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Alyce in Dystopia


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#46 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:52 AM

Chapter Three:

My, my, my. Lookie what we have here. A wonderful chapter. ;)

So...hi again! Sorry I have to be taking on these chapters ever so sluggishly but I am in a very stressful part of my school year (AKA EOC EXAMS). Bleh. But enough with my excuses. Here is what I thought:

Well first, so I don't forget, I'm going to start out with CC.

Since you said you would like me to point out the typos...



Instead of thing say things. :)

Okay and watch out for repetition in the part where she's talking about the darkness. Like here:



I feel like you can just say: Panicking, I lit another one of the matches. Instead of the first thing you said. I fell like you were saying darkness too much...

I'm probably sounding like a prude, I know. But I just had to make that suggestion. Because I thought it would sound better maybe. However little that information might have been of use...

BAM. That's it. :D

Okay. So now that that's over...onto the good stuff. :D Compliments! Yay! Hehe.

Alright. So there were a lot of things I appreciated about this chapter. Particularly the way Alyce had this mental thought connection with the readers. I dunno how to explain it really. It's just I love it when the character sometimes takes a moment to talk or address to the reader in some way (and usually it is in a funny way). In case you have no idea what I'm rambling on about here is a shinning example:



You get what I mean?

*Smacks head.* I even confuse myself sometimes. Lol.

Anyway I also loved the part about the light. Here:



You are probably going to think I'm very weird for appreciating that but I appreciated it. So FEEL the appreciation. :D

More appreciation:





In fact the whole part about the vending machine was just awesome. :)



Perfect. Just perfect. :lol:





Hey, I told you didn't I? I appreciated a lot of things about this chapter. Heck, I appreciated it ALL. ;)

However, there is one thing I have to say: WHAT was she THINKING? Seriously. COULD she have BEEN anymore LOUDER? The whole time I was all curled up in suspense thinking: she's gonna die, she's gonna die...

Because honestly? What did she EXPECT to happen after killing the vending machine? The light of hope all things good to rain down upon her?

Well, I give you props then for putting me on the edge of my seat. Thank you very much.

The real question is: WHO THE HECK IS THIS MYSTERY MAN? You know, the dude that saved her life? Yah, I wanna know who this fella is. And FAST.

Thus will be my motivation to read the next chapter. :hyper:

Anyway...

Will be reading the next chapters soon! Hopefully sooner than soon. If school stops being such a relentless insufferable pain in the--

You get my point.

-MEG


I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! The biggest thing I hate when I read other people's writing is repetition! AH! (Of course, flat-out bad grammar is terrible too...) But anything wonderful you critique like that—you have no clue how happy that makes me.

Also, typos suck. Thank you! :D

Now you see why I love this chapter so much! The reader gets to spend time with just Alyce (I think this is the only chapter like that), and action happens and I tie in a little extra humor (the "and so became my death wish" line is probably my favorite, and that wasn't even in there originally). I’m really lucky I put in this chapter originally, because this altered my plan entirely for this project. I don’t even remember what was going to happen originally—but it wasn’t that…

Also, as you have picked up, Alyce isn't the smartest character in the world. She doesn't think things through a lot... Haha. xD

And, by the way, none of what you wrote was confusing. I totally get what you're saying with all of that. :D
xoxoArtemis
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#47 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:17 PM

Chapter 6 is in the works! Can't wait to see where this goes. I'm planning to split it up into two chapters because there's so much more I'm adding...

xoxoArtemis
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#48 24moon100

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 02:34 PM

Chapter Four:

Hey! Me again! So...here we go:

I'll start off with CC first to get it over with. :) (The first couple of ones are from the first paragraph.)

He interrupted me and walked toward me as I lit another precious match.


So here I find the sentence a little sketchy. Would you mind considering saying: He interrupted me, walking toward me as I lit another precious match.

For some reason the "and" in there threw me off.

Just suggestion. :)

And also, to add to that, I recognize you used "walking" again in the third paragraph here:

he announced dramatically, walking toward me with arrogant swagger


See, I don't know, but maybe, just maybe you could delete one of the two "walking" parts. This one seems more important because it is describing his demeanor as arrogant. While the other is just letting us know that he is walking toward her after he interrupts her.

I'm being confusing again, aren't i? Eh, well...I tried...

and I hadn’t had the time to light another one


Lol. My friend and I were just talking about this the other day! We had to write these "thank you" letters to our teachers (lame, I'm aware) and my friend was wondering if "hadn't had" sounded right. Since she was writing to our ENGLISH teacher she didn't want to sound illiterate, you know? Hah. Anyway, it's also a sketchy thing in my opinion. I suppose that would be considered correct grammar, but it just sounds funky. So instead I'll suggest maybe saying "didn't have" as an alternative. See if that sounds better. :)

before I had been rudely distracted from my candy and soda raid.


Again, here is one of those awkward italic uses I was talking about in the last one. Hopefully I'm not reading into it too much but, as much as I get WHY you maybe did it, it doesn't really need to be there. Possibly. Unless I am just looking for something to criticize. Lol.

He hadn’t moved either.


Again. You could say this, or, if you wanted, you could replace it with: He didn't move either.

“Thought you’d have figured that by the satchel and the fact that I’m in this place in the first place.”


I think you could say, to make it sound less repetitive: I'm in this warehouse in the first place.

Just so you aren't saying "place" so close together, you know?

***

Alrighty. So that was my pathetic attempt at CC. Hopefully I gave you some insight...

MOVING ON:

So...this was a lovely chapter. Actually, quite possibly, my favorite so far. ;)

And did I, by chance, see some sexual tension there. Hmm? Haha.

Okay and Phoenix has got my attention.

Especially by this line:

I glared at him. “What happened to you wanting to murder me?”

He shrugged lazily, amused. “It would really be a shame to waste such a pretty face.”


Is that hinting what I THINK it is hinting? Lol.

I like this guy. He's got character. Sure, it is more on the conceited site but...there is just something about him...

I like it. Whatever it is that I can't seem to put my finger on.

One thing I need some clarification on though:

Is Pheonix a man as in...a man? I'm kinda confused on his age.

I know in the beginning you said man...so I'm guessing he is a man...but I want to be sure...

Because I would like it more if he was a boy...as in teenage boy... ^_^

Anyway...great job with this one. I would quote all my appreciation like last time but that would take too long so...

Just know that you had a lot of really great lines in there that were quotable. ;)

Off to do my homework now. Hopefully I'll be able to read the next chapter soon!

-MEG
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#49 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

Chapter Four:

Hey! Me again! So...here we go:

I'll start off with CC first to get it over with. :) (The first couple of ones are from the first paragraph.)



So here I find the sentence a little sketchy. Would you mind considering saying: He interrupted me, walking toward me as I lit another precious match.

For some reason the "and" in there threw me off.

Just suggestion. :)

And also, to add to that, I recognize you used "walking" again in the third paragraph here:



See, I don't know, but maybe, just maybe you could delete one of the two "walking" parts. This one seems more important because it is describing his demeanor as arrogant. While the other is just letting us know that he is walking toward her after he interrupts her.

I'm being confusing again, aren't i? Eh, well...I tried...



Lol. My friend and I were just talking about this the other day! We had to write these "thank you" letters to our teachers (lame, I'm aware) and my friend was wondering if "hadn't had" sounded right. Since she was writing to our ENGLISH teacher she didn't want to sound illiterate, you know? Hah. Anyway, it's also a sketchy thing in my opinion. I suppose that would be considered correct grammar, but it just sounds funky. So instead I'll suggest maybe saying "didn't have" as an alternative. See if that sounds better. :)



Again, here is one of those awkward italic uses I was talking about in the last one. Hopefully I'm not reading into it too much but, as much as I get WHY you maybe did it, it doesn't really need to be there. Possibly. Unless I am just looking for something to criticize. Lol.



Again. You could say this, or, if you wanted, you could replace it with: He didn't move either.



I think you could say, to make it sound less repetitive: I'm in this warehouse in the first place.

Just so you aren't saying "place" so close together, you know?

***

Alrighty. So that was my pathetic attempt at CC. Hopefully I gave you some insight...

MOVING ON:

So...this was a lovely chapter. Actually, quite possibly, my favorite so far. ;)

And did I, by chance, see some sexual tension there. Hmm? Haha.

Okay and Phoenix has got my attention.

Especially by this line:

I glared at him. “What happened to you wanting to murder me?”



Is that hinting what I THINK it is hinting? Lol.

I like this guy. He's got character. Sure, it is more on the conceited site but...there is just something about him...

I like it. Whatever it is that I can't seem to put my finger on.

One thing I need some clarification on though:

Is Pheonix a man as in...a man? I'm kinda confused on his age.

I know in the beginning you said man...so I'm guessing he is a man...but I want to be sure...

Because I would like it more if he was a boy...as in teenage boy... ^_^

Anyway...great job with this one. I would quote all my appreciation like last time but that would take too long so...

Just know that you had a lot of really great lines in there that were quotable. ;)

Off to do my homework now. Hopefully I'll be able to read the next chapter soon!

-MEG


If you don't already know, I'm a very awkward writer and everything I write could be phrased a million times better. But, yeah. Your CC made perfect sense, by the way. ;) So, once again, THANK YOU. Seriously, CC is the thing I live for. Especially being so young and so awkward with my writing, hahaha. xD You, Jamie, and Sushi are the only ones who have really ever commented, but you're the one who has given the most CC. I need at least ONE critic, and I'm way too freaked out to ever have my family or close friends read this... You're doing me a huge favor.

Also, I can't remember how old exactly Phoenix is supposed to be (I wrote it down somewhere, lol), but he's about 19 or 20. So a year or two older than Alyce. She also had no idea what he looked like in the beginning; she only heard his voice and saw a bit of a shadow. So depending on height and voice that was her assumption. If that makes sense. LOL.

Dude, there was so much sexual tension going on, hahaha. xD They're my ideal couple but there's a lot of stuff that goes on later on. :P Yeah.

And I kind of hate this chapter, but it definitely establishes Phoenix's character. But I'm glad you like it! I sort of hate/love Phoenix. He's the easiest character to write, between Alyce and Ariadne and himself... Still, he's a definite character, and he livens up the story.

Yup. xD

Thank you so much, Meg. I love getting your comments, but CC especially! THANK YOU.

xoxoArtemis
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#50 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:06 PM

This is a very good example of neglecting something, FYI.

xoxoArtemis
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#51 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

No! Surely no! More contradictions! What has this come to again?!

Okay. So in Chapter One, where Cato is explaining the whole Confinement Camp/MGMT Corporation/disease thing to Alyce, there's some stuff I want you to know is WRONG.

The plotline has really evolved as I put more time into it, so I thought I would make a point of telling you how dumb everything was and how it is now infinitely improved. Sort of. Because, well, I can't give away the bigger picture just yet. You barely even know what's going on...

Cato says that the government is "off in La La Land, trying to find a cure." And that they've ditched the Corporation and the Camps altogether.

Here's the thing:

The old government is PART of the MGMT Corporation. They formed it. Since there's a real plotline now and not just some psychotic idea that shouldn't work but did anyway, I thought I would point this out as wrong instead of twist everything to make it work. So the main point of this is to say that the government is PART of the Corporation; they are not a separate thing.

Okay, done ranting and being mad at myself.

xoxoArtemis
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#52 24moon100

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:14 PM

^^Hey! Look at me honey! I'm writing NOTHING. Or, at least, nothing close to post worthy at the moment. Lol. You are probably the most dedicated on this site...

Anyway...

Chapter Five:

Yes, yes, finally I have caught up. You can clap now...Haha.

CC time! (Like I have anything riveting to offer...but whatever, it could be worse. ;) )

Let us start by rephrasing this sentence. :)

I, on the other hand, kept glancing over my shoulder at them and slowing down our fast pace.


Aha. We have ourselves another "and" usage that I don't quite agree with. Here, try considering replacing the 'and' with: , slowing down our fast pace.

Makes it flow better in my opinion. But that is totally fine the way you did it. Either or really. :)

“So you’re just… voiding your threats?”


Yay! Finally something I am an expert with! You know, since I use the '...' constantly in my writing. ;) Anyway... Unless you are planning to start a new sentence, the '...' should always connect the words. So it should look like this:

“So you’re just…voiding your threats?”

Hey look, a typo!:

I guess we both had bad feeling about each other.


Should be feelings. ;)

And again...maybe:

Vulnerable—wasn’t that all I was anymore?


Not sure if you meant to say was instead of wasn't?

I was trapped by both my defenselessness and by the force of man.


So this sentence is part of a paragraph. You'll have to go find it though b/c I don't feel like quoting more than I have to.

Anyway, I feel like this could be separated from that paragraph and stand as its own little one. It will make more sense when you look back but yah. Just a suggestion. :)

I guess I’m just… Alyce.”


Another one of those '...' things I talked about earlier...

“Alyce… met up with them when I was trying to recruit him earlier.


There as well. :)

Another typo:

I think Phoenix had a knack for making on sense to anyone but himself.


Should be no not on. :)

OKAY. So done with CC. ^_^

I LIKED...

If looks could kill, he would’ve sprawled over dead right there.


Haha. Obviously Alyce and Pheonix aren't exactly hitting it off quite well at the moment, but they'll come around.

So this chapter was a lot sadder than the ones I've read so far. I guess that is because she is finally being exposed to the bigger picture of it all. Which, basically, includes a foreboding description of the camp...and so on. LIke here for instance:

Part of me ached at the sight of a dirty, bloodstained teddy bear lying torn ahead of us. I knew that at one time, some little girl or boy had held that teddy bear closely and waited for a new world to emerge overnight. Somehow I knew that there would never be a new life for them.


So sad..

But I'm glad to read nevertheless. You do a fine job with description, and that is one element of writing I like to take more seriously than the others. :D

Also, I've noticed that you have a strong connection to your story and characters. What with all your little notes and videos and blogs and all. It's a very heart warming thing to see someone that in tune with their story. You should know, that is what makes the ultimate writer. Someone who is able to immerse their self that deeply in their own story. Gee, in fact, if you can't do that, you might as well go ahead and throw in the towel...lol.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is: I'm impressed. It's a really great thing to be able to do. And you've got a great grasp of it. Some writers often loose sight of who they are writing the story for (namely me even) sometimes and along the way they loose sight of the whole story. Thus commences abandonment and writers block...ect.

Basically, in a nut shell, the more you are into it, the more the readers will get out of it. You know what I mean?

...

So wait...what is this thing with Cato? Is he supposed to be like a some special genius now? Ooohhhoohhh. Well, I'll have to admit...I didn't see THAT one coming.

And Pheonix and Ariadne? In league with each other?

Alyce is now surely going to die...

Ps. Hopefully you don't mind my monster comments. They tend to come out quite large...(and please ignore all errors in my OWN writing, I don't feel like reading it over at the momment.)

UPDATE!

-MEG

Edited by 24moon100, 30 May 2012 - 09:15 PM.

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#53 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:50 PM

^^Hey! Look at me honey! I'm writing NOTHING. Or, at least, nothing close to post worthy at the moment. Lol. You are probably the most dedicated on this site...

Anyway...

Chapter Five:

Yes, yes, finally I have caught up. You can clap now...Haha.

CC time! (Like I have anything riveting to offer...but whatever, it could be worse. ;) )

Let us start by rephrasing this sentence. :)



Aha. We have ourselves another "and" usage that I don't quite agree with. Here, try considering replacing the 'and' with: , slowing down our fast pace.

Makes it flow better in my opinion. But that is totally fine the way you did it. Either or really. :)



Yay! Finally something I am an expert with! You know, since I use the '...' constantly in my writing. ;) Anyway... Unless you are planning to start a new sentence, the '...' should always connect the words. So it should look like this:

“So you’re just…voiding your threats?”

Hey look, a typo!:



Should be feelings. ;)

And again...maybe:



Not sure if you meant to say was instead of wasn't?



So this sentence is part of a paragraph. You'll have to go find it though b/c I don't feel like quoting more than I have to.

Anyway, I feel like this could be separated from that paragraph and stand as its own little one. It will make more sense when you look back but yah. Just a suggestion. :)



Another one of those '...' things I talked about earlier...



There as well. :)

Another typo:



Should be no not on. :)

OKAY. So done with CC. ^_^

I LIKED...



Haha. Obviously Alyce and Pheonix aren't exactly hitting it off quite well at the moment, but they'll come around.

So this chapter was a lot sadder than the ones I've read so far. I guess that is because she is finally being exposed to the bigger picture of it all. Which, basically, includes a foreboding description of the camp...and so on. LIke here for instance:



So sad..

But I'm glad to read nevertheless. You do a fine job with description, and that is one element of writing I like to take more seriously than the others. :D

Also, I've noticed that you have a strong connection to your story and characters. What with all your little notes and videos and blogs and all. It's a very heart warming thing to see someone that in tune with their story. You should know, that is what makes the ultimate writer. Someone who is able to immerse their self that deeply in their own story. Gee, in fact, if you can't do that, you might as well go ahead and throw in the towel...lol.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is: I'm impressed. It's a really great thing to be able to do. And you've got a great grasp of it. Some writers often loose sight of who they are writing the story for (namely me even) sometimes and along the way they loose sight of the whole story. Thus commences abandonment and writers block...ect.

Basically, in a nut shell, the more you are into it, the more the readers will get out of it. You know what I mean?

...

So wait...what is this thing with Cato? Is he supposed to be like a some special genius now? Ooohhhoohhh. Well, I'll have to admit...I didn't see THAT one coming.

And Pheonix and Ariadne? In league with each other?

Alyce is now surely going to die...

Ps. Hopefully you don't mind my monster comments. They tend to come out quite large...(and please ignore all errors in my OWN writing, I don't feel like reading it over at the momment.)

UPDATE!

-MEG



You are, perhaps, my favorite person in the whole world right now. Anyone who takes that much time to proof my stuff is just awesome. I have no one else editing it but myself, and you know how well that goes over... :icon_redface:

Ah! And especially thank you with the whole "..." thing! No one teaches me the little stuff like that, so I really appreciate you for helping me out. :) My school likes to focus on the freaking "parts of speech," so I've been learning that kind of thing for years. But no one talks about ellipses or dashes or anything important for writing outside of assignments. You are such a huge help to me, and I hope you know that. :D

Also, by the way, I hate my descriptive writing. I think I have a pretty weak vocabulary (or, well, I want to have a much larger one :P), and writing anything mildly descriptive takes a lot of time and effort. I'm much more into the action that is taking place, if you couldn't tell. It's hard for me to include lots of extra detail--like enough of the protagonist's thoughts or some good description. So thank you for reassuring me that it's not awful, haha. ;)

Since, you know, you take the time to write nice long comments for me, and I'm going to continue on with a nice long reply concerning things like characters. Since, you know, my characters are my only friends, I tend to talk about them a little too much. (And they live in my head so it's kind of creepy. ;))

But you said that Phoenix and Alyce aren't hitting it off right away, and let me just say this:

AUGH. It's so hard not to make them just fall madly in love with each other because that is what my brain is telling me must happen. Like, there is a lot of Phoenix and Alyce scenes I've written. A LOT. As hilarious as I find Cato and Alyce together, Phoenix and Alyce is just too priceless...

But they have to act and react how their characters are supposed to, not how I want them to. I get lost in the world of "OOOOH, that would just make this so much better!" instead of what my characters are supposed to be doing. Which is why I rarely ever write scenes that are actually going to be part of the novel, or that I can use very easily. I like writing characters who have known each other all their lives. That way their relationships are mature and they know each other. That's my normal formula. I branched out a lot with AiD, because she doesn't know anyone. It's challenging to write, but I like making up characters so much that it's been more of a blast than anything.

