Over the weekend, I finished the first draft of FIRE ESCAPE. It was a great feeling to get there despite knowing that the structure needs a lot of work and the pacing feels a lot like my last novel MAN FROM ZERO. I feel like there is a tighter story in FIRE ESCAPE and it’s just a matter of me finding “the sculpture in the marble” as Michaelangelo would say. I’ve been working on the premise for FIRE ESCAPE for over a decade so a little more work is not going to bother me. That said, my goal this year was to write something for every day of the year, but just because I finished the story, doesn’t mean I get to take the rest of the year off!
This is where FROM SPACE comes in. It’s a story that involves a character whom we first met in the first draft of FIRE ESCAPE but focuses on a young woman who is not from around here…
So, here are the first two days of words for FROM SPACE (or grab the PDF here):
The morning in question was like any other for Sarah. She woke up, went to her temp gig as a perpetual office assistant. The gig was originally supposed to be six weeks but it turned into six months. It was practically a normal job except for health insurance. Which was not a big deal since she pretty much hadn’t been sick in a long time. She had turned thirty a few years ago but did not care since she looked like she’d barely turned twenty-one. So the income was nice.
I came to meet Sara Church when the search for my one if my list items led me to her parent’s home. The night before I visited her, she had an experience that would change her life and I’m afraid meeting me did the same thing again.
The night before was like any other night where she invited her boyfriend to spend the night, for the most part. The difference came in the morning when she woke to find herself alone and covered in a thin green film.
It wasn’t totally disgusting—it wasn’t a gross slime she was drenched in like you might find in one of your Earth movies. It was was just a thin film with think blobs in certain areas. She would later tell me it reminded her of a spider web. It was still gross, she told me, but my commentary is that it wasn’t as bad as what some beings have to go through.
But before all that, she had gotten out of bed, showered off all of the green webbing and left the green tinted sheets for when she got home from work.
The day would continue like any other. Again, for the most part.
She called her boyfriend but got his voicemail. She left a message and then texted him. After each action, she heard nothing back from him. She wasn’t so much worried as she was puzzled. Sarah always had her own way of doing things and found that it would often put off the men she would date.
In a meeting with all the departments at the tech startup she worked at, she was bored and absentmindedly fiddly with her fingers. After several Earth minutes, she noticed a strange green substance oozing from her left index finger’s nail.
A sour look crossed her face. She instinctively wiped it on the chair she sat on, turned her focus back to the meeting. From that point on, she was able to forget all about the green stuff and didn’t think about it again until after the meeting ended and she was back at her cubical sitting, staring at her computer screen. She wasn’t sure how long she sat there before she felt herself start to cry. Not full-on sobbing but just slight tears and soft sounds like she was clearing her throat. She grabbed one of those tissue-things Earth people keep in boxes on their desk and wiped her face with it. As she pulled it away and looked at it, she could see it was smeared with green.
She used her phone’s camera to see herself and make sure she wiped the rest of the green tears from her face. Moments later she stood over the assistant to her boss as he sat at his desk.
“Hey, Chad, I’m not feeling so well. I’m going to work the rest of the day from home.”
“Ok. We’ll let you know if you need anything and you do the same—in fact, you’ve got some green on you—didn’t know that was you’re color!”
“Me neither. Thanks, Chad!”
She self consciously wiped her face as she headed out.
She thought about calling her boyfriend again but decided he would get back to her when he wanted to. Of course, after getting home to her apartment, she didn’t feel very well so she just took a nap.
At some point she had woken up, ordered food to be delivered and fell back asleep.