Tag Archives: Canon

Scenelette: Another Orientation

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Hey everyone! Here’s a little scenelette I wrote as I was investigating Chief Snowiks (from A Book Without Dragons) and how he feels about his job. I felt like there was a lot there, and I wanted his struggle to be more than a one-dimensional “I’m burned out” kind of thing. I also decided to write it in first person, since that’s his POV style in the book.

***

I glanced in the mirror and straightened his already perfect uniform. These used to be my favorite days, and they still were, but now they were simultaneously my least favorite as well. I was glad that I don’t need to justify this dichotomy to a therapist.

There were three new recruits this time, all eager and ready to begin their careers. Every time I see recruits they seem younger, but I know this is just because I’m getting older; older and delivering the same speech over and over again.

As much as I hate this landmark of another year having passed, I don’t know how I could continue without his periodic reminder of what genuine excitement looked liked.

He saw it in each of the young men and woman as they joined the force; that true and unhindered belief that they were about to perform a desperately needed service to the world. And maybe they would, how should I know?

When I entered the room, the three recruits were sitting at the table with blank notebooks and fresh pens and uniforms so new I could smell the plastic that had previously hugged them. They weren’t talking when I entered, but that didn’t stop them from being quieter when they saw me.

Their mouths twitched like they wanted to smile, but not nearly as much as they wanted me think of them as serious and worthy. Silly children; I already thought that without them trying.

“Good morning.”

They tripped over each other in voices that would have sounded magnificent if they had been speaking the same thing. I think one of them said, “Yes, sir.” And other said, “Good morning, Chief.” The third also started to say good morning, but stalled because he didn’t seem sure what to call me.

“I’d like to start off by congratulating you on graduating at the top of your class,” I began. I tried some years to move the wording of the speech around, but ended slipping back into this one anyway, every time. “I cannot emphasize enough what a great service you are doing by pursuing a career in upholding the law.

“This role in society is not always an easy one, or a safe one, and you will not always be well loved. But whether they appreciate it or not, these people will come to owe their way of life to men and women like you. You will be challenged daily with making decisions that effect lives – sometimes hundreds of lives, and sometimes only one.”

They watched me, drinking in my words and storing them as camels might. I knew the speech so well that I hardly heard myself giving it anymore. I didn’t notice until their faces turned from attentive to concerned that I had stopped speaking.

“Chief Snowiks?” The boldest one asked. “Is something wrong, sir?”

I smiled for him, and sat down at the table instead of standing at the head. After all, who was I kidding, really? “No. Nothing’s wrong. But I don’t want to start off your career by building it up to be something it’s not.”

They glanced at each other, only the barest flicker of the eyes beneath eyelashes, and then they were watching me again.

“Here’s what being a cop is really like,” I told them. “It’s filling out parking tickets, and writing fines when you catch someone urinating on a public building. It’s paperwork, and reports, and patrolling. It’s not glamorous and it’s very seldom heroic.” I shrugged. “Honestly? Being a cop is a job. And there are going to be things you like about it, and things you don’t.

“There will be times when you are bored out of your wits. You’re going to wake up some mornings wishing you could just stay in bed, and afternoons where you can’t stop counting the minutes until quitting time. Yes: it’ll happen. And it’s okay.

“You probably won’t feel like you saved the world. But it’s a job, and it’s as useful and necessary as any other. No more, and no less. As long as you keep that in mind, you’re going to be fine.”

But, of course, that isn’t want I said to them. That’s only what I wanted to say; what I wished someone had said to me so very long ago. No, these three were too happy, and I wasn’t going to be the one to take that moment from that. Let them at least have this, and maybe they’ll have something more than I did. I wanted that for them.

“Chief Snowiks? Is something wrong?”

I cleared my throat and smiled. “Not at all. As I was saying…”

***

Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed this piece because it let me see a softer side of him, and a glimpse of his well-buried optimism.

As a side note – I just wanted to say that I don’t mean this in any way to be a commentary on police officers in general. This is just one specific character and his personal journey as it relates to the job.

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Happy new year to all!

