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Old 02-14-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 12

Sorry for this crap excuse of a chapter; I wrote it after I wrote chapter 13 and am definitely not feeling good about this one. Ah well. I'll do a better one next time around. I just needed to get both timelines out and done with as far as they were in my head.

***


1986

The darkness of sleep came grey this time. The grey stillness of panic he wasn’t sure why he felt. He clutched Ali against him tightly and it must have communicated some of his fear as he fell fast into dreams he wasn’t sure he wanted. Fear of what? …the conscious world yawned away from him…a dream-sky stretched over him.

It was raining again in Santa Barbara. It had been dry heat or rain, and the tempting presence of the ocean, on and off. Cath promised the ocean she’d come at some point. When she was better. For now, she didn’t want to think of other times and different waters. She shivered, as she walked along the sidewalk, even in the full sucking heat of day, looking over to the waves and feeling suddenly very alone. Lost.

It was raining, in the early morning. She cracked an eyelid open, barely able to see anything. She’d retreated inside; the great big world outside when she’d lain on the rooftops under the stars had kept her from sleeping, and it rained, though she would have welcomed the rain, stretched two open hands out to it. Phoenix had dragged a soaking Cath inside, giving her some tea and a confused look. Right now, early morning, Phoenix was asleep on the living room floor, having gathered a sleeping bag into a shape vaguely like a pillow beneath her head. She snored lightly, sending little vibrations down her body that traveled over to Mark’s—Phoenix’s boyfriend, currently tolerated. He had a content, pleased-with-himself look on his face in sleep, probably because his girl didn’t hate him at the moment. They were pressed back to back, his hand connecting with hers.

Cath sighed and turned away from them, closing her eyes again. Perhaps, in a way, everything was laughter and music or sunshine. Yesterday had filled a confusing emptiness within her; she’d explained the words she’d written down absently to Phoenix’s guitar tuning the other day, and Mark was the distraction of a new person. He was a bit much for Cath, asking her where in Ireland she’d come from; Phoenix clarified to Cath he was fascinated with other places, anywhere but here. And Cath had fallen silent, remembering a little of why she came here.

Yesterday, also, she had found a phonebook and flipped through it without really thinking, before she realized she was searching. She dialed a few numbers then gave up when the operator got too confusing, and ended up crying onto the pages.

“She’ll explain when she wants to explain,” Phoenix had reprimanded Mark softly, smiling at him apologetically. She’d seen Cath on the telephone.

But—music. Phoenix was in a band of sorts, although she wouldn’t admit it. Mark used to sing as she played, though they’d stopped any music altogether at one point because it had gotten too intense, their occasional break-ups driving it in all the wrong directions. Cath had heard only snatches of the acoustic guitar and her own attempts at playing, vague discordant rippling tones she winced at that drove her mind to reflection.

Mark was not the only unexpected arrival. A few hours after he’d come to say hi, there was a quiet knock on the door. Cath swung it open to see a woman with long, red hair and stared for a very long time, speaking at last as she stepped back, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Ruth?”

It had been years. Ruth had been the last one Cath had contact with, in the school, who she’d spoken with even after she left school. And Ruth had dropped off the face of the planet right around then, abruptly.

She was the other one asleep in the living room right now—and had nearly just gone out into the rain and left, like Cath would have. They were both very confused about each other. Cath remembered brief things Phoenix had explained to her, about why Ruth was so much quieter than she used to be. She had actually known Phoenix—they were distantly related—and out of the blue came to America, with nowhere to stay. There was something else Phoenix wasn’t saying, but Cath thought it might have been that Ruth would tell her herself.

She looked through the muddled darkness at her old friend sitting against the windowsill, her hand pressed against the glass fogged with rain. There was some look in Ruth’s eyes Cath recognized, but she wasn’t sure what exactly it was. It abruptly made her sad. She closed her eyes to shut off the feeling and heard guitar in her mind, mixed with the soft steady drumming of the rain and Ruth’s fingers tapping absently against the windowsill.

“Santa Barbara,” Bono said sleepily, waking. Ali rolled over and gave him a confused look.

“Yes?”

“Remember Ciarán latching onto Larry and whining that he didn’t want him to leave?”

Ali nodded, as he stumbled out of bed and they both left the bedroom, called to outside by the sunrise and the thoughts in his head.

“He said Adam and Edge might be coming,” she noted. “Do you want to go, for any particular reason?”

He shook his head, more out of confusion than any definite No. The dream had dissipated already into the thin light of morning. Ciarán was asleep, probably had already forgot the drummer—and Eve—would be gone for a couple of days.

“There’s something there,” Bono answered, contradicting the movements. “For some reason I feel like we should go with them.”

He also felt at the same time a faint humming under his skin resounding from the still-dark all around, and a sort of pressure of the air, a hammering of his heartbeats. A part of him thought that whatever was going on was very strange—but couldn’t be left alone.

“Hmm, well,” Ali said, “let’s figure it out when Ciarán wakes up.” He nodded, settling with her onto the couch, and his mind ran across the corners of the landscape as he tried to regain whatever evidence he had for his urge to go there. The sun ran across the compass of the sky.

“What do you want?” Ali had asked him reflectively the night before, at his searching expression; he seemed like he was looking for something, some understanding.

“You,” he’d responded. Of course, her. She was, in a way, an answer to everything. But it didn’t make the dreams stop.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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Ruth and Cath were friends in real life too? That'd be interesting...
Too bad it was so short.
I like your cast of characters though. You've made some strong personalities.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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Yep. After Cath left school, Ruth was the only friend she was really in contact with because things were ugly at home for Cath. Before Isaac had anything to do with Cath, though, Ruth was gone. Most of the dream material is true.

Yeah...I wrote it after 13, is why. It's hard to write 2 chapters in one day but it kind of needed doing...

Thanks I like my characters too. They're so much fun ^^
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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(Except the fact that she went to America!) (right am I right...?)
Favorite character in this? Definately Eve!
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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No, actually she did go to America

Heheheh I'm not sure who my favorite character in this is. Most recently, it's been Ruth actually, not counting the men. Eve's a close second; I haven't been writing about her much...
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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Oh really? I always assumed she'd been in Ireland her whole life... and maybe she wanted to go to America but hadn't actually been there...
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:51 PM   #7
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Ruth—yes, did go to America. It happens quite soon in the '78 plot, in fact. Cath—definitely did not. Sorry, that was probably confusing ^^
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:54 PM   #8
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'Twas confusing, now I see it though!
So... what's up next...
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
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Up next, I unfreeze myself and maybe try to write a little when the house has less chance of going up in flames...if I write more, it'd have to be before tomorrow, since I'm going on vacation to the equally freezing coast. Ha, California coast is supposed to be warm? Nooo...

I have gotten great inspiration for if any of my characters are not having a great time, i.e. it's freezing...
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