is to print out what I have written so far and find a nice location to edit and write in. C’s man cave is not proving productive so far!! 6 days ago
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50 pages seems to be my stopping point. I get to page 50, realize I hate what I’ve written and stop.
I’ve done this twice! 1 month ago
My friend asked me if she could borrow what I’ve written so far so she could read it at home. She’s a big talker, so she couldn’t talk and read at the same time. Hoping for feedback this Friday. 4 months ago
I’ve just completely confused myself. Going to leave it for a short while, give this story a rest from me! I’m being overly critical as I’m writing I know, which is blocking the story from being told. 5 months ago
I went a long spell without writing but I’ve been at it pretty intensely the last couple of days. I’m not really sure where or how it’s going to end. But I’m fairly certain it’s going to be pretty AWESOME!!
My goal is 200 pages or 50,000 words. 7 months ago
Tyler and I sit next to each other on a table, legs intertwined. In the reflection of the television screen, I can see him smiling at me. He breaks his gaze momentarily to tuck a stray hair behind my hair and kiss me gently on the side of my mouth. I feel a warm blush that starts from my heart and spreads its way across my cheeks. I smile back. I concentrate on making sure that his affection for me doesn’t waver and that the teacher is blissfully unaware of me. Glancing around briefly, I notice that everyone else is drawing diagrams and scrawling notes. I think we’re meant to be exploring the different camera angles or some other such crap. Never mind. Either way, I’ll be getting an A for this class like the rest. I tuck myself underneath Tyler’s arm and close my eyes.
Shit. I fell asleep. Tyler has pushed himself away from me with a look of absolute disgust on his face. He is brushing his arm as if to rid them of the heat of me. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and spits. The same mouth that was kissing mine only moments before. I look deep into his eyes, willing them to look at me lovingly without my input. It is of no use. He has swaggered over to his friends and is performing a parody of what can only be me. The teacher is asking me repeatedly why I haven’t taken any notes. Why I don’t even have my books open. Why I don’t have a pen. The rest of the class, who usually look at me with admiration now look upon me with disdain. My breathing quickens and I’m finding it hard to remain upright with so much revulsion swirling uncontained. How could I have been so stupid? I steady myself against the table with my hands. I focus on them all at once with everything I am. Tyler puts his arms around me. The teacher stops asking questions. The rest of the class smile at me one by one before facing the T.V screen once more. Life is as it should be.
Bills are sprawled over the kitchen table, a sea of accusation. I have no idea why the electricity bill has doubled since the last month or what justifies the high council rates, but I do know that I’m struggling to pay them. The largest financial cost however, is Sasha’s medical fees. The secretary from Dr. Carasco’s office rang me last Thursday demanding that I pay immediately. Clenching my teeth, I replied that I couldn’t. You would imagine that health insurance would cover this kind of thing, but they only cover recognized illnesses. Given that Sasha has yet to receive a diagnosis, the company refuses to provide any financial support. I raise my cup of coffee to my lips, blow the steam away and then gently place it back on the table. I lean my elbows on the table and let my head collapse into my hands. I don’t know how we’re going to manage. But we need to. I have to look after my daughter. 7 months ago
With relief, I note that Sasha looks happy and relaxed when she exits the room. Dr. Capella holds the door open for her, a bemused look fixed upon her face. Nothing unusual there, it’s the same one that Dr. Carasco used to wear every Wednesday. Noting Sasha’s unusually good mood, I ask her if she feels like getting a milkshake. She nods her assent and we walk out of the office together.
We sit across from each other in a booth at the back of the café. Strawberry for me, chocolate for her.
“How’s school?” I ask. That old standby.
She has a glint in her eye as she replies:
And then we’re both laughing so hard that our milkshakes splutter everywhere. This feels better. This feels like how a mother/daughter relationship should feel. It breaks the tension, if only momentarily, of the past few months.
