They Be Ascended - Scene 1A Story by Brenden Bow
It's a normal day for Blaire Dixon and her cohorts.
Yes, the skies hanging above White Wood, Michigan do normally look like that - Nothing new there. Overcast is normal in this little neck of the woods. You’ll get used to it, it and the way the wind rustles the leaves in the trees, waking them from their slumber and causing them to fall to the ground the same way it causes the water in the river to pitch to and fro as it rolls right on through without a care in the world. You’ll get used to the way it messes up your hair on days when you need to look your best. You’ll get used to it, they all do.
The wind affects more than the physical plane we know so well; it affects the mind, too, the way one thinks, the way one sees the world. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, what I do know is, when you cross these boundaries, you are under its influence. Eventually, you will come to think of the wind as a staple in your life, a catfish swimming consistently, constantly in a lake of variables.
Good Mornin’ Beautiful
Friday May 10th, 2013
It was another normal day for Blair Dixon. Her curly maroon hair was in an unmanageable and untamable frizz thanks to the weather " and she didn’t care one single bit, thank you very much. She navigated her way down the ugly, diamond-shaped tile hallways of White Wood Prep. The flickering sconce light fixtures provided dim lighting and were nestled snuggly in place on each of the walls, organized in a perfect way not an inch too close or too far from their respective neighbors. She could have sworn the school was decorated by an anal retentive interior designer.
The hem of her skirt bounced merrily as she strolled, every step echoing as she made her way to her first period classroom despite it being a half-hour before most of the teachers would get to school and somewhere between one and two hours before the bell rang, signaling class’ start. Blaire knew her Biology teacher’s room would be empty, making it the perfect place for her and her friends to hang out.
Blaire twisted the doorknob to the AP Biology room and pushed it open, flipped on the light switch that rested on the wall closest to the door and walked in. The classroom was adorned with scattered posters informing any student who’d bother to read them about a variety of marine life. A few others featured Garfield saying inspirational, albeit, sarcastic things. The room’s main attention getter was an interactive white board the teacher could control by way of electronic pen or, if he chose, from his computer.
Blaire sat her bag on the top of a wooden two-person table at the very back of the room. She opened her khaki satchel and pulled out her physics textbook. She ran her long, thin-fingered hands through the bangs of her coppery hair and eagerly began reading " despite having read through the book numerous times.
She couldn’t help it. Her love for learning was, in her opinion, her prevalent personality trait. She had an insatiable craving for knowledge and firmly believed books were the best way to go about absorbing information. Learning, her lust for it pulled her in, entrapping her like gravity’s pull. She treasured books, adored them. She treated her books as if they were her newborn children, meticulously caring for them and regularly cleaned her library of literature.
Blaire was a dozen pages into a chapter dealing implicitly with energy, its various types and uses when a short, curvaceous girl sporting a tiny smile practically latched onto her face sauntered into the classroom. The girl brushed a strand of hair away from her nose.
She wasn’t dressed in the required blazer, skirt, and tie uniform White Wood Preparatory made their female students wear. Instead, she was clad in a thin, dark hooded-sweatshirt displaying the school’s penguin mascot dressed in gladiatorial armor. Smug-faced, the mascot gave a cocky grin and a thumbs-up. Dark athletic sweats were tight on her column-like legs. Miniature disco balls dangled from her earlobes and at least a dozen multi-colored gel wristbands made their home up and down her wrists, forming veritable rainbow gauntlets.
The girl’s chin-length hair was tousled and hugged her face in a way that almost definitely obscured her vision. Hair sticking up in random places, she gave the impression of having just crawled out of bed and decided to not just ignore her comb, but snap it in two and hurl it across the room. She moved a hand to her bangs, sliding her locks of hair to the side, revealing blue eyes, curiously studying the sparsely decorated classroom before finally falling on Blaire, who looked up, meeting the girls gaze with her own. Almost simultaneously their lips curled up into smiles.
The girl was named Boston " after the city in which her parents met ", Boston Takahashi. She was Blaire’s best friend, a girl who the quiet red-headed youth connected with on a higher, more personal level than one would normally expect to see in a same-sex platonic high school relationship.
She walked over to Blaire, sat down beside the other girl, asking her, “’’S up?”
Shrugging in response, Blaire went back to her book.
