Get to know me

short story, writing

Here’s another snippet from our current project The Collected. Erika isn’t too impressed with the orderlies.

 

“Maybe she’s one cranky bitch by now, being stuck here for years,” Jake jokes. I don’t find his joke funny.
“Yeah,” Tulu says. “She’s got to be one crotchety—“
He doesn’t get to finish before my angry boils over. I focus on the pen and it wretches from Jake’s hand and goes skidding down the hall.
Jake’s eyes pop open in shock and Tulu chuckles awkwardly. I circle them, hands on my hips, as I size them up.
“That was weird,” Jake says.
“I think you made the ghost angry,” Tulu grins.
“Got that right,” I snap. “You two idiots are blaming the wrong person. I would never…” I trail off realizing it’s pointless and head down the stairs.
Jake goes to collect his pen and I send it rolling further down the hallway. Asshole.
The lobby is a large cheery looking room with yellow walls and blue furniture. Blue chairs and couches for patients families to wait. A large white receptionist’s desk is set in the middle of the room with Ingle Creek’s name splashed across the front. There are several generic pieces of artwork that hang all over the place, all in muted shades of purple and grey. Those haven’t changed since I got here.
I wait by the front doors, shuffling my feet as I practice my moonwalk. The receptionist stationed at the desk takes two boring calls before I see a delivery man mounting the front steps. Finally.
The man carries a brown package under his arm as he grunts, fumbling with the doors.
“Damn arthritis,” he mumbles as he gets the doors open and shoulders his way through.
I slip through the doorway as soon as he clears it, the old hinges on the door slowing its movement. Outside, the afternoon sun is dipping lower like a sunflower head that’s too heavy. I sit on the steps and pull my knees up to my chin.
 
-Collins

Get to know me

writing

Here is a little snippet from our new story The Collected, so you can get to know our antagonist “The body” a bit better.

 

Dach’s body chuckles, drawing back from Mabel. “Hello little haunter.”
I stare at the body in stunned silence. Had he heard me? How is that possible?
“Leave Mabel alone,” I say, setting my jaw.
“And what if I don’t?” The body turns and watches through its wavy tendrils of hair. Its eyes have the glean of a cat’s, curious and knowing.
“I… I’ll get an orderly’s attention, bring them here. It wouldn’t be hard.”
The body looks to Mabel then stands from the bed, its gown making little crinkling noises. “You’ve made quite the reputation for yourself here, haven’t you?” I don’t say anything. It grins and walks slowly towards me. “Tell me, how does it feel to have been trapped here for over thirty years, to spend your days walking around aimlessly, collecting trinkets? To be here so long you don’t even notice the days pass anymore. To lead a meaningless existence.”
“Shut up.”
It gets closer still. “What’s it like to be nothing?” It waves its arm, passing it through my midsection. A cold wave ripples through me. “To be a whisper in the wind?”
“I said shut it!” I take a step back, out of its reach, and stare up into its eyes. “I am not nothing. I may be dead, but at least I don’t go around trying to kill other people. That’s something crazy people do, so maybe it makes sense you’re in here.”
“Crazy people,” his lips twist around the word ‘people’ and make it sound like a curse. “You were one of those, weren’t you?” It leans closer as an ugly grin overtakes its face. “Say hello to Dach for me.”
 -Collins

get to know me

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Here’s a piece for you to get to know Kay from “Unit 17.”

The brakes of the truck groan as Kay rolls to a stop at the gate where a guard is stationed. Nikki sits in back with the cargo, banished there by Kay, who refused to have him ride shotgun. I turn in my seat as the guard, I recognize as Morrow, emerges from her tiny control booth. Her neon green hair is a stark contrast to her black jumpsuit.

“Howdy, Theo,” she smiles, “Kay.”

Kay dips her chin, but let’s me speak. I am the leader after all.

“Morrow.”

She holds a small tablet, which is used to keep track of who enters and exits the compound. It scans the truck and in seconds she has a tally of every living inside.

