Saturday, December 3, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 26

This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 26
By Stephanie Thompson,  1, 745 words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25

Detective Riley was not finished with his case. There was something Fields was going to tell him before she (came to her senses) asked for her lawyer. HE just needed to figure out what that thing is.
The last thing she’d looked at was the gps map for the phone but that didn’t tell her anything really new, she knew where she’d been. So, what did she know that he didn’t know?
For one thing, she knew her life better than he did. He knew who this Helen Richards was and where he could find her. (She knew if she did it or not). And she knew her books.
He didn’t actually know if any of those things were going to be helpful at all but he wasn’t ready to let this go just yet and since the murders them selves offered no more leads, the only direction to go was in the direction of the suspect.

Cass picked up the phone and dialed is number. Maybe it was too soon to call him. Normally she would text but (I’m not mentioning this phone again so put something else here). He didn’t answer which was fine by her. She left a message.
“Hi (Does this dude have a name?) it’s Casse, we met last night and, I’m just really looking forward to seeing you again. Call me back when you get the chance.”
She hung up the phone. Then sat down and closed her eyes. There were two things on her agenda today. One was to make that phone call. The other was to talk to Helen. She didn’t want to, she didn’t want to give the little bitch the satisfaction of making her grovel down to her but she’d reached her limits of what she could achieve without her purse, without her phone. Helen had stepped out of bounds when she hid them anyway. But every once in a while everyone needed a reminder. Christie Fields was finding that out now, it was time for Helen to learn her lesson too.

That was the thing about time. It made you forget. It made the edges memory. It forces you forward, swiftly and relentlessly, and in that constant march forward you leave things behind.
They get dusty, rusty, fragile. And when you’re forced to reach back there and grab them, it’s painful to bend this way and something is bound to get broken (God mother fucking awful, just stop).
She hadn’t forgotten Helen but she did forget about the secrets. That there was someone who knew her secrets. Secrets she thinly veiled as fiction and printed in book form. Their secrets she printed. The secrets of a person who hated her with a violent fury. The kind of  stabbing violence with which the New York Ripper showed his or rather her victims.

“Each of the real life victims matches victims from my novels.”
“What do you mean?”
“Okay, I can’t be exactly sure about this, I’d need the books and the police files side by side to note the details. But that last victim, the blonde woman, she reminded me (OF SOMEBODY FROM THESE DAMN BOOKS). But not all of them get murdered, you know, in the book. Like (THE FICTIONAL PAINO PLAYER) she was actually a client of Nikki’s. Nikki helps her in the book but Helen killed her.”
Somehow her saying Nikki’s name out loud made all of the gears that started moving into motion last night in the police station finally click together completely. Now she was certain it was Cassandra. Not only was the only person who would stalk her, not only was she the only one who hated her enough to implicate her, but she was the only one who would connect the fictional Nikki to the real Jennifer Transom. Who would see right through Christie Fields and be determined to destroy her all of them.
“Cassandra did this,” she said to herself.
“Cassandra? You mean Helen. You’re sure? You’re willing to implicate your friend, your ex-girlfriend.”
“I don’t . . . It’s the only possibility. She had the phone, she’s stalked me in the past, she knows these characters and these books just as well as I do. And she really likes stabbing.
“But how, you’re name was changed, you weren’t sending her your books were you.”
“No, She know’s Nikki. And . . .and the stories started as therapy tools back when we were in  (SOMEPLACE) back when we shared everything. She knows me. She knows Nikki.”
“She knows Nikki?”
“You know what I mean. The character of Nikki is basically unchanged from my first stories I wrote in the hospital. And some of the things . . . Some of the dialogue were things we said to each other. . . In the love scenes.”
“But when you saw her two years ago she made no mention of reading the books or hating you enough to do all this? Did she ever mention the borrowed elements of your relationship?”

She’d thought about sending Helen her books. She was the only person she wanted to celebrate her good fortune with but she had the legal name change and the scars to prove that relationship was severed. Once again she had to tell herself that wasn’t her fault. All they had wanted was a real life but Helen was to sick to survive in it. Jennifer’s dream didn’t change just because Helen wasn’t there. It lost some of it’s light, it’s color, it’s purpose but she couldn’t go back to the hospitals and the drugs. She had to survive.  So she kept on surviving but she didn’t forget. And when she saw Helen on the streets of New York so many years later, she didn’t keep walking or pretending she didn’t see her. Instead she instinctually hugged her.
She didn’t have words to say when she saw her. It was like surprise and joy possessed her to action. She was lucky it wasn’t just someone who looked like Helen though if she was being honest she didn’t think a look alike would actually fool her. They had a bond Helen and Jennifer, and no number of names changes or personalities could fake that bond. Which is how she knew that she was hugging Cassandra and not Helen at all. She didn’t hug her back, she had no enthusiasm in her body, just emanating cold.
“Oh my god, Cassie, how’s it going?”
Cassandra couldn’t fake a good mood but she could fake a bad one.
“Not great. It’s been hard you know, outside of SOME HOSPITAL)”
“When did you get out?”
“I actually have to go?”
“Oh no let’s. . .let’s go in this cafe and have a coffee. Let’s catch up, can you  miss your thing?”
It was no coincidence that they’d met on the street. She had no ‘thing’ to miss. Just testing the waters. Perfect for jumping right in. “Sure,” she shrugged.

Cassie didn’t forget either but she also didn’t forgive. TEn year she was in that state hospital. State hospitals were hell. Full of stupid useless people, patients and staff alike. The patients were barely vegetables or too crazy to have good conversation unless you too cared to scream about whatever bat shit fears of the criminally insane. That staff were under funded and over jaded and usually armed with next to nothing but their good intentions. Cassie fucking hated good intentions.
10 years because of that faithless, lying whore. She wasn’t going to let her get away.
In those early days it was hard. She could see no way to get to her. She did’t just want to kill her now, she wanted to annihilate her utterly so that when people spoke of Jennifer Transom in the future it was only terms of tragedy and crumbs. She would destroy anything and everything about her and what she loved.
She thought about it for a long time. A long, long, time. And she almost wavered. Nearly gave up. Then she was in the meager room they called a library and found ‘NRaged. IT was odd to her that it should be there. Inappropriate given the clientele. Likely to incite violence or unclean thoughts for a weaker patron. For Cassandra herself it was a sign. Like a present from the cosmos, rewarding her patience and blessing her mission. But at first it just looked like a trashy novel.
It was when she read the blurb that she saw what it really was. A breadcrumb of a clue. She read the book in that room in two days. It only took that long because she didn’t want to bring It out lest someone decide she shouldn’t be reading or if anyone else discover the secret. The secret that Christie Fields was so obviously Jennifer Transcom, a crazy just like her. Though you wouldn’t think it if you read about the author.
Christie Fields is a blah blah normal. This is her first novel. Midwestern girl with an over active imagination. Something Something something. No family, No pets nothing to kill in her life.
Despite that she knew exactly how to destroy Jennifer. After years of waiting, it had fallen right in her lap. She’d always craved normalcy. Sanity. Cass would be more than happy to take that away from her.

