Esther Velez

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Month: May 2014

The Watchtower: Episode 8

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EPISODE EIGHT: A Secret

Jamison stood in front of the Main Office of the community. If he was right, the Big Three would be there. He laughed to himself. He’d been living in this community for over 25 years, and they still hadn’t inducted him into their leadership group.

The Big Three consisted of three longtime residents of this neighborhood who had decided long ago that they weren’t going to let an anonymous association run their community. They had banded together under a relatively unknown loophole in the Association Manual and pretty much ran everything.

Jamison had made it his first priority to get involved with these guys. One of the men, Trace Walker, had quickly become a friend. The other two had decided he was the enemy.

“It’s about time you showed up.” The door to the Main Office opened as Trace stepped through. “What took you so long?”

“Nice to see you, too,” Jamison replied, grabbing the door. “Is your family doing all right?”

Trace sighed. “They’re scared. I won’t let them watch the news, but Shayla wants to know.”

Jamison nodded. Shayla was a worrier, like Emmy. They had to know the facts, other wise they couldn’t rest. Emmy had gotten better at staying calm, but he could imagine that Shayla was a mess.

“What about your kids?” Trace crossed his arms. “Weren’t they coming over for a visit right about now?”

Jamison frowned. “They picked the worst time,” he replied. “One of them is down in Homestead, and the others decided it was a good idea to go fetch her.”

“And you disagree?”

“Rosemarie will come back when she’s ready,” Jamison said, stepping into the Main Office. “She always has, always will.”

“You keep saying that Jamison.”

“Well, I’m always right, aren’t I?”

 

*****

“How many hours has it been?”

She had been sitting in a car all afternoon on her way down here, but the drive down 248th street stretched on monotonously and felt a thousand times longer.

“We’ve only been driving for a few minutes, Lyn,” her husband said, pointing to the clock on the dashboard. “We’ll be in Homestead within a half an hour.”

“If only we’d have taken the highway,” Lincoln mumbled in the backseat. Lyn felt her face stiffen. He was so ungrateful. We’re coming all this way for him. The least he could do is stop complaining. She couldn’t fault him, though. He was still very young and immature.

“What is Rosemarie’s boyfriend like?” Toby asked.

“I’m actually not too sure,” Lincoln replied. “She started dating him when I moved away to college, and we’ve only talked about him a little.”

“Well, it’s a good thing Misty knew his address,” Lyn added, “otherwise, you would have been of no help.”

Lincoln ignored her. They continued to drive forward in silence. She turned to look out the window. It was too dark to see anything clearly, but she could make out a stop light further ahead. It was the only one in a row of stop signs and rolling stops. She wondered if cops spent any time hiding in the shadows, trying to catch people speeding. If she’d been driving, she would definitely have been pulled over. Toby was good, though. He didn’t like to speed, even when it was dark and no one else was around.

The car made a strange rumbling sound. She glanced at Toby. A red light flashed on the dashboard.

“What was that?”

“I don’t know.”

“I thought this was a new car,” Lincoln grumbled from the back.

“How much money do you think I have, Lincoln?” Toby shook his head. “This car is a piece of junk. It can die at any time.”

“Why didn’t you take my father’s car? And if it was so bad, why did you use it to drive us down here?”

Toby did not respond to her question. “The car is starting to overheat,” he said instead. “We need to pull over and give it a chance to cool off.”

“We never stopped when we were driving before.”

“Do you not believe me, Lyn? Do you want me to keep driving until the car explodes?”

“Is that what is going to happen?”

“Seriously, Lyn?”

“Fine,” she said, throwing her hands in the air. “Pull over wherever you want. So long as it’s not in the bushes somewhere.”

Toby turned on his highbeams. “There’s a parking lot up ahead.”

“It’s a school zone,” Lyn said, straining to read the signs. “What school is this, Lincoln?”

“Oh, so now I’m suddenly of use to you?”

Toby pulled the car into the lot. Dozens of yellow school buses were parked along the east side, with a few regular cars near them. Lyn searched for a sign on the school building, something that would let her know which one it was.

