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Monday, 20 January 2014

Jane Air (Second Draft)




“The body of a man was discovered in the woods behind the wreckage of the home, however authorities have not yet released the identity of the victim or the means of death. Now, time for a look at the hottest gadgets on the market this holiday season. Tony, what can we look forward to this year?”
            “Well, Sandra, it seems that this year’s hottest electronic is the HoloReader. It’s an electronic replacement for books. As you can see here, it’s pocket-sized, so you can carry it with you, no problem, and it can hold up to about 60 books at a time.”
            “But Tony, the screen is so small.”
            “Yes, Sandra, that’s the amazing part. The HoloReader projects a hologram of the pages right in front of your face. Here, I’ll show you. Just choose the book you’d like to read on the screen and there we go. A bit of Edgar Wallace for me.” [Laughter]
            “Well, that’s amazing-“

            Jane turned her attention away from the television. The ad was pointless, everyone in the city already had a HoloReader. Or a Lapbook. Or an E-story. No one carried real books anymore. No one except Jane. Seriously. She was the last person in the city who even owned real books.
This is what the human world was like at this time: Libraries had been turned into Chinese buffets and everyone had an abundance of shelving in their houses that they didn’t really need anymore. The fires that roasted people’s chestnuts at Christmas were often made from the pages of classic novels or Children’s bedtime stories. No longer did people live in fear of the paper cut, at least not while they were leisurely reading. Those suffering from OCD didn’t need to worry that a guest in their house might put a book back in the wrong place. There was a kind of freedom in the world that humans didn’t even know was possible. They didn’t realize how much physical books had negatively impacted their lives.
Jane had been watching the news in a small café near her home. In front of her she had a cup of green tea with four sugars, and a small plate covered in the crumby remains of a clubhouse sandwich. The tomatoes, which had been sliced so neatly and placed so carefully onto said sandwich by the cook in the kitchen had been removed and wrapped in a napkin that lay beside the plate. Jane never asked for the tomatoes to simply be left off the sandwich in the first place, but she always wrapped them neatly beside her plate.
In Jane’s had she held a battered old copy of American Psycho. She was immersed deeply in the plot, when a man at the table next to her leaned over and tapped her shoulder.
Jane tore herself from the story, horrified that someone might actually wish to speak to her.
“Hey, love, do you mind if we borrow your book, there? Our table’s a bit wobbly.” The man smiled, but around his table, his associates were snickering. The speaker wiggled the table, just a bit, to prove that he was telling the truth.
“I’m reading it.” Jane replied.
“No one reads real books anymore. We just assumed you had snatched it from underneath the table leg earlier. Let’s put it back, all right, sweetheart?”
The man’s friends burst into laughter. He just continued to smile. Jane stood up and left leaving behind her a cup of tea that had gone cold 20 minutes earlier, and a table full of hooligans guffawing and cackling.
I think now is a fine time to tell you what the story is really about. It isn’t just about a young scholar with a love for the musty smell of an old paperback. No, it’s about much more than that. It’s about a girl who finds herself (I mean her real self. Inside all of us, there is a person who we are afraid to be.) through her tireless attempt at proving that books are more than just wastes of space or collectors of dust. Jane saw books as something more than just stories. Jane saw books as weapons and tools. Jane saw books as a way to make the world a better place. Most people just didn’t look at them the right way.
            You see, soon after the incident in the café, Jane developed a bit of a hobby. Jane discovered that she liked to help people. But, not just help people. She liked to dress up in tights and boots and a mask and then she would help people.
She called herself Jane Air. (Because it was a clever play on words, not because she could fly or run really fast.)
This started one night while Jane was walking home from classes. She heard a disturbance from down an alleyway. Crime often occurs in alleyways. The beginning of hero stories often take place in alleyways as well. Almost no one becomes a hero on purpose. Ordinary people become heroes only after they find themselves victims of circumstance. Or after they walk down a dark space between two buildings.
Jane found herself in such a circumstance that night. She peered down the alleyway. There was a man waving a gun at another man. Humans love guns, this is important to know. Guns make humans feel like Gods. Gods can do whatever they want, or so humans think. Humans think this way because of things they read in books. Books are often wrong, but don’t tell the people who read books that.
