Favourite books

Do you have a favourite book? A book that you read again and again? A book that you read when you want to pick yourself up or calm yourself down or anything?

I have several, in no order of preference:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
I can read this book again and again and again and never tire of it. I love the language, the characters, the story line, Mr Darcy… 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Every time I read it I marvel at the language, the words, the characters, the story line, I love everything about it, especially Marvin. Who cannot like him? If there was one person, dead or alive I could meet, it would either be David Bowie (because he’s cool) or Douglas Adams.

 

 

 

3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
This is an old friend of mine, it was my favourite book when I was a kid. I read it several times while in school. Then I forgot it for a while, until I, while in Uni, discovered that Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki, worship that man) had made a movie about it. I watched the movie, realized I just had to read the book again, and now I basically read it once a year. I even read the follow up books, but nothing beats the first one.

 

 

 

4. The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin
I was so engulfed with this story that I read it one week, all four books, and then I proceeded with Tales from Earthsea and The Other Wind. That spring, when I read them, I was living in Earthsea. I spent every minute I was awake pouring over those books.

 

 

 

 

5. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden.
I started reading the third book in the series first, because the two first were lent out from the library, at the recommendation of one of my classmates. I then proceeded to read the first one and the rest of the six books followed pretty much immediately. I still like the first book the best, because that’s the turning point. That’s the Rubicon. If you haven’t read any of John Marsden’s books, you’re missing something (Especially if you liked the Hunger Games, you’re gonna Love the Tomorrow series!)

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone / Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Because I never tire of the first book in any favourite series. I’ve read it over ten times, and will continue reading it until I’m too old to read myself. Then I’ll get a grandchild to read it for me. Because there can not be too much magic in the world. I don’t care about the HP craze or the movies, I love him just the way he is written. This is the picture of the Swedish version of the book, the version that I read first, and I must confess I LOVE the Swedish covers, they are so artful and magical (look at the other Swedish covers made by Alvaro Tapia here or here -I could write a whole blog post about those covers, believe me!) compared to the boring English version.

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Character development

This is a compilation of character questions I found here and links from there. I added some, and rewrote some. It is a nice exercise to get to know your characters better, and a funny way to pass the time if you want to write, but don’t know about what. 😉

Have fun!

Write down the names of 10 of your characters, then answer the following questions:

  1. 4 invites 3 and 8 to dinner at their house. What happens?
  2. 9 tries to get 5 to go to a strip club. What happens?
  3. 5 needs to stay somewhere other than home for the night. Do they chose 1 or 6?
  4. 2 and 7 are making out. 10 walks in. What is their reaction?
  5. 3 falls in love with 5. 8 is jealous. What happens?
  6. 4 jumps you in a dark alleyway. Who comes to your rescue: 10, 2, or 7?
  7. 1 decides to make dinner. Fifteen minutes later, what is happening?
  8. 2 writes a book about his/her life. What is 5’s review of it?
  9. 5 is in a car crash and is critically injured. What does 9 do?
  10. 7 kidnaps 2 and demands something from 5 for 2’s release. What is it?
  11. 3 has to marry either 8, 4, or 9. Who do they choose?
  12. You get to meet either 1 or 6. Who do you chose?
  13. 9 challenges 4 to a duel. Why?
  14. Everyone is playing poker. Who’s easiest to read? Most difficult? Who will lose first?
  15. Everyone is invited to 2 and 10’s wedding except for 8. How does 8 react?
  16. Why is 6 afraid of 7? (Bonus point if you know this one 😉 )
  17. 10 gathers everyone around to tell them a fairy tale. How does it go?
  18. 1 arrives late for 2 and 10’s wedding. What happens, and why were they late?
  19. A love potion causes 6 and 9 to fall in love. What happens?
  20. Everyone gangs up on 3. Does 3 have a chance in hell?
  21. 3, 4, 6 and 8 all go to the zoo for 8’s birthday party. How does it go? What presents do they get 8?
  22. Everyone’s protesting something outside of your house. What are they protesting? What do you do?
  23. 9 murders 1’s best friend. What does 1 do to get back at 9?
  24. 6 and 1 are in mortal danger. Only one of them can survive. Does 6 save him/herself or 1?
  25. Which one of them is most likely to fail at life?
  26. 5, 3 and 10 are trapped in a collapsed building. Who’s the most helpful? Least? Who’s likely to loose it first?
  27. 3 starts a day camp. What happens?
  28. 4, 6, and 7 are celebrating something. 8 walks in. What happens?
  29. 1 starts to write a fan-fiction where 9 and 10 are going out. What is 2’s reaction?
  30. 7 makes an apple pie. Is it any good?
  31. What song or book would you choose to represent 1?
  32. 8 and 3 go camping. For some reason they forget to bring any food. What do they do?
  33. While they are camping, they run into The Blair Witch. What do they do? (If you haven’t seen that movie pretend they ran into the Bogyman or something like that instead.)
  34. 2 has taken a part-time job as a substitute teacher at a learning facility. How did their first day go? What were they teaching?
  35. 1 and 5 are hired as police officers and end up placing 3 into custody. Does everything go smoothly?
  36. 4 is depressed and decides to get drunk.
  37. 6 tries to get a job with the help of 10 and 8. How did that go?
  38. 9 wakes up in the bed with a random character of your choice! What is their reaction?
  39. 7 decides to make breakfast for 2. What did they make? Is 2 satisfied?
  40. Curiosity gets the best of 5 and they decide to go snooping around in 3’s room. What do they find? Is it something they wish they hadn’t?
  41. 1 is in jail because of 10. Why and how?
  42. 8 badmouths 7 in front of 4. Does 4 tell 7 and what is 7’s reaction in that case?
  43. 9 and 6 bought the same outfit. What outfit and what happens?
  44. The quiz is over. What does everyone go to do now?

Yesterday, take two.

Basically this is (exactly) the same story as the one I posted yesterday. I only turned the main character into a guy. Don’t know if I succeeded or not, but it gave me food for thought. And I have never ever before written as a guy in first person, so it was an experience doing that. Quite hard too, since I don’t know how guys think, if they notice the same stuff girls notice, or if they live in a totally different world… 😉

Does it come out as ‘male’ or is there still that ‘female’ feeling in there? Can there be a female feeling in writing? How do you distinguish male from female? By the choice of words?

 

Take two:

I couldn’t believe it was five years. Five years in coma. I had found my obituary in a paper from a library already. I was obviously killed in action. They had had a ceremonial funeral and that was that. The obituary was short and to the point and all condolences were asked not to call, only for closest friends and family. Well, I knew my family wasn’t missing me. They hadn’t been missing me for over ten years, so I guessed it was the Company that was considered family. I wondered how Adrian was, if he still was that happy go lucky, getting out of trouble and into trouble every other second. And Alabama, sweet Alabama. How she would have cried at my funeral.

I was making my way down the aisles of lockers in the train station, trying to remember my number. Amazingly the hospital had released me, without any ID or anybody confirming who I was. To them I was David Simon. One of my many aliases. Overcrowded, that was their only reason for signing me off. They didn’t have a bed to put me in, and I was obviously conscious and knew who I was, and where I was going. I told them I had a relative living in NYC so I’d go and knock on their door and hope they were home. Otherwise I’d come back and bug them. The nurse that handed me the papers to sign laughed nervously as if she wished she’d never see me again.

I stopped in front of locker number 1072. It was an inconspicuous number. I wouldn’t have remembered it, but when I saw the worn numbers, the way the number two had faded almost into nothingness while the zero was still completely intact, apart from a scratch that made it look like the letter u, triggered something in my brain and I knew instinctively it was my locker. I didn’t have a key, of course, but I had obtained a hairpin from an old lady and a paper clip, and together they could open any lock that required a physical key. Apart from those slide card locks. Those were a bit harder to break into.

