The Road of Fame Part 5 – NaStySuMo

It’s 1:25am. I am… Tired, lol. πŸ˜‰
Hope you enjoy this one! My apologies if I missed any spelling errors.

The Road of Fame Part 5

The woman looked vaguely familiar.

Fame blinked groggily and tried to place her but her recollection came up with nothing. She had wavy dark hair which was cut in a bob, framing her round, friendly face and light blue eyes. She was standing beside the bed, looking at a file when she noticed Fame looking at her.

“So,” she said – her voice pleasant. “We meet again.”

Fame swallowed, trying to work some moisture into her mouth. Her throat hurt and her nose burned from the steady flow of oxygen that was being fed through a thin, plastic tube.

“Do ah…” She had to swallow. “Know ye?”

The woman smiled and closed her file, putting it back into the holder beside the bed. “You helped me a couple of days ago in your shop. I brought in a couple of games from my nephews. You told me that nobody takes female gamers seriously.” She smiled at Fame as she moved to the monitors and read her statistics. Fame vaguely remembered something like that, but in truth the woman was just one customer in many.

Yet, she nodded dutifully and swallowed again, the dull pain in her shoulder making her uncomfortable. She watched the woman read her numbers and tolerated her taking her pulse manually. “Tell me,” the doctor queried after a while, her voice still warm. “How’s the pain?”

Fame blinked and shifted again, bringing her good arm up to pull at the oxygen line. “Fine,” she lied. “Please, when can ah go home?”

The woman raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow and gently removed Fame’s hand from the line. “Not for a few days still, I should think,” she murmured. “You were very lucky Amy.”

Fame closed her eyes and didn’t say anything. She heard the woman sigh and squeeze her hand slightly. “There are some people here who want to talk to you. I’ll see you later.”

Fame didn’t open her eyes again until she was sure that she was alone. Shifting, she mentally orientated herself, trying to establish whether or not she could just get up and leave the hospital if she pulled out the IV. She quickly established that she couldn’t because the IV wasn’t the only uncomfortable tube stuck in her and also, after only a few moments of consciousness, Fame already felt bone weary. She doubted whether she would make it to the door, let alone to the bus stop. She didn’t remember a lot of the past day or two (unsure of how long she had been unconscious) but she did remember one thing.

“Dogmeat,” she whispered, wishing that she could summon him out of thin air. “Dogmeat…”

“Amy Marsh?”

Fame opened her eyes to see a man in a gray suite standing beside her. He had dusty blond hair and a strong face, accentuated by his green eyes. There was a pin on his jacket of a hand gripping a lightning bolt.

It made Fame shudder and close her eyes again.

The man cleared his throat with an irritated sound.

“Amy Marsh,” he said again. “My name is Daniel Scott. I’m from EPR. I need to ask you a few questions about yesterday’s incident.”

Fame cringed at the word. Incident. Bureaucracy was a bitch when it came to euphemisms. She decided to keep her eyes closed, choosing not to answer in the desperate hope that they’d leave or she’d just lose consciousness. There was a patient sigh and a metallic grinding sound as the bed’s railing was lowered. Fame flinched when the bed shifted under the weight of someone sitting down. Unwittingly she opened her eyes and blinked surprised when she saw a petite, middle aged woman sitting beside her. Something about the woman’s demeanour, her sad confidence, made her wary and when her gaze shot to the woman’s wrist she found what she expected.

A bright red wrist band.

The heart monitor beeped as Fame turned her gaze back to Mr. Scott who smiled at her and folded his hands over a nondescript file he had with him.

“This is my assistant Denise Holden,” he pointed out. “As you can see – she is a Type 3 Red Class Evolutionate. The reason I point this out Ms. Marsh is that failure to co-operate with us would put you under immediate suspicion of being involved in the crime. Under section 2.4 of the EPC Act we are then allowed to – by any means necessary – question you until we have conformation of our suspicions. Or, you are proven innocent.” He smiled and motioned to the petite woman in her matching gray suite. “And that, Ms. Marsh is where Ms. Holden comes in. She is a physical Telepath or a Mind Reader if you will.” He paused, allowing her to think about what he had said.

“It makes questioning so much easier and quicker. Don’t you think?”

When he finished talking, Fame was crying – the monitors next to her bed demanding the attention of the nurses, yet nobody came to her aid.

Evolutionate business was Evolutionate business and nobody intervened until they were given leave to.