It's kind of ironic. I hate people in real life; they drive me crazy. But I just LOVE writing about them, because they're so quirky and interesting to me. I like analyzing people and their behavior and how they react to things, their body language and their motivations. It helps me write, plus it's just a natural habit of mine... :P

Also, with the whole involvement with characters/knowing one's own writing/all that other deep stuff you talked about:

Writing is sort of my life. I have a lot of social anxiety, art is just something I do when I'm REALLY bored, I've lost interest in most sports, and... Yeah. I guess I'm kind of one of those people who has a lot of time on their hands and a screwed up imagination. I get a lot of joy out of the power I have over things in writing and creating characters. My characters are like...my little babies, hahaha. xD I care about them a lot, just like I care about my story. I spend more time thinking about my characters and my dystopia than I do about other things, I think. (I'm aware of my rambling, but I don't really get to talk to anyone about my writing ever. :/) Most people daydream about being out of school and having the time of their life, whereas I'm coming up with random situations with my characters and writing things out in my head. I zone out a lot, haha.

But it's always really exciting to me when I find something like this where I can really just write. My characters do their own work and the words come all by themselves, for the most part. It's been a long struggle for inspiration and finding something that I love writing and not just like, but I think Alyce is something I'm very emotionally into. Writing this is like my escape from the problems I face in life.

Allllllrighty, that'll tie it up for tonight's mindless ranting. Thanks again for being dedicated and wonderful enough to do all that editing and giving me feedback; I really look forward to it. It helps me grow as a writer and is something I don't just want--I NEED it, lol. ;)

xoxoArtemis

(Since it's such a touchy topic, I'll just give you one sentence on it: Cato has, perhaps, the biggest role in the whole plot.)
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#54 24moon100

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:46 AM

Aw, well, first of all, thanks. ^_^ I probably don't deserve your praise (I'm horrible on here right now) but it's still lovely to hear. Glad I'm not giving you junk comments. :P

Anyway, totally get where you are at with the whole writing-is-my-life thing. You are talking to a very obsessed writer right here. Trust me. I can empathize. :D My characters become part of my soul. Often, at night, when all is dark, I find myself trying to dream about them...but usually it never happens. Just an example of the lengths I go to to keep my "babies" alive. ;)

As for the descriptive writing:

Ah, everyone hates it. I can agree to some extent, it is one of the hardest elements of writing to master. (Why I like it so much? It's sometimes a mystery to me..) You want to describe something without it sounding awkward or out of place--not to mention you don't want it to be boring or unnecessary.

But dude, don't say yours is bad, because it's not. And forget about being modest with your vocabulary. It is one of the most advanced on this site. Nuff said.

Also, I get the whole conflicting thing between writing what you fantasize about your characters doing and what they actually SHOULD do. Yep. Exact same problem. I have it a lot worse than you. (What did I just say about trying to dream my story up?) Actually, I'll let you in on a little secret, I've been working on my new story for the past three months or so and have already written five copies (maybe even more) of the first chapter...and it STILL isn't realistic. AUGH.

I love writing but at the same time it can be the biggest headache EVER. Lol.

And, hey, one last thing: You say you are growing as a writer? It helps ME grow as a writer to help YOU. :)

Because...well, let's just face it: it's 10 times easier to be more critical on other peoples writing than it is to be with your own. :D

-MEG
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#55 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:27 PM

Don't ever think you're giving me junk comments, Meg. You are my only editor and the only one giving me feedback, hence you are necessary for this thing to keep on going. So, please, keep continuing being awesome. :D

I only sometimes dream about my characters. It kind of freaks me out when I do, because they feel even more real than usual. And, yeah, I like my characters a lot, but when they invade my dreams...it's just creepy. :P (And I do try to make myself dream about them as well; you are by no means alone with that one. xD)

You're lucky you're good at descriptive writing. And I mean, like, REALLY good. It flows much more nicely than most people's. (Also, I probably judge my own writing too hard, but it doesn't seem very good when I'm writing or when I'm reading it. I guess I just want to be at a higher level than what I'm at, lol. :P)

And thank you for the compliment on my vocabulary. It's nice to know I don't sound too amateur when I'm writing. I don't want to just use fifth grade vocabulary words all the time; that will not suffice in my eyes. D:<

FIVE COPIES OF A FIRST CHAPTER? Wow. That's quite a lot. I mean, I do two or three (Ch. 1 on Alyce one took about four, I think, but STILL) at most, typically. And making things seem realistic is my downfall. Realism has never been my thing--in art and writing. I just hope this isn't too ridiculously farfetched or anything. I mean, yeah, it is...but I want it to come off as somewhat convincing. :P It's hard.

I can completely understand the helping oneself grow as a writer by helping someone else. I get that all the time, lol. That's why I don't mind editing, because I spare myself from making some of the same mistakes, and I learn a lot from it. Plus I really like editing other people's work, to be honest. :P

Thanks again, Meg! :D

xoxoArtemis
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#56 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:31 PM

HI, PEOPLE! I have to apologize for my lack of A) chapters B.) blog posts and C) videos. But I just did a (hopefully helpful) blog post on plotting. It also includes a look into my notebooks, so you can see my horrible handwriting in action! :o Exciting! You can read the post here.

In addition to this great news, I just got off of school! It is summer for Artemis! I am, as said before, trying to finish this thing this summer. Or this draft of it, at least.

Will update soon, people. ;)

xoxoArtemis

Edited by Pretty.Odd., 01 June 2012 - 02:32 PM.

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#57 24moon100

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:44 PM

Don't ever think you're giving me junk comments, Meg. You are my only editor and the only one giving me feedback, hence you are necessary for this thing to keep on going. So, please, keep continuing being awesome. :D

I only sometimes dream about my characters. It kind of freaks me out when I do, because they feel even more real than usual. And, yeah, I like my characters a lot, but when they invade my dreams...it's just creepy. :P (And I do try to make myself dream about them as well; you are by no means alone with that one. xD)

You're lucky you're good at descriptive writing. And I mean, like, REALLY good. It flows much more nicely than most people's. (Also, I probably judge my own writing too hard, but it doesn't seem very good when I'm writing or when I'm reading it. I guess I just want to be at a higher level than what I'm at, lol. :P)

And thank you for the compliment on my vocabulary. It's nice to know I don't sound too amateur when I'm writing. I don't want to just use fifth grade vocabulary words all the time; that will not suffice in my eyes. D:<

FIVE COPIES OF A FIRST CHAPTER? Wow. That's quite a lot. I mean, I do two or three (Ch. 1 on Alyce one took about four, I think, but STILL) at most, typically. And making things seem realistic is my downfall. Realism has never been my thing--in art and writing. I just hope this isn't too ridiculously farfetched or anything. I mean, yeah, it is...but I want it to come off as somewhat convincing. :P It's hard.

I can completely understand the helping oneself grow as a writer by helping someone else. I get that all the time, lol. That's why I don't mind editing, because I spare myself from making some of the same mistakes, and I learn a lot from it. Plus I really like editing other people's work, to be honest. :P

Thanks again, Meg! :D

xoxoArtemis


Lol. We are totally just rambling about writing to each other now...:D

Yah. Normally I don't make so many copies of my stories but...I'm venturing into a genre I've never attempted before. Which is, it just so happens, realistic fiction/romance...so I kinda HAVE to worry about it being realistic or not. My usual genre I stick to is actually fantasy. So honestly I'm not normally a realistic person. I'm a dreamer. So it's been a pain as well as fun to explore a new domain of writing.

Anyway...:D

I'm glad I can be a useful person. It depends on the day but sometimes I'm more in the mood to edit than others. Typically it happens around midnight when I am loopy and in need of sleep. ;)

And you should know, from here on out, that it takes hours for me to read things...so I am sorry about this sloth-like editing thing I have going on with your story right now. It's weird...I'm a writer but I'm part-dyslexic and don't know how to type, and I'm a reader but I read like a snail on sleeping meds. I don't know how these two things became such major hobbies of mine because obviously the odds aren't in my favor. lol.

Can't wait for the next chapter! It's starting to really get good!

Your insane fan,

-MEG

Edited by 24moon100, 01 June 2012 - 09:45 PM.

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#58 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:36 AM

Who cares if we're rambling or not? xD I don't ever get to ramble about writing to anyone but people on the Internet. See, whenever I try to talk about writing to my friends (none of whom write--except for one, but she writes K-Pop fanfiction, and I don't get to spend as much time with her), they all stare at me and act like I'm speaking in a different language. I have had to explain to them what so many things are. As much as I love them, they really bother me with not being able to talk about something I like, such as writing in this case (it's hard when you barely share the same interests with any of your friends :(). When you have to explain what the protagonist is, something is wrong...

Looking at that top paragraph of this comment: Whoa. I am, like, queen of rambling. Just noticed that... Sorry! D:

Ah, trying new genres is something I always dread. I know what you mean about having to desperately try to be realistic. As fun as it is to try new genres and forms of writing, it. Is. Hard. I read so many different genres that I tend to find a lot of tips on writing a certain genre within the writing, but...it still sucks. It's hard to switch from genre to genre, especially if you're just looking for the right thing to write.

I used to write fantasy, and it was all I wrote. I made up this huge world and had tons of history on it, and every different story I wrote took place in that world. There were no contradictions, really, but the world really grew over the course of each story attempt. But fantasy was all I wrote for about two years.

Then I got interested in realistic fiction. When I wrote my first and (still) only completed novel (but AiD WILL join it; I am determined and love everything about this so much that I am sure to finish this sucker!), it was, yes, realistic fiction/romance. Sort of. Because the protagonist read minds in a realistic, urban setting, it couldn't really be classified as "realistic fiction."

So I tried some more "hardcore" (pfft, describing realistic fiction as hardcore; oh the hilarity) realistic fiction/romance, and it gave me a lot of difficulties. Which is why I'm beginning to lose faith in my abilities in the genre (see the failure of Tales of Another Broken Home, which still interests me but doesn't have enough growing room and is too similar to American Idiot's storyline :P).

So I'll just stick to my dystopian, post-apocalyptic crap for now. :D

Ah, I write best when it's later, I think! Like, you edit when it's later. I mean, I write more words/pages when I'm sleep-deprived and tired, but the quality of the writing kind of stinks...

Don't be sorry that it takes so slow! Really, don't. I'm just thankful you're doing it and understand that it's not extremely easy. You're doing me such a huge favor that it doesn't really matter to me when you get them done.

Haa, insane fan... Glad you like this so much; at least you're helping me with my writing self-esteem, which is about a two on a scale of ten, I think... So thank you! :D

xoxoArtemis
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#59 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:47 AM

This chapter is actually part of a massive one. But it got so long that I thought, with the idea of parallelism in mind (you can't have one 7,000 word chapter with the rest 2,000 words), that it would be best to split it up. So here is the (slightly amusing?) Chapter 6.

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
Chapter 6 – The Last Supper
"I can't begin to let you know just what I'm feeling."
"Headfirst For Halos," My Chemical Romance



“What are we doing this time?” I asked exasperatedly. Phoenix smirked like he always did, handing me one of the guns he had dug out of the closet. I fingered it dreadfully. How was I supposed to know how to use one of these? Everything was happening so fast.

This time?” Ariadne snorted. She stared me down with hateful eyes. I shook my head and stared at the floor instead. Much better. “She thinks she’s already been part of ‘something.’ Hilarious...” She waited for a moment, staring at the ground. “And, anyway, nothing is going to be happening, so don’t get your hopes up, Alyce,” she added.

She snatched the rifle out of Phoenix’s hand before he could offer it to her. He just sighed and rolled his eyes dismissively. Though I had barely been around either of them, I knew plenty about their character and their personalities—and I had a terrible feeling about both of them.

Phoenix stared at me analytically. He seemed irritated, undoubtedly at Ariadne. He walked backward toward the closet, his eyes still locked on mine. “I’ll be making the calls about what we do and don’t do, thank you very much, Ariadne,” he replied. “You’re here to help me. You shouldn’t even know what’s going on, technically.”

“Well, I do, so I think I should have at least some input,” she said sharply. “You’re not the only one with ideas, Phoenix.”

I had ideas, too. And all of them involved running away from the two psychopaths that stood in front of me.

“You have an idea?” he asked, a sarcastic edge in his voice. Did Ariadne make everyone as miserable as she was making me? I personally couldn’t stand her, but there was some sort of silent, twisted understanding that was passing between her and Phoenix through the argument. It was something I didn’t recognize and definitely didn’t appreciate.

“I have a better idea than whatever the hell you plan on doing!” she yelled. Phoenix shook his head. I found myself mimicking Phoenix and shaking my own head, trying to stay totally unnoticed.

He ignored her completely. “This time,” he began, “we’re going to get out of this place. Because I don’t want this godforsaken hellhole to be my deathbed. And technically my month is over, isn’t it, Ariadne?”

She looked at some leathery band on her wrist. She yelled back at Phoenix, “You’re not the only one working! Our month will be over in forty-eight hours! Can’t we just go now?” she pleaded.

Phoenix glared at her. “Really? You want to pretend to be in control of this now?”

“No!” she yelled. She slammed the butt of the gun into the ground. I moved so my back was pressed against the metal wall, also as far away from Ariadne and her wrath as possible. My mind was telling to run now and never look back.

But she had a gun, so all my chances were ruined.

It wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a problem if I knew how to shoot the gun they had given me. I would feel much more protected. But I didn’t know how, and all I felt was insecure.

“Then what? Do you want to just deny the truth some more? Let me continue to do what I’m good at doing! I’m the leader here! You’re a follower! So follow, for godsakes!” Phoenix yelled.

“I have an idea,” I squeaked. Phoenix and Ariadne snapped their heads toward me. A really stupid idea, but an idea nonetheless, I thought to myself.

“You really want to get into this, kid?” Ariadne growled.

“I just thought we could…” I quietly took the satchel off my back and opened the clasp with trembling hands. Ariadne clenched her fists and muttered to herself. Phoenix stared at me with narrowed eyes; his look questioned everything I was doing.

To be honest, I was probably questioning myself more than he was.

I fumbled around inside the bag, terrified of what they were going to do to me. I cleared my throat. “I bring you a peace offering from one peaceful human being to not so peaceful ones. May we aspire to live in peace!” I managed shakily.

I felt suddenly poetic.

Ariadne looked even crazier because of what I was saying—and I doubt it was because my poetry was so beautiful.

I held up packages of candy in both hands. They looked at each other, obviously disturbed. I couldn’t tell whether pulling out all the sugary goodness was a good thing or a bad thing by their speechlessness and inability to make a clear expression, so I ripped open a pack of little chocolate things and waved the bag in the air until the candies spilled everywhere.

“Peace be with you!” I yelled.

Phoenix coughed awkwardly. Ariadne stared at the colorful chocolate things on the ground, her eyes wider than my own.

“What the hell just happened?” Ariadne asked, her hands on her head in a sort of what-the-hell-just-happened kind of way.

“I don’t…know,” Phoenix whispered.

They both stared at me silently. I shoved a piece of the chocolate in my mouth, giving them the thumbs-up.

“Peace be with you…?” I tried again. I got the feeling they weren’t into Poetic Alyce very much.

“Where did you get all of this stuff?” Phoenix finally said, ignoring my previous lyrical remark. “I haven’t seen anything like this in…years.”

“She’s probably a Corporation worker trying to lure us into her trap with candy like those guys in the windowless white vans used to do to children before the apocalypse!” Ariadne gasped. I buried my face in my hands. As well as being the most annoying, bad tempered idiot alive, she was also illogical.

Before either one of them could say anything else, I replied, “NO, I am not part of the Corporation, for the last time! I found this in the warehouse, in one of those vending machine things! I am not a Corporation worker.

The words “Corporation” still felt strange on my tongue. The whole “evil Corporation out to kill us all” thing hadn’t really sunk in yet. Neither had being stuck inside some prison for sick people, or the fact that I was spending all my time around people my mom would just hate…if she was still around, that is. I was almost sure she didn’t make it. The thought made me grit my teeth, holding back tears again.

Dead. Everyone important to me was sure to be dead.

Ariadne’s voice brought me back to reality and out of my thoughts. “So they aren’t, like, poisoned? We can…eat them?”

I shrugged, shoving a pile of eight or so into my mouth. “I’m eating them. Do I look dead to you?” I asked sarcastically, my mouth full of sweet chocolate.

“Should we eat them now?” Ariadne asked Phoenix. “Or should we keep them for later, when we’re all done with this plan?”

Phoenix gave her a confused glance. I stuffed more in my mouth like a content eight-year-old with candy. “Who says we’ll make it out alive?”

Phoenix!” she snapped.

“What?! It’s the truth!”

“You’re so damn morbid.”

“Not morbid—just a realist.”

“No, you’re just plain morbid.”

“Fine. Whatever.” He glanced down at me as I proceeded to open another bag of candy. “Anyway, I think it would make sense to eat them now instead of later. This can be like our Last Supper.”

“I sort of don’t believe Jesus ate chocolate at the Last Supper,” Ariadne pointed out.

“Yes, and I also believe you take everything ten times more literally than you should.”

She cursed under her breath. “Alyce, give me some of those! You’re going to eat all of them!”

No, I am not going to eat all of them,” I replied. “Just as many as I can before you people stop arguing.”

“Okay, well, we’re done arguing now,” Ariadne said urgently. “So give me—I mean, Phoenix and me—food. Like, right now.”

“What if I don’t want to? What if I want to indulge in this candy all by myself?”

“One of us knows how to use a gun. The other one doesn’t. Who wins?” she replied, looking at me like I was dumb again.

Fine,” I said, deflated. I grabbed two bags of candy out of the box (the smallest ones I could find) and threw one of them to Phoenix and one to Ariadne. It hurt to give up all the food I had worked so hard to get.

Then I remembered there was also soda in the bag. I hadn’t even brought that out yet. Frowning, I pulled three of them out, giving a red one to Phoenix and a red one to Ariadne. I kept the green one for myself, since it looked slightly bigger than the others.

“There,” I said, out of breath. I observed how they each opened the cans of soda. There was some weird device on the top that I struggled with and eventually pried open. Weird. “Now, let us feast!”
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#60 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:01 AM

The chapter I have been dreading rewriting from day one...IS FINISHED! As much as I like this chapter, it took forever. Plus it's one of the only chapters where something besides mindless talking happens. Rejoice and enjoy it while you can.

I'm also positive there are a ton of errors in here, but it's so long that I only proofed it once. :P LOL.

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
Chapter 7 – San Francisco
“Keeps your hopes up high and your heads down low.”
-“All I Want,” A Day To Remember



“I’m going, I’m going!”

“Not fast enough! C’mon!” Ariadne yelled impatiently. I stood behind her, closer to the door than either of them. For the last ten minutes, Ariadne had been yelling at Phoenix to hurry up and find whatever he had been looking for. This had effectively ruined everyone’s energy that had been gained at our imaginary Last Supper.

Phoenix said we were all going to die during an attempt to get out of the Camp. Was I thrilled with the idea? Well, yeah, getting out of the Camp sounded great—just not the dying part, obviously.

But I figured we’d have a more likely chance of dying inside the Camp if Ariadne kept yelling and drawing unwanted attention to us. She was so loud. How Phoenix planned to escape with me—AKA the clumsiest and most unskilled person to walk the earth—and loud, obnoxious Ariadne was beyond me.

