Monday, January 5, 2015

The Dark, chapter 3

So I know it's been two days since I updated, but I was gone all day on Sunday. So here's chapter 3...

Chapter 3
“Oh, my god,” Marie said again. “Oh, my god, I killed him!” She put her hand on the wound in his head, and gasped again. A strange heat was flowing from her spine out to the tips of her fingers, which were placed lightly on Stephen's forehead. She watched in amazement as her brother's temple healed, slowly somehow expanding back out, smoothing his forehead over. Slowly, the boy's eyes opened. He blinked, slowly, and then again, as if he was disoriented.
“What... just happened?” He sat up, and rubbed his temple. “I could swear I was... the voice in my head...” he stopped speaking, looking around wildly as if afraid. “I'm dead, aren't I? I'm dead, and you guys are like my... judgment, or something. Right?” He asked, and the boys burst out into laughter. “Dude, Stephen, are you serious? Marie just... fixed you. You were dead, and she touched your forehead and she... fixed you.” This from Johnny.
“Johnny, what have you been smoking? There is no way that Marie would ever fix me.” Stephen fixed his cold, blue eyes on Marie. “Would you?”
“I didn't... I didn't do it on purpose. I sort of... it was an accident. I didn't know that I could. I've never... had any of this happen before.”
“Any of WHAT?” Stephen looked at my brothers, clearly almost as confused as Marie felt. “What the hell is going on?” Harold volunteered an answer.
“Well, Marie has some superpower, like, super-strength, or something. She kicked you in the head and killed you. Then she touched your forehead and she... she fixed you. I don't know how.”
“Neither do I.” Said Marie, quickly. “I have no idea why any of this is happening. I just... you guys, this is going to sound absolutely crazy, but--”
“Sis, after what just happened, I don't think much is going to sound crazy any more.” Johnny interrupted.
“This might. Just... let me talk, okay? Okay. So, earlier, I went into dad's study.” The boys all leaned a bit closer. The study was nearly taboo for the siblings. “And his wardrobe – remember the wardrobe we were never, ever allowed to touch? - was open. And so, I walked up to it and I looked inside. And there was, literally, nothing.” The boys all sighed, clearly thinking that to be the most anticlimactic ending ever. “Wait, though, I mean literally nothing. No wood at the back of the wardrobe, no dust, no clothes, nothing. Just like... a black hole. In the wardrobe. And I felt this thing, like a vacuum, trying to pull me in. And then there was this minotaur – I know, I told you this was crazy. And he said 'your father sends his regards.' Oh, and he smashed through the wall and jumped out.” Marie's brothers were looking at her like she was nuts.
“Johnny, I take it back,” Stephen said, then looked at Marie. “What have you been smoking, Marie?” Marie sighed.
“I'm telling you the truth. You know what, come here.” Marie stood and walked to the door. “Come and see.” Followed by her brothers, Marie walked down the hall and pushed open the door of the study.
“What the hell...” Marie said in disbelief, as her brothers laughed.
“See, told you it was all crap,” remarked Johnny.

“No!” Marie shouted, staring at the spot in the wall where the hole had been just an hour before.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Dark, chapter 2

My daily chapter :)

