Oh wow! Sorry! I didn't realize how long that last post was going to be, but I wanted to conclude the scene about the sword. I hope it wasn't too much of a burden to read through.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:17:58)
it wasn't to long for me and nice job describing the sword. i can just see it in my head.
nice job and keep it coming. your faithful reader lonewolf13.
Last edited by lonewolf13 (2009-12-01 12:49:50)
Thank you Lonewolf for reading and posting. I'm very glad to have acquired another avid reader, and one that lets me know they're enjoying the story.
This post here concludes my second chapter. Normally I would have more spacing between posts but I wanted to hurry up and get all of chapter two completed and available to be read. I have to admit it was quite satisfying typing the last sentence.
I'm still working on chapter three. I have enough (in my opinion) to make two posts, but I want to get a bigger chunk of it completed before I start putting it up here for all to begin reading. If I don't have it soon I'll at least give some kind of update. Expect to see me post more within a week.
I'm always open to compliments and suggestions, so if you have anything you'd like to comment on, suggest, or add, please feel free to say what's on your hearts and mind in regard to the story. Even if you have questions about things behind the scenes in the story, I'll be happy to fill in any of the untold details.
Sean stepped back separating from his uncle and turned to his gift on the pool table. He clipped the carrying strap onto both ends of the case with ease and used it to sling over his shoulder. Turning around to face his uncle he started to say something, but felt like words were inadequate, so he smiled and bowed his head.
It was amazing how he couldn’t feel his usual aggression toward his uncle. Sean didn’t understand what was done to make this moment happen, but he was extremely appreciative of being able to say his farewell in a normal fashion. It would be far better to remember him like this without the taint of hatred stirring around in his gut.
Quietly they left the living room together and headed into the large foyer. Daniel, Rebecca and Carlos were all standing there lined up so that each of them could have a chance to say their goodbyes and wish Sean good luck. Daniel was the first to step forward.
“Did you like the gift?” he asked while he clasped Sean’s hand and placed his other one fondly on his shoulder.
“Yes. Thank you.”
“We all contributed a little something to the making of it”, Daniel continued. “Rebecca and I made the scabbard, minus the placement of the opals of course. Anna supplied all the materials, and Carlos did the engravings on the hilt.”
“Wow!” Sean had no idea that each of them had contributed that much to crafting the remarkable gift. It gave him new found respect for what they were capable of. “Thank you! All of you. This means a lot to me.”
Daniel moved out of the way and was replaced by Carlos. He simply gave Sean a firm handshake and said, “Take care of yourself, man.”
Sean looked over at Rebecca to say goodbye and he saw that the tough old woman looked as though she were about to cry. Both of her eyes glistened trying to hold back tears she didn’t want anyone to see. He moved over to her and she gave him a grandmotherly hug.
She had to clear her throat first before she could speak. “Remember to at least call and let us know how you’re doing, ok?”
“I promise I will”, Sean replied. He allowed her to hang on to him a little longer so that she could hide the tear that unwillingly escaped her eye, and then quickly wiped the streak away before the others saw.
“Come, Sean,” Gregor said, “I’ll walk you out.”
Sean was relieved that his uncle came to the rescue and that the farewells weren’t going to be dragged out any longer. He loved them all, but he didn’t know what to say or do. The anticipation of finally leaving here was a distraction that he felt in his heart and he couldn’t wait to be free and on his own. He just wanted it to be quick and not complicated, and to not think anymore about what he was doing until he was well on his way.
Together the two of them each opened a side to the double doors and stepped out into the night. The doors closed of their own accord with a final click that sounded louder than all the other times Sean had heard it. Sean stepped off the side of dais and walked around the car to the driver’s side back seat where he carefully opened up the back door, and slid the sword carrying case on top of everything else he had packed away. Without knocking anything over he closed the door and turned to face his uncle for the last time.
For a short while they just stared at each other, neither one of them saying a word. Sean stared back enjoying the brief moment he was spending with his uncle without feeling that bloodlust. Sean could feel the weight of Gregor’s powerful eyes on him and he could just imagine that his uncle was rethinking his decision to let his nephew go. Those eyes were measuring him and calculating, and Sean wondered how he faired.
“I have one more very important thing that I want to give you,” he spoke, while continuing to evaluate him with those deep green eyes.
Without looking away from his nephew, Gregor reached under his collar and pulled out a leather thong from around his neck. Attached to it was a quartz crystal that seemed to radiate a very light blue. It was so faint that even after Sean concentrated on it he still couldn’t be certain that it was giving off its own light.
“This little thing,” Gregor started to explain, “is the reason why you’re not experiencing any of your usual hostility toward me. At the moment it hides my presence from you completely, but my intention is for you to use this to keep yourself hidden from that giant beast.”
For a moment Sean stared at his uncle feeling stunned as he absorbed what he had just said.
“Why haven’t you offered this to me before?” The words came out with a flood of mixed emotions. “How long have you had this? Did you keep this from me in order to keep me here?” He was starting to get mad at his uncle and for the first time in a long time being a vampire or werewolf had nothing to do with it.
“No, Sean! It’s nothing like that at all. This is entirely experimental, and I only just finished putting it together. This evening was something of a poor test run, but under the circumstances, in order to uphold my promise and not keep you from leaving tonight, this is the best I have to offer. If you’ll just allow me a moment I can set it up for you.”
Gregor pulled the pendant up and over his head removing the leather thong from around his neck. Then he pressed and twisted parts of the metal cap that held the crystal to the leather. Next there was a small cracking noise like glass breaking and the top of the crystal came off clean and smooth like it was meant to. He held his hand out and tapped the upturned crystal treating it like a container. A white piece of hair bounced its way out, and after it was completely removed from the crystal it turned red as though it were exposed to extreme heat and disappeared.
“That was a hair that belonged to you”, Gregor spoke to his nephew. “Now I’m going to place inside of it this piece of hair that I’m certain belongs to the beast that hunts you. As long as you keep this on you at all times it should help disguise your presence.”
“I just don’t understand. Why all of a sudden do you have this now, and not before?” Sean knew that Gregor was trying his best to protect him with the understanding that he would not be around personally. As his uncle handed him the pendant he asked himself how much better it would have been if he had given him this item before today.
“What I’ve given you is no small accomplishment.” Gregor wanted Sean to understand the value of the pendent he had just given him. “I spent the last few years analyzing the wards surrounding the manor, and formulating a way to condense them into a portable form. You have to understand that small items aren’t well suited for holding powerful wards. I had to carefully reconstruct and simplify the basics so that essential elements of magic could be contained within this tiny crystal vial. I even had to reinvent some long standing theories of how magic functions, to make what you have in your possession work. What I did may not be enough to completely mask you, but I gave it my best effort. I can only hope that it affords you some protection.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound ungrateful.”
“It’s all right,” Gregor reassured him. “Just keep it on you, and be safe.”
Sean placed the pendant around his neck and as he did so he noticed it no longer had that glow he imagined he saw before. Now it looked as though it were dimmer somehow. He didn’t know exactly how to explain it but it seemed… darker.
The old familiar feeling of hatred was starting to bubble up from Sean’s middle, and he frowned wishing it could go away forever. He contradicted his instincts and made himself give his uncle one last hug farewell. Before letting go he choked off a thank you and then hopped into the driver’s seat and drove off. As he drove down the long driveway he watched his uncle in the rearview mirror get smaller until he couldn’t see him anymore. Most people would say that the evening was the end of the day, but for Sean, after living with a vampire for so long it felt more like the beginning.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-03 23:51:09)
now i did not expect the neckless. other than that nthiws was a great segment. keep it up.
I'm still working on chapter 3. I think I'm more than half way through it. I completed 4 more pages tonight.
I wanted to ask you Lonewolf if you had an opinion on the necklace I had Gregor give Sean?
If you want to know a little something about the reason, it's because I need my main character, Sean, to have a way to keep the giant beast of a werewolf off his back for a while. I'm talking about months. The thing has an innate ability to track Sean where ever he is (and unbeknownst to anyone at this time it's waiting for a very specific moment) and it likes to keep tabs on him. Hmmm... hope I'm not giving away too much there.
I need the time to develop him as a character and so you can see how he deals with the world outside his uncle's manor. Not to worry though, I have 4 scenes planned with the monstrosity that is hunting my main character.
I don't think I have much to do at work tomorrow so I'll be able to dedicate most of my time to finishing up chapter three, proofreading what I have written already, and breaking it down into segments to post.
I wonder where Punx and Grayle have been? I used to enjoy reading their posts too.
On a side note... Punx, Ive been slowly working my way through your revised story. I'll post when I get done with it.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-04 04:05:42)
Great story so far. Loved the meditative and introspective bits and find myself looking forward to seeing Sean progress and come more to terms w/ gain control over his werewolf nature. Again, great stuff so far.
thanks for the compliment there mrRW. I appreciate it.
It's been a while since I've posted, so here is the beginning of chapter three.
I still haven't decided on the location of the town yet. Unfortunately this isn't a primary concern of mine yet, and probably wont be until I near the end of the story. If anyone feels inclined to offer suggestions I'm open to them.
Sean had spent fourteen hours in the car driving almost without taking a break to get to (town). He had stopped once to gas up the car and to use a public restroom at a Tom Thumbs just off the interstate. It was the first time he had ever experienced a “rest stop”, and after surviving their bathrooms he decided he would better off waiting until he got to a hotel, or in case of an emergency pulling over to the side of the road.
It was around ten in the morning when he finally arrived at the old abadoned site of the house he grew up in. Finding the address had proven to be more difficult than he had thought. He had driven by the place twice before he decided to give Gregor a call on the off chance he’d still be awake. To his surprise the vampire had forced himself to stay up well past his natural hour, and waited on the phone long enough to guide him to the driveway hidden by overgrown foliage. Sean could detect an edge of worry in his uncle’s voice, and figured concern for his well being was what kept his uncle from finding rest. Gregor had even offered to stay on the phone while he explored the empty lot, but Sean declined. He wanted to do this alone.
For a long time he just sat in the car which he had parked off the side of the road, and considered where he was. The area was woodsy and on a hillside that was facing toward (town). In the colder season, when most of the trees had shed there leaves, the location probably would have given a nice view of the main part of town. The road his old home had been on was curvy and there wasn’t another home within at least a mile of the place. He wasn’t keeping track of how long he sat there staring and wondering, but it felt like a while, and not a single car had passed by. It was very quiet and secluded.
He took a deep breath and let it go, then finally opened up his door and got out of the car. There wasn’t anything to fear. The sun was out. The air was warm. No one was around to disturb him. It was a perfect place for him to try and find pieces of himself from a life he had forgotten. So, why was he delaying?
The former driveway had been paved, but with the weathering of time chunks of it had been broken up by plant roots creating cracked veins along its surface. There were even young plants and trees that found a place to sprout from which made the place that much harder to find. At the corner of the driveway there was a rotten piece of 4 x 4 sticking out of the ground, probably the remnants of a mailbox post. Looking around thet stump didn’t reveal anything.
Now that he knew where the driveway was it was clear to him where his old house must’ve been. Up ahead, about seventy feet there was a large clearing of mostly sand that the rest of the woods avoided growing in. He took his time walking down the eroded driveway studying the ground looking for anything unusual, but of course with the passage of so much time he found nothing. It had been eight years. He’d be surprised if he found anything of significance. About midway the pavement disappeared beneath leaves, dirt and foliage.