“Well, I’ll be damned,” he said to the records machine. (Figure out if this is just a computer or microfiche or whatever the fuck) He’d been saying that a lot lately as a bunch of tiny pieces started to fall in place.
First of all, Helen Rodgers was a real person. A real dangerous person. A person with a violent past. She showed up the first time in Christie’s own file. He went home and scoured her records. He drank two coffees and a red bull and maybe didn’t blink at all. He read it all in chronological order, then he read it in reverse.
What she’d said about Helen was true. At various times in different state medical records, Jennifer was linked with a Helen or Cassandra, usually being disobedient or intractably linked. She was only in one police report associated with Fields though. When Helen tried to kill her.
In the office today he wanted more direct information on Helen Rodgers. He found another police report where she tried to kill someone else. And the where was one more thing of note on the computer.
“Seriously, I be fucking damned,” he said when he saw it.



Thanks for Reading!


Friday, December 2, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 25



This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 25
By Stephanie Thompson,  1, 592 words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24

Neither  of them were with anyone else. When would they have the time? Helen wasn’t ever out of hospitals for more than a home visit or anything else and Jennifer was too busy raising various levels of hell.
In their letters or in their rooms at night all they talked about was freedom. When they were 18 their parent’s or the state or grandparents or whoever as the case may be could no longer force them in to any institution as of their choosing.
They could live on their own, in a little apartment with a patio for flowers. They could go in and out whenever they liked and eat at any time and there wouldn’t be group therapy sessions and continuously changing med schedules. Best of all they could be whoever they wanted to be. Nikki, Cassandra, Helen, Jennifer.

At first, everything was right on track. They found an apartment. They found jobs. They used the small amount of inheritance Jennifer had to buy furniture and get them started. They didn’t have much but they didn’t need much. It was perfect. They should have known it wouldn’t have lasted. Maybe Jennifer did, deep down. But she didn’t expect it to end as explosively and completely as it did.
Helen did not have the strength to work, Cassandra didn’t have the temperament. It got so bad that Helen could barely leave the house and Cassandra nearly got charged with aggravated assault by one of her managers. So they stayed home and Jennifer went out every to work.
That too wasn’t bad at first. It was like married life. Jennifer would come home from work, lay her head in Helen’s lap, and tell her all about the little workplace drama’s and jokes and what happened that day. Helen wold stroke her hair and listen and laugh. Over dinner they would talk about the past, about the future, about the weekends or her next day off.
It was nights where she worked late, or the occasional nights out with workmates that caused problems. In those times Helen wouldn’t talk to her. Those were different silences, not like the ones in the good ol’ days. They were silences that froze. Silences followed by too much noise later. Followed by shouting and accusations and name calling and crying.
No matter how much she explained that there was no one else but Helen, how there would be no one else who could understand her as she did, but that she still had to go out into the world and she still wanted other friends on occasion, Helen still behaved the same. Then retreated into a silence she never came back from. Instead Jennifer was left with Cassandra constantly.
Trying to love Cassandra 24/7 was like trying to live life while riding a bucking bronco. She was just as upset and possessive as Helen but more jealous and aggressive. She followed Jennifer everywhere she went. And when Jennifer slept, Cassandra stalked her colleagues and the few work acceptances she had. She stalked them and threatened them. She stabbed one them. A girl from work, who gave her a ride after a late shift and Jennifer missed her bus. Cassie didn’t like that at all.
So, you see Jennifer didn’t do anything. She didn’t even want to do anything really. She wanted Cassandra to love her in balance with sanity. Or she wanted Helen back but she didn’t have the tools to fix her. To bring whatever structure or stability the hospital gave to her and giver her that herself. That’s what she wanted but when the courts sentenced Helen. She knew she had failed, would fail, and could never succeed at the task.
She did abandon Helen though. She visited her in jail and in hospital. She wrote her letters just like in the old days. But she never wrote back. She never spoke at the visits.

Until the final one that is. It wasn’t Helen though. It was Cassandra and Cassandra didn’t love her anymore. Cassandra blamed her. Cassandra hated her. Cassandra wanted to kill her. She tried in that lsat visit. Called her every nam,e under the same. He mouth and face were contorted in rage to look like something inhuman, something Jennifer had never seen before. Something that haunted her when she closed her eyes for a long time after that. Then she did a combination of attempted strangling and shiving at the same time.
Cassie lunged across the table with such force and suddenness that Jen fell over backwards in her chair, no chance to move or evade. It was like a tiger on an unsuspecting gazel.  She grabbed Jenn’s throat in one hand stabbed her WITH SOMETHING SHARP in the other.
It was funny to wonder while she was dying if anyone had been killed in such an odd manner. It made her want to laugh. Then she had to wonder if anyone whos face was hot, who’s lungs were bursting from her chest, and who’s liver was experiencing the strange new experience of a breeze across it’s surface had ever wanted to laugh while it was happening.
That’s pretty deductive but even afterwards in the hospital that’s mostly what she wanted to do she wanted to laugh. There was pain yes. More pain she ever felt in her life. More fear too. But every thought she had the was a really thought and not just abject terror was something funny and then funnier than the last thing like “This is what they mean by love hurts” or YOU KNOW SOMETHING FUNNY.
The other thing was that it felt like it was going on forever. Maybe it was oxygen deprivation that made time slow down. She was only stabbed three times and she never blacked out only saw spots. ORderlies pulled Cassandra off, restrained her and sedated her. Jenn felt the blood pool around her own body, felt it go from warm to cool. And when she could breathe agin in ragged breaths she did finally laugh.

A doctor who had treated her and Helen barely a year before visited her during recovery. She told her that she could consider changing her name. Not just for the clean start but maybe even for her own safety. Whatever she had with Helen was gone because Helen was gone and Cassandra was only the worst of what was inside of her.
Jennifer thought a long time about that. About the difference between Helen and Cassandra. It wasn’t the same as her and Nikki. Nikki came and went, Nikki was apart of her, but they were separate. The doctors said she was a delusion, Jenn thought it was like having her soul haunted, as if it was marked or stained somehow and Nikki was that mark. Helen and Cassandra were the same side of two coins if they were really two sides at all. Incomplete without each other. They’d have to integrate to be healed, to be a functioning member of society and with two attempted murder charges now, it was unlikely that even if healed that they’d get that chance again.
Jennifer, if scarred now was fucked up but she could survive, she should survive, she deserved to survive. So she changed her name and let Helen go.

Lyndsey Sawyer and Lyndsey Sawyer only heard the whole tale. She didn’t want to tell Stella. And she only told her because she insisted. Insisted to the point of threatening to drop her case. And after a pretty fruitless day herself, she knew she’d be absolutely screwed without Sawyer’s help.
So she told her everything.
“So, when you saw Helen a few years ago, what happened?”
“Well, I saw her on the street and it was weird. It was different. Distant, I guess. I was happy to see her. Overjoyed because there hadn’t been anyone else you know. No close friends, just. . .”
She almost said Nikki, that she only had Nikki but that part wasn’t in the story. She didn’t saw how real Nikki was. She didn’t say that Nikki cause all her troubles. She didn’t say she reappeared  in New York. She said like she had all those years ago to those doctors. She took responsibility for her actions because they were hers alone, Nikki was a figment only. Because there was only so much truth one could stand at a time.
“Stella, only Stella. So, seeing Helen on the street was just like anyone meeting an old friend, and old flame. It felt like serendipity. But Helen didn’t feel that way. She said she’d been released, lived in a halfway house, hated her job, hated her life. I wanted to do something nice for her. Give her a way to fit back in to each others life. So I gave her my old phone. She could have freedom and privacy and she could get in touch with me any time or anywhere. But she never did. I assumed she sold it or went back into a hospital.”
Lyndsey was taking notes on a tablet, typing as fast as Chrisite could talk. “What makes you think that this is her now?”
“Two things. The first is that according to Detective Riley that phone has been everywhere I’ve been since my book tour started. Maybe one or two cities would be a coincidence but there’s only one person I know who would follow me everywhere because she’s done it before. I don’t know anyone else, I don’t have any ferverent, obsessed  fans.”
“And the other?”