The lock opened with a satisfied click and I smiled as I pulled the small door open and pulled out a black duffel bag. I was so glad that I kept this separate from all the lockers used by the Company. That meant no matter what happened, I’d always have a change of clothes and come cash and an ID. You can go very far with just that.

I was wearing old clothes, I think it might be the clothes I came into the hospital with, but I’m not sure. Anyway they fit ill and I looked like a bum with too small clothes. If they were mine, how could I have grown by lying still for five years? Well, when I regained consciousness I had a couple of months of muscular therapy before they’d even think of signing me out. I had had a shower before I left, but deodorant, toothbrush and all that crap I was without. And I hoped to god the stuff in the bag would still be good after being unused for five years. Usually I checked the locker once every year.

I didn’t open the bag, just took it and left without looking back. I locked the locker again – it could still be of use – and boarded a train, the first one that was leaving. I got off at the first stop, outside NYC but still NY. I got a road map an tried to look inconspicuous as a badly dressed tourist and found a cheap motel opposite a night club. Well inside I locked the door and pulled a chair up to keep the door closed incase someone decided to visit. I checked the room out, considered it safe enough and flopped down on the bed with the bag and ripped it open.

I was totally unprepared of the flood of memories that came in the bag. Mostly of work, and of Indrid. So far I had avoided thinking of the Company and my partner. It hurt to think about. Had they just abandoned me and assumed I was dead? Or had they looked for me for months, and then given up? Sometimes I wondered if Indrid was missing me or if he just continued as usual, in his cold way. Indrdid Cold. I owed him my life. Even though we seldom spoke I liked being in his company. There was no pressure on keeping up small talk. There was no awkward silences – apart from in the beginning, when I hadn’t known him that well.

At the top of the bag was the Smith and Wesson revolver he had given me on my first day at work. It was his personal, and he gave it to me when I confessed I had gotten up so late that I forgot to take my gun with me. I never gave it back. He didn’t ask for it, so I kept it.

I put it on the bed side table and continued my excavation of the bag. The box of bullets I put next to the gun and then pulled out the necessary items; toothbrush, toothpaste, all-in-one shower cream and a dry deo stick. They were all neatly tucked into a zip lock bag. Next was a tiny black bath towel. It was almost too small to do the job, but nothing else would fit. Underneath the towel was a pair of jeans, a black t-shirt and a navy blue hooded sweater. Black socks and what I had been looking forward most of all; underwear and shoes. Two black boxers and a pair of sneakers. I was all set.

I had a quick shower and pulled on my own clothes and revelled in the feeling and decided that there was no better feeling than that of one’s own clothes. Under the bottom of the bag was the cash and the ID cards. I had two to choose between. Did I want to be a Stephen Fields or Adam Hopkirk? I chose Stephen Fields and grabbed a tenner from the wad of cash and hid the rest in the bag. I hid the bag under the bed and put the gun under the pillow with the bullets and headed out to buy dinner. I settled on chinese, since I didn’t want to walk too far away. After years of only drip and months of only hospital food, I felt like I had never tasted anything better than the goose dumplings and the noodles I was eating.

I found a small convenience store and bought a magazine and some fruits a small yoghurt and a sandwich and a can of juice for breakfast. When I got back to my room I settled in on the small bed and read the magazine, trying to catch up with the world. I knew I needed to get in contact with the Company, but I didn’t know how to start. Among the cash I had a small flat plastic box with a simcard in it and a ring. In case I wanted to be married or not. The simcard contained phone numbers to the Company. All I had to do was plug it into a phone and I’d be able to call all my friends and tell them the great news. Only problem was: who do I call first?

The answer was so simple it had been dancing in front of my eyes all the time. Of course Indrid would be the first one I should call. He was, or had been, after all, my partner. We were a team. Him and me. I didn’t know if he would believe me if I called him and told him I was alive. The room grew darker and the noise from across the street louder as the clock ticked away. I decided to postpone all decisions until tomorrow, and I had to get a phone too.