Before stepping into the clearing he walked a complete circuit around the barren site. He tried to visualize his old home based off of what Gregor had told him and two pictures he had seen, but try as he might nothing stirred within his memories. He knew it had blue siding and stood two stories tall. There was a front and a back porch and the backyard had several toys strewn about it. He tried to force the images to overlap what he was looking at and hoped it could bring forth something recognizable from the recesses of his mind. Nothing. He felt no connection.
Delaying no more, he ventured forth onto the sandy earth wondering if he would feel some kind of dark lingering affect from that long ago night. Maybe that’s why nothing grew on the ground where that nightmare took place. The idea of it was also part of what kept him from immediately stepping into the unnatural clearing. He listened. He felt. He sniffed the air. There was nothing different. He exhaled a sigh of relief, not realizing he had been holding his breath.
There was relief at not having encountered anything evil, and there was also disappointment because there was nothing that showed him his past. The next half-hour he spent kicking around the sand looking for any kind of buried treasure, but nothing of value came up. A broken link to a necklace, piece of glass and what may have been a wheel to a match box car was all he found. They were miscellaneous and meaningless items. Even though they amounted to nothing he still stuck them in the front pocket of his jeans.
He started to head back toward his car and stopped at the perimeter of the clearing to look back one more time. Standing there he tried something he didn’t dared before. He wasn’t sure why, or what caused the whim, but he tried to summon an image of that unfathomable large werewolf that had torn through the woods and ripped into the house that once stood here. For a split second he felt something, and it startled him, rocking him back on his heels. It had been so brief he didn’t know what to make of it. It also scared him.
Sean immediately started to walk at a brisk pace back to the car. The thought and feeling had come to him in an unrecognizable flash. Before he knew it he was sitting down and gripping the steering wheel trying to recall what he had just experienced. His breathing was at a fast and panicked pace and he had to force himself to calm down. At the same time he tried not to think of that wolf monster, but the thought came to him unbidden. He relaxed slightly when nothing else happened, and he dared to analyze what he had just felt.
The emotion had felt dark. He couldn’t describe it as evil, because that would imply intelligence. This feeling had been raw, and primal. It tugged on ancient engrained instincts of flight or fight, but despair was associated with fighting. It had been so overwhelming that it robbed him of thought. For a moment he tried to conjure the feeling again, but he couldn’t conjure the courage to do so. It was better to drive away, and that’s what he did.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-09 04:57:48)
nice keep it coming
Thanks, Lonewolf! It always pleases me to see that you're enjoying the story.
I didn't have a lot to do at work today so I was able to get some more writing done. When I didn't have a computer I reviewed chapter one and two, editing and cutting out excess material mainly consisting of background stuff. When I had a computer available to me I was able to get most of the way through my third chapter. I'm working on one more scene and I'm not sure how long it will be or how the dialogue will work out yet, but I'm hoping to get the bulk of it done tomorrow at work since it looks like it will be another slow day for me
In general I thought that my outline of this chapter was rather dull so i spontaneously added the creepy feeling Sean had gotten just before leaving the site of his old house. The overall purpose of this chapter was to give Sean the chance to feel normal and to fit in (you'll see more in this next post), and to give him a sharp reminder of the fact that he's not normal and has some very serious issues that he'll have to find some way of handling.
Now let me review what else I have written and decide on a section of it to post.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:27:21)
Okay... please don't be mad at me but this post is going to be long. It's about nine pages on Microsoft Word. It's a lot of dialogue so maybe the reading of it will go faster than one might anticipate. Let me know if the length was a bother and I wont do this again.
The reason I made it a long post was to keep the scene intact. This is about the middle of chapter three.
Read and enjoy
He didn’t think about where he was going and before long he was wondering if he had just imagined it all. Distance seemed to have shielded him from the reality of what he had just happened.
He knew he wasn’t far from the main street that ran through the heart of the small town and started to make the vehicle go in that direction. Hunger and fatigue were starting to catch up with him and he scanned both sides of the road for some place to eat at. His eyes settled on a diner that was connected to a string of other shops by an old brick wall. There was no parking lot, but there were designated parking spots on the opposite side of the street. Since there was hardly any traffic, and the street was wide enough, he risked making a U-turn to grab a spot diagonally across from the diner.
He got out of the car and waited for the only car in site to pass by and then walked across the street. The town hardly had any activity, and Sean wondered if it had anything to do with it being a weekday. When he thought about it he realized he didn’t even know what day of the week it was, but found he didn’t really care. He just wanted to eat and find a decent bed to sleep in, and that’s all that mattered.
A bell rang as the top of the glass paned door hit it. The diner had an old feel with booths covering the right wall, a few small round tables to his immediate left, and a serving counter with round swivel stools that ran the rest of the way down the left wall. Besides the single waitress there were only two other people present, and they both sat on the stools with their elbows on the counter. They looked like big men with solemn weathered faces just eating breakfast before starting their workday again. All three of them looked up at the new stranger walking in their front door.
Sean gave them a nod in greeting, but lacked the energy to do more than that, and slid into one of the booths. On the table there was a laminated, colorful, miniature version of the larger menu that was folded in half so that it would stand on its own. He picked it up glancing at the pictures and quickly decided that a burger would sit well with him. The waitress made her way over to his table with a courteous smile and asked her standard, “What it’ll be?” She spoke with a thick southern accent, and halfheartedly smiled at him out of a sense of professional courtesy.
“I would like a hamburger cooked medium rare please”, he tiredly answered.
“Want cheese on that?”
“What to drink?”
“Just give me water.” Sean wondered how many more questions she would ask before she went away to give his order to the chef working the kitchen. Fortunately for him she recognized that he was tired, and didn’t continue to ask him anything else.
Within no time she came back out with a plate of food and a large plastic cup of ice water. Sean hungrily took a bite and it seemed like the juiciest most delicious hamburger he had ever tasted. His satisfaction of the food was most likely due to how hungry he was, but that wasn’t really important to him. Before he took the last bite of his hamburger the waitress came back to his table to ask him if he wanted anything else. He realized that he was still hungry and asked for another hamburger just like the one he had.
“How about the bacon swiss mushroom burger?” she asked. “It’s the chefs special, and today you can get it for the same price.”
“Okay!” Sean simply replied.
He busied himself with eating the side of fries while he waited for his second hamburger. With food in his stomach he started to feel better, and noticed the hair on the back of his neck tingled like someone was watching him. He looked up in the direction of the waitress and she quickly looked away as though she felt guilty for staring.
Sean didn’t give it much concern. He figured it was a normal response since he wasn’t a regular. The second hamburger came just as quickly as the last one did despite all the extras, and it smelled twice as good. He offered her a polite thank you and took a big bite out of his second meal. True to how it looked it tasted better than the first one too.
After he swallowed he noticed that the waitress was still standing there looking at him with a puzzled expression. He stopped eating and looked up at her not sure what she wanted of him.
“For some reason you look vaguely familiar to me.” She let the statement hang there, seeing if Sean might help her to fill in the blank, but he sat there quietly looking at her more closely.
She looked to be about in her forties with a face just beginning to show its first sign of a permanent wrinkle. She had medium length blond hair with darker roots that were apparent because she had her hair back in a pony tail. The waitress uniform she wore was a red apron with black shirt and slacks and her name tag read “Natalie.” Her dark blue eyes showed more focus as she tried to figure out Sean, and how she recognized him. Sean began to wonder if this older woman might have some connection to his past.
“Did you grow up around here?” she guessed.
Sean hesitated in answering her, speculating how safe it would be to confirm her question. Hesitatingly he nodded his head in confirmation.
“Where at?” she asked. “I bet I’ll know you if you tell me that.”
“Well… did you know of the house that was on 347 Mallard Drive?”
Suddenly her eyes opened wide in surprise and her hand shot up to cover her open mouth. Her face combined a look of shock and recognition and Sean started to reconsider if what he said had been wise.
He had no idea what everyone here knew about the fateful night of his disappearance, but he didn’t think it was likely they knew the truth. Gregor had cautioned him many times that the supernatural, like themselves, remained in existence largely due to their anonymity. If the world understood the truth about their reality then the extraordinary and magical things in the world would become exploited or destroyed, because in the end the general population consisted of normal people and they greatly outnumbered everyone by at least forty thousand to one.
Natalie still was unsuccessful in coming to terms with who she was seeing, and she felt the need to sit down in the booth at the other side of the table. Sean stared back at her waiting to see what she would say next, hoping for more insight to what she believed happened.
“We all thought you had died… What happened to you?”
Her question was not exactly what Sean had wanted to hear, and he didn’t know how to safely answer her. To hide his struggling search for an answer he took another bite of the hamburger he still held in his hands. He felt foolish staring back at while he chewed his food, and thought he obviously looked like he was stalling.
“I don’t know exactly,” he said after he swallowed with a gulp. He felt like his mouth was drying up and took a sip of his water. “I… well you see, I’m suffering from amnesia and I don’t have any memories of this place, of my parents, of growing up here, or anything. I guess you could say I’m here trying to rediscover myself.” Sean thought his answer was appropriate. He didn’t want to lie to her, but at the same time he didn’t want to reveal anything that was outside her normal experience.
“Oh, my God!” She shouted in shock. “Are you serious!?” Natalie sat there still trying to soak in the living ghost sitting in front of her. “You are serious, aren’t you?”
They both sat there for a moment, and Sean was afraid to add anything else to his story until he had an idea of what people believed had happened to him. Stretching out the awkward silence he nodded his head to her last question. He was so distracted by this stranger, who evidently knew him, that he didn’t even taste his hamburger anymore as he took another bite.
“So… you don’t remember me or my son Craig?”
Sean looked at her with interest but couldn’t respond right away. He was in the middle of chewing a mouthful of the burger.
“I’m Craig’s mom”, she continued. “Craig was your best friend when you guys were just kids. Do you remember any of that?”
Natalie waited patiently for a response after he chewed and swallowed, and Sean continued to look down at the table. He felt uncomfortable staring at a woman who knew him well as a child, but he could find no sense of familiarity with. He carefully searched his heart and mind desiring to feel some kind of connection to the stranger, but he could find nothing. Sean looked back up at her and shook his head as he averted his eyes back down to the table again.
“Oh my God, you poor thing! I can’t imagine what this must be like for you.” Natalie looked at Sean with sympathetic eyes. “Oh jeez, listen to me. I must sound like a loon the way I’m talking to you. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable; it’s just that I’ve never experienced anything like this at all. I don’t know what to say. I guess I half expect some people with cameras to pop out of now where and tell me that this has all been a joke.”
Natalie pushed herself away from the table and stood up. She started to wipe her hands on her apron, more so out of nervousness than to clean them. “I’ll let you be.”
“No,” Sean quickly told her, “please, I don’t mind. In fact I think I’d actually prefer to hear what you have to say. I mean if you can.”
Natalie looked around the diner and saw that there was only one more customer left at the counter, but he was already in the process of standing up and leaving a couple of dollars folded and under his plate. She didn’t recognize him as a regular, so he was probably one of the many truck drivers that passed through here from time to time. He kindly nodded at her and tipped his hat in her direction wishing her a silent good luck. The dining floor wasn’t that big, and they hadn’t exactly kept their conversation quiet. It was obvious to her that he was aware of what was going on and was kindly removing himself from the scene. She watched him quietly head out the door and she thanked him with a smile.
Natalie eased herself back into the seat and the awkwardness of the situation slowly settled over the two them. She was staring at someone she had thought had died eight years ago and just could not get over her astonishment.
Sean could only imagine what she was going through in her mind as the moment of silence stretched on. He too began to feel some of her discomfort as the seconds passed by. Finally he decided one of them had start saying something, and it might as well be him.
