Thursday, April 27, 2017

Novel Ideas Part 8

It has been so good to get back to the writing.  My mind has been going in all directions and needs a little focus. Hope you enjoy this:

They sat down in a rather plain room. Utilitarian table and chairs were surrounded by gray walls. Not what Ward had expected after the last go round.  Pat sat on one side of the table and pointed to the chair opposite her.  Since there was no reason not to sit, Ward did as he was asked. On the table there was a stack of manila folders each filled with papers. Slowly she picked a folder from the pile and handed it to him without saying a word. It was a test, everything they did here was a test, so he waited with folded arms for instructions.
“I want you to read what is in the file,” she opened it for him.
“That all,” Ward knew it wasn’t.
“For now,” and she smiled, “Yes.”
Three hours later he had read through about four of the files. No words had been spoken. Each time he had finished she had just handed him another folder. Each folder contained a mission or job that had been completed by one of the government agencies that tried to enforce the laws of the land. Some of the jobs had ended with what some would call a happy ending and the perpetrator going to jail. Some, most, were still open case files. All of them had to do with domestic violence and murder.  None of them had been redacted, making the details all the more personal and horrific. When he closed the fourth file Pat finally spoke.
“Well,” and she leaned back in the chair.
“You picked these cases especially for me to read,” and she nodded slightly, “I also know that you have collected all the information you want to know.” When she said nothing Ward continued, “You wanted to know my reactions to these cases especially because of my mother’s death, but as you have seen, although I find these cases horrific, as anyone would, I will not let it affect my judgement or my feelings.”
“Some of our agents are put on cases like these,” she looked him straight in the eyes as she spoke, “We need to know that you can do the job no matter what you read.”

“You’ve been reading my mind from the moment you talked with me in the cafeteria.” He pushed the file back toward her, “I know I can. All I need to know from you right now is whether or not you think I’m good enough to continue in this program of yours?”

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Novel Ideas Part 7

If you have been reading along please leave a comment or two!

'Are they?” Bobby was the one to ask.
“Yes,” and that was the last thing Jack said before they walked up to their table.  Ward and Bobby busied themselves with their food.
“Good to see you here Jack,” Rowan spoke first but didn’t even look at him.  It didn’t surprise Jack though.
“Good to see you too Rowan.  Foods pretty good, gonna grab a bite first?”
“No, thanks we grabbed before we got here,” Rowan sat down beside Bobby and Pat sat next to Ward without saying a word.  To say that neither of the men noticed them would be an understatement, but they tried very hard not too. 
“Pat and Rowan I would like you to meet Ward and Bobby,” Jack did what he knew they had wanted him to do.  They were there for them.  Even Jack had picked Ward and Bobby out to be the most promising new recruits.  They would want to start on them as soon as possible and that would mean examining those ghosts.
“Nice to meet you,” Bobby stuck out his hand toward Rowan and then Pat. 
“Nice to meet you too,” Rowan zeroed in on Bobby as Pat sat quietly next to Ward.  “I would like to interview you after you finish you meal here if that’s okay with you.”
“I’m done,” and Bobby pushed the tray away from him.
“Then let’s get started,” and Rowan stood up, “Would you follow me.” 
Ward watched them leave but avoided eye contact with Pat.  Once they were gone he focused back on his food, mostly pushing it around with his fork.
“Not interested in getting started?” Pat’s voice was low, reassuring as if trying to sooth a wild animal.
“No,” Ward paused, “I’m just not in a hurry to examine and discuss the demons that were forced out of my subconscious with you.”
“Very good Ward,” Pat was impressed, really impressed.  His skills were farther advanced than she had expected.  The camp observers were correct in picking out these two to be assessed first and moved right into training.
“We have to be sure you can get past them before we can start the training,” Ward still hadn’t looked up from his tray.