Chapter 2
Marie turned from the hole in the wall, her heart pounding, a scream hovering in the back of her throat. She ran towards her bedroom. As she approached the door, the sweet smell of apples reached her nose. She tried to turn the knob, but the door was still locked. She reached under her shirt and pulled the key for the door out of her rather large locket that her father had brought her from Africa around ten years ago. She slid the key into the lock and twisted it until she heard a click. She pushed her door open and was met with resistance. She peeked through the gap she had created and saw one of her brothers, Johnny judging by his height, lying flat on his stomach, evidently passed out, holding her door closed. Marie pulled back her foot and kicked him sharply in the ribs. He didn't wake, but curled around his ribs, groaning softly, giving her enough room to get the door open. Marie took a breath and stepped inside.
Her room was a mess. The apples she had brought lay scattered, most of them smashed to a pulp, which explained the smell. Holding her hand before her nose, tiptoeing around a pile of vomit presumably left by Harold, who was lying with part of his face in it. Marie shuddered. Hardly above leeches and slugs on the list of things she detested, her brothers were the most repulsive things she had to spend the majority of her days with. Marie stepped onto her large bed, grabbed her money box from under the mattress. From there she took a leap onto her bed pillows, which were piled in front of her closet, from which she grabbed her three best pairs of pants and her two worst, some shirts, a few dresses, a basket, and two hats. She crept around Stephen, squeezed through the gap in the door, and locked the door behind her. Sprinting past her dad's study, she ran to her mother's room. Ever since her mother had passed away when Marie was ten, the room had been left in a state of preserved perfection. She crashed rather unceremoniously through the door and dropped onto her mother's bed, which released a huge puff of dust. She started coughing as she shut the door, then she looked around herself. Her mother's name had been Marina, and somehow this looked like the room of a Marina. Maybe it was just because, when Marina had first died, right after the boys' mother, Gertrude, had moved in down the hall, Marie had spent almost all of her time in her mother's room, crying to the emptiness and the way the room still smelled like her mom; like that one perfume she had always worn. Marie remembered when, for years after her mom had passed, she had stood in front of the mirror in her mom's favorite dress that she wore on dates with her dad, wearing her mom's best pearl necklace, drenched in Marina's rose perfume, staring at her reflection and wishing to God that her mom could come back. She, of course, couldn't. Marie realized this now, though when she was seven, she had thought that if she wished hard enough, she could once again experience the happiness of being loved by a mother, of having somebody to talk to, her wish would be granted.
In the present, Marie walked around the room, examining the photographs, the books, the jewelry and makeup, everything that she had left of her real mom.
“Oh, mom, I need you. Am I crazy? I don't know if I am or not, but what I saw can't exist... can it? Oh, geesh, I'm talking to a dead person.” Marie had to hold back a sob. “Of course I'm crazy. It's kind of obvious, right? Mom, if you're out there, if somehow you can hear me like you always said you could, I need your help, mom...” Trailing off, Marie flopped down on the bed again, letting out a sob and all the tears she had been holding back since the episode in her father's study.
“Mommy!” she yelled, pounding on Marina's favorite pillow, unleashing more dust. “I need you, mommy!” As soon as she finished her sentence, Marie heard a voice crooning outside the door.
“You need your mommy? I'm here, you delicious little morsel... Come out, come out, come see your mummy...” The door slammed open suddenly, and in the opening Marie saw Stephen, Harold, and Johnny, each holding a heavy stick which Marie recognized as the legs from her 19th-century desk brought back by her father from Switzerland when Marie was nine. Marie sat up, pulling down her blouse, scooting back so her back was against the headboard of her mom's bed.
“What do you boys want? Why can't you leave me alone?” to her own horror, Marie felt tears hovering, just on the brink of spilling. “Why can't you just go away and throw yourselves off a bridge?” Another sob shook Marie's shoulders as she analyzed the looks being given her by her brothers. They were mostly amused and devilish, but there was some wariness there, as if they were afraid that Marie had some trap in store for them. Johnny was the first one to speak.
“Why should we leave you alone, Marie-girl? We love you. We love you very, very much.” To Marie's shock, his voice sounded almost sober, and very sincere.
“You don't love me. You don't know what love even feels like. You can only lust. You can hunger for flesh and burn with desire, but that is not love. That,” another sob, “is not even CLOSE to love. Get OUT of my mother's room, go away, and LEAVE ME ALONE!” Marie had stood on her bed, fury and tears burning in her eyes. Harold and Johnny took a startled step back at her outburst, but Stephen stood his ground and raised an eyebrow at her.
“We don't know what love is?” he sounded pissed. “We loved our mother. We didn't lock ourselves in our rooms and refuse to speak or eat while we let her DIE! That's what people who can't love do. People like YOU.” Marie took another step towards him.
“Take that back, Stephen. Take. That. Back.” Stephen chuckled.
“Or what?” he asked, the look on his face unbearably smug. Knowing that she could do practically no damage, Marie cocked her left leg up, spun on her right foot, and snapped her foot out, connecting her heel with Stephen's forehead. She heard a crack, and toppled off the bed, landing right next to her brother, who was lying still on the ground, blood trickling out of a small indent on his head.
“Oh my god,” Marie whispered, crawling to her brother. Harold and John were already there, Harold with his ear against Stephen's chest. Harold looked up at Marie, eyes wide.

