October 15, 2017

I tweeted a few days ago about Danny’s paternity test — like did we ever do anything to confirm his paternity or did we take Todd Manning’s word for it?

Couldn’t get it out of my head.

So on a day when I have to write an entire paper and study for a quiz…I wrote a short story.

You’re all going to scream at me to write more. I know this. And I love you for it.

I shall not.

Because I’m intrigued by the concept and how it might play into a larger narrative. So I might take this concept and go with it.

Or, hey, if GH is really reading Damaged (and I swear if Drew ends up being a gaslighting con artist, I’ll know they are), maybe they’ll take this idea, too.

So enjoy a ficlet, Blood Will Tell. I have to go write that paper and do laundry.

Notes: This is set in the future after the Jason and Drew reveal has been settled. It is complete. For the moment. I might do something with this concept at a future date.


Elizabeth Webber knocked hesitantly and waited for the door to open, pondering exactly what she would say. How she would even explain the insanity of why she was here.

And why she couldn’t quite settle the nausea in her stomach because if the results were not wrong…

Sam opened it and squinted. “Hey. Elizabeth. What are you doing here?” She stepped back to allow her to enter the penthouse. Elizabeth did so, always marveling at how different this place looked than the first she had been here—God, twenty years ago. How was that even possible? Sam and Drew had stayed in the penthouse after everything had shaken out the year before and Jason had taken a smaller apartment downtown, closer to the warehouse.

“You remember the project Jake worked on for Christmas?” Elizabeth asked as Sam closed the door. “He sent for all those kits.”

“Yeah, the genealogy project.” Sam nodded. “He wanted to see how everyone connected now that…” She sighed. “With Drew. Did he get the results back?”

“Yeah.” Elizabeth drew out her tablet with the Ancestry app was already up. “He connected everyone’s kit to their profile this online tree—Spinelli helped him. But…” She handed Sam the tablet.

Sam frowned down at the screen. “There’s no…” She raised her eyes. “Danny’s DNA isn’t…it doesn’t show…” She swallowed. “It doesn’t show a match. Between Jake and Danny. Just…Danny and Scout. And Jake and Scout.”

“Because they have the same mother, and Jason and Drew’s DNA is the same.” Elizabeth closed her eyes. “Jake was upset when he got the results but he doesn’t…he doesn’t know the implications. He just thinks the test was wrong. And with everything that’s happened with Drew and Jason…he’s been finding it hard to trust any of us when we tell him things. This…he doesn’t understand what it means that Danny’s DNA isn’t…”

“It’s a mistake,” Sam said flatly. She handed the tablet back. “We did the test wrong. We’ll do it again—” She pressed a fist to her mouth. “Oh. God. It’s wrong. It has to be wrong.”

“It has to be wrong.” Elizabeth nodded. “Because…it means if it’s not—”

“And it’s not possible. Because—” Sam scrubbed her hands over her face. “He tested everyone. All the Quartermaines he could find, right? All of your family. And the Spencers.”

“Yeah, everything else showed up…as expected. He, Cam, and Aidan have the same mother. He shows up as linked to Scout because Jason and Drew are—were—identical twins.” Elizabeth looked away. “Sam, it doesn’t—it doesn’t make sense why this is the only—”

“I never questioned the results,” Sam murmured. “I should have, but I wanted it to be the truth. And he looks like Jason, doesn’t he?” Her dark eyes found hers, desperate. “He looks like Jason. And Jake.”

“I know. I asked Jake not to say anything for now. I told him I’d contact the company. I’d do something. We’d get it fixed.” Elizabeth swallowed. “Sam…I have to know. I have to know if it’s a lie. If I’ve—” Had done it again. Trusted another sociopath. Oh, God.

“Yeah.” Sam looked at her. “God, Elizabeth. We’ve all—we’ve all believed him. Let him around—” She turned away. “My mother has the kids out at some circus.  I was supposed to be working.” She made her way the sofa and sat down. “It can’t be true.”

“Do you have anything of Danny’s?” Elizabeth asked softly. She drew out a plastic bag with Jake’s toothbrush. “We can take it to the hospital and run the test for the same markers.” She drew out a second bag. “And we can run this.”