Speaking of books, Jane held one in her hand that night. It was a large book. A law textbook, in fact. Humans were always making up new rules for things. Only special humans had a say, though, in what those rules should be. They were chosen to be responsible for the well-being of the world by making up fair and reasonable rules about everything. For instance, there were important rules about not killing other humans, or stealing from other humans, or touching other human’s genitals if they didn’t want you to. (None of these rules applied to humans with money.) It was thought that in order for society to function, the common masses needed rules.
Jane looked at her law textbook. The abundance of rules in there made it a very hefty book. She looked at the man with the gun. He was yelling. Then she looked at the man who was gunless. He was cowering on the ground. Then she threw the book.
Every one of Jane’s classmates had opted for a digital version of the textbook. After all, it was heavy and humans are not mules, they shouldn’t have to carry heavy things on their backs. But Jane liked the feel of a real book. She liked the smell of a real book. And as the book soared through the air towards the man with the gun, she was glad that she had chosen the physical copy. A HoloReader couldn’t have possibly crushed the gunman’s occipital bone in the same way that the enormous law textbook did. It cracked the bone into pieces, and crushed the spinal cord. The man crumpled to the ground. He was dead. Dead is kind of like sleeping, but without twitching or snoring or awakening to use the bathroom.
So, this was how Jane Air was born. Jane felt good, knowing that she had saved a person, or rather, had taken a bad man out of the world. The other man ran away, without even a thank you. Jane supposed he was just in shock. She retrieved her book. There was some blood on the cover, which she wiped away on the dead man’s shirt. Jane felt good, as she watched blood seep from the man’s cracked head. She watched it pool around the skull, the puddle getting larger and larger. She saw in it the reflection of herself and (I repeat this for a third time, because it is so so critical for your understanding of who Jane IS) she felt good.
Jane went home and showered. She showered for a long time. She used soaps and scrubs and afterwards she used powers and moisturizers and oh, goodness she just felt so GOOD about herself. She began work on her costume. Because, as we all know, you cannot be a super hero without a super get-up. Jane knew this just as well as anyone. She found a police scanner radio online for a good price. She bought it. She listened to it day after day. She was excited to show the world what good books could do, that they were more than just something to hold up a wobbly table, or something for a toddler to sit on. Books could perform justice.
It was a week before she found her next opportunity to save the day. There was a teenage boy who had robbed a liquor store right down the road from her apartment. Liquor was not good for teenagers. While adults used liquor to combat complications in their lives, it had the opposite effect on teenagers. It created more problems, like pregnancy and crime and poor grades. Jane needed to save this teenager from all of that.
She found him in an alleyway. He was breathing hard and his eyes were wide. He was a wild boy, Jane could see that clearly. But he didn’t see her, not in time. If he had looked slightly to the left he would have seen a girl with wide eyes and heavy breath, similar to his own. She swung her hardcover copy of Les Miserables right at his face. She made contact with his nose, which broke immediately. Jane thought about swinging again, but the man started gagging. Blood poured out of his nose and covered his face. He was choking on it. As he fell to the ground, Jane walked away. She took his bag with her.
Things went on like this for quite some time. Jane was excited to prove to the world that books still had a purpose. Books could save people. And saving people felt SO GOOD.
And time went on…
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare fractured a woman’s skull in four places after she threatened to stab a man on the subway platform.
Desperation by Stephen King pummeled a mother’s body after she left her child in the car on a warm day.
War and Peace crushed a man’s face after he refused to pay a taxi driver.
And Jane Eyre came down again and again on the head of a homeless man sleeping in an alleyway…

“And that marks the sixth mysterious death by blunt force trauma in the city in the last couple months. There are no suspects although there have been reports of someone dressed like a superhero in the vicinity of several of these incidents. A superhero who’s always just a little too late, it seems. What do you think, Tony?”
“Yeah, Sandra, I think that hero needs to get himself a bat mobile instead of taking public transportation. Which brings us to our next story, bus fares will be going up!”



