Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Of Moving and WIPpets...

We are mostly moved in to our new place. There's still a few items we left behind at the old apartment, but we're going back to clean this weekend, so we can grab them then. In the mean time we're unpacking, organizing, and repacking and storing the things we don't need.

My husband did get my new sewing room set up despite all the chaos. It's actually quite nice; I have plenty of room to sew, store my various supplies, cut out patterns and fabric, and since it's separate from the house, I don't have to worry about our cats interfering with any of the above. Sadly the room doesn't have much in the way of insulation, so it's normally hotter than hell when I go in there - even if go out early in the morning! There is an AC wall unit though, so I just turn that on, wait about a half an hour for it to cool everything down, then head on in and get to work.

And, boy, have I been making use of that sewing room a lot since we moved in. Two orders for corsets came in before we moved, an order for a bodice came in the day of the move, and currently I'm waiting for someone to pay for a shirt before I start on that.

Unfortunately, because of the move and all the sewing going on, I haven't been able to do much writing this past week. However, I did find a snippet of something I wrote a couple of years ago to share for my Wednesday WIPpet. From what I remember, it was one of those ones that had to be written RIGHT NOW even though I never did anything else with it (maybe someday though...)

This takes place in an alternate world that's very similar to ours except they had WW3 and we didn't. The girl in the snippet, Stacy, also called Stasia, was visiting a foreign country that's strongly based on Russia and the USSR, but currently doesn't have a name, when she saw too much and was basically taken into custody. She managed to escape, but things happened, and she was arrested. The men who work for the organization that originally took her into custody have come to claim her and take her back.

So, since today is the 28th of May, here are 28 paragraphs from that snippet (don't worry, they're mostly short and it's mostly dialogue)
The girl sat behind the table in the interrogation room, her head bowed so that her greasy hair hid her faced. It was the most subdued Ruslan had ever seen her, and he found himself wondering what exactly had happened in the days since her escape from the institute. The file in his hands accused her of theft and murder. He could believe the theft - she had been alone without any money, of course she would steal food to survive - but murder? She wouldn’t hurt a fly! 
He glanced at Nikolai and then up at the security camera in the corner. Even though they were well out of the range of Illyana’s relay abilities, a quick nod confirmed that the other man understood what his captain wanted. He leaned against the cement brick wall, looking nonchalant but serious, as if he was going to play the bad cop to Ruslan’s good cop. A few seconds later, the camera emitted a short sharp buzz and a puff of smoke. Then, from behind the two way mirror came cries of dismay as the recording equipment hidden in the observation room was given the same treatment as the security camera. 
“Stacy.” Ruslan pulled out the only other chair in the room and sat across the table from the girl. 
The girl didn’t respond. Instead, she just continued to stare at her hands, clenching and unclenching them and rubbing them together. 
“Stasia...” He reached out to grab her hands, but she flinched and pulled away. “You’re safe now.”
Her bitter laughter startled him. “Am I? Really? Feels like I’m right back where I started at.”
“What did you expect?” Nikolai said, pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his jacket pocket. He slapped the top of the pack on his hands, once, twice, three times, before he unwrapped it. “Did you think the army and the good doctors would let you go?”
“Do you think anyone back home would honestly believe me if I tried to tell them anything? No one remembers who I am anymore!” She finally looked up and glared at Nikolai, her eyes flashing in the dim light of the interrogation room.
“Better safe than sorry.”
“Nikolai, silence.” Ruslan ordered. “Stacy, ignore him.”
“Yes, sir.” Both replied. Nikolai’s tone was that of a lifelong soldier. The girl’s, however, reminded him of a petulant teenager. 
He flipped open the file the police had given him. “Now, you are currently accused of murdering two citizens -”
“They were thugs. They tried to...” Her voice trailed off and she glanced down at her hands again.
Ruslan leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and tried to focus lest the sudden anger boiling in his veins threatened to overtake him. This is why he had been so against her little field trip with Kiril. Not only was she a flight risk, but a beautiful thing like her would present quite a target for those citizens who were upset with how the war had ended. “So you were assaulted.”
“They tried - they didn’t succeed.” Her voice was so soft he almost missed it at first. 
“So you did kill them.” Nikolai spoke up again, breaking his superior’s order. “How? You suck at hand to hand combat. The self defense you do know is rudimentary at best. You have not been trained on guns or knives.”
Ruslan was tempted to turn around and tear into the man, but a sight of the girl clenching her fists again distracted him. Yes, she was horrible at all the things Nikolai was listing off, but there were other ways. He flipped through the file to the picture of the bodies the police had found her with - they had been burnt to a crisp so badly that not even dental records could be used to identify the bodies. 
“Stacy,” He kept his voice soft as he slid the picture in front of her. “Did you do this to them?”
Now it was Nikolai’s turn to burst out laughing as finally pulled a cigarette from the pack he had opened. “Her? Have you forgotten your little pet is as mundane as they come? She has no abilities. Nothing.”
Ruslan knew that, but it was possible that the doctors had snuck her off to experiment on at some point and had Illyana block those memories. Originally they had agreed not to, since she was not a member of the federation, but now that any record of her had been erased from her home country’s files and from her family’s memory as well, what was stopping them from playing with her genes like they had played with the rest of the team’s?
The girl stared at the photo, blinking rapidly. 
“What happened?”
She licked her lips. “Please don’t make me.”
“If we know what happened we can help you.” He grabbed her hands finally, stilling them before she could rub the skin off of them with her constant rubbing. This time she did not flinch or pull away. “Please, Stasia.”
She sighed and closed her eyes. “Fine.”
Ruslan had only a moment’s warning. One moment her hands were simply warm, the next they were unbearably hot. He quickly threw up his shields before she could burn them, but he quickly realized he needn’t worry - her target wasn’t him. There was a yelp of surprise from Nikolai, and Ruslan turned to find that the cigarette the soldier had put up to his lips had burst into flames before he could light it with a match. He slapped it away, and it fell to the floor where quickly turned into ash.
Fire ability - the rarest of them all. 
To see more WIPpet Wednesday posts, go here