Sam stared at the second toothbrush and swallowed. “You still have his toothbrush?”

“He didn’t take everything when we broke up.” Elizabeth sighed. “I don’t know if it’s any good, so maybe we could get something from Drew.”

“Yeah. Those…those are quick, right? We could…we could know today.” Their eyes met. “I have to know. Now that it’s…Oh, God.” She got to her feet. “It’s not going to change anything,” she said, fiercely. “Not for Danny. Or Jason.”

“Or Jake.” Elizabeth put the bags back in her purse. “Danny is his brother. And he’s Jason’s son. Drew’s stepson. It doesn’t change a thing.” Except it would change everything.


Brad Cooper had only blinked at them when Elizabeth had asked him to run the test quickly and quietly, but he wasn’t an idiot. He took the four toothbrushes and promised them results within a few hours.

And then they went to the cafeteria to wait.

“It was supposed to be over,” Sam murmured. “It was supposed to be done.” Her hands tightened around her coffee. “It was all so horrible finding out Drew wasn’t Jason. That Helena was still…torturing us all. Getting his memories back. Forgiving myself for not—for not seeing. Breaking Jason’s heart to stay with Drew.”

“Seeing the disgust in Jason’s eyes when he saw I was dating Franco,” Elizabeth murmured. “For him…it was all the same. He hadn’t…he didn’t know.” Or had he been right all along? She’d walked out on Franco when his jealousy and distrust had been too much for her to handle, and she was proud of that.

But if…if Franco had been lying about Sam all along…had he been lying about Michael? Had he just…lied and lied and lied? How desperate was she to believe him at all?

“We were supposed to be moving on,” Sam continued. “Figuring out a way to make it all work as a family.” She closed her eyes.

“Jake and Jason were just….getting closer. He was starting to see Jason as his father.” And to see Jason’s eyes when he’d realized Jake was alive—to get that moment she thought she’d stolen by lying about Drew’s identity.

Elizabeth’s phone vibrated and she looked at it. The caller ID was Brad.


Sam stared down at the results in growing horror and swallowed. “Oh. God.”

“It’s true, isn’t it?”

“Danny and Jake don’t share any DNA markers,” Brad said, with a bit of regret. “Danny’s markers match this sample—and Jake’s matches this. They have completely different fathers and mothers.”

“Oh, God.”

Elizabeth took Sam’s by the elbow and steered her to a chair. She knew what it was like for it to hit you—to know that you had been raped. To feel it in your bones.

And Elizabeth had brought Sam’s rapist into their lives. Lived with him. Loved him.

“We should call Dante,” Elizabeth said after a moment. “Because…we can prove it now.”

Sam looked at her, her dark eyes dilated in shock. “Prove…Oh. Oh, God.”

The paper slid from her hand as she bolted for the door and the bathroom.

“I’m sorry,” Brad offered.

“Thanks,” Elizabeth picked up the papers, her fingers trembling. “I don’t know what…Thank you.” She tucked them into her purse and followed Sam to the bathroom.

She could hear the retching. The tears. “Sam…let me call Drew. You need him.”

She heard the sink run and then the door opened. Sam opened it, her eyes bloodshot, her mascara a black inky mess streaking down her cheeks. “Yeah. Yeah, I need him. And we should call Jason because we can’t keep—he needs to know.” She stepped out of the bathroom. “And let’s…let’s call Dante.” She closed her eyes. “And I want my mother. Can you call her? I can’t seem to—”

“Yeah, let’s…” Elizabeth knew Patrick’s old office hadn’t been used since he’d left the hospital two years earlier and it was just down the hall from the lab. She led Sam there and settled her on the sofa.

“I woke up this morning and everything made sense,” Sam murmured. She put her face in her hands, resting her elbows on her knees. “I have a husband that I love. Two children that are everything to me. And you know, I guess I still have those things. But it just feels like it’s all gone. Like I don’t understand it.”

Elizabeth took out her cell phone and made three quick calls, asking Drew, Jason, and Alexis to meet them at the penthouse. And then…called Dante to ask him to meet them in about a hour.

“I don’t know what to do next.” Sam looked at her blankly. “What do I do?”

