the choices appeal to me until I see one that reminds me of the money in my pocket.

“Can I get a one way ticket to Santa Cruz please?” I pull a few bills from my purse and place them on the counter.

The man sits up a little straighter in his grubby chair and slides the money off the counter, counting it quickly. “One way or round trip?”

“One way.”

He nods to himself and taps some buttons on his register. A receipt prints out and he hands me my change and a pale pink ticket. “Bus leaves in fifteen.”

“Thanks.”

I catch sight of my reflection in the glass of the door before I push it open. My blonde hair is messy and sticks up in places. There are bags under my tired blue eyes. No one waiting for the bus pays me any attention though. When it arrives, everyone piles on, sliding their luggage into the storage compartment on the side of the bus. I settle into a seat at the back as the bus pulls away from the curb and idles at a stop sign. Closing my eyes, I nod off, clutching my purse and  thinking about all the things I’ll be able to do, just because I can.

*****

I wonder if my parents have reported me missing yet. I wonder if Tanner is crying over me. The idea of either possibility screws my mouth into a grin. I guess Stella isn’t as perfect as you thought she would be. Ha.

I stroll down the boardwalk, lugging my suitcase along. The station the bus had stopped at was only a mile from the beach, so that’s where I headed. Spying a hotdog stand, I head over and order a deluxe with everything. My stomach grumbles as I speak, my mouth salivating at the thought of relish and mustard and onions slathered over a steaming dog.

“That’ll be $2.00,” the server says as he squirts the toppings onto the hotdog and sets it on the counter.

“Sure thing,” I smile, reaching into my purse to pull out a five, furrowing my brow when I can’t find a bill. I open the purse and turn it upside down. A mint and a dime clink onto the counter. You’ve got to be kidding me. “I swear I had money in here. I took a bus here and someone must have stolen from me while I was sleeping.”

The server snorts and dumps the hotdog into the garbage. “No money, no food. Now get lost.”

I stare at the garbage in distain. “Please, I’m really hungry. I could—“

“I said get lost!”

Hungry and upset, I wander away down the beach, tossing the useless purse in a trash can. This isn’t really turning out how I expected. I’ve got no money, no place to go. The waves rumble as they crash into the shore, young kids shrieking as they try to outrun the water. I set my suitcase down and sit on top of it. Rolling up my jeans, I pull off my shoes and dig my toes into the sand.

I watch as women in bikinis eat popsicles and giggle to one another. A group of boys in trunks run with their brightly colored surfboards slung under their arms toward the water. A young boy builds a sandcastle nearby, placing seashells around the perimeter. Everyone on this beach is having an awesome time, and I’m here alone and totally screwed.

A little ways away, near the lifeguard chair, there’s a hose where people can wash the sand from their legs and I notice some kids drinking from it as well. I walk casually over and take a long sip from the hose. The water is cool and heaven against my dry lips. I drink until I can’t fit anymore in and I can feel it sloshing around in my stomach when I move.

I spend the rest of the day combing the beach, people watching. I check out the shops along the boardwalk. Most of them sell souvenirs, but a few sell bait and tackle as well as surf attire and equipment. Lots of the people working in the shops eye my suitcase like I might steal something. I wouldn’t. I’m not desperate enough to, not yet. I smile at them anyway, and say have a good day as I leave.

When the sun has sunken below the horizon, I head back to the beach. It’s become obvious I’m not going to have a place to sleep tonight, so I look for a reasonable place that provides me a little privacy. I find what I’m looking for a ways down the beach. A small peeling blue bait shack is nestled beside a palm tree, whose fronds droop down, dipping into the sand. I curl up against the shack resting my head against the suitcase. Tomorrow I’ll start figuring out just exactly what I’m going to do.

-Collins