“You killed him, Marie. You killed him.”

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Dark, chapter one

So this is a page-a-day novel that I'm writing this year, and these are the two-ish pages that I have completed so far. This is the first chapter. (For some reason my blog doesn't leave my format so it looks kind of ugh)

Chapter one
The house wasn't the same for her anymore. Its halls, once seeming so comfortable and radiant, now were confining, dark, and drafty. Ever since her father had disappeared three weeks ago, she hadn't been able to bring herself to enter his study, once the hub of her and her siblings' fun, as it was always full of little treat boxes that their father had brought back from his travels abroad, as well as all the puzzles, games, and toys that she or her brothers desired. The study, where her father had last been seen, was now regarded by herself and her peers as off-limits, though whether because it was hallowed or haunted, nobody could quite tell. She pushed open the door to her bedchamber to find her three step-brothers lying sprawled on her floor.
“Oy, Maria! Glad to see you're finally back! Did you bring us something from Wingate?” Maria's stomach churned. Her brothers had teased her ever since she was young, but, lately, ever since the man of the house (the boys' step-father, her father), had gone, their jokes had taken on a different tone. Even as she thought this, the oldest of the boys, Stephen, reached up a hand and pulled her to the floor. She hit hard on her tailbone, and the basket she had been carrying, filled with apples from one of their mansion's many orchards, tipped on its side, spilling its contents all over the floor.
“Leave me alone, Stephen.” Maria tried to walk away, but Stephen wouldn't let go. He let her stand up, then twisted his grip on her ankle so that she fell again, this time right into the lap of Harold, the youngest of the three. He wrapped his arms around her and proclaimed,
“Look what I have here, boys! Lookie what I got!” Johnny and Stephen immediately threw themselves onto Harold, half-jokingly trying to get Maria away from him. She wriggled out of the heap and onto her bed.
“You're all drunk!” She yelled. “You've been at dad's liquor, haven't you. You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Leave me alone!” Johnny looked up at her, his eyes bleary under the alcoholic mask.
“Now, I was agreeing with you right up until that last sentence. You shouldn't have said that last sentence, Maria. Now I'm going to getcha!” Johnny leaped up onto her bed, missed landing on Maria by about three feet, which gave her the time to jump off her bed, slide out the door, and lock it behind her. She stood with her back to the locked door for a second or two before bolting to the study. The one place they would never look for her. She slammed the door open and stepped into the room. As she eased the door shut, she decided that the room looked just like it did when Maria's father was around, except that the one thing her father never allowed the children to touch – his wardrobe from Saudi Arabia – was open. Unable to resist her curiosity, Maria peeked inside. What she saw made her step back. A huge void, filled with nothingness, no light, no dust, no anything, lay where the back of the wardrobe should have been. Maria reached her hand forward and it went past the ends of the walls of the wardrobe, into this void, and she could feel a gentle force, like a vacuum turned on low, pulling at her hand, trying to get her to come in farther, come closer, closer, closer. Maria leaned forward a bit more, and suddenly, a small set of jaws, like that of a snake but with lots more teeth snapped shut just below her hand. The spell was broken, as if the vacuum had been shut off, and Maria, too terrified to speak, crawled out of the wardrobe, clicking the doors shut behind her. She sat against the wall, crying silently, scared enough to want to talk to her brothers, but smart enough to know that that would put her in a much worse spot than she already was. Wait... her brothers. Surely, Maria thought, this is just some elaborate joke contrived by those evil, devilish things. She slid up the wall until she was in a standing position.
“All right, good joke, boys. You can come out now!” She crept towards the door to the hallway. “I suspect you think you're smart, don't you? But I've got you figured out. So ha! You can... come out now... boys?” Her hand on the door, Maria heard a noise from behind her. A sort of bestial growl. She turned, slowly, expecting to see one of her brothers standing a few feet from her. Instead, she saw a huge beast, part man, part bull, standing across the room from her. Maria's spine tingled in fear and anticipation, and she felt dread burning in her gut like acid.
The minotaur took a step towards Maria, and only then did she notice the large stick he held in his hand. He spun towards the outside wall of the study and smashed his stick through it, letting in cold air and a darkness that seemed to want to swallow the room.
The beast turned to Maria, wind from outside bringing its horrific stench to her nose.