“You put one foot in front of the other,” Elizabeth murmured. “And you keep doing that until you look up one day, and it’s behind you. And you hope like hell that day comes fast.”

October 13, 2017

I need to get myself moving on making my older stories available in ebook format, so here’s a poll to pick the next one:

I also did some work on the Sorting By Holiday page and added Alternate History summaries to the Sort by Title Page.

October 11, 2017

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Fanfiction 101

Many moons ago, I posted about Sonny and discussed the way I approach writing his character. Despite loathing him much of the time on screen for the last decade, I used to genuinely love and adore Sonny, so I had to kind of figure out how to bridge the two. I had always intended to come back do these posts for other characters (Carly, Jason, Elizabeth, Patrick, Robin) so that basically I’d have it for the big six characters I wrote about the most.

With the recast of Jason back in 2014, I put it on the back burner to see where we’d go. With Steve coming back and the discussions on Facebook and Twitter about the possibility that Billy Miller would no longer be playing Jason but the twin, I decided the time was good for this.

So Jason Morgan was one of the my first soap crushes. I thought Jonathan Jackson’s Lucky was adorable, but Jason back in the late 90s was sex on a stick, so if you came of age in that period (I was born in 1984), you loved Jason. There really wasn’t much he could do wrong.

What I think the show attempted to do with the recast was interesting but not really well explored (shocking, I know.) I wrote a bit about it in Safe to Love You. Why was Billy’s Jason so different? The lack of memories? Why does Billy’s version continue to be different? And why do people accept him as Jason Morgan when he is so clearly not the version we all watched for the first fifteen years or so?

It comes down to why Jason Morgan is who he is and why it makes complete sense that given the way the story with Billy was constructed that his take on the character should be different.


On Personality

Jason Morgan used to be Jason Quartermaine. This is a fact that people know like they know their middle names. But what I think people genuinely don’t remember or don’t really know is that Jason Morgan didn’t have to be way he is. He’s a social construct.

If you poll most of the people who enjoy Billy’s Jason, you’ll likely find that the majority of them are probably younger and didn’t watch very much in the late 90s when Steve’s Jason was taking shape. For them, when they talk about how one-note Jason was getting and the Borg, they’re not entirely wrong. Because if you don’t remember the accident and those first four years, you simply won’t get it and he might seem boring. Jason can be a flat character when the writing doesn’t serve him. Steve was mostly able to transcend it, but I’m sure that’s partially why he left. Because Jason’s stories were one-note and there wasn’t any more character growth.

Jason Quartermaine was the perfect son and his loss fractured the Quartermaine beyond repair. It has never recovered. When Jason woke up, not only did he not remember being Jason Quartermaine, he had no concept of human nature. His frontal lobe had been damaged and basically he was reset to zero.

And everyone treated him like he was damaged — Tony Jones did so even before the Carly and Michael debacle. Everyone looked at him like he was something less than human, something much less that the person he’d been. So Jason became angry. And when the anger wasn’t really constructive, he learned to stop giving a damn. He walked away from the Quartermaines and took up with Sonny because Sonny didn’t expect him to be anyone else.

So when I say that Jason Morgan as a personality is a social construct, I mean that his character developed in response to the pressures of that time. He got his anger under control (though it’s still there) and became reserved. He was also relatively honest and open once you gave him a reason to be. He didn’t care about many people, but once he did, that was it. He’d die for you. Particularly if you treated him like a person.

That’s where the loyalty to Carly and Sonny comes from. They looked to him as someone who could fix problems, not a damaged nobody lucky to dress himself in the morning. That’s why he never went back to Robin after she returned in 2005. For him, there was no point. She would never see him as a full person on his own. She wanted him on her terms.

There’s also the complication of the Michael storyline here — I’m pretty sure he talked himself into being love with in Carly back then. It was always about Michael with that relationship and once it was clear he’d never be back in Michael’s life as a father, Jason did walk away from Carly and she happily moved on to Sonny without looking back.


On Romance

His relationships with Elizabeth, Courtney, and Sam can be explained in this way. Courtney was a rebound at a time when he was trying to figure out what exactly Elizabeth wanted from him. Courtney was simple and basic — she didn’t ask him to be anyone else. When she did, he walked. Sam always saw him as his own person — the times when they’ve had issues is when she doesn’t respect that separation. But like or hate them, the Jason and Sam relationship has lasted for so long because Sam has always been willing to accept him the way he is and what he’s willing to give her.

