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  • oisa_sinovi
    Hello, I need help with a first person POV. I honestly have no clue what I m doing. This is an original fiction that came out of fanfiction. I need to make
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 17, 2005
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      Hello, I need help with a first person POV. I honestly have no clue
      what I'm doing. This is an original fiction that came out of
      fanfiction. I need to make it more...original. I also need to
      polish up my grammer as English is not my first language.

      If you can help me, please email me with Original Fiction Beta. I
      have an easier time of getting into my email than groups. Thank you
      very much for looking.

      Here's a snippet of a rather long story. I'm sorry if this is not
      allowed. This is only so that you can see my writing style, and if
      it is something you would want to work with. Thanks! There is no
      gore, sex or anything in this first chapter. Just vague
      hallucinations experienced by the character's viepoint that this
      story is told from.



      I woke up with a violent start and found myself staring at an
      unfamiliar ceiling. It was a too-bright white. The kind that screamed
      cheap paint and even cheaper application. My eyes took it in without
      really seeing it. My heart was thumping painfully in my chest,
      beating to the phantoms of explosions in my dream. I could feel the
      jarring rhythm in my neck, at my temple, even against the scratchy
      bedspread that amplified the pulse in my thumb.

      Distantly, I heard my breathing, harsh and gasping as if I'd
      just come from a long, exhausting swim and sweat was cooling against
      my skin, making my hair stick to the back of my neck. It made
      everything else feel like wet paper tissues. The discomfort coalesced
      into one thought: My ponytail was too tight.

      It pulled at my scalp, making my head prickle painfully. I
      reached up to pull the rubberband off and breathed in relief at the
      immediate release of pressure. The bad news was that action sent the
      blood rushing back into once restricted veins when it was previously
      subdued by the tight hold. It felt as if thousands of insects were
      now creeping through my hair.

      I closed my eyes and ran my fingers roughly through the soft
      mess, baiting time. When I was sure I can handle the rest of the
      world, I started with focusing on where I am and how I got here. I
      tried, only to struggle, getting a jumbling, jumping obstacle course
      of sight, sound, taste and touch that was too sharp or too blurry or
      too something else which made no more sense than my life at the
      moment.

      My headache flared back to life but stubbornly, I ignored it.
      Gradually my world expanded from the immediate area around my body to
      the room I was in. Pulling myself up, I flinched at the taut feel of
      muscles in my back and legs that I hadn't used for awhile now. I was
      sore. From doing what? I didn't remember. Well, that much I knew
      already.

      Through the walls, I could hear traffic noises rising and
      falling. I was still in the city then. An ambulance's emergency siren
      became increasingly louder until it seemed to be going through the
      building right below me and then it was fading again. I stared, with
      absent interest, at the red lights making shadows jump, skip and
      twist across the walls bleeding with neon washes.

      The wailing reminded me of a folktale about the spirit of a
      proud, impatient man who was damned for all eternity to run around
      lost, unable to find his way to either salvation or purgatory due to
      the way he had treated his elderly parents when they were all alive.
      Who told me? Who held me when the story was being told? A woman's
      voice, and soft body. Long nailed fingers smoothing my hair down. My
      mother? I don't remember. I don't know.

      I found the edge of the narrow bed and slid my legs down to
      the faded, brownish-tan linoleum tiled floor. That simple movement
      pulled at my hamstrings and my vertabra cracked audibly. There was no
      carpets, only an area rug cut from a much bigger piece judging by its
      half duck taped state. It wasn't big enough for anything but maybe a
      dog and was laid directly beneath where the bed's occupent's feet
      would land on it when they got up. It was a strange grayish-bluish-
      brownish color that couldn't seem to decide which color it liked best
      and stick to it.

      There was a window to my right and I could see the
      neighboring brick building across the street through the gauzy, gaudy
      flowerprint sheet thrown over it. I was on the third or fourth story
      of the building judging from the other building's windows. The bed
      was to the window's right, up against a bare wall and to the left was
      a compact dresser of undetermined pedigree. It looked solid was all I
      could honestly say.

      There was nothing else worthy of notice in the room except
      for the omnipresent dust bunnies and a bare bulb hanging in the
      middle of the ceiling. It was off, but the lights coming in through
      the window compensated for it. I could also smell the mouth watering
      fragrance of sizzling, roasted duck mixed with the stink of raw,
      human sewage and sun-heated garbage. The combined scent was enough to
      make me want to brush the enemal off of my teeth or throw up,
      depending on whether I can reach either the toilet or toothbrush
      first. I swallowed, breathing discreetly through my mouth and pushed
      the smell from my concious mind. Then I acknowledged the other
      presence in the room.

