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Deviant for 2 Months
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[Sammohini Arc] A Deferment's Retirement
"Hi~i! Ja~ane!! How's it go~oin'!"
Jane hadn't seen Karina this week.
"Good. You? Haven't seen ya lately."
"Yes! Tha~ank ya~a~ou!"
Jane and Jim had a furniture pick-up at the same location, a humble retirement home in a forested area outside of Eville, just as Karina and "Ruckus" had a drop-off.
"Oh, hi, Karina. I heard what happened, from Jane and Abe. Is everything alright?"
"Yes, tha~anks for the s~support, Jim. I~I~ w~was~ss in r~rough shape."
Karina carelessly dropped the liftgate while holding onto a cart.
"Have you been to any meetings yet?" The liftgate reached the bottom. "Yeah, my sister joined me for a few~w! I haven't d-drank since!" The clear-shrink-wrapped cart was full of cardboard boxes advertising brands of alcoholic beverages. "I'm glad to hear! We were worried!" Karina
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[Sammohini Arc] A Club's Retirement
"Just wondering, do I look h~hung ~o~ver?"
"Nah. Just tired."
The two furniture movers were looking around a gas station for coffee and assorted junk snacks for their morning routes that dry Evillian morning.
"Go~od, be~cause~e," she chuckled nervously, "I was o~out part-tying to~o~ late~ las~t n~night."
"Wouldn't have noticed, actually."
"You s~should- join me next time. It'll b~e fun~n."
Jane subconsciously patted the small sobriety book in her jeans pocket.
"Thanks, but I'll pass."
"Ah, why not~t? You'd be a r~real ~hit in the cl~lub!"
Jane took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and looked over her colleague that would be traveling on a different truck route that morning. Karina was certainly there because the money was decent, or maybe, because of the flexibility? Between the "cute," as she once described it, fitting company-issued light gray shirt everyone received and the highly-reflective com
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[Sammohini Arc] Some Passive-Aggressive Punkery!
“What a passive-aggressive punk!”
“I hate when people act like that!”
The windows were rolled down in the muggy cabin of the Sneaker Transport moving truck, letting in an ambient traffic rhythm for the two furniture movers to listen to as they complained about past jobs. Andrius, a former minor-league athlete nicknamed “43” after his jersey number, drove while Jane, a former computer repair “Doctor” as they called her, reclined.
“Woah… that’s it!”
“Lemme tell ya…”
Traffic came to a stand-still.
“Speak your truth, sister.” “My last boss when I worked at the library was this real passive-aggressive …punk! She was absolutely terrible! I ran around fixing stuff all day but she’d think I was screwing around and look for anything to call me out on. She’d keep digging into everything, and why? Just to prove a point! It made my skin crawl whenever she was nearby or even
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[Sammohini Arc] Talker or Walker?
The cabin of the mid-sized furniture moving truck was nearly uncomfortably chilly on that sweltering Evillian afternoon. The slow traffic moved at a reasonable pace. The passenger, Jane, had her black jeans crossed so she could prop up a technical book about computers, while the driver, Jakov, kept one eye on the road while maintaining eye contact with the other eye.
“That reminds me of this awesome idea I have for the videogame.”
“Oh yeah?”
His focused blue eyes lingered uncomfortably long.
“Da! It takes place in the cave called Špilja and has a person who digs deep.” Jane noticed Jakov made eye contact, so she looked away from the window to make eye contact. “You can choose between two characters, Dječak is the boy and Djevojka is the girl. Both have a slightly different shovel. Dječak has a stronger shovel and Djevojka has a faster shovel.” She wrote notes in her notepad, atop the now-closed textbook.
“This sounds
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"Hopefully they don't have you counting each one.[1]"
There were hundreds of blue packing peanuts spread chunky-thick across the back warehouse floor of Sneaker Transport.
"Huh? No-I-uhh-"
Jane had just returned from an easy truck route that blazing summer to find Amund, an anxious new hire, on his knees. It looked like a box had fallen off a cart. Myriad peanuts violently spilled everywhere.
"Here, let's get you cleaned up before anyone judgemental arrives."
Jane scanned the area.
'Usually, there'll be a hazard or spill pickup broom somewhere...' They were located in the furthest loading dock from the office. Even though there was a large shelving unit between them and the office, there weren't enough stacked pallets to completely obscure the mess from the office.
"Did anything break?"
"No-I mean-I-didn't-take-too-good a look inside-the-box-but I-didn't hear-anything-break when-it-dropped, so, I guess it's OK..." Amund quickly jumped up and ran over to the box. He'd placed it o
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[Sammohini Arc] Server Farmer's Crops
Deep within the heart of Eville Medical buzzed its technological brain. Under tightly-controlled temperatures, ventilation, and humidity, protected from fire, electromagnetism, and other physical vulnerabilities, the large room housed myriad marvels of technological teamwork. The rookie computer repair technician followed the senior networking administrator's lead, through a complicated entry procedure, before arriving at their destination.
"OK, so ya needed ROA-3074 patched for Cardiology. One moment."
"Wow, this is so co-ol...!"
"Oh, you've never been here?"
"No," she gulped at the thought of looking embarrassed, "not really..."
The stocky administrator smiled. "Well! Lemme give ya the tour after this." His hip-length hair followed his jump to the supply rack. "I think this'll require a ten-footer! What do you think, Sammohini?" The somewhat fashionable technician looked over the meticulously braided yellow network cables in a slight daze. "Umm... uhh... I dunno, Blueberry..." T
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[Sammohini Arc] Addressing Overdue Emergency
The young computer repair technician crawled back to her workstation after a delicious chicken curry lunch to a fury of important messages:
Hi, Sammohini...I cannot get logged in.
Sent from my eScribe ES2001K"
Messe Business message from Nessa Shailaja:
can you go see dr duce ASAP
her computer crashed
she has a meeting in like 10 min.
Voicemail: "Hey, Sammohini, Nessa. Dr. Duce needs her computer fixed ASAP. I'll try paging you. Okay, bye-e!"
No new messages on the pager...
Sammohini locked her computer and wandered around the nicely-decorated cube farm in the IT office area of Eville Medical to see if any of her colleagues were around. Hank - his characteristically clean desk, with only a few personal mementos, including a nice photo of him, his girlfriend Veda, and dog - usually took a later lunch. Nils was out sick. Venkat, whose mini-office was always well-maintained, had an off-site meeting in one of the clinics.
She returned to her desk to decid
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[Sammohini Arc] Five Minutes Away
The entry-level helpdesk technician looked at the clock: 4:55 PM. Five minutes until clocking out and getting a ride from her date. She was dressed up a little nicer than normal. Nothing too fancy, since it was a work evening, but it’d also been a while since they’d gone out anywhere. Just as she was starting to daydream about dinner, the Eville Medical helpdesk phone rang: “IT… this is Sammohini!” “Yeah, hello, just a quick question.”
The clock on her timesheet program read 4:56 PM.
“So, I was wondering, my computer shuts off randomly, and it happens a couple times a day, could I have someone stop over and take a look at it to see what might be going on with it, to see maybe if there’s a problem that can be fixed right away since it’s affecting my work since I’ll be right in the middle of doing something, and I’ll be just plugging away at my work only to have it crash on me, with just this one computer, too, there
