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The Irregular
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue
Enclosed are snippets from my dream last night. Which needs to be written into something.

I have to do some work, so read this later today. There will be more.
As I'm adding text, let me just warn you that full scenes are missing as I'm not quite ready to write all of them out.

Quick note-- please R & R if you have some time; I so rarely post anything in even a mildly public setting...

Yarr, since I'm writing out The Irregular and can't start a new entry, let me just say that I am now cold and wet and wholly unsatisfied. I wanted hot food, but the hot food counter at the deli was closed. So now I have a yogurt and some kind of iced tea I've never tried before because they were OUT of green jasmine. It's okay, but not great. And it's very, very far from being Hot Food.



There was a war in Heaven, only for you and me and other people like us, you know, it wasn't what you'd think.

Summer offered her hand for the thread after I stabbed myself for the third time.
"No," I told her, "I can finish myself."
"So skinny," tsked my mother. "If you didn't keep getting so tall, and so skinny, the old ones would still fit."
I gave her a scowl, refocusing on the tiny red stitches that covered the bloomers. Summer was half the size I was, and a girl, with no hips, no curves at all, and no one complained about her size.
"Remember," said Summer, "you're representing the family." She said it airily, sweeping her light hair away from her face, and looking like a queen as she lay back on the headboard of the old family bed. I knew she wanted to go, even though she said with every ounce of dignity she could muster that it was the place for the eldest son. Even if he was a runt, despite what my mother said about my newly-developed height.
"Don't let the thread out of your hands," Summer reminded me for the millionth time, "whatever you do."
"I know, I know, I KNOW," I repeated for the millionth time, once again jabbing myself with the overly-large needle required to finish the embroidery.


*********

I vaguely recall...the ones in blue, they did something, made a sound, or a signal...there was something, and soon after that, my table tipped, and all I could do was remember my sister telling me to hold onto the thread for all it was worth.

Not wanting to disappoint, I nearly struck the needle clear through my hand.

**********

"The Guardians' Seat is empty."
"No, really, I thought they would wait around for us," a snide voice replied. "Just grab someone."
"Someone?"
"Someone, anyone...there, that one with the red thread. All we need is a warm body in the chair. Though," the sinister voice added, "I'm not certain that thing qualifies."


********

"Oh, look, the brat's awake."
I was in a throne room. Or something like a throne room, only there were three thrones, each more splendid than the next-- a chair cast from silver, lush with emeralds, another of copper, pierced with rubies, a third chair of wrought gold, appearing unadorned until my eyes regained focus enough to see the intricate carvings in its surface. They surrounded a circular table, cut from what appeared to be crystal, enlaid with a smooth, colorful surface that danced in the light. I had been placed at the fourth side of the table.

In another throne.

The chair I had been laid in was immense, and, looking back at the other three, I noticed that they, too much be quite large, large enough for a growing boy to lie down upon the seats. This one was made of another silver metal...more white than silver, but not one I could name, and enlaid with sapphires. I curled my knees in against my chest as I twisted around to inspect my seat, and despite the fact that I should have been aware of the presence of other people, having heard someone speak, I still jumped to see them there.

"Hello, boy, have you got a name, or shall I continue to call you Bratling?" asked the figure closest. I recognized the sarcastic tone from the voice before, an airy, hissing sort of voice that didn't strike me as belonging to a particularly pleasant person. He was tall, sallow, with a ragged black mane-- foreign, I should say-- and dressed in elegant green robes, the sort a priest or bishop would wear, but that looked very out of place on this man.

"Swell introduction, Sally," came a deeper, more boisterous voice, alerting me to the presence of the second man. He was shorter than the first, and paler, with close-cropped gold hair and similar dress, although dyed a blindingly bright yellow.

"Don't know where you think you get the right to call me that, Wenderlee" the darker man replied, pushing up the sleeves of his robes to display two long, thin, sinewy, and altogether very unattractive-looking arms. His hands were large, knobby, almost clawlike in appearance. "Anyhow, if you're going to interrupt, why don't you just take things over? He's clearly one of yours."

"One of mine?" asked the one who'd been called Wenderlee. "Nonsense, old pal he's clearly a Green."

'Sally' snorted. "Greens don't snivel so."