Boston chortled, pulling a sketch pad from her New England Institute of Art backpack, and said, “Yeah, I figured as much.”
Just then, another person walked into the room. He was a tall, lanky boy with hair just as dark as Boston’s, but braided into lengthy, thin dreadlocks, which reached his chin and framed his thin, light brown face. Unlike Boston, the boy wore the required school uniform consisting of a dark blazer, a red tie, and matching slacks.
He moved, each moment of his life, with an unaffected, deliberately-slowed gait, as if he were strolling through a hidden garden of sorts, knowing full well that day was his very last, wanting to appreciate, admire all the small things, all the little victories that so many others overlooked.
His kind, slate gray eyes perked up when he caught sight of the girls, and, without saying a word, he sat down at the desk directly in front of theirs.
Boston, who was doodling, sighed in exasperation. Shaking her head, she leaned down and began sifting through her backpack. A few seconds later, she came upon what she had been searching for. Yanking out a plastic ruler like a knight drawing the trusty sword always kept by his side, she leaned forward, and poked the boy’s back with it. “Darren, give me an eraser.”
Darren, cringing away from her plastic ruler as if its touch was the very touch of Death itself " or, at least, as if it were something viscous, disastrously sticky, and messy all rolled into one - maybe maple syrup -, opened his satchel and dug around, producing a battered, well-worn pink rectangle of an eraser. He handed it to her without looking back.
“Thanks,” she said.
Darren gave an accepting, albeit slight, nod of his head.
Suddenly, fire in her eyes, Boston looked to Blaire, and then poked Darren’s back once more with the ruler " an action, resulting in (as one would expect), and causing, him responding in the exact same manner as he had before. Voice filled to the brim with giddy cheer, she asked them, “Ginger, Nature Boy, can you wait for this weekend - or what? I mean, c’mon, it’s a yacht, a yacht, can you believe it? Like, sure, our families are okay,” she said, with a wave of her hands and a patronizing tone. “They’re well-off " whatever ", but none of our, besides Wonder Boy’s, parents own friggin’ yachts…. We’re going to be doing something more posh than Ms. Teen Botox Barbie…. This is actually happening…. It… is … actually … happening. Thank the Lord on High, ‘cause this is going to be a-freakin’-mazing!”
Having experienced an alike excitement about a similar such circumstance that had occurred years prior, Darren smiled a knowing smile, one the girls were unable to see " just the way he liked it. By that point, his adolescence, he was accustomed to the upscale wining, dining, and money flaunting one’s exposed to, having frequently guzzled, not sipped, the more… unique and… upper-crust-born, an, all-in-all, more exceptional ‘wine’ (the luck of, birthed from, an excessive, persevering, vitality-loused opulence) from a toddling age. Plus, he had had in with the Matthew family throughout his rearing.
Truthfully, Blaire wasn’t looking forward to it, or even willing to tag-a-long. Water, it scared her, terrified her; it was one of her numerous, most embarrassing, silver-forged and God-touched, garlic-rubbed, rock salted piece of one of her varied kryptonites. She dreaded their celebratory trip to the lake like a dead-man-walkin’ dreaded knowing he would eventually be taking his last steps down the ironically important stretch of blank, meaningless " to anyone else " hall leading to the electric chair. Though, Blaire knew it wasn’t every day Chase Matthew’s Hollywood-infamous parents let him use their yacht, or anything of theirs really, unsupervised.
Well, it wouldn’t be totally unsupervised. Chase’s bodyguard, Hughie “Mad Dog” Dell, would be there " for Chase’s, and the troupe’s, own good; the boy had a bad habit of getting on the wrong side of people normal people would think twice about even looking at. Blaire, for that reason, thought a bodyguard was a fair condition. It wasn’t only that though, his honest-to-the-point-of-idiocy nature and lack of basic, self-preserving, well-fed fear, knowing his luck, he’d probably piss off a fish and wind up with another broken leg.
Blaire’s was under the impression every single person in their group " excluding her ", was excited for the foray into Lake Michigan’s waters, leaving her with the unopposed title of Village Debbie-Downer. In truth, she was accustomed to that role, preferred it even. Social gatherings had always been a, and I quote, “drag”. Yep, that’s your heroine.