      He'd come in on almost silent feet at the same time I'd
      turned to look out the window. The rrasp-slap sound of his house
      slippers had announced the path he took and warned me as he came from
      somewhere...in the cardinal West direction...beyond the door frame. I
      turned to look at him.

      There was something about another man I could automatically
      catch that wasn't present on a woman's body. Maybe it was a hormonal
      thing or maybe men perspired differently. I didn't know. But I knew
      that I was on the mark again when I guessed this was a man. A young
      one. I looked up, my face was impassive and blank, and from somewhere
      a voice said, never look surprised, never look scared, never give
      anything away. The voice could have been whispering in the other's
      head also. His face was just as expressionless as I knew mine was.

      We stared at each other, and I was surprised by how
      comfortable the silence between us was. Perversely that made me
      uneasy and I barely controlled my body's startled reaction when the
      other man spoke. "Are you hungry?"

      My stomach started a demolition project somewhere around my
      waist area as an answer. I wouldn't be surprised if he heard
      it. "Yes." I replied.

      "I don't have much," That somber tenor said, but didn't wait
      for me to say, "that's fine," before asking, "Ramen or rice?"

      "If it's not too much bother. Both, please."

      The words barely left my mouth and I found myself staring at
      the empty wall across the hall. The man had disappeared. It only then
      occured to me to ask him his name or even how I got here. I decided
      to wait until he got back. I didn't want to go wandering in a
      building I'm not familiar with. Privately, I didn't trust my body to
      work well enough for me to do that, so I looked out the window again.

      It was late afternoon. I shifted my hips and reached out to
      push the limp fabric to one side, allowing in more light and more
      irritations. The sky was gilded a graying-blue pewter in the west and
      in the darkening east it was taking on a purplish blue cast I thought
      looked sickeningly like a flesh contusion. There were no clouds
      except for wisps of grayish white lazily spreading through the
      twilight world. Fog? Was it that cold already? It was early autumn,
      maybe it was fog.

      The shadows were lengthening, clawing eastwards and
      streetlamps were flickering on, gleaming wetly along cars as they
      rushed to wherever they called home. Even this high up, their
      yellowish-white headlights bounced against glass store fronts, then
      reflected from other apartment windows, and splashed into the small
      room.

      The scene below was of the International District or what
      used to be called Chinatown. I distinctly remembered it being changed
      during the early Nineties to be more politically correct. Good, I
      remembered locations at least. I caught slices of a busy main
      thoroughfare and the name of the street came easily to my mind. Along
      with it came a couple of words floating tranquilly through my brain.
      Selective amnesia.

      I laughed hollowly to myself as my predicament suddenly made
      sense. Humiliating, violating and terrifying with my inability to be
      in any kind of control, but it made a weird sort of logic none the
      less. Selective amnesia. A symptom of my mental condition acting up
      again.

      I turned around to wait for the owner of the footsteps to
      appear at the door. The noises seemed intentionally made as if to
      tell me, "I'm warning you now. Don't be alarmed. It's just me." Or
      maybe that was my paranoia poking its ugly head up after having slept
      for more than nine years. Then again, maybe it was a good thing. That
      paranoia saved my life more times than I'm willing to discount. No
      matter why it chose to make a reappearance today, it just ended it on
      a perfectly dismal note.

      Those dark brown bangs appeared first, then the rest of the
      face and the lean body holding a couple of trays of steaming food. My
      stomach growled in annoyance at being ignored for so long. I
      continued ignoring it to get up and help with one of the trays. There
      were two. I wondered if he was going to join me. The bed wasn't that
      big. I immediately kicked my mental ass for being ungrateful and that
      was when I noticed the tray I was holding was actually a small
      folding table.

      I opened it and he placed the food upon it, arranging a
      series of eating utensils along side the dishes. Of course he
      wouldn't know what I'd prefer to eat with. It was actually a hearty
      meal with soy seasoned fried beef, a thick stew of pork and beef
      flavored with whole lemon leaves, ginger, onions and a few other
      greens I couldn't quite distinguish* with another bowl holding
      fragrant ramen and thick rice porridge. The man had came back with a
      small, electric rice cooker. He plugged it in and set it to one side
      on the table.

      "Are you joining me?" I asked.

      He shook his head, "No. I have to leave for work soon."

      "Ah," I picked up a pair of chopsticks and watched him
      carefully measure out rice into a deep bowl. "Thank you. Can I have
      your name?"

