“Oh! Where to begin? Well. Simon Dalaigh is pretentious. He’ll be damned if the world does nothing but revolve around him! After all, he is the sunlight in the darkness that is humanity—whosoever is near him gets to be graced with his presence. Simon Dalaigh is spoiled. He has gotten everything presented to him on a silver platter his whole life, and if he does not immediately get his way, he throws a tantrum like a toddler. Simon Dalaigh is lazy. He never wakes up before eleven-thirty, he expects to be waited on hand and foot, and he consumes more chocolate pudding in a day than a colony of small children could in a week. Simon Dalaigh is dramatic. The smallest inconveniences throw him into the depths of despair and the silliest things can send him reeling with utmost euphoria! He is an arrogant, entitled, impulsive, untrustworthy and melodramatic twat, and the most bizarre thing is that I still adore him, try as I might to do just the opposite! Perhaps he is right in some of his pride, for sometimes I swear that, at times, the sun does indeed shine out of his arse.” —Holly Halliburton
So guys, "Keeping Things Whole" has kind of been dead for awhile. I don't know what to do with it and I'm not passionate about it any more. But I have a good feeling about this new draft: Shiloh and Mel (not sure if that will still be her name) are in it, it's just a different plot. So I apologize for that, but I'm happy with how this is turning out so far.
When Shiloh Tucker was born, his life expectancy was that of any other child, until he was diagnosed with a congenial heart defect as an infant. But after seventeen years of being told he would die, Shiloh Tucker is very much alive, with one little catch: after his heart failed him in infancy, his brain lost too much oxygen in the occipital lobe. So in short, he's certainly kicking, but he has been legally blind since his fourth week of life. Compromise. That’s what life’s about, isn’t it? Shiloh doesn't see it that way- he doesn't like it one bit. But his lack of sight certainly never held him back from a good fistfight, and three expulsions and a broken nose later, Shiloh Tucker is being sent to live with his estranged father's relatives in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he just might find that there's more to sight than simply seeing.
"The moment the McMurray's vows and rings were exchanged and the uproarious applause died down, Holly saw Simon slip away and run out the back door of the church. His shoes clicked upon the cobbles, and with concern, she followed him outside. She found him sitting upon the stone steps, fiddling with his oxygen tube. As she had grown used to, Holly sat beside him, and without warning, he turned and threw his arms around her. They were slender and cool and they held her tightly to the thin chest that lay just beneath the pressed black fabric of his suit. "Simon!" she cried out in surprise as she held him, too."What's wrong?" He shook his head into her shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Holly." "What on earth for?" "I'm sorry I won't live long enough to marry you like that," he murmured. "I'm sorry."
When she returned that morning, Holly found him looking in the mirror which sat in the far corner of their small room, and it took him a moment to even notice her entrance, for he was busy straightening the cuffs of a glossy brown jacket. "Simon, what are you doing? That suit isn't familiar--is it new?" inquired Holly as she set down the groceries upon the table. The young man grinned ruefully at this. "Yes, it's new; went to town and had it fitted the other night while you were asleep; picked it up a couple minutes ago. What do you think?" "It looks quite nice. But what's the occasion? Why would you need a suit?" "Well, I figured it was collateral--you see, the shirt I was to wear in my casket got stained, so I figured I'd get this just in case...you know." He flattened the lapel as he spoke these words, his face both sharp and vulnerable at once. "So. Just shopping for a funeral suit. Perfectly normal behavior. 'Cause you know what they say-" he turned upon his heel and faced her, arms outstretched slightly, "can't spell 'funeral' without 'fun', am I right?"