“Your father sends his regards.” it said, leaping out the window and into the darkness.

The Technologically Impaired files: part 1.

So, I'm on tumblr (If anyone reads this and you have one, too, follow thedramagirl99), and one of my tumblr followers (you know who you are and you are awesome, my friend) asked me if this name is a pseudonym. Because I am too technologically impaired to reply to her reply to my tumblr post, I want to take this opportunity to state that Martha Kinsfield is a pseudonym that I came up with a couple years ago. This is the only way I could think of to contact said tumblr follower as I am so (you guessed it) technologically impaired.

I Am Number Four movie critique.

Sooo here's the thing: I recently became obsessed with the "I am Number Four" books. They are, in my view, excellent and well worth reading, just in case you're curious, which you probably aren't. Anyway, I got the movie from my local library quite a while ago and just now got around to watching it. If you haven't read the books, STOP READING THIS NOW. If you have not watched the movie and would like to experience it for yourself, STOP READING THIS NOW. If neither of the above is true, please continue reading,

Before I truly begin, I should say that I like to think about movies that are based off of books in two ways: One, its relevance as an adaptation of said book, and two, its appeal to me as a movie in and of itself. In the second respect, the movie would rank pretty high for me. It was decently made, with good quality actors and actresses (though the casting quality was very poor), and good CGI for the Pikens and the Chimaera. In the first respect, however, I felt that the film was somewhat (Or, okay, a great deal) lacking. 

I wrote down a lot (three pages) of the things that I remembered that had been left out of or added to the movie I am Number Four. I will go over the list in what I see as the order of importance. I'm not going to use numbering because that would just take way too long.


The most important thing I noticed was the timing of Henri's death. I don't have the book here in front of me as I write this, but I do distinctly recall Henri's death occurring very close to the end of the book, with him helping the teenagers fight the Mogadorians and definitely his being there when Six reveals herself. In the movie version, he dies on the trip home from the "They Walk Among Us" (which was, by the way, a website, NOT a newsletter/magazine/whatever) studio thingy. Also, I noticed that when the Loric die, they dissolve into ash, much like the Mogadorians, in the movie version. This is not supposed to happen! John has to cremate Henri after they stay in a hotel for a while while he recuperates, which also did not happen!

Basically the entire ending seemed kind of screwy. The battle with the Mogs only lasted like twenty minutes, while it at least seems like it lasts much longer in the book. Remember that thing when John was battling the Mog where they were transported to that place where the trees died and John used his legacies? Didn't happen. Also: They made it so that six is the one resistant to fire. WHAT????

John already knew about Legacies in the book, right? He knew about his super-speed and super-strength, right? I mean, I know he was shocked when his Lumen started working, but he evidently had no idea what the Garde were, or legacies, or any of it. Another issue I noticed regarding the legacies was that both John and Six seemed to possess a legacy that is very similar to that of flight, if it isn't actually flight. At least, they seem to be able to jump superhumanly far, which I do not recall being in the books. 