      He looked up at me through the mop of thick, shaggy bangs
      from where he kneeled, fiddling with the rice cooker's cord. I
      realized with blank wonder that he had blue eyes. I thought he was
      Asian -- he had the common ethnic bone structure of an almost flat,
      frontal view to his face with the slightly hooked nose that dipped a
      bit in between the eyes -- and though it was nowhere near rare to see
      half-anything kids anywhere these days, I was still amazed at the
      pure hue of the color. The room had gotten darker and hid the true
      shade in twilight haze so I couldn't tell if the blue was light or
      dark.

      "Reizo Kouta."

      Japanese. Kouta was probably his given name, I deducted, even
      if the practice these days was to give the first name followed by the
      surname. There was something very traditional about Reizo.

      Due to the pictographic structure of both Chinese and
      Japanese kanji, I knew "Reizo" could mean several things. The one
      that immediately came to mind was "well groomed". I had the sudden
      image of a horse being brushed or a poodle getting a pom-pom haircut
      and coughed to hide my emberrassment. Then I stopped, earning a
      sideways look from Reizo, though I was too startled by the fact that
      I'm multi-lingual to give him much consideration.

      At that moment, Reizo rose to his feet and turned towards me
      in one elegantly smooth move. In my unsettled mind, I unconciously
      interpret it as an attack and jerked back away from him completely
      forgetting the bowls of food in my hands. If my reflex hadn't
      stiffened my legs, my knees would have buckled against the edge of
      the bed causing me to fall backwards. I hissed, juggling the bowls,
      until my balance was restored but my equilibrum wasn't.

      Reizo still had that Zen mask on his face, though now
      punctuated with one raised brow. Before he could say anything I said
      in a shaky rush, "Ethan Ang Xin Fang." I elaborated when his eyes
      widened slightly, "My name. You can call me Ethan or Ang Xin, doesn't
      matter to me."

      A small lift at the corner of his mouth passed for a smile
      and he said, "Alright, Ethan."

      I pressed on, determined to show him I'm not ungrateful for
      his assistance. "Thank you for..." What? Finding me? Saving my life
      probably? I doubt an old building like this had convenient elevators.
      So add dragging my zoned out ass up several flights of stairs and
      feeding me? How could such simple words express my gratitude to the
      man who was still not making a fuss over me or my obvious
      condition? "...everything." I finished, clearing my throat self-
      conciously.

      Reizo continued to look at me. I was beginning to think I'd
      offended him when he said, "If you turn the lock to the left you'll
      automatically lock the door. But, you can stay as long as you like.
      Be careful of the hot pipes in the shower. Turn the cold on all the
      way, then turn the hot a quarter of the way."

      Startled, I tried to gather my alternately confused,
      emberrassed and thankful wits again, and managed another
      strangled, "Thank you," before slumping down onto the mattress. The
      loud, accompanying squeeks and creeks seemed to echo in the room. It
      squeeked? I hadn't noticed that when I was moving around before.

      Reizo simply got up and was about to leave when I
      blurted, "Aren't you afraid of theft?"

      He turned back around and stared at me, this time with
      genuine, distinguishable emotion on his face. Amusement. "If you
      think there's something worth stealing in here. You're welcome to
      it." And he left with that.

      -----

      I'd wandered around the tiny apartment for awhile, finding
      out that it was located next to a specialty Chinese restaurant and
      market. Somewhere out of sight from this unit, and next to the market
      was a building being renovated that had the requisite row of public
      lavatories which explained both smells earlier. Even this late the
      scent of dough, meats, and other ingredients used for making dim sum
      being steamed, broiled or fried filled the air. Thankfully, the
      public lavs have been shut down for the night. The apartment was a
      corner one and the living room had two walls full of windows. It's
      only saving (just barely) grace.

      The room was hung full of origami. Some fluttered, others
      twisted and the rest swayed gently in the breeze coming through two
      open windows. The thin, colorful paper animals, plants and everyday
      objects were strung unevenly over the glass and seemed as ephemeral
      as my teneous hold on reality. The strings holding them up were all
      but invisible against the spotted blackness of the cityscape. In the
      middle of the room was a table with squares of papers stacked neatly
      by color with a large, half finished, perfectly creased pale blue and
      white crane. The pattern on the paper imitated the graceful bird's
      plumage.

      Besides the living room, there was another bedroom, a
      bathroom and the kitchen which was open to the living room. They were
      all just as bare as the bedroom I woke up in. The extra bedroom I'd
      passed on my way to the kitchen was only slightly larger than the one
      I occupied and had basically the same furniture in it except for a
      large, white crane presiding over the space from its perch on the
      dresser. Even with the origami, there was nothing personal that said
      who lived here, what he did or if he even had any family.