"He closed his eyes and bared his teeth, looking away. “But now you’ve forgotten and none of that even matters anymore. –This is why I didn’t want to come tonight: I knew that I’d end up blowing up like this!” He took off his cap and ran his hands through his short hair, his breath coming from him in sharp gasps. “–And I’m sorry that I can’t be your knight and shining armour, but it’s not that simple! Why is it so hard for you to understand that I need comfort, too? I want to help you, but how am I supposed to do that if I can’t even help myself?" He was nearly screaming now. "You think I’m indestructible, but I’m not! I’m broken, too! I can’t knock down every pillar for you, not on my own!” I was caught short when I saw tears streaking down his cheeks, pausing on his lip and making their way down his chin, but he wiped them away with his arm so quickly that I almost doubted whether they had even been there. “Do you think that just because I made it home, everything’s fine?” asked Saul. “Do you really think that just because I’m still breathing and functioning, I’m okay? Well I’m not okay! Because sometimes life kills you from the inside out—sometimes you’re dying and nobody even knows except you! And I know people die, all right? People die and it’s fucked up, but you can’t stop living when somebody leaves. You can’t!” –Paper Stars, pg. 370
We sat there for a while more, but when it started to rain we finally disengaged and he lurched to his feet. His legs failed him a few times and I had to help him, putting his arm round my shoulder and pulling him up. “Well,” he gasped when his voice had steadied, “that marks the third time I’ve gotten my nose broken in the last three months.” He managed a weak laugh, though it caused more scarlet to flow down his lip. Cringing, he wiped at the blood with his filthy sleeve. “It’s going to be permanently crooked now, just wait. Shoddy luck I have, huh?” The rain was picking up then, streaming down our faces, and I noticed with alarm that the puddle under his feet was turning red and he was leaning upon me heavily. “Can you walk? Are you hurt badly?” I asked him. Benjamin breathed in, but he cut short and grasped his side. “I think he broke at least three of my ribs. Add my nose and a couple fingers to that list too,” he said through gritted teeth. “Other than that, I think I’m…well enough. Very, very sore, but I’ll be fine. Dandy, even.” “Dandy isn’t the adjective I’d use after I got the daylight beaten out of me, you stupid ass-hat,” I snapped, my overpowering distress finally quelled enough for me to be tetchy again. “Every bit of your body is bruised and you’re standing here, making jokes like it’s nothing! I’d be lying there in the fetal position if that were me!” “That’s because you’re not Superman, remember?” He gave me a crooked smile, then spat out some more blood onto the ground, pulling his arm from my shoulders and steadying himself on his own. “And in case you didn’t know, Sara,” he said, “this isn’t the first time someone’s done this to me. I can deal with this sort of thing. Your tolerance for pain builds up if you’re hurt enough.” -Paper Stars, 277
"They fell in love along the spine of a book, and eventually their breath became letters and their bodies became paragraphs and the dog-eared pages became unmade bed sheets and blankets. They folded and creased around each other until their very own story had been written." —Nobody, Too
Sorry for spamming you all with headshots- I’m just concentrating on facial anatomy currently. Anyway, this is a far more realistic angle of Benjamin: I combined the facial shape, smile and certain features of an actor who resembles my image of him with various facial features and quirks from wwII/holocaust era photos. Hopefully I was able to make him more fitting to the period.
It's 1961, and to support herself and prepare for nursing school the subsequent fall, eighteen-year-old Holly Halliburton becomes a member of a very peculiar agency. They are called “The League of Bedside Sympathizers”, or at least that is their official title, though nobody seems to know what it means nor where it originated. Her job? To provide solace and smooth the transition between life and death for hospital patients who have no living or reachable kin. Having successfully undergone four separate "transitions", serious, soft-spoken Holly feels as though she is prepared for anything the agency throws her way. That is, until she is thrust to the bedside of Simon Dalaigh, a melancholy, spirited and blunt young man dying from acute Cystic Fibrosis of the lungs. Their unusual circumstances eventually throw them together into a serendipitous roadtrip--a veritable scavenger hunt across Ireland to track down Simon's roots. As their joint yearning for liberation pulls them forward, it soon becomes clear that the transition between life and death might not be as simple as they had thought.