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Continue this short story!

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Joined: 16 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:47 am    Post subject: Continue this short story! Reply with quote

This is the beginning of a short story (I wrote it).

If you feel like it you can continue it the way you want!

"If there was something that Doriane Blessen did not like, it was the silly, yet over-natural, squeal of the alarm-clock.
Casually she would rub her painful, sleepy eyelids, emit a dissatisfied groan and stretch her arms, twisting her fists round her wrists.
She would climb down the ladder from the mezzanine, grope into the plastic bag that was in her view the best equivalent to a wash bag with the desperate prospect of finding her shower gel , soap and shampoo.
After the shower, very presumably the only good time in the day, she would dress up with the insidious anguish of having another memorable bad one. Which, comically enough, had nearly become a habit; a rather annoying generality in the derelict landscape of her daily life and an extra burden wobbling over her frail shoulders.
For her sake, this morning began quite differently.
As she glanced at the alarm-clock, she realized that she was half an hour late. Dashing into the shower, of which she got out immediately, she spared herself from the everyday dismay by collecting two biscuits in the cupbard. By the five next minutes she was walking in the street.
The moment promised to be critical. Just before entering the high school she was to drop at the copier, just round the corner before the school. It took at least three additionnal minutes and she was not expecting to turn up in class on time any further.
Treading on the pavement with her heavy backpack and a little disquiet she was nevertheless able to remember the previous events.
It appeared to her that the last three days had been unquestionably exhausting; a segment of time blurred along by a devastating vortex of excruciating elements that added up one to each other on to a disastrous amount, the first of which was the off-night siestas like the one this morning which she was dangerously and gradually getting used to; a second somehow quite similar was the appalling lack of organization with which she proved to manage her educational scheme; a third and final one was the pathetic and uncomfortably recurring fantasies about some guys at school. A matter of fact was that of course she had just had one; not long before leaving; she could still remember the doll-like face of the blue-eyed blonde sophomore boy that span part of her sexual patterns.
As sweat ran on her brow she had the clear, shadowcasting impression that she could barely continue like that in the future.
Doriane arrived late; the teacher did not complain, better for her; and the course rolled on.
The after-course seemed to her another bleak and hollow moment of despair; she had to work, but she did not want to.
She had to think.
She was feeling as if her life was paralyzed, earthbound by an intricate network of completely indiscriminate elements, an authentic cobweb woven by only-God-knows what spider, and which she would find it extremely hard to unravel.
For example, her relation to authority and the studies she was making at this St Paul’s Academy. A boring, tedious and unpredictable life that she rejected all the way and that clearly did not suit her steady, peaceful persona. A life strewn with relations whose principal outline was conflicts.
She just thought of Mr. Lansbury, the physics senior teacher.
He was an atrocious, pedantic man who was without a doubt everything but conscious that mankind had passed on to a new century. He was talking with a ridiculous voice, a pompous tone in which glowed a sharp streak of grotesque; a secondary effect that was not obviously made on purpose.
Doriane perfectly knew that she did not need this silly man to learn physics; on the contrary she would have been glad to learn it home alone with books. Doriane was interested in physics, a bitter irony from fate.
But this, of course, was impossible.
“Staying at home is no way to achieve high academic standards”, had said her mother. The discussion had been closed as fast as opened.
As the recollection did not turn out to be especially pleasant Doriane felt a wave of melancholy flowing over her and some tears sparkle at her eyes. Crying for no reason, another stupid habit..."
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Joined: 16 May 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"********************27years later****************************