“I want to look around,” Lyn said, unlocking her door.

“Don’t go so far.” Toby opened the hood of the car and peered inside. “This shouldn’t take so long.”

Lyn slipped her phone into her back pocket. She walked toward the school’s entrance. It wouldn’t be open this late at night, but lights were on inside. To the left of the main entrance was a second building. It reminded her of one of the school’s she’d gone to growing up. Her fifth grade class was the first to move into the new buildings on the side. They called it an annex, and she always thought of the place where Anne Frank had lived in when she wrote her diary. It was also an annex.

Lyn had never liked reading the diary. She knew that Anne was going to die at the end, so every time the girl wrote about the future, Lyn knew it would never come to pass. Lyn told her teacher it was too sad for her to read, but her teacher wouldn’t listen.

She continued walking toward the second building. Dark, painted letters covered the side of the building, but she couldn’t make out their meaning. If I could get closer, maybe I could read it. Maybe it’ll tell me what school this is.

Lyn wondered why she wanted to know. Why did it matter to her what school this was? Because it reminded her of the school she’d gone to when she was — ?

A little girl appeared in front of her, running toward her. The girl was wearing a torn life vest, and she was calling out her name.

Lyn blinked.

The girl was gone.

 

*****

The room was suddenly alerted to his presence. Chris Adler rose from his seat.

“Who invited him?”

“Jamison has been attending our meetings for the last twenty five years,” Trace said, patting him on the back. “He didn’t need an invitation the first time, and he doesn’t need one now.”

“Whatever.” Chris took his seat. “So what do you make of all this? Does it fit into one of your ‘end times’ sermons? Is this foretold in the Book of Revelations?”

Jamison laughed. “Um, no, I didn’t see anything about an infection spreading through Florida the last time I read my Bible, but maybe I wasn’t being thorough enough.”

“Well, we’ve been doing as much research as we can, and we don’t understand this.” Harold Whitaker, the oldest of the three, had a loud, commanding voice. Jamison knew the man didn’t like him because he stayed with Emmy, even after she cheated on him. Harold was going on his seventh or eighth divorce, and he always tried to convince Jamison that being single was the only route to happiness. But more than all of that, Harold hated not understanding something. He poured himself into research and study to figure out anything he wasn’t sure of.

One of those things was forgiveness. He still hadn’t wrapped his mind around that one. It never made sense to Harold why Jamison had forgiven his wife. He was, after all, a veteran of divorces and affairs. He had perfected the art of blaming, accusing, shaming, and guilting. Forgiveness, of any sort, had no part in his life. He tolerated Jamison’s presence because Jamison had a lot to offer, and everyone, including Chris, knew it.

“The government is itching to close that barricade soon,” Chris said, shaking his head. “I don’t like this at all.”

“We’ve got at least four hours left,” Jamison cut in, taking a seat near Trace. “Before they barricade it, though, we need to make sure we have enough supplies.”

“I sent a few men to collect information from around the area. They should be back with reports in a few minutes,” Harold said.

“We should consider using this as a center for supplies. Everyone can bring what they have here, and we’ll dole it out as needed.”

“Uh, no, that won’t work,” Chris said, shaking his head. “Some of the newer families in this neighborhood are more affluent than others. We welcomed them because it was beneficial to our community, but they will not want to share their resources with those who didn’t think to stock anything up.”

Jamison sighed. “Chris, we’re in a time of crisis. We have to work together, affluent or not. Certainly they would understand that.”

“Well, it smells a little too communistic to me.”

“Are you going to help, Chris? Or are you just going to shoot down everything I say?”

“Bad ideas need to be weeded out.”

Jamison leaned back in his chair. Chris had never liked him, and he never knew why. He had never done anything to Chris in the twenty five years he’d known the man, but that didn’t stop Chris from hating him. Jamison knew he wouldn’t get anywhere in this meeting, not if Chris disagreed with everything he said for the sake of disagreeing. There was only one thing they could do, if this meeting was to get anywhere.

