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Literature
[The Story] Safe and Warm
Something woke him as they slept. He looked at the ceiling of their bedroom. Keeping his head still, he looked at her, embracing his left side, her hair still bright even in the darkness. He closed his eyes but his heartbeat felt like it shook the room. She moved.
"Johnny... are you awake?"
His breath was louder than the gentle sounds of distant traffic.
"Sorry I woke you. Say, what do you like about me?"
She squeezed him tightly and moved her head so she could see his face. Through the darkness of the room, she could see the glistening of tears in his eyes.
"...I like, no, love... how you help me feel safe. When I'm with you, I feel like we will be OK, no matter what..."
She saw that his scarred lip stayed closed, but had moved into just a bit of a natural smile, and she saw that she had his full attention.
"...It's like how Pollyanna always helped me feel safe. She'd always bark or whimper if she was worried about me about something or another. I mean, you, you're not a dog, but... t
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Boardroom Number Three
'The holiday season was supposed to be easy... I'm not ready for this...'
The computer repair technician was breathing shallowly as she approached the executive wing of Eville Medical, her stylish winter jacket keeping her warm, but perhaps too warm because she felt her forehead sweating.
'Their meeting is about to start... what if I can't get the projector to talk to the computer in time? I only have a few minutes... this isn't good...'
There were fancy snacks outside the boardrooms.
'No, I can't have any! Even if I did, I need to make sure this works first!' She looked around for the big meeting that the helpdesk paged her about five minutes earlier. 'Number 1... number 2... number 4...? Where's number 3?' There was a handwritten note taped to the wall with an arrow.
Pathologist's Lecture
around the corner :—)
<------------------------
She turned the corner to two open doors with one person seated at a large conference room. Thre
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] $200 Per Month?
"tganks again for covering cash 4 lunch
ill get lunch @ urban junction
irs at 8th & polaris"
The furniture mover, on a rainy day off, took the bus into Eville to meet one of the people she briefly worked with on a larger move. Partially, the trip was to get out of the house, maybe meet up with some new people, but mainly it was to see if this hip establishment could rekindle her guitar playing interests.
"OK, I'm out front," she texted back.
She debated between waiting in the lobby, where she most certainly would have awkward conversations with patrons and employees about with whom she was meeting up with and such, or, waiting out in the near-freezing rain where everything felt just a little too cold.
She was only outside for chilly ten minutes.
"Hey, there, stranger! Jane!" The same gigglish voice of the younger girl, Charinah, that had no cash on her - only her family's credit card - when they went out to eat at a low-end diner rang of confidence and charm. She looked around to s
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] What Was It?
The team's recently-promoted computer repair technician had just returned from her first urgent ticket. It was a high-priority issue where a computer wouldn't start for one of the doctors over in Oncology after multiple attempts. The team was short-staffed even without one of their team being out sick for a few days. Sammohini returned with a bit of a sweat to Hank's desk as he wrapped up assigning out tickets.
"Thanks for stopping over, Sammohini."
"Oh yeah, sure thing!"
"Since I'm in the ticket now and it was an urgent one, I'll go ahead and close it out in your name. What was the fix?" Hank swiveled his chair so his eyes went from his computer monitor to Sammohini, her hair curving down and shooting off in either direction somewhat chaotically as she shuffled to make eye contact away from her notepad. "Oh, umm- ah-umm... let's see..." Her bright brown eyes looked down as she fumbled to get her notepad open. "Oh yeah! It was just a few reboots..."
She realized she could drop the
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Gas Station Mascara
"Why's this taking so long? It must be back to working order promptly."
There was a haze around the office, lined with leather-bound wealthy books and well-traveled ornaments, as the computer repair technician averted her eyes away from the small printer on the desk that was not working to the customer, an older woman wearing dusty clothing.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, usually these things don't take this much time."

