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Josh Colon
November 1st, 2015, 05:40 PM
When Smiling is Bad
Little Miss Trillia's job for the day was washing, folding, and putting away the linens from last nights formal dinner. She had loaded the last load in the wash machine, and then folded and put away the previous load. Now she was reading from her Mathematics school book, and smiling. She had been reading a small hand book titled 'An Introduction to Elementary Algebra'. She was smiling because she saw how the Algebra was going to make her Mathematics homework easier and faster.

The wash machine dinged, and Trillia closed the Math book and got up to finish her chore. Great-Grand-Mother MaryAnnya came lumbering along, and she snapped, "What are you smiling about?" at Trillia.

"Nothing, GrandMother," answered Trillia, removing the smile from her face. She went straight to the wash machine, opened it, and started removing and folding the linens. MaryAnnya watched her for a minute, then she lumbered on into the Great Hall. Where she observed another girl mopping the floors, and yet another girl scrubbing at one of the tables. She continued her inspection tour, glaring at the girls as she passed them.

Trillia finished folding and stacking the linens. Then she opened the lockers, and put them all away. She was finished for the day. She picked up her schoolbooks, smiled again, and started to walk off. "What are you smiling about?" barked MaryAnnya, at her.

Trillia removed the smile from her face, and answered, "Nothing, Ma'am."

MaryAnnya glared at her, and asked, "Are the linens all finished?"

"Yes Ma'am," replied Trillia.

MaryAnnya looked like she didn't believe her. She opened the linen lockers, and saw that they were both full. Obviously Trillia had done her work. She riffled the edges, and saw they they were all neatly and properly folded, and they looked clean. She leaned in and sniffed, they smelled clean too. MaryAnnya looked at Trillia again. "I know you are up to something," she said, "Go to Nuella's office."

"Yes Ma'am," answered Trillia, who promptly bolted for the elevators.

Trillia rode the elevator up to the next to the top floor, got off, and went into her Great-Great-Grand-Mother, Admiral Vish-Nuella's, outer offices where she presented herself to the Admiral's secretary. The secretary was a pleasant female Tech-6 named Maroa.

Maroa looked at Trillia, then smiled. She made a funny face, and speaking out of one corner of her mouth she said, "So, Kid, Whatchya in here for this time?"

Trillia burst into giggles. She and the secretary had played this game before.

Maroa said, "Wait. Let me guess." She stopped smiling, and put a serious look on her face, then leaned forward and said, as dead pan as she could, "You were caught smiling again weren't you?"

Trillia burst into another fit of giggles, and just bobbed her head up and down. The secretary's phone bleeped. "Hold that thought," she said, taking a deep breath.

Maroa put a serious look back on her face, and answered the phone, "Admiral Vish-Nu's office." She paused, listening, then, "No, Ma'am, the Admiral is currently not available. May I take a message?" She paused, listened some more, then, "Why, yes, Miss Trillia has just arrived." She winked at Trillia and continued, "Just what has the little miscreant done this time?"

Maroa listened some more, then responded, "I see. Miss Trillia was smiling again." Maroa was having a hard time not smiling. Trillia put her books on the desk, and clapped both hands over her mouth, trying to keep from giggling. Maroa finished listening, then replied "Well, I will certainly inform the Admiral as soon as she becomes available," pause, "Yes Ma'am." And she hung up the phone.

Maroa smiled across at Trillia. Trying to remove the smile, and look serious. She gave up, and burst into laughter. Trillia took down her hands and laughed also. Maroa finished laughing, then took a deep breath and composed her face. But she couldn't help smiling as she finished saying, "All right Missy, you know the drill."

"Yes, Ma'am," said Trillia. She picked up her school books, and went to the small desk in the corner next to the racks of text books and study guides. She sat down and opened the Math book, then took some paper out of the desk drawer and started doing her homework. She was smiling again. Trillia knew that Admiral Gramma liked happy little girls. As long as she did all her homework.

Josh Colon.

 

Hairball
November 2nd, 2015, 06:43 AM
I like it. I wish I had thought something like this. Very intriguing to me.

Josh Colon
November 5th, 2015, 12:43 AM
Miss Trillia is the heroine in a science fiction novel I'm pretending to write.
And, I was thinking of how she grew up to be who she will be. So, I wrote this.
I have another . . . should I post it?
Josh.

jenthepen
November 7th, 2015, 08:09 PM
I like your idea of imagining your heroine as a child. Is this just an exercise so that you can understand your character a little better or are you planning to include this in your novel as flashbacks?

If it is for your novel (or maybe in any case) I think you should work to give it a bit of a lighter touch. You have a lot of detail that doesn't add a lot to the point that you are making - that Trillia is a bubbly, happy little character despite the heavy workload and unsympathetic attitude of her Grandmother.

Maybe it would help if you imagined what your own feelings would have been as a child in a similar situation. I'd like to feel all this from inside Trillia's mind. She sounds irrepressibly cheerful and a lot of fun. I'd love it if you could find a way for her to show this aspect of her character to us.