“I call for a vote,” Jamison said, raising his hand. “Although we’ve got the government here, setting up the barricade, they don’t care about our community. I propose that we vote a leader for ourselves, one who has the best interests of the neighborhood in mind.”

“And I suppose you vote yourself as this leader?” Chris asked, a sneer forming on his lip.

Jamison smiled. “That wouldn’t be such a bad idea.” He glanced at Trace. “What do you think?”

“A vote is a splendid idea.”

“Harold?”

The older man nodded slowly. “I’ll vote.”

“Excellent.” Jamison looked at Chris. “Who would you like to vote for?”

Chris scowled. “I will vote for myself.”

Trace raised his hand. “And I will vote for Jamison.” He turned to Harold.

“It’s up to you.”

Harold sighed. “I don’t really like you, Jamison,” he said, “but we need to do something. I’ll vote for you.”

“I knew this was going to happen,” Chris said, shaking his head, “but I’ve been with this community for too long to leave it in the hands of a newcomer.” He folded his hands. “So what’s our first order of business, leader?”

Jamison crossed his arms. It was time to get to work.

 

*****

I’ve seen her before.

Lyn turned around and headed for the car. She’d seen that little girl before, in a place that needed to stay buried in her memories. But why was she seeing the girl here? This wasn’t the place where it had happened.

“Oh, there you are.” Toby slammed the hood shut. “We’re ready to go.”

Lyn ignored him and pulled open her brother’s door.

“Lincoln, what school is this?”

“Hey, you don’t have to be so rough.”

“I asked you a question, Lincoln. Can you please answer it?”

Lincoln frowned and crossed his arms. “It’s Redland Elementary and Middle School. Are you satisfied now?”

Lyn closed his door. “Toby, we have to leave this place.”

“What are you talking about? Of course we’re leaving. The car is fixed.”

“No, we have to leave now.”

“Lyn, your face is white,” Toby said, grabbing her. “What’s going on?”

She looked up at him, shaking. This was it. The secret she’d been hiding for so long. She had to tell him. There was no way around it.

“This was my elementary school.”

Toby smiled. “Oh. I thought there was something wrong.”

“You don’t understand,” she said, clinging to him. “We have to leave from here.”

“Lyn—”

“This is where my friend died. I don’t want to stay here anymore.” Lyn felt tears coming on. “I saw her, Toby. She was running toward me, and—”

“Okay, we don’t have to talk about this anymore. Get in the car. We’re leaving.”

Lyn moved as quickly as possible. The memories of that day so long ago were flooding back to her. She tried to stop the wave, but there was nothing she could do. Her best friend was dead and there was no going back.

Toby slipped the keys into the ignition.

“How much farther do we have?” He tossed the question to Lincoln in the backseat.

“It’s about—”

“Quiet.” Toby held up his hand. “I hear something.”

He tried the ignition again. “It won’t start.”

Lyn began to cry. “We can’t stay here, Toby! We have to go!”

“I know,” he said, “but if I can’t get this car started, where are we going to go?”

“This car is a piece of junk!” Lincoln yelled. “All those hours you work, and you couldn’t afford a decent car?”

“Toby, we have to go,” Lyn begged. She was falling apart. She hated doing this in front of her brother, but she couldn’t stop it. “We have to leave before she comes back.”

Toby nodded. “All right. Lincoln, get out of the car. Lyn, I need you at the wheel.”

“What—?”

“We’re gonna push it, okay?” Toby leaned over and gave her a hug. “I’m gonna get you out of here, Lyn. Don’t worry.”

“Hey, wait, are you gonna push this car all the way to Homestead?” Lincoln shook his head. “Sorry, buddy, but I won’t help with that.”

“There’s a church around here,” Lyn said, suddenly remembering. It’d been a long time since she’d been in this area, but, somehow, she still remembered it. “One of my friends used to invite me to it all the time, although I never went.”

“You’re right. Dad never really liked churches.” Lincoln opened the side door. “Let’s get to pushing, Toby.”