Thanks for Reading!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 24



This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 24
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,554  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23

Next time they were in a facility together, Jennifer was in for heroin addiction. Helen’s parents had moved her to another hospital, unhappy with her progress in the previous one. To be fair to her parents, she didn’t talk before and she still didn’t talk when they before. Jennifer was never sure if the new hospital did the trick or if it was the fact that they were together again after SOME TIME apart.
The first word she heard her say was her name.
They were alone in their room on her first night back.
“Jennifer, I thought I’d never see you again,” she said quietly just above a whisper, like she was telling the darkness her secrets. (That is a lot of words, I guess you better figure out how long she hadn’t been talking, why and how old they both are when this goes down.)
It was Jennifer who was quiet for those six weeks.

She had some kind of assignment that actually finally left her alone. She was up in the, what she thought of as her room already, laying on her stomach a fresh clean notebook in front of her and a pen in her hand. Elbow deep in her in her element.
Nikki was sucking a lollipop, lying next to her. Lord knows where she got the lollipop.
Watchya doin’?
What does it look like I’m doing?
It looks like you’re starting a new project but I’m pretty sure you’re suppose to be making a timeline of your NYC activities.
What the hell is there a blue moon out or something? Since when do you pay attention to what I’m suppose to be doing?
Since I’m not the one in trouble for a change and you obviously need help.
For you’re information, I don’t need help.Well, at least not your help. I’ve got a crack team of people already on it.
You have, really?
Well, Stella has. Whatever, it’s being worked on. I’m doing this.
You do know that I know what this. I know everything you know.
Ok, I’m not getting into this again, for the millionth time, right now. I’m doing what I’m doing, you go back to shutting the fuck up and eat eating your ridiculous fucking lollipop.
Christie went back to the task at hand. On the top line she wrote, How to Catch a Helen.


It wasn’t long though before Jennifer was talking again because it was only withdrawal or methadone or whatever the hell what was likely to be happening at this hospital for rehab. But no matter who was or who was not talking at any point in time, they were always learning more and more about each other. They were best friends. Because no one tells more secrets than the person who wants to be understood and no one listens better than the one who’s not talking. (Jesus that was fucking horrific let’s try something else)
They learned a lot about each other and the others too. Because it turns out when you’re the quiet one, everyone wants to tell you their secrets, even the grown ups. They wielded the silence like a super power. Everyone else treated it with reverence, like the silence was implied wisdom. Reason beyond their years.
It wasn’t until later that they used the secrets and silence like weapons.

Cassie went downstairs for coffee and breakfast. What she found was a newspaper with her old friend on the front. She took the newspaper, eggs, potatoes, ham, and coffee found the least popoulated corner  to enjoy it all.


Nikki was right when she said they ruled ONE OF THE TOO MANY MF HOSPITALS. But Nikki was only around when Helen wasn’t. Then it was Jennifer and Helen who ruled.
It was one of the few secrets she kept from Nikki. And the fact that she liked Cassandra just as much as Helen was a secret she kept from Helen.

On the second page she Wrote How to Catch a Cassandra

In the afternoon Stella, check in on her.
“I’m about to go to the . . . .are you working on a story?”
“No I’m doing that thing . . . That you wanted.”
She wasn’t doing that either but she hoped she’d say whatever she wanted to say and leave her alone again.
“Really? Still?”
“Did I have a time line?”
“Ok fine, I’m going to the store. Do you want anything?”
“Yes, I’m sorry, can you grab me like a carton.”
“A carton of?”
“Camel 100s.”
Stella opened her mouth and she knew what was coming out next. Or what would have come out if Christie didn’t give her a look that stopped her dead in her tracks.
“Ok, anything else?”
“Nope.”
“Alright, then, Lindsey’s PA is coming back this afternoon so, maybe type up that timeline for her soon, ok?”
“Yup.”


She wasn’t sure when or how the falling in love thing happened.  It was one of those things just happened. Sort of like Nikki.
They shared a room in THE NEXT PLACE. They didn’t want to let them stay together once it became clear that they knew each other. This hospital, these doctors, had a philosophy you might call it. A philosophy that said that we shouldn’t fall back in to old habits and be open to new experiences. Then Helen stopped talking again. She could turn it on and off now. It was pretty easy to play comatose, she sometimes even enjoyed it. For her part, Jennifer let Nikki come out and play, which oscillated between blatant disrespect and belligerence and actually fucking shit up like making other patients cry, throwing food around, and refusing meds.
The first time they worked together like that it took 14 days to get what they wanted. They honed their efforts after that.

Both pages were blank because she didn’t know how to catch a Helen or a Cassandra. Didn’t know how she got her in the first place out side of fate or cruel coincidence which she was just not realizing was one in the same.
She stubbed out on cigarette then lit another. She started a third page too. NYC Timeline it said and it too was blank but she couldn’t remember one day from another and barely even one city from another. How long was that bitch WHO’S NAME I’VE ALREADY FORGOTTEN SINCE SHE’S DiSAPPEARED FROM THE STORY was bossing her around? HOw many interviews? How many outfits? How many sleepless nights watching the clock tick tick tick down?

I cannot express how tired I am of writing this novel. I get so far then I get stuck
I get so far then I get stuck
I never at any point found my mojo. It’s like a constant fight. I know what I want to happen how set it forward but I don’t actually know how to write it short of narrating and expositing the hell out of it. And every second I’m not writing I’m literally wasting my life because I get further and further behind and if I keep getting further behind how in the hell can I finish on time and I might as well use this time to do something more productive or healthy like fucking sleeping if I’m not going to finish anyway.
And in the meantime,  a significant part of this novel is just composed of notes to myself or straight insults to that actual writing. So it’s almost as if it doesn’t count.

So what is the point?

Their first night back together. They were sort of celebrating together. Catching up. They’d talked before then of course. Not much because of Helen’s WHAT’s THAT WORD FOR NOT TALKING state. And they’d been sending letters during their time in different facilities. Nothing was quite the same though until they were in person in the dark together. They sat on Helen’s bed, close, shoulders together, feet pulled up, giggling as softly as they could.
There were also quiet moments because they were friends like that and everything they had was counted in silence and secrets and the dark. Then someone grabbed someone’s hand.Wouldn’t it be romantic to say that it was so clear who did what and when. Or that she wanted it so bad and then it happened and she couldn’t tell if happened because she wanted to and it was magic or she got lost some place imagining and didn’t notice when it happened but the truth was it was none of that. Or she didn’t think it was.
The truth was that it was so long ago and the memories got fuzzy even if you didn’t want them too. Even the important ones. Even the ones not marred by a different pharmaceutical or illicit drug every other week.
That was one truth at least. This is another one. It happened and was so natural that neither of them noticed that it had happened.
They sat there for a long time. All night in fact.
“Look the sun is coming up,” one of them said.
Then one of them kissed the other.

