Where did the idea for My Undoing come from? Believe it or not, it started with a dream. Heavily installed into dreamland, something woke me at 1:00 am. The dream, still vivid in my mind, intrigued me. It was the young girl and the dialogue that captivated me. Too tired to do anything about it then, I went back to sleep forcing my mind to replay the dream over and over and over.
When I woke the next morning, I quickly scribbled down all that I could remember. It felt like the beginning of a story, the birth of a character and a idea for a series.
The dream started with a young girl chasing a man, dressed in a yellow hazmat-looking suit, through an old abandoned military base building. He disappears. She then encounters a man who turns out to be a not-so-good guy. While running away from this not-so-good guy, she runs smack dab into another man, Thuron, who saves her life. But it was the dialogue in the dream that intrigued me, most of which ended up in the beginning of the story.
I then sat down one day and her story unfolded as I typed. She took us both on a journey, one that I think neither she, nor I, was expecting. Her voice, her character, took over as she told me more about herself. At first, I tried to tell the story in third person but it didn't feel right. The story, needed to be told from her point of view.
She told me her name, Janee (spelled like Jane but with an extra e and pronounced JAH-NEE). She introduced me to Mr. Wong, her life-long friend and teacher. It was when she bumped into Thuron, and he saved her life, that the story took a turn and added a twist, for both of us. What he unveiled shocked us both, neither of us expected the story to go in that direction.
I envisioned how the story would end, but that was not how it ended. I typed a line of dialogue, from Janee, and knew that we had reached the end of My UNDOING. But, no worry, her story continues in short story #2 - This Time Tomorrow, hopefully it will be out by November.
Why is he running? How can such an old guy run so fast. And what’s with the yellow hazmat-looking suit?
I rounded the corner and came to a screeching halt. Stretched out before me was a long depressing gray hall with only one door at the far end. And Mr. Wong had disappeared. The building, located on an old military base outside of old Las Vegas, like everything else after the war, was abandoned. The only inhabitants now were small creatures that scurried into hidden corners afraid of their own shadow.
“How’d he do that?” my voice ricocheted off the walls, startling me.
I crept down the hall, hesitating before turning the knob. My instincts warning me to use caution. I slowly opened the door to a cavernous room, a graveyard of standard issued, gun-metal gray old desks, chairs and file cabinets, long forgotten. The room smelled of dust and mold, making my nose twitch. Small windows, high up on the exterior cement wall, allowed enough daylight into the room so I didn’t bump into things. A grunting sound, followed by a clanging metal noise in the far corner, caught my attention.
A man dressed in old army fatigues was tossing a large metal case onto a cart. He stopped and turned towards me, his menacing look caused me to take a step back.
“Sorry, I must have taken a wrong turn,” I said as I slowly backed out of the room. Not wanting to stick around, I scurried back down the hall, which now seemed like the length of a football field.
Behind me the door opened and I turned around to look. The army-fatigue man stood just outside the door, tense and alert. The closing of the door behind him echoed down the hall like thunder, making me flinch.
“You didn’t happen to see a yellow guy?” I asked, wanting to break some of the tension.
He started towards me with what appeared to be a weapon in his hand, apparently not interested in a friendly chat, I turned to run. The sound of his boots pounding on the concrete floor drowned out the sound of my beating heart. I glanced around to see him gaining on me and thought of those side-view mirrors, which warned, “Objects are closer than they appear.”
I slammed into a solid wall, a wall which sprouted arms and reached out and slung me behind it. As I peeked around the corner, a loud noise went off and the army-fatigue guy exploded, green gel-like gunk splattered all over the walls and floor.
“Wow,” I yelled. “That was so cool! There really are green guys. Well, technically he was green on the inside, but still.”
“Let’s go,” he ordered.
I took one last glance before I turned to follow.
“Where are we going?” The wall, my savior, was actually a man. He stood a good foot taller than me, making him a little over six feet. And man was he packing - not just muscles, he was loaded with a mini armory, some weapons I didn’t recognize.
“Somewhere trouble doesn’t follow you.”
“Trouble doesn’t follow me.”
He stopped and gave me one of those raised eyebrow looks. “Really?”
“Ok. Well yeah. But only sometimes. Sometimes the trouble is already there, so it isn’t always technically following me.” I tried to explain, at the same time wondering why I was following a complete stranger. Was it because he just saved my life?
Shaking his head he continued on.
“What was that green guy?” I asked.
“A Mela what?”
“What was he doing in that room?” he asked, not answering my question.
“Stacking large metal cases on a cart. Do you suppose he was stealing them?”
“That means he is not alone. We should hurry.” His long strides made it difficult to keep up.
“But, I am looking for someone. I can’t leave without him.”
“A guy, he is wearing a yellow suit.” I started to giggle like a little school girl.
“What’s so funny?”
“I asked the green guy if he saw my yellow guy. Do you think he noticed and thought that was ironic?” My giggling turned a bit hysterical.
“Get a hold of yourself,” he ordered. “Let’s go.”
“Go where?” I hiccupped.
“To find this yellow-suit man so we can get out of here.”
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