I say this as a Jason/Elizabeth fan girl. Because Elizabeth has expected him to be more than what he gives her, and Jason isn’t always okay with that. In 2002, she walked because he didn’t respect her part in the Alcazar business. In 2008, she wanted to be an equal part in his life. And he didn’t want that.

Why he doesn’t want that for Elizabeth and it doesn’t seem to bother him with Sam is something I’ve tried to work out in my head, but I’m not there yet. Because I don’t want it to be boiled down he loved Elizabeth too much. I think it’s probably more that he’s never really gotten past that first outright rejection back in 2001, the Zander nonsense in 2002 and then the Jake paternity fiasco. He’s never, I think, trusted her again.  She was one of the few people he’d ever really opened up to about Michael, Robin, and Sonny and she definitely damaged that relationship in 2001 and 2002.  Even if he understands it (and I always thought he did), I think part of him just never got past it.

In fact, that’s one of the major problems in the Liason story — they never ever dealt with any of the reasons they went wrong in the first place. When they reunited in 2006, the issues of 2001-03 were brushed over, but they’re the foundation of what went wrong and why I’m not sure they can ever be together. Not without the show really doing some soul searching.

That sounds a lot more defeated than I feel about them as a couple, but remember — this is an exploration of who Jason is today, not how he felt in 2003, 2006, or 2008. So much time has passed and he’s walked away from her. How can you reconcile that as a writer? That’s usually the hardest part about character motivation. You can do anything in a soap opera, but it should come from character.


On the Recast

When Billy Miller’s Jason woke up, he was warm, charming, funny. And I adored his Jake Doe. I loved the idea that this is who Jason is at his core. It’s the soft side that we don’t get to see because so much of his shell is rock hard. Without the pressure of the Quartermaines, without the attitude of being damaged, Jason becomes who he was naturally — Jason Quartermaine.  That’s who Elizabeth fell in love with, but it’s not the Jason that Sonny, Sam, or Carly ever really appreciated it. It explains why there was no sense of connection.

And even though ostensibly, he got his memories back for the most part, I’m glad he didn’t try to emulate Steve. Because the time as Jake Doe is also part of Jason now (if he indeed remains Jason) and that needs to matter. All those people crying about this not being Jason — well, it is Jason. It’s Jason Quartermaine with Jason Morgan’s memories, and I think that’s an interesting way to approach it.

Of course, the odds are that Billy is gonna be Drew and Steve gets to go back to Jason, but until that holds true, this is how I think about the character.


Bible: Jason Morgan

So what is the core of how I approach Jason, regardless of time period?

Jason Morgan woke up in 1996 after an accident damaged his frontal lobe and erased his memories. He has mostly learned to accommodate for the brain damage. He is intensely loyal to people he loves, almost to the point of self-destruction. He still thinks he has to prove to the world he isn’t damaged and fights every day to prove his own worth. His greatest strength is his loyalty, but it is also his weakness because it is difficult for him to cut ties and walk away.  He unconsciously seeks out people who give him chances to prove himself and does have a hero complex. It’s not for glory, it’s about self-worth.

Before 2012, he had two children: Jake (Elizabeth) and Danny (Sam). He also had a miscarriage with Courtney and buried Sam’s unnamed daughter. He helped raise Carly’s children: Michael, Morgan, and Joss. Family also includes a deceased set of siblings (Emily and AJ), deceased father (Alan), and adopted mother, Monica. Close family friends: Sonny, Carly, Bobbie, Spinelli.

I went through and updated the Recent Updates page and fixed the workshop links for some the stories. I didn’t go further into July, but the ongoing stuff is done.

I also added tags to Bittersweet so it now shows up on the Year Written and Year Set pages. I added Ghosts of Elizabeths Past to the Sort by Title Page, and I also added summaries for all Ficlets on that page. I’ve been remiss in finishing up that project. My hope is that that page serves as kind of as master list for you guys to keep track of what you’ve read any what you haven’t. (You could literally print it and check stuff off). Adding summaries, I think, helps.