“Understood,” and he put his fork down.  “Then shall we get started,” and he pushed himself reluctantly away from the table, “Just so long as you remember those ghost have been dead and buried for a long time now, and they have very little power over me.”  Ward couldn’t say he liked or disliked Pat yet.  She was very business-like with him and if nothing else he appreciated that right now.  No matter where this road would lead, it was going to test him and his friends in many more ways, and he would face each hurdle one step at a time.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Novel Ideas Part 6

This story has inspired me to go back and write the story of Ward. Here's the next installment of this short story:

When they let him out of the room, a day later, he was worse for the wear, but not broken.  He did smell bad and was in need of a good shower so he headed for the locker room first.  It didn’t surprise him to find that both Jack and Bobby had headed for the locker room as well.  All in all there were nine of them in the showers stalls trying to rinse off the memories that this part of the training had brought to the surface.  Ward had to wonder what had happened to the tenth man, but no one was talking.  At any time he could have read the emotions of anyone in this room, but he couldn’t, didn’t want to feel anyone else’s emotions either.  He found it wasn’t that hard to block them out either.  Maybe that was one of the points of this exercise as well, to learn restraint.   
Thirty minutes later they sat in silence at whatever meal this was still fighting the demons they faced.  Ward glanced at Bobby and saw that he was recovering faster than either Jack or him.  The lines on his face just weren’t as deep, his face not as drawn.  He was really curious as to what demons Bobby had and even more curious about the demons that Jack hadn’t shared with him.  He chanced opening up his mind to get their feelings but the raw emotions in the room nearly physically knocked him over. Jack looked over at Ward immediately as if he knew what he had done.  He then looked at the door.  They were right on time.  Jack didn’t know how he knew they would show up now, he just did. 
“Head’s up,” Jack kept his voice low as if that would help at all.  Pat and Rowan were mind readers, good mind readers.  He had worked with Rowan before and had been amazed.  They were also trainers assigned to this group.  Jack had done his research before he had gotten here, after all he did have the clearance to find out, “The people coming in are here to take us out separately for debriefing from the box.”  Both Bobby and Ward looked over at the door only to encounter Pat and Rowan staring right at them.  It was unnerving and they looked away.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Novel Ideas 5

Sorry they are so few and far between. It seems I am having a hard time redefining myself as a writer first and an educator second.  The classroom still calls to me sometimes, but no more waiting the next installment is here. If you are enjoying this, please let me know with a quick comment.

“Hey, have some respect for the dead here,” Bobby moaned from his bunk as he turned over and covered his head with his pillow.
“Sorry,” Ward had awakened ready for the day.  He slid on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt.  He walked over to the door then stopped, “Hey, come join us.  I think this has helped with the meditation routines.”
“And smell that hippy dippy stuff so early in the morning,” and he snorted, “Not this man.”  Ward chuckled and left.  Bobby was becoming a friend, a good friend, even though their backgrounds were polar opposites.  Bobby’s family was normal, if there was such a thing, and they were higher up on the pay scale than most people.  He had volunteered for this unit once they approached him because of love of Country.  Ward had stumbled into this because he did alone, and he did it well.  Both signed up to do good though, and both were A-types that had to be the best in their field.
“Morning,” Ward said as he sat down.  He took a deep cleansing breath and exhaled.  For the next five minutes they sat in dead silence.  Ward was getting used to that with Jack and he was enjoying their talks.
“Today will test us,” were the first words Jack said.  Ward sat quietly, “People like us have a lot of baggage that will break free today and haunt us, test us.”
“Okay,” Ward didn’t open his eyes, he just kept breathing, “Why us more than others.”
“Our histories, our families.  Similar in some ways, both tainted by violence and pain,” at this Ward opened his eyes, “In any case people who don’t mind never seeing their past again.”
“What did you say you did before this?”  He knew he could trust Jack.  Knew he was a good man, a friend.  Maybe part of this training was also to build friends, connections, people you trusted, and people that were closer than family.
“CIA.  Done trainings like this before,” Jack took a deep breath, “Just remember that even though we don’t have many if any connections to our past, it can still hurt us.”  Ward didn’t know how good that advice was seven hours had past in the dark room.

“Damn it Ward!  I told you boy to clean that mess out there!” he felt himself flung across the room and knocked nearly unconscious.  Ward could remember that day like it was right now.  He had meditated so long that the craziness was now getting loose.  Being in this room and in the dark for so long was bringing up bad, no horrifying, memories as Jack had promised. The baseball bat repeatedly hit his father’s hand as he walked toward him.  The man’s face was pure evil and he looked happy to beat the crap out of him once again.  As the bat reached it’s apex Ward put his hands up and waited for the blow to hit.  When the blow never reached him he put his hands down understanding his hell that he had to go through before he would get out of here.