“Coming back here wasn’t an easy decision for me. I didn’t know what I would find or if anyone would even recognize me. And then if people did recognize me I didn’t know how they would react. I’m at least grateful that you’re not walking away.”
“Aww, now Sean, I wouldn’t do that. I was almost like a second mom to you.” She reached out with her hand and folded it over Sean’s hand that was balled up and resting on the table. “Where did you go? What happened to you?”
“What happened to me, I don’t know. I was kind of hoping that you might be able to fill me in on some of that. All I know is that I was in a coma for a while and wound up in the care of an uncle I never even knew I had. He told me that I had suffered some bad injuries and that while I was under my body had healed up from them, but when I came to I couldn’t recall anything about who I was or where I came from. Can you tell me anything about what may have happened to me here?”
Sean understood the truth well enough, at least as far as what uncle Gregor had told him, but he didn’t know what the people around here knew. He was pretty sure that none of them knew anything about giant a monster or strange people from the Veil, but he didn’t want to give away too much without knowing what her take on everything was.
“Oh hun, it was sudden.” Her eyes widened with sympathy, and she stared back feeling sorry for him. “I remember sleeping, and I had woken up, because I had heard this loud noise, and I thought I felt the ground shake. At first I thought it was lightening that had struck the ground somewhere nearby, but then I started hearing people outside, dogs barking, and sirens going off in the distance. I put on my robe and went outside to join the crowd of people already collecting and jabbering on about what they had all heard, and in the distance up on the hillside where your house use to be we could see this ball of fire lighting up the night. Later we came to find out that there had been some kind of accident. Officials told people that there had been a gas leak from the kitchen and that a spark, probably from a light switch, set the whole thing off. We were all told that there’d been no survivors… but now here you sit.”
She looked back at him shaking her head in amazement. “How on earth did you survive that?”
Sean remained silent. The last two things he wanted to do were lie to her, or tell her something outlandish… like the truth. He played it safe by shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders. He looked at her hoping that her decency wouldn’t press the issue.
She squeezed his hand in reassurance and smiled back at him. This time the smile was more genuine and deserving of a close friend or family. “I guess it doesn’t really matter how you got here, it’s just a miracle that you’re here. If there’s anything I can do to help, all you have to do is just ask.”
Sean didn’t know what to say. His face felt flush and a mix of emotions flooded him. He couldn’t help the thrill and joy of having found someone who had not only recognized him, but also knew him. Sitting before him was talking, living, visible proof that he had existed before his life turned strange and bizarre. Taking the trip all the way out here hadn’t been in vain and he was lucky to be able to connect with someone from his past.
He also felt relieved that talking to her didn’t bring up any complications of what really happened and the life he had lived up to this point. But, he also felt a smudge of guilt for taking advantage of her good nature and trust. He didn’t outright lie to her but he knew he was dancing around the truth, and this happy moment was tainted by his hidden deception.
“You know what,” she began, “I don’t know what your plans are but why don’t you come on over for dinner tonight. Craig is home from college for at least another month, and I bet he’d be incredibly happy to see you. I mean I’m sure he’ll feel the same shock I did, but after he gets over that he’ll probably be talking your ear off telling you about all the things you guys used to do as kids.
“Awww, man! I’m doing it again.” Natalie withdrew from Sean and started to wring both her hands together out of nervousness. “I shouldn’t impose on you like that. I mean how do I know how you feel about all this? You don’t have to come over if you don’t want to.”
“Natalie, I would love to come over,” Sean interrupted, “but I have to tell you I’m exhausted. I drove all last night to get here, and even though I’m excited to have met you, I need to get some rest.”
“Of course dear!” she said, feeling thankful she hadn’t offended him. “If you want I can direct you to quiet out of the way motel just a couple of miles from here. I wouldn’t recommend the one in town. The traffic will likely keep you up.”
Sean was more than happy to write down the directions she gave him to the Pine Motel and a second set that would lead him to her apartment later that evening. She also had him write down her phone number so in case he got lost or changed his mind about coming over he could call her and let her know. She tried to reassure him that if he changed his mind about sharing dinner with her and her son then he shouldn’t hesitate to call her. She promised that she would understand and that they could do it another time when he was ready. Sean was appreciative of her thoughtfulness, but told her not to worry about it and to expect him to show up at her place that night.
nice segment. keep it coming.
Thank you Lonewolf for your constant encouragement *pats on the head* It always makes me feel better about myself and what I'm trying to write.
I had a great day at work today!! I got to spend almost all ten hours typing away at the computer, working on my story. I have finished chapter three, and I'll be posting it up here through out the weekend. I believe it'll consist of two more posts. With a little luck I should be complete with chapter four before the end of next week so the few that are still reading this will get to enjoy some more.
I want to comment on what I have written here, but I want to do it in a following post so not to dilute any reader opinions or view points.
He walked out of the diner feeling recharged with a positive attitude. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so elevated. For the time being his fatigue had been momentarily forgotten. He knew his emotional high wouldn’t last for long and that he should find that motel and get a room before exhaustion claimed him again. The directions she had given him were accurate and simple enough for him to follow, and he arrived at the Pine Motel without getting lost.
The place was located off a back road about two and a half miles outside of the main town. It was one story high with its room’s side by side in a single row. There was a smaller building off to the far side with a neon “No Vacancy” sign suspended by a fifteen foot pole, and only the word “vacancy” was lit up. On the opposite side of the street there was a long stretch of gravel where two sixteen-wheelers were parked. Sean figured they belonged to truck drivers that were sleeping the day away, so they could have an easier time driving at night to avoid traffic.
There was parking available in front of each room and a couple of spots near the smaller building where he figured was the place to register. Crowded along the back he could see a bunch of tall evergreen pine trees peacefully standing over the motel giving the place its trademark name. Out of the ten rooms that were visible, two of them had vehicles parked in front of them.
Sean parked his car in front of the smaller building, next to a Trail Blazer that seemed like it had gone four-wheeling in the mud recently. He walked up to the door, which was a simple wooden screen door, and pulled it open. It was light weight with hinges that squeaked, and when it swung behind him the door bounced twice before staying closed.
The place smelled of chewing tobacco and he could hear the sound of a TV being turned down from the other side of the chest high counter that separated the majority of the room. A thin man wearing a dark blue baseball cap stood up on the other side of the counter and stretched. He was wearing worn out jeans, an old colorless buttoned shirt, and heavy leather hiking boots that clunked on the floor as he stepped up to the counter. When the fellow spoke he revealed an obvious over bite with crooked teeth and Sean’s nose was assaulted with a strong whiff of the chewing tobacco smell.
The fellow was nice enough to Sean and they both kept the transaction brief. Bob, which was the name he introduced himself with, wanted to get back to watching his TV show, and Sean simply wanted to relax and sleep. He wound up paying for three nights since the third night would be half off and it seemed quicker to just agree with Bob than to allow him to give his sales pitch.
Sean got back into his car and moved it down to the parking spot in front of room five. He grabbed his overnight bag from the front seat and locked the car up before heading on into his single room. It was simple and surprisingly cleaner than the slightly worn outside appearance of the motel. There was a twin sized bed, a dresser with a television on top, a night stand with a lamp, and a door in back leading to a small bathroom with a shower. Along the same wall as the front door there was a large window with its curtains closed to keep the sun from bleaching the color of the room.
After he completed a quick look through of the place he closed and locked the door and headed straight for the bed. It was nowhere near as comfortable as the bed he was used to, but that hardly mattered. He was just glad to be able to finally get some solid rest away from the atmosphere of the manor.
Something pulled it awake. It was reminded that it still had a purpose. The scent had resurfaced from somewhere nearby. The presence encouraged it to venture forth out of its surreal state to investigate.
It could sense that much time had passed since it last felt the connection to its blood. The presence was weak and convoluted, but there was a small element of truth that proved enough , so that it could feel the life it craved. The ground was sandy in the middle of the small clearing. The scent was only in this one spot and it couldn’t see any trace coming or going.
It recalled in flashes of broken memory the home it tore open to find the child it needed. It remembered how it clutched the little man in its hand and held him in front of its eyes, and the ecstasy it felt as it sucked on his essence. But for some reason there wasn’t enough. It didn’t understand why, so it had pulled harder on the boy.
It also recalled how it was interrupted by loud cracks and small annoying stings that pelted its back and from the shadows stepped several other small man things that were responsible for breaking its ritual. It ceased trying to drain the child and the thing had spasmed in its hand, accidently hitting it on the tip of its nose. The pain had been surprising and it reacted in vengeful anger by biting off the offending limb.
On that night Its anger blossomed like an erupting volcano as it realized that the little man things had tricked it into believing that the time had come for the last rite. It threw the hollow body that was left over in its grip and allowed everyone else to become the focus of its unbridled rage. It crushed every last one of the insignificant insects, and when it looked for where it had thrown the boy it found that he was gone.
He had been picked up by a man thing cursed with the blight, and it was trying to flee. That night had been the longest hunt it had ever enjoyed, and, much to its frustration, somehow the prey had escaped it.
But that was long ago, and this was now. It could taste the lingering aura of the spirit that had been here, and it was ripe, almost ready to consume. The time was growing nearer. It would be soon.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:29:05)
In the above post I included within Sean's dream a viewpoint from the giant sized werewolf to show some things that I had explained in my first chapter. I'm planning on eliminating about a page and a half of Gregor's perspective of what happened to Sean the night he was bitten, or at the very least condensing it down to a paragraph... maybe two. I really want to take Grayle's advice to heart and stop so much of the narration of background info, and try to incorporate more of it in an active way.
I know when I get around to it, I'll have a lot of revising to do on my first chapter that will probably result in my chopping a lot of stuff out. Because this is my first draft I may tend to go on in unnecessary details about certain things. Feel free to say so when I do (it helps me to recognize this so I can correct it), and please bear with me as all I'm doing is trying to work through certain details. Perhaps one of the problems I have is including too much info, and it can drag down the pace of the story.
I wish you guys would give more feedback / encouragement... It makes me want to write more. *hint, hint*
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-18 03:02:40)
I think background detail can be good. You just have to stop a bit in between and ad more action so not to make the story wear on the reader as much.
wow nice segment. sorry i havn't posted in a while "excepts pat on the head" bad
school hours. well hope to see a new post soon.
so happy writing.
Thanks guys!! I'll post more either really late tonight or tomorrow after I get home from work.
This is a long segment, but it concludes chapter three, so bear with me again.
Once again please feel free to make comments. They don't have to be great. I look forward to people making suggestions and complimenting.
Sean awoke feeling sickened by the nightmare he had. Abruptly he got up out of bed and staggered to the bathroom sink where he splashed cool water on his face. The cold liquid was a shock against his feverish skin and it helped to wrench him away from the lingering images of his dream. He hit the light switch and looked in the mirror just to make sure that he was still himself. He was relaxed when he stared back into his own eyes.
Oh, those eyes. Everything about his dream was fading more rapidly than he could recall, but those dreadful eyes. Even the memory of it made his insides twist around and he felt like he was losing his sense of reality.
Somehow he had gone from looking at himself in the mirror to being crumpled up on the floor. Something was horribly wrong, and he didn’t like where his thoughts were taking him.
He crawled back to his bed and flopped over onto his back trying to get a grip on himself. His heart had been racing and he closed his eyes to get a grip.