Maybe the truth was they were indistinguishable from one another. That’s what love was wasn’t it? Two becoming one? So she couldn’t remember who kissed who, who held who hands because they weren’t two separate whos. They just were. One.


Thanks for Reading!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 23



This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 23
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,527  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22

Waiting for her bail hearing was exactly like waiting at an airport only with more uncomfortable seats and smaller spaces overall. But mainly it was noisy and forever taking. It originally sounded like good news that she’d be out of police custody that night but what Lyndsy really meant that she would spending most of the night trying to get out custody. Or at least waiting around while other people worked to get her out. IT was like the world around her was moving at a hundred miles per hour and she was standing still.
An eternity later some one asked her how she pleaded and she answered not guilty even though she hadn’t paid attention to what she pleaded too. Then there was still some wrangling between lawyers objections and your honors tossed out like she was at a live taping of Law and Order. Until at last she was out processed. She was never happier to see Stella waiting for her with her suitcase.
“Well, hat was a day, she said.”
“No kidding.”
“Lots of material for a book, uhn?”
Well, Christie knew now that Stella hadn’t learned anything new about her past, otherwise she would know that for the most part this was old hat for her.
“What’s next, where to now?”
They wheeled their cases out to a waiting town car. “Right we got a brownstone for you IN SOME BURROUGH unfortunately the publisher isn’t paying for anything at the moment. At least until you get this cleared up, so it’s on your dime. The tour is suspended until further notice, at least you got that part of what you wanted. They still want their pages though.”
“Awesome,” Christie said, because writing was the furtherest from her mind. The only thing on her mind was sleep. Actually, a shower first, then sleep. So not that different from the night before her arrest.
“Look, I know it looks like a shit storm right now but Lyndsey Sawyer is the best  criminal defense lawyer and town and look on the bright side, you can write a biography after this or tell-all trial experience.”
“Could stop talking about books for one fucking moment please? I don’t give a hit if I write another book ever again. They think I murdered like 12 people, which I didn’t…”
“Of course you didn’t.”
“AND my oldest friend in the world is some how involved too. Books and writing and the publishers can all rot for what I care right now. Just stop talking and get me to some place without cops, criminals, and journalist.” (Oh yeah this is probably all over the news right? There should be swarms right?)
“Ok, no problem.”


“I’m sorry to bother you but did I see you reading a newspaper earlier?”
“Yup, old fashioned I know.”
“Was there by any chance a crossword puzzle in there?”
“Oh yeah, do you want to give it a try?”
“Yeah, you have a pencil too, I thought I’d give it a go. My battery is dying and I’m running out of ways to play Eye Spy by myself.”
They laughed together and Cassandra knew she was all set up, in like Flynn, and all engines go.


They finished the crossword together.  When the coffee shop closed they went to a diner. Coincidentally the same place Sylvie took her. And at the end of the night, they exchanged numbers and went to their seperate homes.
She walked back to the hotel through dark and dirty streets. People were few and far between and traffic moved quickly instead of bumper to bumper. The air was the same though, stinky and repulsive but tolerable now. She could almost dance down the streets now. She found her WHATEVER THE RIGHT CHARACHTERS NAME IS. All right was with the world.



The brownstone they’d rented on her behalf with her money was exactly the sort of place she would have chosen for herself. The neighborhood was quite with an almost suburban feel. There wasn’t a person or car moving on the street, save Christie and Stella and the town car that dropped them off pulling away from the curb.
The door opened on a pre-furnished open living space with a quant living room and a a dining table for 8 behind that. She couldn’t see the kitchen but she was more interested in getting to a bedroom alone so she could stop listening to Stella micromanage her life.
“It’s a six months lease right now, with an option to renew,” Stella said, being the standard agent. “It’s probably best if you don’t go out much, you know keep a low profile. We can get food and groceries delivered or anything you need really. Except cigarettes and alcohol, I guess.”
“I don’t smoke,” Christie said absent-mindedly ignoring that since her second or third day in the city she’d done little else.
“All right, well, when you do you have to do it outside, there’s a tiny back patio. Also, if the need should arrive, I can get you an assistant to run errands for you, pick up whatever you need.  The press will be unpredictable at this point, Lyndsey doesn’t want them hounding you every step.” She check the small gold watch on her left wrist. “It’s pretty late. I think I’ll crash on the couch tonight. Lyndsey will be here first thing to go over some legal intricacies and your case. Why don’t you head up stairs and try to get some rest.”
“Whatever,” she said all ready have way up the stairs with her suitcase.
The entire car ride had been nothing but instructions and information and listening to one half of various phone calls that started with ‘Sorry it’s so late’. All ‘give a shit’ had been used up and exhausted, she didn’t even want to yell at Nikki now you had been hanging out all evening but not saying anything. She couldn’t remember any time that had happened before and quickly decided it was more annoying than her constant commentary, berating, or other usual antics.
There were two rooms upstairs and a bathroom. Using her best guess she ended up in the master bedroom and promptly crashed on the queen bed.

The morning came too soon. This room didn’t have black out curtains like the hotel did and even though the sun was already setting by 5:30 pm, it still rose around 6:45.
It wasn’t the sun alone that woke her. She could hear Stella moving downstairs, brewing coffee and making phone calls already. She didn’t grumble or try to go back to sleep, she rambled to her feet like a zombie on automatic and dragged her suitcase in to the bathroom. She need a shower to wash off jail grime, a toothbrush to obliterate the day old taste of her mouth, and an outfit that said not guilty. She could probably already use that assistant Stella mentioned the night before to run to a store and find her exactly that outfit, and a pack of Camel 100’s.


Nikki followed her downstairs, still silent. She really didn’t know what to make of that. She wasn’t speaking, she wasn’t glaring, she wasn’t starting shit, or knocking things over or threatening, any fucking thing. She watched Christie eat breakfast and listened patiently while Stella made phone call after phone call like her life depended on it. She was literally the specter at the feast and on top of shit hurricane her life had become, this new development was the probable the most unnerving.
“Are you listening, Christie?”
Of course she wasn’t listening, she was too busy watching Nikki watch her. “Yup.”
Stella continued talking. Christie continued not listening. Nikki continued watching them both.


Helen and Jennifer met at SOME HOSPITAL. It was Jennifer’s first day. Helen had been there the longest of any of the kids. Or that was the rumor anyway. Helen didn’t talk then. That was Jennifer’s favorite thing about her. She was so quiet. They were together for 18 month that time and Helen never said a word.

She didn’t have anything for or against Lyndsay Sawyer or almost rhyming name and occupation. Lawyer Sawyer. Lawyer Sawyer. Lawyer Sawyer. Still Christie wished she didn’t  talk so much or ask so many questions. In fact, since breakfast, she wished both Sawyer and Stella would leave and let Christie get on with it.
They kept acting like there were all these things to do. Statements to be made, Tweets to compose, blog posts to be written, motions to be filed. Once again casually ignoring everything she wanted.
She wanted to let it blow over. She wanted to find Helen. She wanted to be left out of whatever had to be done even though she didn’t agree that anything needed to be done.
She was innocent. Maybe, indirectly guilty, but certainly not legally liable. And honestly, the indirect way this was her fault, people wouldn’t even blame her because all she did was write the books. She didn’t even really break up with Helen, the state did that for her, and that was on Cassandra anyway.


