Scatter Brain

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Scatter Brain

Post by Dorigard on 2012-03-13, 00:28

So before finding this place exists, but after hearing about this game, I was inspired to return to writing after a long, long hiatus, to write a character for MS. To my dismay I found all the positions were closed. But there was a glimmer of hope as I had read around and found that the Devs encouraged community writing. So I set out to create a character using the character form imperial.standard posted in Gloom's story "What Scares You." Well after almost a solid week beating myself up to come up with a complex character but never getting anywhere, Worthington posted the character design for Annaliese Koell, who was almost exactly who I was picturing in my head as I was creating a character concept. Well with all of that self-imposed pressure off my shoulders, today I just decided to spontaneously write (which I really am better at then going through excessive pre-writing). My character is Tiffany Lidell, She has a somewhat more severe case of ADHD-PI and SAD. And, well, this my first chapter:
____________________

'Room 2-4' I silently word to myself, looking down at the very official looking slip I was holding onto, confirming that I was at the right classroom. The paper had my name on it, so it was definitely for me, it had the name of the teacher I had met a few days prior, and it had this room number. 'Room 2-4.'

I haphazardly folded the paper and slid it into my pocket, took a deep, calming breath, and then reached out to open the door. Twenty-five pairs of eyes turned to face me as the door slowly swung open, only one set did I recognize at all, the teacher's.

"Ah! Welcome to your first day of class my boy!" He beamed as he got up from his desk at the front of the classroom. I cringed a bit at such a boisterous greeting. "Oh-ho ho, I'm sorry, a bit too informal for your tastes?" He pleasantly responded to my reaction. "Well than perhaps you would be more comfortable introducing yourself." A bit caught up in the moment I gave a curt nod. 'Did I really just agree to this?' I thought, realizing what I had agreed to. 'I guess it'll be a good first image right, a normal one?' Before I had much more time to think, he raised his arm and beckoned me over to his desk.

I stepped out of the doorway, pulling it closed behind me, and approached the teacher's desk. As I walked the few paces I hurriedly tried to find the right way to start my introduction, 'Hello everyone, my name is...' 'Hi, I'm...' in this brief moment I remember how much I hated introducing myself. I stopped and turned to face my room of peers. Every eye in the room was on my as I paused to gather my thoughts.

I ended up sounding more formal than I had hoped. I game my name, my age, and mentioned a scant few interests and hobbies. From an objective standpoint I'm sure I sounded positively boring, maybe even a bit uptight. Just as bad at beginning introductions, I'm awful at ending introductions. When I was done there was a silence that stretched on for what felt like hours, until I gingerly added "That's it." The teacher started a round of applause for me that only a handful of students joined in.

"Very good! Now if you would, take one of the empty seats and I can resume today's lecture." I nod and scan the classroom for empty chairs. I only see two, one smack dab in front of the teacher’s desk, the other tucked away near the back corner of the room.

'Great-' I thought 'my first day and there is already a test.' It seemed like a monumental decision; which ever seat I took, might define how the other students see me for the rest of the semester. I could sit up front and center, but that might make me look over ambitious, a teacher's pet. But if I sit at the back I might look like a loner, or a slacker, which isn't a great image either.

With a noticeable "A-hem!" beside me, I make a snap decision from jump-start and walk to the chair at the back of the class. 'If this is my fate, then so be it.' As I make my way to my new seat, I feel a bit of relief as I notice some of the attention shifting off me. It seems some kids are turning back to the teacher while others are turning to someone at the back of the room. That feeling of nervous adrenaline kicks in, had I made the wrong seat choice? Do they know some modicum of my fate that I don't? As I step past a book-bag I look up to notice my new neighbor, the person I might be sitting next to for the next couple of months, the introvert and/or delinquent.

'That isn't fair' I think to myself, 'I don't even know this person and I'm already judging them. What if they are just like me and got stuck back here by coincidence?’ I catch a quick glance at my neighbor before taking my seat. A small boy with very fine features, wearing a large pull-over jacket with the school emblem patched onto the front. He had a huge, expensive looking pair of headphones draped around his neck with a springy, spiraled cord going down into the pocket of his jacket.

I take a moment to get comfortable in my seat before giving him another look-over, to see if I can't find out more about him from just a glance. I find to my surprise, the person I'm sitting next to is actually a girl, not a guy at all. I couldn't tell before, but upon closer inspection, I notice the soft lines of her face, which doesn't look like she has much make-up on, if any. Her short hair is somewhat unkempt, but clean. And seeing her breath I notice the delicate curve of her bust-line under the all encompassing jacket she's wearing. I catch myself tracing her leggings up from her shoes to under the hem of her jacket, and quickly turn away to not get caught. But it doesn't appear she noticed me checking her out at all, in fact it didn't seem like she had noticed my presence at all.