      All the walls were a very forgetable matte white and the
      flooring was the same linoleum tile that was in my room. Only the
      living room had carpeting, or what passed for it. I wouldn't trust it
      to keep the cold chill of the floor from my feet. I found a knapsack
      in a cardboard box supported by a ducttaped, cracked Rubbermaid tub
      next to the bedroom door and surmised the box must be for dirty
      laundry though there wasn't anything in it yet.

      The knapsack was vaguely familiar until I picked it up and
      noted the careful stitching on the strap. Mine. From somewhere in my
      brain the knowledge that I had to learn how to sew at a very early
      age came forward. Why? Was I poor? What a stupid question. I asked
      myself it again anyway. No answer. Just a frustratingly generic
      thought of the knapsack's brand name which can be found anywhere.

      Agitated, I took an extra set of clothes from the bag and
      kept my hands from shaking by sheer will power. I scrounged around to
      find my comb and the tooth brush that was rubber banded to a jumbo
      tube of toothpaste into the bathroom with me. Maybe a good head to
      toe cleansing will help.

      Despite Reizo's directions, I still managed to scald my chest
      and a part of my neck before getting the right mix. I was very good
      at keeping my showers short and efficient. That was an ingrained
      habit. So was everything else about my habits I realized. I had very
      specific routines. My days were organized down to literally the last
      minute. I found an appointment book next to the comb filled with
      things I don't remember writing down or needing in the first place.

      I'm a survivor. Fighter was too physical of a word and living
      a normal life is too constricting of a concept for what I'm willing
      to do to get by in this world. Was that why I learned to sew?
      And...normal? Why did that bring up the sensory memory of onion-like
      sweat and muscle burn? There was something I needed to do. My body
      was restless. What did I have to do? My biceps twitched.

      -----

      In the end, it was meditation that allowed my body to do what
      it wanted without interference from my brain. So, even this late at
      night, I stuffed my already sock-clad feet into another pair and
      finally felt like I was ready to combat the floor's coldness to start
      my Tai Chi forms. Better late than never.

      I kept up the loosely coiled, flowing movements, and time
      slipped by, unnoticed and unconcerned by my engrossed mind. The feel
      of my body slowly expanding and contracting gradually helped me feel
      more secure and get the control I seem to be lacking. Heat was rising
      from my skin. I could feel it as my pores responded with sweat. I
      absently filed those little details away without breaking my physical
      rythme.

      Control. I liked to control the world around me. I learned to
      sew at a very early age because I liked the control it gave me over
      what I wore and how I presented myself. It was why I learned how to
      do a good many things. I am in control right now, and I hadn't felt
      that way in a long time.

      -----

      I laid in the darkness of the bedroom after exhausting myself
      for more than two hours and taking another shower. From my lack of
      drowsiness, I know I must have spent a couple of days in a near coma.
      I was gratified. I do remember, if nothing else, that I am always
      tired these days. I could still remember, some where...some times in
      the past...laying against the red dirt all night, and the previous
      day and that night too with the taste of vaguely coppery grit in my
      mouth as I patiently scanned the parameter, clutching that automatic
      rif--

      I physically turned my back against the insufficiently
      blocked window as if I could do the same to my own memories. That was
      what caused my condition. I didn't want to remember what I did.
      Debating the merits of my actions wasn't going to change anything.
      Not my life, not my family's or anyone else. It won't make anything
      better either. As I've learned the hard way, it could even get worse.
      I was thankful I couldn't remember what nightmare I woke up from this
      morning. Just vague images.

      Bullets spitting out of barrels wreathed in orange, yellow
      and red fire. Smoke. Straight, tiny craters forming in rapid
      succession, each with its own puff of pulverised dirt rising slowly.
      Coming closer. So fast. Screams.

      -----

      S
    • a j
      This sounds good. Will it have any slash in it. aj oisa_sinovi wrote: Hello, I need help with a first person POV. I honestly have no
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 17, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        This sounds good.  Will it have any slash in it.
         
        aj

        oisa_sinovi <oisa_sinovi@...> wrote:

        Hello, I need help with a first person POV.  I honestly have no clue
        what I'm doing.  This is an original fiction that came out of
        fanfiction.  I need to make it more...original.  I also need to
        polish up my grammer as English is not my first language.

        If you can help me, please email me with Original Fiction Beta.  I
        have an easier time of getting into my email than groups.  Thank you
        very much for looking.

