Death After School

Stephen King may take his birthday off, but I generally don’t have anything that’s interesting enough that gets me to take the day off.  I had to run out and pay bills, I had my normal birthday dinner, I watched Orphan Black and laughed when a paranoid, chemically enhanced Allison face planted right off a stage . . . oh, yeah:  I did some editing, too.  No freakin’ rest for the wicked, right?

Actually, yesterday was pretty emotional for me.  It was one of those crying off and on days where one minute I was pretty good and happy with everything, and then–BAM!  Tears were pouring out of me.  I am going through some hormonal changes, and even my therapist said the other night that she was surprised to see me start crying while we were speaking, because it was something I’d never done before during a session.

There were a few reasons why I was crying, but one of the main ones concerned my preoccupation with the concept of death–

In particular, the deaths of the characters of my current story.

As I’ve stated on a few other occasions, I generally like to know everything about my characters.  At this point in the game, however, I don’t know everything, which means there are blank sections of there lives that need filling.  This here is a good example:

Whole lotta nuthin' goin' on.

Whole lotta nuthin’ goin’ on.

Last year at school, all of Annie and Kerry’s classes out of the way, and there isn’t a whole lot for them to do, right?  While wandering about the apartment I thought about this segment of their lives and figured out where they are the summer before the start of this level, and then came to an understanding as to how their school year will shape up.  Work remains, but the mind is grinding away even when I should be doing rewrites.

There’s more, though.  It wasn’t enough to begin the process of figuring out what they do during this level of school, I thought about what they did after school–way after school.  Like what happens after they shuck this mortal coil and, as they say in the stories, Pass Beyond the Veil.

Of course I had to go there . . .

I have another set of time lines for everyone.  It looks like this:

Every character gets one from each of the coloums.

Every character gets one from each of the columns.

Birthdays, death days, life lines:  I know it all.  Of course I smudged out the last dates on those life lines because you don’t need to know that stuff–not right now.  I know, and maybe in time, if I don’t drive myself insane with all this stuff, you’ll know, too.  The thing to know, though, is there are moments that each of the characters experience after they bite the big one.  There are always moments in time–sometimes short, sometimes long–where the astral energy of the dearly departed finds themselves on the other side of The Curtain, and they go off in search of their Portal Through The Veil.

That’s what I was thinking about yesterday.  I was thinking of the last story I’ll ever publish about these kids, about their moments after they die and are waiting to get ferried over to whatever awaits, as told by the only person who could tell the story.  I was thinking of in terms of viewing the panels of a graphic novel, imagining the story drawn out so the reader could see some of the important moments that happen between dying and passing on.

Three scenes in particular came to mind, and even now I’m getting a bit weepy thinking about them.  That’s just me, because I cry at the drop of a hat these days.  Maybe I’ll convince my daughter to draw these scenes–she’s becoming a damn good artist and could likely do them justice in a few years–and they can be added into the ebook when I finally get around to publishing the story.  For now I’ll hang onto them.

And there’s one other scene that I would probably add as well.  The thing is, the scene is described in the retelling of what happens, but the person telling the tale doesn’t really know what was said between the two characters in question.  I know it, because I saw it, and it would make for a nice little add-on to illustrate what actually happened between the characters.

So many ideas, so many ways to show them–so much sadness trying to bring these stories together.

It’s not enough to kill off your characters when it’s time; sometimes you need to know if they made it to their final destinations.