Her eyes were fixed to a nearly blank piece of paper in front of her, and I picked up that her lips were softly mouthing something. She was holding an open pen in her hand with a few oddly colored blotches on the tip. I noticed there were some bandages wrapped around the tips of a few of her fingers as she tapped out a broken rhythm on her desk with the index finger of her free hand.

There was a cough at the front of the room and I looked up to notice the teacher open a bottle of water and take a sip. I panicked for a second, 'how long have I been missing the lecture?' I saw the clock on the wall, and guessed it had only been a few minutes. I took a quick scan around the room as I pulled my notebook and pen out of my bag. I hoped no one had noticed me practically ogling my neighbor, and to my disdain, I lock eyes with a pair of girls sitting together at the far end of the room; they look at each other and one lets out small laugh before turning back to the front of the room to the teacher.

'Busted,' I thought, 'only my first day in and the class thinks I'm some super formal, introverted lecher. Great first impressions' I slump back in my desk some and slam my click-pen down on the table to start writing down notes.

The commotion, however, was enough to snap the girl next to me back to life. She quickly glanced over at me and a tiny, shrill sound escaped her, like the sound of a scared mouse. Some people turned back to locate the source of the noise, but seeing it was her, turned back to their own studies. When I looked at her she had straightened up considerably in her seat, and curled up her hands into tight balls. She glanced at me and quickly snapped back to looking straight ahead at the teacher. She looked down at the page in front of her, and then up at all the information now on the board. A curt, exasperated sigh escaped from her lips and she leaned in close to her paper and started writing furiously to catch up.

When she puts her pen down with another tiny sigh, I chose the opportunity to make an introduction. "Hi, I'm..." I start, but she reacts in a startled manor again, almost like she had completely forgotten that I had sat next to her.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you, I just thought..." I stop as she starts to shake her head apologetically.

"No, I'm sorry. My name is..." She begins, but is cut off by a loud slam of paper at the front of the room. Everyone looks up to see the teacher staring in our direction, one hand on his hip and the other holding a tight roll of paper. He points at me with the roll of paper.

"Now you're new here so I'll cut you some slack. But Ms. Lidell you know the rules of the class." he says in a surprisingly loud manner. He points his roll of paper up to a laminated poster on the wall behind him, "Classroom Rules." The girl beside me appeared very flustered as her whole body tightened and shrunk down in her seat. She nodded with a quite "Yes sir."

"Now then, as I was saying..." The teacher exclaimed, getting back into his lesson. I looked over to my neighbor, seeing her clam up, I couldn't help but feel guilty for getting her in trouble on my first day. Now the class probably thought I was a super formal, shy, lecherous delinquent. I make no effort to apologize in an effort to prevent any further trouble.

After a couple minutes more of notes the bell rings and the classroom erupts with activity as people anxiously leave for lunch. As I pack my bag I notice my neighbor is already gone. As I lean over to pick up my book bag, I see her splotched pen lying on the floor under her chair. I reach over to pick it up, but when I look up for her, there is no sign of her at all. A boy who was sitting in front of me was still packing his things, so I tap on his shoulder to get his attention.

"Hey, the girl in the corner left her pen." I say as he turns to face me.

"Who? Tiffany?" he asked.

"Um, yeah I guess, I don't know her name."

"The one wearing the headphones?"

"Yeah her."

He frowns a little, "Hmm, well I guess you can leave it on her desk for when we get back from lunch."

"Well, I'd like to give it back to her, and apologize for getting her in trouble."

"Oh. Well if you really want to sure I guess. I don't know where she goes at lunch though, so you'll probably have to wait until lunch is over." I nod in affirmation and thank him. He huffs as he slings his bag over his shoulder. I put the pen in my pocket as he starts towards the door.

"I bet she'll appreciate it though, knowing Tiffany, it's probably her only pen today."
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Re: Scatter Brain

Post by Waytfm on 2012-03-13, 00:55

I really liked it. I'm interested to see where this goes. The only general criticism I have is that it feels unfinished. Like you cut out in the middle of a scene. It's obvious you plan to do more with this story, so it's not a big deal, but it's nice to finish up a chapter with a strong ending. I'm not special when it comes to writing by any stretch of the imagination, so that criticism might just be my own personal preference. It's a very nice work though, and it makes me want to continue with my own story.