When I woke up the world was still sleeping. At first I thought it was in the middle of the night, but the growing traffic outside was a telltale sign of nearing rush hour. I had wanted to avoid rush hour, but I guess it was too late now. I ate my breakfast still in bed, like I had done in the hospital when I had just woken up, but this time feeling like a king, without all the machines beeping around me. As soon as the sun hit my window I was up and about. Packed my stuff and was out the door within a minute.

A phone was my highest priority right now. And then I’d decide who to call. I checked out and got on a train towards NYC. I found a phone shop and got their cheapest phone to go and went to central park with a coffee and a cinnamon bun in a brown bag. The coffee tasted horrific, but the cinnamon bun was heaven. While I enjoyed the bun and forced the coffee down my throat I opened the phone and slit the sim card into it’s slot and then turned on the phone. “Searching for simcard. Please wait.” the phone displayed in a rolling banderoll. I finished the bun and threw the rest of the coffee in a bin before the phone beeped “simcard found, do you want to import phonenumbers?” I pressed no and then went to the address book. I looked up Alabama’s number. Adrian’s number. China’s number and Tennessee’s number. And last Indrid’s number.

Before I could stop myself I pressed dial and pushed the phone to my ear. I heard the tones ring. I let it ring eleven times before I hung up. Hunh? No answer. He always answer. A dreadful thought hit me. What if something had happened to him during these five years. What if he was dead too? I rolled my eyes at myself. What idiotic thoughts. Then I flipped through the phonebook again and suddenly I came across another number to Indrid. It didn’t say his name, but I figured “The Cold One” could only mean him. I pressed dial and almost hung up when the other end was picked up almost immediately. At first it was silent, then his dark voice carried through the ether.

“Valentin?” That was my nickname. He always called me Valentin. From my surname. My mouth was dry and the awful coffee made itself reminded.

“Indrid,” my voice sounded hoarse and I cleared my throat. “hi…” I didn’t know what to say. *Hi, remember me? I was your partner that suddenly disappeared. I know you’ve had my funeral and all, but I’ve really been in coma for these last five years. I just woke up and wanted to check in with you how things are going.*

What did I want him to do? Take me back? What if he had another partner? What if I was redundant? What if I had forgotten everything? What if he didn’t want to talk to me? What if he hung up? Panic welled up my chest as he kept his silence on the other end. What if he was the one who killed me? I banished that thought. If he was guilty, then I couldn’t trust anyone, and then he could get another chance at killing me. Then he broke the silence.

“Hey,” his voice was low and I wondered if he had missed me or just flicked me off as another partner killed in action. “You’re back from the dead?”

“Yeah… sort of… coma.” I stammered out the words, suddenly nervous. What did I want him to do? Pick me up? Take me home? I shouldn’t have called. He was silent for a long while on the other end and I was afraid he had hung up.

“Where are you?” I could hear he was moving, wherever he was. A cardoor opened and slammed shut.

“NYC” I breathed.

“A bit more specific?”

“Central Park.”

“There is a café down there called the Wild Goose Chase, can you get there?” I looked around and spotted the funny looking cafe with a flock of geese pictured on the window, running or flying, wings out. Funny how I hadn’t noticed it earlier.
“Yeah, I can see it.”

“Wait for me there.” And he hung up.

I made my way over to the small café and sat down on one of the benches outside and watched the traffic rush by. What if he had changed? What if I had changed? What if we couldn’t work any more? No team Cold. What if what if what if. All questions twirled around in my head and made me almost dizzy. The cars rushed past me, but I didn’t really see them. I was so deep in thought that I didn’t notice someone coming up to me before they blocked the sun. When I looked up I was pierced by those electric eyes I had been so afraid of in the beginning.
He grinned and extended a hand.

