Posts Tagged ‘what happened next’

What Happened Next: Miss You

June 26, 2015

I don’t do it often, but every once in a while I share what happened after the words “THE END” in one of my stories. I usually try to leave it at a very specific place to create a very specific emotional resonance, but that doesn’t mean that the characters’ lives ended where the story did. And while I fully support the emotional right of my audience to imagine anything they want after the place I left off, that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. This time, I’m going to share with you my thoughts on what happened after the end of “Miss You”. (If you don’t remember the story, you may want to refresh your memory of it here.)

From the Wikipedia entry on “Dr. Martens”:

The first Dr. Martens boots in the United Kingdom came out on 1 April 1960 (known as style 1460 and still in production today), with an eight-eyelet oxblood coloured smooth leather design. Dr. Martens boots were made in their Cobbs Lane factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire (which is still operating today).[3] In addition, a number of shoe manufacturers in the Northamptonshire area produced DM’s under license, as long as they passed quality standards. The boots were popular among workers such as postmen, police officers and factory workers. By the early 1970s, skinheads started wearing them, and by the late 1980s, they were popular among scooter riders, punks, some new wave musicians, and members of other youth subcultures.[5] The shoes’ popularity among skinheads led to the brand gaining an association with violence.[5] Alexei Sayle sang the song “Dr. Martens’ Boots” in a 1982 episode of the British TV comedy The Young Ones.

What the Wikipedia entry failed to mention was that many styles of Doc Martens, including in particular the ones that Fujiko wore constantly, had steel toes. Not that she’d selected them for that–she worked in a coffee shop, and had very few concerns about heavy things landing on her feet–but the particular style she liked was a work boot, and steel toes were part of the package. It made dancing a bit more dangerous, but most of her friends had learned to give her a bit of a wide berth when the music got energetic. Fuji might not have been tall, but heavy, steel-toed Doc Marten work boots turned her feet into deadly, if inaccurate and usually inadvertent weapons on the dance floor.

At this range, though, accuracy wasn’t a problem. Fujiko’s steel-toed Doc Martens made a very satisfying *THUMP* as they connected with Roger’s genitals, and he crumpled to the floor as if he’d been shot.

Cho still didn’t let go of Fujiko, though. She hadn’t been commanded to yet. She kept Fujiko’s arms pinned to her sides as she held her with an inhuman determination, apparently oblivious to her surroundings. This turned out to be unfortunate for Roger, as it meant that Fujiko could kick him with both feet. “You! Stupid! Idiotic! Dumbass! Jerk!” Fujiko shouted, her words punctuated by another steel-toed blow. “GRR!”

After a few moments, when it became clear that Roger’s interests had changed from ‘hypnotizing Fujiko’ to ‘protecting his face and genitals’, Fuji reached awkwardly into her pocket for her cell phone. It wasn’t entirely easy, because she couldn’t move her arms very well, but after a few moments she managed to pull it out. She dialed 911 and shouted as loudly as she could towards the phone she still couldn’t put to her mouth, “Hi! I’m at the Palace Hills apartments–I can’t remember the apartment number but it belongs to Roger Wilding–and I came to talk to him but he won’t let me leave!” She heard a response, and shouted back, “I can’t hear you–my arms are pinned and I can’t put the phone to my ear! Can you send someone?” The response this time was still garbled, but loud enough and filled with enough concern that Fuji could pick up the gist of it. “No,” she said, giving Roger another kick, “I’m not in immediate danger.”

***

The police turned out to be a little more amused about the whole thing than Fuji thought they should be. Roger whispered something in Cho’s ear and she let Fujiko go, and he mumbled something through an already-swollen face about how his girlfriend and his ex-girlfriend got into a fight and he got in the way of it. The responding officer didn’t look like he was buying it much, since neither Fuji nor Cho had a scratch on them, but he dutifully asked if Roger wanted to press charges against either of the four-and-a-half foot tall girls who had apparently beaten him up “by accident”. Unsurprisingly, Roger declined.

“Alright, then,” Fujiko said. “Looks like we’re leaving.”

“We?” said the officer, Cho, and Roger more or less simultaneously. The officer just looked bemused; Fuji was pretty sure he was going to be telling this one back at the station. Cho looked baffled, and more than a little bit dazed; she seemed like she was still in her happy place a bit. And Roger was giving her the puppy eyes in bulk volume.

“We,” Fujiko said, definitively. She looked Roger in the eyes with a challenging stare. “Do you have an issue with that? One that you’d like to hash out in detail right now?”

Roger looked down, suddenly seeming very conscious of the officer’s presence. “No,” he said. “It’s okay, she’s…um, you know, she’s her own person. She can do what she wants.” Hearing that made Fujiko want to start kicking him again, but she tamped it down.

Cho said, “If I get a say in this–”

Fujiko shook her head. “No, I really don’t think that’s a good idea. Let’s go.” She took Cho’s hand, counting on the fact that Cho still sounded a little spacey and had spent who-knows-how-long being conditioned to accept people telling her what to do. Sure enough, Cho meekly let herself be trotted out to the parking lot and bundled into Fujiko’s car. They waved to the officer, who probably thought they were twin sisters or something, and pulled out.