In a sudden panic his hand darted to his chest searching for the pendant his uncle had given him. He found it quickly under his shirt and clutched it bunching his shirt in his fist. Sean sighed with relief and felt a sense of security that he still had the pendant resting against his skin. He tried to recall his dream again, but couldn’t remember a thing aside from a ghostly image of those eyes that felt like they were pulling him out of his body. An involuntary shiver rippled through him and he stopped himself from trying to think about it anymore. He imagined hearing Gregor lecture him on the importance of trying to retain his memory of what he dreamt, but he wasn’t there to enforce it so he chose to just let it go.
He looked over at the digital clock that was on the nightstand beside the bed, and the time read a little after five thirty. He rolled onto his side and reached for his cell phone that was lying right next to it to confirm the time was correct. It was, and he scrolled through the options to turn off the alarm that was set to wake him at six o’clock. Natalie was expecting him to show up at her place around seven, so he had plenty of time to get ready and head on over.
He still felt exhausted, and it seemed like he slept less than an hour as opposed to the five hours he actually had. For a minute he entertained the thought of lying back down and going back to sleep, but he doubted he’d awaken in time to make it to dinner like he promised. With a moan he forced himself to stand back up and headed for the cheap motel shower in an attempt to freshen up.
After he washed and put on a clean pair of jeans, a black T-shirt and comfortable pair of high top sneakers the time on the clock had reached six o’eight. Not sure of what to do with the extra time he had, he decided to call Natalie to confirm that everything was still on for tonight. She answered the phone surprised and pleased to hear from him. She reassured him that she had talked to Craig and that he was all right with him showing up tonight. She didn’t hang on the phone for long, because she was still in the middle of getting the food cooked, but told him that if he wanted he could show up early.
Sean folded his phone closed and looked around the small room for anything else that he might do before finding his way to her apartment. He saw the pile of his dirty clothes sitting in the bathroom and for the first time realized that he would have to do his own laundry. He began to understand that there were quite a few things that he had taken for granted while living at the manor, and now he would have to be a lot more responsible for himself. The plastic bag inside the small waste receptacle was clean, so he used that to put his old clothes in for now until he could find a laundry mat tomorrow.
Without wasting any more time he picked up the room key, locked the door behind him and got into his car. He started the engine and while he waited a minute for the AC to start pushing cool air out through the vents he reviewed the directions Natalie had given him to her place. There were five turns that he would have to make and she included descriptions of obvious landmarks. He felt confident that he would be able to find his way there with no problems.
He backed the car out of the parking lot and went on his way. As he drove he thought again about his nightmare and wondered if it had been anything important. Whatever it was he knew it had disturbed him, but he was glad that none of images clung to him, just vague impressions. He also wondered what it would be like to meet Craig, and what he would look like. He expected that it would feel strange to both of them once they saw each other, but he guessed the full impact wouldn’t hit him until the actual moment.
As he predicted he was able to find the apartment complex without any difficulties. It was a grey vinyl sided quadruplex with each apartment having a second floor to it. He pulled into the paved driveway and parked behind the blue sedan that he guessed belonged to Natalie since it had several stuffed animals sitting on the ledge in the rear window. The grass looked dark green and thick and had that commercial look to it.
Sean got out of the car and took a better look at Natalie’s place from the outside. There was a cement patio that was made even with the driveway and had just enough room to include the front door and a two seater swing suspended by a set of chains. The storm door was open and the aluminum screen door closed, so that it acted as a window too. To the left of the patio there was a large bay window that looked as though it took up most of the wall to first floor room, and it had white curtains that were drawn back giving the place more of a domesticated feel than the other apartments.
Sean heard what he guessed was Craig’s voice yell out from inside, “Mom, he’s here!” A tall young man came to the screen door and stepped outside to meet Sean. He had on a red T-shirt, worn out blue jeans, and a pair of opened toe sandals. Craig easily stood a foot taller than him and had broad shoulders with a robust chest. His hair was dark brown with a fading cut on the sides and the top was wavy with curls. He had a boyish face with a couple of freckles on his cheeks and he gave Sean an uncertain but friendly smile.
“Hey man,” he greeted Sean. “Wow! This is kinda awkward.”
Sean stood by his car feeling uncomfortable with the response his presence caused. Craig’s welcoming words weren’t quite what he had expected, and it made Sean uncertain as to how Craig felt about him being there.
“Umm… I don’t mean that in a bad way,” Craig tried to amend. “It’s just that I guess it’ll take me a little to get used to you being alive again. Here… come on inside,” he said as he pulled the door open for Sean and gestured for him to go through.
Sean thanked him for holding the door and inviting him in as he walked past and waited just inside the door for Craig to follow. Right in front of him as soon as he stepped in was a beige carpeted flight of stairs leading up to the second floor with a white tiled section linking the steps to the front door. To his left the living room opened up with an L-shaped couch centered in the room facing an entertainment wall unit, and more of the same worn, beige carpeting. Along the walls there were pictures of Natalie and her son in addition to a few other people that bore some family resemblance. Looking at the large bay window from the inside he could see a few potted plants resting on the ledge and hanging from hooks so that it could catch the morning sun. In the opposite corner of the room from where he was standing there was a large opening into another room which also had similar tile flooring to what he was standing on. He guessed that was the way to the kitchen.
Craig let the screen door close on its own and told Sean to follow him. They walked through the living room and into the spacious kitchen where Natalie was off to the right standing at the stove stirring a pot of red sauce. The aroma of garlic and spaghetti sauce hit his senses and his mouth watered in anticipation of how dinner was going to taste.
“Smells good, doesn’t it?” Natalie said glancing over her shoulder at her guest. Only then did Sean realize he had his face tilted up and his nose angled toward the steaming pots on the stove. He abruptly straightened up and cleared his throat in embarrassment, feeling self conscious of acting even the slightest bit like an animal.
“I’m leaving it on the stove to simmer a bit more, but you can go on ahead and get yourselves bowels and silverware. The bowels are up there and the utensils in that draw,” she pointed respectively.
“Mom, I think I know where the bowels and forks are,” Craig responded in good humor, pretending his mother was talking to him.
“Smartass! I was telling Sean, not you.”
Craig chuckled and they all smiled. Any lingering awkwardness due to Sean’s presence was alleviated with Craig’s minor joke, and Sean allowed himself to feel more at ease. Craig got bowels and forks out for everyone, and within minutes they had all served themselves and were sitting down at the round kitchen table slurping spaghetti and dipping their garlic bread into their sauce.
After their first few bites Sean complimented Natalie on how delicious supper was and she thanked him. They talked briefly about Sean’s drive to (town name), but that topic died just as quickly and an unpleasant silence settled in, until Craig finally broke it.
“Okay Sean, spill it. Where have you been these last couple of years and what have you been doing.”
Sean was in the middle of chewing and shook his head slightly with a smile as Natalie reprimanded her son for being rude with his question. Sean held up a hand to stave off Craig’s mother from overreacting and to give him a chance to swallow before responding.
“No. It’s all right. I completely expected questions like this; I just didn’t know when to start talking about it and where to begin. Craig’s actually making it easier.
“Basically I don’t remember anything from the night I disappeared on, although I’m sure my injuries were severe in order to make me have amnesia. My first clear memories are of waking up in the care of my uncle. I stayed with him as I recovered, and he did everything he could to help me. I’ve wanted to come back here for a long time. I just never had the courage to do so until recently.
“I’m sorry for not letting you guys know earlier that I was still alive. I just didn’t know how to deal with it. The thought of coming here where people would know details about me that I should know too, but don’t… I found it disturbing. So, I just stayed away.”
“Until now,” Natalie said. “What made you decide to come back?”
“Part of it’s because of my uncle, and part of it’s because of me. My uncle has always been encouraging me to get better, and to remember things. And I felt it was time I tried to rediscover myself and find out where I came from. Now that I’m here and I’ve found you guys, it’s not as hard or as scary as I thought it was going to be.”
Natalie reached out and patted Sean’s forearm in reassurance, “We may not know exactly what it’s like for you to go through what you’re going through, but I remember you as good kid. I bet that you haven’t changed that much. So, if there’s anything we can do to help you fill in the blanks you just have to let us know and we’ll tell you everything we can.”
“Yea,” Craig agreed. “I know it’s weird seeing you again after believing for so long that you were gone, but I think I’m going to get used this pretty fast.” Craig was smiling and Sean could easily feel the edge of excitement coming from him. “Don’t worry if you don’t remember anything. If you’re half the kid I remember we’ll be best friends again in no time.
“While we were waiting for you to come over mom and I dug up some old photos of us when we were kids. If you’d like, after we’re done eating…”
“And cleaning,” Craig’s mom added.
“And cleaning,” Craig reiterated rolling his eyes at his mom, “maybe you’d like to take a look at some of them.”
Sean agreed and couldn’t keep from smiling. He was feeling better than he had since… forever. He couldn’t believe his luck and how well Craig and his mom were receiving him. Despite how odd it was for him to be back in their lives they were still willing to welcome him with open arms and open hearts.
He felt so happy and relieved that for the first time he recognized this invisible knot of tension that he never known he had until now. He felt the emotional weight lift from him, and a feeling of relief flooded in its wake. It was such a pure feeling of happiness that it almost brought a tear to his eye. He didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment of breaking out into tears of joy, so he clamped his mouth shut and rode the feeling out until they were finished eating. It wasn’t hard to say much of anything with the exception of a “yes” here, and a “no” there. Craig’s excited chatter dominated the rest of the dinner conversation as he tried to recount the memorable things they did as kids.
When they were done eating, Sean was glad to help with cleaning up after their meal and Natalie was impressed with his good manners. She even made a comment that if he could teach her son to be better at cleaning up after himself then they would keep Sean around. It seemed like everyone was feeling some of the elation he had felt at being accepted, and they were glad to have him back in their lives.
They spent the rest of the evening sitting in the living room, looking at old photographs, and talking about everything and anything they had done as kids, as well as fill Sean in on all that had happened to them since he’d been gone. Everyone lost track of time until Natalie yawned and cursed at how late it was. It had just turned three in the morning and she realized that she would have to be up in four hours to get ready for work. Sean started to apologize for keeping them all up so late, but she stopped and sternly told him, “Don’t you dare apologize for being here mister.” She then hugged him goodnight telling him that he was always welcomed in their home no matter what time it was, and headed upstairs to get some sleep. Sean told Craig that he had best get going, and Craig agreed to walk him out.
“So… uuh, you got a lot of stuff in your car,” Craig said as they walked up to Sean’s car. The front light on the patio was on, illuminating enough for them to see that Sean’s vehicle was packed. Sean just nodded, not sure of what else to say.
“Listen,” Craig continued, “I’m supposed to be hanging out with a bunch of friends tomorrow, and we may spend the night camping out by the creek. I’m not sure yet about the overnight part, but if you’d like I bet they wouldn’t mind if I invited you to come along. I’m guessing you don’t remember the place, but we used to play around there a lot when we were kids, and who knows, maybe you might remember a thing or two while we’re out there. What do you say? Wanna come?”
“Umm… sure!” Sean was amazed at how quickly he made up his mind. He and Craig were getting along naturally, and he was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to stir up their old friendship.
“I wouldn’t recommend you taking your car, the path there can get kinda rough. My truck is in the auto shop, but I’ll be picking it up in the morning. After that I can swing by the motel and pick you up. Cool?”
“That sounds great. Is there anything I should bring?”
“A change of clothes and maybe a bathing suit if you got one. You don’t need to worry about any camping gear. I’ll have you covered there. Oh yea, and a towel or two.”
Sean got in his car, closed the door, and started it up. He pushed the switch to automatically roll down the window, so that they could still exchange a few final words before Sean drove off.