Doriane glanced once more at the financial report, completely bored. The words and the numbers in it made no sense to her, even though she had a Masters degree in business and finance and had worked on similar reports for the last 8 years. She sighed and closed her eyes. "Miss McLawsky, a cup of coffee", with her eyes still close, she told her secretary over the phone, with no affection in her tone. Politeness, or rather, warmth, was none of her style. She loathed waste, any waste: She had never wasted time in what she called "unproductive manner", which constituted of doing anything that does not include in itself thinking, working, or learning. In her bag was always a copy of a dictionary, a physics book or any other worthwhile material that she could easily open in an event of what would other be an "unproductive physical activity", such as just eating. Waste of words was another thing that irritated her. If you have something worthy of saying, say it. If not, it's better left unsaid, she thought. Words of politeness, such as "thank you", "please", or "have a nice day" were indeed considered a waste by her.
"You are the most Un-American American I've ever met", she was told once, a few years ago by a Norwegian acquaintance.
"I will take it as a complement"
He smiled. "Seriously, talking to you I don't know what's worse--all those fake Have a Nice Day I've been hearing since I got here, or your complete absence of any human kindness"
"you are mistaken, I DO possess human kindness, but I show it only when it's worth it. I really don't think that smiling to people I dislike or saying 'have a nice day' when I really think 'I hope you'll get so drunk tomorrow that you'll sell all your stock bonds at the cost of 1% of their real value.'
He laughed. "want a friendly advice? If you want to get somewhere in the business world, or in this world in general, for that matter, you'd better learn how to tell people what they wanna hear, at least sometimes..."
You were wrong, Greg, she thought to herself. I tell people what I think regardless of their personal desires to hear certain things, and yet I found myself owning a huge billion-dollar company only 8 years after graduating from that business school. In contrary to what most people think, it is the ability to demonstrate power and success, to insert fear in others that is essential to a real success in business. Not a talent for lying. Still, she was not what one'd call an "inhuman boss". She paid her employees well and generously, and was never hesitant in giving a particularly outstanding employee a raise.
"You are wasting an awful lot of money on those little lazy bastards" Mattew Smith, the owner of a particularly successful toy factory, once told her. "I pay my workers at least 30% less of what you're paying them and they work like slaves" he smiled with satisfaction.
"A healthy and happy worker is a productive worker," she answered coolly "aside from the fact that my company is not a concentration camp and I have no intentions of making it one"
"my company is no concentration camp, if that's what you are suggesting" he replied angrily.
This morning, unlike all the other mornings in her life, she wasn't able to concentrate on her work, instead, she kept thinking, or more precisely, daydreaming. Her life, from the first day of kindergarten up until the day she had been accepted to work in the company, was flushing in front of her eyes in pieces that were not organized by any particular pattern. The first day at school, a little nervous, but overly ok; graduation ceremony in high school; the prom she had not attended; her first sexual experience, during the summer between school and college, with a French tourist; her school days, boring, notorious, melancholic, lonely. She suddenly smiled as she thought of her childish fantasies then, of her silly desires to be a famous physicist, to marry a perfect man (tall, blond, very smart, kind, sweet, romantic...) and have a perfect family. The guys she was in love with in school. What a waste, for none of them had shown any interest in her. She sighed, stood up, and went to examine herself in the mirror. Tall, thin yet feminine body; long, sleek, black hair; large brown eyes, average nose and mouth; beautiful by any standard, clever, intelligent, rich, successful, yet no luck with men. Why? she found herself asking the same question she had asked herself so often when she was in high school and to which she never found an answer. Some things will never change, she thought with irony, others are bound to. The secretary brought the coffee in.
"Thank you, Miss McLawsky", Doriane found herself saying. McLawsky looked at her astonished, as if something extraordinary had just happened. Doriane raised her thin, long, dark eyebrows and tightened her lips, what made poor McLawsky feel a great discomfort. Quickly, as if following a command in the army, she bowed slightly, mumbling something under her nose and fled the room. Now, why did I just say that, asked herself Doriane, completely puzzled. She could not remember the last time she used this word. Perhaps in high school? After drinking that cup of coffee, she forced herself to concentrate on the report. Numbers and words, but what do they mean? Carelessly her eyes scrolled down the rows of numbers. One figure attracted her eyes: -5.07%. The only number with a minus sign attached to it. She looked closer, it was the company's office in Vermont. Vermont..... Now she remembered that the office in Vermont kept losing money over the past 3 months. I'll give a ring to O'Neil and tell him to go and check what's going there. Mr. Smith was a tall, mascular, blond with small light icy blue eyes, calm voice and small mouth. He seldom smiled, and despite his quite attractive physical appearance was not a charming person; still, he was a highly efficient worker, clever, and very useful when it came down to things like this.
"It's the most I can do today", she said out loud and, without saying anything to anyone, left her office and took a walk along Fifth Avenue. She passed a homeless man. He was very old, dirty, dressed in rugs, and had a long white hair. She had been passing him every day for the last few years, but she had never bothered herself to look at him, up until this day. She took out a 20-dollar bill from her pocket and handed it to him. "Here, go buy yourself something to eat", she said and quickly turned away from him, not wanting to see his reaction, whatever it might be. She walked aimlessly throughout the streets of Manhattan, clearly wasting her time. Various images, mostly childhood memories, kept popping up in her mind, and with them the only thought how come I've ever found myself living the life I live now? Why did I turn out to be the person I am today?
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Joined: 16 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:51 am    Post subject: Hi liebe ! Reply with quote

Hi liebe and... Congratulations !

I'll tell you what I think.

When I wrote the beginning of this short story I originally intended to continue it but then I found that I would have no time for it or it would demand me too much effort for a result that would not have turned out to be especially interesting.
If you wanna know everything the idea I had to continue the story consisted of Doriane undergoing a "personal shift", a sort of revolution in her inner life, and that would have inevitably ended up in being aggressive to some others (the blue-eyed boy, the physics teacher...)

I *love* the way you continued the story and I think you have true talent, to be totally frank it is in my opinion far better written than my part, I especially enjoy the passages when she's interacting with people at her job, you know it seems you perfectly understood the kind of person I wanted Doriane to be.

Furthermore you have a keen, witty sense of humor that expresses itself through a well-dosed irony.
Hope to read other works by you soon...

If others want to continue the story differently, you're still welcome...


PS: it's up to you to choose a title now !
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