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[Sammohini Arc] Working While Sick
The computer repair technician was typing an email before hearing...
"Yeah, I'm back,"
Sammohini's colleague at Eville Medical, Hank, had a crackling voice,
"our Wilesware-"
A violent cough disrupted the phone conversation.
Sammohini saved the email, locked her workstation, and rushed over.
disinfectant soap,
trashcan between his shoes,
and Hank huddled over the trashcan.
Depressing the mute button, "so our W7000Ks have a- hhoughhh!"
Hank coughed and spit out a large amount of yellow phlegm.
Sammohini watched him throw the phone receiver on the table, sigh, cough into the trashcan until his throat was clear, grab a tissue, wipe his hands and mouth, get some disinfectant soap, apply it to his hands, a little over his short beard and mouth, and grab another tissue to clean off any infectant or disinfectant. After sitting up unnaturally straight in his chair, wheeze a little, loudly verbalize a sigh to
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[Sammohini Arc] Faint for Money
"Make sure that these straps are tightened. We do not want this flappin' load back and forth."
"Done. Wanna check?"
"Go maith, Jane. There are no red cards at 'all."
The two furniture movers were just finishing up strapping down the last of their shipment at a bicycle shop in the blazing Evillian summer heat.
"I don't wanna be jobless, Conaire."
"Sea! The value of paper! We'll faint at every opportunity for it, ceart?"
They hopped in the truck to continue their route.
"The guys say that you were working on computers before you start working here. Why did you stop?" The radio was blasting some aggressive music playing bagpipes, at Jane's suggestion, and after a loud section, Jane responded. "Laid off. Nothing on me and nothing's panned out since. This pays the bills adequately and it's low stress, so I'm happy." Conaire, a large man with a long, wispy beard, laughed. "So you do not want big money? That's new! What are you after, then?"
"You will not find that the
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[Sammohini Arc] Paid To Work
“You used to work with computers, right, Doc?”
The two furniture movers were strapping down their load before a full day of deliveries.
“Why do this work, then?”
“It’s a long story, Andrius.”
They closed the lift gate and jumped in the midsized truck.
“We have time. Why not lemme know what happened, eh?”
“It’s not that exciting. I think I like doing this more. We’re paid to work, not to care about bull-”
Andrius interrupted by starting the engine.
“-that doesn’t matter. Yeah, we’ve all got problems. If it’s not rent, it’s family, or personal.” The truck left the shipping yard. “Preach it, sister.” Overcast, no rain. “So I’d deal with a lot of problems. People would tell me the craziest things. I’d have to keep a straight face through all of it. Some days, I’d leave work and get plastered just to forget about all that-&
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[Sammohini Arc] WARNING: node down
“We’ve gotta hot one, Sammohini. Wanna swing up to fix a printer with me?”
“Huh?” The junior computer repair technician stopped typing. “Oh, yeah, sure!”
Hank held a large circular toner cartridge like it was a bazooka.
“Let’s blast,” he pretended to shoot the toner-bazooka, dramatically recoiling, “this one outta the water!”
She chuckled, looked at her screens momentarily, re-read the email she was typing, clicked “Send,” locked her computer, then ran to catch up.
“We’re headed to the ER.”
They walked through the brightly lit hallways of Eville Medical at a faster than normal pace. “Printer3 is outta black toner. Here.” Hank handed the bagged cartridge to Sammohini while readjusting the grip on his clipboard.
“I’ll fill out the paperwork.”
“Oh, neat! That’s the- yeah! A Qit high-priority ticket. I’ve handled one of these before when I wa
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[Sammohini Arc] Knives in Bags
“Hej! Jane? What is the strangest thing you’ve ever encountered while working here?”
The aloof mover’s eyes drifted from the book she was reading on advanced computer systems toward the driver of that afternoon furniture run, Kaja, who would occasionally pick up hours when her ex-husband had the kids.
“Nothing noteworthy.”
“In yesterday’s run, we found knives in bags! Nobody was injured, but we were lucky. The owner had no idea how to pack everything!”
“Really? That’s strange.”
“You’re telling me! I worked with Ruckus. Of course, he was more than a little upset. He did not say anything rude, but then I had to take care of all the bags.” Jane’s attention drifted away from Kaja’s story, while watching the dark yellow hues of the sunburnt fields on the north end of Eville through the moving truck’s windshield, to the book on Scribewise W100 networking. “We still ended everythi
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[Sammohini Arc] Nothing of Value
Two computer repair technicians at Eville Medical were packing up for the evening. One was upbeat, with stylish clothing, while the other, dressed in plain black, looked tired.
“Doesn’t feel like I made a dent in my workload. What a waste.”
“Aww, don’t say that, Hank! You helped me out a lot! Err-umm… I took some of that time from you, so I’ll help you out tomorrow!”
“No worries, Sammohini.”
“…Can I ask you something?”
“Yeah, what’s up?” Hank smiled politely.
“I was wondering something…” Sammohini threw on her yellow jacket over her bright blue blouse, “…I don’t know how best to ask this, so don’t mind me if I sound too awkward about this, but umm,” and pushed in her chair. “Do I annoy you? Do I- ah- take up too much of your time asking you questions each day? If I annoy you or anything like that, can you let me know? I’ll start bug
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[Sammohini Arc] Help Desk Training {ROUGH}
"That was ugly! Whaddo you think, Sammohini? Is that something we can pawn off to the Help Desk?"
"Oh, I dunno! It's not terrible with instructions, but it's one of those things where you have to be careful about what you're doing. If not, it can go haywire..."
The two computer repair technicians were looking over a fix they'd just applied to a reoccurring situation.
"Does not need to be pretty. Why not write it?"
The rookie on their team stroked her chin.
"Yeah! I might as well write it down, at least, and add it to Qbase. I can always check with Linda to see if this is something we can pass along to them. I mean, it is important, and it's something that if you know what you're doing, you can take care of it in five minutes over the phone with the customer there, rather than send it along to us, and it's important that it gets done as soon as possible, whereas we might be out in the hospital working on a computer or something, so yeah, that's a good idea, I have the notes right h
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[Sammohini Arc] Eville Medical Move
“My family, we are accountants. Am? No thanks. My body falls after two hours of rest![1]” The two furniture movers were chatting while pushing two carts up a ramp from a loading dock where they’d parked their truck. “I know what you mean, Sili. I don’t like looking at a computer screen for more than two hours.” “Haha! You’re very fun- funny, Jane!” They rang the faded door buzzer to deliver supplies to Eville Medical.
“Security speaking.”
“Yes, how it going? We are here to carry equipment to ‘Medical Supplies.'” The buzzer had a light that changed from red to green and unlocked. “Alright. Meetcha there. Wait inside.” Jane opened the door. “Thanks!” They pushed both fully-loaded carts of boxes at about eye level into a small room with a semi-open window, a clipboard sitting on the windowsill, and a metal chair against the opposite wall.
A skinny security guard appeared behind the
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All of these fiction practice short stories follow a period of about two years in a period of time in "The Story" from the perspective of two characters, Sammohini and Jane. It is called the "Sammohini Arc" because Sammohini is the sister of one of the two main characters of "The Story."