“With all that stuff you look like you’ve just moved out or something,” Craig said, as he stood next to Sean’s car staring at the back seat and all the boxes and luggage that were piled behind him.
“Yea, I did,” Sean said rather pointedly.
“Are you planning on living somewhere else instead of your uncle’s?”
“I’m looking,” Sean responded. “My decision to leave and come here was spontaneous. But my uncle’s got money and he supports me, so I’m not really worried about getting a place just yet.”
“Think you might get a place here?”
“I don’t know. I might, but I think I want to do some traveling first. You know… go to some places and see the world.”
“You lucky bastard!” Craig declared, with an exaggerated smirk. “You die, got rich, and now can go anywhere you want. Hey, maybe you can take me along with you.”
“We’ll see, Craig.” Sean chuckled at his friend’s suggestion, and thought that it was an entertaining idea that would merit more thought later. “Do you need me to give you a lift to pick up your truck?”
“Na! It’s only a short walk, besides I’ll probably need the walk to help wake my ass up in the morning.”
“Ha! Yea, it is getting late. What time should I expect you to come by tomorrow?” Sean thought about what he had said for a second, and in consideration to the actual time and re-asked his question. “Technically it is tomorrow, so what time should I expect you today?”
“Nine… no, make that ten o’clock. I got one unscheduled stop I need to make.”
“All right then, I’ll see you around ten.”
Sean put the car into reverse and pulled out of the driveway. He switched gears and drove off while waving to Craig. He couldn’t keep from smiling as he took his time driving back to the Pine Motel. He was feeling great. He had just rediscovered his best friend from his childhood and couldn’t believe how fortunate he was that Craig had received him so well.
Sean wasn’t able to remember anything from his past during the whole time they were showing him photos and recalling stories of all the things they had done as kids. But, he figured it didn’t matter all that much, as long he had someone in his life who had known him, and was willing to accept him back into their life. Things were turning out great. He wished he had done this sooner.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-22 02:06:01)
cool keep it coming and make Sean take his sword with him on the campout. you know just in ase the big wolf attacks.
well hpoe to read more soon. see ya.
Last edited by lonewolf13 (2009-12-22 09:54:09)
*claps his hands and rubs them together with a malicious grin*
Funny you should mention that "just in case" scenario Lonewolf, and in truth I did consider having him bring it along for the camping trip, but decided ultimately that it would be too much extra wording to a chapter I have discovered is probably too long. It's nearing 40 pages. But I consider them to be worthwhile.
I am nearly done with the next chapter. I'm working on typing out the last scene, but I feel confident I will finish it tomorrow while I'm at work. Yay!! I love having free time at work.
My posting trend (if it hasn't become obvious yet) is that I like to try and get a chapter complete or near completion before posting it. I find it helps me to keep the integrity of the story together. I know it's still a rough draft, but I have a habit of re-reading, and re-reading, and re-reading what I've written and continually modifying as I go along. Recently, since I've been having ten or more hours at work of uninterrupted wonderful writing time, I've been able to get large chunks completed. And let me tell you I feel so elated. It feels great to get so much progress done.
Enough of me blabbing. Let me check my beginning to chapter four and make sure it's ready for posting.
Warning The following chapter contains some foul language and sexually suggestive themes!
You have been warned!
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:33:18)
Sean had fallen asleep as soon as he had gotten back to his motel room. He couldn’t even remember having walked over to the bed, and in fact, as he was waking up, he realized that he still had his shoes on. He must’ve just collapsed almost as soon as he walked in. He laid there a minute enjoying the feeling of being well rested and not having had any nightmares plague his sleep.
Suddenly, he heard a loud honk just outside his door. He jumped to his feet focusing on the green digits of the motel’s alarm clock. It was twenty minutes past ten, and he realized who it was that must’ve been leaning on the car horn.
Sean rushed over to the door and tried to open it, but was surprised to find it locked. For a split second he was amazed that he had remembered to have even done that much last night before he fell unconscious. He hurriedly unlocked his door and opened it only to be blinded from the late morning light. He held his hand up to his eyes to help shield them from the daylight as he adjusted to the sudden contrast. In front of him came the soft sounds of a truck’s engine in idle and he could smell the exhaust of the vehicle as though it had been running in the same spot for a while. In no time at all Sean’s eyes were able to see normally again, and there in front of him, right next to his own car, was Craig ‘s truck. He had the driver’s side door open and was standing there with his hand over the steering wheel which he gave one more honk just to be sure that Sean was fully awake.
“I’m sorry! Did I wake you?” Craig teased his friend.
From within the vehicle Sean heard the indistinct sound of laughter, and realized that there were two other people sitting in the truck. Sean mumbled a curse under his breath and could feel his face warm up in embarrassment. It was bad enough for his friend to wake him up, but even worse for him to make a first impression like this.
Sean held up a finger indicating to Craig to give him a second, and he went back into his room. He hurried over to the bathroom and rinsed his face with cool water from the sink. He grabbed a little bottle of Listerine from the counter that was a complimentary sample from the motel, popped the top off, and poured it into his mouth. As he swished it around he gave himself a once over look in the mirror, hoping he didn’t look too disheveled. He spat the green minty liquid into the bowel of the sink and leaned in closer to get a better look at his hair. He frowned at the reflection when he discovered he could see more than a few hair roots turning white.
“Hey bud you ready?” Craig called as he leaned into his room. “Come on man! You look fine. Get your stuff and let’s go.”
“Alright! Alright! I’m coming,” Sean retorted. He left the bathroom hoping that his hair wouldn’t be that noticeable and swiped his backpack from the foot of the bed. He was using it as his overnight bag and it was half full now since he had used one set of clothes. He followed Craig out the door and locked it behind him.
“Just a second. Let me get something out of my trunk.” Sean went around to the rear of his car and pressed the button on his keys to remotely open the trunk. It popped up and he dug around in one of his luggage bags for about half a minute before finding a bathing suit and a couple of towels. He managed to shove everything into his backpack with the exception of one towel, which he slung over his shoulder with the pack.
Craig’s truck was a black Ford and had an extended cab with four doors. The body of it shined and the tires looked new, like he had just bought the vehicle recently. Seeing that the front passenger seat had someone else already sitting there he opened up the back door and climbed into the seat. The interior was light brown leather and it looked spotless, exactly like a showroom car should be. Sean had caught a glimpse of the girl that was in the front, but was surprised when he realized another one sitting in the back seat too.
“Oh… hello,” Sean stammered.
She gave Sean a little laugh and said, “Hi!” as he set his bag down on the floor between them and put his seatbelt on.
Craig turned in his seat and gave a quick introduction for Sean’s benefit before he did his own seatbelt and pulled out of the parking lot. Jeanine, who was sitting in the front seat, was Craig’s girlfriend. She had long blond hair and a pretty face with a little bit of makeup to highlight her already attractive appearance. He could see that she was wearing a blue sleeveless shirt and bathing suit material underneath that.
In the back seat next to Sean was Jeanine’s best friend from college, Rose. Her wavy red hair came past her shoulders and framed her heart shaped face. She was wearing a white T-shirt with the middle of it pulled up and knotted in the front, so it showed her flat stomach and tan skin. She was also wearing blue denim cutoffs which had plenty of loose threads that were trimmed back and white sneakers with black and red stripes.
“So,” Jeanine began, “Craig tells me you guys were best friends since before I knew him.”
Sean looked at Craig wondering what he may have told them already. As if reading his mind Craig responded, “Don’t worry man, I only told ‘em your name and that I knew you from way back when. I figured anything else you could speak for yourself.”
Sean didn’t know what to make of that. On the one hand he was glad that Craig wasn’t telling everybody that his best friend from childhood was back from the dead and that he had amnesia, but on the other hand Sean now felt like he was on the spot and had to tell them something. He supposed that he should be grateful that Craig had left it up to him to give as much, or as little, detail as he wanted. If he wanted to live beyond his uncle’s manor and interact with the rest of the world he would have to let some people get to know him one way or another.
“Well, since it worked so well with you, Craig, I guess I’ll tell them the truth.”
Craig smiled and shook his head slightly while keeping his eyes on the road. “You do what you want.”
Knowing that Jeanine and Rose were waiting for him, Sean started. He gave them the abridged version of the accident that gave him amnesia and made him an orphan. He maintained the same story that Craig and his mother believed about the accidental explosion, and told them everyone that knew him as a child thought he hadn’t survived the explosion. When in actuality he was being cared for by his estranged uncle that no one knew he had. Only recently did he find the courage to try and get back in touch with his former life. When Sean finished talking there was a quiet moment that seemed to hang in the air where nobody said anything, and the two girls digested what they had just heard.
Rose finally broke the silence with, “Wow! I can’t imagine what it must be like for you.”
“You’re that Sean?!” Jeanine exclaimed. “I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on that when you told me this morning,” she said, looking at Craig.
“Yea, and now that you both know, don’t give him a hard time if he acts a little strange.” Craig said defensively. “The place we’re going to is where we used to hangout as kids. I don’t know if it’ll do anything, but I’m hoping it might bring back some memories for him.”
“This little camping trip seems like it’s getting better and better,” Rose said.
Craig used his rearview mirror to get a look at her and asked, “What do you mean?”
“Jeanine was trying to scare me last night by telling me how these woods are haunted. On one Halloween night some girl took a dare to go into this spooky part of the woods and no one ever saw her again.”
“Hey look,” Jeanine suddenly announced looking out her side window, “Isn’t that the place right there.”
When Sean looked out his window he was shocked to see that they were driving right pass the very location his old house had once stood. His breath got caught up in his throat, and he froze, staring blankly out the window.
“Sh*t!” Craig cursed. “Sean… man, I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize I was going to be driving past here. It’s been so long since I came this way.”
Craig waited a few seconds for Sean to respond, but his best friend just continued staring out the window.
“Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t!” Craig yelled as he punched the ceiling with his right hand
“Whoa!” Jeanine shouted at her boyfriend. “Craig, calm down! You’re driving!”
“I’m okay.” Sean broke himself from his brief comatose state. “It just surprised me. That’s all.”
“Are you alright?” Rose asked Sean out of concern.
“Yea it’s nothing. Guess I was hoping that I would’ve felt something.” Sean forced himself to smile, trying to put everyone at ease and push the moment behind them. Craig tried apologizing again and Sean reassured him that he was all right.
In truth, however, Sean did find himself wondering about the sandy clearing and the incident he had the other morning. As soon as Jeanine had pointed out where they were and he recognized the place his mind seized upon the moment of terror he had experienced the other day. He wanted to bury the memory of it and not spoil everyone’s spirit, but the brief recollection gnawed at his stomach as he tried to ignore it.
Sean distracted his mind by asking about the camping gear and what all they had with them. A glance through the back window told him that they had at least three tents, sleeping bags, a few backpacks and a cooler. Sean was glad to hear that Craig had brought an extra sleeping bag for him as well as air mattresses for the comfort of all.
Craig also eluded that they were going to meet another friend at the site, and that “Jason” was someone else that had hung out with them when they were kids. Jason had only known Sean for about six months before his accident. Since that time Craig and Jason had become good friends and had gone to the same college using the same football scholarship they were awarded their senior year.
Sean couldn’t deny a pang of jealousy he felt at hearing about Jason. He wondered if that could have been him if things had turned out differently. It was a brief and innocent feeling, and he didn’t have any mal intent toward anyone, so he let the thought go.
