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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

F2K Continues--help requested

Hello Readers,

Today I'm going to post some of my writings for F2K.  It involves a couple of story lines I'm trying to develop. I can't decide which one I will complete for Lesson 6. We are on Lesson 4 now and Lesson 5 is ready to post.   Feedback is welcome.

The first story is about a ghost in the Jefferson Library (fictional).

The Spirit of Jefferson Library
I met the Spirit of the Jefferson Library when I closed.  A sudden chill resulted in goose bumps on my arms, and I felt a waft of foul air pass in front of me.
The day started with a sudden storm, dumping almost an inch of cold rain.  The wind blew eddies around on the street, picking up fallen autumn leaves and creating little tornadoes that swirled around.  After the storm ended, the library smelled dank and sour.  Buckets sitting around on the floors began making music as rain drops, having soaked through the roof and ceiling fell into the buckets, strategically placed during prior storms.
The patrons didn’t make much fuss about the drips. After the first drop fell on them or the table, they calmly moved a few feet away and quietly resumed their reading or studying.  A few minutes before closing time, they closed their books, filled their book bags, and left for the evening.
I re-shelved the last book and started toward the desk to retrieve my purse.  I gasped as the lights suddenly went out.  I looked around toward the front door, believing it was a patron playing a trick on me.  It was dark, but still light enough that I could see that no one stood by the front door. 
“H-hello?,” I called out, looking around me in every direction.  “Is anyone there?”
Dead silence. 
“The library is closing,” I continued, while edging toward the desk and the phone.  “If you need a book, please come back tomorrow during regular library hours.”
A book slammed to the floor from the shelf directly behind me.  I screamed and whirled around.  The book lay opened, its pages parted in the middle.  I could see a passage in the book had been circled in red permanent marker.  I picked the book up and carried it to the desk.  Flipping a light switch to the on position, I was horrified to find it didn’t work. Maybe a bulb burned out.  
I grabbed a flashlight from under my desk.  A quick glance around with the light revealed no living person in the room with me.  I used the light to read the passage in the book.
“This place is not your home. You must leave at once.  Staying here may result in your death,” the passage read. 
Oh my goodness.  My heart was beating so fast and so hard, it felt like it was going to climb up my throat and jump out of my mouth.  My stomach felt queasy.  I was sweating profusely.
Suddenly, an apparition in old clothes, like someone from another century, appeared in front of me. The odor of death was all around me. The ghost didn’t say a word.  He just extended his long raggedy arm and pointed to the front door.
I obeyed.  I called the library the next day and resigned.  No one seemed surprised or argued.

The Spirit of Jefferson Library may still be there today. I know I won’t be.

1.    Buckets sitting around on the floors began making music as rain drops, having soaked through the roof and ceiling fell into the buckets, strategically placed during prior storms.
2.    A sudden chill resulted in goose bumps on my arms, and I felt a waft of foul air pass in front of me.
3.    I gasped as the lights suddenly went out. 
4.    The pall of death was all around me.
5.    The tang of blood filled my mouth after I bit my lip. 
6.    Suddenly, an apparition in old clothes, like someone from another century, appeared in front of me.
7.    The room seemed like a large cavern, with high ceilings and tall windows.
8.    I looked around toward the front door, believing it was a patron playing a trick on me. 

The library takes on a different atmosphere at night.  Crickets sing their songs in the silence of empty rooms.  The faint essence of perfumes worn by patrons earlier in the day wafts in invisible clouds over the tables.  A chill comes over the room, as the Spirit drifts among the shadows.  A metallic flavor fills my mouth as my fear overtakes my senses.  The hours seem to drag on forever until morning. The rooms seem so big and empty.

This will sound a little out of sequence. That's because it is.  It is actually 2 different lessons that I am planning to combine for a short story.  It will be placed into an appropriate order before it is posted as a complete storyline. There will be more description, and more details, as well as a story arc.  For now, I'm just collecting the words and getting them on paper.

The second story line is about a telemarketer call gone badly.