“Two Rejecteds acquired? And Nikki’s in the back?”

“That’s right.”

“Good job, Theo,” she says, her green hair blowing around her face as she leans in the driver’s side window. “How was it being unit leader?”

“I er… It was fine,” I say lamely, not wanting to get into specifics.

Morrow appears oblivious to my mood and continues on in a longing tone. “I wish they would let me off guard duty. I still haven’t gone on a Rejecteds assignment yet. Always just stupid stuff, like getting supplies, or picking up stranded units.” She lets out a sigh.

“Are you going to let us in already, or are you going to gripe about how you didn’t get any marshmallows in your Lucky Charms next?” Kay barks. I knew she could only put up with Morrow’s small talk for so long.

Morrow takes a few steps back from the truck, looking dejected. Tapping a few times on the tablet, the gate begins to roll back with a mechanical grind of gears. “You may proceed,” she says, like she’s said it about a thousand times, with just as little enthusiasm.

“Finally,” Kay mutters, steering us through the opening and towards the Center. I give her a look but don’t say anything. I find its better not to point out that she’s being rude, because then she turns on you, and that’s a whole other can of bitchy worms. I learned that from experience.

-Collins

Get to know: Erin

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Collins and I are currently working on a new project that includes all of the best things. Action, superheros, romance, pranks and best friends. This is a section to help introduce our main heroine, Erin. Or Em as she is known to most of everyone.

The feeling that has been worming its way into my mind lately is nagging at me again. This has been happening since I was a child. No one ever took it seriously, no one except Theo. I shake my head at thoughts of him. I try not to take it seriously either. It’s never done me any good. Sometimes I can go months without the feelings, without the dreams.

-Turner

Get to know me

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Turner and I are excited to start sharing some get to know me posts now. Here is a peek into one of the main characters named “Theo” from our new book titled “Unit 17.”

I have tried almost all the doors and am about to give up, thinking Nikki got the count wrong, when I hear a small cry come from behind a vending machine a few feet away near the window that Kay looked in. A small brown-haired girl peeks her head out from behind the machine, her eyes wide. I start toward her and she backs up to the wall, her fingers wrapping around the sill of the window. She couldn’t be more than fourteen.

She looks frantically around, her eyes wild with fear.

I lock my eyes on her and speak in a soothing tone. “There is no need to be afraid. I am not going to hurt you.”

Her breathing slows and she relaxes a little as my suggestion roots itself inside her brain.

“Good, that’s good. Now I’m just going to take you down to—“

I am passing by the vending machine when it topples over and crushes me beneath it, pinning my legs to the floor. I cry out in pain.

A boy a little older than the girl with angry eyes and a sneer emerges from behind the machine and darts towards the girl. He grabs her hand and snaps her out of my suggestion. I reach for my weapon then, but it is trapped between my hip and the machine. They barrel down the hallway, towards the stairwell that Kay has left unguarded.

Dammit.

“Nikki, Kay. There are two children running down the back stairs. Intercept them, now!”

“What?” Kay bellows, agitation clear in her voice.

“You heard me.”

My legs are in some serious pain right now, and I’m no Jax. I can’t just lift this thing off me like it’s nothing. I prop myself up on my elbows and look around. There’s a fire extinguisher I could use to get enough leverage to move my legs out but it’s attached to the wall where I can’t reach it. I’m stuck. And I look like a total idiot. So there’s that.

A few minutes later Kay and Nikki come running down the hall.

“Jesus!” Kay says.

“Just get this thing off me,” I say, trying to keep the embarrassment out of my voice.

Any insight into what you think this story is going to be about?

-Collins

behind the scenes

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I can’t be the only one who enjoys behind the scenes and the making of documentaries, can I? I actually like watching these more than watching the actual movie. Why, you may ask. Well here’s why.

I like to see how things are put together, how this movie was made out of all its tiny parts. I like to listen to individuals and understand what they were trying to achieve, why they shot something or designed something a certain way. I like to listen to what the director intended people to feel. I like to have things pointed out that I may have missed while watching the movie the first time. I understand a movie in much more depth after.