  1. Congrats on the move (and the clothing orders... I really envy your ability to sew, Christina; I never had the patience to learn when I would've gotten help with it... now I have to start from scratch).

    Even being mostly dialogue, that was a long excerpt. Interesting enough... though I think you mean "looked at her face" not "looked at her faced" in the first paragraph. Do you think you're ever going to work on that story again? (I find old stories draw me back in after a time. Kind of like the one I'm WIPpetting right now; I've added at least a chapter's worth of story since I restarted it... though not as much in the last few days, mostly editing and reading.) It looks as if you have plenty to work with there.

    1. Thank you :) I'm really glad my Mom took the time to teach me the basics. Simplicity has a great line of patterns for beginners, I would recommend starting there if you're interested in learning (I'd offer to come over and teach like I did for a friend, but I have a feeling you live too far away...)

      It was a bit of a long one, I guess. Ooops, sorry. And yes I did mean 'face' instead of 'faced'. I may start working on it again someday, but there's another older story that I started during Nano a few years back and shelved that needs attention first. However, I need to finish The Undying Ones and The Descendants before I can even consider working on that...

  2. Ooo! Dun, dun duuuun! I like this excerpt. It has some nice tension, even without context. You could almost just turn this part into a short story.

  3. I was actually thinking the same thing--this would be a great short story. Even as is, it's an excellent piece of flash fiction.

  4. You might want to take a peek at this line, "He quickly threw up his shields before she could burn them, but he quickly realized he needn’t worry " Quickly x2. ;) I felt a little lost in this, I'm not sure why. It wasn't until after the midpoint that it began to click.

    Moving. I did that three times one year. Argh. I hope to never have to do it again.

    1. Thanks for catching that! Yeah, it is a snippet of a larger story that I never wrote. It even took me awhile to remember what was going on when I first found it (Ruslan... who was Ruslan... Oh! Him!)

      Ugh. Moving three times in a year? Ugh! We should be at this new place for about a year, year and a half at most. By then we should have enough of our debt paid down, and enough saved up that we might be able to put a down payment on a condo or a manufactured home. It all depends on the market. The husband has sworn that the next time we move he is hiring movers. Of course he said that the last time too, so we'll see if it actually happens.