“Ah didn’t do anything,” Fame managed as she fought for words with her sore throat. “Ah was in the storeroom when they stormed into m’shop. Ah just came out an’ they shot me.” She closed her eyes and swallowed. “An’ m’dog. Ah managed to close the door and hide there. Ah can’t remember anything after tha’.”

The woman shifted, causing Fame to move uncomfortably, knowing that if she touched her she would know everything there was to know about her.

“How many suspects were there?” Denise Holden asked, speaking for the first time. Her voice was serenely calm, scaring Fame even more.

Wishing for water for her painful throat, Fame answered as quickly as she could. “Ah don’t know,” she said. “Ah think… Ah heard ’bout four voices, ah did. But ah can’t be sure.”

Mr. Scott raised an eyebrow and slowly opened up his file to make a note.

“Four you say?” he queried. “So there were definitively four in the shop?”

Fame cleared her throat and nodded slowly. “Ah heard four voices,” she confirmed. “But there could’ve been five of one didn’t speak.”

Denise gave her a curious look and abruptly reached out and poured her some water from the pitcher that was on her bedside cabinet. Fame didn’t take it from her, but gratefully took a sip when she put a straw in.

“And was there anybody else in the store with you?” She queried.

Fame shook her head and struggled to swallow her last sip; her throat once again constricting with tears. “Just m’dog,” she said as she tried to control her tears, Dogmeat’s final yelp still echoing through her memory. “But, they shot him too.”

Mr. Scott frowned slightly and looked at his notes. “This is the Australian Cattle Dog that you frequently brought to the shop with you?”

Fame nodded and for the first time Ms. Holden frowned puzzled. “There isn’t any mention in the report of a carcass,” she said. “Are you sure he died? He might’ve run out in the confusion.”

Fame blinked more tears as she shook her head. “He wouldn’t ha’ leave me,” she said as she closed her eyes, the weariness settling around her like a heavy blanket. “He never would.”

Someone touched her hand; quickly dragging her back to consciousness with a flash of panic but it was Mr. Scott who had taken her hand, not Ms. Holden.

“Your dog wasn’t there,” he said with barely contained impatience. “But, the three suspects that we have apprehended claims that someone else was. They say that they were shot at by a brunette woman in a military commando type uniform. Two were seriously wounded.” He paused and glanced at the door. “Coincidentally, they are both here with you in High Care.”

When Fame glanced at the door bewildered, Denise Holden quickly spoke up.

“Don’t worry,” she said, never shifting in her position. “They are under guard. Tell us of the woman Fame, who is she? She was in the storeroom with you.”

Fame blinked and tried to focus on Mr. Scott.

“Ah don’t know who yer talkin’ about,” she managed. “Ah was alone.”

The two fixed her with a twin unblinking stare. “According to all three witnesses, she came out of the storeroom with you and stared firing on them.” Mr. Scott pointed out. “Who is she Amy? She all but stormed out of the storeroom, firing what appeared to be a magnum yet we could find no trace of her bullets even though she put two men in hospital. CCTV didn’t’ show her leaving the shop or entering it. What was she doing with you in the storeroom Amy?”

Fame closed her eyes and shook her head, feeling distressed. “Ah don’t know,” she insisted. “Ah don’t know her! Ah can’t remember wha’ happened in the shop. It hurt so much, ah was scared. Ah don’t know what happened. Ah don’t know!” The last was a desperate cry, begging them to listen to her. Her breath now came in short, panicked gasps and her shoulder was aflame.

Mr. Scott pulled back a bit as a nurse appeared by the door, her face pitched with worry as she looked at the scene. Ms. Holden motioned to the nurse to remain where she was and turned to Fame. Putting on two thick leather gloves, she took Fame’s hand in hers and forced the young woman to look at her.

“I cannot read your mind now,” she murmured. “Do not be afraid. Tell me Fame, did you create her?”

Struggling for breath, Fame shook her head, black spots swimming before her vision as she tried to remain conscious, having given up remaining calm long ago.

“Ah can’t manifest,” she said. “M’powers are useless, ye all know this. Ah don’t have anything ye want. No explanation. Ah can’t tell ye what happened. Ah am sorry.”

Ms. Holden nodded slowly and drew back, looking up at her boss before she lightly hopped off of the bed and went to the door. Mr. Scott sighed and made a note in his file before patting Fame’s knee under the bed covers.

