Fangirl: Rewrite Part 1


This is rewrite of an audio short story I did in 2013, you can check it out here. I wanted to add more depth to Jamie as a character and generally make the writing suck less. I welcome any criticisms or comments as I’m an amateur and still in the process of this rewrite.

 

Jamie looked at herself in the mirror. Plain, she thought. Plain Jane. Jamie always considered herself a beautiful woman trapped in the body of a chubby 16 year old. At least that’s what she told herself. She pulled the skin of her face back. Even behind the fat, her features was boring. She sighed.

She rifled through the piles of clothes on the floor. It was hard to tell what was what because it was all black. But she had to find the right one, her XCute t-shirt. She scanned her bedroom and spotted the tour dates on the back, draped over a chair. Maneuvering around her duffel bag, she snatched it up and pull it on over her camisole. She spun to catch her reflection in the mirror. Perfect. Well, as perfect as she was going to get. What else could she where to meet her idol but the shirt she bought at her very first XCute concert? She grabbed the rest of her things and threw them in her bag. Toothbrush, deodorant, hair brush, iPod and her wallet. Jamie opened it and a condom fell out. She paused for a moment…

She decided early on not to gush about the email to the online XCute community. Rob had contacted her personally. This was serious. He wanted her. With a deep breath, she placed the condom reverently back in her wallet, picked up her bag and headed out her bedroom door.

Her mom spotted her leaving from the couch, “Where are you off to?” she asked. Jamie winced in annoyance and turned into the living room. Her mother was laying on the couch, still in her robe at three in the afternoon. A pretty common occurrence in the Bentley house.

“I’m staying at Katie’s tonight, remember?”
Her mom’s eyes glazed over for a moment.
“Oh right, okay.” and turned back to the television.
Jamie stood in the doorway for moment, looking at her mom.

“I may stay over Sunday too.”
“Okay.”
“…and she’ll probably just give me a ride to school on Monday.”
“Okay.”
“…that’s why I brought so much stuff.”
“Okay.”

She should have been relieved as she turned back down the hall. For once in her life her mom’s apathy had been to her advantage. But she wasn’t. Mom was drunk, no surprise there. Except this time it felt different, like an insult. She was about to meet the most important person in her life. Her soul mate. After today she would never be the same old Jamie Ann Bentley and her mom was too sloshed to see that. She slammed the screen door as she left. It was going to be a long walk to the bus station.

Jamie gave the bus ticket to the driver with a shaky hand. But as he tore the end off and handed it back her spirits began to lift. She could now push the conversation with her mom- if one could call it that- to the back of her mind. Her heart raced as the bus left the station. No going back now. I’m going meet Rob Denhart! There were only a few other passengers and they had all seated themselves far away from her.

Jamie pulled out her iPod, set it to the most recent XCute album, and let her mind wander. She thought of the condom…

It had almost happened.

That night with Cole Sheldon, her study partner for Physics. It was her first kiss, first time getting felt up… there were a lot of firsts that night. She had reached over and pulled the condom out of the bedside table and offered it to him. She remembered he looked like a deer caught in headlights. Cole had paused, looking down at it from on top of her. Then he scrambled off the bed, pulled on his jeans and Green Lantern t-shirt and left. Leaving all his notes and backpack behind. Later she cried so hard she vomited.

That had been three months ago and Jamie felt she was over it. Cole had never spoken to her to since, even when she returned his backpack. But she finally understood that it was for the best. That even though she had been rejected, it was meant to happen.

The bus was headed out of town now and in her heart she hoped this would be the last time she saw this shit hole. Rob could take her away… to Los Angeles or New York. She was young but celebrities were above the law. All it takes is money, she thought.

Heat started to rise up in her face as she looked at Denhart’s face on the album cover.

He was a beautiful man. Jamie thought he was more beautiful than most women and certainly more beautiful than she’d ever been. His green eyes looked up from the microphone, his face was mesmerizing. His body was perfection. Rob was her muse. He inspired her to write all sorts of fan fiction about the band members, something she had never done before. But to her amazement, the stories were quite popular.

She quickly became a regular author on slashfiction.net, a site that was infamous for having only the smuttiest and most tawdry types of fan fiction. Jamie was thankful she chose a pen name as the stories were…deeply personal. Lily Von Eades was her alias and the heroine of her stories, the most recent post was an erotic account of this alter ego meeting Rob. So when she had gotten an email from Rob Denhart himself two days ago, she was overcome with a mixture of exhilaration and deep embarrassment.

I was moved by your story, and by your dedication to the band. I’d like to meet . . .

“Moved by your story?” Which story? There were almost thirty. The most popular were the ones where she paired off the members with each other. But she was certain she knew the one he meant.

A story wherein Lily Von Eades was the lead singer of a rock band playing at the same venue. Rob is enchanted with her immediately. After saving her from a gang of thugs, he professes his love and Lily reveals her secret: she’s a virgin. Intoxicated by her beauty, Rob takes her right there as she tries to fend him off, but eventually submits in bashful compliance.

She had daydreamed often about a chance meeting with Rob at a concert wherein he fell desperately in love with her. A happy coincidence where they found themselves sitting next to each other on an airplane or stuck in a broken elevator. Surely once he had time to get to know her, he’d realize how special she was. She wasn’t just a face in the crowd screaming up at the stage; she was in love with him. She dreamed about him at night. Memorized his lyrics, re watched interviews with the band over and over and over.
Fantasies blossomed in her mind, he would love her and steal her away- the laws be damned. Nothing was going to stop them. The scenery drifting by outside was rural now. Jamie finally started to relax and tried to sleep. She wanted to dream of him.