“We’re supposed to make deadline!” she called out to him, irritated.

“Well, at this rate,” he called from the closet, “the deadline probably won’t work. We’re not going to make it all the way to San Francisco and find the right building in forty-six hours. So forget about the deadline, okay?”

“No way am I taking my time! I’ve waited over four freaking years for this opportunity! I’m not waiting around like this, Phoenix. Let’s go!”

“Yeah, and I’m just going to go out there unarmed, right? Because I can’t find this stupid gu–”

“It’s not like you can’t take hers! You can do your little savior thing with her while I do the dirty work agai–”

“No, she needs it.” He shuffled out of the closet holding a slightly smaller gun in his hands. “Now, let’s get the hell out of here. If we’re going by the ‘deadline,’” he began, glaring at Ariadne with wide eyes, “we’ve got just forty-six hours—”

“More like forty-five, actually,” Ariadne muttered sourly. Phoenix just continued with his little spiel.

“—to get out and get to the city, right?” She nodded, dissatisfied. “Well, we aren’t going to make the deadline, but the faster we get there, the better our chances of keeping our rank and reputation with the Resistance and Black Market.” There it was again. The “Resistance.” Being oblivious to every last thing that everyone talks about kind of sucks, I’ve learned.

Ariadne decided to chime in before I could ask anything. “Well, since you’re so convinced that we’re all so slow and unable to run, let’s ditch the deadline and just get to the office and report as fast as we ca—”

“Wait, what office?” I butted in. Ariadne elbowed me hard in the side, indicating that I just needed to shut up. I shot her my best look of defiance, but she just stifled a laugh. “Sorry, I just… I’m just out of the loop a bit here.” I hoped my tone didn’t sound quite as sad and pathetic to them as it did to me.

“Way to be Captain Obvious,” I heard Ariadne say under her breath. I scowled to myself.

“Nah, it’s all right,” Phoenix replied.

I think he, surprisingly enough, might have liked me a little more than Ariadne did. This was a huge relief, since I figured I was probably going to be stuck with them for quite a while. At least one person might not hate my guts and want to/attempt to kill me for no apparent reason.

He turned to Ariadne. “But she’s completely clueless, isn’t she?”

I bit my tongue and tried to keep quiet. Talking about me like I wasn’t there upset me. At least they could acknowledge my presence a bit.

“Yeah, because Cato is completely oblivious to the Black Market—that’s why,” Ariadne responded. I got the feeling she really liked to make Cato look like a schmuck. She definitely had something against him. Maybe he had tried to kill her, too. Wouldn’t surprise me.

“Wait, what Black Market? Cato actually did say something about that before,” I said defensively. Why I was backing him up I had no clue. He hadn’t really helped me out at all, if I was remembering things correctly. “He said they were ‘a bunch of rip-off artists’ who wanted to ‘destroy the world,’ I think.” I paused as they rolled their eyes at each other. “Or something like that,” I added, hating the awkward silence that followed.

Phoenix and Ariadne exchanged glances and started to laugh out loud simultaneously. “Well, at least the kid’s got one thing right for once in his life,” Phoenix said. “Except we’re not ripping people off completely. And, just for the record, we only want to destroy a small part of the world.”

Ariadne laughed. “Don’t ever listen to anything Cato says, kid.”

I hated being called a kid. Hated it. It wasn’t like they were any older than me; Phoenix was maybe a year older than me, and Ariadne could have been younger than me, for all I knew. She wasn’t particularly mature and sure didn’t look much older than sixteen at most.

“He’s got logic down and he’s a technical genius,” she continued. “He can hack anything. He knows the Camp memorized. Probably the land outside of the Camp, too. He’s a mastermind with explosives. Only his opinions on everything—especially politics—are complete crap.”

“Oh, thanks for telling me that now!” I shot back. “Now I guess I’m indoctrinated with lies!” I shrugged, not really caring but being melodramatic just for the sake of it. So far, I had no one to trust, so there wasn’t too much I wholeheartedly believed. I didn’t even know whose side I was on yet. Maybe Ariadne’s version of lies was actually truth. It all depended on the angle you came at things.

“You’re welcome,” she spat, smirking as I proceeded to just roll my eyes and pretend it didn’t bother me half as much as it did.

“So you two are part of some…black market, then?” I asked cautiously. Best to just change the subject and avoid Ariadne’s drama.

“Yeah. The Black Market. The Black Market of San Francisco, officially. Now shut up.” Ariadne stared at me with narrowed eyes. I just stared back blankly, finding that it was the one expression I actually enjoyed wearing around her. “Phoenix, can we just go now?

“Okay, then,” he began. “I promise to explain later, Alyce. Just…not yet.”

Phoenix looked at me sincerely, though I’m pretty sure that, when used together, “sincere” and “Phoenix” are the very definition of oxymoronic.

He kept looking at me as he spoke—even though he was addressing Ariadne more than me. “We are going to get through the gate. No matter what. I don’t care what happens. We are going to make it through. It’s just a bit of the way down, so we won’t have to run far.

“Ariadne, you’re going to be in charge of taking out the guy in the control room. You’re going to shoot him dead, then you’ll turn off the electricity, okay?” She nodded, looking upset. I couldn’t quite figure out why, though. “Then you’ll open the door by using the controls up in the tower. After that, you’ll come down and join me and Alyce in the fighting. All right?”

Ariadne shrugged, her eyes on the floor. She made it plenty evident that it was not all right.

“Well, what about her?” Ariadne pouted lifelessly, obviously upset that she would be missing all of the action at the gate while she was busy opening it and turning off the electricity. “I mean, couldn’t she be doing the easy part instead of me, since I actually know what I’m doing?”

“No,” he argued, moving toward the door. He locked eyes with me again. His stare was so intense that I looked away. He turned from me. “I think Alyce and I can handle this one just fine by ourselves. Besides, you’re much better with all that stuff than I am, and I think Alyce would be completely clueless. Do you really trust her with that kind of thing?”

Thanks,” I replied. How about you throw me under the bus some more,” I thought agitatedly.

“Yeah, because she can actually shoot a gun!” Ariadne yelled. I just stood there uncomfortably, letting them discuss whatever seemed to be so important.

“You can shoot a gun, right?” Phoenix asked me anxiously. I looked away from them and wished I could get out of the nightmare that everything had turned to right then and there. Nothing seemed to be turning out very well for me at this point.

When I did manage to shake my head guiltily, he looked like he was about to collapse on the spot. I widened my eyes apologetically.

“Well, you better learn fast. Otherwise, screw this,” he muttered. I slunk back against the wall miserably.

“I’m sorry. It’s just…I...”

I didn’t know what to say.

“They’re going to be waiting for us! Do you want to keep Angelo waiting?” Ariadne reminded Phoenix with that annoying nagging tone infused in her voice. I figured Angelo had something to do with the mysterious Black Market or Resistance. One of the two, at least.

Phoenix looked at me and sighed. “Look,” he said to me. “Just please don’t get yourself killed out there, all right? If you’re able to manage that much, you should be pretty well off for a while. When we get into San Francisco, things’ll be much easier.”

“Yeah, sure. But I’m not sure this is a good idea,” I said honestly. “This escape plan thing, I mean.”

Ariadne snorted again. I wondered if it hurt to snort as much as she did. “Psh, we’ve been plotting an escape for years. I doubt you could come up with anything much better than this.”

“Oh, because you’re such a genius,” I snapped sarcastically.

“Shut up, Alyce.”

Phoenix ignored both of us and continued with getting ready to leave. He eyed the satchel on the ground and glanced back up at me. “Ready?”


“I guess,” I muttered. Ariadne and Phoenix looked pumped, whereas I looked like I was about to die.

He pulled the hood of his jacket over his head and held his gun tightly. Ariadne did the same sort of thing, pulling her long, brown hair over her face. I didn’t know what else I was supposed to do, so I just copied her and Phoenix.

My unruly black hair fell over my eyes, obscuring my view of Phoenix and Ariadne. I tried to see from behind it, but it had grown to be so thick over time that it was almost impossible.

“Just try to stay as inconspicuous as you can,” Ariadne said to me quietly. “They’ve got cameras. And they’re just about always on. Try not to get your face on them, all right? They’ve got people reviewing footage all the time. You’re going to have to get your act together. Heads down low, got it?”

Whoa. A whole seven sentences with no insult?

A new record.

Phoenix threw open the door, and they hit the ground running. I followed as quickly as I could. I was pretty sure both of them were about ten times faster than I was. Especially in my stupid boots. It didn’t help to have the heavy gun on me, either.

I tried to mimic their movement, but I just ended up looking like a moron in the end. So I just ran in my stumbling fashion and tried to look like less of a moron.

When we came to the last of the makeshift shelters in the row, I was relieved. The less running the better. Somehow, though, I knew there’d be a lot of things worse than running that were about to come next.

Phoenix and Ariadne ducked behind the shelter before any of the guards at the electrified gate could catch a glimpse of them. I followed as best as I could, hoping I wasn’t going to trip on the way over. Thankfully, I made it without completely falling over.

We hunched on the ground, our backs pressed up against the metal that made the wall of the shelter. I tried to fix my hood; it was falling again, which was beginning to get very aggravating. On the way over, it had kept falling over my eyes and making me want to rip it off and yell, “Here I am world! Take a good look at me before I DIE!”

Because, well, you know. I was going to die in a matter of minutes.

Thinking thoughts like that does not help you stop hyperventilating, by the way.

As I worked on adjusting myself into a more comfortable position that didn’t make my back feel like it was about to give out on me, my jacket brushed up against Ariadne’s side. She turned toward me, eyeing the jacket suspiciously.

I had expected that typical look of ire to be plastered across her face, but it was replaced with a smirk instead. Just behind her hair, you could definitely make out her smirk.

“Nice jacket,” she mouthed, amused.

“Sorry,” I mouthed back. I just hoped she wouldn’t kill me before the guards got to me. Death by the Wrath of Ariadne would be a much worse death than if the guards just shot me. And I mean, she seemed to get pretty worked up over the little things, and the jacket wasn’t even necessarily little.

I braced myself for pain.

But to my surprise, she just waved her hand. It was a simple—almost what they’d call kind—gesture that didn’t fit Ariadne’s character at all. I stared at her, dumbfounded.

“It was too big anyway,” she mouthed.

This time, rather than mouthing to each other like we had been, I actually whispered, even though it was barely audible. “Which explains why I’m drowning in it.”

She put one of her fingers to her lips, indicating the need for total silence. I turned my head away from hers.

TIME TO DIE, I reminded myself pessimistically.

To my left, the opposite side of where Phoenix and Ariadne were, footsteps began. They were barely perceptible over the obnoxious hum of the electric fence, but they were clearly noticeable to anyone who was as alert as Phoenix as Ariadne.

And then there was me. I wouldn’t have even known anything was going on if it weren’t for their silent warning.

Phoenix glared at me expectantly. My heartbeat picking up once more, I fumbled with the gun. It felt too big in my small hands and way too dangerous. Given my current state, no one should’ve let me anywhere near any sort of weapon in the first place.

I tried different grips on the gun. All of them felt completely wrong. Why couldn’t they have taught me how to shoot the thing before we got out here? It would’ve only taken another minute of our time.

I saw the guard’s feet before I saw his face of body. In fact, that was all it took for me to react; I let out a small, shrill scream and tried doing whatever I could with the gun. And, hey, if worse came to worst, I could just use it as a club.

But, somehow, I finally got the stupid thing to actually shoot.

Only I missed the guy by about a mile and hit one of the shelters on the other side of the road instead.

Ariadne shot at the guard before he could figure out what had just happened. I assumed he must’ve been pretty unprepared since I wasn’t already lying on the ground, bleeding to death. To my thanks, the guard fell to the ground. His grey uniform was soaked with bright red blood in seconds. I let out a small whimper, terrified. There was something horribly grotesque about seeing a person die. It reminds you of how fragile your own life is.

The shouting began seconds later at the fence. Ariadne held her gun out in front of her, adjusted her hood, and sprinted across the dirt ground to the shelters on the right. I heard gunshots in her direction—each one so loud that I flinched every time. Footsteps of running guards started toward her, beginning seconds after she had dashed across the road.

Phoenix, seeing that part of the plan also work as a diversion, gave me the thumbs-up signal. I figured that meant I was supposed to turn and run in the opposite direction that Ariadne had. Which, actually, was the farthest thing from what I wanted to do.

I got up onto my feet with regret, leaving my place on the ground. The sandy dirt was covered in the footprints of my boots. I glared at Phoenix, gave him the thumbs-down sign just because I was very terrified of where this plan was going, and ran across the road.

Or, well, I tried to, at least.

A hand shot out and grabbed me around the waist. Following that, my capturer’s elbow slammed into my face. I had the feeling he wasn’t going easy on me by the way my face was already covered in the sticky, red liquid that was my own blood.

I tasted the blood in my mouth before I felt the pain. When the pain did come, it took all I had not to double over and pass out. The excruciating feeling of torture shot through my skull, leaving me to moan and writher in agony.

I could only think a few coherent things:

1: My face hurt like hell.

2: My gun was completely out of reach; it was lying on the ground, yards away from me. Even if I couldn’t shoot it at all, this left me completely defenseless.

3: I was in the hands of the enemy. Literally.

4: Phoenix most likely had no clue of any of this. No clue that I was about to be murdered.

“Get your filthy little hands off of me, you—”

The guard clenched his hand around my neck, repositioning himself in front of me. He tightened his grip and pulled his free hand back. I closed my eyes, trying to breathe despite the feeling of suffocation, and prepared myself for the next wave of misery.

He slammed his fist into my face over and over. Each time I let out a rasping scream, the guard laughed and proceeded with his torture session. The pain inflicted upon me was to the point of unbearable. I could feel myself slipping out of consciousness with every growing second.

He pushed me onto the ground, his fist connecting with my stomach. My body crashed against the metal wall of the shelter. My left hand, the one thing I tried to catch myself from the fall with, dug into a sharp shard of glass, which only added to the searing pain.

But I was not going to pass out. I would not give the guard that satisfaction.

He slammed the butt of his heavy gun into my face and stomach again and again. More blood flowed out of my nose and my mouth. I screamed as loud as I could, hoping from my half-awake state that Phoenix would hear and come to rescue me from the hands of the guard.

“THERE! My hands are off you! Now shut your goddamned mouth, scum!

“Stop!” I gurgled, blood preventing me from speaking.

My mouth was constantly filling with blood. The blood sloshed around in my mouth disgustingly, and I spit it onto his legs and hands and feet. I figured it would have to work since I couldn’t hit his face from my low position on the ground.

He kicked me—harder than any time before—with one of the feet I had spat on. My head and back hit the metal wall of the shelter behind me.

“Augh, STOP!” I screamed out.

“Shut up, you stupid girl!” the guard yelled. Clearly, he was fed up with the fact that I hasn’t passed out yet, because he pointed his gun at me instead of slamming it into my face this time. He sneered down at me. “Shut your mouth or I’ll kill you!”

“No you won’t, you bastard!”

A gunshot fired from behind the guard. His expression was of complete shock as he fell over—dead—on top of me.

“You all right there, Alyce?” the voice of Phoenix, once again my savior, asked, pulling my bloody, dead torturer off of me. He grunted as he threw him off to the side nonchalantly. “You look like total crap.”

“You’re one to talk,” I shot back.

Though I was sure I looked a thousand times worse, he definitely was the very portrait of looking like crap. His face was smeared with blood and dirt, his left arm was cut open and pouring blood like there was no tomorrow, his clothes were covered in the stuff, and his lip was slit open. Despite it all, he was still grinning and making everything look like it was better than it actually was.

“Honestly, you look more dead than alive,” he replied, just staring at me.

“G-good, because that’s how it feels,” I shot, spitting out more blood.

“Seriously, though, are you okay?”

“Uh, if you can c-count half-dead as ‘okay,’ I’m pretty m-much okay,” I managed to say. I coughed disgustingly and spit blood again. Phoenix gave me the universal “nasty” look, so I spat up some more for him.

“Yeah, you’re really not going to be able to make it out, are you?”

“Me?” I tried to wipe some of the sticky stuff off of my face. Seeing and feeling it on my fingers was enough to make me feel dizzy. “If I m-made it this far, I am not going to wimp out n-now. Now’s the…easy p-part.”

He held out his bloodstained hand for me to grab. I stared at it for a while, sort of wondering who it was that was actually giving me their hand. It took me a bit to remember what was going on, since I had closed my eyes and blocked out everything that was—

His voice brought me back to reality. “Oh, God, Alyce. You are not going to make it out.”

I sat upright, willing myself to hold on for a while longer. I could do this. I wasn’t going to give in again.

“You really aren’t all right. Really,” he said. I stared upward dizzily.

He stooped down to the ground and scooped me up in his arms. He slung his gun over his back so it wouldn’t get in the way. All I could feel was his arm underneath my leg, his other below my back. His hand held onto my forearm tightly, letting me know that he wasn’t letting me go any time soon.

“Just hold on for a bit,” he whispered, beginning to walk. My weight didn’t even seem to effect his smooth, easy movements. I stared up at him, at his cut lip and his alert green eyes. At his face and serious expression. It was all I could do to keep from going under. “Ariadne’s got the fence’s electricity off and the gate open. The guards are dead, and there are no reinforcements yet. We’ve got a moment right now. We’re going to get out, Alyce.” I could hear the excitement in his voice.

I tried to nod, but my eyes were growing tired. “Th…ank…you.”

He looked down at me, smirking again. “Looks like we’re making a habit of it. You know, me saving you. I think we ought to make it a tradition.”

“No th-thanks,” I managed. “I’d…like to stay as far…away from…death as…p-possible.”

He shrugged. “Your choice.” I could see him grinning again.

We moved forward across the dirt road. The ground behind us was littered with the bodies of dead Corporation workers, all of which I knew he and Ariadne had shot and killed. My heart ached at the sight of them.

After a while, I lost track of the number of bodies and just concentrated on not puking on Phoenix.


Ariadne was leaning against the open gate of the fence, her hair shining in the moonlight. She yawned with mock boredom as we—or, Phoenix really, since I was just in his arms, after all—approached her. I noticed that she wasn’t injured at all.

Go figure. I was completely covered in blood while she sat there, completely unscathed.

She raised her eyebrows as she observed our current position. Not knowing what else to do, she just rolled her eyes from underneath her hood and motioned us forward like an usher.

Phoenix adjusted his grip on me, whispering something I couldn’t fully make out. Soon we were running alongside Ariadne, who was laughing by the sound of it. After she turned around and shouted something—I think it was mostly a lot of expletives, but I couldn’t really tell—she said, “Am I missing something, or is Phoenix the mass murderer now carrying his girlfriend?”

“First of all,” he said, “she is not my girlfriend. Secondly, she just about got beaten to death. Cut her some slack, okay?”

“Whatever. I just found it ironic that you go from mass murderer Phoenix Cortez to carrying girls around like you’re Romeo or something. And I found it funny that I was completely right.”

“Right about what exactly?”

“That I should’ve been down at the gate instead of her. Look what happened because of your stupid decision. I was right, and you’re a moron.”

“Care to just take in the moment instead of insulting me and complaining for once?”

“Whatever. You just don’t want to admit I’m right.”

“No, it’s just that you’re being awfully annoying and ruining the best moment of my life. That’s all.”