I love to see those little parts I mentioned earlier in action, AKA, behind the scenes. The culmination of everyone, the director, the camera men, the actors, to create something is so beautiful. To watch something raw, before it is edited and movie-fied is so engrossing to me. I say this because when you get to watch cameras filming actors acting, in the moment you can see what’s really happening. The actors are just people pretending a story on a set while real life is going on around them. You get to see these people being themselves between takes and I find that fascinating.

-Collins

Get to Know me

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Let’s get to know Maria, Stef’s step-mother from “Betrayal Comes After.”

Cyn and I have made it about ten steps inside the carved mahogany doors of my house when Maria hears us.

“Persephone,” she calls in a shrill voice, a Colombian accent coloring her words. “Did you pick up the order from Atkin’s Lingerie like your father asked?”

I cringe at the foot of the stairs. “Please just call me Stef,” I say over my shoulder. I don’t really want to look at Maria.

“Stef,” she says sarcastically, “That’s not a proper reply to my question. Turn and face me when you’re speaking to me.”

When I turn to face her, I make sure I’m standing on the first step, so I’m just a little taller than her. I have the misfortune of noticing the extremely low cut top she wears to display her fake boobs. She’s wearing some sort of spandex leggings she thinks can pass for pants. The fact that I can see her thong through them proves they don’t. She stands with her hands on her hips. Cyn sits perched at the top of the stairway, a grin plastered across her face; she thinks Maria is a riot. “Yes we did.”

Maria glances around dramatically. “Really? Where’s the box? I don’t see a box.”

Does Maria seem like sunshine and roses, or like fluorescent lights and Venus fly traps? Let Turner and I know in the comments.

-Collins

Get To Know Me

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Let’s get to know our main male character, Luka, from “Betrayal Comes After” through a conversation with his mother.

“Okay,” I say, not returning her kisses or embraces. I haven’t been able to in years.

“Well, isn’t that lovely,” she smiles. I can tell it isn’t genuine. It’s the same smile I use.

“Yes,” I respond. I look past her towards my father’s office hoping she will catch on to my clear displeasure in the direction this conversation is taking. She takes the hint. Her eyes narrow, and she quickly plasters her fake smile back into place.

“Right, well. You best be on your way.”

“Yes.”

“You have a good day, Luka. Perhaps we could have dinner together as a family sometime?”

I eye her wearily. Something is up. I have a feeling I am about to find out. “Okay,” I say, finally stepping away from her and making a hasty retreat to my father’s office. I’m not sure which is the lesser of two evils: my superficial, fake mother, or my overly robust, self-centred, abusive father. Apparently I choose the latter.

What do you think Luka’s home life is like? What do you think he does for a living? Let Turner and I know in the comments!

-Collins

Get To Know Me

book, book quote, character, get to know me, writing

Any posts with the “Get To Know Me” label are going to be dedicated to getting to know some of Turner and I’s characters better. We are going to take a look at one of the main characters from our first book “Betrayal Comes After.” Let’s catch a glimpse of Stef through this excerpt:

“Are you almost ready, darling?” my mother calls through the door.

“Yes, mom, just a minute,” I reply as I slip a white cocktail dress over my head. It may be a little too mature for a seventeen year old, but this is the sort of thing you wear to one of my father’s parties.

“Alright, Stef, I’ll be downstairs parading around in front of the lions. The limo leaves in five minutes to take us to the party.”

I giggle as I zip up the side of the dress. She’s the only one who calls me by my nickname. Most people don’t know how you would get “Stef” from “Persephone” but I have my three year old self pronouncing it “Per-stef-o-ne” to thank for that, and my parents for naming me something as strange as Persephone.

What kind of character does Stef sound like to you? What do you think she looks like? What kind of party do you think she’s going to? Turner and I would love to hear your interpretation in the comments!

-Collins