Mechanical chimes.
BEEP... BEEP. BEEP!
Early morning.
She rolled off the couch to turn off the alarm.
The sheets she'd kicked off in her sleep had all but padded her fall, except for her right leg, which shot out in pain. The alarm continued to go off. So she rolled onto her left side and sat up to turn off the alarm. There was barely any light filtering in from outside, through the sides of the pre-furnished plastic blinds, to the main room of her low-income studio apartment. Just enough to see the outlines of the room, cast in dark shade.
"Time to get
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] One Question Daily
"Hey Hank, I've been trying to reach Tighearnán all day about something. Do you have any advice?"
"T-oh- y'mean Tear? Yeah... ya get one question per day with him. He's, unfortunately, that busy. Oh, and lemme see the question, too."
The senior-level computer repair technician, Hank, locked his computer and jumped out of his chair to see the computer screen of Sammohini, a junior-level computer repair technician that had joined his team some months back.
Sammohini unlocked her computer and let Hank sit down.
"Oh, yeah, I can see why he didn't reply. So, umm, I know you've been working a lot on trying not to talk so much... and summarize your points better... but I can see this is a complicated one. You've gotta lotta stuff in here that's probably really straightforward to him but kinda confusing for you, so you're explaining it to him like you'd be explaining it to yourself. But- I gotta idea. This isn't urgent for the user, right?"
Sammohini shifted her weight and stroked he
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Talk Talk Talk
The two friends sat in an empty cafe just outside a side road leading out of town. "I'll tell ya, Jane, now that I'm off the phones, it's really something different! The work's harder, sure, and more competitive, but the freedom you've mentioned is nice." Jane stayed quiet, chewing her cod sandwich, as Sammohini kept chatting. "But I miss the ease of helpdesk work. If you don't know it, add your notes and escalate it!"
Jane's sandwich fell apart. She picked at it with a plastic fork.
Jane's childhood friend had been going on the same tangent for about five minutes now, but she was so excited about getting her promotion and she knew her well enough to know not to interrupt too much when she was in this elated talkative mood she got into sometimes.
Sammohini had already finished her chicken salad.
"Yeah, so I dunno where I wanna be in five years, whether that's systems administration like some of the other guys, or maybe I'll get- uhh- to the clinical applications team. They get flown ou
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Carefully Caddying Cargo
There was a rush at the Sneaker Transport warehouse to unload everything off of three trucks one muggy Evillain morning. Their loading docks were slammed full of outgoing furniture already without the three trucks scheduled haphazardly at the same time. They could have sent them packing, only to return later, but the decision was made to have two stalling out in the yard and all hands on deck to carelessly unload all the incoming furniture.
The warehouse was uncharacteristically empty.
They had five regular works and seven part-timers, including Jane, a former computer repair technician that had fallen onto some hard times but was working through her drinking problem. The warehouse manager, Detlef, sent four of the regular works and three of the part-timers over to the outgoing bays to free up the bays sooner.
The remainder focused on unloading the first truck.
The other workers formed a mover line, with people digging boxes out of the truck, where Jane found herself at the end of the
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Lemme Sit Down
"Click up there in the upper right corner, next to the X, there's a button with a little line in it, no, up more, OK, now over to the left, other left, no, near the X, not the X, near it, where there's a little line, not the bigger box, the little box on the left, no, not on the left side of the screen... do you mind if I sit down and do it?"
The nurse relinquished her spot.
"OK, so I was thinking we should close this window, or, I mean minimize it, so we can... oh yeah, I wanted to check to make sure the printer settings were alright, so what I'll do is next I'll..." the nurse watched as the stylishly dressed technical support woman clicked away at the screen with confidence and speed that made it nearly impossible to catch up.
"Oh, cool, it's working now!"
There was a whirring of electrical noises from the printer sitting next to the computer in the nurse's station. Rising from its inoperable grave, the printer slowly chugged away in a meager piece of paper, which the technician, who
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Unreliable Heartbeat Employment
"This is the second time you've called out sick this month!"
"I know, I was feeling really sick, really tired, and just couldn't-"
"Those aren't excuses!"
Everything was black, except for outlines of her boss and their cube area.
RED, FLASHING, BLUE
She awoke to darkness.
Her sweatpants were covered in sweat.
The blanket was on the ground next to the couch.
It was 4:47 AM.
She had intended to wake early, but not this early.
Memories from the dream flooded in.
More than anything else, she wanted those thoughts to go away. It was hard enough to deal with at the time, especially the repercussions she was still feeling even now, but to have to constantly relive those events? What curse had she broken?
She needed to use the restroom.
Nothing in the bathroom was decorated. She couldn't afford much more than cheap towels and plastic shower curtains and even those were luxuries that her debts could barely afford. What kind of life was this? Constant
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Server of Embarrassment
"OK-lure, when in this console window and connected to this server, simply type in this, this, this switch and... are you paying attention?"
The nervous computer repair technician broke her rhythm of looking up at the screen, looking down to write the esoteric command in her notepad, to look over at the more seasoned computer repair technician, Nils.
"Forget it. I'll do it. I'll paste console notes into the ticket when I close it."
Sammohini returned to her desk.
She had just started to work at Eville Medical a few months ago and everything from computers to professionalism was still sinking in. When concepts were too overwhelming, she'd tense up, often sweating from her forehead if the problem was particularly challenging. 'What if I'm not really cut out for this work? What else can I do? I got this degree in computers and this is a computers job. I don't really understand a lot of this... Maybe Jane should
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Excellent Training Questions
"Sorry I brought up bad memories." The two furniture movers were just leaving the highway on their way back from an arduous trek across the E1000 highway in worse than normal traffic. Through talking with the driver, Andrius, on their route, Jane had started the process of getting over long unresolved deep psychological issues at her last company. "N-no, thank y-you for listening." "We have a little more time if you'd like to keep going."
Jane rubbed her eyes with her hoodie sleeve.
"Yeah, there was something else I was thinking about. It, uhh, was probably the thing that made me realize it was a toxic... place..." Jane had been staring out the windshield window through most of the truck ride, not quite focused on keeping polite non-verbal communication, and not quite actually looking as the traffic crept on from th
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Screwed Without Drive
The new widescreen computer monitor arrived the afternoon before Sammohini, the newest member of Eville Medical's second-level computer repair team, drove to the clinic to install it. She scheduled time in the late afternoon since it was faster to then drive to her parents's house for the weekend from the clinic and she could drop off the old one next week. As she walked through the clinic doors carrying the monitor box, Sammohini felt nervous.
"Hi! I'm Sammohini, with IT. This is for Deepika!"
Sammohini had rehearsed that line more than a few times on the drive over, since this was her first time in the South Eville Clinic, even though from the highway she would always make a point of looking out for its prominent signage. The reception pointed. "You'll go through the doors on your left, down the hall toward the back, and you won't be able to miss her office."
"OK, thank you!"
She retracted her badge, picked up the monitor, walked quickly over to the doors, and stumbled for a second t
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Peanut Gallery's Commentaries
"What else's on your mind? We're still, like, 30 minutes to base."
The two furniture movers, driver Andrius and passenger Jane, were over one hour later to their anticipated clock out time, already, and traffic on the E100 was just starting to loosen up on the formerly blazing Evillain summer afternoon.
"Can I tell you about this one time that really got me fuming bad?"
Andrius looked over, his foot firmly on the break.
"Sure thing."
Jane breathed in deeply and then out.
"So, this one manager stopped over once. He wasn't one of the big wigs or anything, but everyone seemed to treat him that way, because he was one of these new guys there to help improve operations. He had this issue with his home network talking to his work laptop, so, of course, it was our issue and my fault since I built his laptop."
Jane clenched her hands at her knees.
"So he stops over to complain. He
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] Remember Your Name
"Thanks for the lesson yesterday afternoon, Hank! I, uhh... have a question for you, if you don't mind, about..." The recently-hired computer helpdesk technician paused after self-doubt made her realize she'd been rambling. "No worries. Please, feel free to sit down. I've got a minute. What's up?" She looked around, found the guest chair in Hank's cube, politely sat down, and flipped open her large notepad to a section that had a circle around it.
She quickly re-read the question.
"So, umm- you were showing us the QIT system and there was a particular part in it that I didn't understand about assigning out tickets to various teams. What did you mean by TOC?"
"Oh, sorry I wasn't clear on that."
"No-! It was my fault for not understanding because I'm a recent college graduate and I haven't worked anywhere this big before, and I want to make sure I do well here, and uhh..."
Hank leaned back in his chair and smiled.
"Thanks for giving me context about yourself. It means Troubleshooter On C
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Literature
[Sammohini Arc] First Day Nerves
The freshly-graduated technology student went to bed early in anticipation of her first day working at Eville Medical, a dream job for her, yet the excitement kept her from falling asleep as easily as normal as she thought about who she might meet, befriend, and what new adventures might unfold. Vast pastel vistas unfolded into a picnicking hillside with puppies, imaginary animals, and her beloved- Her alarm clock went off. Time to go to work!
She imagined the hospital as she made breakfast.
The building was huge! Who would she meet? What would she learn? She looked at the clock and realized she had been daydreaming at the kitchen table during the few minutes it would take for the alarm of the percolating coffee to go off. She stood up, made some easy-make curry in the microwave, and wondered if she'd forgotten anything...
She'd prepped everything last night.
Her purse had everything she needed, from her welcome email, maps of the surrounding area, to additional snack
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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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Literature
a message to the stigma
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I'm starting to write fiction again now that I've moved and can re-dedicate time to writing. I still have quite a few chores and fun projects taking up my time, but I wrote [The Story] Safe and Warm in one go, laying in bed, unable to sleep. It's missing many nuances of the vision I had that struck me to write it, but it felt good to get it out there.