“Well, thank you for your help,” he said. “We’re sorry if this seemed a bit harsh Amy. Please, be still now – the police will contact you if they need any other information. This interview is done; the EPR thanks you for your cooperation.”

Fame didn’t look at them, but tried to pull herself up into a tight bundle as much as she could. When the left the room, the nurse and another person rushed into the room, trying to get her to calm down and breathe easy, but she didn’t pay them any mind.

“Dogmeat,” she whispered as she pressed her uninjured hand over her face to hide her tears. “Ah am so sorry.”

888

“Do you think we were too harsh?” Denise Holden said as she and her boss left the Hereford County Hospital, making a bee line for the parking lot, the miserable Herefordshire weather sending a shower of rain their way. “She does seem… fragile.”

Mr. Scott snorted and shook his head. “Weak,” he supplied the word. “That’s the problem with these countryside low grade Evolutionates Denise, they lack strength and discipline so they flee to the most uninhabited parts of the country just to make sure that they will never be put in a position where their strength of character will be tested. It’s good sometimes to remind them the hard way that they still answer to a higher authority, no matter what colour they wear around their wrist.”

Denise raised an eyebrow at him and sighed softly, slipping her gloves back into her pockets. “I think they come here because they just want to be left alone,” she murmured. “Especially she, our young Amy Marsh.”

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NaStySuMo – Road of Fame Part 4

Hello everybody.

I have so much to tell you, but because my words aren’t working right now, I decided to carry on with my NaStySuMo project, the Road of Fame. Enjoy! I’ll explain my life to you tomorrow.

Part 4

Some people had thought that technology would inevitably be mankind’s downfall and, to an extent, they were right. Mankind as we knew it started on its path to extinction the first time families started getting together to listen to the new and wonderful invention called the radio. As the radio waves started bouncing through and around our bodies at the beginning of the twentieth century it was fundamentally altering our DNA. Like a jumbled up Rubix cube, our genetic code started to slowly shift and change, though it wasn’t until World War 2 that the effects of it was really realized.

A few, select people, started doing things. The Allies and Axis alike scrambled to collect these people and harness their special abilities, inevitably using their powers as a weapon. Although these people were responsible for the turning of the tide in the Great War, they were kept a secret. At first it was thought to be a very selected phenomena and even in the 1950s when the structure of DNA was discovered by Franklin, Watson and Crick, people weren’t getting too excited about this strange occurrence. Those who displayed these abilities were secreted off to various locations and tested, used for their governments own sinister purposes.

But, as technology advanced at an exponential rate, so did the candidates receptive to these abilities. Soon, the various governments around the world couldn’t hide their existence any longer and in the late 1960’s, when television was established in every state of America, the US government confirmed the existence publically of these ‘super humans’. Their revelation would change the world forever. Families changed, schools changed and inevitably – society followed.

Children were tested and taken from their families to be placed in ‘orientation’ projects. At first, one in every 20 children had this ability, but that soon rose to one in every ten and then one in every five. The orientation projects were soon swamped and special classes were opened up in schools to accommodate the overflow of super humans. By the end of the twentieth century, the phenomena had become so common place that children weren’t tested to see whether or not they had any special abilities but rather to determine the classification of their abilities. Placed on a scale and ‘tagged’, those who had extraordinary powers were put in special schools and programs. Those with minor abilities were marked, but deemed unsuitable and were left to struggle through the normal challenges of teenage life.

Not normal, but not super.

Ordinary for lack of a better explanation.

Average by some standards.

Useless by others.

To Be Continued…

The Road of Fame – Part 3 of NaStySuMo

So today the third instalment of my NaStySuMo story. August proving to be a very good example of how planning a month does not necessarily mean that you can do with the month as you want. I had planned to get ahead of my stories so that I can devote the full month of August to my NaStySuMo story. Alas, things weren’t meant to be as I had to study for a stupid waste of time test and had a bit of an emotional boat rocking experience which sapped my creative genius. Yesterday was the first day that I had a good day’s writing. And then, lol, this morning.

The great thing about writing is that it waits for you. Kim Harrison, one of my favourite authors, taught me this. So, without further waiting, I present to you part 3 of Fame’s adventure.

Road of Fame – Part 3

She was in the back store room when she heard the alarm sound. It made Fame pause, thinking that the bank was having a drill. It was only when she heard shouting and the sound of her dog barking ferociously when she realized that something was wrong.

