So I have managed to complete two things today! The Savin/Mari back-story (tentatively titled “Deadlines”) has been completed. A better title for it will arise, I’m sure. I added 1300 words to it, for a total of a 3k word short story. I know it could be stronger, but now I have a few days to let it simmer a bit and receive some feed back on it.

I also finished my Idol piece, thankfully. My bff Sarah looked it over for me last night and provided me with awesome feedback. She helped me figure out where shit was out of order — which is another rant for another day. I have a few characters who like to provide me with the story out of order, or simply just skip over parts entirely. Mitchel, apparently, is one of them.

Part of the Savin/Mari back-story for your perusal: 

Smoking. He was smoking. Mari wrinkled her nose, watching as Savin lifted a cigarette to his lips. There was a jerkiness to it — as if his hand was shaking. She approached him slowly, crossing her arms loosely over her chest.

“That’ll kill you, y’know,” she murmured. 

Savin jumped and turned to her, his eyes wide behind his glasses. “M-Mari, what the hell are you–”

“What’s going on, Savin?” she asked, effectively cutting him off. She almost snatched the burning cigarette from his hand, but thought better of it. “Why are you smoking?”

“It — it clears my head,” he whispered, rolling the cigarette between his fingers. He brought it back to his lips, taking a hesitant puff as he looked away from her. “It’s not something I’m proud of — hell, my dad would fucking kill me if he knew, but — I need it.”

“No, you don’t,” Mari said, frowning to herself. 

“It keeps my hands steady,” Savin stated. It sure didn’t look it, not with the way the cigarette vibrated visibly between his fingers. 

“Whatever happened to that ‘steady mind, steady hands,’ bullshit?” Mari asked, raising an eyebrow. She watched as Savin once again moved to take another drag of the cigarette — noticed the way he winced at her words. He brushed his hair out of his eyes and looked away from her, exhaling slowly as he flicked the butt of his cigarette with his thumb.

“It’s bullshit?” he offered, his voice cracking. “There’s just no fucking way — I’m only eighteen, for Christ’s sake. Who the fuck thought I could handle medical school?” He shook his head, a bitter smile breaking out over his lips. “My dad was right — I’m totally not fucking cut out to be a doctor and I should just fucking quit while I’m ahead.”

Savin moved away from her, tossing the cigarette to the ground and grinding it out with his heel. The streetlight above made it easy for Mari to see the tears in his eyes and how hard he struggled to fend them off. “C’mon, let’s get back inside,” he muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Totally not getting any work done out here.”