“Welcome back to the living.”

I took his hand and he pulled me up in a shoulder bump. The ones I and Adrian always tried to out bump each other with. He pointed to a Hummer double parked almost right in front of me. I must have been very lost in thought not to notice it.

“Let’s go.” He beeped the car open and I climbed in the passenger seat and dropped my bag on the floor. In no time he was in the drivers seat pulling out into traffic. I put on the seat belt and looked over at him. It looked like he was smiling. It felt odd. He usually never smiled.

“So, what’s up?” I usually didn’t start coldtalk with Indrid, I knew he disliked it, but now I felt like I couldnt’ contain myself. I had to know what had been going on during the years I had been gone. Had he found another partner? Had he found a girl? What if he’s married? I looked over at his hand and tried to spot a wedding ring. Nothing. We were silent for a long time while he wound in and out of traffic, then I tried again.

“I tried calling you on your workphone…” I started but he interrupted me, suddenly serious.

“Did you call anyone else? Anyone from work? Anyone from the Company?” I shook my head.

“No, I figured you’re my partner in crime, so you should be the first one to know…” I suddenly felt daft. Why hadn’t I called my boss instead of him? Surely the Company would like to know if one of their agents were back on the field?

“Good. Don’t call them.” He said, more like the normal Indrid I knew. Short and to the point. No smalltalk.

“Why?” I asked after a couple of minutes of silence.

“They went bad after the announcement you were KIA.” He flicked his eyes to me and then back. “That’s why I quit.”

“You quit?” I was flabbergasted. “But, but, you loved that job!” Hadn’t he?

“Yeah, but it wasn’t the same without you…” Was that a compliment?

Write for all you’re worth

I’ve been so bogged down by work lately I’ve put aside blogging for a couple of days. I guess it’s my own fault, I’m too quick at doing the things I’m supposed to do, so they give me extra stuff, and more extra stuff. Last time they gave me something new stuff to do was today… Well, I actually asked for it. Today I also found out that I’m not on any rota. I’m supposedly on the administration rota, but they don’t have a rota (dunno if it’s perpetual or just this week) this was the conversation I had with my manager:

He handed me a sheet of paper, the one he had showed me how to produce.”Sunday, look for your name there, you should find your name there.”

I eye through the list of employees working today. When I can’t find my name I wave with the paper. “Hey, I’m not here!”

“Oh, yeah, because you’re on the admin rota, and they don’t have one right now. Don’t worry sweetheart, we know when you’re working…” My manager always calls me sweetheart. I’ve heard him sometimes call customers sweetheart too. “And we’d definitely notice if you were missing.”
It warms my heart to know they’d be missing me if I was gone.

Okay, enough about work. What I was really going to share with you was about my progress at 750words, you know, the site I wrote about a while ago. I haven’t been able to write every single day, but I’ve done my best. And I’ve realized that I actually get better at writing when I just write, with speed. I try to reach 750 words in 20 minutes or less, my best is 750 words in 17 minutes when I write for all I’m worth. There seems to be a line to cross, some sort of Rubicon, and when I do, the sentences form themselves and the story just form itself. My fingers hit the right letters on the keyboard before my brain realizes and it feels like my fingers are for once faster than my brain.

I’d like to share with you what I wrote one day, it’s not my very best, but I was in such a flow when I wrote it that I feel quite proud of it. I just started writing, from zero, with no intention what so ever to make it good or readable. Suddenly it turned into the beginning of a story whose characters I created years ago. I’ll tell you about those characters later.

A note before you read it; I have never been to NYC, and I have no clue about nothing, except Central Park. I have a picture of a friend standing in Central Park, and from what I can gather it’s quite large. I don’t know any names of any of the cafés there, or even IF there is a café close to Central Park (but why wouldn’t there be?) So in this short excerpt, NYC is a figment of my imagination, and there is a café called the Wild Goose Chase (yes, really!) next to Central Park somewhere… 🙂

Here’s what I wanted to share, uncut, unedited (okay, I corrected the worst spelling mistakes that I could see), straight from my fingertips.