        Here's a snippet of a rather long story.  I'm sorry if this is not
        allowed.  This is only so that you can see my writing style, and if
        it is something you would want to work with.  Thanks!  There is no
        gore, sex or anything in this first chapter.  Just vague
        hallucinations experienced by the character's viepoint that this
        story is told from.



              I woke up with a violent start and found myself staring at an
        unfamiliar ceiling. It was a too-bright white. The kind that screamed
        cheap paint and even cheaper application. My eyes took it in without
        really seeing it. My heart was thumping painfully in my chest,
        beating to the phantoms of explosions in my dream. I could feel the
        jarring rhythm in my neck, at my temple, even against the scratchy
        bedspread that amplified the pulse in my thumb.

              Distantly, I heard my breathing, harsh and gasping as if I'd
        just come from a long, exhausting swim and sweat was cooling against
        my skin, making my hair stick to the back of my neck. It made
        everything else feel like wet paper tissues. The discomfort coalesced
        into one thought: My ponytail was too tight.

              It pulled at my scalp, making my head prickle painfully. I
        reached up to pull the rubberband off and breathed in relief at the
        immediate release of pressure. The bad news was that action sent the
        blood rushing back into once restricted veins when it was previously
        subdued by the tight hold. It felt as if thousands of insects were
        now creeping through my hair.

              I closed my eyes and ran my fingers roughly through the soft
        mess, baiting time. When I was sure I can handle the rest of the
        world, I started with focusing on where I am and how I got here. I
        tried, only to struggle, getting a jumbling, jumping obstacle course
        of sight, sound, taste and touch that was too sharp or too blurry or
        too something else which made no more sense than my life at the
        moment.

              My headache flared back to life but stubbornly, I ignored it.
        Gradually my world expanded from the immediate area around my body to
        the room I was in. Pulling myself up, I flinched at the taut feel of
        muscles in my back and legs that I hadn't used for awhile now. I was
        sore. From doing what? I didn't remember. Well, that much I knew
        already.

              Through the walls, I could hear traffic noises rising and
        falling. I was still in the city then. An ambulance's emergency siren
        became increasingly louder until it seemed to be going through the
        building right below me and then it was fading again. I stared, with
        absent interest, at the red lights making shadows jump, skip and
        twist across the walls bleeding with neon washes.

              The wailing reminded me of a folktale about the spirit of a
        proud, impatient man who was damned for all eternity to run around
        lost, unable to find his way to either salvation or purgatory due to
        the way he had treated his elderly parents when they were all alive.
        Who told me? Who held me when the story was being told? A woman's
        voice, and soft body. Long nailed fingers smoothing my hair down. My
        mother? I don't remember. I don't know.

              I found the edge of the narrow bed and slid my legs down to
        the faded, brownish-tan linoleum tiled floor. That simple movement
        pulled at my hamstrings and my vertabra cracked audibly. There was no
        carpets, only an area rug cut from a much bigger piece judging by its
        half duck taped state. It wasn't big enough for anything but maybe a
        dog and was laid directly beneath where the bed's occupent's feet
        would land on it when they got up. It was a strange grayish-bluish-
        brownish color that couldn't seem to decide which color it liked best
        and stick to it.

              There was a window to my right and I could see the
        neighboring brick building across the street through the gauzy, gaudy
        flowerprint sheet thrown over it. I was on the third or fourth story
        of the building judging from the other building's windows. The bed
        was to the window's right, up against a bare wall and to the left was
        a compact dresser of undetermined pedigree. It looked solid was all I
        could honestly say.

              There was nothing else worthy of notice in the room except
        for the omnipresent dust bunnies and a bare bulb hanging in the
        middle of the ceiling. It was off, but the lights coming in through
        the window compensated for it. I could also smell the mouth watering
        fragrance of sizzling, roasted duck mixed with the stink of raw,
        human sewage and sun-heated garbage. The combined scent was enough to
        make me want to brush the enemal off of my teeth or throw up,
        depending on whether I can reach either the toilet or toothbrush
        first. I swallowed, breathing discreetly through my mouth and pushed
        the smell from my concious mind. Then I acknowledged the other
        presence in the room.

              He'd come in on almost silent feet at the same time I'd
        turned to look out the window. The rrasp-slap sound of his house
        slippers had announced the path he took and warned me as he came from
        somewhere...in the cardinal West direction...beyond the door frame. I
        turned to look at him.

              There was something about another man I could automatically
        catch that wasn't present on a woman's body. Maybe it was a hormonal
        thing or maybe men perspired differently. I didn't know. But I knew
        that I was on the mark again when I guessed this was a man. A young
        one. I looked up, my face was impassive and blank, and from somewhere
        a voice said, never look surprised, never look scared, never give
        anything away. The voice could have been whispering in the other's
        head also. His face was just as expressionless as I knew mine was.

