Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A First For Me

I like to write.

One of the reasons I started blogging was to get back into the groove of writing. I had flat-out stopped writing, yet had discovered blogs and a few of them had me hooked.

I thought, if I could just blog a little bit per day, it would help keep me in the writing game, even if it wasn't fiction like I wanted to write.

An undexpected blessing of blogging is that I no longer have to write fiction with pen on paper, I can now type it in as I go. Something I was never able to do before I started blogging.

With the possible exception of stretching the truth a bit on this blog to make a story here and there a little more interesting, I've never posted fiction on here.

But today, I find myself with nothing to say, nothing to post.

So, for the first time, I thought I would put a bit of my fiction on here.

What follows is part of the process of me developing a fictional character in my head. I might write something similar to this several times for any given fictional character until I feel that I know him or her and his / her traits a little better before beginning an actual story containing them.

This is how it comes out of me; rough, misspellings, and bad grammar, and little dialogue, because, hey, it's just character development here, not the story itself yet.

I already see things to change, names and other things, but I was trying to get a bit of a read on who the guy talking is.

Let me know what y'all think, whether you're bored to tears or like him or hate him; whatever.



It isn’t very hard to find a person these days, what with the internet and a bit of money judiciously placed here and there in the right hands. One can always find the information on simple things like where a certain person lives or works. After that, it’s another simple matter to spend some time ascertaining a person’s normal schedule.

Even people like Michael Mulligan who, in theory, know that people are out to get him if they can, eventually drop into a normal daily routine. It’s human nature. It isn’t very smart, but it’s still human nature.

Mulligan had killed my sister with his own two hands. I was here to return the favor. The most lasting image I have of my newly discovered sister is the snapshot in my mind of finding her in her room at my home. Raped, strangled to near death repeatedly, and finally a broken neck.

For thirty two years I was an only child. Then I received a phone call from Allison, and tentatively, a relationship that seemed impossible, proved to not only be true, but quickly became the lone source of joy in my life.

The only problem was that Allison had lived a life that brought her into contact with people who have no regard for lives other than their own.

To the police, who tried their best to pin the murder on me, the case was still open. I had been all evening on a gig at a club one hour from my home, with numerous proofs of my presence elsewhere in both the band and the audience. The police grudgingly decided that I hadn’t killed my sister.

What the police did not know was that I knew who had raped and murdered her.
***
I have had the ability to intuit things from the time I was a child. I was four when my father abandoned my mother and I, but I knew even at that young age that he was gone and that I would never see him again, even before my mother tried to explain what a four year old shouldn’t be able to understand.
I understood all too well.

My ability, if you want to call it that, had eventually created a man with more understanding of what is really going on around him than other’s could possibly want to know about their own lives. Solitude, an understanding mother, and a musical gift released on a guitar all conspired to help me become something approaching a normal human being.

The night I found my sister, when I checked her for a pulse, I saw the image of the man who had killed her. While the cops were busy trying to find physical evidence in the room and house on which to identify and arrest a killer, I was trying to find out who this person, known only to me as a picture in my head, was.

How could I possibly explain my ability to the police? That I could give them the details of the man’s face, body, and clothing so clearly as to create a very accurate sketch would have been too difficult to explain.

I did not know where he was, even if his face was provided to me by whatever it is that has done these impossible connections throughout my life.

All I know, is that I was back to being the only person left in the Kingston family, after it had briefly doubled. Alison was there, then taken away.

During her life, my mother had gently encouraged that my gift, which is what she called it, should be put to good use. She thought I should use my ability to help others somehow.

I was never convinced of this. Maybe she was right, but I was the wrong personality type to put on a cape and mask by night and try to single-handedly right the ills of the world.

To my credit, even as a kid I tried to learn things that I hoped would help if given the chance to make a difference for someone down the line. Mother had a boyfriend for many years, a former Army Special Forces guy, who taught me self defense, tracking, fitness, how to live off the land. Perfect for a kid and teen like I was; I was different and knew it, and learning these things was something no one else my age ever learned, so it seemed to help me be able to deal with my introverted life. It’s hard to feel alone or down when I’ve spent every waking hour on school, homework, and then physically demanding training meant for adults. I didn’t have time or the energy left to ponder my solitary life too much.

Barry, the Ranger, eventually died of cancer. He was as much a father as I ever knew, certainly more so than my biological father, and I miss him as much as I do my mother.

Allison showing up out of nowhere gave my life and psyche a jolt. I had developed a life of sorts for myself, revolving around playing guitar. I was in a local band of some regional appeal, but lived pretty much to myself otherwise.

It turned out that Allison had lived a life on the edge. Apparently our biological father wasn’t any more of a positive influence in her life than he was in mine. Her only problem was that her mother wasn’t anything like my own caring mother had been. Learning of Allison’s upbringing caused me to appreciate anew the dedication and love my own mother and Barry had shown me.

Allison was all front; she talked a good game, but was a lonely, love starved young woman. She seemed incapable of making good choices in her life. It was as if she had an inner compass that drove her to self destruction, and then she would step back and wonder why her life was a mess. She wanted what many women want, marriage, kids, a somewhat steady life, but was too bad at self analysis to realize she jinxed herself with almost every choice she made.

In short, Allison was a beautiful, sweetheart, train wreck, and I loved her with all of me within minutes of getting over the shock of having her show up unannounced in my life.

How she met Mulligan, I don’t guess I’ll ever know. Being the rather practical minded person I am I don’t much care to know. Whenever I thought of her, I saw his face. I found out who he was and eventually where to find him. That’s enough for me.

Heck, maybe Mom and Barry knew that one day I would get into a fix because of my ability to sense things, and that’s why Mom never said anything while Barry trained me over the years in all manner of destructive talents.

One thing that Barry could have never taught me because of his big heart, yet I had in plentiful amounts, was the capacity for coldness. I have loved my family and friends with much emotion, but when the time comes for hard choices and hard actions, I have nothing within me that allows me to inject feeling or sympathy into the job.

Michael Mulligan killed my sister; therefore Mulligan was a bug to me; a dangerous, murderous, raping bug in dire need of killing.

I believe that the sun will come up tomorrow, but Mike Mulligan won’t be alive to see it.

3 comments:

photowannabe said...

Where did my comment go? I wrote a lengthy response and its not here.
In a nut shell I said I need to read the next chapter. Great stuff John. You pulled me in and I couldn't stop until there was no more to read...

Sharon Lynne said...

That's great that you are writing!

Bear in mind that a good novel will take many drafts.

Your charactor sounds interesting--a nice guy with a gift. And I'm not sure what he's going to do about the murder. (That's good) I'm wondering if he'll get revenge.

Some of the family background stuff you could bring out little by little in the novel. (instead of "telling" it.)

One guideline writers learn is to "show and don't tell". For instance, instead of saying he loves his mom...you could have a scene (as part of the plot) where he stops by to see her and there is apparently a good relationship.

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