I spent a lot of time in my life doing the Sort Stories section so I hope you guys find it useful. If you haven’t been there in a while, check it out.

A note about the Workshop pieces: They will not be tagged or listed in any of the Sort sections because that’s not what they’re meant for. They’re not supposed to be as good as what I post elsewhere (though I’d argue they’re slightly better than my 2002-03 work. They’re not edited for typos or content and they’re just a way to train my inner editor and work through some concepts.

Case in point? The Homecoming series is me thinking through a storyline about magic. I got two parts in and there’s stuff I like, but there’s also stuff I wish I had done differently. Posting in the Workshop lets me get feedback but I don’t feel married to any of it. I can rewrite, revise, reuse at will. None of that stuff is permanent, so enjoy it but it’s not like any of my other work and I’m not going to apologize for its lack of cohesion or quality.

You read the Workshop at your own risk, just as you read the Fiction Graveyard at your own risk.

October 10, 2017

An update that is not for the Workshop. That’s insane right? So I didn’t watch October 9’s episode yet, but enough of Twitter was livetweeting that I got the gist and had this idea this morning.

If you’re currently not watching (and who would blame you? I’m watching for Steve), Elizabeth is dating Franco. Apparently, another magical brain tumor has swept in and fixed his insanity. Whatever.  Franco found out he grew up with Jason’s twin brother, Drew, who apparently died at the age of three. He initially lied to Elizabeth about it, and then came clean. And then asked HER not to tell anyone because, hey, lying about Jason never got anyone in trouble.

So I wrote something that made me feel better. I haven’t watched the episode yet, so all I know is what happened above. I’m sure she agreed because destroying Elizabeth’s character is what makes GH go around these days.

Ghosts of Elizabeth Past

Notes

A super weird ficlet I had an idea for this morning. This is sort of an episode tag to October 9, 2017’s episode in which Elizabeth found out Franco was lying about the photograph and then Franco asked her not to tell anyone about Jason’s dead twin brother.  I didn’t actually watch the episode yet so I don’t know how it ended or really any content of it whatsoever.


Sometimes she could tell when she was dreaming.

As she walked down the stairs of her home and wandered through the living room, Elizabeth Webber knew it was a dream.

Even before she saw her fourteen-year-old self lounging on the sofa, eating popcorn and drinking soda.

She stood behind the sofa watching Lizzie Webber throw kernels of popcorn at the screen in protest of whatever music video MTV was playing next.

At that, Elizabeth managed a smile. MTV playing music videos. Definitely a dream.

Lizzie tilted her head up, her short chocolate brown curls shifting against the sofa. “Oh. Good. You’re here. Took you long enough.”

“I—”

Lizzie set aside the popcorn and rolled to her feet, an oversized ‘N Sync t-shirt drowning her, a pair of jean cutoffs peeking out, strings of white cotton thread against the paleness of her thighs.

“This is not what I expected for us,” Lizzie mused as she eyed the furniture. The photos on the shelf. “I thought we’d be in jail maybe by now.”

“No, you didn’t.”

Lizzie shrugged. “Or maybe I thought we’d be doing something cooler. Like painting crazy murals in New York. That hipster scene in Brooklyn should have had our name written all over it.”

Elizabeth shook her head. Brooklyn hadn’t really appealed to her. Had it?

“Anyway.” Lizzie shrugged. “I guess I was just wondering what the fuck is wrong with you.”

“Excuse me?” Elizabeth demanded, her hands on her hips. “You can’t talk to me like this—”

“Boy, you sure don’t remember anything,” Lizzie drawled with a dramatic roll of her eyes. “I do whatever I want and fuck the rest of the world.”

“You can’t live like that. It’s not possible—”

“We used to lie for the fun of it.” Lizzie sighed wistfully. “Just to see if people would believe us. Remember that lady who thought we were actually shooting a movie? She bought us pizza.”

“We’re lucky we got to adulthood,” Elizabeth muttered, but the memory—could a memory be in a dream?

“You still lie,” Lizzie continued. “But you’re doing it wrong.”

“Hey.”

“Now you lie because someone else wants it. When you lied about Jason—I stand up and cheered. Finally, I thought. My girl is taking what she needs and not asking any fucking questions.” Lizzie clasped her hands against her chest with a sparkling smile. “And we finally had him. He was ours.”