“You still don’t want to admit I’m ri—”

“Shut up,” he snapped. “Now, evaluate the situation. We’re finally out of the Confinement Camp. We’re off to San Francisco. We’re free.”

“Yeah, but it’s too bad we’re stuck with her.”

“Just shut up. You’re ruining the moment.”

“There is no ‘moment’ when she’s here.”

“I’m just going to pretend you’re not talking now,” he responded, making his irritation very evident.

And, eventually, she did shut up.

Eventually.

*

By the time we reached the city, I was able to walk on my own. I couldn’t tell who was more relieved: me or Phoenix.

I grinned to myself as the sun began to rise over San Francisco. Ariadne and Phoenix and I stood on the empty freeway, the abandoned cars scattered on the road in random patterns. In the distance, you could just see the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Hello, beautiful,” Phoenix said, starting to run into the city, leaving Ariadne and I behind.
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#61 Logan1949

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:32 PM

Nice chapter. Lots of action. I would like to see Alyce act slightly less wimpy, though. Is she going to end up being like Buffy the vampire slayer, or Elektra the assassin, or Ripley the Alien killer? Maybe because she got beat up so badly, she could take more initiative in her own defense, like demanding that Pheonix show her how to use the gun she may have already lost.

Just wondering how long it will take her to recover completely from the beating. What kept her alive for four years in a coma without eating? Was she on an IV, in a hospital, like Faith the vampire slayer?

Logan
(Yeah, Yeah. I'm only one of less than 5-6 guys ever to post on MCMB. But then, I'm well over half a century old, and don't care much what people think about it.)
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#62 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:21 AM

Nice chapter. Lots of action. I would like to see Alyce act slightly less wimpy, though. Is she going to end up being like Buffy the vampire slayer, or Elektra the assassin, or Ripley the Alien killer? Maybe because she got beat up so badly, she could take more initiative in her own defense, like demanding that Pheonix show her how to use the gun she may have already lost.

Just wondering how long it will take her to recover completely from the beating. What kept her alive for four years in a coma without eating? Was she on an IV, in a hospital, like Faith the vampire slayer?

Logan
(Yeah, Yeah. I'm only one of less than 5-6 guys ever to post on MCMB. But then, I'm well over half a century old, and don't care much what people think about it.)


Well, hello. :D Thank you for the compliment on the chapter; it means a lot whenever I get feedback of any kind, seeing as I don't have anyone reading this outside of the people on the Internet.

Ah, yeah, Alyce is kind of...not a very strong or heroic character (just wait a bit; I have some things planned ;)). But she does toughen up a bit, and she does learn how to shoot a gun. This probably sounds dumb to everyone but me, but I didn't want Alyce to be extremely skillful or strong or anything like that. I feel like the protagonists in books are usually too much like that (see popular books like the Hunger Games, where you have Katniss the skillful archer, or the Harry Potter series, where you have Harry Potter, who is, if you ask me, both smart and "strong," in a magical sense), and I wanted to break the flow.

But, no, she is not static in that way. She's not like Bella from Twilight, where she depends on everyone (mainly Edward, but sometimes Jacob) for everything and never really changes. Alyce will eventually adjust to the world. I also felt that it might be too rushed to have her winning battles and being a great--or even good--fighter just days after she got out of the coma. (On the question you asked with the coma: There is actually some important backstory that comes later, which I can't tell just yet for the sake of the plotline, because it gives some important information away. But an IV is the closest thing I can tell you).

Originally, I was going to have Alyce be exactly what she is not: the Super Protagonist, you could say. But I like to make my characters as flawed and realistic as possible (which I'm sure Ariadne and Phoenix probably don't seem yet, but we've barely spent any time with them yet), and it didn't seem realistic to have Alyce like that after the coma.

But, fear not, there is hope for her in the future! :D

Thanks again for the feedback, Logan! Very appreciated. Even though I like to think of it as mindless rambling, replying to comments like yours helps me understand my characters more and get in depth. I don't really get to discuss my writing with my friends or family in real life; no one else is very into writing except my younger sister, but she's still pretty focused on her writing when we talk. Which just makes me appreciate comments like yours even more. Thank you very much!

xoxoArtemis
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#63 Logan1949

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

It's good to have the character develop throughout the story. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies, "Whip It," where both the daughter and the mother had some adjusting to get through.
Logan
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#64 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:31 AM

This chapter is dedicated to the Used for inspiring me with their song "Hospital." I figured it would make enough sense for the things in this chapter to happen, so I stuck with my plan. It's maybe a little less humorous in parts, but I incorporated a bit of humor since I can't stand have everything dark and depressing all the time. :P

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
Chapter 8 – Hospital
“You’re hiding in your safe place, hiding with your eyes shut tightly all the way to the hospital.”

-"Hospital," The Used


Honestly, the city just added to my growing depression.

Empty. Decrepit. Just plain creepy.

More commonly known as “not fun.”

I knew, after a few minutes of walking (or more like limping, in my case; I still had to use a surprisingly cooperative Phoenix for balance at times) in the city, that something was wrong by the way neither of them could stop coughing. I was coughing, too, just not as much as they were. And it wasn’t just the typical I-Have-Something-In-My-Throat-Because -I’m-Sick sort of coughing. This was definitely something else; it hurt your lungs and throat terribly to cough, let alone breathe.

“The…air,” Ariadne said between obnoxiously loud coughs. “What’s wrong”—she paused to cough again—“with the air?!”

Phoenix, also surrendering to the fits of painful coughing, covered his mouth with his left hand and hacked into it miserably. I stopped and bent over, coughing until I thought I could cough no more. Though my body protested and ached from my beating, I just couldn’t stop from coughing more and more every time.

“Polluted air,” Phoenix sputtered between fits of coughing. “From…the disease…Smells like…dea—”

He couldn’t even finish his sentence, though what he was trying to say was plenty clear. There was no maintenance at all in the city, where hundreds of thousands had died and been left to rot. In the Camp, Cato had said, they did take care of the dead bodies and dispose of them. The air, similar in the Confinement Camp, wasn’t nearly as awful as what was invading our lungs in the city. I cringed, thinking of the disease and of my only memories from before the coma: sitting the hospital waiting room, slowly dying. Bleeding. Shaking. Passing out.

I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts. It certainly wasn’t making me feel any better to bring those memories back up. Concentration was what I needed now.

After multiple failed attempts to continue trekking through the empty, contaminated city, Ariadne figured we weren’t going to make it very far in our unfortunate condition. Carrying on in the shape we were in was a pretty awful idea.

Or, well, that’s what Ariadne claimed, at least. I think Phoenix tried to argue against it, but whatever he was saying was smothered by coughing.

Of course, they were talking more about the disease-ridden air infecting their lungs and being sleep-deprived wrecks, but the air was barely bothering me compared to the wounds from the escape. That just goes to show how oblivious they were to anyone but their precious selves.

“If we can barely communicate,” she said briskly, talking extremely fast so she could finish her thought without succumbing to coughing, “then how are we going to be able to navigate through a city we barely know and protect ourselves from any—”

Her coughing cut her off. I just hoped she wasn’t serious about the whole protecting thing, because I didn’t have anything to defend myself with either way. Not that a gun would help me very much either way. I made a mental note to make one of them—preferably Phoenix, since he didn’t seem to hate me—teach me later.

“Let’s stop soon,” I agreed sleepily, wincing as I moved along.

Ariadne led us blindly through the city for a few minutes, stopping frequently to try to hold in our insides from spewing out of our mouths. I don’t know why she didn’t just kick open the doors to one the many stores we passed and crashed in there. Once again, I was missing something. Probably something important, given the way history tends to repeat itself.

But I had to trust her. I couldn’t just run off on my own, as much as I wanted to. If I wouldn’t have been the wreck I was at the moment, I would have actually considered running.

Unfortunately, I needed them, even if I denied it to their faces.

Soon Ariadne must’ve found a place that suited her liking, because she muttered, “Go…there… Rest.”

I just nodded and staggered behind her weakly, not really looking where she was directing us to go. The ground took enough concentration to look at. Keeping my eyes open was difficult, as I had gone without sleep for so long. All I wanted to do was pass out and sleep.

The first place she had found to use as a “shelter” was A) way too big B.) way too obvious C) not going to make things any better breathing-wise D) not okay with me by any standards, and E) not what I expected in the least. Then again, Ariadne and Phoenix always had different ways to do things than I did, and they usually turned out fifty times better than the way would do them. Because, well, they’ve actually got the brains of people their age, while I’m stuck for years behind my actual age.

Life really isn’t fair.

My frustration with Ariadne’s sudden choice of a place for our heads was inexpressible from my state of pain and misery and tiredness, so a slight grunt and out held, partially clenched fists that indicated my irritation in a very suitable way was the best I could do.

I did not approve of her boneheaded leadership.

The crumbling hospital stood in front of us with that stereotypical ominous vibe that every crumbling buildings (which is, like, all of the buildings) of dead San Francisco seemed to have. Something about the ash on the ground and the empty cars in the completely full parking lot sent shivers down my spine.

The bloodstains on the broken glass on the glass that used to be part of the main door and on the floor didn’t help to cease that sick, uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach either, by the way.

As soon as I saw the waiting room in front of us, I almost died. More mentally than physically, but died all the same. “Not going in,” I whispered as quickly as possible. Once I had seen those empty, bloodstained chairs so perfectly arranged in a familiar pattern my brain must’ve shut off, because all I could think was:

Get me out of here now.

And that was all I needed to think, really, because I had already made the observation that I didn’t like what I saw. It wasn’t just the fear of hospitals and medics that I had acquired before my time in the death coma; something about the place just made me feel uneasy. There was something absurdly unsettling about the waiting room and the amputation tools on the countertop and the broken elevator with its wide-open door. Something about the strangely familiar layout of the chairs and the pattern of the dirty tiles of the floor filled me with a twisted sense of reminiscence and horrible déjà vu.

I knew this hospital.

I knew those amputation tools; they were using those on a patient on that counter because all the rooms were filled up when they wheeled me in on the gurney. I knew that broken elevator. That’s where the paramedics rushed out when they wheeled me in. I knew those waiting room chairs; those were filled with sick, dying people. And I knew those tiles. Those are what I last saw as my life faded away from me.

Damn it.

“C’mon, Alyce,” Phoenix whispered, pulling me from my frozen place at the door. “Hurry up.”

“Can’t.”

“Come on, Alyce,” he said impatiently.

“I CAN’T.”

“Why not?”

We had a short break from our argument to let out some gravelly coughs. My chest throbbed with an unwelcome pain. I fought to keep my eyes open. I didn’t even want to keep going anymore; all the drive and motivation had been taken out of me.

“DÉJÀ VU! THAT’S WHY!”

He finished his own coughing session and sent me a confused glare. “Huh? Déjà what?”

“I’ve been here before, okay?” I finished, coughing whenever I raised my voice. “This is the hospital where I went into the coma!”

“SO?”

“I can’t do this.” I leaned against the wall of the entry way, needing support. “I can’t go in there!”

He coughed again, watching Ariadne linger off disinterestedly. “You are coming with us…RIGHT NOW.”

Before I could complain, he grabbed my arm and pulled me forward with strength I didn’t know he had in him at the time. I fought back weakly, struggling to get my arm out of his grasp.

“Let go of me!”

“Just come on and move! Get over your stupid…stupid whatever-you-called-it!”

“It’s called DÉJÀ VU, dumbass!”

I kicked him in the shin as hard as I could. My irritation and terror were combined with a sudden adrenaline rush, and I actually managed to do something other than cough and look completely horrified.

Somehow, the combination of terror, adrenaline, and irritation allowed me to kick (a very angry) Phoenix onto the ground, which was way more than I wanted.

Oh, yeah. And he still wouldn’t let go of my stupid arm. So I fell on top of him. Which was, once again, way more than I wanted to happen.

Between the cursing and the coughing and the awkwardness of how everything played out, it was not a pleasant experience.

And then Ariadne decided to join our little party. This did not in any way improve my situation of my anger with her and Phoenix.

“WHAT THE—what are you two doing?! You can go make out later, okay?”

Phoenix cussed her out pretty good for that one.

Phoenix, obviously pretty pissed off (not sure if it was at me or Ariadne; probably both, given the look he shot me), pushed me off of him with his calloused hands, and called Ariadne a few names that my inner little kid was pretty horrified at.

“She is refusing to move,” he spat.

“So because she won’t move, you started making out with her?”

Phoenix did/said a few more rude things after that.

“I did not start making out with her,” he shot.

“Then she started it? Jesus Christ, this is what happens when I’m not around? It looked like you two were really—”

“Ariadne,” he said. “She did not start making out with me. That’s the last thing I want to do with her right now. She is being such a—”

“How about you two stop discussing me like I’m not here right now, huh?” I put in. I imagined what Ariadne thought she was seeing and shuddered to myself.

Well, see, I wasn’t very attracted to Phoenix like Ariadne was all of a sudden assuming.

Let’s just leave it at that.

“Whatever,” he said. “But, for the record, I did not make out with her.”

“Whatever. I still want an explanation as to why two were rolling around on the ground on top of each other, though, because if you weren’t making out, I dunno what was going on.”

“Long story short, she will not walk and I was trying to get her to walk. The end,” Phoenix said, looking beyond disgruntled. I didn’t blame him.

They paused to cough. The intervals for coughing were starting to get longer and longer. Feeling a little left out, I decided to chime in with a bit of halfhearted coughing. The air, though it smelled pretty bad (especially in the hospital, I must say), didn’t seem to affect my lungs the same way it affected theirs.

“She won’t move?” Ariadne asked, deviously contemplating things in that mischievous way of hers. “Well, we really oughtta do something about that.”

She said something in between coughs that I couldn’t understand. Apparently, though, Phoenix did. Whatever it was, I had a feeling the outcome wasn’t going to be good for me.

The two approached me, exchanging playful grins that indicated nothing but trouble for me. I backed away from them slowly. They came at me from either side, surrounding me—if two people can actually “surround” someone, that is.

“Don’t you dare touch me,” I said breathily. My voice was distorted from all the coughing, much like theirs. “Don’t you—”

“Ready, Phoenix?” Ariadne asked triumphantly, a glint of humor in her eyes. “One… Two… Three!”

Ariadne and Phoenix lunged at me simultaneously. I just screeched and coughed some more. They laughed at my poor, discouraged attempt to escape their grasp.

Phoenix grabbed me from around the waste, his hands resting securely on the small of my back. I gritted my teeth contemptuously, wanting his hands off of me as soon as possible.

Honestly, I think I hated him for making me go into the hospital.

Almost more than Ariadne hated me.

If that’s even possible.

He pulled my body across one of his shoulders, his arms wrapped tightly around my upper legs. Irritated, I kicked him hard, hoping my aim was as accurate as I hoped it was. Judging by the moan and the slight slip of his grip, I had been as accurate as planned.

“God, Alyce, was that really necessary?”

“Definitely.” I smirked. “Now, put me down—or, so help me, I will kick you there again.”

“Uh, no,” Phoenix said, running down one of the empty, dark hallways. Ariadne followed behind him, laughing, holding her gun readily, like she’d actually have a chance to use it. “You need to come with us, and this looks like the only way that’ll happen, if you ask me.”

I hacked on him agitatedly, letting myself sulk in my irritation a little more. Self-pity is frowned upon by the public, whereas I embrace it with open arms.

It turns out Phoenix, on the other hand, laughs at it and just makes you pity yourself more, since you’re unfortunately stuck with him.

Of all the people I could have been stuck with, why was I stuck with Ariadne and Phoenix?
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#65 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:01 PM

Will I be able to pump out two chapters a day on a regular basis this summer?

No, of course not. I'm just feeling motivated and am bored out of my mind.

This chapter is, sadly enough, a filler chapter. But it's a pretty fun filler chapter. It also establishes Ariadne's relationship with Alyce, which is fun to write. The chapter consists of mostly all dialogue; it's not a very deep chapter, but it helps emphasize Ariadne's contempt for anyone but herself and Alyce's knack for annoying her.

Hope you like it. :D CC is appreciated!

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
9 – Hunger
“And you can't find nothing at all if there was nothing there all along.”
-“Crooked Teeth,” Death Cab For Cutie


“I’m hungry,” I complained loudly, holding my head between my legs in an act to ease the pain that was shooting through my skull. I figured sitting down might help, but so far I had just been utterly delirious and lost in the throbbing of each of my wounds. “And it’s hot. And my head hurts. So do my lungs. And pretty much my whole body. Not to mention I’m hungry.”

“Alyce,” Ariadne snapped from across the room. “Please shut up.”

I tried glaring at her and just closed my eyes instead. Anything to soothe my headache. Movement that was too fast made me lightheaded, which reminded me a little too much of the disease, which reminded me that we were in the hospital where thousands of people had died.

Fun.

“Okay, and you’re not hungry?” I asked accusingly.

She shrugged. “Could be worse, has been worse, definitely will be worse.”

“Are you sure you’re still sane? Because normal people are usually hungry in this kind of situation. And if you’re not… Lemme guess, radioactive insects ate your brain, right?”

She just glared at me.

“Yeah, okay, well, I want food,” I said. I grabbed at my stomach dramatically. “Do you want me to die?” I looked up at her with puppy-dog eyes, then realized what I had just asked. “Wait—don’t answer that.”

“Get used to not eating. There’s not much out here, anyway. How about you try to sleep some more? That sounds good to me.”

“See, I already slept for God knows how long, and I am no longer tired. Just sore and bruised and miserable,” I said, trying to seem very pitiful so she’d maybe help with my great quest for food. Plus it was kind of fun to annoy her. As long as Phoenix wasn’t around—he was busy scoping out the rest of the hospital and the area around it, looking for anything useful—to provide me with entertainment, I had to amuse myself. And getting on Ariadne’s nerves was the easiest way.

I paused for a moment, letting her glare at me some more. “But I still want food,” I added, nodding as if I was convincing myself of wanting food.

She groaned. “Why am I stuck with you again?” I was asking myself the same question.

“I dunno. Because…?”

“That’s not an answer.”

“Whatever. Don’t get off topic. I want food.”

“So—if you’re going to eat, this is—what are you going to eat, anyway?” she asked. She leaned against one of the walls, still refusing to sit down.

“Uh…food?”

“No, seriously. What do we have on our hands? Everything is basically contaminated by the disease or rotted over time. So your options are very limited.”

“I love how you say ‘your’ instead of ‘our.’ As if you wouldn’t eat if we had food.”

Don’t get off topic,” she mocked. “Really, your choice: contaminated or rotted?”

While contemplating this and coming up with a witty remark, an idea struck me. One that seemed more threatening than not having food to eat:

“Wait, can your face fall off if it’s really injured or something?” I asked, horrified.

She laughed awkwardly, acting as if she had heard me wrong. “Um, what?”

“Can your face fall off if it’s really injured or something?” I repeated impatiently, desperately wanting an answer. The idea of my face mysteriously falling off was terrifying, even if it seemed weird. Maybe it could happen—and I’m sure I’d be a likely candidate for something like that.

“You are a complete imbecile, you know that?”

“That’s my name; don’t wear it out.”

“If I have a mental breakdown, it is all your fault, Alyce.”

“Glad I could contribute to your insanity.”

“Just please stop talking now.”

“Now, I asked you a question.”

“Oh, yeah. I…don’t remember what the question was.” It was pretty obvious she knew exactly what I had asked. I clenched my fists, realizing that she was also trying to play mind games now.

“Can my face fall off?” I said with a little too much emphasis.

