Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Philli Part 8

CAUTION: A plot spoiler lurks in the comments below this post. Be careful not to read them until you have progressed a few stages further in the story.

I looked out toward the living room, where Cami was sleeping. I remembered when she had said she hated the Outsiders. Aid's words returned to me. Cam, hate's evil. That's what got us contained in a camp.

I slept late into the next day, and didn't get back to my house until afternoon. Father and Ephesus were gone to their new job in the thrusters factory.  There wouldn't be an afternoon Bible study that day, either, with how tired Cami, Cea, and I would be.
I busied myself through the day with all the household tasks. Those were all mine now that Daddy and Ephesus had a job during the day. But I really didn't mind. I liked having a job of my own that let me stay in the camp.
Ephesus and Daddy got home late that night. There had been a meeting among the design and testing teams to begin making more details for a new project. They were both very tired when they arrived, and were very glad for the dinner I had prepared for them.
My brother and dad loved having a job. It just wasn't in them to live idly by in concrete camp. I didn't really like being stuck in the camp either, but I knew I did not want a job outside either. That's when Daddy brought it up. "And guess what, Phil?"
I responded dutifully, "What?"
Ephesus butted in before Daddy could answer, "They told us they could get you a job at the factory, too."
I didn't know what to think. Daddy added, "They said you could work with either of us as an administrative assistant."
"Just think 'I can do what I already do and get paid by the government,' and then decide," said Ephesus.
"You really already are and have always been my assistant, Philadelphia."
Ephesus replied to it, "Hey, she gets to choose who she works with. I want her working with me."
Daddy smiled. "Well I guess she'll have to choose between us then."
I did not like how my daddy had put that. "I could never choose..."
Ephesus enjoyed my confusion. "Hmm, we'll have to flip a coin on it. Heads she works for me, tails she..." Ephesus stopped when the sound of screeching brakes overwhelmed everything else.

It was already dark outside. We all rushed to the windows, expecting some sort of accident. Directly outside our home was a huge black van with thin, tinted windows. It's headlights were off as soon as it stopped. A huge door on the side opened by flipping upwards and out rushed several men, all wearing full black and navy blue uniforms. One walked in front of them, with a badge and an United insignia on his hat. It was not the team that usually dealt with rebellious Unaccepted, and we were not such people anyway.
They walked briskly, nearly running, to our door. The whole way they stooped over as though expecting gun fire. Dear Lord, not something terrible. Don't let them take Daddy or Ephesus again.


  1. Wow, I love how you play off of Philadelphia's loyalties here. Having her feel torn between her father and her brother isn't something I've considered, but I love how it played out here. That's definitely something I'd consider using on a grander scale for the sequel, if there is one. *makes note*

    And good twist at the end there, as always. :D

    1. Philli-in-family is the easiest Philli to write. Tragedy that I had to tear the family apart... would have kept writing a lot easier.
      By the way, what Ephesus was going to say was, "Heads she works for me, tails she doesn't work for you," but he got cut off.

    2. *nods contemplatively* It's cool (and ironic), but reading this has helped me figure out what drove the original novel. When I'm writing a novel, my perspective is so different that I don't get a good feel for the true emotion of the novel. I know how it "works" and what scenes I personally like, but I don't feel the ups and downs like a reader does. Here, I'm a reader (oh blessed state!), and I get a really strong sense of what drives the narrative. What grabs me? What keeps the story moving? Etc. And I'm learning stuff... which will help if I ever write a sequel.

      HA! Ephesus... :D

    3. Oh, and I think the fact that Philli-in-family is easiest to write shows why tearing (or threatening to tear, as in the case of the original) them apart works so well. In the original novel, Philli was driven by a desire to stay with her father and a desperation to know what had happened to her brother. That was the emotional glue that held everything together and gave it depth. Without that element... there wouldn't have been any plot or personal stakes.

      So that's one reason I love this twist so much... It has that same emotional drive, only you take Philli away from her father instead of the other way around. Which is fantastic. I'd totally never thought of it before, and I might very well use it for a sequel.

      Say, you know what... I wonder if that's why my current notes for the hypothetical sequel don't feel right. I have a decent plot, but there's no personal stakes in it for Philli in regards to her family. She's at risk of losing her job and getting in trouble with the United, but she's not really afraid of them. She's afraid of losing her father. There's no risk of that in my notes... Maybe that's the problem.

      The lightbulb has gone on...

    4. I agree with you on your analysis of each of our unique perspectives on writing these characters. One of the fun experiments that I am trying, as is obvious, is the Philli-out-of-family character, which is what we are about to get into now that she has been taken away.

    5. Plot spoiler . No mention above that she has been taken away . And I am out of time to start the next segment ...

    6. Thanks, Dad. I have added a note to the post to warn future readers.