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She flew away (1 Viewer)

Pietro

Senior Member
It will be a rainy night in Franklin, but for the moment the weather is still calm. All he can hear is Chopin’s "Nocturne" racing with the Kentucky River rumble outside. Since his return from New York, and on a weekly basis, Richard has been listening to Chopin playing at low volume from the speakers in the ceiling of the clinic’s waiting room. His psychiatrist believes that Chopin’s piano is the only music that might fit and soothe the versatility of personality disorders waiting in this room. But though right now music and running water is all he can hear and the sky is starry outside, he can tell it will rain in some minutes; he senses such things.

The clinic door finally opens; a man in his seventies steps out, picks his overcoat from the hatstand, gently nods at Richard, and leaves the building. Richard heads towards the door;tonight I can prove I am not cuckoo, maybe then she can love me. A beautiful mid-aged woman with fair white skin, mild brown hair and hazel eyes meets him.



“Good evening, Mr. Thompson. Please come in."

"I am your last patient tonight, right?”


“Yes Richard. Have a seat please.”


“So you can come with me when we finish?"


She remains silent, confused what to say. Richard slowly sits on a couch while his eyes fixate on her like a child begging for approval.


"I don't see why that would be necessary Mr. Thompson.” she then utters with an uncertain voice. “So tell me, are we still stable? Or did you experience any panic attack this week? Did anything bother you?”

“It is necessary; I need to show you something. And I prefer it when you call me Richard, Diana.”

“Ok, Richard. What is it you need to show me?”

“Something that will make you believe me."

This came unexpected, Diana thinks. Her patient has been improving, and it had been more than a month since he last exhibited psychotic signs. Richard suffers of paranoid schizophrenia. He claims his daydreams are actually flashes of other people's lives occurring at the time he sees them, and they usually involve mythical characters. He always had a schizotypal personality, and his thoughts were not only larger than his small Kentucky town: he lived in his own dreamy world back since she met him in the biology class. Back then, she used to admire his wide imagination and think he would have a bright future. Never did she imagine that his magical thoughts were seeds of delusions that will destroy his career one day.

"What do you want me to believe, Richard?”

“Everything... You know what I'm talking about.”

“And what is it that will make me believe?”

“After I left your clinic last week I headed to Tony's diner. I saw, while eating, a woman in her thirties, extremely blond, her long hair in a single braid, her skin almost transparent and her eyes bright green, wearing a grey cap with silver linings. She was sitting on the facing table, staring at me, and as soon as our gazes met she stood and moved towards me, as if she was waiting for me to see her."

Diana takes a long breath and a comfortable position. This is going to be long; Richard is slipping into delusion again, this sounds like the beginning of one of his imaginary stories, except this time he is a character and not only the narrator. But as a psychiatrist, she has to listen to every detail and so she does.

"The strange lady sat at my table and asked me why I was dining alone.

‘I guess I just have no one to dine with.’ I answered. ‘Excuse me, but do I know you?’

‘No you don't. I am not from around here.’

‘I know. You're not a familiar face and, may I add, your clothes are quite insolent for a resident of this town. What's your name?’

‘You like my cap.’ she smiled, ‘I know it is old-fashioned but I will keep wearing it. It reminds me of the man I love.’

‘Honestly lady, I can't remember a time when this cap was fashionable, and I never said you shouldn't wear it. Why are you not with the man you love then?’

‘He has given up’ she said.

“What I saw in her eyes then was either emptiness, or an overflow of anger, regret and sadness; I really cannot tell. I just felt I should not ask for an explanation, until she struck me with one last sentence. ‘Don't give up, Richard.’"

Diana keeps waiting but Richard stops there. He looks in her eyes for any sign of interest, enthusiasm, or belief, because he knows that she would never express them purposefully, and he finds them. He waits a moment more until she finally asks:



"How did she know your name?"

"I don't know.”

“You did not ask her?”

“I was mesmerized as she stood up and left the diner.”

“And you didn't talk to her or see her again?”


“I think I saw her once more.”


“You think?”

“My horse Angie gave birth four days ago.”

“How does that relate, Richard?”


“The night before it gave birth I saw a light shining from the barn around midnight, but it didn't last. Then I saw that lady leaving... I think it was her...I saw the silver linings of her cape shining before she left.”

“You didn't try to catch her?”

“She flew away."