              We stared at each other, and I was surprised by how
        comfortable the silence between us was. Perversely that made me
        uneasy and I barely controlled my body's startled reaction when the
        other man spoke. "Are you hungry?"

              My stomach started a demolition project somewhere around my
        waist area as an answer. I wouldn't be surprised if he heard
        it. "Yes." I replied.

              "I don't have much," That somber tenor said, but didn't wait
        for me to say, "that's fine," before asking, "Ramen or rice?"

              "If it's not too much bother. Both, please."

              The words barely left my mouth and I found myself staring at
        the empty wall across the hall. The man had disappeared. It only then
        occured to me to ask him his name or even how I got here. I decided
        to wait until he got back. I didn't want to go wandering in a
        building I'm not familiar with. Privately, I didn't trust my body to
        work well enough for me to do that, so I looked out the window again.

              It was late afternoon. I shifted my hips and reached out to
        push the limp fabric to one side, allowing in more light and more
        irritations. The sky was gilded a graying-blue pewter in the west and
        in the darkening east it was taking on a purplish blue cast I thought
        looked sickeningly like a flesh contusion. There were no clouds
        except for wisps of grayish white lazily spreading through the
        twilight world. Fog? Was it that cold already? It was early autumn,
        maybe it was fog.

              The shadows were lengthening, clawing eastwards and
        streetlamps were flickering on, gleaming wetly along cars as they
        rushed to wherever they called home. Even this high up, their
        yellowish-white headlights bounced against glass store fronts, then
        reflected from other apartment windows, and splashed into the small
        room.

              The scene below was of the International District or what
        used to be called Chinatown. I distinctly remembered it being changed
        during the early Nineties to be more politically correct. Good, I
        remembered locations at least. I caught slices of a busy main
        thoroughfare and the name of the street came easily to my mind. Along
        with it came a couple of words floating tranquilly through my brain.
        Selective amnesia.

              I laughed hollowly to myself as my predicament suddenly made
        sense. Humiliating, violating and terrifying with my inability to be
        in any kind of control, but it made a weird sort of logic none the
        less. Selective amnesia. A symptom of my mental condition acting up
        again.

              I turned around to wait for the owner of the footsteps to
        appear at the door. The noises seemed intentionally made as if to
        tell me, "I'm warning you now. Don't be alarmed. It's just me." Or
        maybe that was my paranoia poking its ugly head up after having slept
        for more than nine years. Then again, maybe it was a good thing. That
        paranoia saved my life more times than I'm willing to discount. No
        matter why it chose to make a reappearance today, it just ended it on
        a perfectly dismal note.

              Those dark brown bangs appeared first, then the rest of the
        face and the lean body holding a couple of trays of steaming food. My
        stomach growled in annoyance at being ignored for so long. I
        continued ignoring it to get up and help with one of the trays. There
        were two. I wondered if he was going to join me. The bed wasn't that
        big. I immediately kicked my mental ass for being ungrateful and that
        was when I noticed the tray I was holding was actually a small
        folding table.

              I opened it and he placed the food upon it, arranging a
        series of eating utensils along side the dishes. Of course he
        wouldn't know what I'd prefer to eat with. It was actually a hearty
        meal with soy seasoned fried beef, a thick stew of pork and beef
        flavored with whole lemon leaves, ginger, onions and a few other
        greens I couldn't quite distinguish* with another bowl holding
        fragrant ramen and thick rice porridge. The man had came back with a
        small, electric rice cooker. He plugged it in and set it to one side
        on the table.

              "Are you joining me?" I asked.

              He shook his head, "No. I have to leave for work soon."

              "Ah," I picked up a pair of chopsticks and watched him
        carefully measure out rice into a deep bowl. "Thank you. Can I have
        your name?"

              He looked up at me through the mop of thick, shaggy bangs
        from where he kneeled, fiddling with the rice cooker's cord. I
        realized with blank wonder that he had blue eyes. I thought he was
        Asian -- he had the common ethnic bone structure of an almost flat,
        frontal view to his face with the slightly hooked nose that dipped a
        bit in between the eyes -- and though it was nowhere near rare to see
        half-anything kids anywhere these days, I was still amazed at the
        pure hue of the color. The room had gotten darker and hid the true
        shade in twilight haze so I couldn't tell if the blue was light or
        dark.

              "Reizo Kouta."

              Japanese. Kouta was probably his given name, I deducted, even
        if the practice these days was to give the first name followed by the
        surname. There was something very traditional about Reizo.