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Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.
-Soseki

SemiPolish wrote:"WTF is Voldemort doing with a freezy pop in his nose?"
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Re: Scatter Brain

Post by Dorigard on 2012-03-13, 00:58

Waytfm wrote:I really liked it. I'm interested to see where this goes. The only general criticism I have is that it feels unfinished. Like you cut out in the middle of a scene. It's obvious you plan to do more with this story, so it's not a big deal, but it's nice to finish up a chapter with a strong ending. I'm not special when it comes to writing by any stretch of the imagination, so that criticism might just be my own personal preference. It's a very nice work though, and it makes me want to continue with my own story.
Okay, I suppose it's not so much the end of a chapter, but maybe like an act in a chapter, sort of how KS was broken up.
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Re: Scatter Brain

Post by Waytfm on 2012-03-13, 01:09

Fair enough then Smile

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-Soseki

SemiPolish wrote:"WTF is Voldemort doing with a freezy pop in his nose?"
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Re: Scatter Brain

Post by Dorigard on 2012-03-14, 02:15

I quickly knocked out another Act of my story. Unfortunately I seem to be stuck in a kind of "episodic" style writing only. I think I may have been a little too influenced by KS writing break down. Also fun fact: While I had thought Tiffany Lidell was a completely original name of my creation, I found searching my facebook last night that I have a friend Tiffany Liddell. I guess I'm not as original as I though. She was honored that I accidentally used her as a muse for my nomenclature. Anyway, here's the second act of Scatter Brain.
___________

As I stepped into hall, the teacher was right behind me. He shut the door behind him and shot me a big grin. "Now I understand everything and everyone here is very new to you. But this is still a place of learning. Like I said, I'll cut you slack today, but I expect you to follow lessons a bit closer after lunch!" He boomed with his baritone voice. "Now go, get yourself some lunch at the cafeteria!" He says with a firm, yet gentle pat on my back.

"Yes Mr. Raywell. Thank you sir." I half mumble as I start my way down the only
somewhat familiar hallway. As we part directions I hear him loudly whisper to himself, "Sir? Why is everyone calling me sir today?" I laugh to myself, thinking it odd that someone could be so loud all the time.

I have a rough time navigating my way through the halls of the school. This door looks familiar, but then again it looks like any other door. I walk pas an open room and see some students eating lunch together. My mood drops a bit, 'Will I have anyone to eat lunch with? No one really went out of their way to introduce them self to me.' I felt a bit
dejected, the thought of having to spend my first day at a new school alone.

As I turn onto a new hallway I start hearing lunch time sounds, and following the sound of the cacophony I find the cafeteria. The floor arrangement of the room is very spacious, leaving everyone a fair deal of personal space. I make my way to the food line, and find everything easily. The menu was all very healthy, devoid of taste I felt, but healthy. As I exited the line I looked around the large room for somewhere to sit. There were large rectangular tables for just sitting and eating purposes, there was an area with many small, round tables for groups to chat and do homework. There were even a few bar tables with raised seats at the edges of the room. A handful of Orderlies paced around the room in case of any trouble or incidents.

I had a very jarring epiphany at that moment; that I am now in a place where there is constant surveillance and 'guard' patrol. I suddenly felt trapped, like my freedom was being taken away. I began to panic until someone prodded me in the back.

"Move please?"

I turned around to see that I was partially blocking the exit to the food line. I apologized and moved out of the way, the nerves subsiding by the sudden snap-back to reality. I shook my head to try and clear my thoughts, and gave another look round the room. I didn't see any sign of Tiffany anywhere but I did see the guy sitting in front of me in class, at a table with a few other guys. I decide that there was as good a place as any, so I make my way over.

"Hey, mind if I have a seat here?" I ask tentatively as I walk up to the table.

My classmate looks up at me, nods his head to an empty chair beside him and
says "Sure." A wave of relief rolls over me as I put down my food and book bag.
He turns to the two other guys sitting at the table and says "So this is the new kid in my class I mentioned." A tall, thin boy with messy, straw blond hair to his left looks up from mixing a bowl of soup in front of him and gives a shrug. The boy across the table, pocked complexion with wavy brown hair, wearing large prescription sunglasses, gave me a small wave and an "'allo." My neighbor picks up a piece of bread and stuffs it in his mouth, "I gueff I should introdufe myself," he said between bites. He swallowed, and pounded his fist into his chest, "I'm Derek," then as an afterthought "McGillicutty." He points to the boy across that table, "That's Jean-Paul. And this big guy beside me is Olson" he says finishing off with the guy to his left. I give them both a friendly nod before turning to my own lunch.

