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View Full Version : The Curse of Qwerty - Chapter 2 - Emily Meets Elisa



qwertyportne
July 31st, 2014, 06:11 PM
"Mother, Dad, come quick. I found a magic typewriter. It talks to me!"

"Shhhhhsh," scolded her mother, "You will disturb the other shoppers."

"But it puts strange words on the paper."

"Well of course it types strange letters, dear. This is a foreign country."

"But it types all by itself!"

"Emily, your father and I are trying to..."

"Dad, it talks to me. Let's buy it and take it home."

"We'll see, Emily. Now run along until your mother and I decide about this clock."

Emily walked slowly back to the typewriter, "They don't believe me." They never believe me.

Her parents were looking for things to take home. Emily wished she could find something to take her through the awkward, mixed feelings of being a tweenager.

That's what her friend Zoey called everyone at their middle school in Topeka. One day on the way home from school, Emily had confessed to Zoey that she didn't want to grow up. "Why grow up, Zoey, and be like our mothers, arguing with our husbands, calling them nincompoops, wishing... "

Zoey had interrupted her, saying, "Emily, that's how we're supposed to feel. We're tweenagers!"

When Emily got back to the typewriter, she leaned forward and typed THEY NEVER BELIEVE ME and watched the keys print KJDT LD>DO NDPGD>D MD. As she looked at her feelings in this strange new language, the keys began striking the paper on their own:

RPDA:D NDPGD>D MD DMGPT
G AM DPG:A LSK A KTRD<OGKDO
JDPR MD NODAV KJD IFO:D SY X<DOKT

Emily ran to find her father and found him looking at smoking pipes carved from wood. "Dad, you have to see this typewriter. It talks to me!"

Absorbed in the pipes, he absentmindedly answered, "Uh, sure Emily. Just a minute."

Emily watched her father look at the pipes until she could no longer wait. "Dad. Please!"

Grabbing his hand, Emily led her father to the back of the shop. "See, there it is!" Emily typed SAY HELLO TO MY FATHER as the typewriter printed :AT JDPPS KS MY YAHJDO.

"Well that's nice, dear, but this is a foreign country, so it types different letters."

"But Dad, shouldn't it print the same letters I type?"

"I'm sure there is a simple explanation, Emily."

"But it answers me. Watch. As Emily leaned forward, all the keys jammed in the neck of the typewriter. Emily reached out to untangle the keys just as her mother came around the corner.

"What are you two doing back here?"

"Emily was showing me this old typewriter. Dusty and in need of repair but quite beautiful in its own way, wouldn't you say dear?"

"Mother, help me fix the keys, they're all..."

"Emily, stop! If you break that typewriter, I will be obligated to buy it!"

"Oh yes, let's buy it and take it home!"

"We do not have time for such silliness. We have a dinner engagement with the Petersens tonight in Buda and I will not embarrass myself by being late."

Emily yanked the paper out of the typewriter just as her mother grabbed her arm.

"I'll find out what you said. I promise." whispered Emily, looking back at the typewriter as her mother led her away.

EmmaSohan
August 1st, 2014, 12:54 AM
It's rolling along fine. Same -- easy writing, the coded answers are still working really well.

I was a little jarred by "Emily wished she could find something to take her through the awkward, mixed feelings of being a tweenager." It seems too mature. Not sure what you could do about that. Give that thought to her father?

I also did not understand "We do not have time for such silliness." So far, they have time for a lot of shopping. And unless that country is different from here, you're supposed to be late to a dinner engagement, and the few minutes it takes to buy something wouldn't matter. Can she not have room for that junk?

qwertyportne
August 1st, 2014, 06:45 PM
Thanks very much for the feedback. You have a really good point about whether a 13-year old would say something like that. As I said in my reply to chapter 1 of this story, it's been a very long time since I was a teenager. Emily might think something like that but I'll have to rethink how she would say it. Or as you suggested, give that thought to somebody else. I don't know. I'm trying to keep the readers hooked up with Emily's thoughts and feelings, not the other characters.

Speaking of other characters, I'm giving the readers hints along the way that Emily's mother is preoccupied with what she wants, whether or not it's reasonable, practical or fair for anybody else. She just doesn't care. This will become more and more obvious as the story continues. Or so I hope. If not, revise, revise, revise... :)

Thanks for your input.

Sc0pe
August 7th, 2014, 03:32 PM
This dose seem rather interesting. There was enough detail in the scene to get a good picture of it in your head. The grown ups do seem to act a lot like they would if they did have a young child whilst shopping. I do feel that although "Emily wished she could find something to take her through the awkward, mixed feelings of being a tweenager." dose seem maybe to direct to her problem it dose work. When i was in my early teens, no before that I was told by mum how troublesome teens can be. I would see tv documentaries on them just acting out and being childish.

To say the least it made me very self aware of my behavior when i did become one and thanks to that I think i can out the other side better behaved than some.

What I'm trying to get at here is maybe that line can work better if you had some context of the mother drilling into her head how bad teens can be making her very aware of it and thus her calling it tweenager. Or just word it different preferably less direct to teen's and more her feelings as of late and her being a young teen people can put two and two together. Have not seen the first part of this so maybe I'm treading on old ground.

But over all it was well pasted. I know there is a code like meaning in what the typewriter is saying but i have not gotten around to understanding it if we are ment to at this point. And i do get the feeling that the mother is a little selfish even more so when you said it XD

EmmaSohan
August 8th, 2014, 02:43 AM
I like ScOpe's idea of how to handle that line. Nice.

escorial
August 8th, 2014, 11:24 AM
liked the idea of a talking typewriter..and one that answers in another language..overall the story has that unique storyline that kept me in there.