Monday March 26th, 2012

The exercise:

We bring Movie Week to its conclusion with: Confessions.

Of course you're welcome to continue on with your story as long as you like, or as long as you need to, but the movie title prompts end today. For now, at least.

Had a bit of a resting day today, which was much needed. Back to work tomorrow though.


By the time the detective reappears in the morning the tension in the cell is nearly visible. He calls the redhead out first and I follow them down the hall to a cramped interview room.

"Have you -" the detective begins, but the man cuts him off in a raspy, dry voice.

"I did it! It was me, okay? Just make it stop, please!"

Triumph floods through me like a shot of whiskey, warming my soul. The promise of rest and peace are mine at last. I'm surprised to find no lingering rage within me but don't dwell on the absence for long.

I choose not to stay to hear the grisly details of my murder. They're not important now and, quite frankly, I'd rather spend eternity in blissful ignorance of those particular hows and whys. 

As I pass by their cell I see a second detective drag the dark-haired suspect to another interview room. Again I follow, but this time I try to tell the policeman not to bother, that the culprit has been uncovered.

They enter the room and guilt seeps into me at the sight of the sleep deprived suspect. I want to apologize, to explain that I had no choice but to harass these innocents so that the lone sinner would be caught.

"Anything new to say this morning?" the detective asks as I turn to leave.

"It was me," the man whispers, freezing me in place. "I killed that woman. I'm so sorry. Just, please, make the voices stop..."


Greg said...

Hmm, this is the first title I've had a problem with all week, as there's no obvious fit with my storyline at all! That'll teach me to take things off on a tangent I guess :)
Heh, poor Angie. Just when she thought she'd solved her crime, she finds she's muddied the waters even further! I hope she doesn't end up haunting them all for the rest of their lives.
All in all, it's a very nice tale with a decent little twist at the end. I've very much enjoyed reading it this week.

People are staring at me as I storm down the aisle. It might be the anger on my face – I can feel the pain in the muscles as I try not to grind my teeth, as I force my mouth to stay closed and not let the scream out. It might be that my fists are clenched tight enough for my fingers to be bone white. It might be that I'm almost falling over in these stupid church-going high heeled shoes because I'm stamping down hard enough to leave divots behind me.
How could I have been so dim? How could I have expected some withered old priest in the confessional to understand? How – oh grrrrrrrrrrrr!
I stalk out into the sunlight and stare at the dappled shade of the churchyard, the yew trees huge and overhanging. I can hear hurried footsteps behind me now and I know that that idiot priest is chasing after me.
"Your son is with God now," he prated, simple words escaping his lips with practised ease. "He's in a better place. You should be happy for him."
I don't want my son with God just yet! I want him here with me, and I don't believe that God needed him so badly that he arranged for him to be shot! There has to have been some way to comfort me, even in the confessional. Couldn't the wretched man just have listened?
"Excuse me?" He's behind me now, and I turn very slightly, very stiffly. Just in case he's come to his senses.
"You'll have to pay for the damage you've done to the church floor...."

Anonymous said...

neat end, marc!


Agnes and Carol moved into an aged care facility.
A few more years went by and their minds finally went too. Oh sure, it started much earlier but after Shirley passed on, their grief made them age faster.

Lucy, Shirley’s daughter, reformed her selfish ways, changed her materialistic attitude and began her working life over again as a barkeep in a small, country town, where no one knew her and she didn’t have to explain anything. She became a bit reclusive, going to work and coming home alone to sit with her cat. She lost touch with her former life and everyone in it.

A few years later, Agnes and Carol passed from this mortal realm and reunited with their old friend, Shirley, on the other side.
They got to talking. Things came out that suprised the innocent Shirley. She became agitated at what came up and went to nudge her old contact Shanti, the spirit medium.
’Shanti, this is urgent. You really must find Lucy and tell I’ve something important to say!’ (she spoke to Shanti in a telepathic mode).
Shanti broke her rule of approaching others out of the blue and obliged, though it took some time to track Lucy down. One night, long after closing hours, Lucy answered an insistent knock at her door. “It’s you!” Lucy recognised her mother’s old friend, and began to shut the door against her. She had no time for one of her mother’s loopy old friends.
“Wait, Lucy. It’s important. Your mother made comtact with me after she died and I refused to step in and help, but she was so insistent this time I thought I’d better get in touch with you. She has a message of importance for you.”
“Well, what is it?” 
“I don’t know. I have to go into trance and let her speak,” Shanti answered. 
“This is too much!” Lucy responded, and went for the door lock again.
“No please, I’d really like you to hear me out,” Shanti continued.

