General Fiction posted January 23, 2012

This work has reached the exceptional level
Can you control YOUR characters?

Soap Opera

by Sissy

"Nooooo! For the last time, why do I have to sleep with Dr. Hanover?" She poked my shoulder once. Again. "I know he has a wife, okay? And I know it's going to go nowhere! And he's twenty years older than me! For once, can't I do the deed with someone...unattached and -- "

"Oh no you don't, Ceara. Don't look at me. Don't even try it! I am so not getting involved in your drama." Jake's voice came from somewhere behind me. "With all those guys you been sleeping with, I'll get some kind of disease and be done for."

"Do you mind?" I finally spoke.

"But Dr. Hanover - it's so predictable!"

"That is true." The fact Jake agreed with Ceara made me put down my pencil. I turned to look at them. Jake Harrison rested his shoulder against the doorframe, shaggy dark hair shading his equally dark eyes. Ceara had retreated and stood across the room at the window, staring out. I realized the view of the street held nothing for her; instead she examined her faint reflection, combing fiery hair with one hand.

Rolling my eyes, I faced front again. Maybe it was predictable. I tapped my pencil on the notebook. "Hmmm..."

"Come on, Lucy. Just this once. Hook me up with someone I can have a relationship with. A real relationship. Not one where I have to hide in closets mostly naked while wifey almost catches us."

I glanced at Jake. Maybe...

"Don't do it." He straightened. "Please."

"Like we'd ever last, Jakey," Ceara snapped. "You're cute and all, but what am I going to do with a guy from the wrong side of town who works as a janitor in the hospital?"

"Hey, that's just a cover, man. And could you, for once, attempt to be less shallow than a very small puddle after a very light rain? Tell her, Luce. Tell her you have plans for me."

"Oh, I have plans for you." I nodded without looking back.

"What kind of plans?" Ceara asked. "Can I get in on them? If he's going to be a spy or something, maybe I can find out, and save the world from his evil doings!" She clapped her hands once.

Jake snorted. "You'd never find out if I was a spy. I'd be so secretive it'd go right over your head. Even if we did end up 'doing the deed'."


"Enough!" I threw my pencil on the tabletop and spun around. "I've heard a lot about characters trying to control a story -- but this -- this is ridiculous. Yes, Jake, I promised you a really cool storyline. Ceara--" I pointed my finger at her. "You will sleep with whomever I tell you to, whenever I tell you to. And if you don't get out of my head, I am going to make you have Dr. Hanover's illegitimate child and you'll have to be pregnant for nine months."

Her horrified gasp made me bite my lip to keep from smiling.

"Oh, Lucy, wouldn't. Come on, remember, I helped you win that writing award last year. Who else could've done better nearly having an affair with a fake priest who ended up being a woman? Please, no -- pretty please, don't make me...pregnant." She whispered that last word like it was a curse.

"Then, get out of my head. The both of you. Got it?"

"So, are you going to hook us up?" Jake asked. "Lucy, man, we'd kill each other."

I lowered my forehead to the table. Why couldn't I invent manageable characters? Ones that did and said everything I asked? Trying to make Jake and Ceara submit to their fates was worse than the time I had to write about the layers of the Earth for a nature channel. Okay, maybe it wasn't worse, but I couldn't get a moment's peace with these two. It was bad enough they bothered me at work, but now they'd started to crowd into my writing at home.

When silence reigned for over a minute, I dared to sit up. They were gone. I grabbed my pencil, sharpened it, and grinned. Forget Dr. Hanover. Ceara was right, she needed something unpredictable, and Jake the janitor was it. I crumpled up the paper I'd been writing on and tossed the ball in the garbage. She would fall hopelessly in love, and he would want nothing to do with her.

No -- wait. He already wanted nothing to do with her. He'd be thrilled if he could ignore her.

My grin turned to a smirk. A natural disaster -- that would do the trick. Something that would cause them to be locked in a bathroom at the hospital for a few days. Alone. Together. I couldn't stop an evil laugh from escaping. That would teach them.

Writing writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story or essay with the topic of "writing". Can be instructional or a character in the story can be a writer. Creative approaches welcomed.


Half the time, my characters end up writing their own story. I've never considered payback...

Thanks to Sandra c. valentini for the artwork!
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