All just my opinion, of course, but I hope it helps a little.

jen

Josh Colon
November 7th, 2015, 09:07 PM
OK.
What I originally started out with, was an explanation that Trillia is a young female of another species. She lives with a LOT of other females in a female 'House'. Think of it as a cross between a corporation and a tribe. The Great-Grand-Mothers are the board of directors, or the tribal elders. The Grand-Mothers are the managers and supervisors. The Mothers are the primary workers - and many of them work outside the house. The daughters do what they can but their primary job is to get educated with marketable job skills and grow up to be productive workers for the House.

And, yes, I was trying to better understand my heroine.

Here is the other story from that time in her life. :

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trillia's Alibi

Trillia had finished her classes for the day and was returning to her room. Where she saw three of her cousins going into her room with a box of cookies. Now Trillia knew that Grand-Mother Mary did not mind giving a girl a cookie. Trillia smiled, but it was more fun to steal two cookies, and Gramma Mary might fuss at them if she caught them, but not big trouble. But the only way a girl might get a whole box of cookies was to steal them and that would anger Gramma Mary.

Trillia also realized that they were bigger than she was and she would be outnumbered. So she reversed course and went to the elevators where she rode them up to the next to the top floor. Where her Great-Great-Grand-Mother Nuella had her offices. Gramma Nuella was also an admiral and had Marines around to protect her. In Nuella's outer office there were also several racks of school books and study guides and a small desk with a chair. If a girl was in trouble and sent to that office, the girl was expected to sit and study till Gramma Nuella got around to her.

Trillia went straight to the corner, settled into the desk, and started reading her homework assignment. The Marine Corporal outside Nuella's inner office looked at her, then ignored her. Trillia finished reading, then pulled out paper and a stylus and started writing an essay. When she finished her homework she went and pulled an elementary Algebra book off one of the racks. Trillia was a bit young for Algebra but she was an 'overachiever', and she was looking into Algebra as a means to do her math homework quicker, easier, and more accurately. It was dinner time and Trillia was getting hungry, but she was looking to establish an alibi.

The Admiral came out of her office, saw Trillia, and turned to the Corporal. "How long has she been sitting there?" she asked.

"About two hours," answered the Corporal. "She has been very good."

"I see," said the Admiral. She smiled, and let the corners of her teeth show. She walked over to Trillia, and looked down. "Algebra?" she asked Trillia. And then, "With me."

Trilla got up, put the Algebra book back on the shelf and picked up her school books. The Admiral started walking towards the elevator and Trillia followed her. Once on the elevator, going down, the Admiral looked down at Trillia, and repeated, "Algebra?"

"Yes Ma'am," answered Trillia. "I'm trying to find a way to do my Math homework faster and easier."

They rode the elevator down to the deck where Trillia's room was, then out and down the hall. They came around the corner where they found Great-Grand-Mother Helenia, Grand-Mother Mary, and a half dozen or so girls. Outside of Trillia's room. Grand Mother Helenia asked, "Trillia, can you explain this?"

Trillia looked inside her room. It was a mess. Her things had been strewn across the floor, and cookie crumbs, fragments, and the empty box littered her bed. Trillia didn't say a word. She just went back, and stood beside Gramma Nuella, and looked up at her.

"Grand-Mother Mary?" asked Nuella. "What happened here?"

"I received a report that Trillia had stolen a box of cookies. This is how I found her room. Obviously she made a pig of herself then, on a sugar high, messed her room," replied Grand-Mother Mary.

"I see," mused the Admiral. Then, "Mary, I hate to contradict you, but it seems Miss Trillia has spent the last two hours in my outer office doing her home work." Then she looked at the girls gathered around. She turned a glare on PollyAnya, and said, "Have you anything to say?"

PollyAnya didn't say anything. She was trying very hard to keep her face straight. Nuella allowed her glare to pass over the other girls. One of them's knees started shaking, and Nuella focused her attention on that one.

"Dottie," she stated. "Care to tell me what really happened here?"

"SHE made us do it!" Dottie squealed out, pointing at Pollyanya.

"Who all was involved?" asked Nuella.

"Me and Melinya and PollyAnya," whimpered Dottie.

"I see," said Nuella. "Helenia, PollyAnya will stay and clean up this room. You will see that it passes a white glove inspection before she is finished. Mary, you will take Dottie and Melinya and see that they have appropriate punishments. All three of them will be doing after dinner clean up detail, along with their other duties for the next week. Also, if anything in Trillia's room has been damaged, or marred, Helenia, you will see to it that PollyAnya pays to replace or repair it."

Trillia was smiling. "With me, Missy," said the Admiral, "And stop smiling." Trillia removed the smile as they walked around the corner.

The Admiral took Trillia up to the Senior's dining room. Trillia was smiling again. The food was much better eating with Gramma Nuella. And Gramma didn't really mind her smiling.


Josh Colon.