Jennifer had talked her college-age, basement-dwelling brother into ‘scoring’ some alcohol for her " presumably in exchange for doing his share of chores for the next few upcoming months. So, in the end, Morgan would be drunk, slapping Boston’s a*s, Boston would be fleeing, - all while preaching to the other girl, warning her of the negative spiritual ramifications her perpetual, amoral, unethical, sex-and-alcohol-fueled misguided behavior brings to her, weighs down her immortal soul on its final lap passed the judgment table ", Chase and Jennifer, bodies charged with alcohol, would be wrapped up in each other’s arms " quite literally, much to the rest of the friends’ chagrin ", doing things that’d doubtlessly make each particular set of parental figures consider making Chase a Eunuch if, God, Heaven, and Billy Graham forbid, they ever found out, Darren would be off in his own private Darren world, swimming with the fishes " not Mafioso figuratively ", and Blaire, well, Blaire would be bored out of her skull, left alone with her thoughts, her fears, once more.
Truth be told, the seemingly endless well of negative karma she somehow, some-when, some-way managed to acquire was merely the end result, the pathetic dead-end her once-promising lady luck wound up at. Oh, how youthful she once was, Blaire’s lady luck, how far she could’ve gone " such a shame, that. Sometimes, most of the time, certain things seem to go in such unexpected directions; that’s life: Friends get excited, practically beaming with ecstasy in anticipation of some last minute-planned, well-needed group outing, and she wishes she were at home reading Harry Potter to a very, very uninterested gerbil " yep, that was how her story always seemed to be played out.
And, to Blaire, the worst part wasn’t the water, nor was it the booze-induced, sitcom-like antics of her troupe, or their quirky, tiring natures, it was the non-complex fact that they fully expected her to be there. The trip, being a festivity put together solely for the sake of celebrating them not getting kicked off the island that was, basically, their junior year, her friends refused to pre-permit her skipping-out before or during the up-and-coming recreational activity. Usually, they’d allow her abrupt, un-notified absence and warning-less departure " grudgingly, of course ", ‘punishing’ her with a minor, retaliatory verbal assault. But, this time, Blaire knew that wouldn’t be the case; they would never let her hear the end of it if she ditched them.
Blaire remembered the exact moment she knew she would have ever-shifting-wrathful-water-filled nightmares until the halfway point of the third week of the month following their ‘party’.
It was junior class B’s and senior class A’s lunch period. Blaire, having already sat her plate of chicken spaghetti in front of her, had just sat down beside a snoring Morgan. Jennifer was to her left and Boston was sat in the chair directly parallel to her seat’s position, aiming a carrot on a bent back spoon at her best friend’s head.
Boston let it fly, hitting right smack dab in Blaire’s forehead’s centermost region. The girl exhaled a sigh of frustration and wiped at her forehead with the back of her hand, glaring at a now-giggling Boston who looked to be trying her hardest not to lapse into an uncontrollable fit of hysterics. Chase, sitting next to her, gave her a high-five, laughing, as well. Their chuckling stirred Morgan who, in response, groggily, and momentarily, opened her eyes, only to tell them to “shut the lovely f**k up” " a turn-of-phrase that basically, and ironically (to those who know neither Chase or Boston), only served to be counterproductive to Morgan’s pursuit of continuing her resting undisturbed, having elicited even more pronounced waves of amusement from the two. .
As the brouhaha died down, Jennifer thrice cleared her throat.
Once she confirmed all her friends’ eyes were on her " besides Morgan ", she asked, “What are we gonna do for our end of the year party?”
“Let’s go see that new superhero movie, the one with the dog and cat,” Boston said.
Chase, smiling, ran his fingers through his hair. “Not gonna lie to you, that movie looks wicked cool. I’ll check it out no problem.” He ruffled Boston’s hair as if she were his younger sister. “Did you see the trailer? That song, man, that song, MA, that was cool.”
Batting his hand away, Boston asked, “That song by Marin Manhattan? Yeah, that was a cool song " kinda a mix of dark, industrial, and goth. That guitar riff: Crazy.”
Chase had said, “Never could find it for my phone. I only picked up a few of the lyrics before the commercial ended…. He’s crazy, man, that Marin guy. His hold band is; it’s great!”
“Marilyn Manson, his name, and the band’s, is Marilyn Manson,” Darren corrected.
The two, thanks to Darren’s quiet, unimposing tone, hadn’t heard him and continued on with their conversation none the wiser.