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a message to the stigma
a burden on society;
this is who i am and
it's burnt into my mind because
you shoved it there.
violent, aggressive, dangerous.
mental illness is not a synonym for murderer.
this lie claws its way into the mind of schizophrenics and
i wonder if the media is going to move on from psychosis;
how soon will my hands be coated crimson because
trust me,
these hands aren't going anywhere near you and
neither are theirs.
incompetent, lazy, unintelligent.
i am standing here with
a past full of A's to prove to you how wrong you are but
others aren't so lucky and some days i'm not so lucky;
we can achieve but
imagine if you lived with a life that loved to drop  
nails in your mind and weights on your back and
that's not even the half of it but
if every breath hurts and
every failure feels like you're stumbling to your execution then
i wouldn't blame you for escaping from reality either.
selfish, petty, attention-seeking.
thank-you for calling me by the names i call myself
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It's been a week of ups and downs.

The Final Fantasy: Distant World symphonies were fantastic, although more stuffy than the Video Games Live. If anything, it highlighted Uematsu's dynamics and experimentality for me, because some of the newer arrangements weren't as engaging. Not just because they weren't recognizable, but because if you consider peaks and valleys as part of any dynamic art, Uematsu brings those peaks up to immeasurable highs, downspikes, then rollercoasters its way through the rest of the song. I hadn't quite appreciated "Battle with the Four Fiends" before until the symphonies, now, it's probably in my top 10 favorite Final Fantasy songs.