“Dogmeat!” She yelled as she dropped the box and stormed outside. “Dog…”

Two gunshots shattered through the air, one punching her to the ground and the other dragging a yelp from Dogmeat unlike she had ever heard. With her ears ringing as she tried to breathe and gather her senses, Fame saw the silhouette of four people behind the counter, their faces covered in masks. As one cursed seeing her withering in pain on the floor, another raised his gun and fired another shot.

Dogmeat’s yelp was his last and it jerked through Fame like an attack on her very own soul.

“You shouldn’t have shot her!” She heard one of the masked men shout. “Damned it man…” He started to climb over the counter but – savaged into action by Dogmeat’s death, Fame managed to find the coherence and strength to move. Stumbling to her knees she slammed the store room’s door shut just before the man reached her and locked it. Gasping for air, unable to stop the cry of pain that escaped her lips, she clutched the place above her breast bone where she had been shot.

“Shit,” she breathed and pressed her hand against her shoulder in a desperate attempt to make the pain stop. “Shit…” There was a loud bang on the door as one of the robbers tried to kick it open. Fame shut her eyes and swallowed against the taste of blood in her mouth.

“Open up!” She heard a man shout from the other side. “Open up this damned door!”

Closing her eyes, nauseated by the sight of her own blood, Fame reached into her back open and took out her PSP, curling up against the door, hoping that her body weight would keep it closed. She heard another curse from the other room and loud sirens from outside.

“Shit Pete!” A voice she had not heard before shouted. “The Law’s here, it’s only a matter of time before…”

“Don’t worry,” Another speaker with a voice that struck her as being too calm said. “We have a hostage don’t we?”

Fame shivered in pain and fear but took a deep breath and forced herself to become calm. “Oh no you don’t,” she whispered and turned on her PSP. Then she closed her eyes for a few seconds and opened them again, not alone in the room anymore.

At first the brunette woman had her back turned towards her, her muddy boots inches from Fame’s face, allowing her to smell the wet aroma of moss and mud and wet leather. She wore a pair of black cargo pants that was tucked into her boots and a black tank top, just as muddy as her boots. The wounded shop assistant turned her gaze upwards just in time to see the woman turn around sharply and point her two magnums at her. When their gazes met the woman immediately cursed and turned around frustrated, holstering her weapons.

“Fame, by everything holy, why do you summon me now?!” The woman closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose before looking at Fame again. “And what are you doing on the floor?”

Fame swallowed and tried to sit up. “Ah… hello, Lady Croft.” She said, trying to keep her tone of voice light. “I’m sorry to be bothering ye at this hour, ah realize that ye were busy but,” she swallowed, the pain making her dizzy. “But I’m in a tad bit o’trouble.”

Lara Croft blinked at Fame and, just as there was another crash against the door, hunched down and grabbed her shoulder. “You are wounded,” she exclaimed in surprise, “what is happening here Fame?”

Again, Fame swallowed and tried to take deep breaths. “Ah think they robbed the bank,” she said. “And now they wanna to take me hostage. They say the Law’s on the way, but this here is Hereford, save for the police, there aren’t anybody else. The closest quarters are in Shrewsbury. I’m sorry for bothering ye, but ah need help.”

“No shit,” Lara breathed and looked at the door. “Come on Fame, move away from the door.” She pulled the young woman up by her good shoulder and moved her so to the back of the storeroom so that she could put her behind some cabinets. Fame, still clutching her PSP, couldn’t help but whimper in pain as Lara carefully set her down and draw her guns again.

“Don’t kill anyone, ah won’t be able to explain.” Fame said through clenched teeth as the Tomb Raider moved to the door. “An’ don’t get hurt, Dogmeat… He’s…” Her vision blurred but she fought back. “I’m gonna pause the game, that gives ye five minutes, unless ah extend it.”

The brunette didn’t look back as she trained her weapons on the door.

“Five is all I need.”

To Be Continued…

NaStySuMo – The Beat Sheet and more…

In the weeks leading up to Script Frenzy 2010, the administrators showered us with tips and pointers on how to write a good script. They also had a very good Young Writer’s Program in which they offered a lot of advice for the younger creative maniacs of the world. I really liked how they set things out and one of the tools they pointed out was The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet which you can find at the website Save The Cat. The idea of the beat sheet is to provide you a very good guideline as to what the format of your script should look like. The numbers in between the () is the approximate page number at which any given event should occur (working on the principle that one page in your script relates to 1 minute of screenplay).

