Killing a story

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I was talking to the Weditor last night and we started comparing how and when we cut things out of a story. Let me say right now, I hate cutting. I never know what, how much, or when to cut.

One thing I do know really well is when to cut an entire story. I’ve started and decided not to continue several times. This usually ends with a more enjoyable and better written story.

Last year I wrote, The Cosmic Cuckoos. I love the idea and the concept for the story. It has very interesting possibilities. I really want to find out what happened to the main character’s friend.

Below is my first attempt, I moved the story forward several years and traumatised the character. I had her look for her friend. I’ve come to realize this will lead towards a mystery thriller type story and lead to her friend already having her mind wiped. That doesn’t fit well with the original and I’d rather explore what happens to both characters.

For all those reasons the below story will be scrapped. Does it mean it sucks or just that it’s not what I want to write? You be the judge.

* * *

“And the little green one probed my favourite cow Bessie,” the man drawled with no hint of humour. He wore a straw hat and farmer’s overalls. From where she was sitting Abby could see something shiny lining the hat. She assumed it was foil. The man was delusional like all the others.

She stood up to leave the small conference on “Unexplained Events and Unreal Facts.” It had been a long shot that anyone would be able to help her, but she still felt the sting of disappointment.

The next speaker stood up at the front of the old hall and started to speak in a soft melodious voice. “I’ve seen them the amber eyed husks.” Abby rolled her eyes and pushed the outside door open. Its loud creak stopped the speaker. “And where do you think you’re going? Bored already?”

A familiar anger washed over her. After everything she’d been through, she didn’t need some self-righteous jerk making her feel guilty. “Yes, I am. I won’t find any answers here.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little funny for you to be judging us, Abigail Westboro?” The man standing at the front of the room smiled a vicious smile. He had dark hair and was dressed like a discount Indiana Jones.

The crowed mumbled, some laughed, and some smart ass yelled, “The butcher of Baker County thinks we’re nuts?” and the whole crowed burst into laughter.

“Go to hell,” she yelled.

The man laughed as she ran out of the building and headed to her car. She hadn’t been called The Butcher for almost six years. Not since she was put on trial for killing her best friend Helen Montgomery.

Her friend had been taken by aliens but no one believed her. When they found her blood in the woods next to Abby’s unconscious body the case had been open and shut. She was only sixteen at the time and no one believed her. She told them about the woman who had taken her friend but the only thing it had gotten her was four years in an asylum. She was released after the doctors had said she was sane and non-violent.

She was on several forms of medication and couldn’t leave the province. In the asylum she’d managed to finish her high school and her first year of a physics degree. When she got out, she enrolled in a journalism class. She needed to find out what had happened to Helen.

At first people recognized her but she started dying her naturally red hair a silvery blond and cut it short. Her hairdresser said it looked stunning with her bronze skin and light-grey eyes. Fewer people recognized her after that and just in case she’d changed her last name to Smith.

When she had stormed out of the building, the hot July sun had hit her hard and she was blinded until she got into her car. Once inside she’d cried until someone knocked on her window. It was the jerk that had called her out.

He made a gesture with his hand asking if she’d roll down her window. When she did he said, “I’m sorry about that. I was a little harsh.”

“In case I didn’t say if with enough intensity, go to hell.” She started to roll up her window.

“Have you heard of the Plan for Chaos?” He yelled and she stopped moving the window up.

“The John Wyndham book that was so bad that he didn’t want it published?”

“Yes. Let me buy you lunch and we’ll talk about it?”

Most men saw something in her that made them run when they looked into her eyes, she stared this one down and he only blinked. How could he have embarrassed her and then ask her out?

“Whatever, get in.” She scowled.

* * *

 

Keep your eyes on the skies,

Eric

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