Unnamed, but it might be My Cousin the Sniper.

I couldn’t believe it was five years. I had been in a coma for five years. I had found my obituary in a paper from a library already. I was obviously killed in action. They had had a ceremonial funeral and that was that. The obituary was short and to the point and all condolences were asked not to call, only for closest friends and family. Well, I knew my family wasn’t missing me. They hadn’t been missing me for over ten years, so I guessed it was the company that was considered family. I wondered how Alabama was, if she still was that happy go lucky, getting out of trouble and into trouble every other second. And Adrian, sweet Adrian. How he would have cried at my funeral.

I was making my way down the aisles of lockers in the train station, trying to remember my number. Amazingly the hospital had released me, without any ID or anybody confirming who I was. To them I was Annabel Simon. One of my many aliases. Overcrowded, that was their only reason for signing me off. They didn’t have a bed to put me in, and I was obviously conscious and knew who I was, and where I was going. I told them I had a relative living in NYC so I’d go and knock on their door and hope they were home. Otherwise I’d come back and bug them. The nurse that handed me the papers to sign laughed nervously as if she wished she’d never see me again.

I stopped in front of locker number 1072. It was an inconspicuous number. I wouldn’t have remembered it, but when I saw those worn numbers, still the same faded black against the metal of the door. Of course I didn’t have a key. I never had one. But I had obtained a hair pin and a paper clip and together they could open even the hardest lock, except those slide card locks. Those were a bit hard to break into. The lock opened with a satisfied click and I smiled as I pulled the small door open and pulled out a black dufflebag.I was so glad that I kept this separate from all the lockers used by the Company. That meant nomatter what happened, I’d always have a change of clothes and come cash and an ID. You can go very far with just that.

I was wearing old clothes, I think it might be the clothes I came into the hospital with, but I’m not sure. anyway they fit ill and I looked like a baglady with too small clothes. If they were mine, how could I have grown by lying still for five years? Well, when I regained consciousness I had a couple of months of muscular therapy before they’d even think of signing me out. I had had a shower before I left, but deodorant, toothbrush and all that crap I was without. And I hoped to god the stuff in the bag would still be good after being unused for five years. Usually I checked the locker once every year.

I didn’t open the bag, just took it and left without looking back. The locker I locked again, it could still be of use, and boarded a train, the first one that was leaving. I got off at the first stop, outside NYC but still NY. I got a road map an tried to look inconspicuous as a tourist and found a cheap motel opposite a casino with disco and a bar. Well inside my room I locked the door and put a chair to hold the door, you never know, and plopped down on the bed and opened the bag.

I was totally unprepared for the flood of memories that came in the bag. Mostly of Indrid. So far I had avoided thinking of him. He hurt to think about. Sometimes I wondered if he even was missing me or if he still continued as usual, in his cold way. Indrid Cold. I missed him. His closeness, even though we seldom spoke, he wasn’t the talkative type, I liked being in his company. I felt safe somehow. At the top of the bag was the Smith and Wesson revolver he had given me on my first day at work. It was his personal, and he gave it to me when I confessed I had gotten up so late that I forgot to take my gun with me.

I put it on the bed side table and continued my excavation of the bag. The box of bullets I put next to the gun and then pulled out the necessary items; hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste and all in one shower cream. And a dry deo-stick. They were all neatly tucked into a zip lock bag. Next was a black bath towel. It was actually too big to be in there, but I had wanted it there when I packed the bag. It was Indrid’s too. Or it was actually mine, but Indrid had given it to me. As a birthday gift. A big black Armani bath towel. I didn’t even know Armani made towels. But it was heavenly. Underneath the towel was a pair of jeans, a black tank top and a black t-shirt and a navy blue hooded sweater. Black socks and what I had been looking forward most of all; underwear and shoes that fit. A black bra and two pairs of black panties and at the bottom a pair of black canvas sneakers. I was all set.