Thank goodness Mum didn’t start asking those embarrassing questions about boys. I could sense she was leading up to it and was able to stop her. What is with parents anyway? Well, parent I should say. The man who helped produce me is not really a dominant figure in my life. Merely a shadow. Never mind. One less person I have to steer in the right direction. 7 months ago
Here’s a few things they don’t tell you before you make the decision to have a family. The child you make won’t necessarily be the one that you dreamed of. There will be times when you look at the hatred in your daughter’s eyes and wonder how you came to be the one to put it there. Sometimes, the patience required to raise this child will leave you with little leftover energy for anyone else, let alone yourself.
Sasha scared me today.
Talking to people who are not there belongs in horror movies, to those dressed in child-like clothing stared at on trains. It is not an affliction that I would have ever associated with my life. I am uncertain as to whether I am meant to pretend that I share her hallucinations or if I should prove to her that they don’t exist. If I act as if this is a real person that Sasha has formed a friendship with, does that not encourage her to continue this behaviour which is clearly abnormal? On the other hand, if I discourage it, is that removing from her the one thing that seems to be ensuring her happiness?
Blue orchids stand luminous within a glass vase upon a varnished wooden table. The peculiar nature of the flowers immediately puts me at ease. Surely those who are employed here are accustomed to treating those who are different if they select such unusual blooms for their office. With slightly more confidence, I walk up to the front desk. There always seems to the same type of woman guarding the gate to the inner sanctum. Ruthless bob of blonde hair, fierce red lipstick upon a base of over-done foundation. This one could have been swapped with the one in Dr. Carasco’s waiting room and no-one would have noticed.
“Hi I’m here to-
“Sh!” the secretary holds up a finger bearing a perfectly polished fingernail to match her lipstick. Tapping her pen irritably against the desk, she scribbles a note and then seems to remember that I’m standing in front of her.
“Oh, I’m, that is my daughter, is here for an appointment with Dr. Capella.”
“You’re late.” she responds abruptly.
“Oh, you know how it is with teenagers.” I laugh shortly.
She does not even bother to grace me with a smile in return, but instead replies,
“You’ll have to wait five minutes, the doctor is with another client at the moment.”
“That’s fine.” I say calmly.
Inside I’m planning to take all of the magazines from the rack and leave them spread across the table with the best recipes torn out and hidden within the depths of my handbag.
“Here is the paperwork which needs to be filled out and which you and your daughter need to sign.”
Wearily, I take the seat next to Sasha, who to my surprise, does not object to my sitting so close to her.
Okay, don’t get any ideas that I’m going to go around playing happy families or anything now. It’s just that I’m so exhausted from controlling Tyler that I need to collapse onto the chair. Through bleary eyes, I note the differences between Dr. Carasco’s office and this new one. Flowers on the table. Interesting choice of vase, I can determine just from the glass that people whose heads don’t reach the top of the table don’t come here. There is an absence of fingerprints. Quite impressive really given the nature of the lacquered wood. Maybe there’s someone whose only job is to polish the table. The same rag-tag pile of magazines dumped on a side table. Sometimes I think that the stack of magazines are sold as a torn, complete package specifically for doctors’ waiting rooms. (Now with NEW germs!). Squishy couches facing each other to supposedly encourage conversation. In my brief experience this has been an unsuccessful endeavor given that there is another parent and teenager sitting across from me and we have been avoiding both eye contact and conversation. The dad wears a navy blue shirt which camouflages him against the couch. The teenager leans forward, music blaring, head bobbing. I’m not sure if he is so comfortable here that he is doing this or if he is so uncomfortable that he wants to escape. I know exactly which one I’m feeling.
“Sasha Cliffe?” the secretary says in a clipped tone.
Wearily I get to my feet and drag them one after the other until I reach the door. Every time it’s the same. The drive. The stifled conversation between my mother and myself which clearly indicates that I don’t want to go. Her insistence that she wants what’s best for me. My firm reply that I don’t need help. The only thing that has changed is the person I am now required to control. She smiles patiently at me. Her eyes are kind and framed with a heavy fringe. Unlike Dr. Carasco, she actually dresses in clothes from this century. A floaty top matched with snug-fitting jeans. She tells me to call her Kate. Well, it doesn’t matter what I call her does it? Soon I’ll be controlling her. As soon as she says those dreaded words.