Read the first draft here -> http://iwroteastoryformyself.blogspot.ca/2013/12/jane-air.html and (if you'd like) let me know how they compare.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Jane Air


“The body of a man was discovered in the woods behind the wreckage of the home, however authorities have not yet released the identity of the victim or the means of death. Now, time for a look at the hottest gadgets on the market this holiday season. Tony, what can we look forward to this year?”
            “Well, Sandra, it seems that this year’s hottest electronic is the HoloReader. It’s an electronic replacement for books. As you can see here, it’s pocket-sized, so you can carry it with you, no problem, and it can hold up to about 60 books at a time.”
            “But Tony, the screen is so small.”
            “Yes, Sandra, that’s the amazing part. The HoloReader projects a hologram of the pages right in front of your face. Here, I’ll show you. Just choose the book you’d like to read on the screen and there we go. A bit of Edgar Wallace for me.” [Laughter]
            “Well, that’s amazing-“


            Jane flicked the TV off. The ad was pointless, everyone in the city already had a HoloReader. Or a Lapbook. Or an E-story. No one carried real books anymore. No one except Jane. Seriously. She was the last person in the city who even owned real books.
This is what the human world was like at this time: Libraries had been turned into Chinese buffets and everyone had an abundance of shelving in their houses that they didn’t really need anymore. The fires that roasted people’s chestnuts at Christmas were often made from the pages of classic novels or Children’s bedtime stories. No longer did people live in fear of the paper cut, at least not while they were leisurely reading. Those suffering from OCD didn’t need to worry that a guest in their house might put a book back in the wrong place. There was a kind of freedom in the world that humans didn’t even know was possible. They didn’t realize how much physical books had negatively impacted their lives.
            But this wasn’t how Jane saw it. Jane saw books as something more than just stories. Jane saw books as weapons and tools. Jane saw books as a way to make the world a better place. Most people just didn’t look at them the right way.
            You see, Jane had a bit of a hobby. Jane liked to help people. But, not just help people. She liked to dress up in tights and boots and a mask and then she would help people.
She called herself Jane Air, because it was a clever play on words, not because she could fly or run really fast.
It had all started a month or so earlier, while Jane had been walking home from classes alone at night. She heard a disturbance from down an alleyway. Crime often occurs in alleyways. The beginning of hero stories often take place in alleyways as well. Almost no one becomes a hero on purpose. Ordinary people become heroes only after they find themselves victims of circumstance. Or after they walk down a dark space between two buildings.
Jane found herself in such a circumstance that night. She peered down the alleyway. There was a man waving a gun at another man. Humans love guns, this is important to know. Guns make humans feel like Gods. Gods can do whatever they want, or so humans think. Humans think this way because of things they read in books. Books are often wrong, but don’t tell the people who read books that.
Speaking of books, Jane held one in her hand that night. It was a large book. A law textbook, in fact. Humans were always making up new rules for things. Only special humans had a say, though, in what those rules should be. They were chosen to be responsible for the well-being of the world by making up fair and reasonable rules about everything. For instance, there were important rules about not killing other humans, or stealing from other humans, or touching other human’s genitals if they didn’t want you to. (None of these rules applied to humans with money.) It was thought that in order for society to function, the common masses needed rules.
Jane looked at her law textbook. The abundance of rules in there made it a very hefty book. She looked at the man with the gun. He was yelling. Then she looked at the man who was gunless. He was cowering on the ground. Then she threw the book.
Every one of Jane’s classmates had opted for a digital version of the textbook. After all, it was heavy and humans are not mules, they shouldn’t have to carry heavy things on their backs. But Jane liked the feel of a real book. She liked the smell of a real book. And as the book soared through the air towards the man with the gun, she was glad that she had chosen the physical copy. A HoloReader couldn’t have possibly crushed the gunman’s occipital bone in the same way that the enormous law textbook did. It cracked the bone into pieces, and crushed the spinal cord. The man crumpled to the ground. He was dead. Dead is kind of like sleeping, but without twitching or snoring or awakening to use the bathroom.
So, this was how Jane Air was born. Jane felt good, knowing that she had saved a person. The other man ran away, without even a thank you. Jane supposed he was just in shock. She retrieved her book. There was some blood on the cover, which she wiped away on the dead man’s shirt.
She went home and immediately began on her costume. She found a police scanner radio online for a good price. She bought it. She listened to it day after day. She was excited to show the world what good books could do.
It was a week before she found her next opportunity to save the day. There was a teenage boy who had robbed a liquor store right down the road from her apartment. Liquor was not good for teenagers. While adults used liquor to combat complications in their lives, it had the opposite effect on teenagers. It created more problems, like pregnancy and crime and poor grades. Jane needed to save this teenager from all of that.
She found him in an alleyway. He was breathing hard and his eyes were wide. He was a wild boy, Jane could see that clearly. But he didn’t see her, not in time. If he had looked slightly to the left he would have seen a girl with wide eyes and heavy breath. She swung her hardcover copy of Les Miserables right at his face. She made contact with his nose, which broke immediately. Jane thought about swinging again, but the man started gagging. Blood poured out of his nose and covered his face. He was choking on it. As he fell to the ground, Jane walked away. She took his bag with her.
Things went on like this for quite some time. Jane was excited to prove to the world that books still had a purpose. Books could save people.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare fractured a woman’s skull in four places after she threatened to stab a man on the subway platform.
Desperation by Stephen King pummeled a mother’s body after she left her child in the car on a warm day.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix crushed a man’s face after he refused to pay a taxi driver.
And Jane Eyre came down again and again on the head of a homeless man sleeping in an alleyway.