Thanks for Reading!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 22



This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 22
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,509  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21

He was going to a cafe where he worked. At first she just thought it was a pit stop. He ordered a grilled sandwich and an orange blossom tea and sat at a table and read a newspaper. When she saw that he was endeared to him immediately. Bronx of course wouldn’t be so attached to modern technology, he was centuries old. He didn’t eschew it entirely just preferred analogue when he had the chance.
She order a hot apple cider to warm up her hands mostly and sat across the cafe from him waiting for him to go. She didn’t even consider she was about to spend the next four to six hours there or that over that span of time she would have to come up with some reasonable activity to do. No, instead she watched him eat, sip, and read and imagined what it would be like to cuddle up in bed on such frigid night. Or maybe on a sunny Saturday morning after breakfast in bed.
She hadn’t thought like that in a long time. If she wasn’t she, she’d slap herself.

Once again I’m severely regretting my lack of research. I’ve never had much need for research before and I’m a pantser after all. I knew there would be a police investigation or at least a detective in the story but I didn’t know it would be this involved or that it would include a cop viewpoint. At least not a cop view point while he was working. Damn me and my self-challenge to eschew typical romance cliches and not have the number suspect strike up a sexy love thing with the male cop investigating her. Also, damn my eyes for making this shit so crazy and a twist so juicy that I basically have to include a heavy investigation pov to make it work. But fuck, I’m really not looking forward to trying to do the research to make this shit work.
Okay enough complaining and damnation, here’s what needs to happen here: Christie’s lawyer needs to be there. I’m going with Stella  found a criminal defense attorney and got him on retainer and had him no her come down to the station but she can’t actually see her client because Christie has not requested a lawyer at all. So she basically goes in with her client as soon as she asks but she wants to get her out and stop having her talk to the police or at least immediately end the interview to the next day. For suspense I guess or to thwart Christie’s desire to talk.  So I guess I need to figure out how soon bail hearings occur, or can you get an emergency one if you’re a celebrity, or does she have to spend the night in jail and then . . . What exactly kind of jail or detention center would it be? I also really, really, really need to figure out if she is arrest for something like obstruction of justice for not coming in voluntarily or can she actually be charged with murder at this point OR can she really be held without being charged for 24 hours and hat exactly that entails.
I also need to know if a lawyer would encourage a “I’m being framed” approach with the cops or if she we would hold back the crazy fan theory. Because Christie definitely has to tell somebody that the victims all resemble tertiary and quadrary (is that a word) characters from her novels. All people who get killed by Nikki or the other fictional characters/criminals of her novels. I really want her to tell Stella, especially first but short of getting out of custody that same day, I don’t really know how to make that happen.
So, let’s go ahead and write some of these scenes and let’s just avoid the super police/law ones. Or Just write the bullshit and write all the possible scenarios. Fuck yeah, that’s a ton of words.

A lawyer was there sooner than she expected like they just had some waiting in the wings at the station. She didn’t have to call anyone or do anything.
“Officer I’d like to speak in private with my client.”
Officer Roderiguez who’d been staring her down for minutes now left but left the residue of her judgmental silence behind.
“Well Christie, I’m Lindsey Sawyer, I’ve been retained on your behalf by Stella, your agent, and I’ve already been working on your behalf. First, I want to ask, was it clear that you could ask for a lawyer at any time? Or did you ask for a lawyer sooner and was either ignored or told one was on the way but you could keep talking in the meantime?”
“Um, I don’t know. I mean, no I didn’t ask but no it wasn’t clear to me that I could ask for a lawyer at any time.”
“But you did sign the waiver, waiving your rights?”
“Yes, but I didn’t exactly read it. I mean, I thought I was here just for questioning. I mean, obviously but not really as a suspect but maybe as a witness or maybe. I don’t know, I don’t know what I thought it was all very sudden. Just quite sudden.”
“Ok. Did anyone explain them to you or offer to help you understand them?”
“I don’t know maybe, I wasn’t paying attention. I was too scared.”
She was saying whatever came into her head to not make her sound like a total airhead. This lawyer was so professionally intimidating in her black and navy pantsuit her, leather branded lap top bag, and high heels that made her as tall as a modern amazon, even when sitting down. In comparison, Christie, who was dressed for travel, looked like . . . Well like she could barely dress herself. She was competent enough to make it through her own contracts but too rattled to take care of her own rights.
“Ok. Well, first off well be getting you out of this station tonight. You have a bail hearing later this afternoon where I’ll likely be able to get you bail but probably due to your history and wealth is bound to be pretty healthy. On the hand we where able to rent you a place to stay while this gets cleared and and if you’re amenable to it we can maybe get it down if you wear tracking gear (I have no idea if this is a thing but it sounds good) Is that ok?”
“Sure, that’s perfect, anything to get me from staying a night in holding or detention or whatever they have here. Never again, please. I need to be somewhere sane.”
“Great. Do you have a passport because you’ll probably have to surrender it.”
“I don’t carry it around with me. It’s in a desk drawer back in Virginia. But I’m not going to go anywhere. I want this solved and if it is Helen. . .”
“Who’s Helen?”
“She’s the one who had the phone. . .”
“What phone?”
What prep was she doing if she doesn’t know anything about the case?
Oh no, don’t you dare. You shut the fuck up and I’ll deal with you later.
Some people are so touchy.
You are impossible!
“Christie?”
“Um what. . . What was I talking about?”
“A phone and snd someone named Helen.”
She was taking notes on phablet, swiping across its surface, scrolling down to look back at her notes, and barely breaking eye contacts.
“Right, Det. Riley found a phone registered to me near one of the Ripper victims, but it’s not my current phone, it’s an older one I gave to a friend, Helen. So, I know I didn’t commit murder and I don’t want to beleive that Helen did either. Whatever it is, I want to help her. So I have no intention of leaving town, Ms. Sawyer.”


“CAn I get another hot apple cider and I think a shortbread cookie this time.”
“No problem, That’s $7.50.”
She paid with money she picked from someone’s pocket (or something, if she can do this why didn’t she do it earlier?).
“Do you mind if I ask you something,” he said
“No not at all.”
“Are you waiting for some one or did you maybe get stood up? I don’t mean to be rude or anything but you’ve been here a while and, well it just looks like you’re waiting.”
“Oh, yeah, I was meeting a blind date but I guess he chickened out or something. Now, I’m just a little to sad to go home alone.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I shouldn’t asked. What a jerk, you know. He could’ve at least texted. And…
“ He handed her her drink. “It might be, well whatever to say, but you’re very beautiful.”
She a faked a demure humility she didn’t posess. “Oh thank you, you didn’t have to say that.”
“He’s missing out.”
Her smile, her blush, the flutter of her heart was real enough and years since the last time she felt that way.



Thanks for Reading!