“Is it weird that I think the dress-wearing guy is kinda hot?” Chase asked, face blank to the point of ridiculousness.
Boston replied, “Yep " and which ‘dress-wearing-guy’? They all wear them, at least… I think they do.”
Blaire, chiming in, and asked, “Didn’t you hear Darren?”
“I didn’t,” Chase said, looking at Boston.
She said, “Neither did I.”
“Marilyn Manson,” Blaire said, adding emphasis to the name, “is, weirdly enough, just as Darren said it is, ‘Marilyn Manson’.” She smiled warmly at her friends, letting them know she was just playing hostile. “Marin Manhattan sounds like a clumsily thought-out, cliché stage name for some past-their-prime, has-been, hipster and, or douchebag folk singer from New York " either that or some girl from a bad reality TV series who’s never actually been to Manhattan but would like to go one day.”
In a yeah-this-is-a-matter-of-the-utmost-factuality-so-shove-it-up-your-keister way, Boston said, “Or a pop star who’s never been, from the UK.”
Never able to resist a quipping opportunity, Chase said, “Or a porn star who’s never been, from LA.”
“Guys, shut your face holes so I can talk,” Jennifer said, arms crossed.
Expressing different, but possessing the same general idea, responses to her rude, childishly-worded demand, they complied, grudgingly.
“We are not going to a children’s movie as an end of the year present. And, by the way, you wasted a lovely bit of our time with your "I’m sorry, Boston, but it’s the truth " lame idea.”
Under her breath, Boston told Chase: “I think my eyes are going to get as stuck up as your girlfriend if I keep rolling them.”
Chase snorted. “Then stop being so compulsive,” he also said under his breath.
“Most of the time, she leaves me without another answer to circle in the matter. ‘What do you do when Jennifer acts like a b-itch?’: I don’t know; I can’t answer that. Answers A through D are all the same: ‘Roll your eyes.’ …You know what E is? It’s ‘Hit her with the Bible in hopes God’s feeling smite-the-wicked-y today.’”
Jennifer, as was her nature’s orders, took the time to look at each of her friends in a dramatic, sweeping, smoldering fashion. And, unbeknownst to the stagy girl, Boston, enterprising as ever, leaned in close to Chase while Jen’s attention was on a suspiciously wandering-eyed Blaire " who was determined not to put herself in the girl’s gaze’s line of fire and, suddenly, found herself in envy of Morgan’s rock solid excuse for not participating in the, quite frankly, unwanted and one-sided discussion", in order to whisper, “Here we go again.”
Chase stifled another batch of giggles. “I am so sorry you guys have to deal with this. I can’t stop her,” he responded, in the same hushed tone.
Boston, clearly sarcastic, said, “I’m sorry for being so ‘lame’ " won’t happen again, I promise.”
Jennifer nodded curtly at the girl, smiling. She told the girl, “Good. See, isn’t coming to a reasonable compromise wonderful?” She asked. “If we all would just admit when we’re wrong like Boston did just now, the world would be a brighter, happier place…. We’re all better, more mature " even you, Boston " than people of our age who are going to see this… kiddy flick.” Her smile, in an eye-closing manner, widened.
When Jen’s eyes were closed, Boston made a handgun with her index finger and thumb, and mimed putting a bullet through her temple.
“D****t, stop making me laugh,” Chase said, elbowing her.
Blaire sighed at her friends, moving her lunch around with her plastic spork.
“Now, be serious, people. We need an idea, a better idea than
Unpacking her lunch, Jennifer’s face was, without warning, rendered a fraction less pretty from an onset of stoniness. She slammed her thermos of soup down on the cold plastic of the cafeteria tables, causing a studying Darren to jump, startled.
Jennifer, speech voice at the ready, exclaimed, “All our fellow ‘classmates’ are having parties that, might I remind you, we aren’t, and won’t be, invited to-“
“-And you wonder why,” Chase asked, jokingly. “It’s no wonder we’re not invited to things when you slam soup canisters down on tables all willy-nilly.”
She stared daggers at her boyfriend before continuing: “Listen, Jack told me that Jake told him that Ruth said Mercedes’ parents were renting out an entire club for her, her clones, and anyone else she deems worthy to be in her presence, and, oh, look who’s not worthy of Ms. I-was-the-senior-prom-queen-my-freshmen-year. I -“
“She’s still upset about that?” Boston asked Chase.