Cho still had that look of bemusement on her face that made Fujiko want to give her a big hug and tell her everything was going to be okay. “What about Roger?” she asked, her voice slightly plaintive. “Is he going to be okay?”

Fujiko tried to push her anger at Roger aside and focus on the person beside her. “Let’s let Roger worry about Roger for a little while. You need to take some time for yourself, Cho.”

“…cho…” She sounded a little lost when she heard the name, like she was having difficulty connecting it to herself. Fujiko made a mental note to go look up some books on hypnosis when she got back to the apartment–she hadn’t planned on taking in strays, but Cho needed someone.

She reached over and took the other woman’s hand in hers. “Cho,” she said, “everything really is going to be okay.” It wasn’t a hug, but it’d have to do.

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What Happened Next: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

April 7, 2011

I usually intend for the words “THE END” to appear at the end of my stories specifically to create an emotional impression. Even if I know what happens next, I don’t necessarily want the reader to share in that knowledge. After all, I think that the reader has the absolute right to decide what happens when the story’s over; my opinion of the events after the story ends is just that, and shouldn’t supersede the reader’s.

But every once in a while, I do have a pretty good idea, and this blog feels like the place to share it. While this isn’t meant to be “Word of God”, because I don’t believe in ’em, I do think of it as what happened after the words “THE END” for the story “Every Rose Has Its Thorn“. Which ended, as you may or may not recall…

WildRose listened to the tone in her voice, the tone no computer could disguise. “Sharpe,” she said, “I think we should meet. No earphones. No secrets. Face to face.” She paused, not quite sure how to say what she had to say, but letting that reckless excitement guide her words. “I think we have a lot to talk about.”

There was a long pause before Sharpe spoke. “She brainwashed you, didn’t she.” It wasn’t even a question.

“What?” WildRose had expected a lot of different responses, but that wasn’t even on the top ten. “No! I just…I thought we should meet! We’ve been team-mates for something like six months now, we’ve saved each other’s lives, I think it’s kind of silly that we only communicate over seventeen layers of frequency encryption!” Oh, and I think you want to sleep with me, she decided not to add.

“Uh huh,” Sharpe said, her voice full of world-weary cynicism. “So you battle ‘Mistressmind’, you’re completely off the grid for about twenty minutes, and suddenly you’re full of ideas about the two of us meeting face to face? Wow, that’s the kind of coincidence that doesn’t come up often.”

WildRose rolled her eyes to the heavens. “I am not brainwashed!” she snapped out. “Listen to the police band right now! The squad cars are pulling up! Any second now, they’ll be reporting a defeated supervillain and a security guard who needs new pants!”

“Then it’s a trap,” Sharpe said. “She got to you, you told her about me, now she’s trying to lure me out into the open so she can complete her collection. Come on, how dumb do you think I am?”

“You so don’t want me to answer that right now,” WildRose grumbled. “Yes, fine, that’s right. You are right as always. It’s a trap. You’ve figured out our clever scheme. She cunningly got me to kick her in the back of the head, dislocate her shoulder, and gas her, all as part of her master plan to discover your secret identity! Wait until you see the next stage in her cunning strategy, where she becomes prison bitch to Big Aileen!”

“Hey!” Sharpe said, her own voice getting louder in WildRose’s earpiece. “Don’t take that attitude about it! You know the rules! Day One, I told you. No face to face. You accept my help or you don’t, but it’s on my terms!”

“That’s before I realized you were–” WildRose paused, her voice caught somewhere in the back of her throat. All her earlier courage seemed to have deserted her.

“Were what?” Sharpe said. “Hello? Still there? Did something happen? Did Mistressmind break out somehow?”

WildRose sighed. “I wanted to talk about this in person, but…I heard it in your voice. You like me.”

“Most of the time, yeah. I mean, I’ve gone through three of those little stress balls, and I’m popping antacids by the handful, but…”

“No, I mean…” WildRose wiggled her eyebrows, then realized how stupid she had to look to anyone watching. “You like me. As in, y’know…the way women tennis players like each other.”

There was a long pause. “Women tennis players? SRSLY? Are you going to use the Indigo Girls as your next simile, or do I get treated to an ‘Ellen’ reference?”

WildRose tried to remind herself of why she was doing this. “Look, I’m not good at this, okay? I just thought…if you wanted, maybe we could meet, because…Sharpe?” She took a deep breath. “I’m gay too.”

“Yeah, I know,” Sharpe said. “I just thought that honestly, you probably wouldn’t be too into me. I mean, you’re always lusting after the amazonian type, and–”

WildRose’s voice could have cut diamond. “You. Know?”

“I did my due diligence, you don’t hide your browsing habits very well, and straight girls don’t go to ‘BigTittedAmazons.Com’,” Sharpe said apologetically. “I just figured scrawny geek girls didn’t do it for you.”

WildRose smiled, feeling her courage return. “Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But if you don’t meet me at the Java Bar in an hour, we’ll never find out. And wouldn’t that be a shame?”

There was a long pause on Sharpe’s end. “Fine,” she said at last. “But if you’re brainwashed, I’m macing you.”