 

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Drabble: A Fear of Formality

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This post features Willow and Troy
from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble Type: Canon (Click Here if confused)
Timeline: Before the book, when the Unitime project was just getting started 

No Spoilers

Willow picked at his stiff collar and tie, wishing not for the first time that Troy would have agreed to apply for the grant alone. Troy was so much better at this sort of thing.

Troy was charismatic and had a kind of trustworthy voice that made people sure that he was smart enough to accomplish exactly what he said he wanted to do. Willow had the kind of voice that made people wonder how he had managed to graduate at all. If they didn’t get the grant, it would be Willow’s fault. He was sure of it.

Troy emerged from the washroom and joined Willow on the bench. “I have a great feeling about this, Will,” he said, leaning against the wall with both hands tucked behind his head. Willow wondered how he managed to still have such a range of movement available to him when dressed formally. Willow felt like he was in a body cast. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Even my Characters get Writers Block

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This post features Bethany and Ralph
from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble Type: Canon
Timeline: After the book
Spoilers

 Ralph stepped into the kitchen and found his wife sitting at the table, eyes pinched shut, hunched over a piece of paper. This wouldn’t have been especially odd, except that it was the middle of the night, and she hadn’t even turned on the lights in the room.

“Bethany? What are you…?”

She groaned and slapped the pen she’d been holding down on the table. “I can’t remember.”

Ralph sat down at the table as well, peering at her in the darkness. “You mean you were sleepwalking?”

“No,” she said. “The story idea. I had a dream, and thought it might be a good story, so I came down here to make notes and then… nothing. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: The Dorm Room at 4 AM

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This post features Willow and Jasper
from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble Type: Canon (Click Here if confused)
Timeline: Before the book, when Willow and Jasper were college roommates

No Spoilers

“I’ll tell you, dude, you missed an awesome party,” Jasper announced when he finally returned to the room that night. It happened that Willow was still awake, but he got the impression that Jasper would have delivered his statement whether or not anyone was alert enough to hear it.

“Yeah, I’ll cry about it later,” Willow grumbled, blinking rapidly and trying to refocus on the book he was holding.

“Seriously,” Jasper went on. “Crazy good.”

Willow looked up with suspicion-narrowed eyes. He was just noticing how much Jasper was using phrases like ‘awesome’ and ‘crazy good.’ It was an infrequent day that Jasper used words like that, and when he did, he normally reserved them for something a little more worthy than a dance party. “Something wrong?” Willow asked. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Valentine’s Day with Lester and Ellsie

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This post features characters from
The World That Forgot How to Dance
Drabble type – Canon
Timeline – after the book

Contains Spoilers

I’ve had a few people contact me after reading The World That Forgot How to Dance, to tell me that they were curious about what happened to Ellsie and Lester after the book. So, since it’s February, here is a drabble of the two of them sharing their first Valentine’s Day together. Enjoy!

~*~

As soon as they saw how lovely the party room was, Ellsie gave a short laugh and skipped inside. Lester lingered at the door, smiling. He loved moments like this, where Ellsie got so excited about something that her feet forgot the process of walking and could only remember how to dance.

She spun around twice, and then looked back at Lester and gestured widely to make sure he noticed that the room was, indeed, pretty.

“I see,” he said. “It’s perfect.” Internally, he was directing the compliment at his girlfriend rather than the room they were standing in, but couldn’t find a way to tell her this without feeling really cheesy, so he let it go. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: My Characters Interacting with Cats

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This post contains characters from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble type – Pseudo canon

Minor Spoilers

Kitteh

Remember Five Tales of a Lost Teddy? This is very similar, except I have my characters all interacting with cats.

Willow

Cats didn’t like Willow nearly as much as he wanted to like them. They were so universally considered mystical and secretive, and anyone loved by cats tended to have something unique about them. Given that, Willow couldn’t be particularly surprised that he didn’t easily attract feline companions. But it made him sad all the same.

This particular one was scraggly and thin, and Willow just happened to have a cheese stick in his pocket, so his odds were much better than the average day as he approached the cat. She paused in her fitful attempts to wash her face and stared at Willow indecisively.

With the minimum amount of crinkling, he stripped the plastic packaging from the cheese and separated a segment. Then he knelt, held it out, and waited. Read the rest of this entry