              Due to the pictographic structure of both Chinese and
        Japanese kanji, I knew "Reizo" could mean several things. The one
        that immediately came to mind was "well groomed". I had the sudden
        image of a horse being brushed or a poodle getting a pom-pom haircut
        and coughed to hide my emberrassment. Then I stopped, earning a
        sideways look from Reizo, though I was too startled by the fact that
        I'm multi-lingual to give him much consideration.

              At that moment, Reizo rose to his feet and turned towards me
        in one elegantly smooth move. In my unsettled mind, I unconciously
        interpret it as an attack and jerked back away from him completely
        forgetting the bowls of food in my hands. If my reflex hadn't
        stiffened my legs, my knees would have buckled against the edge of
        the bed causing me to fall backwards. I hissed, juggling the bowls,
        until my balance was restored but my equilibrum wasn't.

              Reizo still had that Zen mask on his face, though now
        punctuated with one raised brow. Before he could say anything I said
        in a shaky rush, "Ethan Ang Xin Fang." I elaborated when his eyes
        widened slightly, "My name. You can call me Ethan or Ang Xin, doesn't
        matter to me."

              A small lift at the corner of his mouth passed for a smile
        and he said, "Alright, Ethan."

              I pressed on, determined to show him I'm not ungrateful for
        his assistance. "Thank you for..." What? Finding me? Saving my life
        probably? I doubt an old building like this had convenient elevators.
        So add dragging my zoned out ass up several flights of stairs and
        feeding me? How could such simple words express my gratitude to the
        man who was still not making a fuss over me or my obvious
        condition? "...everything." I finished, clearing my throat self-
        conciously.

              Reizo continued to look at me. I was beginning to think I'd
        offended him when he said, "If you turn the lock to the left you'll
        automatically lock the door. But, you can stay as long as you like.
        Be careful of the hot pipes in the shower. Turn the cold on all the
        way, then turn the hot a quarter of the way."

              Startled, I tried to gather my alternately confused,
        emberrassed and thankful wits again, and managed another
        strangled, "Thank you," before slumping down onto the mattress. The
        loud, accompanying squeeks and creeks seemed to echo in the room. It
        squeeked? I hadn't noticed that when I was moving around before.

              Reizo simply got up and was about to leave when I
        blurted, "Aren't you afraid of theft?"

              He turned back around and stared at me, this time with
        genuine, distinguishable emotion on his face. Amusement. "If you
        think there's something worth stealing in here. You're welcome to
        it." And he left with that.

        -----

              I'd wandered around the tiny apartment for awhile, finding
        out that it was located next to a specialty Chinese restaurant and
        market. Somewhere out of sight from this unit, and next to the market
        was a building being renovated that had the requisite row of public
        lavatories which explained both smells earlier. Even this late the
        scent of dough, meats, and other ingredients used for making dim sum
        being steamed, broiled or fried filled the air. Thankfully, the
        public lavs have been shut down for the night. The apartment was a
        corner one and the living room had two walls full of windows. It's
        only saving (just barely) grace.

              The room was hung full of origami. Some fluttered, others
        twisted and the rest swayed gently in the breeze coming through two
        open windows. The thin, colorful paper animals, plants and everyday
        objects were strung unevenly over the glass and seemed as ephemeral
        as my teneous hold on reality. The strings holding them up were all
        but invisible against the spotted blackness of the cityscape. In the
        middle of the room was a table with squares of papers stacked neatly
        by color with a large, half finished, perfectly creased pale blue and
        white crane. The pattern on the paper imitated the graceful bird's
        plumage.

              Besides the living room, there was another bedroom, a
        bathroom and the kitchen which was open to the living room. They were
        all just as bare as the bedroom I woke up in. The extra bedroom I'd
        passed on my way to the kitchen was only slightly larger than the one
        I occupied and had basically the same furniture in it except for a
        large, white crane presiding over the space from its perch on the
        dresser. Even with the origami, there was nothing personal that said
        who lived here, what he did or if he even had any family.

              All the walls were a very forgetable matte white and the
        flooring was the same linoleum tile that was in my room. Only the
        living room had carpeting, or what passed for it. I wouldn't trust it
        to keep the cold chill of the floor from my feet. I found a knapsack
        in a cardboard box supported by a ducttaped, cracked Rubbermaid tub
        next to the bedroom door and surmised the box must be for dirty
        laundry though there wasn't anything in it yet.