Lucy opened the door wide and motioned for her to enter, pointing at a chair near the fireplace on which to sit.
Shanti hummed a middle C to get herself right for a visit from spirit.
Withing minutes Shirley had come through. She said a few things that only Lucy would know of, in order to prove it was really she. This got Lucy’s attention.
“What I really need to tell you is this. Agnes and Carol have died and I have met with them on the spirit plane. Lucy, it was them. They confessed everything to me. They were so upset with your behaviour towards me over the years that when I died they got together and spread rumours about your business practices. As little old ladies their rumours were easily believed - people really thought you were a rip-off merchant. It was their revenge on my behalf, but I would never have approved of such behaviour, you know that. I’m so sorry this all happened.”
Lucy sat gaping. She couldn’t believe her ears.
Then she began to laugh, a big belly laugh that threatened to become hysteria, but she held herself in check.
Shanti was shocked out of trance by the guffaws. “What? What is it?” she asked.
“Those cunning old scrags. Well, you know, good on them. I didn’t know they had it in them. If it wasn’t them, it could have easily been a colleague or a client that did this to me. You know what? I don’t care. Coming here was the best thing that ever happened to me, I work, I earn my keep and I have absolutely no more stress. Those gals did me a favour, I tell you. And mum, if you’re still listening, I deserved what I got, so quit worrying!”

All’s well that ends well, as the saying goes. 

Cathryn Leigh said...

What? This is the last prompt of Movie Week? Oh well no worries then. Let’s just tie things back in to the beginning. :}

Rachael’s Childhood
Chapter 9: Confession(s)

Rachael’s mother shook her head. “I don’t understand it.” Rachael kept coloring, her little legs swinging and one ear tuned into the conversation. “Why is our Strawberry crop so low?”

“I’ve checked the nutrient levels,” her father ticked items off on his fingers, “water levels, the light supply, everything I can think of.”

“Well, we’ll have to ask the Captain to check the video feeds. If we have a ...”

“I ate them.” Rachael looked up and swallowed.

“You?” her parents exchanged a baffled look..

“But you’ve never...” her mother started.

“She woke up early one morning,” her father confessed, “and I took her harvesting with me.”

“But surely you didn’t teach her...”

“Oh no,” Captain Robert chuckled form the door. “That girl has a memory for codes and unless you want her getting into a lot more trouble I suggest you start her on the education programs now.”

“She’s not even three yet...” her mother protested.

“And a Spacer starts learning the moment they are born,” the Captain interjected. “that girls got a head to learn this ship inside and out and darn it if I won’t teach her whether you want me to or not. Better than that she open the airlock trying to figure something out.”

“You mean it?” Rachael’s eyes widened, her gaze turned from respect to adoration.

“He does have a point,” Rachael’s father told her mother.

“But she’s so young...”

“And she’s acting older than her age already.” Her father chuckled. “don’t worry, I’m sure if Rachael needs a break to play the Captain will let her.”

“I no need breaks.” The little girl’s eyes never left the Captain.

Robert chuckled. “Well, up to the control room and we’ll see if you’ve figured out how to fly this ship yet.”

And that’s how Rachael came to know the AFB-019 ship so well that she could keep it flying for 40 plus years. And this after the ship was already 20 years old. Pretty good when you consider the ship ran on auxiliary power for ten years and then, a few years later, had its electrical system sabotaged. :}

Watermark said...

Oh the ending! This can be challenging :) Here goes...


It had been six years since that encounter in the desert. What prompted that scene to suddenly replay in her mind, Jenna wondered. Then she remembered the letter.

She looked down at the package resting on her lap. The letter that she had been holding in her hand was flapping in the breeze. So this was it. Finally, the truth was out in the open. She wondered whether Sarah would ever had told her had she not known that she was dying. It's amazing how sobering death can be, how it can reveal secrets that a lifetime can often protect. She eyed the necklace lying in the box with a distant eye. It was a look of disdain. Friends forever. She sneered at it and stuffed the letter in the box, pushed it aside, holding on to the edge of the bench firmly for dear life.

"Tom, it's all over," she stated in a matter of fact voice, void of emotion, tired of all that life had to give her by way of disappointments.

Tom reached for the letter but instinctively, Jenna stopped him before he could find out. Their eyes met and he looked at her, questioningly, eyes searching and asking a hundred questions.

She couldn't believe how she had been deceived.

"Why won't you let me read it, Jen?" he asked with hesitation, almost knowing that he wouldn't like what he would read.

"I know enough. For both of us. For the three of us. You, me and our son. This letter was addressed to me," she paused, fumbling for the right words. "I know that you and Sarah were neighbours, growing up together. I know about her parents..." Her voice trailed off.

