Saturday, December 08, 2007

First Meeting 2

I wondered how Lydia’d made it in there, away from her safe place, in there with those men who didn’t understand about her badly needing to be back in her one safe place. I imagined her eyes staring down, and her looking mad. They’d think she was mad when she wasn’t.

The two cops that’d brought Lydia to the station had filed in and out of that room half the night. And now it was just about morning.

I’d stood waiting in the hall, leaning back against a wall. The hardness of it hurt. I was tired like I’d been bloodlet. [A much more effective analogy than I was tired like I'd been up all night.] [Thanks. It took me thirty years to stop being haunted by the image of the abominable Dr. Phibes draining Dr. Longstreet's blood, and thanks to that one word, "bloodlet," it looks like I have another decade or two of nightmares to look forward to.]

A different cop walked toward me with papers in his hand. This guy was younger than the others. His short, white-blond hair curled softly around his face.

He looked wide-awake. I guessed the shifts were changing.

“Are you with her?” he said, nodding at the door.

I nodded back. “Aren’t the night-shift guys gonna finish up before they leave?”

The guy raised one pale eyebrow at me. “What are they supposed to finish?”

“Taking my friend’s statement, so she can go home.”

“She’s your friend, huh?” He said it like he didn’t believe me.

“She lives upstairs from me. She called me after…”

“After what?”

After what-the-hell-do-you-think, you little asshole is what I thought. “After she thought she’d been attacked,” is what I said.

--Robin S.


I should have advised everyone to provide a sentence or two about what's going on. Normally I would assume if Lydia doesn't know she's been attacked that we're dealing with a date rape drug? But wouldn't she head for the hospital to be checked out first rather than call the cops? Or wouldn't the cops get her checked out before keeping her up all night questioning her? Even if Lydia is just mentally/emotionally a basket case capable of imagining or making up an attack, I would expect the cops to get her a medical exam.

The narrator wonders how Lydia made it in there, away from her safe place. This suggests she wasn't present when the cops came and drove Lydia to the station, or she'd know how it all transpired. But she knows which of the cops drove Lydia, suggesting maybe she was present.


Bernita said...

I like it.

Ali said...

Really like the first paragraph describing Lydia and how she would appear to the cops. (I'd probably try to think of another way to say "safe place" the second time, though). Obviously within the context of the story we'd know where the narrator had been throughout the previous scene, but I do agree with EE that something seems a little "off." It feels like he/she just arrived and doesn't know how Lydia got there (the first paragraph) and yet he/she was the first person Lydia called and has been there half the night, waiting? If this is the beginning of a scene, it might help to start with the second two paragraphs to establish the scene first, before the "wondering" paragraph.

Church Lady said...

I knew this was Robin after the first sentence.
I really like the voice and the pacing.

Dave F. said...

Instead of "wide awake" you might use "fresh."
He looked fresh. I guessed the shifts were changing.

And although "bloodlet" is a strong image, you might also link it to "fresh"... Like a theme of freshness or tiredness.

I was tired like I'd been awake three days.
I was tired like a well used dishrag.

Something like that.

Robin S. said...

I agree - background would be good.

Lydia is schizophrenic - she said she'd been raped, and believed it -was taken to the hospital by the narrator, her neighbor. The police came, and after the examination - she was taken to the police station.

And thanks bernita, ali and CL.

I've just been sitting here watching Hannah and Her Sisters - hadn't seen it in years. I love this movie.

EE, I've never seen or heard of the Dr. Philby movie before - but I used to really enjoy watching Vincent Price movies - the crazy man in the castle on the island stuff.

Evil Editor said...

Phibes. The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

"Its stunning art deco sets, dark humor and "over the top" performance by Vincent Price has made the film and its sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again "camp" classics."--Wikipedia

McKoala said...

I really liked that first para, but wondered if you could avoid repeating 'safe place'.

Robin S. said...

Sorry EE. Phibes. Phibes. Phibes.
Got it.

Sarah said...

Hey Robin,

Love the voice, the pacing, the style. The first sentence tripped me up. A bit long and safe place twice. I really got going with the second sentence.

You have a very cool writing style. It pulls me in and slides me along.

BuffySquirrel said...

"Made it" seems to be causing some confusion here. I tripped over it a little, but decided it was being used in the sense of "managed". If it confuses a lot of critters, you might have to consider changing it.

The narrator's anxiety is well conveyed here. Me likes!

Robin S. said...

Hey buff,

Yeah- "made it" is here like "is she making it through this?" You're right- it's like "managed".
And thanks!

I used "her safe place" repetitively on purpose, but with so many pointing it out as a show-stopper, I may need to look at that one.

Thanks, all!

Anonymous said...

Howdy Robin,

I like the narrator and her friend is certainly an interesting character.

Maybe some of the issues mentioned by others could be resolved

I'd wondered for hours how Lydia’d made it in there with those men, who didn’t understand about her badly needing to be back in her one safe place.

Good luck with it.

--Bill Highsmith

Anonymous said...

I guess I got distracted mid-sentence. Something sparkly.

--Bill H.

Robin S. said...

Hey Bill -

Thanks for your notes.

I'm lost on the sparkly part, though.

WouldBe said...

Sorry. My first post had an incomplete sentence:

Maybe some of the issues mentioned by others could be resolved[, something like this:]

I guess I got distracted while writing it...a phone call or something sparkly caught my attention.

Robin S. said...

Gotcha, and thanks again!