Edited to not suck

Posted: October 10, 2009 in Fiction

So I took Alana’s suggestions to heart in multiple things this week. She’s right: our gaming group does leave some things to be desired. I tried for a while to keep it on track last night, with mixed results. I worry when I do that sort of thing that it will become “The Justin Show,” but it almost seems like there was no helping it. The story isn’t very engaging so I ended up pushing for (and getting) some ridiculous character abilities in the game. Most of what makes me want to stay in it though is Casey’s effort to pass everything off as a spiritual journey and/or a psychotic break. Anyway, back to Eve: I am leaving the first posting of it up, but I made a couple of changes. I reckon I’ll hear from at least one person RE: the fixes.

The first thing she felt was cold air raising goose-bumps 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 discovered one of the nicer phones available on the market. The touch-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. Her insides churned so forcefully that she might vomit, but the phone buzzed again. ‘You were hurt pretty bad, but you’re fixed now. You should try 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.

Eve settled back into the seat as the plane lined itself up for the approach. The seatbelt light had been lit since before she was awake. There was a rustle as the passengers around her put things away. “Miss? Is that off?” A stewardess appeared from behind Eve’s field of view. Eve squeaked in surprise. The stewardess’ nose wrinkled as she waited for a coherent response.

“Uh, y – yeah,” Eve stammered. The screen was black, so the stewardess moved on, satisfied. As she passed, the phone rattled in her hand. She read the message. ‘I’m not off, but I’m not exactly on as any of these people would understand it.’ She slid the device into her pocket. What exactly was that thing? She half expected an answering message, but maybe it couldn’t actually read her mind. She’d look into it later.

Her stomach lurched again as the plane descended toward the runway. Eve guessed she wasn’t really a fan of flying even before she woke up covered in blood with missing memories. She felt the hum of control surfaces sliding around in the wings, and the pitch of the air rushing by changed slightly. In a moment, the plane thumped, chirped, and thumped again. They were on the runway now, and the background noise became a muted roar. Eve wondered if she had any luggage. She didn’t see a carry-on at her feet, so it was hard to say. She’d ask her electronic companion when the craft came to a stop. Shortly, the plane taxied up to a gate, and the pilot began mumbling the usual welcome-to-wherever speech on the intercom. Seatbelts everywhere started clicking and popping open as the other passengers tried to gather their belongings in the inadequate space. Eve’s phone buzzed again. ‘You don’t have luggage.’

Eve pulled herself vertical using the seat in front of her as a handhold. She donned the jacket and pocketed the phone.

I need to go to work now, but I suspect this will occupy most of my mind today.

  1. Alana says:

    Wow, I’m honored to merit a mention. I mostly like the way you fixed the things I mentioned; I’m still not entirely sure why you’ve retained certain details (like the phone being one of the best available), but I trust you. I would just keep in mind the whole not-too-much detail thing; you’re doing a good job so far.

  2. Alana says:

    Also, I definitely never said it sucked. Don’t talk like that.

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