After a few minutes of relative quiet Derek finishes off the last of his bread and turns to me, "So if you don't mind my asking, what're ya' in for? I mean if it's personal you don't have tell." I almost gag on a bite of roll I had. The shear bluntness of the
question was unexpected. I get a bit nervous to tell, 'I mean we all have our problems here right? I'm sure I'm not a special case.' I must have been silent for a while, because he playfully jabbed me in the side, "I could take a stab at it if you're making it a guessing game." I shake my head.

"No it's not like that, I was just caught off guard. I have Schizophrenia."

He grins happily and leans back in his chair, "Ah, another Schitzo huh? Well welcome to the school then, I'll bet you'll find plenty of people to relate to." I was a bit taken aback. Certainly not the warmest welcome I've ever heard. 'Another Schitzo?' that remark seemed unfair, but then I realize that the odds were very low that I would be the only one in such a large school. I decide to stick up for myself a bit.

"Ok Derek, if I'm just 'another schitzo' then what do you have?" He huffed at me not being such a push-over, but put his hand down flat on the table and grinned widely.
"I guess you got more guts than you look. I got Tourrette's"

"Really? Besides your manners I couldn't tell anything was wrong with you." I replied, seeing if I could irk him a bit. I heard a small chuckle from across the table. Derek and I looked over to see Jean-Paul stifling a laugh.

"Oh, sure. Take the new guy's side!" Derek exclaimed, waving a hand at me.

"Well if you really must know," he said turning back to me, "I've gotten pretty good over the years trying to get it all under control, to look normal. It works out well for the most part, but I still have episodes when my nerves get to me." This gets to me thinking, 'he has a point. Everyone works to not stick out sometime, just be normal, I guess the people in this school just have to work a little bit harder at it.' There was silent pause where no one had anything to say, so I decided to be the first to break the silence.

"How about you Jean-Paul?" I asked, thinking not to leave him out of it. He took a controlled breath and spoke in a very calm, collected manner. "I ‘ave very severe Epilepsy. It makes it ‘ard to get around, but wizh some help I manage. I also ‘ave asthma but that's probably not zhe reason I'm here." With such a long time to talk, I noticed the slight francophone accent he had.

I can't help but laugh at his smart remark. With the gentle way he spoke, and delicate way he moved and held himself, I didn't peg him to be such a jokester. I look over at Olson, he wistfully twirls a spoon around in the now cold bowl of soup in front of him.

"And how about you, Olson right?" He didn't respond to me, but stopped stirring his soup. Derek interjected before the silence got awkward.

"Olson, I think I heard he has autism, I don't know for sure. He doesn't talk too much, especially to new people, but he's a real nice guy. And hell, I can guarantee he's the smartest one of us, isn't that right big guy?" Derek said, nudging Olson in the arm. I thought I saw a faint smile creep up in the corner of Olson's mouth. He gave a small, tight nod, and resumed stirring his soup.

I didn't get a chance to eat much more of my meal before the bell, announcing the return to classes, rang. I crammed a few last bites in before picking up my book bag and finding a trashcan. Derek has a few last words with his friends before he dumps his trash and joins me on the walk back to class.

"So you got a thing for Tiffany huh? Can't say I blame ya, she's definitely cute." He says with a hearty pat on the back. I stumble from the hit, and from the shock of the accusation.

"N- No it isn't like that at all, I just want to apologize for getting her in trouble."

"Ha-ha, and give her back her pen too right?" He said in an almost condescending manner.

"Yeah! Exactly that, don't start any rumors just because I'm the new kid!" I exclaim, reminding him he can't push me around.

"Oh, I don't need to do that, there are already plenty of rumors about you, some I can put to bed now that we've talked some." I take that news pretty hard, I all but stop in my tracks. 'Everyone is already talking about me? Spreading rumors? Shit! What are they saying about me? What do they know about me?! They don't know anything about me!' My mind races. Races with worry, with accusations. Derek turned back to
look at me, because I had stopped following him.

"Hey!" He shouted. "No need to worry, I'm vouching for you now. Now hurry up Raywell hates truants almost as much as he hates disruptions." Despite coming from someone I just met, Derek's words make me feel better. He waits for me to catch up to him, and we weave our way through the shuffle of students in the halls.

"So you don't think she's cute?" He asks as we approach the classroom.

"Well... I didn't say that."
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