“Oh. You know, you should have some common sense, since I’m sure they talked about bull.crap like this before you died.”

“I was always alive! I never died!”

“Well, you’re as good as dead now.”

“Thanks for the encouragement. Now, elaborate, please.”

“You should know this! I am not explaining? Common sense! Don’t you know anything?”

“Uh, no?”

Ariadne buried her face in her palm.

“You are so oblivious. Oh, my God, I am going to die,” she said melodramatically.

“If you die, can I have your gun?”

She looked close to tears. I was glad to wear her out this much; she needed to be brought back down to earth a bit, I think.

“Really, Ariadne. I need a gun.”

“Why do you, of all people, need a gun?” She looked at me through her gloved fingers. If she died, I bet I could have her gloves, too. They were pretty cool with that silvery lining and thick black material on the outside.

“Because.”

“Oh, my God, that is not a valid answer, you freaking dumbass!”

“Why not? If it’s good enough for me, it should be good enough for you, too.”

“Looks like one of us has actual standards.”

“Who ever said anything about standards?”

“Please stop talking now.”

“But I’m not done!” I protested, trying to hide my grin.

“Let me repeat that. Please stop talking now.”

“Let me repeat that. I am not done yet.”

“Alyce. Shut up.”

She turned around, clasping her hands together. “Please save me please save me please save me please save me.” It sounded like a prayer, probably not to any specific god—just for rescue from misery.

“Please, Ariadne, it’ll all be alright. Don’t worry. As soon as we have food, we’ll survive.”

She turned around to face me. Her eyes were wide with fury. “I was not talking about food, Alyce.”

“Oh. Well, I was.”

She turned back toward the wall.

“Go rot in hell.”

“Hell?”

“Yes, hell, idiot.”

“But…isn’t that a little…harsh?”

“No. You deserve it. Now stop questioning me.”

“But I don’t wanna rot in hell. I want food.”

“Shut up, Alyce.”

“Is there…food in hell?”

“Maybe there will be if you stop annoying the crap out of me!”

“I’m annoying you?”

“You really are a complete moron!”

“So is that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?”

“What do you think?”

“I dunno! Why else would I be asking you?”

“For the love of God, shoot me now.”

“I would. If I had a gun. But I don’t, since you won’t share.”

“It is my gun, not yours.”

Sharing is caring,” I reminded her thoughtfully.

“Giving you my gun would not be sharing. It would be giving you my gun.”

“Not if you just let me shoot something just one time. How else am I supposed to learn how to use the thing? Anyway, how come you get the gun and I don’t? That’s not very fair.”

“It’s about time you got over ‘fair,’ Alyce.”

“Shut up. I just wanna take one shot, Ariadne. That’s all.”

“And what exactly are you going to shoot at?”

“…The wall? The enemy? A window? YOU?”

“Shooting me would be doing me a favor, you know.”

“A favor? Then it looks like I’ll be shooting something else, since I’d hate to do a favor for you.”

“You are not going to shoot anything, actually.”

“But I want to!”

“And you also want food, but you’re not getting that either.”

“Please? One shot? That’s it, Ariadne. All I ask.”

“You know, I’ll make a deal with you,” she said after a small period of silence.

“A deal?” I asked, feigning enthusiasm. “Like…what kind of deal?”

“If you go find edible, hopefully uncontaminated food, I will let you take a shot at whatever you like—besides me or Phoenix, that is—with my rifle.”

“Really? Even if it’s barely any food?”

“There has to be enough for the three of us. And it can’t be just stupid little pieces of barely anything, okay?”

“But, you know, if I’m going out on my own, I should really have your rifle. Just in case I get attacked by, like, ninjas.” She looked at me like I was crazy. “Or something,” I added.

She rolled her eyes. “You can’t shoot a gun to begin with. You’ll probably shoot yourself anyway. So, no, you can’t have my gun.”

“Whatever.”

I got up off the ground, overcome with yet another fit of guttural coughing. I had nothing better to do with my life than look for food, so why not? Besides, I could probably make Ariadne appreciate me a lot more. And I wouldn’t have to deal with her or Phoenix for a few hours.

I opened the door to the empty hospital hallway and limped out. Walking was progressively becoming less painful.

“Go have fun. Don’t die.”

“Can’t guarantee either of those.”

“Fine. Then don’t have fun and go die.”

With Ariadne’s voice echoing in my mind, I left. Hopefully I didn’t piss her off too much. But if I had, revenge would surely be in my near future.
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#66 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:14 AM

(Before I say anything, the site turned the word into "bullcrap." I was just skimming and noticed that. Sorry. :P)

But, anyway, YAY! My routine has become pretty normal now. I've been doing one chapter every morning, which isn't a horrible pace for my goal: finish AiD by the end of summer.

The thing is, I am heading out to Washington D.C. and Boston and stuff tomorrow (have to wake up pretty early, unfortunately enough), so this will be put on hold for about two weeks. Sorry about that. I tried to get as many chapters as possible done before our trip, but there aren't that many for it to really pay off. There will be a bunch of time spent in hotel rooms or by pools that I could do some editing, but we're bringing only my laptop (ugh, Artemis does not like sharing her precious baby with others!), and so I have to let my two sisters use it at those times as well.

I'm guessing Katie will get a virus on it over vacation. I've had this sucker for over six months and gotten no viruses, whereas she picks one up every three months or so.

D: I'm scared for my precious laptop, lol. Pathetic.

Well, here's your last chapter before Artemis's grand family road trip: AKA East Coast History Tour 2K12. (We mocked my mom mercilessly for the "East Cost History Tour" when she first said it, but we kept bringing it up to laugh at it. And hence the named ECHT was born. My older sister came up with the 2K12 part, for two-thousand-twelve. We're a very interesting family.)

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
10 – Baby Food: The Saga
“I can’t prove this makes any sense, but I sure hope that it does.”
-“The Piano Knows Something I Don’t Know,” Panic! At The Disco


“Is baby food perishable?”

“WHAT?!”

Ariadne turned toward me from her place at the window. She held her rifle in her hands with a tight grip and gave me the death glare. I stared back without flinching.

“I asked you,” I said plainly, holding up a can of baby food from over four or five years ago, “if baby food is perishable!”

“Um… Yes? No? Maybe? How am I supposed to know something like that? I’m a twenty-year-old virgin living in a post-apocalyptic world! I have zero experience with babies whatsoever—especially their food! ‘Is baby food perishable?’ WHO DO YOU THINK I AM?”

“Um… So, uh, is it perishable?”

A voice rang out from behind the two of us. Ariadne almost dropped her gun.

“No, not if it’s in a can!”

I twirled around, terrified as to who had spoken from behind me, only to see Phoenix leaning against the wall on the other side of the hall. He held his own gun at his side and laughed at my eye roll.

“Welcome back,” Ariadne spat. Phoenix kept on laughing, this time at her grim expression. “Please, if you know what’s good for you, don’t ever leave me with her again.”

“I take it you two had some nice girl-time then?” he asked, sarcasm dripping off of his words.

“Are you asking if I enjoyed the fact that you ditched me with the job of the babysitter? In that case, no.”

“C’mon. There had to be something productive that came out of it. Like, maybe a new understanding of each other so you can stop *%^##ing about each other so much?”

“Phoenix, don’t even joke about this. You don’t know what I’ve had to go through with this.”

“No, really, I don’t, since I was busy doing, you know…important stuff.”

He rolled his eyes smugly and turned his attention toward me. I signaled to Ariadne and mouthed, “What a party pooper.”

“Oh, for the love of God, I’m not blind, Alyce!”

I glanced over at her. “Doesn’t make it any less true,” I said.

Ariadne kept grumbling and complaining and being a party pooper over in the corner, staring out at the empty city like there was something to look at other than the oblivion of boring nothingness. I much preferred pretending nothing was going on outside of our cozy little room, because the outside world was a bit of a hectic, scary place that seemed to hate me.

“So where’d you happen to get your hands on that?” Phoenix asked, pointing to the can of baby food.

I looked at him for a moment, feeling the tingling in my throat begin again. Ironically, both of us started coughing at the same time. My head had stopped throbbing after my peaceful time alone in the city, but my lungs were burning worse than ever. My throat was raw and hurt twice as badly.

“Food,” he said again. He pointed to the can of baby food that I held at my side. I held it up for him to examine. “Yeah, where’d you get that?”

Ariadne, having the same problem with headaches that I did, slouched onto the hospital bed. She covered her face with her gloved hands and rubbed her temples.

“Found it in a cabinet in an old apartment downtown. It took a lot of searching to find anything, but I found this and something else. I dunno what this is,” I said, holding up a little metal object that I had found in a different apartment. There hadn’t been much stuff intact; it was all ruined and crumbling. I assumed the wreckage was from all the panic and chaos that had happened during the epidemic. People do crazy, reckless things in desperate times.

I let them see the metal object for themselves. The part that was once silver and shiny was brown and rusted. The holes in the side of the object were almost rusted shut. The rectangular shape fit almost perfectly in my hands.

And I had no clue what it was.

“Wait, lemme see that,” Ariadne said with eagerness, springing off the gurney.

“No!” I said. I turned away from her before she could grab the thing out of my hands. I held the baby food and the unidentified metal object to my chest and out of Ariadne’s grasp. “It is mine, and you can’t have it!”

“Alyce, I only want to look at it.”

“Go get your own metal object of awesomeness and leave my baby alone!”

Ariadne lunged at me, grabbing for the rusty metal object in my hands. With her own hands, she tried to pry my fingers off of the two objects. But there was no way I was letting her touch it yet. It could be something worth value to me, at least, which meant I didn’t want anyone else to have it. It was time I had something I could use, like a gun—preferably one nicer than the one I had lost in the struggle during the escape—or any other sort of weapon.

I kicked her off of me and ran towards the window, holding the baby food and unidentified object in either hand. The glass of the window had been knocked out; a few shards remained on the sill. The humid air of the autumn night wafted into the room with an unpleasant stickiness.

I brushed some of the shards off the edge of the window so I had a place to set my baby food. I could put that down, sure. But not the…whatever it was. Now I had one free hand.

Phoenix leaned against the frame of the door and grinned while Ariadne came at me again. I shook my head at her disgustedly.

“What don’t you get about ‘You can’t have it’?” I asked, clutching the metal object with my bare hands.

Ariadne elbowed me in the gut and held me against the wall. My head was outside of the room, since there wasn’t any glass in the window. My stomach ached from her elbow, and my wrists were in pain now that she was holding onto them and squeezing tighter. I started coughing again, adding to my misery.

“Geez, don’t murder me!” I said between coughs. “Just take the stupid thing and let go of me. You’re literally killing my wrists!”

Thankfully, she let go of my wrists seconds after I’d said it. She snatched the thing out of my hand and glared at me as I rubbed my wrists dejectedly.

“There. Happy?” I asked. I finished rubbing my wrists, red and sore from her grip. I put my hands on the window sill and stretched. I could hear the shards of glass falling behind me as I spread out my fingers. I brushed them away distractedly, not even bothering to look back at them and watch them fall.

“At least I know what it is,” she said sourly. She brought the rusty thing to her lips after getting in another nice glaring session.

“Oh, eww,” I said. “You know, I sort of found that thing in—”

“I don’t care where you found it.” She brought the thing off of her lips for a moment. “I wanna know if it actually works.”

“Yeah, okay,” I said. Ariadne glared at me exasperatedly, indicating for me to shut up. “So, um, what is it?”

“Here, listen.”

She brought the rusty hunk of metal up to her lips again and blew into it. I still couldn’t figure out why she was putting that thing in her mouth. I mean, disgusting a bit?

A noise, something loud and obnoxious, sounded as she blew into it. I covered my ears and tried to block it out. The sound was agonizing and wouldn’t leave my mind. It played over and over again in my head without relent.

“Ow,” I said. She blew into the object in multiple places. Different tones, some higher and some lower, filled the air.

“Harmonica,” Ariadne said nonchalantly. “Haven’t seen one of these things in years.”

“So… What does it do?” I asked again, my eyes wide. All I could come up with was that it was used to drive people into the dark depths of insanity with its strange ringing, but I sort of doubted that was right.

“You just heard what it does,” she replied. Phoenix sighed at her insult. She rolled her eyes at him again. “When you blow into it, you get different notes, and then you can play music.”

Okay, so it played “music.”

Music…

Whatever that was.

“Okay, that’s nice. But what does it do?”

“Are you trying annoy her every chance you get?” Phoenix asked, hiding a smile. “Because I think you’re doing a pretty good job, if I’m right.”

“She’s been doing this all day long,” Ariadne whined. “She’s not normal. She’s so messed up. I’m telling you, there is something wrong with her.”

“What? I’m perfectly sane!” I argued. “I’m more sane than you, Ariadne!”

Ariadne shook her head while I nodded as vigorously as possible, trying not to summon my headache again. I tried arguing back at her, but she didn’t even go to the trouble of listening.

She didn’t even care about what I had to say. She talked over me while I pretended I wasn’t pouting or anything. “Alyce has been doing that all day, like I said. She’s certifiably insane; I’m sure of it. I think you picked up a psycho person on the way out, and you’re making me suffer for your mistake. I’m still trying to figure out why we’re still dragging her along, honestly.”

“We’re ‘dragging her along’ because we need help. Every recruited person matters,” he said. “And besides, she wouldn’t have made it much longer on her own, and the least you could’ve done was help her out a bit.”

We need help? Okay maybe metal help, but that’s because she is causing the deterioration of my mind!”

“I don’t think it’s Alyce making you go mental,” he replied casually.

“Then what is, if it’s not her?”

“Well, who here is still sane anyway? Aren’t we all a little…crazy?”

I shook my head. “This—me—is the very portrait of sane.”

“More like the very portrait of insane,” Ariadne muttered.

“Listen,” Phoenix said. “I know you two have some sort of problem with each other, but it’s not gonna do us any good until we find Black Market headquarters. So can we just try to calm down a bit now?”

That last part sounded a bit too much like Cato for my liking.

“Wait. I wanna hear about this Black Market now. You said you’d tell me later, but you still haven’t.” It was a good point, I thought. We had nothing better to do.

Please no more story time,” Ariadne begged, rubbing her tired eyes with the palms of her hands.

“Later,” Phoenix said. “I will tell you later.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s what you said last time,” I said.

“Oh. Well, I’m saying it again.”

We all stood in a circle, silent, looking at each other. I was sick of talking about not explaining to me all of the weird things they kept talking about, Phoenix was sick of the actual act of explaining, and Ariadne was sick of about everything.

We looked at each other, still not saying a word. Ariadne fingered what she had called a “harmonica” and acted like it might be of some use to us. Phoenix tapped his fingers against his gun and stared at Ariadne tiredly. I slumped my shoulders and waited for someone to start talking.

After a while, the silence started to annoy me.

“WELL,” I began, “I’m gonna go eat some of my nonperishable baby food now, if you won’t excuse me…”

“Wait, I need to eat something, too!” Phoenix yelled, rushing next to my side as I walked toward the window where I had put the baby food canister.

“I’m still human, so I need to eat some of that, too. Don’t go and eat it all up, you two,” Ariadne said, still standing in the same place.

“We’ll see if there’s any left for you when we’re done,” I called to her over my shoulder. She sighed and joined us.

Note to self: When you hold the food, you hold the power, I thought. Good to remember those little things.

I looked down at the window sill. Aside from a few shards of glass, there was nothing resting on it like I had left it. No baby food.

“What the… Where’s the baby food…?”

I turned toward Phoenix and Ariadne, who were watching in silence behind me. I pointed at either of them accusingly, but they just looked at me and shrugged. It made me even more suspicious.

“Okay, Ariadne,” I said. “What’d you do with the food?”

Ariadne gaped at me. “Me? So you’re going to go and blame it all on me again?”

I shrugged. “Why not?”

“Because I didn’t touch your stupid food, that’s why!” she argued.

Not in the mood to get on her bad side any more than I already was, I decided to ask Phoenix instead. “Okay. Um, what about you, Phoenix? Did you take the baby food and, you know…”

What do you do with baby food if you aren’t consuming it, anyway?

No,” he said.

I turned back toward the window and looked down at the street, puzzled as to what could have happened.

But there it was. Lying on the sidewalk, next to the hospital, was the can of food.

“Guys,” I said. “I found it.”

They walked toward the window warily. I could tell Ariadne was about ready to make another “Alyce is mental” comment, so I pointed at the ground so they’d see it right away.

“Holy crap. How’d you manage to do it this time, Alyce?” she said. “All I know is that it is not my fault, so don’t blame me, okay?”

“What, so then it’s my fault all of a sudden?” I asked, offended.

“Sure. Why not,” Ariadne replied. I was pretty sure she was mocking me again.

“Well, anybody else have another idea for food?” Phoenix asked. “Or should we, you know, go down and get the canister and hope it’s still intact?”

“I am not scrounging for food anymore,” I complained, joining them in a chorus of coughing. “So you two can go grab the thing and come back here, where I will be merrily awaiting a gourmet meal of baby food.”

No,” Phoenix said, shaking his head. “You’re coming with us. I don’t trust you by yourself.”

“C’mon, Phoenix. I can totally handle myself. Just go with Ariadne and leave me here. Besides, you won’t have to ‘drag me along,’ so you should be happy to get away from me, right?”

“Alyce, you’re not… stable,” Phoenix said plainly. “I mean you’re sort of…”

“You’re psycho,” Ariadne explained, her hands held outward like some erudite professor explaining the mysteries of life. “And you’re going to get yourself killed on your own.”

“Hey, I was on my own when I got the baby food! Do I look dead to you? No!”

“Whatever,” Phoenix said. “I’m not sure I trust you on your own, okay? So you’re coming with us whether you like it or not.”

They turned away from me and started leaving the hospital room. I heaved a sigh and trudged onward, irritated once again.

Ass.hole,” I muttered.

*

“There!” I said, running toward what looked like the container of baby food on the sidewalk. “And it looks like it isn’t completely unsalvageable!”

“You think that stuff is edible?” Ariadne asked, coughing afterward. “I mean, it’s been subject to the disease for years now. You think we can risk it?”

“I bet it’s pretty awful. Contaminated. But we need to eat something, and now that we don’t have the Corporation’s warehouse to syphon off of, contaminated baby food is the next best thing.”

“You think we should make Alyce eat some first, wait a while, and then see if it affects her?”

“I’m way too hungry to do that. Besides, death by baby food doesn’t sound too bad…”

They kept talking while I fiddled with the partially ruined can. One of the sides was dented in, and the picture of the baby’s head on the side was caved in and ugly. I snickered and tried to pry it open.

After trying to get that stupid can open with my hands, my nails, and even my teeth (Ariadne complained that I had “officially contaminated it,” as if it wasn’t already radioactive and infected with disease), I figured the thing was indestructible. I mean, it had survived a pretty long fall, after all…

That or I was just really wimpy.

“AUGH!” I yelled. I stood up and chucked the can at the ground as hard as I could. Ariadne and Phoenix hadn’t even bothered to help me. They decided sitting down on the ground and drawing pictures of me looking deranged and trying to pry open the can in the dirt would be much more entertaining.

The can bounced on the ground and landed so that the baby’s dirty face was staring up at me. I hated that stupid baby…

I crossed my arms against my chest and stared down at the baby’s evil little face. I swear Ariadne was stifling a wicked giggle again. I would deal with her once I was done with the baby.