As my fellow blogger, BookTalk, puts it, 
"Sarah just wasn't what I pictured. I'm not sure how to describe how she looked, but something was off for me in her character. Also, she was supposed to be more popular in general. As for her personality, she should have been less mysterious and more outgoing, friendly, and open about her feelings." That is exactly how I feel about her character. I also feel like her relationship with Four was really underplayed.

Actually, let me revise that last sentence: I feel like everybody's relationship with (number) Four is really underplayed. Specifically Henri, Sarah, and Sam. But even Mark James was more involved with John than he was in the book. Henri's lack of relationship with John made it a lot less tragic when Henri died. They took out the majority of their relationship and basically portrayed Henri as a kind of mean, mainly oppressive, overprotective guardian, as opposed to the great man that John Smith saw him as. For one thing. all of the training sessions where Henri and John open the chest and examine its contents were eliminated, as well as when John was being trained to use and develop his legacies, including his RESISTANCE TO FIRE WHICH THEY GAVE TO SIX. I am sorry, but that REALLY REALLY BUGGED ME.

On the note of Six, I feel like she was way too cool/sexy for her character. In the books she is definitely slightly cool and mildly sexy, but in the movie, it gets really overplayed. I also missed the moonlight walk with Six where they almost kissed and the house exploded because that adds a lot of tension to the relationship that John has with Six and Sarah later on. 

Sam and John were supposed to bond a lot sooner than they did, because John was less popular and Sarah was more popular. Also. it really irritated me how not obsessed with aliens Sam was. I mean, that was the reason that they found "They Walk Among Us," in the book. 

Sarah and John as an item were incredibly underplayed. It's not like the details of their relationship was incredibly important to the plot or anything, but they were significant (and positive) things in John's life. For example, home economics was completely cut out of the storyline, which made me kind of sad. It's where they did most of their flirting, and it really gave S&J some background so it wasn't just like "oh hey there's this cute girl I like... oh, hey, she stalks me,., Oh, hey, we're making out. In front of her parents." It made their relationship mean more and feel less rushed and insignificant. 

Aand now for the list of incredibly minor details that are still niggling at the back or my brain.

Sarah's mom was the real estate agent for John and Henri, and they actually bought the house.

Sarah didn't get in trouble for her pictures; her and John met in Home Ec.

The dinner at Sarah's parents was all wrong; it wasn't supposed to occur until Thanksgiving, which is when Henri tracked down "They Walk Among Us."

John could not control his Lumen for a really long time, after a lot of training.

The Loric chests were completely underdone. John never even opened his to discover the planets, the healing stone (which is what was used to heal BK and himself), or any of it.

Bernie Kosar did have tags, that's how he got his name.

Sarah's scrapbook = what????

Six was SO not supposed to be in the movie as early as she was.

TWAU (They Walk Among Us) mentioned Mogadorians, it did not have a video of John.

When John first reveals the fact that he is an alien to Sam, Sam takes it as a joke. Then, later, he pulls a gun on John.

The Mogadorians never found the Loric or Sam in that one house. John carried them and jumped across the gap between roofs.

The Locator rock thing was not supposed to ever happen until like book 3. It wasn't even a rock; it was a tablet.

The police do not raid John's house

John was invited to the party with Sarah

The house caught on fire and J rescued S and some dogs from the fire.

The stuff in J and Sam's lockers was manure, not paint.

Sam didn't have a stepdad in the book

The fair didn't happen... it was a carnival with a hayride

Sam was supposed to ride the hayride with them

Sam's mom and Henri were supposed to meet.

Henri was supposed to have a French-ish accent

Sam and John were really good friends by the hayride

John and Sarah did not get their uber-special makeout moment together during which John told her that he was Loric

John's house was supposed to be a trashy mobile home. Not a fancy 2-story house.

And I'm sorry but I just have to rant again


So yeah. If you read this far, you are truly amazing. If you didn't, oh, well, moron. ;)