Diana realizes suddenly that she has lost her control of the conversation, and just like every time, is almost drifting in Richard’s delusion. He always had that effect on her. During her pre-med years, she was infatuated with him, but he barely gave her any attention back then. This is why she had considered referring him to a colleague when he first consulted her, but then decided that his dreamy propositions should not affect her anymore. She takes a more professional tone.


“I thought we had established a few weeks ago, that your perception of characters such as mermaids or immortal pirates, or in this case flying beautiful women, is caused by neurochemical derangement in your brain.You are a pharmacist and the progress we had made in your understanding of your disease was huge, Mr Thompson. Are you still taking – “


“It’s Richard, Diana. And this time I was not seeing through the eyes of a pirate in the Indian Ocean, I saw that woman with my own eyes. I talked to her. She knew my name.”

“Just like you personally knew your former boss when you told him he was the god Hermes. This has already cost you your career, Richard. When you came back to town you were having daily panic attacks. You need to hold on to the progress we had made.“

“No!” he stands aggressively and presses both hands on Diana’s desk, leaning forward. “I will not give up!” And, for some strange reason, she is not terrorized by his behavior, but rather aroused. He takes her hand, and then gently adds “Forgive me, dear. I am just too excited, because I know I can make you believe. Please, just please come with me. Let me show you something at the barn.”


Diana cannot understand how she is able to trust that delusional man. Maybe she envies him, maybe she desires him. Regardless, she does not let go of his hand. She stands up, and lets him lead her out of the clinic, leaving all the lights on and the front door open. As they walk back to Richard’s house, the rain starts pouring. In his barn, a newborn white horse with a horn growing from his forehead; in his pocket, a paper on which is written:
“Don't give up, please.
Name him Fastghost.
Adriane.”



Pietro Kheir
31 12 13
 
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TheGreedyimp

Senior Member
First off, I'd like to say that I like your introduction. Mostly because it was unorthodox and risky; I'm not entirely sure if you should change it or not, but let me qualify it.

1. You referred to the first character as "he," not a name nor a description, but simply he. I think this goes well with your generally-succinct and separated dialogue. You reveal the character's name soon enough too.

2. I think your "on a weekly basis" on the third sentence was a bit out of place. Since you didn't even reveal the character's name, the audience is wondering who "he" is, but you've already begun to characterize an unknown character.

3. Unrelated to your introduction, I like the constant thread of dialogue, almost reminds me of Hemingway. Hemingway was able to write succinct dialogue that was good enough that it was its own exposition. Since however, you are no Hemingway, I would advise that you either insert exposition between your several lines of dialogue or enhance them like Hemingway's.

Lastly, I want to know if this is a stand-alone piece of work or if there's more to the story.
 

Pietro

Senior Member
TheGreedyimp,

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. This is the fourth of a series of prose I'm experimenting with. The ones before that are, by chronological order, "My dearest Adriane", "Behind the eye", and "As above so below" and you can find them all on this forum. If you read them it will help you understand this piece better.
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
Senior Member
Pietro, I wasn't expecting something like this after reading your first three pieces, which blind-sided me. I love it. The moment I can start guessing what comes next is the moment I tend to lose interest as a reader. The way you tied everything together adds a new twist to the story, and, at the same time, doesn't feel too outlandish. You're so close to churning out a good, cohesive storyline.

I would encourage you to read your piece aloud.

First, it will eliminate some of the awkward phrasing like "suffers of paranoid schizophrenia" (which should be "from paranoid..." shouldn't it?). If something sounds strange when you say it, it's probably strange to read, too.
Second, it strengthens your dialogue. You have a powerful descriptive voice, which is great around the quotation marks, but between them, you need to have his voice. He's a former big-shot-business, crazed Kentuckian. He needs to sound like one when he speaks. Right now, he sounds like he belongs more in Victorian Britain. Choose words that better fit him, just like you did with Hermes in your piece "As Above, So Below".
Lastly, it gives you a better pace. If you're reading through it, and you get to a point where you've taken a sudden 90-degree turn, you'll know. There is so much stuff forced in here, that at points, it's hard to follow. You want to be able to focus on one thing at a time. As you read, trace the conversation. Try to write what you think they are talking about, and if you do go on to something new, make sure there is a transition written in the conversation that makes it appropriate for the characters to say what they say. This will slow everything down significantly as you realize that there are a lot of things addressed all at once here.

I would also encourage you to think of a theme. What are you trying to portray? It's a love story? It's a story about the gods? It's a story about schizophrenia? What are you hoping to talk about here? Where do the gods fit into this story? Focus on a moral. That keeps you from straying into extraneous detail, and it answers a lot of questions for you as well as for the reader. Trust me, from my experience, writing flows a lot faster when you have something to say.