"Aww, snivelling and sniffling ain't the same thing," answered Wenderly, tousling my hair, which did not please me in the slightest. "Probably cold for the little tyke."

Being called a tyke didn't make me all too thrilled, either.

I looked up at the two men, not entirely sure what they were trying to do in assigning me in such a way. "Fine, then, Wenderlee, if he's one of mine, I'd imagine he'd have got the brains to speak up by now," the dark man went one, rounding the table to sit rather casually in the emerald-studded throne. The chair was nearly quite too large for even this tall man as my own was for me. and he pulled his legs up onto the seat, lounging, with an entirely uninterested look painted across his narrow features. "I imagine he's Gabberlee's, then, if he's not yours, from the looks of those ridiculous knickers."

My heart sank. I had spent ages working on my bloomers, and if they were a bit heavily-embroidered, they were the clothes of my family. I rubbed my cheeks as I tried to hide as much as I could of the offending garment by sitting on it. I suppose I should have noted that the green man was rude about everything, but when someone insults something you've worked hard on, well...

The blond man looked a bit apologetic. "Ah, the old bum doesn't want to take credit for anything better'n he can do. Satterlee's got a long, old, impressive history to live up to," he explained, flashing the black-haired man a cheerful grin that was just short of something my mother would use a dirty word to describe. "You know Saturdays?" He winked at the other man, apparently very pleased with himself.

Satterlee, if that was, in fact, his name, crossed his arms, looking sourly at Wenderlee. "Yes, Saturdays," he repeated, apparently talking to me though he was looking in a distinctly different direction, "Contrary to the popular belief of your sort, and all the other imbeciles like you, they are named after me," he explained in a lofty tone. "I invented them." He held his head high, finally turning to look down his nose at me, as if I hadn't the right to even be in the room with him. "Wenderlee here only managed Wednesdays."

Wenderlee shrugged complacently. "Shucks, y'know, and here I am tryin' to be modest."

"Of course you would never know," went on the green-garbed man, "considering your people like to make up your own gods and such and wouldn't have the faintest idea about any actualities, but Saturdays are vastly superior."

"Sure they are, Sally, bet our new little friend here could tell all on his lonesome, anyway, couldn't you, laddie?" asked Wenderlee.

I shrugged, not particularly wanting to anger Satterlee any further by admitting I couldn't tell the faintest difference. "Well, Saturdays we haven't any work," I answered, quite certain it was obvious that I was grasping at straws.

Satterlee smiled-- which somehow looked like it hurt on the darkhaired man's face, all crunches and creases. "Exactly!" he pointed out. "And who do you think had the wherewithall to pull off such a feat?"

"Err..." I was quite certain I knew what he wanted to hear this time. "You, sir?"

"Exactly, Bratling," Satterlee agreed, a smug look crossing his face. "I might even say you could be Wenderlee's for that, you may only have half a brain, but it's a good lot better than any of hers." The man nodded toward the copper chair, which was as of yet unoccupied.

Wenderlee dropped into his own chair, the golden one, pulling his yellow garment up nearly to his knees as he crossed one thick leg over the other. "Aww, Sally, don't be badmouthing Gabs like that, not when she's not around to defend herself..."

"Oh, because she just does such an impeccable job of defending herself?" Satterlee asked sharply, mimicking Wenderlee's pose with a mocking sneer. "She ought to be here by now anyway; my insults are perfectly punctual." He looked back to me, that ever-condescending expression on his face. "Gabberlee is a bit of a joke. Unfortunately just a very little one," he informed me, "as it's really too painful to be all that funny."

I nodded, silently, not wanting to risk sounding like a dolt, and clutched the arms of my throne. My seat, I suppose, since it wasn't my throne, I was fairly certain. Satterlee raised an eyebrow at me, then snorted dismissively.

"When her mother named her Gabberlee," explained Satterlee, "her father was convinced that everyone would call her Gabby forever and ever. Naturally, no one thinks of calling her Gabby as she rarely opens her mouth. Which," he added derisively, "is quite fortunate, in my opinion. She's been coasting on a rather poor reputation she derived merely from proclaiming the birth of some little bratling who's been responsible for every mortal war for the last milennium or so. The virgin birth," he added with a harsh chuckle.

