Thursday, April 9, 2015

Foreign Thoughts

No, I’m not referring to the other voices in my head (though they have been working overtime lately), but rather the new short story series I’m writing. Why is it I always have these bursts of inspiration when I’m in the thick of it? In this case, I’m down in the trenches of my Capstone Project: the last piece in the Grad School puzzle. I’m burnt out, stressed out, and yet I’ve spent all my free time writing these new short stories.

Like most of my random short stories, I’m not sure what I’m planning to do with them when I’m done but I enjoy writing them. They’re my form of therapy since we all know how expensive that can get. Therefore, to deal with the insanity of my capstone, I have turned to the world of Federal Marshal Annabelle Hall.

The concept for “Foreign Thoughts” actually came out of watching the show “Haven” on Syfy that centers on a small town in Maine full of people with supernatural abilities. As you all know the small town trope is one that I love (i.e., Summer’s Hollow) so I decided to adopt that for this latest series.

“Foreign Thoughts” centers on a small fishing town in the Pacific Northwest, that similar to Summer’s Hollow or Haven, harbors some secrets that a select few know about. If those secrets were spread though, the country would be in a state of panic. It has become Annabelle’s job to contain those secrets just as her father did before her. That is why she became a Federal Marshal, to be positioned in that role; however, as always in my stories, there is a twist.
See Annabelle has this gift or problem in some cases. Whenever she touches a personal object of someone’s, she suddenly sees what they are seeing. It could be right at that moment, back when they were a child, or even five years into the future; there is no controlling it. This is a great tool when trying to solve cases and catch suspects, but like everything, it comes with a price.

Her father’s death, victims’ deaths and rapes, suspects’ crimes, and many other painful memories she had to witness by touches of their objects. Most was for the greater good, but it left her feeling cold and distance from people. Experiencing their memories gave her an intimate look into people’s thoughts, many of those thoughts she didn’t wish to know. This gave her the edge to be excellent at her job but socially stunted.

So far I have written five short stories in this series. Once again I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with them but I’ve been on an inspirational kick to write them. Fret not though; I’m still working on the next book in the Summer’s Hollow series, which will go into more depth about the Pascal family. I leave you then with a passage from the first story in the “Foreign Thoughts” series:

            The car ride to the house was a silent one. Neither really knew what to say to each other. Neither knew if what would come out would be something loving or yelling. It was clear to both that waiting until they got back to the privacy of their home was the best bet.

            They pulled up the winding drive to their house tucked away in the woods, overlooking the harbor behind them. They liked to be away from Westport proper but not too far. She couldn’t help but smile as they pulled into the driveway; she did miss her house even if there were some bad memories as well. He turned off the truck and they sat there for a second.

            He finally opened his mouth, “You okay?”

            “Yeah… just adjusting to being back in Westport, back to our house, back here with you…”

            “Is that a bad thing?” he asked slowly.

            “So far, no…” she mused.

            “So… should we get out?”

            She nodded and then climbed out the truck; Scott pulled her bags out from the back. They walked up the stone front steps to the front door and into the foyer. He set down her bags by the front door as she felt her body relax. It did feel good to be home. He saw that and smiled, she then smiled back at him. They stood there for a second and then he moved in and pulled her into a tight hug.

            At first she just stood there and let him hug her but then she hugged him back, clinging to his broad upper body. She was now realizing how much she missed him. It was easy in the field to just brush it off, she was always so busy. Now her life with Scott was coming screeching to the foreground. The problem with that? So was the memory of her daughter.


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