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#6103 - 09/08/03 03:45 PM Sneak Peak: Death
Nqoire Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 137
Thought I'd give y'all a sneak peak of my story to see if it is worth posting. If there is any interest, I'll post the first section when my betas {my wonderful betas :: wink::} finish ripping it to shreds.

"Death"


The small room was covered in comforting wallpaper of ABC’s, crayons and teddy bears. Small bodies lay in various states of repose on soft flannel mats, some sucking fingers, others whimpering comfortingly. A shortish woman with curly red hair and green eyes watched them carefully, while pulling goldfish crackers out of puppets, and apple slices off the walls.

“Miss?” A slender mother stood in the doorway of the preschool, early, but apparently ready to take her young “angel” home. The teacher turned towards her, and smiled, before answering.

“Just a moment Mrs. Marten, I’ll wake Robert for you.” The red haired woman walked deftly around the mats, stopping at one that housed a brunette haired child. The preschool teacher paused for a moment, knowing what “Bobbet” was like when he was awake.

Did she really want to pull him from his peaceful sleep and make his mother face his hyperactivity all the way home? Oh well, she shook the boy gently. He woke quickly and raced to his mother, shouting the whole while.

“Mommy! I had crackers! Mommy, Sally and I dug a hole to China! Mommy! Look at my craft!” And so on and so on. The teacher shook her head- he was sure to wake the other children. Sure enough, Jonathon, and then Katy, woke up and began to bawl.

Mrs. Marten looked mortified and hurried her son out of the room. The daycare attendant looked around the room and sighed, heading for her purse. She needed some IB Profuen. Rubbing tiredly behind her slender glasses, she downed two of the pills before quieting the children enough that the other rooms in the building shouldn’t be disturbed.

She reluctantly pulled out the goldfish crackers once more, knowing she would again spend half an hour cleaning, but rationalizing it as half an hour cleaning or half an hour of screaming. Cleaning won every time. Eventually, her class of 17 toddlers all woke and she took them out to the playground. Like most preschool playgrounds, this one had a sandbox, swing set, giant tires, and Fisher Price play equipment.

Several other teachers also had their classes out in the fresh air. It was November and quite possibly some the last nice weather they would get all year. The women all held mugs in their hands, steaming beverages within. Her’s held Chai Tea, most of the other teachers had Cocoa or Coffee, both of which she didn’t drink. After an hour or so she slowly began to herd her children back into the room.

Eventually, all the children had been picked up. She headed for her small green Subaru in the parking lot of the Preschool Building. She had two errands before she could go home. First, to Issaquah and the PCC. She was out of soymilk and wheat germ. Then, to the post office to pick up her mail.

*~*~*

Journal,

I’m marrying him. He knows so much, has so many resources. I would have unlimited access to all sorts of information. I will never have a chance like this again. The opportunity of a lifetime. No more hurt. He can’t hurt me if I don’t love home. Just resources.
~L

Journal,

No more hurt. Just resources. Right. How stupid can you get? I was an idiot, talking to myself like that. Nothing is ever that simple. Oh yes, stupid.
~ L

Journal,

Stupid, stupid, stupid. How could I have so misjudged him? I should have known he’d be just like the rest. Oh yes, not once did he turn traitor but three times. Why? [The next words were unreadable, having been marred by a tear] loved him…..ark li…..upe…y stor….aid didn’t lo….ew him. I thought I did. Shows how you can trust my heart. Both of them, actually, all three.

~ L
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#6104 - 09/09/03 03:42 AM Re: Sneak Peak: Death
AnnieM Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/03
Posts: 391
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
I'm intriqued by this fad of new authors presenting tiny snippets of their stories to see if there is any interest. For future reference: we're interested. There will never be a snippet posted that generates responses like, "Eh, no thanks. Don't bother posting the whole thing."

That said, I was definitely intrigued by this. I'm not sure what relationship this preschool has to Lois. It seems clear that we are meant to assume that this takes place as she is about to marry Lex at the end of S1. So unless this is an elseworld story, I'm not sure how she is connected to a daycare center. Or, perhaps she's not related at all yet, and daycare is to be part of the A plot. I'll be interested in discovering this.

You captured the teacher's weariness well, and the hyperactivity of toddlers. Overall, the writing is very good and I saw only a few minor errors (ibuprofen, not IB profen). Also, I have no idea what this means: "First, to Issaquah and the PCC." I'm assuming, by reading the following sentence that these are health food stores where one can by soymilk and wheat germ. If that's not right, or if there is more to it than that, you may want to add an explanation.

However, one thing that did catch my attention is that this woman seems to be solely in charge of 17 children, which is most definitely illegal. She needs to have a *minimum* of one assistant if she has a class this large. Laws on the number of children per caregiver vary from state to state, but it's generally something like one care provider for every three infants, five toddlers or eight preschoolers. You can certainly stretch this, given the fact that we have to make our own laws for Metropolis, but there is no way there could be a class with one teacher and 17 toddlers. My advice is to either give her an assistant or two (perhaps assistants that aren't very helpful if you want her to be doing the bulk of the work) or knock the class size down to seven or eight. Trust me, seven or eight toddlers is more than enough to frazzle a teacher.

One final comment/question. I'm a little nervous about the title of your story. If this is going to be a dark story or deathfic, you probably ought to let us know ahead of time as there are a number of people actively avoid stories like that and would be rather upset to read one unwittingly. Actually, given the fact that upon reading that title, I *assumed* it would be a darkfic or deathfic, you might want to post an assurance that it's NOT one of the two if, indeed, it's not.

Also, out of curiousity, how long do you expect the story to be and how far along in the writing are you? I'm just curious because I don't read stories until they are completed, and I'm wondering how long I'm going to have to wait. smile

Looking forward to reading more!

Annie
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Being a reporter is as much a diagnosis as a job description. ~Anna Quindlen

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#6105 - 09/09/03 05:42 AM Re: Sneak Peak: Death
Nqoire Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 137
Thanks so much for your comments! I'll work in a couple of assitants for her and fix ibuprofen.

As a reassurance, this is not a deathfic , the title is refering to something that has already taken place. I tried to think of a better title, but my muse left, so I titled it as "Death." It is part one in a three part series. The other two stories are "Resurrection" and "Life" so "Death" seemed appropriate to start the cycle.

I have no idea how long it will be until the story is finished, at least a few months, probably longer. I've got it outlined to about 200 pages or so.
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#6106 - 09/10/03 02:43 PM Re: Sneak Peak: Death
Melisma Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 522
Loc: Surrey, BC
Idea for the title - if it's a three-part series, why don't you name the whole series? For example, you could call the series Life Cycle (I'm pulling a name out of a hat, here...), and then you could label each part of the series Life Cycle 01: Death, Life Cycle 02: Resurrection, and Life Cycle 03: Life - that way your readers could know that even if the first story is a WHAM (uh, is that the right term?), that there is more to come, and it may get happier. Like Annie said, some people (me included) get a little scared if the title seems to hint that it might be a deathfic mecry - but I might read it anyway if there's a chance you'll write another story and fix the mess you made sloppy

Melisma (going back into hiding here under her Rock)

peep
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Do, or do not. There is no try.
- Yoda

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