Monday, November 28, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Write What You Know, Part 21


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 21
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,314  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20

For a hair of a second, Detective Riley wanted to argue like his was in a college level literature class about how fiction should be escapism and on average “real life” isn’t that bizarre. The thought that brought him back to Earth wasn’t that this was a police interrogation and not a lit class but that he was investigating a bizarre case of murders and that the recently elected President of The United States was a reality tv star instead of . . . A million other more reasonable options. Naturally he let the issue drop, since, like he mentioned it was a police investigation. Also, he didn’t want to lose an argument to rather bizarre suspect.
“How about this? Where does this Helen person live now?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“No.”
“Then, how did you give her your phone?”
Christie only wanted a handful of things at the moment and the number one thing on that list was to stop talking about this goddamn phone. So much so that she started thinking about how long it would take her to create time travel technology and go back in time to the moment she gave Cassandra (it was definitely Cassandra at the time, though she had really wished it was Helen) the fucking phone and killed one or both of them just so she wouldn’t have to be having this conversation right now. (And I could stop writing it)
“Oh my God, last time I was in New York, during my last book tour, approximately two years ago, I randomly ran into her on the street like it was serendipity. Or it sort of felt like that at the time, now it feels like a curse or doom.  We had a few drinks, a couple of meals together and life wasn’t going so great for her at the time. I offered to help her out, let her stay with me back home or even in my hotel room at the time,, or even just some cash or a check but she refused everything but the cell phone. I was going to get a replacement soon anyway, so we went to a Sprint store, I got my new, transferred all my data and number and I gave her the old one. I said I would cover the service cost until she got on her feet again but we didn’t really stay in touch and I didn’t want to cut her off, so I just kept paying the bill. Are you happy, Nosey Parker?” She’d started irked and ended up exasperated. She even banged her fist once during her speech but she was seriously done with this goddamn phone business.
He wished he had a word counter so he could see if that was the most she’d said since the interrogation began. As soon as she was done she went right back to avoiding contact and chewing her nail, on her index finger this time.
“Ms. Fields, I don’t know if you’ve forgotten or really ever noticed, or let it sink in the first time, but this isn’t a mid morning talk show interview or The New York Review of Books. I’m not doing this for fun or entertainment. This is a police station and you’re under suspicion for murder. So in this case, I’m going to ask as many questions as I need to to get a satisfactory conclusion, whether it’s inconvenient, annoying, or prying for you.”


When he finally, finally, finally got done studying, Cass was so stiff from sitting in the same position that she almost lost him just outside the library. If that had happened she would had to go off mission, let off a little rage. But she limbered up and improved her pace just in time to see which corner he walked around. She followed at a distance of about three yards, tracking him easily because of his bright green scarf and navy pea wool coat in a sea of black.
His brightness made the rest of the world seem grey. Something similar happend with sylvia (the piano player) (and did it? Are you sure? Did you mention it? Because you def should. . . If you haven’t already). Not literally black and right but desaturated, almost like walking through a snow storm or a foggy morning.
He walked leisurely like he was in no hurry, going no where in particular. She was more curious than she’d been with any other victim before. Not bout he’d look with his liver ripped out but where he was going, what he’d been studying in the library, what did his apartment look like, was he waiting for her too and long would they be together before the inevitable happened?

“Yes, detective,” she said meekly.
“Having said that, yes I am happy because, for the first time, we’re actually getting somewhere though I’m still having trouble believing you because, “ he started laying out different sheets of paper with strings of numbers in columns and rows. Helle n tried to understand the information but it just looked like repetitive indecipherable gibberish. One of the papers had a map, an outline really, of the United States with city hopping lines running back and forth across it. “This phone has been everywhere you’ve been recently for the same amount of time that you’ve been a visitor in each of the metropolises.”
“What?” She picked up one of the papers for  closer look and she still couldn’t understand it. She looked closer at the map but for all it told her it could have been the flight plans for a Southwest flight. “I don’t understand. I mean it doesn’t make sense.”
“Either you’re still lying and you’ve had the phone this whole time, until you murdered Jack Bronson on Wednesday night or you’re lying and you’ve seen Helen a lot more recently and you’re working together.”
Christie wasn’t listening or responding, she was thinking. Thinking slowly and foggily, like the gears of her brain had rusted over and were jammed with cobwebs but were starting to grind back to life. There was something. Something there. Something she should have seen earlier, something she should have remembered.
“I’m not lying but . . . But I think . . . I think I might know something. Maybe.” She was not sure at all that she should have said that. In fact, it felt very wrong coming out of her mouth. Like she’d reached the end of her depth of her knowledge gleaned from Law & Order, CSI, and Forensic Files. Then as suddenly as she as realized that, she heard a sound, or felt a force, something a bit like a vacuum seal coming undone. A shift in the air, the feeling of the room, everything. The room wasn’t as quiet as she thought it was, the air smelt like stale coffee and not scentless like she described before. The light was too bright and the colors too vivid. And the room was very small. Like claustrophobic small.
Had she been far away when she observed before? Did she have an out of body experience? Did she temporarily become a 3rd person narrator to her own life? Because now it was all too real, all too overwhelming, and wholly different than before.
“What do you know, Ms. Fields?”
Wesley felt the shift too but less dramatically as Christie. He saw the shift in her eyes. No longer far away or glazed over like she was looking beyond reality, instead her eyes were hard beads, pinpoint pupils and too much white, frantic and manic, like a terrified rabbit. As if she just realized the trouble she was in (or that she actually did do it). Det. Riley was very very familiar with this look. The interview was over.
“I think . . . I think . . . I need my lawyer now,” she said.
That’s what all the rabbits say. (Is this genius or absurd?)



Thanks for Reading!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Write What You Know: Part 20


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 20
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,881  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19

The second Riley left the room Christie was out of her seat. She waited a moment and tried the door which was definitely locked then just walked the room - cameras be damned.
Shit, shit, shit. What do we do now?
There was no response, no presence, no sass. Nikki had fled to where ever the fuck she goes when she decides to abandon her.
Fuck you. Just… seriously Nikki, fuck you.
She chewed on her thumb because her tongue had had enough and she wasn’t keeping up appearances any more.
Could she ask for a lawyer now? Could she do that after signing away her rights? The waiver she signed probably actually told her the details and intricacies of her rights but she didn’t read it or  pay attention to officer explaining it, again because of Nikki. If she asked would it make her look guilty? Even more guilty rather? Detective Riley obviously thought she was guilty as sin.
But it really shouldn’t matter how it looks because if it was her right then it was her right. It probably isn’t even admissible as evidence of guilt, like the results of lie detector test so her worrying about it is irrelevant. Still she didn’t know what to do so all she had was to worry.


She didn’t know when she found him that he would be quite so boring. She wasn’t even a couple of hours into stalking, one of her favorite parts in most cases but her Bronx was decidedly studious. He didn’t leave the library, he didn’t even leave the reading room. He turned exactly 33 pages and took 5 pages of notes. He didn’t get up to stretch. He didn’t go to the bathroom. He didn’t get a drink or get a snack. He didn’t even change books.
Cass sat in a chair and flipped slowly through a novel but she was so bored she thought she might actually read it instead as using it as a prop. And on top of it she didn’t know what time it was or how long she’d been there (so go change that part earlier at a time when words don’t count). With no cell phone, no clock, and no watch, they could have been there for hours or for five minutes.  It made her want to crawl the walls. It was almost enough to make her run in there and do something crazy. (This would go better if you knew what happened in the books, you sort of abandoned them and now it’s come back to bite you).