I frowned, understanding somewhat that he must be talking about the Christ Child, but not really wanting to explain that my mother would have slapped him across the face with the sole of a boot for blasphemy if she'd heard him. "Isn't that-- pardon me, sir, but isn't that Gabriel?" I asked.

"You would think so, you people with your insistence on transposing perfectly understandable names," replied Satterlee. "Most certainly not, I've only worked with her for centuries, it's Gabberlee, and she's female, too, no matter what your absurd patriarchal leaders say."

I concluded from this that my new companions must be angels, and I was rather relieved that I was, in fact, wearing my best clothes, even if they were too frilly. It didn't seem terribly advisable to point this out to them, as it was either true, in which case they already knew it, or it was not true, in which case I would appear the greater fool for making such an assumption. So I continued to keep my mouth shut, a decision rewarded with another small snort from Satterlee, though his attention was quickly redirected to another personage...

She was, perhaps, no, easily the most beautiful being I had ever laid eyes on walked into the room. She had pale, milk-white skin with just a hint of blush to it, and long, flaming red hair that cascaded from her forehead to her hips in massive ringlets, losing themselves in the folds of her crimson robes.

To this day I am still looking for a woman like that.

One with a bit more brains, I should add, because after the Angel Gabberlee opened her mouth, I would have believed anything Satterlee told me.

"Are all you all waiting for me?" she asked sweetly, in a cooing voice, toying with a lock of hair in a way that even a boy my age knew was trouble.

"No, light of my heart," hissed Satterlee, "We're waiting for the second coming of your little brat, of course we're waiting for you. Sit down, this instant."

Gabberlee lowered herself, heeding the first part of the instruction while clearly paying no mind to the bit where Satterlee had said "this instant." She floated, slowly, languorously into her copper chair, sending the most perfect smile I had ever seen in all my young life in my direction, and I sat bolt upright, thinking that I didn't mind being stupid if it meant being hers.

"You don't look like a Guardian," she informed me.

I didn't know what a Guardian was, but I imagine that I could have told her just that, then.

"You don't sound like a Sage," Satterlee snapped back. "If you have to wonder about the brat's presence, you're clearly even more deficient than I previously imagined."

"That's all right," Gabberlee replied vacantly, and to this day I wonder if she thought she was making any sense. She looked vacantly ahead at the table, a watery smile on her perfect face.

The two men, one jovial, the other rolling his eyes, followed her gaze, peering at the surface of the table. I, too, looked ahead, to see just what had grabbed their attention.

Before Gabberlee had taken her seat, the table had been a mishmosh of colors, a pretty, decorative thing. Now the shapes clarified themselves, and I found myself gazing down upon a map.

"There they are," said Wenderlee, pointing to a large blue field covering a corner of the table. "They're all...err...what d'you call that?"

"Congregating," supplied Satterlee, through clenched teeth.

"Yeah," agreed Wenderlee, "they're congregating, all right." He nodded, watching the blue mass on the table.

"That isn't at all what I just said," muttered the dark-haired man.

Wenderlee shook his head in amusement at the othe angel, then nodded to the field of blue. "You see that, kiddo?" he asked me.

I despised being called kiddo. I nodded. "What is it?"

"Those are the Guardians," Satterlee answered in a clipped tone. "The Blues. The ones who normally fill your place at the table. Requiring a subsitite is highly...irregular."


*********

"Sally's just jealous he didn't think of it first," Wenderlee explained, grinning at the other man.

"Stop calling me that," Satterlee reprimanded harshly. "It's one thing in private...and you know as well as I," he added in an icy tone, "the Sentinels would never rebel."

"Well, you know that, and I know that, but what do we matter in the face of public opinion, old pal?" asked Wenderlee. The blond angel winked at me, leaning forward in an almost conspiratorial manner, as if he were about to share a secret. "The Sentinels," he explained, "that's Sally's branch, the Greens we call 'em for short, the Sentinels're the ones everyone's always expected to rebel."

"Because were clearly so much more intelligent than the rest of you that our qualities are being entirely wasted on you lot," Satterlee explained, to Wenderlee, but clearly more for my benefit.

"The Sages," Wenderlee went on, unhindered by the other angel's less-than-kind description. "They're the brains. That's Gabs' division, the Reds. I'm a Gold, if you couldn't notice, a Soldier. There're the Blues, too, the Guardians, the ones you saw on the map."