I have to restate that I'm very impressed you found a clever way to pull it all together like this. I realize that it's a rough draft and so forth, but you've got a great structure going.
 

Badhorses Mare

Senior Member
I like the cerebral-ish plot. The question of reality and fantasy. Though I am unsure of weather or not psychiatrists take on patients that they know personally because of the stronger possibility of transference and being biased. Obviously it is a fantasy and It's my own little hangup. XD
 

cosmictide

Senior Member
I really like this piece - the one minor thing I have to say is that 'He always had a schizotypal personality' should be 'He always had had' or 'He had always had' etc, because you are talking about the past in which she knew him, and not in the way of 'Whenever she met him he always had a schizotypal personality', if that makes sense. I also feel that the insertion of her past (and it seems present) attraction to him is totally unnecessary and draws away from the mystery and magic that you are trying to focus the whole story on - it seems that you merely inserted it in for your own whims instead of for the plot. Unless you are going to write more on this specific storyline, though judging by the finality of the last part I doubt that. However, overall I found it interesting and original to read. Keep up the good work!
 

dagrar

Senior Member
I like the story, now I have to go and find the other to put everything into context. Nice work. I did lose track of which female was talking in the middle and had to go back and reread the passage. That was probably just me however.
 

Pietro

Senior Member
I hope unexpected endings are a good thing for you. In order to better relate to this piece, you can read the prequels to it:
"My Dearest Adriane", "Behind the Eye" and "As Above so Below".
 

W.Goepner

WF Veterans
The titles of two of the three prequels I see in the dialog of this piece. I will have to find the "My Dearest Adriane" Though I recognize it as the woman with the funny/unusual hat. I can assume it is his from an earlier time. If as I read, and speculate you to imply, the four pieces are a part of a whole. I can hope that the complete story continues from here. Other wise I see a full contingent of snippets comprising Many of this Richard's fantasy/reality life.

Now to put it in my dramatic way. "Need... more... Must fulfill... desire. Cannot... stop...reading."
 

Pietro

Senior Member
To answer your questions: no.
My Dearest Adriane is not about a funny-hatted woman. Adriane was never Richard's, but once you read My Dearest Adriane you'll understand better. And no I still haven't added any piece to this "chronicle". I intend to, however do not want to force it.
I am glad you require more though, hoping that means you've enjoyed the read. :)

My Dearest Adriane: http://www.writingforums.com/threads/143249-My-dearest-Adriane?highlight=my+dearest+adriane
Behind The Eye: http://www.writingforums.com/threads/143400-Behind-the-Eye?highlight=
As Above So Below: http://www.writingforums.com/threads/143733-As-above-so-below?highlight=
 

W.Goepner

WF Veterans
Yes I read the others and I would like more to read for I do like this one. I can see they converge in some way through this Richard, or at least I feel they do. Very good write.
 

Pietro

Senior Member
Glad you enjoyed. I intend to make them interact more I just haven't decided how yet. I see dragons coming :)
 

W.Goepner

WF Veterans
Glad you enjoyed. I intend to make them interact more I just haven't decided how yet. I see dragons coming :)

Not to try to direct your writing. Right now as it stands. This Richard has seen these other bits, as referred to in this section.

“I thought we had established a few weeks ago, that your perception of characters such as mermaids or immortal pirates, or in this case flying beautiful women, is caused by neurochemical derangement in your brain.You are a pharmacist and the progress we had made in your understanding of your disease was huge, Mr Thompson. Are you still taking – “

“It’s Richard, Diana. And this time I was not seeing through the eyes of a pirate in the Indian Ocean, I saw that woman with my own eyes. I talked to her. She knew my name.”

“Just like you personally knew your former boss when you told him he was the god Hermes. This has already cost you your career, Richard. When you came back to town you were having daily panic attacks. You need to hold on to the progress we had made.“

Richard appears to be a link that can be the full weight of the story bringing the pieces together. Then this fits in with 'Dearest Adriane'

“Don't give up, please.
Name him Fastghost.
Adriane.”

Richard is part and parcel a resin which binds the layers together. A catalyst that is drawing these other events into one. At least in my mind.

And yes I do so enjoy dragons.
 
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Ephemeral_One

Senior Member
I gotta admit, even jumping into the middle of this, it does grab you. I've always been a fan of the point where reality and fantasy collide. I'll have to go and read the previous parts to get a full frame of reference but I must admit this intrigues me greatly.
 

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