Despite everything, she didn't want Tom to get hurt.

Sarah had known all about the rift between Tom and Jenna's families. It had taken quite a bit of plotting and planning but she had managed to work her magic by first, befriending Jenna and what seemed like a chance encounter between Tom and Jenna had in fact been part of her ploy all along. Of course, Tom had known about the rift too and that had never stopped him from marrying her. But there was more to it for Sarah. Revenge, Sarah had said in her letter. She wanted revenge from both families for destroying her life. For taking her parents away from her. Jenna had always known that Sarah had lost her parents at a young age but Sarah never did talk about it. And Jenna had always respected her privacy. What Tom hadn't known was that his family had been responsible for Sarah's parents death.

She wasn't about to reveal that to him now, or ever. Some secrets were meant to remain just that. She looked out to the horizon and watched the sun about to bid goodbye. And she thought of the years she had shared with Tom, of the encounter in the desert. Perhaps Sarah's confession was timely. A means for her to rebuild her life, to disassociate herself from a family rift that she had no hand or use for. A chance for their son to grow up learning about love and forgiveness. There might be some good in this tangle after all.

Aaron said...

We did it! Congrats on the cool stories everyone. I had so much fun this week. I may have to go back and edit the hell out of this, it turned out so sad and I really wanted to write a happy story for once:P


“I hope you had a good lunch, Doctor. Jonah just finished his second electro-shock treatment. Doctor Tersei. I think it worked. He…well you better just go in and see him for yourself.”
“What’s the matter, Nurse? You’re acting like something terrible has happened when we’ve just made a breakthrough, a man so delusional and out of touch with reality that he couldn’t even recognize his own face. He was so insane that he enjoyed his time in a psychiatric hospital. He thought he was a famous painter and that this was a vacation. If he is now cognizant of his state we have begun the healing process. Now he can return to the real world and be himself again.”
“Yes… you’re right of course. He was just such a joy to be around when he first got here and came out of his catatonia. He told me he would paint a picture for me anything I wanted and he was always going on endlessly about how wishes can come true if we just believe. Now… you should go and see him. It’s my lunch hour. I have to go.”
Doctor Tersei watches her leave with disdain, “Some people weren’t meant for this kind of work,” he says casually, and turns to open Jonah’s door. He pauses to mentally congratulate himself.
Upon entering, he is greeted by the sound of soft sobbing. Jonah is seated on the floor facing a padded corner of his room. His eyes are shut tightly.
“Hello, Jonah, do you know who I am?”
“Alright, alright, alright. I’ll confess that I am crazy. I confess there are no wishes. My scars were never magically healed. I confess my scars are so bad people can hardly look at me, and I can hardly look at myself. I confess I never got to say good-bye to my parents in a dream world, and that I have never talked to them since they died. I confess that my personality was not magically enhanced so I could be friends with anyone. I confess I wasn’t given the ability to see the good in every situation. I confess that I was never magically given the ability to be a great painter.”
“Very good, Jonah. Now that you know where you are and what’s real we can begin your recovery. Who knows in a few months you may even be your old self again. Jonah, one more thing do remember your last name?”
During the doctor’s words Jonah began to cry harder. He fights back his tears, still refusing to open his eyes, “My name is Lonely, Jonah Lonely.”

Anonymous said...

Would it be unseemly if I called this chance at an abrupt ending sweet release? Truth is I'm a little curious who the heck these guys are and what exactly they do but it looks like answers to all that may just have to wait for another day (or year...or century).

*** *** ***

Joe sits with Danno in the safe house on the coast and looks him over. The Beta team did exactly what they promised they would do and extracted him from the facility in the veritable twinkling of an eye. Danno looks pretty rough. Somebody has worked him over more than just a little bit and he looks exhausted as well as thoroughly tenderized. He looks up from behind battered, swollen eyes.

“Thanks man. I'm not sure how you managed that but if your gut was telling you to get me the hell out of there I have to say you need to listen to your gut more often.”

He cracks a smile even though it threatens to crack open his split lip.

“They wanted operational info pretty bad and after feeding me to select parts of the 'general populace' they were hammering at me pretty hard. I'm guessing it wouldn't have been too long before got to the towels and the dunking and maybe some more scrambling of my brain.”

He takes a long drag on the electrolyte laced drink in front of him and blows out a breath through puffed out cheeks.

Joe watches him impassively. Another long pull at the bottle.

“Whoever you got to do the 'withdrawal' certainly weren't fucking around man. They hit the place hard and didn't let up. It seemed like some major shit was going down and the management was freaking out. Despite that they sailed in, bagged me, and were out of their before anybody had a clue what was happening. I'd say it was a smooth operation if it hadn't felt like world war three from the inside.”