I had a quick shower and pulled on my own clothes and reveled in the feeling and decided that there was no better feeling than that of one’s own clothes. Under the bottom of the bag was the cash and the ID cards. I had two to choose between. Did I want to be a Stephanie Fields or Amanda Hopkirk? I chose Stephanie Fields and grabbed a tenner from the wad of cash and hid the rest in the bag. I hid the bag under the bed and put the gun under the pillow with the bullets and headed out to buy dinner. I settled on chinese, since I didn’t want to walk to far away. After years of only drip and months of only hospital food, I felt like I had never tasted anything better than the goose dumplings and the noodles I was eating.

I found a small convenience store and bought a magazine and some fruits, a small yoghurt and a sandwich and a can of juice for breakfast. When I got back to my room I settled in on the small bed and read magazine, trying to catch up with the world and the gossip. I knew I needed to get in contact with the Company, but I didn’t know how to start. Among the cash I had a small flat plastic box with a simcard in it and a ring. In case I wanted to be married or not. The simcard contained phone numbers to the Company. All I had to do was plug it into a phone and I’d be able to call all my friends and tell them the great news. Only problem was: who do I call first?

The answer was so simple it had been dancing in front of my eyes all the time. Of course Indrid would be the first one I should call. He was, or had been, after all, my companion. We were a team. Him and me. I didn’t know if I could stand hearing his voice again without crying. Only thinking of him made me cry. The room grew darker and the noise from across the street louder as the clock ticked away. I decided to postpone all decisions until tomorrow, and I had to get a phone too.

When I woke up the world was still sleeping. At first I thought it was in the middle of the night, but the growing traffic outside was a telltale sign of nearing rush hour. I had wanted to avoid rush hour, but I guess it was too late now. I ate my breakfast still in bed, feeling like a queen eating breakfast in the bed. Although I had to drink the fat yoghurt because I had no spoon. As soon as the sun hit my window I was up and about. Packed my stuff and was out the door within a minute.

A phone was my highest priority right now. And then I’d decide who to call. I checked out and got on a train towards NYC. I found a phone shop and got their cheapest phone to go and went to central park with a coffee and a cinnamon bun in a brown bag. The coffee tasted horrific, but the cinnamon bun was heaven. While I enjoyed the bun and forced the coffee down my throat I opened the phone and slit the sim card into it’s slot and then turned on the phone. “Searching for simcard. Please wait.” the phone displayed in a rolling banderoll. I finished the bun and threw the rest of the coffee in a bin before the phone beeped “simcard found, do you want to import phonenumbers?” I pressed no and then went to the address book. I looked up Alabama’s number. Adrian’s number. China’s number and Tennessee’s number. And last Indrid’s number.

Before I could stop myself I pressed dial and pushed the phone to my ear. I heard the tones ring. I let it ring eleven times before I hung up. Hunh? No answer. He always answer. A dreadful thought hit me. What if something had happened to him during these five years. WHat if he was dead too? I squeezed my eyes shut and banished such thoughts. Then I flipped through the phonebook again and suddenly I came across another number to Indrid. It didn’t say his name, but I figured “the cold one” could only mean him. I pressed dial and almost fainted when the other end was picked up almost immediately.

At first it was silent then his voice, dark and smooth, oh, what I had missed hearing his voice.

“Valentin?” That was my nickname. He always called me Valentin. From my surname. My mouth was dry and the awful coffee made itself reminded.

“Indrid,” my voice sounded hoarse and I cleared my throat. “hi…” I didn’t know what to say. *Hi, remember me? I was your partner that suddenly disappeared. I know you’ve had my funeral and all, but I’ve really been in coma for these last five years. I just woke up and wanted to hear your voice so I called you.* What did I want him to do? Take me back? What if he had another partner? What if I was redundant? What if I had forgotten everything? What if he didn’t want to talk to me? What if he hung up? Panic welled up my chest as he kept his silence on the other end. *Please say something* I was about to open my mouth when he broke the silence.