              The knapsack was vaguely familiar until I picked it up and
        noted the careful stitching on the strap. Mine. From somewhere in my
        brain the knowledge that I had to learn how to sew at a very early
        age came forward. Why? Was I poor? What a stupid question. I asked
        myself it again anyway. No answer. Just a frustratingly generic
        thought of the knapsack's brand name which can be found anywhere.

              Agitated, I took an extra set of clothes from the bag and
        kept my hands from shaking by sheer will power. I scrounged around to
        find my comb and the tooth brush that was rubber banded to a jumbo
        tube of toothpaste into the bathroom with me. Maybe a good head to
        toe cleansing will help.

              Despite Reizo's directions, I still managed to scald my chest
        and a part of my neck before getting the right mix. I was very good
        at keeping my showers short and efficient. That was an ingrained
        habit. So was everything else about my habits I realized. I had very
        specific routines. My days were organized down to literally the last
        minute. I found an appointment book next to the comb filled with
        things I don't remember writing down or needing in the first place.

              I'm a survivor. Fighter was too physical of a word and living
        a normal life is too constricting of a concept for what I'm willing
        to do to get by in this world. Was that why I learned to sew?
        And...normal? Why did that bring up the sensory memory of onion-like
        sweat and muscle burn? There was something I needed to do. My body
        was restless. What did I have to do? My biceps twitched.

        -----

              In the end, it was meditation that allowed my body to do what
        it wanted without interference from my brain. So, even this late at
        night, I stuffed my already sock-clad feet into another pair and
        finally felt like I was ready to combat the floor's coldness to start
        my Tai Chi forms. Better late than never.

              I kept up the loosely coiled, flowing movements, and time
        slipped by, unnoticed and unconcerned by my engrossed mind. The feel
        of my body slowly expanding and contracting gradually helped me feel
        more secure and get the control I seem to be lacking. Heat was rising
        from my skin. I could feel it as my pores responded with sweat. I
        absently filed those little details away without breaking my physical
        rythme.

              Control. I liked to control the world around me. I learned to
        sew at a very early age because I liked the control it gave me over
        what I wore and how I presented myself. It was why I learned how to
        do a good many things. I am in control right now, and I hadn't felt
        that way in a long time.

        -----

              I laid in the darkness of the bedroom after exhausting myself
        for more than two hours and taking another shower. From my lack of
        drowsiness, I know I must have spent a couple of days in a near coma.
        I was gratified. I do remember, if nothing else, that I am always
        tired these days. I could still remember, some where...some times in
        the past...laying against the red dirt all night, and the previous
        day and that night too with the taste of vaguely coppery grit in my
        mouth as I patiently scanned the parameter, clutching that automatic
        rif--

              I physically turned my back against the insufficiently
        blocked window as if I could do the same to my own memories. That was
        what caused my condition. I didn't want to remember what I did.
        Debating the merits of my actions wasn't going to change anything.
        Not my life, not my family's or anyone else. It won't make anything
        better either. As I've learned the hard way, it could even get worse.
        I was thankful I couldn't remember what nightmare I woke up from this
        morning. Just vague images.

              Bullets spitting out of barrels wreathed in orange, yellow
        and red fire. Smoke. Straight, tiny craters forming in rapid
        succession, each with its own puff of pulverised dirt rising slowly.
        Coming closer. So fast. Screams.

        -----

        S





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      • oisa_sinovi
        ... Thanks, though honestly, I don t know about slash. I m not used to writing all out homosexuality. All of my writings have all types of people in it, but
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 18, 2005
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          > This sounds good. Will it have any slash in it.

          Thanks, though honestly, I don't know about slash. I'm not used to
          writing all out homosexuality. All of my writings have all types of
          people in it, but I've never really written my main characters as
          very sexual...whether that be straight or gay. There will certainly
          be sexual tension between the characters (be they male, female or
          both or none...) as it's the only thing I seem to be able to write
          with sexual anything attached, but my main characters are almost
          always single and do not perform sex with anyone, not even
          masturbation.

          I don't like writing sex between same sex characters (or even
          straight sex most of the time) because several people have already
          told me that I make my characters sound like machines doing a
          programmed act. No matter how I changed it, it just reads weirdly.

          S
        • harrypotterjr3@aol.com
          no i mean do you write harry potter storys on his 6th year
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 19, 2005
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            no i mean do you write harry potter storys on his 6th year
          • oisa_sinovi
            ... No, I don t write any Harry Potter, actually. I m not a fan of the book or the movies. S
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 19, 2005
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              > no i mean do you write harry potter storys on his 6th year

              No, I don't write any Harry Potter, actually. I'm not a fan of the
              book or the movies.

              S
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