It only took them about ten more minutes before Craig slowed the truck’s speed and took them off-road. The trail had to parallel tracks of packed earth evenly spaced for a vehicle’s tires, and a strip of tall grass growing down the center. Old trees and a decent layer of underbrush filled either side with their rich green leaves. The path was rough, and in a couple of places Craig sped up taking the bumps hard making everyone else in the truck bounce around wildly. Jeanine was the only one that complained since she wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and wound up sprawled all over the front seat. She made sure she had her seatbelt on before Craig could get her with the second one. About a mile down into the woods they came across a deep red truck much like Craig’s and it was pulled over to the side.
“Guess Jason beat us here first,” Craig announced as he parked his truck and got out. He walked over to the other vehicle and peered inside the bed. “He must’ve just got here, or he’s being lazy, cause he still has most of his gear back here.”
Everyone else piled out of the black truck and looked around. Now that everyone was standing he could see that Jeanine was about his own height, maybe a bit shorter, and Rose was petite. She probably stood just a couple of inches above five feet.
“Which way sweetie?” Jeanine asked Craig.
“I don’t know,” Craig replied, smiling mischievously. “Think you can remember Sean?”
Sean looked around, not feeling the slightest sense of familiarity, and said, “How about this way.” He pointed to the side of the path that the trucks were parked on.
“Did you remember?” Craig asked, feeling hopeful for his friend.
Sean couldn’t hold back a bubble of laughter. “Nope. There are only two sides of the path to pick from, so I had a fifty-fifty chance of picking the right one. The side the trucks were parked on seemed like a good bet.”
Craig had to laugh, and so did the two girls. As they saw how Craig accepted Sean, Jeanine and Rose grew more comfortable with him too.
Craig lowered the tailgate of his Ford and everyone grabbed something to carry. They all slung a backpack onto their shoulders and between Craig and Sean they shared the load of the cooler.
They moved through the woods on a much narrower path than the one they had driven on. It was only wide enough to walk comfortably in single file, which they managed easily enough. The ground gradually sloped downward while they traveled about a thousand feet from where they had parked the cars. In the distance Sean could hear the sound of a small waterfall, and he could see through a bend in the path a spot of orange.
“I can see it,” Sean said, nodding in the right direction
“Hold up guys!” Craig insisted as he stopped and set his side of the cooler to the ground. “Maybe you should let me go first to give them a heads up. You know, for the sake of decency.”
“Oh, come on Craig,” Jeanine protested. “We’re all adults here. Besides, it’s not like they’d be doing anything we haven’t walked in on before. I swear those two must like getting caught.”
Jeanine continued on pass Craig, leading the way, while he adjusted his pack and grabbed the other end of the cooler again. He shouted ahead to warn Jason and his girlfriend, Heather, who was undoubtedly with him inside the orange bubble tent. As they approached they could hear giggling coming from the tent and it shook with them rushing about to get dressed. For Rose, the giggling was contagious, because she couldn’t help herself from stifling a laugh by covering up her mouth. Sean also couldn’t resist grinning, and he could tell his face was getting flushed from the uncomfortable situation. The four of them set their gear down noisily, just to make sure Jason and Heather understood that they had company, and Sean looked around more closely at the area.
The trail opened up into a wide, almost circular clearing with only a few narrow trees scattered here and there. The ground had wild grass that was kept short from constant activity and there were patches of dirt that had a dark rich color. In most places the ground had leveled out, making it an ideal place to set up a few tents. In the center of the campsite there were a ring of stones creating a fire pit and a couple of logs along with a half buried boulder that made great seats around a campfire. About fifty feet from the center of the clearing the ground appeared to drop away at a steep incline, almost cliff-like, and then there were a thin wall of trees. Beyond that Sean could see water. It looked as though the creek widened into a lake making it an excellent place to go swimming.
“We’ll be right out,” came a male’s voice from the tent, accompanied by some feminine laughter.
“You two got no sense of decency!” Craig reprimanded. But he too was smiling. “We’ll be right back. We’re going to the trucks to get the rest of your stuff.”
All four of them headed back to the trucks while looking around at the forest. Jeanine admired the natural beauty of their surroundings and Rose talked about how she had never gone camping before, but always wanted to. Craig watched Sean closely hoping to see him show some sign of recognizing the area. Occasionally Sean let his hand brush up against the leaves of the brush and touched the skin of the trees as he kept on walking. The woods undoubtedly held a peaceful attractiveness that Sean could not deny, but nothing about the place brought any memories to the surface of his thoughts. He tried relaxing, and allow his senses to take in his surroundings, but nothing seemed familiar.
As they got the last of their gear from Craig’s truck, and whatever else Jason and Heather left in theirs, Craig asked Sean how he felt. Everyone was quiet, anticipating what Sean would say.
“Well… the place feels inviting, but I don’t recognize anything. I wish I could say I felt something,” he shrugged, “but I don’t.”
Craig put a free hand on Sean’s shoulder. “Don’t force it. It’ll come to you when it comes to you.”
“You know,” Sean said as they started their trek back to the campsite, “I’ve been told I may never get my memories back. It gets frustrating trying to recover things that I know I should already know. Sometimes I feel like I just want to give up and let my life start anew.”
“Maybe that’s what you should do,” Rose suggested.
“What do you mean?” Sean asked.
“I’m just saying that maybe Craig’s right and that you’re trying too hard. I bet that as soon as you just let it all go and give up you’ll start recalling what you’ve forgotten. You could get a bunch of random bits of knowledge that won’t make sense at first, or certain things might all of sudden look familiar, but you think you’ve never seen it before. My advice to you is: don’t worry about it anymore.”
“I hate it when she does that,” Jeanine said. “She’s majoring in psychology and uses that techno jumbo on me all the time.”
“I do not!” Rose protested. “I haven’t done that to you in a long time.”
“My first semester of rooming with you, you did.”
“That was almost a year ago,” Rose said defensively, and then she directed her voice at Sean. “Sorry if I offended you, I thought I was being helpful.” Her apology wasn’t so sincere, and sounded more like she was irritated at Jeanine.
“Actually,” Sean interjected, “Thanks. It feels good to hear that.” Rose smiled at Sean, and he couldn’t resist feeling his face heat up again.
By the time they got back to the campsite Sean had learned that Rose was 23 and working on her third year of college as a psychology major, and Jeanine was 21 in her second year and was trying to major in computer science. Craig had started college the same time as his girlfriend, but didn’t know what he wanted so he was working toward a liberal arts degree.
Jason and Heather were out of their tent and Sean was finally able to meet them face to face. Jason was Sean’s height with short blond hair that was very light in color. He was bare-chested with nothing on his feet and only wearing a brand new pair of dark Levi jeans. Jason had a very athletic build and as near as Sean could tell not a hair on his back, chest or arms.
Heather was a brunette that stood taller than Jason by six inches, but with a narrower frame, she probably weighed less than he did. She didn’t look so thin that you couldn’t see her feminine curves, but compared to the other two girls her chest was flat. Heather’s hair was straight like Jeanine’s and she had big brown eyes. She was dressed in a black one piece bathing suit and ready to go swimming.
“So who’s this?” Jason announced as he stepped up to Sean offering to shake his hand. “Is this Rose’s boyfriend?” He asked with a grin.
“No!” Rose objected. “I just met him.”
“Is he going to be?” Jason teased her.
Rose mumbled a “shuddup” as she hid her face by kneeling over one of the tent bags, and began opening it up. Sean wasn’t sure but he thought that she might be hiding a smile and wondered if Craig was be trying to set him up with her.
Before anything else was said Craig quickly interceded. “Do you recognize him?”
Sean and Jason clasped hands and held them while Jason evaluated more closely a face that looked unfamiliar to him. Sean gave him a few seconds to consider who he was and then he finally said his name. A few more seconds passed by before Jason’s mouth and eyes abruptly popped open and his grip went slack with shock. He wore a dumbfounded expression on his face that made Sean and Craig laugh.
“No way!” He yelled. “Sean Anderson?” He asked just to be sure he had guessed right. Sean nodded his head in response. “Holy cr*p! God D*mn!” He shouted, as if one curse wasn’t enough to express his amazement.
“Hey!” Heather yelled at Jason. “You promised you wouldn’t swear anymore.”
“I know, and I’m sorry, but do you know who this is?”
Before Jason could tell her she said, “No. Is he famous?” It was evident to Sean that she was teasing him, but Jason was so surprised that the affect was lost on him.
“I use to know this kid when I was growing up. Everybody had thought you died.” He let go of Sean’s hand and gave him a friendly jab to his shoulder. “I can’t believe it’s you!”
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:37:34)
Alrighty...hope you all enjoy the first segment of chapter 4!
I'm looking for feedback on how my character development is. A simple yay or nay, would be great, but any more input that you guys are willing to offer would be outstanding.
Another very important subject that I'm hoping for feedback on is how well I do on the romance that develops between Sean and Rose. There really isn't much of it in this segment, but the coming up one will show quite a bit more. I've never written anything with romance in it before, so I'm very interested to see what other people think.
The last thing I want to know from my readers is are these posts too long?
This one is about ten pages.
Looking forward to seeing what you all have to say.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:39:18)
Normally I would wait a bit longer before I posted another segment so quickly, but I'm eager to see some response in regards to Sean and Rose's developing romance.
Is it too sappy? Is it too unrealistic? Too much or too little?
Let me know!
The next half hour Sean filled Jason in on his story and how he didn’t share the same recognition that Jason had with him. While they talked they set up their tents, air mattresses, and sleeping bags. They tried to setup a fourth tent so that Rose and Sean wouldn’t have to worry about sharing, but unfortunately it was missing some vital poles so they couldn’t even rig it to work. Craig apologized to his friend and Sean told him not to worry about it and that they would figure out something later.
With Heather insisting they go swimming they all took turns in the tents to change into their bathing suits with the exception of Jason. He said he hated swimming and Heather tried to cajole him, but he resisted and decided he would busy himself with setting up a tarp over their campsite because he heard it might rain for a little while tonight. Before they headed down to the lake Craig warned him to not set it up over the fire pit, and he protested that he wasn’t stupid enough to do that.
Down at the lakeside Craig showed them a rope that they used to swing from. He confessed it had been a long time since they had done that and he wasn’t sure if the rope or the branch would still be strong enough to hold their weight. Since he was the heaviest out of all of them he volunteered to go first, and everyone agreed if it held him it would be safe enough for the rest of them to try it.
He gave the rope a couple of sharp tugs, and even let it suspend his full weight with him just hanging there. Believing that it would be safe enough, he carried the end of it up to a nearby ledge describing that it was the spot they used to always swing from as kids. Without any reservation he jumped forward. Jeanine gave a startled shout as he yelled “Geronimo” while holding onto the rope with both hands. He let go as his momentum slowed and he was fifteen feet over the lake. He landed with a big splash, and everyone else, feeling the thrill of it, cheered for him.
Sean went next, making a cannon ball splash, and the girls all followed him. They swam around for a while splashing water at each other and making small talk. Craig asked Sean if swinging from the rope or being in the lake seemed in the slightest way familiar to him. Rose told him to stop pestering Sean, and Sean agreed. Using his own words against him, he told Craig, “It’ll come to me when it comes to me.”
They spent a little more time swimming around, but eventually grew tired and got out of the lake to dry off. The cool water felt good against the warm air of summer, so Sean was content to let himself dry off naturally. Back at the camp they found Jason had gotten the tarp up and was sitting on the cooler enjoying a cold Budweiser.
“Toss me one!” Craig demanded, and Jason responded in kind.
“You want one too?” Jason asked Sean.