Once again Det. Riley stamped his stack of paper on the table.
“Ok, again, thanks for your patience. I’m sorry for the interruption. Now, you were just about to tell me that this cell phone found in a blood pool of a murder victim is yours. So, why don’t you have a seat and we can keep talking.”
 For a moment she stood there hunched and gnawing herself like their very first interview, before she sat back across from.
“Like I said, I can explain. That is my phone. Well, was mine. I don’t know. I mean, I guess I might still pay for the service but it isn’t actually my phone.”
He waited for more story but was too busy or preoccupied with chewing her left thumb this time to continue he supposed because that what she did and said nothing else.
He tried to draw her out. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.”
“That cell isn’t my any more,  gave it to a friend.”
“You gave it to a friend?”
She nodded her head in the affirmative. She wasn’t looking at him anymore either. Her eyes were fixed on the phone records and photos across the table from her but he had a feeling that she wasn’t actually looking at them either.
“I’m sorry but I don’t believe that. I mean to start with, that’s pretty generic.”
“Nobody . .. “ She mumbled into her hand.
“I’m sorry, nobody what?”
She took her thumb from her mouth longer enough to repeat herself. “Nobody believes me.”
What he did want to believe was that she was working on her not guilty by reason of mental insanity defense right, she did have the history for such and claim, and she seemed clever enough to pull it of, or at least one side to her did, but his instinct told him that was the case. If she wasn’t working on a defense or putting on an act, he had the sneaking feeling that belfry bats were coming loose.
“How long ago did you give it to a friend? Maybe on Wednesday night?”
“Like a year ago. Maybe two. Last tour. Ask Stella.”
Usually it took hours or days for a suspect to act like this broken down, to suddenly change their sentence structure. There would come tears or denials first. Stalls or shifting blame first. She was shutting down with practically no pressure, far too early. If she closed him out now, there would be no confession, there would be no more interviews even, she would get a just pass go, do not collect $200, go strait to the mental facility. And there goes his case too. And on the off chance she was actually innocent, there goes his job and reputation too.
“Christie, is there anything I can get for you? Water? Coffee? Should we take a little break maybe?”
He actually wanted to offer her a friend, like her agent still sitting out in reception area making phone calls while glaring his task force down. Hell, even a lawyer, in the off chance it would relieve enough pressure to keep her from going comatose and medical examination. With a lawyer there was a chance she could  or would still talk.
“No, thank you,” she said quietly.
“All right, what’s the name of your friend?”

There were two factors keeping Cass glued to the increasingly uncomfortable libra reading chair. The fact that Bronx was so attractive and he came perfectly on the heels of the piano player, Silvia. ( You know why she is suddenly callling her this so go back and write in so everone else knows too.) and he was a match for match description of Bronx Daggers from the ‘NRaged series. The one set to die next in her series of murders. (OK, BLEW THAT LOAD TOO EARLY AND IT ISN’T BRONX SHE’S MEANT TO KILL NEXT IS IT? WOULDN’T SHE WANT WHOEVER THE MAIN LOVE INTEREST IS? I DONT KNOW, SORT THIS OUT)

“Helen Richards.”
If the interview was suddenly switching gears from witty repartee to tooth pulling, he was going to have to get a lot more specific with his questions and quicker at firing them off.
“And where does this Helen Richards live”
“I don’t know.”
“Well how and when snd why did you give her you own phone?”
“Sometimes she goes by Cassandra.”
Wesley didn’t know what to do with that.
“Or Cassie.’
“Ok. . .”
“Or Cas.”
“So she has more names than you do?” He muttered to himself, frustrated that once again he’d lost control of the interrogation reigns to chaos again.
“I have one name like everyone else because I’m. . .” She wanted to say she was one person just like everyone else but she had the distinct impression that sounded like a weird thing that someone who may not in fact be only one person would say. “I’m normal just like everyone else.” She wasn’t sure that was actually any better but it did of the benefit of not suggesting that she is sometimes someone else.
That one little slip, an odd insistence if you really unpacked it (and something that will probably give him hell at the trial if he really wanted to give an in-depth analysis), might just be the detail that gave him back control from his increasingly distant and odd suspect. “Now see, how am I suppose to believe you gave this phone to a quote unquote friend if you’re going to tell me fibs like that. Legally, you’ve used two different names but at various times you’ve given the police additional names including Nikki and oh look, you’ve even used Cassandra or Cassie yourself. So did you give the phone to yourself or are you lying?”
“You see,” she said with more enthusiastic blame than she meant to. She tried again, softer this time, “You see, no one believes me.”
“I want to believe you Christie, I really do. But you’ve got to be more cooperative,” he said. And more detail oriented and forthcoming and admit that you did it,  he thought.
“Helen Richards was a friend I know from growing up we met at SOME HOSPITAL/FACILITY. After that we’d occasionally end up in the same place. We even lived together a bit after our last release.” She stumbled over the last part and sort of tried to mumble it too. She didn’t want to go in to the real details of that if she didn’t have too. The main part she needed to do is make it clear that she didn’t have the phone any more and maybe even separate herself from Helen and/or Cassandra if it turns out she was responsible.
“And how long were you … living together?” he said, now taking notes. (He’s going to corroborate your story, like on tv).
It didn’t sound like he believed her then, like she said, no one ever did. To be fair, she had a habit of not telling the truth either. She wasn’t sure which actually came first. She tended to believe it was the former. “About a year until. . .”
 She didn’t want to tell him (surprise, surprise). He didn’t want to talk about any of this but she also didn’t want to spend a single night in jail. On the other hand,  she wasn’t use to sharing these intimate details at all. In fact it was the exact opposite of the reputation and personality she’d crafted thirteen years. So no she wasn’t going to mention that they actually dated for that year but that Cassandra got increasingly possessive and jealous until neither Nikki or Christie could stand it and broke up in a huge fight, verbal and physical, that resulted in yet another police arrest and a few weeks later Helen/Cassandra went back to the very hospital they met. Detective Riley didn’t need to know that because it had nothing to do with the case or anything of recent note in Christie’s life, besides the whole phone issue.
“Until she moved out.”  She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t grass on Helen like that and the result was the same. Whether she left voluntarily or being dragged off by orderlies threaten h-drone.
“Okay so you guys broke up about ten years ago but somehow in the last couple of years, at some in-determined point, you gave her your phone.”
“Well, yes.”
“I still don’t believe you. This story is barely above ‘I was holding it for a friend’. You would think a writer could come up with a better fiction.”
“Actually the best way to write a believable, and therefore good fiction, is to make it just as bizarre and disappointing as real life.”