I have a backlog of fiction from my website to transfer here.

I'm also in the process of downsizing more things so that I can focus on writing, reading, and all things in that direction. That means closing out other fun projects I took on for various reasons. So I'm almost back. My next update here will probably be in another month, whereas on betterzombie.com I'm publishing essays daily.
  • Listening to: Meteora
  • Reading: Frankenstein, Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Watching: Nuzlocke Conquest
  • Playing: Keyboard Kommander, 2048
  • Eating: Quinoa with curry
  • Drinking: Water

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betterzombie
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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:iconseppukuu:
seppukuu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2018
:+fav: :dummy:
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:iconbarosus:
Barosus Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018   Writer
When I heard "betterzombie" the very first thing to pop in my head was the voice of Sauron telling Saruman to "Build me an army worthy of Mordor".  Only this time it would be zombie orcs...

Anyway... Thank you for the fav+fav  on Faol SidheHeart  I am glad you liked it! Please feel free to stop by and check out soem more stuff.   Hold on since you are a zombie type of dude, let me whet your unholy appetite:

Red, A Horror Haiku Complex 

Matryoshka
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:icongaiaxy-gazer:
GaIaxy-Gazer Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the llama! Hope you have a wonderful day!! ^^
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:iconthedarkestnight51:
TheDarkestNight51 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for adding me to your Watch list. :)
Thank you for the Llama. :3
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:iconudnaan:
udnaan Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2018  Professional Writer
Hi there,

Welcome to DA and tyvm for the :eyes:

Have a good day!
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