“And that marks the sixth mysterious death by blunt force trauma in the city in the last couple months. There are no suspects although there have been reports of someone dressed like a superhero in the vicinity of several of these incidents. A superhero who’s always just a little too late, it seems. What do you think, Tony?”
“Yeah, Sandra, I think that hero needs to get himself a bat mobile instead of taking public transportation. Which brings us to our next story, bus fares will be going up!”




Monday, 18 November 2013

A Woman's Work


Monica looked at the lump on her floor with contempt. What an idiot! She knew she would have to kill him one day, but why did it have to be today of all days? Today, when there was so much to do for the luncheon tomorrow? Bread and pickles to be bought, finger sandwiches to be made, napkins to be folded and the body of a no-good, dirty-rotten, pig-bodied, scum-sniffing, head-balding husband to take out back and bury.
            And it wasn’t like she hadn’t told him she would kill him. She’d told him a thousand times. Once, when the whisky had stained her most stylish throw pillow. Again, when he’d vomited on the dinner table while the Andersons were over for an evening meal. She’d told him just two days ago after she’d found him passed out on the front lawn, his face pressed right up against the ass of one of those ugly gnomes he kept bringing home for the garden.
            Those gnomes. He kind of looked like one of them, she laughed to herself. Maybe she should set him up in the garden with some overalls and a pitchfork. Surely, no one would know the difference! At this she laughed and laughed and laughed. She laughed until tears streamed down her face. She laughed until the muscles in her abdomen screamed and begged her to stop. She laughed until her knees buckled and she had fallen to the floor next to the body of her husband. She laughed until laughter would come no more.
            That was when she noticed his face. One eye was open, gazing dumbly into the abyss. The other was bashed in to the point where one couldn’t tell if it was opened or closed. His unshaven face was flecked with pieces of his own flesh. His mouth hung open, tongue flaccid and sagging out from between his lips. She knew that tongue would taste of whisky. Her stomach turned.
            Cliff had been a good man, when Monica had married him. But he had a problem with whisky. He had liked the way the drink felt, rolling down his throat. He had liked the way it took his world, crumpled it up and tossed it away, like paper into a wastebasket. He had liked forgetting.
            But it got him into trouble. He got arrested and he got punched and he got spit on and he got thrown into the street. And of course, in the end, he got bludgeoned to death with a clothes iron. But that’s the thing with whisky. You take the good of it and you get the bad of it.
            Monica stood up. She wiped the blood from her hand on a napkin, one of the napkins for tomorrow’s luncheon. She would have to run to the store and buy some more of those this afternoon. She looked around the room. A new carpet would do as well. And a new sofa. She looked down and added a new dress to the list. Everywhere she looked, pieces of her husband had splashed and splattered. Even in death, the man couldn’t keep the house clean!
            Monica sighed, and went to work. A woman’s work is never done, that is certain, she laughed.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