“What’s the church called?” Toby asked, handing her a tissue to wipe her eyes.

Lyn swallowed back a sob.

“It’s called Christ Fellowship Redland.”

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The Watchtower: Episodes 4-6: Behind the Scenes

How are you guys doing? The response to the first Behind the Scenes post was great (if you haven’t read it, check it out: Episodes 1-3 Behind the Scenes). I went through the next set of episodes, and I’ve got a whole bunch more for you. 🙂

Episode 4: Quarantine

“It’s too dangerous for you to go alone!”
This is a half-reference, coming from The Legend of Zelda, which says “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”

Episode 5: I So Hate Consequences

“Who are we to question the government?”
Jamison is not being serious right now. He’s being totally sarcastic. Just putting that out there.

Lincoln saw a few kids riding their bikes in the street. Had the government agent told them about the quarantine? He wondered if he should tell them, but thought better of it. Wouldn’t want to get into any more trouble around here. The association and the security guards already know me by name. Knowing them, they’d spin it into something terrible just to get me locked out of the quarantine.
This whole scene comes from a story I wrote way back called Dead Man. In the story, the main character, Dyrk, runs into a kid riding a bike and the kid accuses him of doing bad things to other kids.

Episode 6: Detour

“Good evening, sir. You’ve heard of the quarantine?”
This scene comes from a dream I had shortly after starting this series. In the dream, our neighborhood was quarantined due to a strange explosion which left tons of people dead and only one survivor: me. At one point, my sister and I are trying to leave the area, but they stop us to ask some questions and look at ID.

They drive on the US-1. That’s a real place. And those are real directions that Lincoln gives in the story.

The house smelled of eggs because the pipes still weren’t used to running water through them…
When we moved to our first house in Florida, it smelled of eggs. They said it was because the pipes weren’t used to running water. And thus, this sentence was born.

But the future came too soon and swallowed up their hopes and dreams, leaving behind the bones of chaos and destruction.
This is nothing in particular, other than a sentence I enjoy.

“You married a dreamer, didn’t you, Lyn?”
I wrote a short story called “Older Sister” in 2013. In this story, one of the characters says that she’s wouldn’t be a good home school teacher for her son because she’s a dreamer. Of course, she would be a great teacher, but she’s just hurting so bad that she’ll use any excuse.

“I married a man with direction and purpose.”
This is said by Lyn. Interestingly, this is the reason why Rosemarie is going out with Soren. Maybe the two sisters have more in common than they realize.

They make a right turn to get on 248th Street. Those who know where they are going will realize that they are going to pass Christ Fellowship Redland. And it would be a shame if they didn’t stop there, wouldn’t it?

“We’ll find your sister, Lincoln. It doesn’t matter if we have to go right in the middle of a quarantine or an infected area. We will find her.”
This is the turning point in Lincoln’s relationship with Toby. Here is where he starts to see that Toby is an honest man, trying to do what is right and falling short sometimes. These are the first steps in the two becoming allies.

 

The Watchtower: Episode 7

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EPISODE SEVEN: Uraniwa ni Zombie ga!

I have to get out of here.

She’d been driving down the US-1, trying to get to Soren’s house when her car broke down. It was a relatively new car, so it didn’t make any sense. She didn’t think twice when those guys stopped to help her. After all, it was in the middle of the busiest street in Homestead and there were dozens of cars all around. But the men weren’t worried about witnesses and had her unconscious in a few seconds.

And now she was here, in the darkness, struggling to stay awake. Rosemarie was no stranger to darkness. For years she’d wandered in the depths of her own mind, searching for a light to no avail. She’d tried to find hope, meaning, purpose, light. It wasn’t until she’d met Soren that she’d found it. He’d helped her see that there was something to live for. And he’d led her to God. That had to account for something.

God, where are you?

She believed that everything happened for a reason, so she didn’t question her situation. She didn’t wonder if she had done something wrong, or if God was just picking on her because he was bored. She just wanted to know where he was. In this moment, with her hands bound and the thin stream of light blinking in and out of view, where was he?