The Butcher

The phone rang, waking me up from a deep sleep.  At first I thought I was dreaming, and the phone’s ringing seemed to be in the dream, so I ignored it.  Eventually, I realized that I was awake, and I sighed as I reached for my phone.
“Hello?” I answered.
“Gloria? Gloria Evans?” A male voice on the other end of the line boomed into the receiver.  I pulled the receiver away from my ear and winced.  I didn’t recognize the voice.
“Yes? Who’s calling please?” I asked.  Dang! Surely not another telemarketer!  I’ve already had four of them call this morning.
“This is James Edwards from Publisher’s Clearing House.  You are the lucky winner of a new Vizio sixty- inch television!  Congratulations!”
“I’m confused. How could I have won a TV set when I didn’t enter the contest?” I frowned, rubbing my eyes. “I think you must have made a mistake.”
“You are Gloria Evans, aren’t you?  That is the name that was drawn earlier today in our big give-away contest.  Will you be home this afternoon, so we can deliver  your new TV to you?” The booming man continued his spiel.
“I already have a TV, and I don’t need a new one.  Give it to someone else. This is not a good time for me,” I argued.  Man, I hate telemarketers!
“But you are the rightful recipient of this one.  We must deliver it or be out of compliance with sweepstakes law.  Now, your address is 222 Westside Boulevard, is that correct?” Mr. Boomer aka James Edwards continued.
“I’m not giving you any personal information about me, including my address. Heck, you could be a murderer or rapist looking for a way to attack me.  Please leave me alone!”  I pleaded.
“Oh, come on, you don’t really believe that, do you?  How silly!” Boomer began laughing into the receiver.  His laugh sounded like a donkey braying.  If I hadn’t been so angry with him, I would have laughed.  Instead, I just grew more agitated.
“I don’t know you. I didn’t order any television, and I didn’t enter your stupid sweepstakes!  Now, please leave me alone
 “Your daughter knows me.  Don’t you, Lisa?  Do you want to talk to Lisa?”  I could hear my daughter’s voice in the background.
“Lisa? Is that you?  Where are you, Sweetheart?” I cried into the phone.
Boomer came back on the line.  “Just don’t you worry your pretty head about where Lisa is. She’s safe with me, now. But how long she remains safe will depend on how fast you can come up with one million dollars to, shall we say, buy her freedom?”
“You bastard!  How dare you kidnap my daughter!” I screamed into the phone.
“Now, now, is that any way to talk to the person who holds your daughter’s life in his hands?  Oh, and by the way, my name is not James Edwards, either.  You can just call me Butch.  Short for Butcher.  Got it?”

The next part of the "lesson" involves conducting a job interview with one of our characters.  I chose the Butcher.  It goes like this:

“Hello, may I help you?”
“Yes, Mrs. Barnes, I am here to apply for the role of the Butcher in your movie about the kidnapping.  I have my resume here for you.”
“Thank you, Mr. Jamison. Please have a seat.  Well, now—you do have a criminal record?”
“Yes, I do. Why? Does that make a difference?”
“Well, that depends.  What did you do?  Did you serve time for your crimes?  Are you free to work for me, now?”
“I’m no angel.  When I was fifteen, I killed a man who raped my sister.  That son of a bitch deserved it.”
“Why didn’t you let the police handle it?”
“Ha, ha, lady, have you ever had a family member raped and seen how the police handle crimes like that?  By the time she was done, she felt like she had been raped multiple times by multiple people.  They let that SOB get off with two years in a minimum security prison.”
“So when did you kill him?”
“The day he got out of the joint.   I was waiting at his house and broke his neck like a pencil. It was very satisfying.  But it didn’t bring back Sissy’s innocence.  I wished I could have killed him again and again and again!”
“Ok, let’s move on.  What have you done since then?”
“I served fifteen years for killing that jerk, then when I got out, I got a job as an auto mechanic in a small town filling station.  I was always good with a wrench and pliers.”
“I’m sure you were. What makes you want to apply for this job?”
“I always thought acting would be kind-a fun.  I think I could really get into this role and become one with the Butcher.  I could think about what happened to my sister, and get angry all over again, and that would give me the rage needed to act out a role like this.”
“Um—you realize this is just a movie?  We aren’t actually going to hurt anyone?  Do you believe you could control yourself, and not hurt the other actors?”
“Sure.  Remember, my sister was hurt. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone like her. That’s exactly why I’m perfect for this role.”
“I’m confused, Mr. Jamison.  First, you say you want to get back your rage from your sister’s violent rape, then you say you can control that rage, because of your sister’s rape.  That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  I need to know that we can trust you to do a good job of acting, but to be always in control.  How can you guarantee you won’t act out again?”
“You know, it’s bitches like you that keep people like me oppressed and unable to keep a job.  I came here in good faith, and want to do a good job for you.  But I’ll never be up to your standards, so screw you!”
“Mr. Jamison, I don’t think this job is right for you.”

Ok, now you may chop it to pieces. Please keep in mind that these are disjointed because they are snippets of the storyline pieced together for individual fiction writing lessons.  What I want to know is which storyline to develop into a full short story?  Hoping for some constructive criticism.
Thank you.

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