“For five minutes.”

“Better than never. We used to let him walk away a lot. Now you can’t say you didn’t try.”

“Do you have a point?” Elizabeth asked coolly.

“You’re lying again and you’re not even doing it for you. I’m sick of living in your head, screaming at you. You don’t listen.”

“You always get me in trouble—”

“Oh yeah?” Lizzie smirked. “I got great ideas. I always had the best ideas. It was my idea to come to Port Charles. To go to Jake’s. To go to the penthouse the night you got knocked up with Jake. You make the decisions for us and I’m tired of you ignoring me.”

“I really don’t know what your problem is—”

“You’re lying again,” Lizzie repeated. “And I don’t like it. Sure, Franco’s dangerous if you like the serial killer variety—”

“He was sick—”

“So was Manny Ruiz,” Lizzie said flatly. “Brain tumors. Nothing new. Maybe he doesn’t hurt people anymore but he’s hurting you.”

“Stop.”

“He’s asking you to lie. Again. About Jason. I mean, bitch, haven’t we learned how this ends for us? Yeah, it’s fun for a minute but there’s no point for this lie. Jason’s gonna find out. He always does, and it’s not going to be anyone else’s fault.” Lizzie snorted. “It never is. Everyone else gets to make mistakes, but you’re the one who pays.”

“It’s not like that—”

“I only like when we lie for us. This is not for us.” Lizzie mirrored Elizabeth’s stance with her hands on her hips. “And why did you say yes? What’s the point?”

“He won’t stay.”

The thin third voice came from the kitchen and Elizabeth turned. Another version of herself walked out of the shadows.

The hair was short and choppy—from those days after Lucky had returned from the dead. This Elizabeth’s eyes were dark, sad.

“He won’t stay,” Elizabeth Three murmured. “They never stay. We have to make them.”

“Oh, here we go with this bitch.” Lizzie rolled her eyes. “Don’t you ever get tired?”

“Yes,” Elizabeth Three replied without blinking. “But I don’t like being alone. Bad things happen when we’re alone.”

“Okay, this was funny at first, but now I’m ready to wake up—”

“You have to stop ruining everything!” Lizzie said with a stamp of her foot. “I wanted to sex up the priest. You chose the serial killer!”

“We weren’t going to win the priest,” Elizabeth Three replied with a shake of her head. “He wasn’t going to stay.”

“It’s not about staying. It’s about having fun. You keep us from having fun!”

“I like being in love,” Elizabeth Three said with a sigh. She sat on the sofa. “Remember Lucky?”

“Which time?” Lizzie said with a snarl. “When he ignored us for Sarah? Lied to us? Died? Made us chase away Jason? Or how about that time he got addicted to drugs and had an affair? Or, wait, when we had his kid and he abandoned us? Does he even pay child support? For fuck’s sake, you idiot.”

“I’’m going upstairs,” Elizabeth said with a nod. “Because this is insane. And it’s a dream. I’m done.”

“Hey. She’s been in charge of your decisions all these years,” Lizzie snapped. “She’s the reason we’re lying again. Because she’s so scared of being alone. How come you listen to her, huh? I’m the one who has the good ideas. I’m the one who deserves it.”

“Can’t listen to you,” Elizabeth shook her head. “You get me in trouble.”

“Yeah, but at least it’s on your own behalf. I got you laid by Jason Morgan, repeatedly I might add. This bitch got you Ric Lansing and Lucky Spencer. I definitely win.”

“No one wins here,” Elizabeth snapped. “You’re both idiots and I’m tired of listening to you both.”

“Well, what bright idea do you have?” Lizzie shot back.

“I’ve tried my best,” Elizabeth Three said as she jumped to her feet. “It’s hard being scared all of the time. If you were just nicer to me,” she complained to Lizzie.

“You’re the kind of girl we made fun of in high school.”

“Oh, God, I think I’ve lost my mind.” Elizabeth pressed her hands to her forehead. “Just go away.”

“I would if you’d stop lying all the damn time for stupid reasons.” Lizzie rolled her eyes. “You want me to stop screaming in your ear? Stop ignoring me when you damn well know I’m right. You want to stop being scared all the time? Tell her we stopped being the girl who got raped years ago.”