She’d heard his voice once, when she was just climbing out of the darkness. He’d said her name. Rosemarie. She still couldn’t describe his voice and she hadn’t heard it again. It was the closest she had ever felt to him, before or since. But she knew he was here somewhere. She’d just have to wait and find out.

“Okay, let’s move her now.”

Light flooded the room and her eyes snapped open.

“Well, would you look at that, the little rat is awake.”

Two dark figures approached her, and she recognized the deep, gruff voice of the speaker. He was the one who had asked if she needed any help.

“We gonna move her now, Omar?”

“Well, they’re almost ready for the shipment,” the one called Omar said, letting out a loud cough. “If we don’t get her over there soon, they’re not gonna pay us.” He grabbed her wrists and untied the rope.

Rosemarie tried to speak, but words wouldn’t come. Whatever damage she’d sustained wasn’t letting her talk, and she could barely move her limbs. One of the men—she couldn’t tell which one it was in the dark—helped her to her feet, draping her shoulder across his own.

*****

By the time they untied her and hauled her into the back of a car, she was fully awake. She could move her arms, although her legs were still numb. Her voice was back, but not as strong as usual. It was dark outside, that much she could tell, but the windows were tinted so dark that she couldn’t see a thing.

I’ve got to figure something out.

The men didn’t do much talking after they got in the car. Omar turned on the radio, but got annoyed when there was nothing but news on all stations.

“They don’t have any good music,” he complained, turning it off and rolling down the tinted window. “What is Miami without good music?”

Rosemarie leaned to the side to get a peek out the window. The windows were dangerously tinted so it was difficult to see out, but with the window open, she could make out tall buildings. They were in the city.

This is not good.

They were probably taking her to the port, which only meant one thing.

She was about to be human cargo.

 *****

The room they left her in this time was well lit. It was an empty basement, with the only entrance locked from the outside. She had located a tiny screwdriver under the stair.

That little screwdriver can’t do anything.

Rosemarie used it to tear through the tape that bound her arms together. The screwdriver would have to be good enough. She slipped it into her pocket. She might have to wait until morning before she could get home, but she wasn’t going to spend the night floating in a crate across the ocean. When her captors returned, she was going to give them a fight.

“Well, would you look at that. The little rat is awake.”

The man who called himself Omar opened the basement door and made his way down to her. He had changed his clothes since kidnapping her. He wore jeans and a blue vest, with a white t-shirt underneath. His shirt sleeves rolled back to reveal a star shaped tattoo on his wrist. She’d seen a tattoo like that before, on one of her uncles after he returned from prison.

So, not only is this guy currently engaging in criminal activity, he’s already a hardened criminal. It’s a wonder he hasn’t killed you already.

Rosemarie stepped back. She decided to keep a level head about this.

“You’ve used that line already.”

Omar laughed and wiped sweat from his brow. “I am entitled to use this line as many times as I want, you little rat. This is my operation. We play by my rules.”

“Are you coming to take me away?”

“So eager to leave?” Omar crossed his arms. “Of all the girls I’ve taken over the years, I’ve never had one respond like you.” He took a deep breath and leaned against one of the walls.

“Those stairs were a workout?” She wasn’t trying to upset him, but he didn’t look so good.

It might be a good time for me to escape now that he’s catching his breath.

Omar coughed again and shook his head. “I don’t know what it is. I’m just feeling a little sick.”

Rosemarie slipped her hand in her pocket. Now was as good as ever. She took a step for him, but he grabbed her other wrist.

“Don’t get any ideas, you little rat,” he rasped. “I’ve got a quota to meet this month, and you’re all I’ve got left.”

“Your hands are freezing!” She tried to free herself from his grasp, but he was holding too tightly.

“I’ve worked at this job for three years now, and I’m barely making ends meet.” His skin was growing pale and he was still sweating. “Doesn’t matter how many girls we give them, they just want more and more and more.”

“You’re sick, mister. Please, let me go.”

