Here I am, sort of quarantined, still officially working full time but with fewer interruptions than normal, and I don’t have anything to show for all the extra hours I’ve discovered in the day on my blog. I should by all rights. But it turns out if you’re lazy before a pandemic, you’re still lazy during it.
I have actually written more on some of my [short] stories in an attempt to finish something before the world comes screaming to its inevitably fiery end, but I can’t show any of it off as it’ll be far more compelling within an actual completed story. So instead, here’s a piece of a scene written long ago, for a story I will tackle later:
“Oh Scott,” she said, looking past his shoulder at Fitz. “I assumed you’d be the one with the criminal record.”
It was so unexpected that it took a moment for Scott to understand. He caught up suddenly, and whipped his head around to take in Fitz, expression neutral save that he’d gone an awful white. He seemed unaware of the entire room gaping at him, but pretty clearly wasn’t.
“It’s a part of the public record,” he said, tone just the slightest bit strained.
“Oh my,” Claypoole continued, reading the sheet of paper in her hand as though she had just discovered it. “Trespassing and assault? My my, I never thought you were the type.”
“It was a mistake,” Fitz said, looking at Scott now as John accepted the sheet from the witch. Terry forced him to set it down on the table so they could both read it, and Amanda came over to join them.
“A mistake?” she interjected mockingly. The paper – a printout from a California government website, Scott could see – was now making its way over to Hal’s table by way of Dawn.
“A crime,” he amended, turning back to her. “I made a very foolish decision, and I paid for it.”
“And that’s all that needs to be said about it,” he said, picking the absolute worst way to try and shut down gossip.
Scott was still gaping at him, and trying not to. “Does work…”
“Of course they know,” Fitz snapped. “I had to put it on my application. I don’t get work easily, let me tell you.” He seemed to realize he’d lost his temper and reined it back in so badly that Scott – not in the least perturbed by Fitz’s criminal record, though certainly intrigued by the unknown story behind it – almost laughed. “As well I deserve. I’m sure.”
I also love this story, as I love all my stories that fall under the category of “later.” But in the meantime I’m working on “Whistler,” which begins with the smartest man in the universe about to be executed and, naturally, at some point devolves into an argument between navy personnel about the proper use of English grammar. Excellent stuff, I assure you.
But until then: Hal Schultz signing off, yo.