Now, I’m not writing a script for NaStySuMo, but I liked the principle of its setup. A movie is a form of storytelling and it has become almost the basis of the rhythm that most people like to watch. If you take the time to browse the website, you can see how they broke down most of the good movies into the Beat Sheets format, showing you that even excellent screenwriters adhere to these rules. It’s taught someone like me (who’s a bit of a ‘write without planning, fly ahead even though it’s dark’ kind of writer) that structure and even planning is very important.

As an experiment, I’m going to try and apply my NastySuMo story to the guidelines described in the Beat Sheet. I have already given you my opening image and I have even worked in my theme, :). Now, it’s time to introduce my character so, without further delay, I present to you

The Road of Fame – Part 2.

She called herself Fame, which was a private joke because she wasn’t really famous for anything. She was an average kind of person, of average height, average looks and average income. In school her marks were grade average and now, while she did a few modules at Hereford College in Information Technology, her marks were just enough to see her pass. It was said that she was an underachiever but she didn’t let that trouble her for she had been marked an underachiever for the rest of her life.

She didn’t pay the light green band around her wrist any mind, but other people did.

Fame, with her dark – almost black curly hair and light blue eyes, worked in a game store, one of two in Hereford. It paid the bills and it allowed her the space to do the only thing she was really passionate about.

Playing games.

She could easily sit there all day with her PSP only bothering to help customers if they actually approached her. After she almost lost her job because of it, she learned to pay better attention to the clients, finally bringing the dog into the shop to help her focus. Things went better after that and her job was secure.

She knew a few people but, although they called her friend, she never really saw them as anything but acquaintances. She only did as much socializing as was deemed an acceptable amount by society. For the most part, she played her games and that was enough for her. Some would’ve described her life to be boring up to the point of it being an empty shell, but she was content which she figured was more than most people could say.

Fame appreciated being ordinary, having ordinary day and living an ordinary life. She didn’t think about the future, didn’t plan for tomorrow, but lived life one single moment at a time, considering the worst thing that could happen to her a power failure or a delayed train.

She was sadly, very very wrong.

To Be Continued…

The Road of Fame – NaStySuMo Part 1

And finally! August is here and so is NaStySuMo, or National Story of Super Heroes Month, hosted by The NaSty Writing Web. For a recap, this is the month which we decided to dedicate to stories about Superheroes or superpowers. Anybody can join, anybody can write a fic, the idea is to share your stories, have fun and enjoy other people’s writing. If you do not have a blog to host your stories on, you can do it on the NaSty webpage or find a ‘host blog’. Here is my introduction to my story, I’ve been brewing on it for weeks, lol. It’s not much, I haven’t had a lot of time to write, but you’ll soon have more that will follow. J

Warning: I don’t do shorts. πŸ˜‰

Introduction.

The dog looked up when she entered the shop, its eyes giving her the most considering look she had ever received from a canine. Its mistress however never looked up, her gaze firmly fixed on the PlayStation Portable Console she had worth her. When she approached the counter, the dog whined and nudged her leg. Only at his touch did she blink and look up, her face showing the briefest flash of irritation before she sniffed and smiled.

“Hello,” she said and brushed a curly black bang out of her face. “Can ah help ye?”

She smiled, taking note of the light green band around her wrist. “Yes,” she said. “I would like to exchange some games.”

The young woman blinked and glanced at the carrier bag she had in her hands. Sitting up to look more official, she motioned to the display rack close to the counter labelled ‘pre-owned’.

“We ha’e set prices tha’ we give ye,” she drawled out what must’ve been a well rehearsed line, her welsh accent strong. “If ye game’s not on our system, we can’t take it. Ye can choose any games to the equivalent price from the stand or ah’ll pay ye cash.”

She smiled at the young woman as she put the bag on the table and snuck another look at the dog, who was now quietly staring out of the door, his gaze ever alert. He had one blue eye and one brown eye and appeared to be an Australian Cattle Dog. They were rare in these parts.

“Would it be alright if I just take cash?” she queried. “The games are for my nephews, and I never know what they want…” She paused. “Unless you can make a suggestion or two?”

The shop assistant blinked at her and shook her head with an amused smile as she opened the carrier bag and counted out the games.

“Ah could.” She said. “But most likely, they won’t pay m’ any mind and ye’ll have to make a second trip.” She sniffed and sorted the games into two clear piles.

“Ye see, nobody ever takes female gamers seriously.”

To Be Continued…