Omar swore under his breath, then coughed again. “I told Charlie that he could get home to his family when we finished for the night. He said he was feeling too sick to drive, and then he went and drove himself home!” Omar pulled her closer. “Well, I’m not weak like him. I’m sick and I’m finishing my job.”

Rosemarie pulled out the screwdriver with her other hand. He noticed it and laughed.

“You gonna try to escape, you little rat? It’ll take a lot more than a baby screwdriver to—”

Suddenly, he let go of her and doubled over. Rosemarie took a step back. He was coughing and screaming. “My head! My head!”

What is going on?

“Are you okay, mister?”

What are you asking, Rosemarie? Get out of there!

Omar continued screaming and dropped to the floor. She turned for the stairs.

“Wait! I’m dying, you little rat. Are you just going to leave me here?” The voice that came from the ground was small and raspy.

She looked down. His body had stopped moving and the voice was gone.

I need to get home.

Rosemarie turned away again. This time, she felt a hand on her shoulder.

She turned around to see who had grabbed her.

The face wasn’t Omar’s.

Neither was it human.

 *****

She slashed at its face with the screwdriver, but it caught her hand and tossed it aside. The room filled with the smell of rotting flesh. The creature growled at her, revealing a mouth full of broken teeth and horrid breath.

Rosemarie screamed. What is going on here?

She turned to run up the stairs. With his buddy gone, Omar must have left the door unlocked so he’d be able to get back out.

Omar.

She didn’t care for her captor, but he must’ve fallen prey to the creature first. Had it been in the basement with her the entire time? Why did it wait until she was about to escape to attack?

Rosemarie made it to the door and spun around. The creature was gaining on her. She lifted her leg and kicked its chest. The creature yelled and tumbled down the stairs. She winced as she heard a sickening crunch. There was no way it had survived that fall. Just to be certain it would leave her alone, she bolted the door behind her.

“What is going on here?” The question escaped her lips in a whisper. Being kidnapped was one thing. Facing a strange creature was another.

Too much adventure for one day. I’ve got to get out of here.

The house where she was being kept was empty, save for a few tables and chairs, and it was surprisingly well lit. She made her way through the various halls and rooms until she found the front door.

A phone sat on an end table, buzzing. She glanced at the screen. The call was from an unlisted number. She picked up the phone and silenced it.

I have to call home!

Rosemarie felt the blood drain from her face. She could not, for the life of her, remember what the number was.

Was it 305-284…no, that was our number when I was a kid. What about Soren’s number? I can’t believe I don’t know these numbers! This is what I get for keeping up with the times. I’m stranded somewhere in Miami and I don’t know anyone’s —

A loud crash from the direction of the basement jolted her from her thoughts.

“But the creature is dead!” She had heard it’s neck snap on the basement floor. How could it possibly have survived the fall. Rosemarie grabbed the nearest chair. When that creature appeared, she was going to defend herself.

It turned the corner and stood in the middle of the hallway, observing her. She couldn’t help but scream as it lunged toward her. She swung the chair as hard as she could, hitting it upside the head.

The creature tumbled to the ground, screaming, black ooze dripping from its head. It twitched, then stopped moving all together. She took a step forward to look at the creature. She had done some serious damage to its head with that chair.

This time, it’s definitely dead.

She was about to turn away from it when she noticed something on its arm. A star shaped tattoo. Just like the one that Omar had.

Don’t tell me…this is Omar? This must be what those quarantine guys were talking about. He was probably sick with that infection. And I killed him.

Rosemarie bolted from the house. She needed to put as much distance between herself and whatever Omar had become. She grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1. She had to tell the police what had just transpired in that house. She had to tell them to contact her family, to let them know that she was still okay.

But those reasons paled in comparison to the real reason she was calling 9-1-1:

It was the only number she still knew.

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The Watchtower: Episodes 1-3: Behind The Scenes

I know I asked you guys if I should write this, but I couldn’t wait for an answer, so I started it anyway! I thought it’d be interesting to do one of these mid-week, while we are waiting for the next episode to come out. (I know it may seem that you guys are the ones waiting, but I am enjoying this story as much as you are.)