Her dreams were normally as bland and unexceptional as Jaime herself. She often dreamed about coming to school naked or being chased by shadows in the dark. She would wake up with only fragmented memories.

Which is why what she began to dream on the bus was so unusual.

She was standing in a sunny field. What she noticed immediately was that she could feel the warmth of the sun. There were flowers speckled about the grass, and far away she could hear a stream trickling. She smelled sweet water. But the area still retained a dream-like quality. Everything far away seemed to blur, as if the world faded as soon as it was out of her perception. Underneath the sound of water and grass, there was another sound. A low, undulating hum that Jamie couldn’t place. It was an unnerving sound.
She heard footsteps in the grass behind her. As she turned she felt slowed, like she was moving underwater. The motion made her stomach fly into a tailspin, but she turned to face the steps anyway. A figure stepped out from the blurred horizon.
It was a woman.
Jamie recognized her instantly. Lily Von Eades, exactly as she had imagined her. Perfect hourglass figure, pale skin and the type of rich auburn hair Jamie had always dyed her hair to mimic. Her red lips were curved into a stern frown as she stared at her author.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
Her tone was not what Jamie expected, accusing with a touch of condescension. It was off putting, she crossed her arms in front of her stomach. She knew, as one often does in dreams, what Lily was asking.

“I…I’m…” she began. Lily cocked a eyebrow.
“Rob Denhart read my stories. He wants to meet me. Me.”she nearly squealed in excitement, but corrected herself, “Well, us, technically.” She added this like a bribe. As if the invitation for Lily to join her would somehow make her stop looking at her that way.

It did not.

Part 2 coming soon

Silent Hill – Fan Interpretation and Theory


SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t played Silent Hill this post will not make any sense and will most likely be very boring. Frankly I’m not sure why you clicked on it. Spoilers, y’all.

 Silent Hill- why is it so popular and why do people spend unhealthy amounts of time theorizing about things that we’re never part of the original games? Sometimes I feel silly writing about the subtle nuances of a video game universe… then I remember I’m on the internet.  All systems GO! 

There are fans who like to focus more on the cult aspects of the story, whereas as others see the cult as a symptom of a larger issue. I fall into the latter category. In fact, I actually prefer to ignore the cult business as much as possible as I really felt Silent Hill didn’t hit it’s stride until Silent Hill 2. A game in which the cult is mercifully absent. So here is my interpretation of Silent Hill- don’t like it? Get your own damn website.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

There are allusions in the series of a nebulous force that pervades the area. This indicates that Silent Hill isn’t in and of itself evil by nature. But only a place of unprecedented psychic energy…

Native Americans conduct mysterious and religious rituals here. The land is valued as a sacred place to the Natives. They revered the town as “The Place of the Silent Spirits”. The land is known as a holy place and seems to possess a mysterious power. – The Book of Memories.

The idea that the Native Americans practiced rituals there also supports the theory of it being a more neutral power. Like a base that one must add intention to in order to render it good or evil. Further history includes the Natives being removed from the area for white European settlement. And this is where things start to go a little batshit. The area is repopulated with a culture completely ignorant of the town’s abilities.

[I’d like to note: I sense some stereotyping about the corrupted Europeans that usurp the good and altruistic natives that of course never ever did anything wrong and are totally peace-loving tree spirits crapola. But that gets into privilege, white guilt, and other topics entirely.]

One of the reasons Silent Hill is such a powerful idea is because it’s very old and represents something intrinsically frightening to just about everyone on Earth. Namely, Judgement. Entering Silent Hill is like looking into a mirror that shows you your true self in agonizing detail. You are set on the scales of judgement and must face all your inner demons brought to life. But I would argue that this not a sentient entity, but a reaction to a stimuli. James is a murderer, but he also hates himself for it. He’s drawn to the town because he knows on some subconscious level the town will make him face what he has done. It will make him suffer because he feels it’s what he deserves. Angela Orosco even says so implicitly.

Silent Hill was inspired heavily by the 1990 movie Jacob’s Ladder which involved a man coming to terms with his fate. This particular quote from the film is very telling,

The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you”, he said. “They’re freeing your soul. So, if you’re frightened of dying and… you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. – Jacob’s Ladder

Although it’s not exact, there are a lot of parallels between the two narratives. Both men are hiding from some truth they refuse to face. And an outside power forces them to face their demons who manifest themselves physically. We also see that relatively innocent characters are left alone and don’t experience the violent nature of the town. Case in point: Laura. Laura is… well, she’s a brat. But she too young to feel guilty about it. Laura is consistently confused by James and Eddie’s concern over her wandering around alone. Because she doesn’t experience any of the town’s judgement. It’s as if the negative emotions of those dealing with severe guilt serves as a bee sting to Silent Hill, and the surge of violent psychic energy is a form of anaphylaxis. The area swells with power depending on the particular “poison” that’s been introduced.

The idea that the power is neutral is a little problematic. This point on it’s own would infer that someone who is just and righteous might step into Silent Hill and it would suddenly be raining teddy bears and kittens. That’s not what I’m saying. It may be that the presence of the evil cult has permanently tainted the town’s energy, that the once neutral force is too heavy with the stench of sacrifice and sin to ever be used for good ever again. It could be that the town is highly conductive to negative energy and not so much to others. But I think the most important thing to remember is that the details don’t really matter. The town is only a symbol, a means to an end to make the protagonist face themselves head on.

In conclusion, Silent Hill is cool and I don’t know how to end things.