Okay, I have two orders of business for you all:
- My bestest friend Andrea reads all of my blog posts and is relatively irate that I have never once talked about her. (I said I was pretty sure I had, but apparently she got all stalker-sleuth and read every single blog post, and there is not one mention of her). So here you go. Andrea is weird and nice and I love her very much, and she came to visit me in the hospital after my surgery and came to see my play because she’s a good cookie. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about her more.
- It’s been a very, very long time since I posted anything about my writing. A little under a month ago, I re-opened The Psychnomast and started doing some shtuff for the second draft that’s been a semi-work in progress for way too long now. I completely cut my original opening, because it was a lot of expository/info-dumping, and it was boring and I decided that I hated it. What follows is the new opening scene for The Psychnomast. It is rough, but isn’t it always?
Typically, Proditor and I liked to keep our interactions monosyllabic and vaguely passive aggressive.
Or silent, such as in this case.
We approached the dull gray doors that indicated the holding cells. Part of the general weirdness of a mixed school-and-agency, the basement temporarily housed criminals while the students learned upstairs. Mr. Proditor stopped at Room A and entered the code into the keypad, blocking my view with his broad, pin-striped back. The door beeped and he pulled it open.
“Are you ready, Miss Evans?”
My jaw ticked at the deliberately irritating formal title. “As I’ll ever be.”
We strode into the room, Proditor in one corner and a guard in another, and I sat across from my subject.
I smiled. “Hey, how you doing?” He, very rudely, did not smile back. Or answer. Or look at me. “Okay. I’ll just get going then.”
I closed my eyes, and carefully detached my consciousness from my brain and latched it to his, feeling the familiar drop of my stomach and barely registering the moment of blackness that typically accompanied the activity. I ignored the faint echo that voiced his current thoughts and looked around. I was in a warehouse. A very cluttered warehouse—sure, some of the junk was super expensive junk, but it was junk nonetheless. You’d think an alleged criminal “mastermind” would have a slightly more organized mindscape.
I poked around for a while. There were tables filled with blueprints and floor plans and scribbled ideas. Tucked in a corner of the room was a filing cabinet.
I laughed softly. “If this is his memory bank,” I muttered, “he should get a shorter sentence for being my easiest assignment in ages.”
I pulled open the top drawer, and, sure enough, the files were his memories. I checked the files of the last few days and found the correct file—it was from five days ago.
“Found it! Let’s see … yep, all here. Looks like there’s even a copy of your plan, too! Gets a little unfortunate here at the end, though, huh? Close call on your escape there, man.” I tuned myself into his thoughts, which were growing louder as he realized exactly what was happening.
Wait! You’re in my head?
“That would be correct.”
Is this legal? I should have a lawyer, shouldn’t I? Aren’t I provided a lawyer?
“Sorry, no. See, your Miranda Rights clearly state that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, and you have the right to an attorney during any part of the questioning and trial process. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for you, you aren’t saying anything—the police will just use the information I’m getting from you in order to locate the evidence to convict you. So, nope, totally legal, no attorney necessary.” I refiled his memory. “I’m kind of like … an anonymous informant. I just, you know, have really reliable sources.”
This is unethical! I have rights! Basic, human ones, like, oh, I dunno, the right to think?
“Of the two of us, you are the one who’s actually committed a felony here. So, what do you want to do? Want me to give them all the information they need to find the evidence, or do you want to confess? I bet they could swing some lighter sentence for you if you confessed.”
His thoughts raced while he considered my offer, weighing his options.
I’ll confess. Now, would you get out?
I obliged and lifted my head off the back of the chair, rubbing where the back of the metal chair had been cutting into my neck. I looked at the man whose head I had just investigated. He was looking distinctly paler, but rather angry. I didn’t rush, per se, but I didn’t waste much time leaving the room.
Proditor followed me out, and I tapped one of the four police officers on the shoulder.
“He’s ready to give you a confession,” I said. “Do you have a pen and something I can write on?” The officer handed me a pad and pencil. “These,” I said as I wrote, “are where you’re gonna want to go to find the evidence you need. Let me know if you need anything else from me.” I smiled and was steered away from them by Proditor.