In a final attempt to crack open the can, I picked the thing up and did what Cato and Armando had once instructed me to do:

I channeled my inner serial killer.

In another one of my psychotic rages, I threw the container across the road and at one of the empty storefronts.

The glass of the front window shattered. I pictured the can opening and pure joy filling the world one more. I knew I would be greeted with pleasant success when I went to retrieve my reward.

But, instead of that, I was greeted with a rifle to my head.
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#67 24moon100

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:54 AM

Ahhh! Well, have fun! Hopefully by the time you get back I'll have read this! ;)
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#68 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

Ahhh! Well, have fun! Hopefully by the time you get back I'll have read this! ;)


Haha, hopefully. ;) Don't let my stupid crap take up much (if any) of your summer; I know how precious the next three months are, lol. So don't feel like you have to do this, okay? Enjoy life. xD

xoxoArtemis
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#69 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:27 PM

LOL, I leave tomorrow, not today. I thought it was Friday all day long yesterday. Wow, how smart am I? :P

xoxoArtemis
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#70 24moon100

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

Chapter Six:

Hey, so, since I'm majorly bored and in need of something to read, I'm just gonna have a commenting marathon. :D

As always I will start with CC:

My mind was telling to run now and never look back.


Found a typo. Left out the me in between "telling" and "to". Dunno if you care but you said you wanted me to so...

“There,” I said, out of breath.


Okay, not trying to sound overly analytical but I just can't understand why she would be out of breath. It's not like she had any overexertion or anything... If you look back on it (it's at the end of the chapter) maybe you will get more of what I'm talking about. :)

Well...that's pretty much it for that chapter. You did good. :D

I liked how you tied the whole candy thing in with the chapter title. I like when that happens. When titles tie in creatively with the chapter.

I also liked Alyce's side thoughts. I love side thoughts. What I mean by that is that I liked how they kind of added humor and depth to the obviously awkward and tense situation. Usually they are comments that have their own line. Like here:

I felt suddenly poetic.

To be honest, I was probably questioning myself more than he was.

I had ideas, too. And all of them involved running away from the two psychopaths that stood in front of me.


Obviously you have to go back see how those act as side thoughts but hopefully you get what I'm talking about? ^_^

Anyway, great chapter! I'm surprised Phoenix and Ariadne aren't as close buddies as I thought they were going to be. Maybe that is a good thing? lol.

-MEG
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#71 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:41 PM

^LOL, I'm not sure you'll get what I mean by this, but with the whole "out of breath" thing... Sometimes sentences write themselves, in my case. Like, you'll be coming up with a thought to drive the chapter forward, and you suddenly have five more sentences that seem to write themselves without requiring you to think at all. And sometimes they’re absolute crap.

That's kind of what happened with the "out of breath" thing. It was a bit like one of those random tidbits that makes no freaking sense but adds itself in without the author thinking. I have those a lot (usually it involves the word "just," which there are millions of throughout the previous chapters). :P It's also a bit of a sarcastic caricature (I think “caricature” is more of an art term, but it's an exaggeration in other, less artsy-fartsy, words) referring to Alyce doing basically nothing yet feeling accomplished, like she did something “important.”

That is just about the weirdest thing I have ever said. Sarcastic caricature. I'm hoping you can understand what I mean, because even I only sort of get the gist of what "sarcastic caricature" is meant to mean.

ANYWAY, lol...

Ah, I really tied in some of the little side thoughts (as you so nicely put that) into this chapter. If I can remember correctly, she does some more of that as time progresses. She gets a LOT weirder as time goes on... O.o

Thanks again for reading! Means so much to me. :D

xoxoArtemis
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#72 24moon100

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:06 PM

Chapter Seven:

Oh. My. God. :o That is a LONGGGGG sucker. Lol.

But no worries! I've got this!

CC:

He knows the Camp memorized.


Hmm. See, I don't know, but this sentence kind of confused me. I get what you are saying but I don't exactly like the wording. The word knows throws me off. Maybe it's just me. :P

“Oh, thanks for telling me that now!” I shot back. “Now I guess I’m indoctrinated with lies!”


Okay. Before you think I'm being completely critical, I just want you to know, everything I say is a SUGGESTION. Mkay? Alright I'll go on. :P

So you really have to be careful with using big words in dialogue. Actually, the more I think about it, in general. Not saying there is anything wrong with it, but it can sometimes be...oh what's the word? Unrealistic. I pointed out an example here to show you what I mean.

See, I had to go look up the word indoctrinated, and while it is a nice an lovely word, I doubt I would ever say it to someones face. You get me? Gosh I feel so mean. I don't want to discourage vocabulary but there are just better times to use it. And there might not be one of them. :blush:

Here's another questionable Italic use:

“So you two are part of some…black market, then?” I asked cautiously.


How about you throw me under the bus some more,” I thought agitatedly.


There is a random quotation mark there. Just so you know. :P

I followed as best as I could, hoping I wasn’t going to trip on the way over. Thankfully, I made it without completely falling over.


So, you might wanna consider not using the word over so closely together as, as I've talked about before, it demonstrates slight repetition. :)

Death by the Wrath of Ariadne would be a much worse death than if the guards just shot me.


Random capitalization. Jsyk. ^_^

I saw the guard’s feet before I saw his face of body.


I believe you meant to say or?

He pushed me onto the ground, his fist connecting with my stomach. My body crashed against the metal wall of the shelter. My left hand, the one thing I tried to catch myself from the fall with, dug into a sharp shard of glass, which only added to the searing pain.


Okay so there is multiple reasons why I was having a hard time picturing this. Maybe you can clear it up. :)

So at first it's saying he pushed her to the ground, but somehow she crashed against the metal wall, which supposedly had glass?

I tried to break it down to show you where I got lost. Hopefully that helps. ^_^

Clearly, he was fed up with the fact that I hasn’t passed out yet,


Hadn't not hasn't. Jsyk.

Italics:

“No you won’t, you bastard!”


Welp. Now that the CC is out of the way....

I love love loved the end of the chapter! I'll have to admit the beginning was a little slow, but it picked up significantly at the end.

So I'm am really starting to like Phoenix more and more. He was noticeably much sweeter in this chapter...which is a plus. I loved at the end how (out of possibly jealousy?) Ariadne was trying to mock them but Phoenix acted obvious to it. Again. I really really truly genuinely liked the end. Especially him saving her and everything. That was so cute. :heartbeat:

Favorite lines (I can't use the quote boxes anymore so I'm just gonna make them colorful):

“First of all,” he said, “she is not my girlfriend. Secondly, she just about got beaten to death. Cut her some slack, okay?”

“Whatever. I just found it ironic that you go from mass murderer Phoenix Cortez to carrying girls around like you’re Romeo or something. And I found it funny that I was completely right.”

“Right about what exactly?”

“That I should’ve been down at the gate instead of her. Look what happened because of your stupid decision. I was right, and you’re a moron.”

“Care to just take in the moment instead of insulting me and complaining for once?”

“Whatever. You just don’t want to admit I’m right.”

“No, it’s just that you’re being awfully annoying and ruining the best moment of my life. That’s all.”

“You still don’t want to admit I’m ri—”

“Shut up,” he snapped. “Now, evaluate the situation. We’re finally out of the Confinement Camp. We’re off to San Francisco. We’re free.”

“Yeah, but it’s too bad we’re stuck with her.”

“Just shut up. You’re ruining the moment.”

“There is no ‘moment’ when she’s here.”

“I’m just going to pretend you’re not talking now,” he responded, making his irritation very evident.

And, eventually, she did shut up.

Eventually.


Basically that whole chunk right there. :D


He looked down at me, smirking again. “Looks like we’re making a habit of it. You know, me saving you. I think we ought to make it a tradition.”

“No th-thanks,” I managed. “I’d…like to stay as far…away from…death as…p-possible.”



“It was too big anyway,” she mouthed.

This time, rather than mouthing to each other like we had been, I actually whispered, even though it was barely audible. “Which explains why I’m drowning in it.”


Wow. Is it just me or was Ariadne being uncharacteristically NICE? :o


Whoa. A whole seven sentences with no insult?

A new record.


Ah, gotta love side thoughts...:P

Anyway, if I say too much more my comment might surpass your whopper of a chapter. Lol.

So, again, loved the ending. ;)

-MEG
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#73 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 04:48 PM

AH! Thank you! I was way too lazy to proof that thing more than once (and, believe me, I need to proof more than once :P), and now you have perfected it for me. :D

Since you talked so much on it:

The whole "indoctrinated with lies" thing. Yeah. See, "indoctrinated" is one of the "pet words" in my family (the whole "indoctrinated with lies" line is a very common joke among us, I think), and I guess I'm used to hearing people say it. But you have a much better point than I do, and I agree. I just talk with bigger words than most people (I drive my friends crazy, lol; they hate me a lot for that...), so my mind doesn't catch important things like that. ;)

Phoenix. How I have these problems with Phoenix. He's the character that I find is too close to perfect and the one that seems the most unrealistic to me. But as time wears on, I have it in my intentions to introduce his many flaws. Just not yet, lol.

Thanks again for reading this. I hate having people read the rough-ish draft of this; it makes me feel like I'm putting them through torture, since the plot and characters and whole language of the thing is so weak and, well, rough. Thankfully, you are there to help me out. ;)

xoxoArtemis
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#74 Logan1949

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:16 AM

If you ever wanted to change it, you could use the two-syllable "brain-washed" instead of the five-syllable "indoctrinated".
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#75 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:10 AM

If you ever wanted to change it, you could use the two-syllable "brain-washed" instead of the five-syllable "indoctrinated".


Thank you! Perfection!

xoxoArtemis
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#76 Slaterlover

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:55 PM

Your story is ah-mazing! It is better than ah-mazing, Alyce in Dystopia is most excellent! Keep up the good work. Although in the beginning I was upset about you re-posting I can say it was defiantly worth it. :eusa_clap:
-Sushi :krakrani:
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#77 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:10 AM

Your story is ah-mazing! It is better than ah-mazing, Alyce in Dystopia is most excellent! Keep up the good work. Although in the beginning I was upset about you re-posting I can say it was defiantly worth it. :eusa_clap:
-Sushi :krakrani:


Thank you so much for the compliment. I need pick-me-ups like that sometimes. ;)

I've been missing your comments. You're always so entertaining, and you get pretty into the story, which is very nice. :D Thanks again for reading; it's very helpful and a huge compliment to me when someone reads.

I didn't want to repost either, but things had to be changed. I'm stupid like that, lol. xD Rarely ever do I not stop in the middle of a draft to rewrite, I guess.

Thanks again, Sushi! :D

xoxoArtemis
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#78 Slaterlover

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:12 AM

Why thank-you for calling me comments entertaining I'd like think they are. Movin' on to the most important part in your reply...............You can not be stupid because that's my job. Grrrrrrr!I'm possessive when it comes to my things (this being one). Lols. Seriously, though you are like two? Maybe three years younger than me and you still write better. Furthermore, the only big thing I noticed that was sort of off was when you rewrote this is that having a coma that early into her life would keep her at a six year-old mentality, not that she doesn't have that most of the time, and not have any romantic interests to my beloved Phoenix (that's right, mine. *bares teeth*)halting the beginning to what could have been the best couple ever. Update! Or i'll......i'll eat you. Mwhahahaha! :badgrin:
Laters,
Sushi
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#79 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:12 AM

Why thank-you for calling me comments entertaining I'd like think they are. Movin' on to the most important part in your reply...............You can not be stupid because that's my job. Grrrrrrr!I'm possessive when it comes to my things (this being one). Lols. Seriously, though you are like two? Maybe three years younger than me and you still write better. Furthermore, the only big thing I noticed that was sort of off was when you rewrote this is that having a coma that early into her life would keep her at a six year-old mentality, not that she doesn't have that most of the time, and not have any romantic interests to my beloved Phoenix (that's right, mine. *bares teeth*)halting the beginning to what could have been the best couple ever. Update! Or i'll......i'll eat you. Mwhahahaha! :badgrin:
Laters,
Sushi


See, it's very hard to update when I'm on my grand vacation! (Not summer break; it's pretty much a new chapter every morning when I'm at my house. But I mean on my vacation to the east coast, where I get, like, twenty minutes on the Internet a day. D: THE TRAGEDY!) I can see if I can edit the next chapter for you ASAP . :D

Whoa, I had no clue you were that much older than me! *facepalm* Unobservant Artemis = very bad. I think I knew you were, like, one year older, but I didn't guess two or three. That means you're about the same age as my older sister, and that means your evil, because all people that age are very close to evil. Don't ask me why, BUT THEY ARE. ;)

With the whole rewriting thing: It was more for me than it was for anyone. There were minor contradictions and bits of the plot I needed to discreetly shove in so everything would elegantly fall into place when the time would come. Even though you don't notice too much, I notice quite a lot, because I know every last thing that is supposed to happen. *evil moment*

And don't get me started with Alyce and Phoenix. I mean, they're definitely my OTP, but their characters... WHY?! I can't control them! They hate each other!

But just because they hate each other does not mean there is no chemistry.

Really, I think they secretly love each other. They just like to hide their feelings and stuff...

This is what’s wrong. I have no control over my characters, basically. They’re like real people. Is that even supposed to happen?! O.o

AND DON'T EAT ME! :o

LOL.

xoxoArtemis
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#80 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:29 PM

Will...post..soon...!

I am running into the greatest problems with this stupid thing right now, but I am determined to finish it (what I've posted on here is nowhere close to the end; don't worry--there shall be plenty more), no matter what. I won't give too much away, but (spoiler thingamabob so anyone who doesn't want a little detail to be ruined for them can avoid it--though I do recommend clicking it because there’s much insight into the story)
Spoiler


xoxoArtemis
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#81 Slaterlover

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:15 AM

Oh, my, G. That was the biggest spoiler box eh-vah! I mean I was pretty to see what looks like a mini-paragraph, and then I click on that, and just on word: WOW. I mean that right there could an epic essay and although it's not an essay it is still pretty EH-PIC. :lol:

So.....a make-out scene, aye? That is great. Although, I wish it was me and not Alyce. :icon_mecry2: Sadness. Is Cato still up for grabs 'cause if he is; he's mine. Done. No question, and together we shall rule the world!*Cue evil laughter along with evil hand thing (like the one Mr. Burns from The Simpsons did?)* See, i'm special, Cato is special, and together we shall make a hundred, million babies inbetween ruling the world of course. Oh and it can be Uncle Phi (or Uncle Nix?), Uncle Mando, Auntie Alyce, and cleaning lady (for non-cool Aria). Yay, my fantasy is complete! You are invited to the wedding, and as a present you can give me an update?

Yours Truly,
Sushi

PS: I agree with your whole deal with the romance and will refrain from eating you until further notice is given because of the fromer circumstance. Lols. Please still update though!
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#82 Slaterlover

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:15 AM

Oh, my, G. That was the biggest spoiler box eh-vah! I mean I was pretty to see what looks like a mini-paragraph, and then I click on that, and just on word: WOW. I mean that right there could an epic essay and although it's not an essay it is still pretty EH-PIC. :lol:

So.....a make-out scene, aye? That is great. Although, I wish it was me and not Alyce. :icon_mecry2: Sadness. Is Cato still up for grabs 'cause if he is; he's mine. Done. No question, and together we shall rule the world!*Cue evil laughter along with evil hand thing (like the one Mr. Burns from The Simpsons did?)* See, i'm special, Cato is special, and together we shall make a hundred, million babies inbetween ruling the world of course. Oh and it can be Uncle Phi (or Uncle Nix?), Uncle Mando, Auntie Alyce, and cleaning lady (for non-cool Aria). Yay, my fantasy is complete! You are invited to the wedding, and as a present you can give me an update?

Yours Truly,
Sushi

PS: I agree with your whole deal with the romance and will refrain from eating you until further notice is given because of the fromer circumstance. Lols. Please still update though!
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#83 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:09 PM

Here's your wedding present, Sushi, even though it sucks.

So I like the first bit of this chapter and hate the rest. This and the next chapter rank among my most hated chapters (even though there are a lot of those).

Try to enjoy. ;)

xoxoArtemis


Alyce in Dystopia
11 – Blackout
“Don't look ahead, there's stormy weather, another roadblock in our way. But if we go, we go together.”
-“Disparate Youth,” Santigold


Ariadne and Phoenix were being all typical and stayed over by the hospital, drawing my saga of baby food in the dirt and ash with broken glass or sticks. If I would’ve been in their shoes, I would have come along—because Alyce would “get herself killed” if she was on her own. Weren’t they just arguing about how I could never be alone? And now they were drawing in the ashes and laughing about my short temper?

Yes, Ariadne was the one complaining about short tempers. Can you say “hypocrite,” please?

I would’ve thought at least one of them might’ve been a little courteous and accompanied me, but they were way too selfish for that. How typical…

The second I entered the abandoned store, some moron slammed a big, heavy object into my head like I was trespassing or something. I mean, it wasn’t like I fell over from it, but it did really hurt. There’d most likely be a bruise.

“What the hell?!” I yelled, clutching the side of my head. I could feel the stickiness of my blood in my hair.

Correction: There would definitely be a bruise, because he hit me in the same spot again, along with hurting my (very fragile, thank you very much) fingers beneath the unidentified object of crushing.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” the voice of the mysterious figure trying to bash my head in demanded. I couldn’t see anything in the darkness of the unlit building (not even my precious baby food), and it didn’t help that it was already late at night. But I certainly believed this guy wasn’t all by himself in the store.

I realized that the object the he had slammed into my head was a rifle, because when he held it back up to the side of my head, I heard the almost silent clicking noises that sounded exactly like Ariadne’s rifle. And what else feels exactly like a gun barrel pressed up against your head?

Since he wanted to make a habit of it, I would’ve appreciated some help from Phoenix at that point.

I hacked on him and choked out, “Hi, how are you this fine evening? I’m Alyce. Pleased to meet you, too.

The guy pressed the gun harder into the side of my head.

“Let me say that again: Who are you and what are you doing here? You have ten seconds to answer, or I will shoot you on the spot. I suggest you don’t get witty with me. TEN, NINE…”

Ten seconds. Okay

“Um, uh, I’m Alyce. I’m from…San Francisco.” Duh. “I’m, um, here to save my nonperishable baby food.” I paused. “That’s all.”

The man who was asking me the questions still wouldn’t take the rifle from my head. Seriously, what’s the point? I get that you have a gun. I get that you can shoot me. I get that you can kick my ass at any given moment.

I don’t understand why you have to actually hold the gun up to my head. Seems sort of…redundant.

I sighed with exasperation as he went on another spiel that I couldn’t care less about. The only part that seemed to hold any importance was when he said, “Who’s your employer? Did they send you here? Why did they lead you here?”

I looked over at him, seeing the rifle and nothing else. I grimaced.

“My employer is baby food. Gerber Baby Food is the one who sent me here,” I said lifelessly, remembering the label on the can.

The guard slammed the rifle into my head again. I let out a sharp cry, my head numb with pain. I could see the world around me growing dark. Darker, I mean.

“I suggest you answer my questions in whole and without all this nonsense. I will not hold back. I will say it again: Who,” he said, jabbing the barrel of the rifle right into my open wound, “is your employer, and why did they send you here? I expect a straight answer, or I will shoot.”

I sensed we were not on the same page with this one.

I rolled my eyes and shifted a bit. Who’s your employer? I bet Ariadne would just love it if I blamed her as my “employer”…

Nah, she’d either blackmail or murder me.

Never mind.