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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Part 19


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 19
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,815  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18

When shit got real, Nikki evaporated like a ghost. It was a very annoying habit actually. As long as anything was fun, dangerous, exciting, she would be right there in the thick of it ready fuck shit up but when the cops, parents, or doctors showed up she fled the scene like the guilty bitch she was, and  left Christie holding the bag.
Like the infamous disemboweling incident. That asshole was one of Nikki’s boyfriends, Christie barely knew him. Nikki and he got in a fight over some chick they both hooked up with, on separate occasions. Started out as a shouting matched, graduated to a wrestling match, ended in punching when she got the upper-hand. The chick they were fighting over was the witness. She’d been sent to the hospital for promiscuity and self- cutting. She’d been the one with the knife, egging Nikki on to use it, and trying to use it on Nikki instead when she declined. Well, actually, Christie was who she’s tried to stab because Nikki peaced out the second she spotted the first security guard coming at her from across the dining hall.
The knife broke her skin actually. The scar was still a dark purple spot to the left of her belly button. She could have moved out of range if she knew that she was in the middle of physical danger but the abandonment was so sudden and unexpected that she didn’t have time. She too would have liked to disembowel Nikki with a a pocket knife.
Nikki would say it was Christie’s fault for writing her with such over confidence going into ever adventure with the exuberance of happy puppy and the ego of a rockstar. Christie stopped trying to argue about who created who pretty early on in their aquantaince.
Now Christie found herself holding a picture of her cell phone still stained with a police detective’s blood and no response.  Nikki had actually handled her part of the interview so well, Christie stopped preparing any answers in her head. So she looked guilty as hell when it came to this final and most important of all the responses.
“Ms. Fields? Is that your cell phone?”
“IT’s not what you think,” she said.

She hated being out in the world during the day. The sun was too bright. There were too many people, too many cars, too much of everything. She had to be out today because she was still missing something after holding back with the piano player the other night. She still couldn’t find where that ungrateful troll Helen hid the money or phone so she had to walk the streets instead of taking the cab she would prefer. Cabs were generally just as smelly and noisy as the streets of New York but they moved quicker and were on a whole, so much less.
She wasn’t sure where she was going until got there, she was just compelled to go, despite the hassle and annoyance. She had to move forward, like she was being tugged gently forward by an invisible strong string. It tugged and it tugged until she lost track of how many blocks she’d trudged.
The problem with this city wasn’t just too many people and too much rushing. The problem wasn’t just the dirt and pollution. The problem was that the buildings were too tall. They blocked out the sky and sun, so you had to look straight up to be sure you were still in the real world. Still on Earth. They blocked the air, so that the breeze had the texture and stale, garbage smell of the recycled airline air that had con through too many cycles. It could never refresh, never smell clean.  They made her feel trapped, claustrophobic, like a lion captured in a cage. Even in the center of Central Park she still felt those buildings around her, waiting for her to come back out into her clutches.
To be honest, she hated the city any time of day. But she was here, so she was here.

Knock Knock Knock

Finding herself at the library was a pleasant surprise. A little surreal but pleasant. A public library was like a free day time bar minus the drunk perverts and nasty toilets. She really wished thought of it before.
The smell of the library was better than the smell on the street. It was indescribable and took her straight back to her childhood. Was the smell of old books, furniture polish, stale mimeographs, or something else entirely? The smell of magic maybe? The smell of the imaginations of countess authors and loyal readers? How many hours did she spend in a corner of her local library, bathed in that smell and reading every book she  could find?
Today she walked up and down the aisles aimlessly, her fingers trailing against the spines of books, listening to the soft crinkle of the plastic covers, a sound as familiar as the smell. Sometimes she thought her mom encouraged her to read at an early age just so she could drop her off at the library for free daycare and babysitting. At least until she was sent away forever.
Her aimless walk through thousand of stories lead her to a reading room with one young man diligently reading and taking notes. He was by far the best looking man her muse (vices?) led her too.
He wore a navy sweater over a creamy button up. His corduroy slacks matched the walnut shade of the desk he sat at. His chestnut hair fell into his sea-green eyes and every few seconds he pushed it back. She needed an excuse to talk to him which was more difficult in a library than at a bar. If she could get a look at his subject matter she could wait in the stacks until he emerged for another book but that would only work if he actually needed another book and he didn’t already have everything he intended to read. If she had money she could run out, buy pens and notebooks, and pretend she was studying too, Maybe play  act frustrated enough to start up a commiseration convo. Finally, if he wasn’t in the reading room, at all she could maybe talk about any book topic - talking was forbidden in in the reading room after all. (Alternatively: She could easily start a convo by asking for directions within the library or help finding a book but the reading room was tucked on the bottom floor in the back of the building past at least one circulation desk and several librarians.
It wasn’t all bad news though - if she found a good vantage point,  watched him from afar, waited for him to leave and follow him to a more social setting and approach him then. Stalking was almost as much fun as the stabbing itself.


ANSWER THE DOOR

Officer Gimlet stuck his head in the door and Detective Riley wanted to slam it shut on his neck and be the first person of human strength to fucking decapitate somebody.
“You should come take a look at this, boss.”
He said nothing because he was afraid if he opened his mouth only a string of curse words would leave it and give away the absolute rage quit levels of anger he’d reached just now and ruin the entire dynamic of the interrogation. He hoped the silence would still sound heavy and judgmental and keep the pressure on Fields/Transom so they could pick up exactly where they left off. He wished for the strength to not actually kill Gimlet.
Outside of interrogation, O’ Ryan  grabbed Gimlet by the elbow and pushed him towards his desk.
“Listen. . .”
He kept his voice down but  his anger and disgust was obvious. “You listen,  Gimlet, and listen very, very well you just fucked up incredibly and if I can’t go back in the and get this suspect to confess or she lawyers up, I will have no problem throwing you under the bus and letting the great gears of bureaucratic finger pointing crush you career to dust. While I’ve got you here, call me boss one more time and I’ll take out back and punch you til you piss blood (super cliché, like most of this dialogue but it will do til I figure it out). Now, what the fuck do you have that is so goddamn important you had to interrupt my interview.”
“I’m sorry. . . Sir but we finally we received those records from the phone company, including the gps data of where the phone was when the calls were made and . .. . Well you’ll want to take a look at this.” He wouldn’t meet his eyes when he spoke like a scolded child and his voice had the right amount of recalcitrant which gave Wes some satisfaction but not enough. (Find out if the phone company has this info or if it’s data that’s taken from the cell phone itself by police techs and seriously, what’s the point of watching every Forensic Files episode if you don’t actually learn this shit.)
Gimlet handed him the records, on which he’d already highlighted and circled relevant information but through the lenses of anger and frustration Riley could only see a useless group of letters and numbers that refused to form themselves into useful information.
“Just tell me, Gimlet.”
“Well, sir, the data shows that the phone was active all the cities where Ms. Fields or Transom or whatever visited recently on her book tour.”
“Ok, well, that’s not. . .”
“That’s not everything, sir. On a hunch, I guess, I decided to see if there were similar unsolved stabbings in the same cities and, we’ll sir, there were several.”
He handed him more papers. They were police reports and descriptions, practically carbon copies of their own reports. One or two in each of the tour cities, nothing close to the numbers in New York.
“Are you serious? And no one else had or has any leads?”
“No sir, every fingerprint is smudged or isn’t in the system. There’s nothing linking them to anyone or each other. The phone is the biggest break.”
“I steal need the confession to seal the deal though.”
“Sorry about breaking your rhythm but I thought this was, you know, important.”
“No, you were right. Good job, whatever (his rank is).”
“Thank you, detective. Let me know if you need anything else.”
“Actually, can you get more information from the detectives working these cases? Also, maybe the synopsis of Christie Fields books? Whether she confesses or not, I think I have enough circumstantial evidence to charge her for the murders here. I’d like to know as much about her as I can by the next interrogation, on top of any evidence or details we can get about these other case.”
“No problem, b-…sir.”



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