Sean declined. The one time he tried it he hated the taste of beer and at the rate his body healed itself he could never get a buzz from the stuff. He knew, because Carlos at one time had convinced him to try a drinking game with him at his uncle’s bar when Gregor was away. Sean lost terribly and never once did he slur his speech or his vision get blurry. He probably drank enough to kill a person two or three times over from alcohol poisoning.
Craig and Jason tried to pressure him into drinking, but the girls told them to stop, and that he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to.
They all had lunch which consisted of sandwiches made up of their choice of cold cuts and condiments, including cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. After eating, everyone that had gone swimming changed out of their wet bathing suits and hung them up to dry on one of the tarp lines. Craig had finished getting dressed before the girls and he motioned for Sean to walk back with him to the trucks under the pretense that he had forgotten something there.
“How you doing?” Craig asked Sean.
“Craig,” Sean said, feeling exasperated that he kept on asking him, “I’m fine. I’m having a good time, and so is everyone else. Just let it be and stop worrying about me.”
“No, no, no, that’s not what I mean.” Craig paused to see if his friend could pick up on what he was hinting at. “I mean how do you feel about Rose being here.”
“You are trying to set me up with her aren’t you?” Sean fired off his accusation, and Craig chuckled at Sean for taking so long to catch on.
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want. She was going to come along whether or not you came. I was just curious if you liked her?”
Rather than going defensive, Sean laughed it off thinking the whole situation with only the one extra tent was amusing. He didn’t know exactly how this evening was going to turn out when it came time for them to retire, and he couldn’t ignore the anxious feeling that instantly knotted up his stomach. Perhaps his laughter came more from him being nervous than anything else.
Once they got to the trucks Craig opened up his glove box and handed Sean a package. Sean took a second to realize what he had in his hands. It was a box of condoms. Sean’s eyes involuntarily went wide and he just stared at them feeling stunned.
“Jesus, man! You don’t have to freak out,” Craig teased him. “Like I said you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, but you have them just in case. You never know how the night is going to turn out and I want you to know that I’ve got your back no matter what.”
Craig closed up his truck, re-locked it and started walking back. Sean followed him mindlessly, still getting over the unexpected shock, which made Craig chuckled at him all over again.
“You should stuff those in your pocket before we get back. I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.” Sean responded by doing what he was asked and Craig couldn’t help but to still feel amused. Before they stepped back into camp he turned to Sean and asked in a low enough voice so the others couldn’t hear, “You’re not a virgin, are you?”
Sean felt like he had just been stunned all over again and his response was equivalent to when he realized what the box was. He remained silent and dead in his tracks while Craig assumed the truth.
“You are, aren’t you? Chicks dig that.” Craig walked back into camp leaving Sean at the perimeter to compose himself. At least he maintained a whisper when he made his comment.
“Hey, where’s Jason and Heather?” Craig asked the other two girls that were sitting around the fire pit.
Jeanine pointed at their tent. “Where do you think?” she asked, suggestively, with her face showing her annoyance.
Craig made fun of her reaction, but not without saying they should make an escape by going to collect some firewood. They left Rose and Sean there with a warning that if they decided to wander off to not go alone and to not get lost.
Sean felt bashful and very much on the spot. Rose was sitting on one of the logs dressed in the same outfit he had seen her in earlier with the exception of her shirt being loosely tucked into the front. Her rusty red hair was now wet and had lost a lot of the fluff it had earlier. If anything it made her look even prettier in an exotic way. She was drinking a bottle of Evian water, and Sean became aware of how dry his throat had become. He tried to ask her where she had gotten the bottle of water from, but he couldn’t speak until he coughed to break up some of the dryness he felt in his throat.
Since she was only a step away from the cooler she opened it up and tossed him a bottle. He twisted the top off and chugged the water, feeling the relief as he swallowed it.
“I guess it’s not so bad if we hang out here,” Sean said. Before the last words left his mouth they heard a disturbing, quivering moan come from the orange bubble tent, and they both stared at each other in astonishment.
Rose jumped to her feet and rushed over to Sean to take his hand. “Come on let’s get out of here,” she suggested while she tugged on his arm. Without another word they quickly walked off before they could hear another sound.
“I can’t believe how those two are,” Sean remarked after they moved out of hearing range of the camp. “Are they always like that?”
“I wouldn’t know,” Rose replied. “Jason is Craig’s friend. I’ve really never hung out with them before this.”
Sean felt unnatural walking alone with Rose and he had trouble coming up with anything to say. He was thankful for the bottle of water, but he drank the last drop too quickly. The silence between the two of them seemed to stretch on before Rose attempted to strike up a conversation again.
“I say we walk around for a bit, and give Heather and her boyfriend time to cool off, and then maybe we can head back with some firewood.”
“Sounds like a good plan to me. Let’s see if we can find a way to walk up to the top of the waterfall.” Sean recommended and Rose agreed, letting Sean lead the way.
“Sean, let me ask you a question that I’m sure has been bothering you...” She paused making sure he was listening to her, “are you uncomfortable with sharing a tent with me?”
“I…uuuh…,” he stammered. He could feel his throat go dry again and immediately regretted having finished his bottle of water so quickly. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest and hear the blood rushing through his ears. He was embarrassed and ashamed at how poorly he was acting.
Before he could respond Rose darted forward and pulled his head down to kiss her.
Sean was frozen. He couldn’t breathe. His eyes were open, but he couldn’t see anything.
It took him a second before he could feel her soft lips lightly grazing his. Her breath tasted sweet, and there wasn’t a lot of strength in her arms. Despite how rapidly Sean thought she moved on him, she wasn’t being forceful. Gradually he closed his eyes and relaxed as he wrapped his arms around her small frame. Time felt like it had no meaning and he was suspended in the moment.
Slowly she pulled away from him to get a breath of air. Her beautiful green eyes looked up at him and she laughed. Not to make fun of him, but because she felt good to be able to share in Sean’s innocence. Sean still held onto her and continued to look into her eyes with a sense of bewilderment.
“That your first kiss?” she asked
Sean felt his face turn red as he imagined he must’ve been horrible, and somehow a “yea” escaped his mouth. He felt out of touch with his body as his head kept swimming around in a pool of emotions he had always known he had, but had never actually felt before.
“Not bad.” she said, and that simple compliment assuaged any self conscious fears he had. “Do you feel better?”
Little by little Sean’s mind came back into focus and he considered her question. He was still confused as to why she spontaneously kissed him, but he no longer felt afraid of her. She was so small standing this close to him. He was amazed at how her mere presence had been able to make him feel so nervous. She stood there for a while enjoying the comfort and security of his arms, and he found his hand spontaneously come up to brush her tenderly along her jaw line.
Rose pushed gently on his arms and he responded by letting her go. Sean let out a sigh of regret of having to release her, but he was also relieved at how much more relaxed and confident he now felt. She didn’t completely let go of him as she let her fingers glide down his arm and fall into his hand.
They walked together in silence, somehow making their way through the rough terrain until they reached the top of the waterfall. From the ledge their view opened up wide into a vast expanse of a green forest, lush with wild beauty. They could see over the tree tops that stretched out into the distance, and the sound of the water cascading down below amplified the moment.
Sean looked away from the natural scene of wonder to gaze upon a different one. He still held her hand in his, and she was standing upon a rock so that their height was even. There was a mild breeze that maintained a constant current and its flow made her hair dance about over her shoulders. Sean personally felt that her smile was more wondrous than the view beyond the waterfall.
“I think I like camping,” Rose said
“I think I do too,” Sean decided.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 00:20:27)
I like the overall direction your taking the story in. I can see where you are getting a bit caught up in the detail. I like the detail but i think your forgetting to weave in that main character is a werewolf. Seem to be drifting a bit with the storyline if you know what i mean. Still overall high quality of writing.
Thank you Lonewolf for your enthusiasm! Here's some more as you've requested.
I completely understand where you're coming from mrRW, and I think you're right I may have drifted quite a bit. I may wind up editing a lot of this out if it looks like it's necessary, but bear with me until the conclusion of this chapter please and then tell me if you still think it's too much detail. Probably is. In this next segment the reader does get a reminder that Sean is a werewolf. You'll have to read it and see how it goes.
My overall goal is to get the reader to to see Sean interacting and being somewhat normal, and this does make it seem like the story is drifting. But, it's important to me make the reader feel something for these characters. Sean is getting a good dose of being normal, but he's in for a rude awakening... I don't want to spoil it. You'll see.
I edited a couple of minor things from the beginning of chapter four and re-posted it. Sorry about the use of curse words Hope I didn't offend anyone.
This segment wraps up Sean's little opportunity for romance with Rose (wait until you see how things wind up... I think my readers might hate me, but I hope not). I hope it's not too sappy. Let me know, please. I've never written anything like this before.
As soon as I see someone post a comment I'll add the next segment, and then you'll get to see some scary werewolf action. Can't wait?
There are some more sexually suggestive scenes in this segment, but I feel like it's done tastefully, and it shouldn't offend anyone. Please let me know otherwise if it is the case.
As they worked on their return they started picking up sticks and branches they could use as firewood. Feeling more at ease with Rose, he found it wasn’t so hard to strike up a conversation. Sean tried to tell her what his life was like growing up with his uncle, but he found it difficult to say much without touching upon topics he felt would be too bizarre for someone normal, like Rose. She basically did most of the talking, telling him about her family, college, hopes, and dreams. Sean listened attentively and asked an occasional question so that she felt he was engaging in the conversation too.
When they got back to their campsite they could hear soft snoring coming from the orange bubble tent, and there was a large pile of firewood stacked near one of the log-seats. They put their feeble contribution with the rest and headed back into the woods to get more. After three more trips they found Craig and Jeanine back at the camp. Jeanine was at the fire pit making a teepee-like structure with the wood they had collected, and Craig was in the process of setting up a portable camping grill further away from the fire pit. They delivered their armloads next to Jeanine and Sean went over to where Craig was to see if he needed a hand.
“So, how do you feel now?” Craig asked, with his head facing away from the girls and giving Sean a wink.
Sean met his question with a quiet grin, and Craig playfully ruffled his friend’s hair.
“If you don’t mind, you can unfold the other side to this stove and start cutting the steak and peppers that are inside the cooler,” Craig instructed. “You’re going to be in charge of making the shish kebob and the corn on the cob, while I grill the hotdogs and hamburgers.”
Sean and Craig talked while they prepared the food with Craig trying to pry as to how he and Rose spent their afternoon together. Eventually he told his friend how they kissed, and he was pleased when Craig didn’t mock him, but instead looked at Sean with a quiet, fond expression. The two girls were carrying on their own conversation, but, just like Sean and Craig, they were keeping it hushed at certain points so particulars weren’t overheard.
As soon as the first piece of food was beginning to cook and the aroma drifted through the air, they all heard the zipper to the orange tent being pulled back and Jason and Heather emerged. Jeanine was quick to tell them that if they wanted to eat then they had better at least go and collect some wood for the fire. She warned them that they had about an hour before it got dark so they best not fool around. Last thing anyone wanted to do was wander around in the night trying to find two lost people.
The two returned with only a couple of sticks the first time, and Craig chased them away telling them that they would have to better than that. To add a little encouragement he took a bite of the first hamburger fresh off the grill and told them how great it tasted. They made two more trips, both times Jason was carrying an impressive arm full of dry wood and Heather was right behind him picking up everything that he dropped.
While that was going on Sean had taken the bits of food he had cut up, under Craig’s guidance, and speared them onto metal shish kebob sticks. Craig sprinkled some salt and basil on them and Sean wrapped them up in tinfoil. He then buttered the corn on the cob and wrapped it up similarly, and carried everything over to the fire which Jeanine and Rose had gotten started. Sean had never used a campfire to cook food before, so Jeanine gave him some tips.