I pushed some of my greasy black hair out of my eyes and smirked. If he had it in his intentions to shoot me, he would’ve done it already. I had a good feeling I was going to be spared.

I thought he might pull the trigger pretty soon—if he ever did—so I said, “Um, well, I’m not…‘employed’ by anyone. I’m not technically part of the Black Market. Not the Resistance, either. And not the Corporation.” I didn’t need another What-If-You’re-An-Incognito-Corporation-Worker-Out-To-Screw-Us-All episode. I’d had my fair share of those.

They guard sighed. “Then who sent you here if you don’t belong to the Resistance? Or even the Black Market or the Corporation?”

“Um, baby food?”

I don’t think he liked that very much.

“Listen, you stupid girl. If you know what’s good for you, you will answer my questions in whole and without all this nonsense.” I’d never heard that before… “This is your last chance.”

Well, it was the truth. Baby food had sent me there. Plain and simple.

“Really, I didn’t even know anyone was in here. I kind of thought it was empty like the, um, you know, whole rest of the city? And the reason I’m here is because of…”

I couldn’t bring up baby food again, but it was the honest truth…

“Speak up.”

I had a feeling that wasn’t a request—more like an order. And I think I’d finally crossed the line with him. I tried to breathe normally and not to overthink my answer to his question.

“I’m sort of not supposed to be here. It’s, um, a long story, actually… But I’m here with two others. They’re across the street by the hospital being idiots right now. I was trying to pry open a can of food so we’d have at least something to eat.” I tried to avoid the words “baby food,” so I stuck with plain “food” and hoped it would suffice. “And I couldn’t get it open with my hands, so I threw it across the road, and…”

There. Not one mention of baby food at all.

“Lee! Go across the street and scope things out! There are others!”

Good Part:

I was right about knowing he wasn’t alone. Smart Points to Alyce. That goes to show I am not nearly as crazy as Ariadne and Phoenix think I am. See? I still know some stuff!

Bad Part:

Ariadne and Phoenix were going to be found out. So I had gotten us into another load of trouble.

Um, another Bad Part:

Phoenix was going to kill me emotionally.

Um, an Even Worse Bad Part:

Ariadne was going to kill me physically. And if Phoenix didn’t kill my emotionally first, Ariadne would do that, too—but even more viciously, because she’s Ariadne.

And that’s when that same moron hit me in the head with his little gun again. Only, this time, he knocked me out.

*

When you wake up tied to a chair with no clue where you are, things tend to get a little messed up in your head. It’s even worse when your first coherent thought is “BABY FOOD!” and you have no idea what that’s supposed to mean—just that’s it’s nonperishable and completely evil and sent from the devil to make your life miserable.

“Oww,” I muttered as I tried to get my hands out of the ropes that confined them. They were tied behind the chair, making my wrists burn. Whoever had bothered to tie me up (whatever the reason was, I wasn’t too sure it was valid; this led me to guess it was Ariadne trying to ruin my life again) wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, because they hadn’t bothered to blind or gag me. And what kind of criminal mastermind badass ties up their victim and doesn’t blind and/or gag them?

This led me to think it wasn’t Ariadne. She’s too nasty and smart to not do something like that to me.

Okay, so maybe there wasn’t a point in blinding me since the room was pitch-black, but they could’ve at least gagged me. I mean, what’s the fun of holding someone hostage if you don’t gag them, anyway?

“My heads hurts,” I moaned to myself. “What is wrong with my life?”

“Will you please stop whining about your stupid head?!” a familiar voice pleaded from across the dark nothingness.

“Ariadne?” I called. I wasn’t sure if I was dreading her presence or wishing for it.

“Who else, you idiot?”

“Is Phoenix here, too?” I asked. Better hope than doubt, I guess.

No,” she replied. “Apparently he’s in…cahoots with these guys.”

“The Black Market?” I asked.

“I dunno. I’ve never seen any of them before in my life. And I hope I never have to again. But Phoenix seemed to know them, so, yeah, they could be the Black Market.”

I paused, still wondering what was going on with everyone. So these guys were maybe the Black Market, maybe some kind of bad guys, maybe some losers with no lives. Who knew?

Oh, Phoenix knows. But Ariadne doesn’t. And I sure don’t.

It kind of stinks, because I’m always so clueless. There’s not much I can do about it, either. With no one willing to explain things to be like Cato did, it was a matter of watch and learn rather than have it explained step by step. There was a lot of inferring and guessing—and the one thing I seemed to be okay at was guessing.

“Ariadne?”

“Yeah?”

“I know this is sort of a dumb thing to ask right now… But could you please explain to me where we are? And what happened? Because all I can remember is baby food, and I think that might be my subconscious messing with my head again. Nothing’s been normal since…um, since I woke up again.”

“I’ll get back to your question in a second, but, first, I have one of my own,” she said. “When you talk about waking up… And you talk about it a lot… Do you mean, um, from the coma? Or am I missing something important?”

I nodded foolishly, realizing seconds later that she couldn’t see me in the darkness. “Yeah. The coma.”

“And…I’m sorry this is so off topic… But do you know if the coma…you know…messed with you?”

I sighed. “Really? Are you really still discussing my sanity, Ariadne?”

“Yeah, well… It’s just that…Cato told me not to talk to this about you, but I can’t help it.”

“You have my attention now, so no turning back,” I reminded her.

“So about the coma. And, um, me saying you’re insane and stuff and Cato and the Corporation. People don’t survive stuff like the coma, Alyce. People’s bodies shut down, and it’s rare if they make it past a week.”

“Yeah, and I made it for, like, four years. On my own. My immune system is just different or something. I dunno.”

“Yeah.” She sighed to herself. “Your immune system is just as screwed up and normal as the rest of ours. So that has nothing to do with it.”

“Then what,” I demanded, “kept me alive? An IV? Yeah, right.”

Ariadne laughed. “No, you’re right.”

“Don’t lie!”

“I’m not! I’m totally serious! Anyway, the hospitals had to house the people in the coma. The government required it. And so all those people had their IV or whatever—I don’t know details because medical stuff makes no damn sense to me—and the Corporation took them away to their headquarters in LA. And then they, like, tested on them on stuff with chemicals and drugs and killed them while trying to find a cure—even though I’m positive they’re not trying to find a cure and planning some sort of genocide stunt.”

“You’re a terrible liar.”

“For the last time, I am not lying! Are you so deluded that you think you could support yourself for food and water for four years on your own?! Jesus Christ, you are messed up.”

“Okay, since you’re so smart all of a sudden, then please tell me how I got out of their headquarters and woke up there?”

“Cato has, um, connections with the Corporation.”

I waited for her to say more. She didn’t. “That’s it? That’s all you’re going to tell me?”

“What more is there to say?”

“I don’t know! No one ever told me about this! I thought it had been some miracle or something! The gods of vending machines were blessing me! I don’t know, but I never thought that!”

“Please, if you ever see Cato again, don’t tell him I told you. He doesn’t want this kind of thing getting out so his name is plastered around the Camp as a fugitive any more than it already is.” I was thankful she hadn’t paid any attention to the “gods of vending machines” thing.

“What did he do to get his name out there in the first place? You said—”

“It’s nothing,” she covered. I knew it was something, but I was also smart enough to know that she wasn’t going to tell me.

“So…what you’re trying to say is…you think the Corporation made me crazy? With their chemicals and stuff?”

“Yeah, I do. I think that would make sense. Like how you don’t remember much of anything. Of course most of that could have happened with the coma’s effects alone, but I think the Corporation has a lot to do with it, honestly.”

“It doesn’t make sense to me. None of it.”

“And do you think I get it?”

“No,” I said.

“I know. I just… Yeah.”

There was silence for a bit. Both of us sat there in the darkness, staring off into nowhere. I wasn’t sure where she was; I judged where she was by her the direction of her voice and stared in that general direction.

“So,” I said. “What happened before? And did it have anything to do with baby food? Or am I having one of ‘those moments’ again?”

She stifled a laugh from…wherever she was. “Yeah, there was some baby food involved.”

“Ha, victory…”

She explained the scenario to me in her undetailed way. As soon as she started describing a few things, it all came back to me in a huge burst. The loathing for the can of baby food and the heated conversation with the guard were fresh in my mind once more.

“So it’s your turn now,” Ariadne said.

“Huh?”

“What happened when you were alone in the store? ‘Cause we didn’t get to hear or see any of it. We were too busy laughing at you being stupid across the street. Phoenix was all, ‘She’ll be fine on her own for a few seconds.’ And then you weren’t coming back. And then there were those people with the gas masks and rifles coming at us. And they came and knocked me out. They left Phoenix alone, though, which is stupid… Care to explain?”

“Why’d they do that?”

“Don’t ask me. I try not to spend too much time thinking about why morons do moronic things.”

“Okay, so…I walked into the room to go and get the baby food, right? And then those guys you were talking about kept asking me questions.”

She laughed. “What’d they ask you?”

“Who I was, what I was doing, who my ‘employer’ was—you know, the usual sort of thing.”

She snorted and ended up in another fit of coughing. “So who’d you say your ‘employer’ was?”

“Um… Baby food? Gerber?”

She got quite the kick out of that one.

“Employed by baby food? Clever. What’d they say when you told them that?” she asked.

“He slammed his gun into my head. Again. And then they threatened to shoot me. Again.”

She laughed again. “Classic. So then they knocked you out after that?”

“No,” I replied. “They made me answer again. I told them about you and explained the baby food scenario.”

Then they knocked you out?”

“Yeah.”

“And now we’re here.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Well, that’s just lovely,” she muttered.

“What’s lovely?”

“That’s called sarcasm.”

“Oh. Okay.” I paused for a moment. “You know, I’m still hungry.”

“You know they’re probably feasting on our baby food right now, don’t you? Disgusting.”

“Yeah. And you know what?”

“Hmm?”

“You said they were wearing gas masks, right?”

“Yeah. With the tinted goggles and everything.”

“So they have those so they don’t suffer from the smell or pollution or anything.”

“God, I hate them.”

“Hey, you never know. They could end up being our saving grace.”
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#84 Slaterlover

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:33 PM

Wow. Awwwwwe-some update. I really loved the part where Alyce said baby food was her employer. I did get sad when they talked about the testing though. :icon_mecry2: I want to cry. Poor, stupid, little Alyce thinking she could live four years without some sort of outside nutrition (i.e. IVs).
UPDATE! Or else.....
TTYL,
Sushi
PS: Cato thinks this was a cool chappie and wants another about him.
PPS: I like your signature thingy-just noticed it, man i'm slow.
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#85 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:44 PM

Wow. Awwwwwe-some update. I really loved the part where Alyce said baby food was her employer. I did get sad when they talked about the testing though. :icon_mecry2: I want to cry. Poor, stupid, little Alyce thinking she could live four years without some sort of outside nutrition (i.e. IVs).
UPDATE! Or else.....
TTYL,
Sushi
PS: Cato thinks this was a cool chappie and wants another about him.
PPS: I like your signature thingy-just noticed it, man i'm slow.


The Gerber baby food line is one of my favorites in the novel. Glad someone else appreciates it, too. ;)

Alyce is kind of... She doesn't really get it yet. She doesn't get that basically everyone is going to be wiped out any time now. I wish she was a more engaged character sometimes, but she's so nonchalant and laid back about it all. It's almost comical. xD

And about the signature--do you mean the Green Day "Know Your Enemy" 21CB thing? Because, yes, that is very awesome. Mainly because it's Green Day. :P

I'm working on some great new stuff right now (picked up later on in the novel and got the right direction again :D), so I'm spending more time on that than editing the next chapter. The future looks bright for finishing this by--if my guess is right--around September. If I don't get any bad writer's black and keep a steady flow of chapters, that is. I hope I don't have to go more than a year on this thing. Ugh. But if I am going to finish a novel in the last half of 2012, it will be this.

(What I'd like to do is finish up this draft on the 23rd of September, which is my birthday. I think that would be a great present for me. :D)

I'll try to post another chapter soon. ;)

xoxoArtemis
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#86 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:30 PM

Not much to say about this one. I like to think of it as the "recap" chapter.

This is the part of the novel that really drags. Sorry. :P It's hard to make every part interesting, but I tried to throw in a little Alyce Humor to lighten things up.

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
12 – Interrogation
“Well, the signs were clear—they had no idea. You just get used to living in fear or give up when you can't even picture your future.”
-“Eyes Wide Open,” Gotye


“I’m Ariadne Stark, and I’m with him.”

Ariadne pointed at Phoenix from her place on the metal folding chair. The guys with the gas masks had turned on bright white lights that hurt our eyes, untied us, and started asking more questions. So far I’d only had to talk once, which was quite a relief after the baby food incident.

Ariadne, on the other hand, had been answering questions (some of them were pretty dumb,
I must say) for over fifteen minutes. I sat there, shoulders slumped, giving Phoenix the dirtiest looks I could muster.

Phoenix was—okay, I have no clue who Phoenix was anymore. He must’ve known these people somehow, because he was decked out in all new clothes and appeared clean (clean Phoenix was distractingly attractive, and I felt myself staring at him too much. Ariadne had to keep elbowing me to focus, which I did not appreciate). I hadn’t washed myself at all; not after waking up, at least.

He just stood in the corner, staring back at me, being all Phoenix-like and smirking.

The guard–I’m guessing he was the same one who I had pissed off by the sound of his voice–sighed at Ariadne. He turned to Phoenix and asked, “That true, Cortez?”

I stifled a laugh. They never called anyone by their first name at this place. I didn’t exactly know where we were, but between the gas masks (that prevented the coughing and the disease from entering the body by air), the way they called each other by their last names, the all-black attire that they all wore, and the constant threatening with the gun, I was leaning toward the option of them being the Resistance. It made enough sense.

Or, well, they could be some kind of torture cult preying on innocent victims like the three of us, but that was a little unlikely.

“Yeah, that’s right. She’s with me. She’s been, uh, helping out in the Camps. She does what she can, I guess,” he said nonchalantly, leaning against the wall.

Helping out?” Ariadne snapped. “That’s a complete understatement! You would never be here without me, and you know it. Without me, you never would’ve even been out of that Camp. Don’t make me out to be less than you! Just because I was never informed about all your li–”

“So, what—she’s, like…your accomplice?” the guy with the gun interrupted, getting fed up with Ariadne again. Was it just me, or did everyone hate her as much as I did?

He shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. Accomplice, partner in crime—whatever.”

“He’s more like my accomplice, to be honest with you,” Ariadne said. “I do the dirty work, Phoenix does something heroic, gets all the credit, and the day is saved. That’s the usual routine these days.”

The guard made a disgruntled noise and turned toward me instead. I was getting the feeling he didn’t like Ariadne all that much.

His attention on me, he asked, “I remember you.” He sounded agitated by my presence. I forced myself not to laugh. “What do you do?”

I crossed my legs, folded my hands over my lap, and looked the guard right in the eye. Or, well, the goggles, that is.

Ariadne snorted. “She’s sort of his girlfriend.”

The guard’s posture sagged a bit. He turned back toward Phoenix. “Is that right, Cortez?”

No,” he and I said at the same time.

The guard sighed and clenched his free fist. “Well, then who is she, for the love of God?”

Phoenix adjusted the piercing in his nose uneasily. Ariadne’s head swiveled toward him, and she mouthed, “Oh, you know it’s true.”

Phoenix tilted his head, seeming annoyed. I don’t think he appreciated Ariadne being difficult right now—or ever, for that matter. His patience level seemed to have gone way down in the last few days.

“Alyce,” Phoenix started, still in a calm tone, “is not supposed to be with us. She’s more of a random acquaintance than anything. She, uh, doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. She…met up with me in the Camp.” He paused and glanced over at me. I closed my eyes and shook my head. “It’s a long story.”

“There’s more time than needed. Please, I expect to be informed on your ‘long story,’ Cortez. And you two”—he pointed his gun at Ariadne and me, going back and forth between us—“will remain silent until asked to speak again. Understood?”

“Yeah, whatever,” I said. “But it’s my story, not his.”

The guard walked up to me with slow, even strides. I kept my eyes on him, casually rolling them to show I wasn’t intimidated.

(Looking back on it, I should’ve been intimidated. It was dumb of me not to shut my mouth and freak out like any normal person would. It’s good to be scared when someone with a gun and the urge to use it comes at you.)

“What didn’t you understand about remaining silent?” He held the barrel of the gun to my forehead. I relaxed, knowing he wouldn’t shoot. If he could threaten me multiple times earlier without shooting, why would he shoot me now?

(Once again about that intimidation thing…)

“I thought it would make more sense from my point of view. That’s all, dude.”

The guard pressed the gun harder into my forehead. I winced at the sudden pain. At least he hadn’t bothered to do the countdown thing yet; that was by far the most annoying thing he’d ever done, even if I barely knew him. There’s not much more annoying than someone counting down to the moment they’ll kill you when they’re obviously not going to kill you.

“Firstly, I did not ask for your ‘point of view,’ did I?”

“No, but it would—”

Secondly,” he began, interrupting me, “I will not tolerate being called ‘dude’ one more time. Understood?”

“Understood…dude.”

I don’t know why I said it. It was the dumbest thing I could’ve done right then, but it was oh-so tempting. Besides, what kind of sane person lets a perfect opportunity like that go?

Ariadne gave me the universal “You’re a Goner” look. Phoenix seemed, oddly enough, amused by me. That was the stamp of approval I needed.

The guard slammed the butt of his rifle into my stomach, right as I was staring at Phoenix and thinking how much I depended on him—and Ariadne a bit, too, but not as much. I was okay with depending on Phoenix. I liked Phoeni—

He didn’t show any mercy. He had struck me in the same place as the guard back in the Camp. Sharp pain shot through my stomach and I cried out, tears forming in my eyes.

“I will not,” the guard repeated, “be called ‘dude’ by you ever again. Understood?”

I squinted up at him. Though I couldn’t see his eyes, I was sure they were full of bitterness.

“Yeah. Got it.”

“Good. Now you will remain silent until Cortez is finished with his story.”

He turned away from me, walking back toward his place in the middle of the otherwise empty room. The walls were blank white bricks, with one steel door on the right of Phoenix. Ariadne and I were pressed up against the wall opposite of the door.

Phoenix began explaining the situation in the warehouse. He left out all the details (like the fact that he, um, threatened to kill me, and Cato and Armando forcing me into the warehouse). He went through our escape (once again leaving out all the details, like him saving me and the whole carrying business) until we came to the present. The guard just listened.

“So, about the girl.” He turned toward me. I cowered in the chair unenthusiastically. “What were you doing in the food warehouse?”

I wanted to say something about baby food, but I had a feeling that wouldn’t go over well.

“I… I was, um…”

To tell or not to tell? Was I betraying Cato and Armando if I let the guard in on their secrets? It seemed like they weren’t supposed to be in the tunnels, like they lived very private lives away from everyone. They weren’t supposed to be in the area they were, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want me blabbing about them, even if I didn’t give away their location.

And if Ariadne did know about them and our time spent together, I couldn’t lie about them because she’d throw me under the bus in an instant. That would get me into a load of unnecessary trouble. No options were looking even slightly desirable.

“How about you speak up, girl. Otherwise I can make you speak up,” the guard said.

I guess the best option was to be vague.

“Um, well…there were these, uh, two guys in the Confinement Camp who were helping me out. They gave me their food. Then they put me up to stealing from Warehouse 7 so they could, um, you know, have food again,” I finished.

“Their names,” the guard said. “What are their names?”