“Well Sasha, shall we start-“
I don’t let her finish the sentence. She sits across from me, smiling serenely at a place on the wall. Good. Now I can daydream until the time is up. I stretch my legs out on the couch and close my eyes. Memories of the afternoon spent with Tyler make me grin like a fool. I love the way his hair flops into his face as he pushes it away impatiently like it’s interrupting what he has to say. I love the look he seems to have only for me. Most of all I love that we can talk to each other. He just gets me, you know?
7 months ago
I glance hesitantly at the small slip of paper on which Dr. Carasco has written the name of this child psychiatrist. Kate Capella the note informs me in barely legible writing. Supposedly I am meant to yet again hand over my daughter to strangers. I have to admit that I feel better that this subsequent so-called specialist is a woman. I’d hazard a guess on her being much younger than Dr. Carasco as well, which can only be an improvement. Hopefully she’s of better use. Sighing, I reach for the phone with one hand and pick up a paperclip with the other.
“Daniel?” I say tentatively.
“Yes, who’s speaking please?” he says with that authoritative tone of voice I used to find so attractive.
“Oh for God’s sake, can’t you recognise the voice of the woman you were married to for fourteen years??”
“…Jennifer. How are you?”
“Oh fine Daniel, I’m just fantastic. Did you happen to remember that you actually have a daughter? Because if you did, or happened to ring her at some stage, you may have noticed that she’s not doing so well.”
“What? What do you mean? What have you done to her?”
I grit my teeth and bend the paperclip, concentrating on the feel of the bend and not letting the words slip out instead.
“Absolutely nothing Daniel.” I say guardedly.
“Then… what is it? What’s wrong with her?” he asks nervously.
“I…don’t know. Neither does the psychologist she was seeing.”
“He felt that he could no longer meet Sasha’s needs.”
“So, what happens now?”
“Sasha’s been referred to a child psychiatrist who specializes in working with teenagers. I’m going to take her and hope for the best. I just thought you would like to know.”
Okay? In disbelief, I stare at the earpiece of the phone which no longer has a voice attached to the other end. The paperclip breaks in two.
I’ve had a smile plastered on my face all day. I feel like a sixty watt light globe. An idiotic-looking one at that. Surely if this was effective advice it would be working by now. Stupid Wiki-how. I don’t even know why I bothered; surely my powers should be enough? Although, I wonder. What would happen if I combined the two? I conjure up a perfect Spring day, the sort that makes couples act in nauseating ways and single people hang their head miserably at their aloneness. At the same time, I focus on altering Tyler’s feelings. Finally, something works. He turns to me smiling and starts walking towards me. A shiver runs along my arms at the extent of my power. He steps out from the huddle of guys, who tease and push against his shoulder so that he stumbles slightly. He brushes them aside, crumbs flicked from the table. Then, before I know it, we’re sitting beneath a ghost gum, talking and laughing as if we’ve known each other forever. Which I guess in a way we have. He is, after all, exactly what I wanted.
In the late afternoon, I pull up to the front of the high school. While I wait, I take a few minutes to admire the grounds. Simple brickwork forms seating areas for the teenagers to sprawl on, grassy grounds and a range of different species of gumtrees. I roll down the window and breathe in deeply the heavy scent of eucalyptus. For just a moment, it calms me. But there is an underlying tang as well-what is that? It can’t be weed? Suddenly I’m fifteen again, hiding behind a friend’s shed at a party, alternating between coughing and giggling. Panicking, I search the slump of teenagers for her. Past the couple making out, past the group of guys kicking a footy, past the girl leafing through a textbook; my gaze swiftly travels. I finally settle on a form that I think is her, but I can’t be sure. Using my hand as a shield against the brilliant sun, I squint into the distance.