March 2045


MARCH 2045

To Whoever finds this,

Zombies are living among us. No, they’re not breathing or expelling waste, but they are going about their daily lives. I saw one mail a letter the other day. A LETTER. Who does a zombie have to send a letter to? I mean, he probably ate his whole family years ago.
Oh, you have so many questions now. I’m getting to them. First though, I’m telling you my story. Sort of.
My mom was born during the Zombie Apocalypse. Or, if you’d rather I be politically correct, the Disease Era. My grandparents both died at some point during the chaos, but Mom was raised by a group of refugees who managed to keep their brains from being eaten.
Actually, I’d like to pause here to correct myself. I was working off a stereotype there, but if you’re reading this in the future or if you’re from a different planet, you need to know the truth. Zombies don’t just eat brains. They eat flesh of any kind. That’s why we’re able to keep them contained these days, at least for now. They eat our dead. No more burying corpses. That’s kind of gross anyways, why did people ever think that was a good idea?
Then there was my dad. He was 4 years old when the disease struck. He was bitten really early on and his hand had to be amputated, but they were able to stop the spread of the Strigoi virus and he never became a zombie. Anyways, as you probably guessed, my father was part of the same refugee group as my mother, so they grew up together and dire situations and hatred of zombies brought them together. Great Hollywood story. Or I think it is. Hollywood isn’t a thing anymore.
That’s the funny thing about humans, isn’t it? They make all these scenarios up and turn them into movies, but no one ever takes them seriously or truly prepares for something that could happen. I’ve watched a ton of zombie movies and even though there isn’t a single one that gets them totally right, there’s a lot of stuff that was predicted correctly. So why weren’t we coming up with answers to the zombie problem, just in case? Next I hope aliens invade, and we’ll see how we deal with that one.
Last week, there was this big revelation that the zombies had formed a political party. Party Z, of course was the name. I think they probably thought “Flesh-Eating Party” sounded a little too much like a typical Saturday night for them.
Okay, I know that joke was bad.
Anyway, so the zombies want to represent themselves in the parliament, because they have needs that differ from the human population and they want their voices to be heard. They’re also pissed about some racism that’s been going on. Yeah, zombies are more sensitive than you’d think.
Oh! This is important. My Uncle Fred is a zombie. I can’t believe I didn’t tell you that already. The thing is, we don’t see Uncle Fred very often because, well, my dad’s a bit pissed at him. Yeah, he’s the guy who munched on Dad’s hand. And tried to eat his face. So, he stops by for birthdays and stuff.
They’re still pretty similar to humans, you know. Except that they can’t really talk. The few things they do say take forever to get out. I mean, like forever! And that might be okay for a zombie. They can only die if you sever their brain stem. Basically, they live forever.
THIS IS WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT PARTY Z!
By the time they’re done discussing their platforms and what they want changed, I’ll probably be dead anyway, so I’m not worried about it.
Okay, fine, I’ll tell you more about what the zombies eat. I know that you probably don’t care about politics. Even politicians don’t care about politics.
So, there’s these little buildings set up outside of hospitals. All the dead bodies go there and then the zombies go in and get their portions and that’s that. Easy. And environmentally efficient. I guess some people are pissed because they don’t want their loved ones to become Zombie Snacks.  Would you rather have them buried in the ground to be Worm Snacks? Everyone’s gonna get munched on someday, it’s just a matter of who’s doing the munching.
I went to a graveyard on a history trip last May. Holy, it was the creepiest place. Just all those dead bodies, rotting there underground. Who would want to go there when they die?
They’re also talking about teaching us Zombie anatomy in schools. Which I’m all for because I really want to know whether or not they go to the bathroom. It’s not really something I know how to politely ask Uncle Fred, and I also have no desire to spend three hours waiting for an answer. And I’ve never seen a zombie in a public restroom.
I do know that zombies can’t procreate. Thank goodness, because human babies are creepy enough, I can’t even imagine what they would be like with dead eyes and saggy flesh. Also, can you imagine two zombies doing it?
So, that’s where we’re at right now with the zombies. A civilized society, for now. Mostly because the zombies know that they need the human race for food and humans don’t want to get their faces chewed on.
            So, I hope if you’re reading this, things are still going well. I’ll continue writing as things continue to change on the zombie front.

Best wishes,

Johnny Uman

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Devil's Visit


Author's Note: In the beginning, I had trouble coming up with a character name. By the end, a name seemed unnecessary, because I think, in a way, this is a situation that a lot of people find themselves in.


