Posted: October 8, 2009 in Fiction

I’m still stalled out on how to connect present to future in Steel, so here’s this other thing that’s kicking around in my head. I figure it’s been so long since anyone read my blog that it pretty much doesn’t matter at this point anyway, but I’ll keep talking as if someone cared.

The first thing she felt was cold air raising goosebumps on her skin. The first sound was the hissing of the air nozzle blowing that cold air down onto her from the ceiling. She opened her eyes and immediately regretted it. The light from cabin speared into her eyes, and she squinted against it. She shivered. She reached up and turned her nozzle off. She blinked, and felt sandpaper. She squeezed her eyes shut and rubbed them until she might be able to open them again without the scraping. Eons of dry eyes later, she settled for good enough. Her surroundings flooded in, and panic boiled up in her chest. She was in the sterile white-and-grey plastic tube of an airplane cabin filled with people who were either sleeping or listening to whatever infomercial was playing on the tiny screens in the back of each grey vinyl seat. She leaned forward to look out the window, though her rapid breathing threatened to fog away her view. The flashing light on the wing gave hints of a vast carpet of clouds, but as she watched the plane approached a shore of inky black. From this pool of darkness, pinpricks of light shone, revealing a city. Her mind reeled. This may as well be Atlantis, because she had no idea where she was going. Why was she even on this plane? Who the – her terror was interrupted by a vibration in her lap. She was practically panting as she fumbled under a coat – whose coat was this? – for the source of the tremors. She produced a small black box with rounded corners and a single button on one end. A screen lit up. She read the tiny black text there. “Eve, please calm down. We’ll be landing soon.” She checked for a sender for the message, but found none. The phone buzzed again. “You’re on a flight to Salt Lake City. You’re safe now, and your memory will come back soon.”

As she finished reading the message, she saw her fingernails. There was something black caked under them. In fact, she had trails of it all the way down her slender fingers and up under her shirtsleeves. She looked herself over, and the streaks of black turned to red as she traced them up the sleeves of her formerly white shirt. There were multiple ragged holes in her sleeves as well as several places around her ribcage. She was wearing jeans that were similarly damaged, with each hole tinged red around the edges even on the dark blue. Eve – she guessed she may as well be Eve until she knew otherwise – felt ill. The hand in her gut started twisting so that she might vomit, but the phone buzzed again. “You were hurt pretty bad, but you’re fixed now. Yeah, all that blood is yours, but you have to stay calm.” She pulled the black jacket over her again. She didn’t want to have to explain the condition of her wardrobe. In fact, she probably couldn’t.

I’ve been having problems with my stupid crazy brain again. The depression is hitting harder than I remember, and it’s making it really miserable to be around me. It’s crept into my work and my play, and I really wish it would stop. There are a couple of warm thoughts I try to use as a shield against it, but with mixed results. I’ll share them in hopes that maybe repetition makes me feel better. First, on the 17th, I get to go see mcchris with Matt and Kylee. That was my birthday present from them. Second, on the 22nd, I am going to Tay-has to visit Hoegaarden and Chiara and Madison. I’m told that we’ll be going to an event while I’m there, so that should be fun. Next, I am told that I may be getting a raise and I’m under consideration for advancement yet again once there is room above me. Last, there is evidence that people do in fact love me. I just have to remember that when it gets too dark to actually see it.

  1. Alana says:

    It’s good to see that you’re writing again! About this piece: there’s a lot of detail here, and it hampers the pacing of the story. This is also an issue in the other pieces you’ve written. I think a suspenseful opening like this should carry more immediacy. For example, calling an iPhone (?) “a small black box with rounded corners and a single button on one end” really throws a wrench in the flow while the reader puzzles out what you’re talking about. A couple of nitpicks: “The hand in her gut” is a weird way to put what you’re trying to say because there’s no precedent of a hand to become “the” hand, and the final text might seem more realistic if you omitted the “Yeah, all that blood is yours” part (that can be implied). But interesting start – hope to see more of it soon.

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