They both stared at Elizabeth Three, who had changed now. Whose hair had grown longer and her outfit had shifted into a red dress. Her eyes were wild, her face dirty and streaked with tears.

“I’m tired of being scared all the time,” Valentine’s Day Elizabeth said with a soft sigh. “I want to stop being cold.”

“If he leaves because you tell the truth, then why the hell do you want him anyway?” Lizzie demanded. “You raised three boys with no goddamn help from their idiot fathers—”

“You picked one of those fathers,” Elizabeth muttered.

“You have a career you’re good at. You’re a good mom. What the fuck do you have to be worried about about all the time?”

“I don’t want to be scared,” Valentine’s Day Elizabeth said. She held out her hand, looked at the glittering bracelet her grandmother had given her that night. “Let’s not do it anymore.”

“Easy for you to say.” Elizabeth sighed, looked at Lizzie. “It’s easy to be fearless when you don’t know the worst out there.”

“Hey, I’m not saying the world doesn’t suck.” Lizzie shrugged. “I’m just saying we can stop making it suck on purpose.”


The sunlight streaming through her curtains woke her abruptly and she blinked up at the ceiling. Beside her, she felt Franco shifting as he yawned and slid out of bed.

She looked at him for a long moment, maybe with the eyes of someone seeing him for the first time.

He had lied to her. Had asked her to lie in return.

And why the hell are we lying for him? Fuck that.

This time, when she heard Lizzie Webber in her ear, she didn’t grimace. She smiled and sat up.

“I changed my mind,” she said. “About everything.”

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Workshop: Homecoming

Written in 22 minutes.


Robin Scorpio blinked blearily at the medical journal spread out over the table table. She had read this paragraph six times and the odds were in her cousin hadn’t burst into the break room, she might have gone for seven.

“Have you been outside?” Nadine Crowell demanded, her blue eyes flashing with worry.

Robin stared at her for a long moment. “I’m a resident. I don’t get to see natural light unless it’s a special occasion.”

Nadine rolled her eyes. “God, it’s always medicine with you. There are more important things in this world—”

“Yes, there are,” Robin said. “But this is the little corner of the world I get to control. Was there an accident? Is there a blizzard?”

“Oh, for—” Nadine roughly pulled out a chair and sat across from her. “Thunder. Lightening. Three quick cracks of it.”

“Oh.” Robin sat back and idly ran her fingers over the pentagram in her palm. “I guess that answers the question.”

“Yeah, I guess it does. Because the only reason Liz would ever come home is if the mark came back.” Nadine peered down at her own hand. “Your mom call from Italy yet?”

“No.”

The day the marks had returned, Robin and Nadine had taken their questions to the only woman who might have answers.

They were descendants of Filomena Soltini, the strong-willed woman who had married an American GI who had fought in the war. She’d returned with her husband to Port Charles and had raised three daughters. Anna, Maria, and Graziella.

Only Anna was left.

“Did you get the sense that Aunt Anna wasn’t….” Nadine bit her lip. “That she wasn’t exactly surprised?”

Robin looked away and shrugged. “I guess. Maybe she wasn’t. I thought it was mostly that…well, I know she says Aunt Maria and Aunt Gracie didn’t—that it wasn’t because of the mark.”

“She said they didn’t have it.”

“That Nona and her sister had broken the curse, yeah. But…” Robin bit her lip. “Maybe she wanted to believe that.”

“I think she knew,” Nadine announced.

“Bullshit—”

“I think she knew something. C’mon. You know the way this works. How powerful the number three is. Three girls born on the third day of the third month?” Nadine rolled her eyes. “What are the odds that those three are cousins?”

“Nadine…”

“And then the mark comes back on our twenty-fifth birthday. We only have Nona’s word for it that she broke the curse. Maybe she thought she did. Maybe she was lied to.”

“If there are answers to be found, Mom will find them. And besides, we don’t have to worry as much,” Robin replied. “It’s childbirth that starts the clock, and neither one of us has kids.”

Nadine tapped her fingers against the table. “Do you think Liz—”

“She would have told us.”