_______ didn’t care for other people. _______ thought other people were rude and ignorant and untrustworthy.
            People, according to _______, were out to please only themselves. This is why there was only ugliness in the world.
            People were selfish, _______ was sure about that. And that was why wars happened and why people made fun of others and why people threw their garbage on the ground instead of carrying it a few extra feet to throw it into the garbage can. People were out to please only themselves.
            _______ was pondering all the ignorant and foolish things that humans do when a knock sounded from the door.
            This was just what _______ needed, a person to spout out at. Since the telephone was invented, no one but religious fanatics came to the door unannounced, _______ was sure of that.
            _______ opened the door to find a person standing there. The person was dressed in ordinary clothes, and had an ordinary face.
            “Yes?” _______ noticed the person carried no pamphlets or paperwork of any kind, which was the custom of religious people who knocked on unsuspecting doors.
            “Hello. I’m The Devil, and I’ve come to wish you a good day.”
            _______ was nothing short of flabbergasted. There had been talk of people being visited in their homes by God, but The Devil? Surely that was only a thing of stories.
            “Well, I just don’t believe you.” _______ began to close the door, but The Devil slipped inside before it could shut.
            I must stop to assure you that this was indeed The Devil, and not some kind of imposter. Going door-to-door impersonating the Devil would be insane and a person who did such a thing should seek psychological help, that’s something that I am sure of.
            “If you’re The Devil, then what on Earth are you doing here?”
            “God’s having a day off,” The Devil replied, while scanning the room. “Not much for decorating, are you?”
            _______ said nothing. The Devil was standing in the middle of the living room! This didn’t seem like an appropriate time to talk about home décor.
            “Not much of a talker. Okay, let’s cut to the chase. I’m here to tell you about how things really are.”
            “What things?”
            “Things in the world, of course. They’re quite a bit simpler than you might think. Do you mind if I take a seat?”
            _______ said nothing. The Devil sat.
            “Some coffee would be nice as well. I’ve had a long drive.”
            _______ prepared the coffee and sat down.
            “So, you seem to think you know how this world is run, don’t you?”
            _______ said nothing. The Devil continued.
            “You think the world is ugly. And some of it is. That’s my department, you see? And I gotta say, I’m proud of it. But, my old friend God has asked me for a favor, so I have to tell you,” The Devil paused for a sip of coffee. “Ah, that’s not too bad, thank you. Anyway, I gotta tell you, you need to look around. See the birds and the flowers and the old people holding hands? That stuff’s beauty, and it is around. I don’t like it too much, but it’s around.”
            The Devil took another sip. _______ said nothing.
            “And there’s waterfalls and rainforests and bunnies snuggling. Kittens playing with yarn and fuzzy pink sweaters. And candy and smiles and babies laughing. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING?”
            _______ started at the sudden shouting, but said nothing.
            “Arrr, listen, I don’t like talking about this stuff, but like I said, I’m doing God a favor. There’s kisses and rainbows and dancing and milkshakes and Robert Munsch stories! Do you understand that there’s beautiful things in the world?”
            _______ said nothing. Then _______ spoke. _______ said, “I know there’s beauty in the world. But I’m afraid. Because the beautiful things don’t last. The beautiful things are temporary.”
            The Devil said nothing.
            “It seems like the ugly things, the wars and the sexism and the littering, those kind of things never go away.
            The Devil thought about this. Generally, it was not The Devil’s job to defend the world’s beauty. The Devil was proud of the ugly work that had been done. But, The Devil had promised God, and God was a good friend.
            “Maybe, it’s attitudes like that that chase the beauty away. Did you ever think about that? Maybe it’s being blinded by fear that let’s the ugly parts of the world sneak in and take over. Maybe people need to stop worrying that the good things in the world are going to go away, and they should start appreciating them a little more. Maybe- Ah, I can’t talk about this anymore. It’s not my area, you know? And I don’t want to make all my hard work irrelevant, you know?”
            _______ said nothing. The Devil stood up.
            “Just, pay a little more attention to the nice stuff, okay? I have another appointment, so I gotta get going.”
            With that, The Devil left _______ to sit in silence and think about the good things in the world. _______ thought about the people who bought the homeless coffee and sandwiches and baby birds hatching and swinging on the swings in the park. _______ thought about sunsets and sunrises and phone calls just to say “hello.”
            And before _______ knew it, it was night, and the whole day had been taken up by thoughts of beautiful things, and _______ wasn’t so sure that the world was ugly.