It is her. Irritated, I glance at my watch. I told her I would pick her up twenty minutes ago. I am about to step out of the car, slam the door and begin my warpath, but something makes me pause. Sasha seems to be in deep conversation. Her eyes are bright and she’s laughing. I haven’t seen her laugh like that…well, since Daniel left. For a moment I feel relieved. Look at my beautiful daughter, laughing and engaged like that. Of course there can’t be anything wrong with her. The only thing is, when I look closer, there’s no-one there with her. 7 months ago
It stinks in here. Like lavender and something else I can’t quite determine. I suppose the lavender scent is there to calm me down or something. Well it isn’t working. I’m in this room like a tiger in a cage, kicking the wooden leg of the chair with every pulse. I’d leave, if not for my mum sitting right outside the door. I get up and start pacing the room, past the desk, past the chair, past the bookcase. Why is there no window?
On my third trek past the desk, I knock over Dr. Carasco’s photographs one by one. There goes his daughter, his wife, his dog. He sits there placidly, foot tapping to a beat I can’t hear, glasses perched on the end of his nose and a broad grandfatherly smile stretched across his face. I glance at the clock, it’s been fifteen minutes; thirty-five left. I wish I could control time. I can’t, but I can think of a good way to pass it. I stride over to the filing cabinet and turn the small silver key. The doctor is oblivious to what I am doing. In his eyes, I can do no wrong. Carefully I pull out the pile of manilla folders. A bunch of unfiled paperwork…B…C… Ah! There’s me. I slide a nail between the cards and find…nothing. I wasn’t really expecting anything and yet somehow I’m still disappointed. Then I have an idea. I pull the fountain pen out of the pocket of Dr. Carasco’s checkered shirt and flick through one of the other folders. After getting an idea of his handwriting, (Kadie has mild anxiety disorder and Julie has Post Traumatic Stress in case you were interested) I turn back to my own folder and begin to write.
Sasha is a perfectly ordinary 13-year old female and is functioning at a level suited to her age. I see no reason to continue her treatment.
There. Now I won’t have to come to these stupid sessions anymore.
It’s five fifteen. I glance up expectantly at the barrier that I have willingly placed between myself and my daughter. The door opens and I avert my gaze. Sasha and the doctor walk out, both of them look as if they can barely support their own body weight. The doctor’s tiredness I can attribute to his age, but Sasha’s worries me.
“Mrs. Cliffe?” Dr. Carasco asks.
“Can I have a word?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Uh…in private?” He looks pointedly at Sasha.
“Fine! I’ll wait in the car!” She folds her arms into herself and eyes on the ground, storms out of the office. I sigh in exasperation.
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay; it’s a relief to see her respond to anyone actually.”
“She…doesn’t respond to you?”
“No. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. It’s been several months since Sasha first started treatment with me. In those months, I haven’t seen any progress. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to refer her to a specialist.”
“What kind of specialist?”
“A child psychiatrist who specializes in working with teenagers. I’m a general psychologist and don’t feel that my expertise are suited to Sasha’s situation.”
“And which situation would that be?”
“Well…err, I’m not exactly certain in this case, hence the suggestion of taking her to see someone who is better suited to taking care of her.”
It has been weeks and weeks since I started bringing her here, why has he not bothered to tell me before now? Burning with anger, I leave the office.
There is no-one in the car for me to change, to control. Which only adds to my already pissed-off mood. Why am I here? Why are they in there talking about me? There is NOTHING wrong with me. I kick my foot against the dashboard and roll down the window. The sun is no longer appropriate; I close my eyes and conjure a brooding storm. When I open them, the sky is an angry purple and I have one of those moments of vivid clarification. I need a boyfriend.
I mean, how hard can it be, right? I already have everyone at school twirled around my little finger. All I would need to do is exert a little more effort. Then he- whoever he is, (I haven’t quite got that far yet) -can stand up to my mother for me. No more sitting here like an incompetent fool while others talk about me and my so called “problem”. Making decisions about my future like they all know what I want. Man. Why didn’t I think of this before! Now all I have to do is choose my future object of affection.