In this post, you”ll get to go Behind the Scenes of Episodes 1-3, where I”ll explain some references to real stories, as well as discuss some of the more technical sides of writing that might interest you. 🙂

So, without further ado, let us begin!

Episode 1: The Varela Family

Lincoln is at a party and he is sitting with two of his buddy Daniel’s sisters. I purposely left them nameless and referred to them as “short haired blond sister” and “long haired blond sister” to highlight their genericness.

If you’ve been following the series, you know that the story is told from several different viewpoints. Here’s something for free: whenever it’s in Emmy’s point of view, she will call Toby by his full name: Tobias. She is the only one who will do this.

We learn right from the start that Lyn hates Lincoln. This was not part of the plan. Lyn was supposed to be an all-loving character (Jamison mentions this briefly in the first section of the episode). However, while writing this episode, I was learning about sonnet coronas in poetry, in which the second stanza begins with the last line of the first stanza, and so on. I wanted the start of Lyn’s section to reflect the end of Rosemarie’s section before it.
But if you remember the episode, Rosemarie says that she is so excited to see her brother again. I thought it would be fun to do a reversal: to have Lyn open up by saying she is not excited to see her brother again. After writing that, I had to go back and rethink Lyn’s character. For those who are caught up, Lyn and Lincoln go on a journey together. Now that she despised him, how was that going to play out in their journey? Thanks to sonnet coronas and a bit of experimentation, we get to find out!

The living room in the Varela House is set up just like the one in my house. Totally took my inspiration from there.

They live in Goulds Point, which looks exactly like Hardin Hammock, the community where I live.

Episode 2: Orange Juice and Soap

Orange juice and soap are a reference to Lincoln’s immaturity. If you hear mention of either one, that’s what it means. 🙂

Rosemarie and Lincoln discuss financial “allotments” given to them by their father. This comes from the parable of the Prodigal Son, taught by our very own Jesus Christ. Jamison uses Prodigal Son language when talking about Rosemarie, as he believes she will find her way back home, as she always has.

“Let her and Lincoln secede from the union.”
Rosemarie thinks to herself halfway through the episode. This is a reference to the American Civil War.

Jackson Memorial.
Haha this is a tough one. I have heard that most people don’t like Jackson Memorial Hospital. Some have referred to it as a “people-killer.” I do not personally know much about Jackson Memorial, so these opinions are not mine. I was merely using local sentiment about the place to root it in this area.

Episode 3: Explosion

There is mention of the guy who ate the face of another man. This is a real story that was circulated somewhere between 2010 and 2011. All I remember is that I was in high school, and I don’t really want to Google it. Just know that it was a real story, with the guy presumably on some kind of mind-altering drug. Messy.

“And, in other news, a roller coaster accident in New Jersey has left at least a dozen dead, thousands more terrified.”
This is on the news one evening. I wrote this shortly after having visited the Fairgrounds near FIU. I didn’t ride on any roller coasters, and there were no accidents, but I needed some horrible news for the TV, so I used this.

“When we get back from the break, we’ll talk about the startling new trend in female fashion, the—”
Haha this is a funny one, because I never said what the trend was. The point is to make it timeless: you can just insert whatever startling trend in female fashion is occurring in your day. Because there will always be one, this will never get old. Everyone will always be able to relate to it.

Medical dramas.
I think they are dumb. That is all.

“Yeah, and I’ve seen the videos of planes crashing into the Twin Towers.”
Wow. I don’t know how I let this one slip. I guess it was too good to pass up. We watch 9/11 conspiracies in my house, probably because we’re fascinated with the whole event. We have dozens of 9/11 coverage magazines and books. We lived during the event. It was a pretty big deal. I have had traumatizing dreams about Osama bin Laden chasing me around, trying to kill me. So, yeah, I wonder about it a lot. This particular remark is about the “no plane” theory, which purports that there were no planes at the World Trade Center, but that the few videos and pictures we have are fabrications. Pretty scary stuff to think about. But that’s what Lyn is talking about with her comment, and that’s why I used it.

