Fiction Fragment Friday
This week you are getting a fragment and a story. When I started writing I had an idea. As I wrote that idea just was not working. I kept pushing forward even though I knew that what I was writing was bad. Finally I stopped and decided to scrap it all and restart. Instead of just sharing the new story I have decided to do something a bit different. First I’m going to share the failed story and after that I will share the rewritten version.
“What the hell were you thinking?” The volume and force of Jennifer’s words hit Brandon like a wall. He had just entered the kitchen but had to take two steps backwards. He could feel the heat radiating off her from across the room.
“Calm down honey.” As soon as the words came out he knew it was the wrong thing to say. The wave of psionic energy lifted him off his feet and tossed him through the air into the living room. His hip smashed into the back of the couch flipping him over it. Finally he landed on the coffee table with a groan of pain.
Jennifer rushed into the living room in a panic. “Oh baby I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it.” She pulled his head to her chest and stroked it gently. “Please be ok. Please be ok. Please be ok.” She rocked back and forth as she pleaded with him. “Come on baby wake up.”
James struggled to open his eyes. His whole body was wracked with pain. He could hear Jennifer’s voice but his head hurt too much to make out the words. This was not the first time something like this had happened, but it was the worst. Something had to be done, but he was afraid to say the wrong thing. “We have to do something about this. It’s getting worse.”
It had been a long day at work, and I was happy to finally be home. Unfortunately, that feeling of relief didn’t last long. The moment I stepped into the kitchen Jennifer turned to me with eyes full of anger. I opened my mouth to ask her what was wrong but before I could utter a word, she cut me off.
“What the hell were you thinking?” I stumbled back two steps from the force of her words. The heat radiating off of her could be felt from across the room and I could see loose items in the kitchen start to float. I was particularly worried about the knives.
I lifted my hands up in a placating manor and said, “Calm down honey.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew that it was the worst possible thing I could have said. In the history of the world no one has ever calmed down because someone told them to. It will always just make them angrier. She let out an exasperated scream while I tried to brace myself for the fallout.
The wave of psionic energy hit me like a truck. I could feel my feet leave the ground as my body rode the wave into the living room. My hip slammed into the back of the couch spinning me over it and rolling until my back crashed into the coffee table. I lay there feeling nothing but pain and I’m pretty sure I lost consciousness for a moment.
As the world started to come back to me, I realized that Jennifer was there and holding me tightly against her. I could hear her voice, but the words could not cut through the pain. It wasn’t just my hip and back that hurt either. My head was pounding, and I knew that she was the cause. I struggled to focus and finally her voice started to come through. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to. Please wake up baby. Please just be ok.” She was rocking me back and forth adding to the pain.
This was far from the first time she had lost control, but it was worse than I had ever seen it. I fought to open my eyes hoping to make the rocking stop. My next words had to be thought out very carefully. Saying the wrong thing could make her lose control again. My voice was strained when I finally was able to speak. “We have to do something about this. It’s getting worse.”
“Don’t you think I know that?” The frustration was mixed with tears. I could feel the pounding in my head getting worse. “I try so hard to keep it in check but I just can’t.” I forced myself to meet her eyes. The anger was fading away buried beneath the fear. Unfortunately, that was the second most powerful emotion for triggering outbursts.
“It’s going to be ok. We’ll figure this out together.” I was trying to be comforting but every instinct told me to run. It was only the overwhelming pain my body was in that allowed me to push the instinct away. “You can’t be the only one with these abilities. We’ll start searching the Internet for others. Someone out there has to be able to help you.”
“What if I am though? Or what if the government comes and locks people away when they start to develop? What if I’m an alien? I never met my birth parents.” She was spiraling again. Always going to the worst possible scenario. It was something I understood well but could not allow myself to do. I needed her calm.
“You’re not an alien and no one is going to take you away. I won’t let them.” We both knew that she was way more capable of defending herself than I would be. Sometimes it’s just the words that someone needs to hear that make all the difference. “We’re in this together.” She held me tightly in a hug and I tried not to wince too badly in pain. “I’m kind of afraid to ask this, but what were you so mad about when I got home?”
“You bought a new fabric softener and I’m allergic. I’ve been itching all day.” I looked over at the TV and saw one of the kitchen knives sticking out of it. I had almost died because of fabric softener. If I didn’t get some kind of help soon, I might not survive my next shopping trip.