“Hey,” his voice was soft, almost loving and I wondered if he had really missed me. “You’re back from the dead?”

“Yeah… sort of… coma.” I couldn’t talk. I was about to cry from hearing his voice. He was silent for a long while on the other end and I was afraid he had hung up.

“Where are you?” I could hear he was moving, wherever he was. A car door opened and slammed shut.

“NYC” I breathed, trying to will myself not to cry.

“A bit more specific?” He asked.

“Central Park.” I answered.

“There is a café down there called the Wild Goose Chase, can you get there?” I looked around and spotted the funny looking cafe with a flock of geese pictured on the window, running or flying, wings out. Funny how I hadn’t noticed it earlier.

“Yeah, I can see it.”

“Wait for me there.” And he hung up. Before he hung up I heard a car start and my breath caught. He was coming to get me? he was coming to get me! As in a trance I made my way over to the small café and sat down on one of the benches outside and watched the traffic rush by. How long would I have to wait? He didn’t say where he was. What if he was in Philadelphia, then it would take an awful lot of time before he got here. I stood up and walked to the end of the bench and stopped. The cars rushed past me, but I didn’t really see them.

What if he had changed? What if I had changed? What if we couldn’t work any more? No team Cold. What if what if what if. All questiond twirled around in my head and made me almost dizzy. I turned around to sit down again and turned straight into a wall of muscle.

“Sorry,” I excused myself and then I realized who it was. Those electric eyes I used to be afraid of pierced me and then I was engulfed by muscles. I pressed into him and hugged back of all my might.

“I’ve been missing you,” he whispered in my hear. We must have stood there for quite a while because people started noticing us. He must have sensed the gazes too because he put an arm around me and pulled me with him. His black Hummer stood double parked nearby and I wondered how lost in thought I had been when I hadn’t seen it drive up. He opened the passenger door for me and I climbed in and dropped my bag on the floor when he closed the door. In no time he was in the drivers seat pulling out into traffic. I put on the seat belt and looked over at him. It looked like he was smiling. It felt odd. He usually never smiled.

“So, what’s up?” I usually didn’t start cold-talk with Indrid, I knew he disliked it, but now I felt like I couldn’t contain myself. I had to know what had been going on during the years I had been gone. Had he found someone? What if he’s married? I looked over at his hand and tried to spot a wedding ring. Panic scoured my veins until he laughed. I had never heard him laugh before.

“I’m not married, if that’s what you’re checking.” He grinned at me sideways while concentrating on the traffic. he was as beautiful as always with the suntanned skin and the raven black hair, long enough to curl over his ears.

“I tried calling you on your work-phone…” I started but he interrupted me, suddenly serious.

“Did you call anyone else? Anyone from work? Anyone from the Company?”

I shook my head. “No, I figured you’re my partner in crime, so you should be the first one to know…”

I suddenly felt daft. Alabama was my best friend at work, if I had thought a bit it would have been more logic to call her first, since she was a woman too. But I hadn’t, all I could think of was Indrid. Would he think it weird I hadn’t called Alabama yet?

“Good. Don’t call them.” He said, more like the normal Indrid I knew. Short and to the point. No smalltalk.

“Why?” I asked after a couple of minutes of silence.

“They went bad after the announcement you were KIA.” He flicked his eyes to me and then back. “That’s why I quit.”

“You quit?” I was flabbergasted. “But, but, you loved that job!” Hadn’t he?

“Yeah, but it wasn’t the same without you…” Was that a compliment?

Tell me what you think of the characters. I’m not that concerned about the story as of now, I’m more concerned about the characters and how to make them more alive. They are of course alive in my head, but do they come out alive from this short text? Or are they dead matter to you? I’d really appreciate any comment you have! 🙂