“I’m clean, Lincoln. I have been for some time.”
This is tricky because it originally comes from True Grit, the remake. Rooster Cogburn says, “The jakes is occupied. And will be for some time.” So this is a half-reference, because I was thinking of his voice in my mind when I wrote it. And that’s probably how Jamison would’ve said it. This is a real father-son bonding moment.

Well, that”s a wrap. There”s more to come as the weeks progress, so keep your eyes peeled! Let”s talk about this post in the comments; I”m always on here, so I will respond. 🙂

The Watchtower: Mid-Season Recap

The Watchtower is projected to run 27-30 episodes, with two seasons of about 12-15 episodes each. This means that we are smack-dab in the middle of Season One. I think it’s time for a Mid-Season Recap! (For those who haven’t read, be warned, we are about to enter SPOILER TERRITORY. You can catch up here.)

In the first few episodes, we were introduced to the Varelas, a family with so many issues, they might as well have bought the whole subscription (I made a funny, hahaha!). There’s Jamison, the Dad, who is trying to be there for his kids even though he wasn’t there from the start. Then we have Emmy, the Mom, who had an affair that tore the family apart.

Next, we’ve got the Kids (who are actually all in their 20s and not living at home, but details are so unimportant). Lyn is the Firstborn, and she’s married to Toby, an all-around perfect guy. Lyn and her husband are about to move to Tennessee, so they wanted to see the family one last time. Lyn hates her brother Lincoln, though, so it makes for some pretty interesting conversation around the kitchen table.

Rosemarie is the Middle Child. She’s got a job, a boyfriend and an apartment, but she’s still not satisfied with her life. She and her brother Lincoln are really close, as she had to raise him after her mother’s affair left their family in shambles. Because of this, she really despises her parents, although she thinks her father is worse for taking her mother back. Messy.

Lastly, we have the Baby, Lincoln. He’s a party-hopping player, who doesn’t seem to mind spending all his father’s money on parties and girls. His family doesn’t like the way he lives, but Lyn hates it the most. Lincoln doesn’t really mind, as he seems to enjoy arguing with her for no apparent reason. There’s probably a deeper reason for their animosity toward one another, but it hasn’t been revealed just yet. Lincoln lives with no regret. Of all things to know about him, that is, by far, the most important.

So those are the characters. But what’s been happening in the story?

The family gets together for the birthday/going-away party, but everything is a mess. After a huge argument, Rosemarie storms out of the house. Rumors of a dangerous illness spreading in South Florida are confirmed when Goulds Point is quarantined by the government. Lincoln wants to find Rosemarie to tell her about the quarantine, but Jamison says no. In an act of defiance, Lincoln leaves anyway, with Toby and Lyn following him.

They discover that Rosemarie went to Homestead, to visit her boyfriend Soren. The quarantine will go into effect in five hours, so Lincoln, Toby, and Lyn (the Crew) decide to travel to Homestead to bring Rosemarie back. Jamison disapproves of this idea, saying that Rosemarie will come back home, as she always has. He stays behind and decides that if he is going to stay in Goulds Point, he wants to be more involved.

While traveling down to Homestead, the Crew encounters a roadblock, which forces them to take 248th Street down South, as opposed to the US-1. Toby makes the declaration that he will do whatever he can to help Lincoln find Rosemarie. Lincoln is impressed with the man’s loyalty to the Varela family.

The last episode ends with a teaser: Rosemarie appears to be tied up in a dark room somewhere. So we know that she’s not in Homestead, and we also know that the Crew is going to the wrong place.

And that’s a wrap. The first half of Season One has been pretty exciting so far. I really enjoy the character development, and I enjoy seeing the different personalities rubbing off on each other.

What do you guys think about Season One so far? What would you like to see more of in the upcoming episodes, or just in general? I was thinking about doing an Easter Egg/Behind the Scenes post. What do you guys think of that?

Let me know in the comments below!

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