Hunter S. Thompson wrote like that, too.

Thompson would roll through sentences that would cover expansive ground on a particular topic, twisting its way through the mind of someone that had done it all, seen it all, and lived to tell its tales in such a vibrant way that journalism couldn't help but change. Then change direction. Short sentences are breathers for the readers. Longer sentences are what we're more naturally inclined to write, considering that we as writers tend to have larger ideas floating through our brains that need to be pinned down, and typically require being lured out through some kind of extended concentration on a single point. That can get old. Unless it's a song like "To Sirius" that entirely hangs in a narrow upper-tempo range; if that's the mood, go with it.

Art, for me, is dichotomic. Grime and glitter.

My particular art, if I may call my writing that, explores the glitter in the grime. In particular, this week's pair of short stories A Club's Retirement and A Deferment's Retirement explore more of the grime without much glitter, although the latter in particular started off with more optimism. It's through these pains that we get gains, just like you can't have the dynamics of a downspike without first reaching the top of a peak, although the trick is not overdoing it like I've done this week. I'm afflicted with tension headaches, perhaps due to the weather or not taking care of my back, so I'm going to need to start taking it easier. That said: 

My three dA goals:
1. Fielding critiques -- First critique!
2. Writer's groups -- Tangentially, the Seattle Indies.
3. Commissioning artists -- The Seattle Indies... actually.

The Seattle Indies videogame development meet-ups have been great for meeting other creative people. This week, I met an artist that I might commission for some works within the Sammohini Arc of "The Story," depending on a few factors. I'm not in a big rush but I figure what I'll do first is commission someone to draw Sammohini and Jane, along with maybe some of the side characters, with the goal of drawing substantive scenes from my short stories published here. Also, I briefly chatted with a writer for a videogame studio and I'm working with another writer on receiving some framework advice.

More noteworthy: I received my first critique on a short story!

A few weeks ago, I'd mentioned that I was overall unsure of Help Desk Training {ROUGH}. Well, through a trade of some of my time troubleshooting a computer issue for a retired professional writer, I received a critique review of that short story! I glanced through it yesterday before the Indies, might not be able to dig into it today, but hopefully soon.

After, of course, I make sure not to overdo it.
  • Listening to: Breakfast with the Beatles; "To Sirius" by Gojira
  • Reading: My essays/short stories to publish
  • Watching: Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds
  • Playing: An alpha of a drone-pilot game
  • Eating: Snackbar
  • Drinking: Coffee

Journal History


betterzombie's Profile Picture
Zombiepaper (Anthony)
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
I am writing "The Story," an ambitious journey through a fictionalized version of our reality, told through two main characters and dozens of side characters, commenting on the grime and glitter they experience.



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TheDarkestNight51 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for adding me to your Watch list. :)
Thank you for the Llama. :3
udnaan Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2018  Professional Writer
Hi there,

Welcome to DA and tyvm for the :eyes:

Have a good day!