It wasn’t long before they were all sitting around the campfire, eating, drinking, and laughing at shared jokes. Rose and Sean sat near one another on a log-seat, and it was quite apparent to everyone else the two of them were becoming friendly. A couple of times she playfully rocked her shoulder into his, and when she smiled at him he could feel his heart skip a beat.
Sean couldn’t believe the contrast of how he felt compared to how he was when he was living with his uncle at the manor. His spirit was soaring. He had discovered hard evidence of his past and that he was in fact somebody before his memories were wiped. His good fortune further increased when he rediscovered Craig and was able to revive his friendship with him. Not only that, but Craig also introduced him to some of his friends, and now Sean found himself sitting in a circle of young adults and feeling accepted. He was even elated that it was possible for a good-looking girl like Rose to find him attractive.
As it got darker Heather encouraged everyone to tell scary ghost stories. She tried to inspire them by starting off with one that turned silly at the end, and they all had a good laugh. Jeanine told one about a mummified monkey’s hand that granted three wishes, and how a man wished to have his son brought back to life. She carefully told the tale to build up tension, until at the very end she yelled, “BOO!”, and startled everyone.
Craig tried telling a story similar to Jeanine’s but they all saw where it was going and he apologized for not having story telling skills as good as his girlfriend. After Craig’s stellar performance, Jason declined his turn, claiming he didn’t have much skill in telling a story either. When it was Rose’s turn she told them a spooky tale with a psychological twist that left them all stiffly quiet when the last word was spoken.
Finally it was Sean’s turn and he warned them that he better not, because if he did, no one was going to get any sleep tonight. Of course such a proposal only made them want to hear his story even more. Eventually he agreed, and he took his time staring into the red and orange fire as he gathered his thoughts. After a moment he reminded them of the sandy clearing of where his home used to be, and he told them about a dare that a little girl had taken one dark and spooky Halloween night.
Jeanine tried to help his story out by saying the girl’s name, but before she could Sean interrupted her, saying that she shouldn’t speak it aloud, because true names held a certain power. If she were to speak the name then they would all run the risk of sharing the same fate of that unfortunate little girl that disappeared in the very woods they were spending the night in.
No one made a sound for quite some time after Sean told his ghost story. It had gotten so quiet they were all able to hear Heather whisper into Jason’s ear that she wanted to go home. Steadily, smiles crept over everyone’s faces and they all started laughing at how scared they had gotten.
Jeanine got out graham crackers, chocolate, and marsh mellows, and she and her boyfriend showed all those that didn’t know how, how to make smores. It was delicious, and entertaining to watch as they got sticky from failed attempts.
Once they all had their fill and washed up any of the sticky residue left from their fireside treat, someone randomly yawned. Before they knew it the one yawn had started off a chain reaction, and they all couldn’t resist imitating each other.
Jason and Heather were the first ones to head into their tent, and Craig threatened that if he heard a single indecent sound come from their direction, then he was going to collapse their tent with them inside of it and drag them all the way back to the trucks whether they were dressed or not. His comment only provoked more laughter when they started to make exaggerated sounds of a sexual nature. Once Craig was able to recover his serious face he told them that he meant it, and for them to try and remain appropriate for a change.
The rest of them sat around the campfire for less than a half hour making small talk about camping, animals and other outdoor topics. Eventually Jeanine whispered something into Craig’s ear and tugged on his shirt leading him to their green tent. Rose and Sean told them goodnight and then sat there silently watching the fire for a few minutes.
The fire was burning lower and only a few flames licked the night air as it consumed its remaining fuel. Sean turned his head slightly so he could look at Rose. Her face was outlined in the soft glow of the flames and the dancing light flickered in sync with the sparkles in her eyes. She smiled, feeling his gaze upon her, and she lifted her head to let him know she was thinking about him too. Sean felt an unwilling smile spread across his face in response to her, and he ducked his head to look at the ground feeling silly with his reaction.
She stood up and put her hand on the center of his back. Then bent her head close to his ear and whispered, “Just give me a minute to change before you come in, okay?”
She headed off to the tent leaving Sean to continue staring at the fire. He listened to the zipper of the tent flap open then close as she completed her departure. Sean’s imagination started to go wild with thoughts of what might happen to him once he entered the tent too. And what exactly did she mean when she said she was going to change? Was she flirting with him and said that to entice him into following her? What did he really know about this girl?
Sean reflected on how Rose had a sensitive and sophisticated way of expressing herself. She moved with a certain gracefulness that implied conviction and she was sure of whom she was. She had a sense of direction and knew what she wanted out of life. They were qualities that Sean admired. Maybe that’s why he felt a connection to her?
He closed his eyes and recalled in vivid detail the intimate kiss they shared. She felt so soft and warm when his skin met hers and he couldn’t deny how delicate she seemed in his arms. When they separated she looked as though she had an ethereal glow and her smile basked in the presence of his wonderment. She made him feel empowered, and he felt he had to restrain his strength so he didn’t crush her inside his arms. There was no hiding the fact of how his own body had responded to her, and she didn’t falter in the slightest. She was confident in her actions and understood fully what she was doing.
Sean’s mind started to move away from his memory of the innocent moment and onto what the future might hold for him once he entered the tent. He envisioned holding her in his arms and feeling her tender lips pressing against his once more, and how good it would feel to run his fingers through her hair. He desired to be close to her again and to inhale deeply her sweet scent. His imagined scenario continued with them undressing and the two of them becoming entangled in each other’s arms.
Sean could feel his body burning up with what he imagined to be the anticipation of sharing his passion with Rose, but when he opened his eyes he realized it was for a different reason all together. He was looking into the night with the vision of a wolf. The black shadows were now lit up with his enhanced vision, and the forest was alive with the sounds of the nocturnal animals. His mouth was starting to feel swollen as his teeth grew slightly bigger and sharper. His clothing was feeling tighter and he was worried that the back of his shirt might rip if he was careless with how he moved. Even his fingernails were darkening and their round edges were halfway into becoming talons.
His heart was pounding against his rib cage and he felt like he was on the brink of losing himself to the change. Fear of so many different possibilities assaulted him and for a split second he gave up hope that he would be able to contain his alternate form. He concentrated on his breathing and in his mind’s eye, ran through the vision of a tumultuous sea becoming the surface of a calm pond. The years he had spent developing a focus and relaxing himself paid off as he halted the transformation and slowly reverted back.
“Sean, are you alright?” Rose’s voice came less than a foot away from his right ear. He had been so enveloped in getting a hold on himself he completely ignored everything else, including Rose’s approach. For an instant he felt his control slip and he could feel the transformation resurface, but he stood up with deliberate movements and forced himself to maintain his rhythmic breathing as he confronted her.
“I waited for you, but you were taking too long. When I looked out I thought I saw you shaking.” She looked him over, and studied his face the best she could in the dim light. “Do you feel okay?”
She had changed her pants into sweats that had the legs unprofessionally cutoff to make them into shorts. Her shirt was a dark orange T-shirt with pictures of various kinds of candy that were in different stages of peeling. On her feet were a pair of white and pink flip flops that could easily be removed as she went in and out of the tent.
He wanted to say he was fine, but he didn’t think it would be if he stayed with her. He wished he could just smile with reassurance, take her hand and guide her back to their tent, but he feared what the outcome of that would be. The beautiful flower standing before him had unknowingly found a new way to instill fear in him, and Sean felt lost again.
“Rose,” he started to say, “I’m not so sure I can go into that tent with you.” He let his statement hang there, knowing he needed to say more but completely at a loss with what else to offer.
“What?” she asked. He knew she heard him. He had spoken loud enough. He even worried that the others might have overheard. Her question wasn’t harsh with any hint of being offended. It came more from her struggling to try and understand Sean’s apparent trepidation.
The tension on her face eased as she thought she figured him out, and she stood up on the log-seat so she could be eye level with him. She grabbed him by the front of his shirt with both of her fists and pulled him aggressively toward her face. She wasn’t trying to kiss him like Sean was afraid of at first, because he saw that she was trying to put on a serious face and act stern. The corners of her mouth were gradually turning up into a smirk and he could tell she was straining to maintain her facade.
“You look here mister,” she began, “If you think you’re going to let me sleep in that tent all by myself after you have the nerve to tell a ghost story like the one you just did then you have another thing coming. I swear I will find a way to drag you back with me even if I have to incapacitate you to do it.”
“Incapacitate me? How are you go…?”
Sean never got to finish his sentence. She somehow grabbed his hand with both of hers and twisted. Sean was keeping himself so relaxed that he was completely taken off guard and the forceful grip made him rollover, practically flipping in the air to get his knees bent under him and to keep his wrist from being dislocated. Realistically he doubted she would push hard enough to damage his hand, but the pain his nerves fired up to his brain were powerful enough to make him instinctively move to avoid the danger.
Her effectiveness must’ve surprised her too, because in the short time it took her to render him helpless she started to apologize and to let up on the pressure. Sean couldn’t help himself from laughing. He was amazed yet again how this tiny woman could be so daring and how she so thoroughly undermined his fears. He subdued his laughter to a quieter level and Rose laughed with him as she helped him get back to his feet. She told him that she wanted to speak with him after they got inside the tent, and towed him helplessly behind her. She didn’t force him to follow her. He just thought it would be futile to resist.
Sean couldn’t get rid of feeling apprehensive, but went inside after he took his sneakers off and zipped shut the entrance way. The tent had a round ceiling which allowed for only one person to stand straight up in its center. There was a large queen-sized air mattress in the middle with two sleeping bags unrolled on it and two pillows resting at their openings. There was a duffle bag and a backpack lying on the tent floor off to one corner. The mattress dominated the tent floor so it was more convenient for them to sit on it and talk rather than to continue standing.
Before she could say anything Sean’s nervousness got the better of him and he blurted out in a panic how he was feeling. “Rose, I can’t sleep with you. I thought that maybe I could, but I can’t. I’m just not ready for something like that yet.”
Rose could barely hold back a giggle that contained relief and admiration, “That’s good that you feel like that, because I didn’t want to have sex either.” Sensing that she potentially made an insulting remark she quickly added, “I mean I find you attractive and you’re definitely my type, but I’d want to get to know you better first.”
Sean sighed with relief. Some of the tension he was feeling lifted from his shoulders and neck. Maybe he’d be able to survive the night with Rose after all.
“You’re not like other guys I’ve met. Most would be trying to get into my pants, and that’s kind of what I expected from you. Why don’t you want to?” she asked suspiciously.
“I…,” Sean struggled to think of a good reason without telling the whole truth, “I guess because I think I like you a lot and I don’t want to mess up with you.”
Rose couldn’t keep an “Awww” from spontaneously escaping her mouth. She cut it off short, because it wasn’t very characteristic of her to act in such a way.
Sean didn’t exactly recognize how she received his comment, but he felt much better knowing that there were going to be no undesired expectations placed on him tonight.
“What did I do to deserve you?” Her voice came out as barley an audible whisper. She coughed and cleared her throat. “Don’t get to embolden by this remark, but I think I could really fall for you too.”
She pulled him down to the mattress and they stretched the length of the bed.
“Would you be alright with just holding me and not trying anything else?” she asked Sean
He responded with a yes and she found a comfortable place to rest her head between his shoulder and neck. Sean folded his arm around her body and held her securely in place. He felt like he was balanced on a very fine line of control, but as long as she didn’t push his buttons he could stay happy right where he was.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2009-12-24 03:49:44)