He said, “Yep.”
“- don’t see why we can’t have our own fun if we can’t join theirs’. Shouldn’t we be allowed to celebrate, too? We’re in the same class as them, aren’t we?”
Chase raised his hand. “Did I leave the oven on?”
Exasperated, Jennifer said, “Chase, I"W-wait a second. What?”
“I thought we were speaking with rhetorical questions, my bad. That is what we’re doing, right?”
Boston said, “Ooo, kudos; that was a nice one.”
“Thanks, you would not believe how long I’ve been waiting to say that.”
Blaire asked, “How long?”
He regarded her, a thoughtful look on his face. “I’d say a week, maybe two.”
She said, “You’re right, I don’t believe it.”
“You’d be an idiot if you did,” he said.
Infuriated at the turn the conversation had taken, forcefully said, “Will you please shut up, the both of you? Blaire, don’t egg it on.”
“That was the first time I said anything,” she said, in her defense.
She said, “Uh-uh, zip it,” while she acted out the zipping of her lips. “C’mon, brainstorm with me, guys. There are no bad ideas " except that one Boston said earlier, that was stupid. Let’s make this the best grade-advancement present we’ve ever given ourselves.”
Blaire muttered, “The only ‘grade-advancement present’ we’ve ever given ourselves.”
Surprisingly, having been awake the whole time, Morgan muttered, “And hopefully the last.”
“Now,” Jen said, while in-between sips of her soup, “can we get down to business.”
There was a murmur of grudging, stunted agreement followed by a few pregnant moments of silence as everyone thought of something fun they could do able to please the overbearing Jennifer " or at least get her to let them finish their lunch hour in peace.
“Maybe my folks will let us take the Interception out,” Chase had said, hopefully, more to his self than the group. “Afterwards, we’ll have an excuse to crash at the lake house. We could rent movies, order a couple pizzas…. Me and Darren really wanna watch ‘Dude, Where’s My Car.’”
“Haven’t you guys seen that at least, like, what, six dozen times between the two of you?” Boston had asked the two incredulously. “I mean, Kutcher is sexy and all, but there’s only so much of him one can put up with. He’s kind of annoying.”
“Annoying? He’s the funniest guy ever, a comedic genius!” Chase argued.
“No, Charlie Chaplin was a comedic genius. Kutcher is a pretty boy who is under the impression he’s hilarious,” Morgan, never one to keep her nose out of a fight, interjected.
“He ‘is’ hilarious,” Chase stubbornly insisted. “Right, Darren?”
The other boy had shaken his head in approval, causing the girls to sigh in exasperation.
The thought soothed the savage, and arguably bestial, Jennifer. But, none of the group had thought Chase Benjamin Matthews III would tell his son yes, not even his son. Chase’s mother had initially been against it, but she caved unto her son’s begging just as his father had.
“I swear they got kidnapped by Bigfoot!” Jennifer’s exclaimed, her voice coming from the hallway outside the classroom, interrupting Blaire’s reminiscing.
“Since when does Bigfoot kidnap people?” Chase asked her, his cheerful baritone sounding weary.
Blaire could practically hear his eyes rolling.
“This morning I overheard my dad telling my mom about some hunters who told the police they saw Bigfoot while he was trying to steal food from their cooler. Are the disappearances and that sighting a coincidence? I think not.”
“Do you even know what you’re talking about half the time?” Chase asked.
“Sometimes,” she said as Chase walked into the classroom.
Stature: Lean and gangly, his arms a little too long. He was a youth of noticeable height; though, not as tall as Darren. Thick straw-colored surfer-boy hair hung in his face, obscuring only one eye. His trademark cheery expression was apparently on vacation because he looked just as tired as he had sounded. His black White Wood Prep uniform was neat, spick and span. His demeanor, motions and body language, were friendly and vivacious in spite of his apparent exhaustion. He was athletic, competitive. He had a do-anything-to-win attitude Blaire truly admired and sought after. “Take no prisoners; leave none alive.”, “Destroy, don’t just win.”, “If you just win, you haven’t played to the fullest extent of your capabilities; and if that’s the case, then you weren’t born a contender,” those were his mottos to live by. Charisma shone from him like a supernova; it was his thing.