First of all, he needs to be taller than me. Dad, when he was around that is, was shorter than Mum and they just looked completely ridiculous. Hair should have a certain degree of floppiness, preferably blonde. Blue eyes would be a nice bonus, but I could live without them. But most importantly, he has to be convincing. And articulate enough to do what I can’t. That is, control my mother.
7 months ago
I wrinkle my forehead in concentration, considering my options, which are admittedly limited. I mentally run through the list of names which are called out in home class each morning. Andreas. No. Jayden. No. Eli. Definitely not. As important as this is, I just cannot handle a nose picker. Tyler. Maybe. Actually not maybe, yes. Surely any guy who’s on the debating team has to be at the very least mildly convincing. Plus, he definitely meets the physical criteria. Tyler. Satisfied, I lean my head against the headrest and allow the sun to shine once more.
See that sun? I put that there because I actually got up on the right side of the bed this morning and wanted to continue this feeling of uncharacteristic goodwill. Besides, it’s a far better improvement on the rain that was originally planned. Oh right, changing the weather depending on my mood is not quite the typical thing to do. But I’m different. Special, you might say. Actually, most people perceive me as kind of a freak. That is, until I subtly change their minds. Straggly brown hair with the tangles inching ever closer to my backside, a spattering of freckles on my nose and eyes like a lime Splice, that look just like your mother’s. Ergh . Add that to the fact that I can manipulate the elements and walk into any room full of people, sense their emotions and consequently control their feelings and you’ve got me; Sasha. I know, I know. You’re sitting there with a look of disbelief on your face because I’ve just told you, essentially, that I have special powers. And yet, you’re still here.
Weather manipulation and extrasensory perception: words which certainly didn’t feature in my vocab a few years back. It was just over 6 months ago now. I had just started High School and I hated it. I couldn’t find any of my classes, I couldn’t understand anything the teachers were talking about and I wasn’t making any friends. I wasn’t coping. Then something changed. Suddenly, I found that I could make people like me. All I had to do was identify other’s negative emotions directed towards me and alter them into more positive perspectives. I wasn’t wandering around lost anymore because a swarm of people would offer to walk with me. It didn’t matter anymore that I didn’t understand what was being said in class, the teachers liked me and gave me good marks because of it. I was no longer a loner, I was surrounded by friends all the time. So what if it wasn’t genuine? Isn’t reality of everyone’s own making anyway? I had made this life for myself, I loved it and I was in control. Well, of most things at least. Try as I might, my powers will just not work on my mum. And so I find myself as I do every week, in Dr. Carasco’s office. It’s pointless being here really. Before I even enter the door, I go into my trance-like state as always. I ensure that he both approves of me and feels that there’s nothing wrong with me. Which there isn’t anyway.
I’ve loved her since they placed that tiny bundle in my arms. Red and screaming though she was, she was perfect. Sasha. And yet, lately she has not seemed like the daughter I thought I knew. Her face has become gaunt; the clothes which fitted her perfectly not so long ago now drift about her like sails. Her bedroom is filled with fragments of to-do lists which have been torn to shreds, as if she just could not bring herself to do them all. The lacrosse stick which she used almost daily less than half a year ago now provides structural support for spiders’ webs. The teddy bear which I had wrongly assumed she was too old for lies loyally next to her pillow.
I try to reach out to her, but she always seems to be in that dream-like state. She is constantly exhausted after school. I try to talk to her, but I am consistently met with snarls. I’ve taken her to Dr. Carasco week after week. But he doesn’t seem to have any effect on Sasha whatsoever. As soon as I stepped foot into that psychologist’s office, I knew I had failed as a parent. I can’t resolve the problems of my family, so I palm them off to a stranger. I feel she is drifting further and further away from me. Soon she might disappear. 7 months ago
to write a story written in two perspectives. Where from one view the character has special powers, but from the other the same character has serious psychological problems. 9 months ago
I just can't seem to be motivated to do it, and when I am, I'm not happy with what I've written. Any help? 20 months ago