But first I must survive a day of temp work. Just when I finally finished that massive filing project, my boss leaves town. At first I thought it was major free for all internet surfing time. Wooooo-hooooo!!! But my boss' boss asked me to go through every single file in the file room and make sure everything in them is in chronological order. We're talking hundreds and hundreds of files! Aaaerrgghh!
I'm still waiting for them to figure out how badly I screwed up the last filing project. Because you see the part of the brain required for that kind of problem solving and thoughtless ordering...doesn't work in me. It's part of having ADD, it means that the left and right hemispheres of my brain don't connect in way that allows me to do this.
But never fear. I make up for my handicaps in unusual and talented creativity! Not that I can find a job for these creative skills at just this moment. But they do allow me to do fun things most people can't. Like while I'm organizing files, I am actually writing parts of my Highlander fiction...in my head! It ran around in my head for a couple days before I had a chance to write it out - and it's posted below.
Mind you, if you have not watched the Highlander t.v. series...DON'T bother reading this. Not only will it make NO sense to you whatsoever, but you might find the violence disturbing. Only Highlander viewers understand the talk about death and beheadings and such. And these two pages take place right in the middle of my lengthy story. There are referenced to deceased characters that you won't know, because this is the middle of the story and not the beginning. It's a sample. If you read it, tell me what you think. I can take constructive criticism if you have some:
Duncan stood at her bedside, noting that even in sleep she was never completely still. The uneven cadence of her breath was just one indicator that the storm always brewing just beneath the surface was present even without consciousness. It was the nervousness in her hands that gave it away most. One rested pensively on the hilt of her sword, which she ritualistically slept with. The other twitched, now and then grasping dangerously near to the blade. But at least she lay evenly across the bed. She had finally given up the habit of sleeping fearfully curled up in a fetal position.
He was about to leave when something familiar struck his senses and a myriad of memories called him back. In her long absence, he had completely forgotten about it. Somehow, even in the most intense combat training, she always managed to carry the faint, lingering scent of tea and roses. It had been distracting at first, until he learned to phase it out like so many other useless stimuli. But now it called him closer to her and somehow the memories associated with it were not entirely unpleasant or antagonizing. And this surprised him, given the volitile nature of their friendship.
As he leaned over her, Sadie's breath suddenly quickened and gathered into a deep, panicked gasp. She grabbed her sword, swinging it about the bed as she awoke suddenly. Duncan ducked and grab her sword arm, bringing her half-awake assault to a stop. She was startled at first. But as he released her, Duncan watched her worry quickly melt into a sated calm when she recognized him. She stretched out comfortably on the bed as she gently lowered the weapon. "My God Duncan," she scolded him. "You shouldn't sneak into my room like that. You'll end up a foot shorter the next time you try that."
"Oh really?" he teased her. "Now you think you can take me in your sleep?"
“I didn't know it was you," she replied. "I thought you would be gone by now."
“It's okay. I finished in the living room and I was just leaving.”
“I feel better when you’re close by." She added with a smile, “Will you always be watching over me?”
“No,” he said. “But someday it will be your turn to watch over some one else.”
“Will I be their teacher?” she asked.
“And will I teach them how to fight and how to live?” Sadie asked, sitting up to meet him. “And will I teach them dignity, and the value of life?” she reached for him, pulling him closer as she continued. That scent again, momentarily clouding his head with thoughts that were, until now, foreign to him. “And will I rescue them?" she continued. "From the depths of despair and guide them back toward their own humanity?”
It was the way her eyes engaged him that touched him more than the sentiment. “You’re welcome,” he said. It was all that needed to be said. Sadie let go of him, holding his gaze as she sank back down onto the bed. For a moment the two of them consulted each other in the silence of their mutual understanding. Then her attention drifted to some far off place and she turned over and curled up between her sword and the mass of pillows.
Duncan regarded Sadie one last time. She no longer asked for his help and she had long given up her seductive flirting. He hardly recognized the girl that had returned from Europe so much more resolved and wiser. The only thing he could be certain of was that there was a new level of respect between them. She recognized his boundaries now and honored them with such reverence that he began to question whether they were necessary anymore. Contemplating this, Duncan left the room quietly. He gave the living room one last acute, rapid appraisal before opening the front door. As he did, he heard the soft plodding of her bare feet creeping up behind him. He was already outside the door when she called to him.
He turned to her, watching her clutch her nightshirt nervously as she leaned against the doorway. “When does it stop?”
“What do you mean?”
“When do I get to close my eyes and not see…” Her words trailed off and she looked down to the floor for a moment to gather herself. When her eyes returned to him, he could see a new terror resonating behind them. “When can I lay in darkness and not see Jack dying? When I can sit in stillness without hearing Shelly screaming?" Her voice broke with a soft tremor as she continued, "when does it stop?”
It occurred to Duncan at that moment that he might be partly responsible for what she was experiencing. She had gone numb when Elliot died and it was he that had forced her to mourn. He refused to continue her training until she recognized the value of every life lost, regardless of whether it was mortal or immortal. And in doing so, he had acclimated her to new emotions she was unaccustomed to dealing with. But he knew better to coddle her. And he knew that even when she asked for it, she wouldn’t always accept his comfort. “If you can keep your head,” he said. “You can live forever. You’ll never grow old, you’ll never get sick, you’ll have unlimited lifetimes to achieve your dreams.”
“Are you saying this is a package deal?” she asked. "Death and immortality?"
“Something like that. Yes.”
Sadie bit down on her lower lip and her momentarily averted eyes told Duncan she was wrestling with some unspoken guilt. “And when you feel like this,” she asked. “Does it sometimes make you do stupid things?”
This alarmed him. “Is there something you want to tell me?” he asked.
She looked away again, this time turning back to study the moonlight filtering in through the living room window. He couldn’t tell if she was contemplating or avoiding the question until she turned back to him. “It doesn’t hurt does it? I mean when Elliot lost his head and Jack lost his head. They didn’t feel any pain did they?”
“No,” he said. “I doubt they felt any pain.”
“Then why do I?”
He was so taken aback by her quick response that he didn’t have a chance to formulate a reply. When he finally grasped that it was a cry for help, she began to slowly close the door.
“Goodnight Duncan,” she said. She was already turning away before it closed completely.
Duncan stood silently outside her apartment, considering whether or not he should go back in after her. He raised his hand, forming a fist to rap against the door. But then he thought better of it. As his hand fell open he let his fingers rest softly on the door. She was safe behind this door, and yet she wasn’t. She was remarkably fragile and strong at the same time. So much so that he never knew which way she was going to fall. And he had a strong sense that she was in fact falling.