Jennifer came in after, a thin girl a bit taller than Boston but not as tall as Morgan or Blaire. A few buttons on her blazer and gray undershirt were left undone, giving all who cared to look an ample view of her sizable endowment. Her hair was frizzy and a deep brown.
Jennifer was a girl who appreciated the simple pleasures in life. She knew she wasn’t as athletically or as mentally gifted as her compatriots, but she possessed a fierce loyalty towards them, a beast’s mentality. She was as competitive as her boyfriend, a shared trait, which caused both great, simultaneous stress. It was a wonder they hadn’t worn each other to the bone with their constant competitions. Remember that “savage”-“bestial” comment? Meet the reason behind it.
“What are you lovebirds talking about?” Boston asked Chase and Jennifer as Morgan entered behind.
“Jen-Jen’s under the impression Bigfoot’s the cause of the spike in disappearances,” Chase said, sitting down in the open chair beside Darren and pulling a giggling Jennifer into his lap. “I, however, am under the impression she’s an idiot.”
Jennifer bit Chase, causing him to grunt in pain and flick her forehead.
“I may be a stupid girl, but I’m your stupid girl.”
Morgan made a retching sound and sat on top of Blaire and Boston’s desk. Morgan’s messy, pale-blonde bob had vertical streaks dyed in it that, like her eyeliner, was darker than any black hole. She was toned in a way the other girls weren’t. Blaire thought she would be pretty if her face wasn’t so frequently twisted in a snarl.
Her eyes always seemed to be narrowed, never focusing on one thing for too long. Her countenance was that of a rancorous pit bull brought up to be a prize fighter who had come to the realization that it didn’t recognize, or like, the clueless b*****d trying to pet it.
“You two make me want to puke centipedes,” Morgan said to the affectionate couple. “I’m pretty sure PDA is against school rules.”
Boston asked, “Why would you puke centipedes?”
In reply to Boston, Morgan said with a shrug, “I don’t know. You’re not supposed to call me on these things.”
Chase and Jennifer ignored Morgan’s barb, too wrapped up in their own little world to pay attention to her negativity.
“Woe, did you say someone disappeared? Who disappeared?”
“What, MA, you didn’t hear? One of the Barbies went missing. Everyone’s talking about it,” Morgan smiled as she relayed the information. “Personally, I think the lowered tone of our fair school just shot up a few notches.”
“That’s a mean thing to say.” Jennifer giggled. “Though, I can’t help agreeing…. If only Bigfoot could take out Mr. Guthrie…”
Chase said, “There is no Bigfoot " end of story.”
“Morgue, get your butt out of my face.” Boston waved her hand in front of her nose as if Morgan smelled bad.
“It’s not in your face, yet. It could be pretty damned quick if you want.” Morgan smirked.
Blaire laughed. Chase wolf whistled, causing Jennifer to elbow him. Darren sighed in exasperation and Boston rolled her eyes. The group’s general reaction to Morgan’s impromptu flirting was mostly varied, even though they were all used to it. She loved to flirt, reveled in it even. She was never really serious about it, a comment here, or an erotic suggestion there. It amused her and she craved regular amusement.
Darren, being the shy peace lover that he was, mostly acted indifferent to her come-ons, whether geared towards him or not. Blaire hadn’t a clue as to how to react other than to simply blush and look away when Morgan flirted with her, when aimed at one of their other friends, she laughed. It was funny. Jennifer was possessive of her boyfriend and stared daggers at the other girl when she came on to him, when it was at her she went along with it. The two girls weren’t much different, sharing an abundance of common quirks and behaviors. Chase egged it on because, as he says in his defense, “Come on, what guy other than Darren doesn’t like flirting?” Boston, who the sexual proposals were almost always directed at, didn’t care too much for it.
As they got settled, the troupe of friends, the united outcasts born from a shared rejection, and ejection, from their private school’s sociocultural dogma, its packaged deal hierarchy, spoke amongst themselves for a while until it was about time for classes to start. When other students began piling into Mr. Cloud’s large classroom, four of the six decided it was time to get to their classes. Boston, sharing practically the same schedule as Blaire, stayed with her.
© 2012 Brenden Bow
Added on July 3, 2012
Last Updated on July 3, 2012
AboutI've been writing for nine years. It's a solitary art, writing; seclusion works wonders for one's evolution as a writer. I enjoy secluding myself for days, sometimes weeks, with my work. more..