“No, she wouldn’t have,” her cousin said softly. “Because neither of us have heard a single word from her since she left. And if it weren’t this—” She held up her palm. “She wouldn’t be back.”

“We don’t know that she is back—”

“I think that if this mark showed up and Liz already had a kid or was pregnant, that’d be why.” Nadine lifted her chin. “And if she is here, you’re going to be nice to her.”

“Hey.” Robin closed her journal. “Liz made her choices. If she’s here to figure this out, we’ll do that. But she left.”

“She left for good reasons—”

“And she’s only back because she needs something. Typical of her.” Robin got to her feet. “I have to get back to work.”

“God, you’re such a brat,” Nadine muttered. She glanced down at her pager. “I gotta go, too. Pip needs me at the nurse’s station. Be nice—”

Robin wrinkled her nose as her cell phone rang. She looked down and frowned at the return number. Morgan’s Auto. Why was Emily’s brother…?

“Hello?”

“Robin?”

Robin closed her eyes at the sound of her cousin’s voice. “Elizabeth.”

“Hey. I’m sorry. You…I didn’t know Nadine’s number. I, um…I’m here. In Port Charles.”

“And at Morgan’s Auto. You work quick.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, Robin wanted to snatch them back, but there was no use. The silence was deafening.

“My car broke down.” Elizabeth’s voice was quiet when she finally spoke. “I’m going to check into the Econo-Lodge across the street—”

“You don’t have to do that,” Robin said. “We should stick together right now—”

“I’ll call you when I know what room I’m in. Goodbye.”

“Damn it,” Robin muttered as she stared at the phone. She’d go find Nadine and tell her to take off work, to get someone to cover. That’s what she should do.

But old habits died hard, so Robin put the phone in her pocket and went back to work.

——

Several blocks away, Elizabeth handed Jason back the phone. “Thanks for the loan.”

“Not a problem.” Jason took it. “Robin or Nadine coming by to get you?”

“Oh.” Elizabeth lifted Cameron into her arms and slid her purse over her shoulder. “No. I’m going to check into the motel across the street. Um…” She eyed the car where her suitcases were still tucked in the trunk.

“When you’re settled in and your phone is charged,” Jason said, “give me a call. I’ll bring your stuff to your room.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Elizabeth began.

“It’s not a problem.”

“I like your truck,” Cameron said as he sleepily rubbed his face in her shoulder. “I got one, too.” He held up the small plastic truck Elizabeth had retrieved from a bag.

“Yeah? Looks just like mine. Except mine doesn’t talk.”

“We better get going. He needs a nap.” She started for the door and turned back. “Thank you. I mean it. I’ll call when I know my room number.”

She left him behind, along with most of her worldly possessions and started across the street, hoping that she wasn’t wrong. That this time…her intuition wasn’t steering her the wrong way.

She didn’t think she’d be able to survive it again.

October 6, 2017

Hey! I’m working on an idea for a Halloween story, so here’s a 40 minutes addition. Supposed to be a Micro Fiction, but eh, what are you gonna do?

Homecoming

I’ve finished most of the prep work for revising Mad World, and I’ll be digging into it either later today, tonight, or tomorrow — at some point this weekend. I’ve gone over the outline and added about six or seven extra chapters of content and moved around a ton of the back half of the story. Hoping to get the new content written over the next week, and then spend the last two weeks of October editing the rest of it so I can send it to Cora in November. At that point, I’ll be finishing Bittersweet for NaNoWriMo.

Just based on scheduling and availability, I’m looking at sometime in January for you guys to start getting Mad World. I’ll be more specific as we get closer.

While you’re waiting on Mad World, look for more work shop entries. I’ve got some idea for the smaller micro pieces, but I also have two concepts going on in the hour set (the Sky is Falling one as well as bringing back the Scottish story). I’m making a concentrated effort to produce more content, even if it’s these smaller pieces.

I’m looking to create a new layout in celebration of Steve’s return so I’m going to be overhauling my Online section which is woefully out of date. If you have a site or know of one you’d like me to put on the page, please leave it in the comments!

(Who else is just waiting for the day Real!Jason gets back to Port Charles and says Elizabeth’s name? I don’t need them together right away, I just need him to say her name. No one does it like he does.)