"The ones who rebelled," I added, nodding in comprehension.

"You're practically a Sage already," Satterlee replied in a congratulatory manner, his tone lustrous with sarcasm.

"Yeah, the ones you're replacing," the blond angel agreed cheerfully. "But it's the Sentinels everyone was looking out for, they never saw this coming, see, because the Sentinels--"

Wenderlee snapped his mouth shut in response to a seething glare from the Sentinel at the table.

I knew better than to ask him to continue.

*******

"I can't say I approve of leaving the brat alone with EmptyLee," sniped Satterlee, shooting a glare in the redhead's direction. The mild smile on her face did nothing to imply that she may have heard a word of it.

"But you'll go down, nonetheless?" Wenderlee asked, sounding a bit concerned.

"I imagine he'll be more capable left to his devices with her than you would be left to your own devices with no assistance. Half a brain plus no brain is quite more than nothing plus nothing, if my calculations are to be believed." He tapped his long, bony fingers against the glossy surface of the table.

"Well, good, and one plus one is two, so I imagine we'll be just fine, won't we Sally?" asked Wenderlee, leaning back over the table. "You'll draw first?"

"Oh, go ahead," snapped the Sentinel, waving his hand toward the table.

Wenderlee reached a hand toward the table, then, to my astonishment, down, through the table's surface. When his hand re-emerged, he was holding what appeared to be a little paper card, bright orange. "Oh, hmm," he murmured, looking it over.

"What did you get?" asked Satterlee, drumming his fingers against the table.

"Suicide," Wenderlee read off in a mellow tone.

"How fascinating," muttered Satterlee, before submerging his own hand up to the elbow.

"Figure it's romantic," Wenderlee answered with a shrug.

Satterlee snorted "You would."


*******

and that is where the dream cut off, so i'll have to start making up bits on my own, now.


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Dreams always make interesting writing topics. ^_^

Very nice. I like the divisions between the angels and their people.

What a strange dream. I rather like the plot, though, it's very vivid and detailed and such. And I want to know what happens.

did try to critique, but i never find anything wrong with other people's work :P

loved this bit: There was a war in Heaven, only for you and me and other people like us, you know, it wasn't what you'd think.

great characters! i like how contrasting they are.

gah, your dreams are really cool.

I'm not a big fan of first person limited just because it's a lot harder to switch tones within a piece of work if you're that bounded by perspective. However, in a piece structured like this, you can probably pull off narration either by italicizing passages or just using straight dialogue exchanges.

first bit is confusing, but assuming it will be clarified later on. I had to read the second section a few times after reading through the entire piece to understand what was happening there.

overall, it's an intriguing story, but it doesn't read too easily. I don't know if it's just my bias against fpl, or if it results from the choppiness of a first draft (and transcription of a dream, no less). a lot of the dialogue moves incredibly quickly -- it might help a bit to let it flow in sections, then intersperse a bit more of the speaker's thoughts. That should slow down the tempo a bit, and allow the reader time to digest what's being said.

I would also be careful of falling into the typical sci-fi/fantasy writer's trap, where you create a world and want to show everyone the cool parts, but either don't want to do it all at once or don't have space to let it develop naturally, so you drop in obnoxiously obvious bits along the way. I'm not quite sure how to suggest avoiding that in introspective first person without using annoyingly expository pieces of dialogue, but I bet you can figure something out.

running through this for my own benefit.

--mikey complained that the tone switches were jumpy, so i'm guessing these two things go together. i might switch it to third-person later if i decide to do something with it, it's just easier to get dreams down in first to start.

--first and second sections are the ones that were most affected by dream-issues, like characters from buckaroo bonzai showing up. those kind of need to be rethought and rewritten.

--can work on the dialogue. this is one of those places where i guess you can tell most of my writing education has been in screenplays. a lot of it is just copying down what i remember from the dream, which may or may not make sense. most of satterlee's lines are still verbatim. i also truncated a lot of wenderlee's explanation of stuff because there was a bunch of crap about these herds of animals that i'm not sure i remember well enough. i'm assuming that's the part that's annoyingly expository, wenderlee describing everything to the brat. if i rework it, i'm hoping i can get around that norton-juster style, it's easier to have exposition if you're writing stranger-in-a-strange-land type stuff, since people might explain things succinctly.

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