Danno gives Joe a peculiar look.

“The thing is, I was pretty much ready to lay out one of four or five confessions after a few more sessions, they all would have been bullshit of course, but sometimes that is all these goddamned spooks need to satisfy somebody further up the food chain.”

Joe nods.

“I wouldn't be surprised at all. You did good Dee and believe it or not even though you got dropped in the shit you did better than the rest of the crew...”

He makes a dismissive gesture.

“They bailed and they failed. After all the strings I had to pull to give them a shot I am done with them. Georgie even fucked right off back to Scotland.”

Danno manages a broken whistle. Joe nods stone faced. He pushes his chair back and stands up.

“Well Dee, I've got a confession of my own to make. This whole thing was a test and you're the only one who passed. Operations are going to upgrade your clearance. You're now on the inside!”

Joe finally cracks a big smile as he watches Danno gaping at him like a freshly landed pickerel.

Krystin Scott said...

The end of theme week. Well it was fun but it's time for me to wrap this up so... here goes...


“Major we need thermal imaging capability, the yeti moves to fast; we can’t get a bead on her.”

It took a few moments for Major Darke to respond, but when she finally did she sounded more than a little perplexed. “Yeti? Orion you country hayseed, we don’t have time for your shenanigans.”

Orion sounded like a young school boy being reprimanded by his instructor, “Honest Major, It’s a Yeti. Lieutenant Queste had to blow the second gene last night to keep her off us.”

The Major was fit to be tied. “He did what? Who authorized that?”

A disgusted Chloe grabbed the radio from Lieutenant Orion’s hand. “Stow it Gabriella, The yeti is closing in on us, we don’t have much time. I need that gear now.”

Through the radio came an audible gasp. “Yes Colonel. Right away Colonel.” Then there was silence.

The fire was dying out and the yeti’s attempts at reaching them were becoming more brazen. Chloe moved closer to Major Knight.

“Sebastian?” his eyes opened slightly and when he saw her he smiled. “Sebastian, I don’t think they’re going to reach us in time.”

Sebastian looked up at Chloe, sorrow washed over features already distorted by pain. “Chloe, this is my fault. You’ve always made me proud.”

Just then fire finally petered out, the yeti charged forward and snatched up Colonel Rayne. Chloe tried to fight but she couldn’t the yeti had her restrained.

The yeti slammed Chloe on the ground breaking multiple ribs. Chloe couldn’t move she just lay there waiting for what would come next. The yeti moved in and raised its hand to deliver the final blow when….

Chloe screamed and shot up into a sitting position. She was breathing fast; nearly hyperventilating and her heart pound hard in her chest. Something was restraining her, she couldn’t move.

Chloe blinked rapidly trying to make sense of what she was seeing. She was on the floor, legs tangled tightly within the sheets. Lieutenant Storm was standing the doorway looking panic stricken.

“Babe, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” He went over and began to help her up from the floor.

She hugged him. She was more than a little embarrassed and let out a small chuckle in spite of herself. “Yes. I’m fine, I’m fine, I was just having a nightmare.”

Lance smiled and kissed her on the forehead, “Doctor Stewart says you might have them for months, that yeti did a real number on you.”

Chloe’s face went blank, horror struck she finally took notice of the plaster cast on her right foot. “It wasn’t a dream?” was all she managed to say before fainted into the arms of her fiancĂ©.

Marc said...

Greg - I'm glad you've enjoyed my tale, though I must say I thought yours was excellent from start to finish. I'm rather sad to see it (potentially) end.

That's a rather brave (foolish?) priest to dare approach her in her current state about such a petty issue!

Writebite - thank you :)

Some interesting character development for Lucy in the end there. I think that's an appropriate and satisfying ending to your story!

Cathryn - that does tie things up quite nicely. A fun tale that brightened my week :)

Watermark - I've enjoyed your takes on the prompt this week, and I think that ending suits your tale just right :)

Aaron - aw, I was hoping for a happier ending as well. But this one feels authentic, though it does leave me wanting to throttle that doctor :P

GZ - not in the least :D

I think you managed to tie things up while still leaving me wanting more. That's pretty impressive.

Krystin - I'm glad you didn't go the 'it was all a dream' route; you had me worried there. But then you twisted it round one last time for a worthy ending to your story :)

Krystin Scott said...

Well I'm glad you liked that Novelists Boot Camp says that depending on what authority you consult there are only 12,25 or 112different plot lines in existence, So our job is to make the same old, different and captivating...

"It was all a dream" is a bit over done, So I tried a turn on it. Thou I do feel a bit guilty not giving you a good fight scene and a grand escape.