I slouched even more in my seat. So much for being vague.

I prepared for the worst possible result. If Ariadne had been serious when she said something about “recruiting” them a few days ago, when we were meeting again for the second time in the Camp, and these people were the Resistance…

Maybe Cato and Armando had almost gotten my killed for their selfish purposes, but I owed Cato something. If Ariadne wasn’t lying about the IV thing and Cato taking me from the MGMT Corporation’s headquarters, I owed him my life.

But I valued my own life above his, because I’m self-centered like that.

“Cato Hahn and Armando. I dunno Armando’s last name, tho–”

“Cato Hahn?” he asked in disbelief. I nodded. He turned toward Phoenix in a daze. “Does she mean…the Cato Hahn? The one?”

“None other,” he said with an unnecessary dramatic tone.

He turned back toward me. “So you’re friendly with the Hahn kid?”

“Um, I guess you could say ‘friendly’…”

“So I take it, since you claim to be on good terms with him, you know his whereabouts?”

“Um, generally?”

“Don’t say it like it’s a question. And what do you mean by ‘generally’?”

“Like, uh… generally…?”

He pointed his rifle at me. “Tell me what you mean when you say ‘generally,’ girl.”

Okay, so we had bothered to tell him my name, right? So why wouldn’t he call me “Alyce” instead of continuously calling me “girl”? Jeez.

“Like, he’s not living in the Camp,” I replied.

The guard lifted his head back and exhaled deeply. “So, what, he’s in the city? The Mojave? Make some sense, you stupid girl!”

If I had a nickel for every time I was insulted…

“He’s in the tunnels,” I said. “You know, in the hillside under the ground, beneath the Camp? He said they’re not supposed to know about them or be using them, though, so…”

The guard laughed. “For years, we’ve been searching through the Camp for him. We’ve scrounged the refugee shelters, the prisons, the fields. And all of this time he’s been in the goddamn tunnels. Of all places, the tunnels!”

I looked back and forth between Ariadne and Phoenix. I didn’t understand why they were searching for Cato in the first place. Ariadne had said something about trying to recruit him for the Resistance, and Phoenix had called him a genius. Something was up with him, and I didn’t quite know what just yet.

“Sir,” Ariadne said. “Okay, first, should I call you sir? Or do you have some sort of title or even a name?”

“Just carry on. It doesn’t matter.”

“Well, I was with Phoenix in the Camp, you know. And he knew about the search for Cato, so I decided to try and find him on my own. And I did. In the tunnels.”

The guard turned toward her, giving her his full attention. Ariadne glanced down at the floor uncomfortably.

“And?”

“Well, sir—I’m going to call you “sir” from now on, since you refuse to elaborate.” She paused to take a breath. “Sir, I tried. I tried to get him to join us, even to let out a bit of information about him or the Corporation. I tried everything I could.”

The guard slammed the butt of his rifle into the linoleum floor. I was glad it was the floor and not my stomach.

“So he’s still in the tunnels, refusing to join us?”

“Yeah. He’s never going to come. Ever. He doesn’t trust us. We didn’t learn anything from my time with him. I’m so sorry. I tried, sir. I tried.”

The guard stared back at her, unmoving.

Finally, he said, “You two”—he pointed his gloved hand at Ariadne and me. “Follow Lee out the door. He’s going to give you some instructions. You’re spared.”

I tried to smile at him, but the action felt too awkward.

Besides, who would smile when they’re being forced into a cause they’re not even sure they support?
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#87 bubba97

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 07:16 AM

Okay hi.


I only read from the prologue to like half the third chapter but I really want to comment now so..


First of all, bravo! :eusa_clap:

It's sooo hard to find a good dystopian, but yours is just... its perfect.


I love everything about it. I love the names, the disease, the whole evil corporation thing going on.

The whole idea of it.

It's just brilliant.


The whole pessimistic appeal to it just makes it all work.


I like your characters. Even though Ariadne kinda got on my nerves at first, it's kinda understandable to be this negative after living through that.

But in general, they're good characters. They're different, they're interesting.

And they're a good way to introduce the atrocities that Alyce has missed out on.

Although I do wander what really made them keep her, while she was in a coma..


And the description are great. You have such a strong voice as a writer. Your words are amazing, the way it all just flows together... It's really really good.


I was just a little surprised how easily Alyce took the fact that she's been in a coma for the last four years, most people she knew are dead and that the world has been divided that way..

But again, she must've lived through worst.


I honestly don't know what else to say.

This is fantastic. I'm literally speechless.


I'll just keep reading now.

-Alexandra
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#88 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:24 AM

Okay hi.


I only read from the prologue to like half the third chapter but I really want to comment now so..


First of all, bravo! :eusa_clap:

It's sooo hard to find a good dystopian, but yours is just... its perfect.


I love everything about it. I love the names, the disease, the whole evil corporation thing going on.

The whole idea of it.

It's just brilliant.


The whole pessimistic appeal to it just makes it all work.


I like your characters. Even though Ariadne kinda got on my nerves at first, it's kinda understandable to be this negative after living through that.

But in general, they're good characters. They're different, they're interesting.

And they're a good way to introduce the atrocities that Alyce has missed out on.

Although I do wander what really made them keep her, while she was in a coma..


And the description are great. You have such a strong voice as a writer. Your words are amazing, the way it all just flows together... It's really really good.


I was just a little surprised how easily Alyce took the fact that she's been in a coma for the last four years, most people she knew are dead and that the world has been divided that way..

But again, she must've lived through worst.


I honestly don't know what else to say.

This is fantastic. I'm literally speechless.


I'll just keep reading now.

-Alexandra


Oh, my God, this totally made my, like...WEEK. LOL, thank you so much. I needed a pick-me-up, and this helped so much. You gave me a lot more confidence than I had when I, um, went to sleep last night. Having my little dystopia described as "perfect" is something I never expected, and I'm glad you appreciate it. I've put a lot of effort into this.

(On a side note: With the pessimistic thing... I am the world's biggest pessimist. If you didn't know this yet, this is my statement against the world, so...it's extremely pessimistic for the entire thing with the little light of hope shining through sometimes. It's dark. It's a statement of my own.)

There's a lot of backstory about them keeping her that comes later (and one of the characters explains this in Chapter 11, but there is more to it than what she says). It's not very clear for a long time, but I promise it's explained. ;)

AUGH. You talk about her taking things so easily after the coma. Yes, that's the biggest flaw with the first chapters. She does break down in...I think Chapter 5. That was my apology to the terrible nature of the first chapter. :P (I hate that first chapter so. Freaking. Much.)

Please, continue to keep reading! I'm glad you like it so much. I'd like to say it gets better, but I can't promise that. I like the later parts better, but that's just me.

Thanks again for all of that. It really helps me keep on going with this.

xoxoArtemis
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#89 Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:56 AM

I'm not going to read through this twice, so it could be full of plenty of errors. I think it might be okay-ish, though; I'll read it again when my eyes aren't killing me. But I need to advance this thing so I get caught up in my notebook, which is why I'm posting this right now and not later.

Anyway, this chapter contains some drama between my lovely Ariadne and Alyce, and the next chapter will either suck or be awesome. I don't entirely know just yet.

Enjoy! :D

xoxoArtemis

Alyce in Dystopia
Chapter 13 — Sniper Duty
“Your mind is playing tricks on you.”
-Little Talks, Of Monsters And Men


“I hate everything,” I muttered to myself. “I hate being stuck with you. I hate the Resistance. I hate the food they gave us. I hate being bored. I hate—”

“Could you please shut the hell up over there?!” Ariadne finally snapped. “It’s like you can’t help but talk every single minute of the day!”

I rolled my eyes (I didn’t even bother with a comeback this time) and turned back toward the street from my high position in the window of a vacant apartment. The streets in our sector were empty as far as people went—and they were probably going to stay like that for quite a long time.

I had been sitting on the ledge of the open window for a while, my feet dangling over the edge. It was a dangerous position, but I liked it. It was so high up off the ground that you couldn’t help but stare down at the ground and wonder how bad it would be if you fell off. Kind of like the tunnel back in the Camp that overlooked distant San Francisco (let me just say that San Francisco looked a million times closer than it actually was from that spot).

“How about you get some sleep so I can get a break from hearing you whine about how ‘horrible’ your life is?” she suggested, leaning against the frame of the window. “I think that would be perfect.”

“No. I don’t want to go to sleep.”

“Why not?”

“Because.”

“I hate that you think ‘because’ is a valid answer, you know.”

“I do know. And that’s why I say it all the time.”

“You’re a complete—”

“Shut up and do your ‘job,’ you idiot,” I replied. “Go look out at the city and do your cutesy little sniper thing while I do my sit around and do nothing thing.”

“Um… No.”

“Why not?” I asked, mocking her previous tone of irritation.

Because,” she answered smugly.

“Wait, are you mocking my again?” I asked.

“Yes, I am.”

I glared at her, my arms crossed, and pretended I wasn’t going to be stuck with her every night for the rest of the next…

Oh, God. The entire month.

A month of pure torture.

Every single day, every single night.

The Resistance Movement of San Francisco (AKA The Resistance With Way Too Long of a Name That No One Bothers to Say Because It’s So Long) was pretty much my newest least favorite person/organization. Six days ago, their leader—Angelo (also known as “Sir,” if you’re Ariadne)—had assigned Ariadne a job as a “sniper” for their little movement thing. She was instructed to keep her sector of the city Corporation-free. They figured that since she was such a good shot with her rifle, she should have an opportunity to use it.

Phoenix was already part of the Movement. In fact, I’m pretty sure he had been for years now—only, he worked in the branch inside the West Confinement Camp rather than the one outside it. He had been head of what they called the Black Market of San Francisco (which, thank God, was much easier to say than “The Resistance Movement of San Francisco”), a movement that ripped off the poor and dying. They traded their food (stolen from the MGMT Corporation) for weapons or gasoline of anything else deemed “acceptable” by their “official committee.”

Phoenix said he was the leader of this supposed “official committee,” even though I was pretty sure there was never a committee to begin with—let alone an “official” one. He had worked out some system with the other workers about working month-long shifts, and his month—“September,” he called it; whatever that meant—had just finished.

That’s why they left, I think. Phoenix was supposed to be doing something in Warehouse 7 when he found me, but he got sidetracked. And then his and Ariadne’s month of work in for the Black Market was over, so they ditched the Camp altogether.

I think. Maybe.

They’re not very good at explaining stuff to the “unstable” here, though…

Anyway, Phoenix already had a job, and that was in the Black Market, doing whatever people in the Black Market do. I wasn’t too sure, but I’m pretty positive getting appointed “Leader and Head of the Black Market of San Francisco” means you have a pretty cushy job.

And that left me.

I was the one they had nothing to do with, and the one they had no intention of using even in the slightest way. Let’s face it: An eighteen-year-old girl with the mind of one much younger who has been stuck in a coma for four years—and out of one for about two weeks—is no use to anyone for anything.

It’s just as simple as that.

I was weak, had the mind of a child, couldn’t shoot a gun to save my life, was useless in hand-to-hand combat, and was no use in some sort of “important” position or as an engineer.

Hopeless. That’s the word they had used.

I just stayed as quiet as possible and let them discuss my fate. They definitely weren’t going to let me have a gun—that was for sure. They weren’t going to let me out on my own at all anymore. They were all against letting me into the Black Market, for some odd reason.

So I was either stuck living as a hobo on my own in the city (where I would die), or I could accompany Ariadne at her post, hidden in the city (where I’d also die—from being murdered by her).

I chose the hobo option, fearing Ariadne’s wrath.

But Phoenix, deciding to be all caring and sweet and out of character (I hate him sometimes), forbade me from becoming a nomadic beggar of hopelessness, because I’d die. And he “liked me too much” to let me die.

Likely story.

I bet he was just waiting for the opportunity to kill me himself.

So, after getting in my daily pissing match with Phoenix, I was forced to head off with Ariadne, who was extremely angry at Phoenix. Her initial reaction to me saying I wanted to leave was kneeling down on the ground and lifting her hands to the sky and yelling, “THANK YOU, O GOD ABOVE!”

So I think she was pretty mad.

Phoenix whispered something to me as we were leaving, but I had no clue what it was.

Actually, I’m gonna guess it was a death wish.

Too bad Ariadne’s gonna kill me first.

*

“You think Phoenix is partying it up without us right now?” I asked in the dim firelight.

Ariadne threw another crumpled piece of paper into the little fire she had started in the center of the abandoned apartment room. All of the furniture in the little room was relatively untouched, but neither of us used it. We just sat on the ground like we always would have.

I don’t even know why we didn’t sit in the chairs. Ariadne had scoffed at me and muttered something about honoring the dead when I sat in one before, so I figured it would be best to try to eke out as much time still living as possible.

Ariadne said she had started the fire so she could warm up the individually packaged and sealed food (that ironically said “DO NOT HEAT” right on the package) over the fire. But she hadn’t cooked anything yet. I was just happy she hadn’t noticed me eating one of the packages cold, because then I was sure she’d kill me right then and there.

I was beginning to think her strategy to get rid of me was to roast me to death in the heat. Maybe that was what she meant when she was talking about food. Maybe she was a cannibal or something.

I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s Ariadne we’re talking about, after all.

“Partying?” she snorted.

It was said in that “Ariadne Tone” that she had when she’s laughing at people, mocking them, or being extremely condescending (in this case, it was all of the above). The tone that she uses pretty much every time she talks to me, come to think of it…

“Doubt that,” she said. Probably out eating some good food, though in the company on people that he likes, unlike me.”

I made a disgusted noise. I ignored her, knowing that it wasn’t going to get me anywhere if I made a smart remark. “Well, in this world we live in, I think that counts as partying,” I replied. I patted my stomach.

“I bet they’ve got a ton of water, too,” she said. She nodded over to the steadily growing stack of empty plastic water bottles, then over at the steadily shrinking pile of unopened ones. “And you know what? I bet he’s got one of those fancy gas mask things—unlike us, the lowly scum of the earth.”

“This is all so dumb,” I said, sighing. “And what are we even resisting if we’re just sitting around in the city—doing nothing—anyway? It sure can’t be the Corporation, because they’re out there in Los Angeles and the Camps, not in San Francisco. We’re not doing a thing.”

“I don’t know,” Ariadne muttered. “I trust them, though. Phoenix especially. I know that he’s got a plan—even if they don’t.”

I sat in silence for a moment, my back against the wall with the peeling wallpaper that was once very beautiful and flowery, I’m sure.

“Ariadne?”

Silence.

“Yes?” she said.

“Do you…like Phoenix?”

She looked down at me from her place against the other wall. I could see that she was scowling at me. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked defensively.

“Like, do you find him attractive and like him in that sense?” The words tumbled out of my mouth without the actual thinking process.

Ariadne buried her face in her hands. “Oh, God, are you serious?”

“I dunno,” I replied, shrugging. I fiddled with the shard of glass in my hands. “Just an observation. That’s all.”

“Okay, well, what makes you say that all of a sudden?” Her tone was of irritation and, above all, embarrassment.

I shrugged again. “Dunno. Just the way you talk about him, how you act around him, how you get all blushy when he talks to you, how you look at him, how y–”

“Okay, enough! WHATEVER!” she yelled, fired up.

I grinned to myself. I hoped she couldn’t see my face in the faint light. “So is that a yes or a no?”

“What’s it to you?”

“Better if you just admit it.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“You should be smart enough to know that there is no one else around to hear you spill your heart out about how much you just love him.”

“I don’t trust you, actually. And no one said that I ‘just love him,’ actually.”

“Who do I have to tell?”

“Hmm, I wonder!”

“It’s no big deal. I’m pretty much the only person you can trust.”

“What about Phoenix, you dumbass?”

“I am not a dumbass. And Phoenix is a deceptive little weasel. You can’t trust him, believe me.”

“I’ve been working with Phoenix for the past, like, four years. I practically grew up with him. If I can’t trust him, I can’t trust anyone. And you are a complete dumbass.”

“Except me. You can always trust me.”

“No, I really can’t.”

“You’re wrong. You can trust me with anything—even this. Because I understand what it’s like to be emotionally conflicted, unlike Phoenix, who thinks he’s God. Therefore, he must not ever be emotionally conflicted.”

“Phoenix does not think he’s God.”

“Oh, but I beg to differ! He worships himself; I know it!”

“You can just shut up now.”

“But you’re still not telling me anything!”

She sighed and shouted, “You wouldn’t get it, okay? You can’t understand, because you haven’t gone through any of this. You’ve lived through us, and so you physically cannot understand it!”
She got up and walked over toward me. She leaned over me. I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer to the gods of vending machines (hey, they seemed like the only guys taking mercy on me, all right?) that she wouldn’t just kill me there.

“Why…wouldn’t I…understand?”” I managed.

She yelled down at me. I clenched my fists and tried not to cover my ears out of intimidation.

“You don’t belong with us, you know that? You don’t understand how hard, how hard it really is for some of us to hang on any longer! You’ve been here for—what, five days?”

“I think it’s somewhere around twelve,” I muttered.

“I’ve been here—stuck here, mind you—for four years! ALONE. I’ve been rejected by the world because I don’t meet their standards. Because my body isn’t immune to a goddamned disease! I’ve been thrown into a living hell to rot and die alone! I’ve been forced into this, this stupid ‘Resistance,’ just because it’s my only option left. You think I like it?”

I sort of guessed that was rhetorical.

“The only thing that has kept me sane is him. He’s the reason I haven’t just killed myself. He’s the reason I… You just don’t get it! You don’t understand emotion! You don’t understand the sort of attraction between us!”

“Sure I do,” I replied.

No, Alyce. You don’t, and you’re stupid to say you do. You don’t know anything about either of us—what we’ve been through together. It’s so much more than what you’ve made up in your mind, okay? He…I owe him…my life.”

She glared down at me and took a deep breath. I stared back up at her and contemplated the possible causes for her burst of rage. Either she was on her period or she just genuinely hated me. I found the latter to be more likely.

“You really do hate me, don’t you?”

She stared down at me, a look of pure ire in her eyes. I cowered underneath my hood. Somehow, the piece of glass in my hands became the most interesting thing I’d ever seen in my life. Way more interesting than Ariadne.

“Yeah,” she spat. “And I’m pissed at you, like always.”

“Hey, there is no need to be angry with me!”

“Why not? You irritate us all, and it’s about time you realized it for once.”

I hung my head and stared at the piece of glass. I could see my dirty reflection in it, even though I never wanted to look at myself again.

I didn’t want to talk to Ariadne anymore; she was being even more difficult than ever. But there was one question that just wouldn’t leave me alone, and I doubted she could get much angrier than she already was if I asked her.

“Ariadne,” I said, “Why do you owe Phoenix your life?”

Edited by Pretty.Odd., 29 June 2012 - 09:56 AM.

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#90 Pretty.Odd.

Pretty.Odd.

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:18 AM

I just realized this, and I felt it was worth sharing:

I'm all caught up on the edited chapters. That was the last one of the chapters I needed to edit; all the rest are going to be taken from my notebook and typed up. I DID IT. Finally, the hard part is over! Now it's more fun because it's the creative process.

It also means the chapters are going to be about ten times less polished, but that's okay. I'll fix them later.

We're also about...40% done with the novel by now, I'd say. About--it may be more, it may be less—that much is finished. I'm not into planning every last thing all that much, so it's an estimate. :D

But I'm pretty happy right now, so I felt like sharing.

That's all! :hyper:

xoxoArtemis
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