Login   Sign Up 


I Never Ordered This - Chapter 2

by fayroberts 

Posted: 05 October 2006
Word Count: 1454
Summary: exploring the surroundings
Related Works: I Never Ordered This - Chapter 1 • I Never Ordered This - Chapter 3 • I Never Ordered This - Chapter 4 (dressed for excess) • 

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

I lay on my back and thought up some new swearwords. That didn’t help so I decided to try to get out of the bed and reconnoitre without waking my companion. Maybe I’d find some other clues outside this room. Easier thought than done, obviously. Lifting the light duvet gently, I arranged it over her back and sat up very slowly. Keeping close to the wall and hoping fervently this wasn’t a cheap bed with springs that would jounce her awake as I moved, I slid down towards the foot of the bed. First obstacle: a pile of something or things just beyond the foot. I had no idea how far and deep it extended, what it covered, how precarious it was or whether it would squeak, break or tear if I stood on it. Arse.

I stiffened. The woman had stirred. She mumbled, wriggled, sighed and (blessed be!) curled up, probably into the space I’d left with no particular sounds of distress or waking up. I now had a space at the bottom of the bed to squeeze past her feet and onto the floor beyond. Supposing it wasn’t an elevated poncey thing three feet above the ground, and supposing that stuff at the end didn’t lap the bed on all available sides.

I made it to the ground without incident, but was now faced with several new dilemmas: where was the door, where were my clothes, was this just a bedsit, in which case was this all there was to not see? Would there be a bright light coming through the door to wake up the woman and pose more questions than I could comfortably answer at the moment? I decided that, if questioned, I would tell her I was going to the loo and leave it at that. Hmm. That left: where is the door? The pitch darkness was still pretty much in evidence; which at least precluded a blinding brilliance bursting into the room the second I found the fucking, grrrraaaarrgh, where’s the fucking door already?!

It should be noted at this point that another thing I’m renowned for is an inner rage that could stride worlds. Mostly I have it on a leash and don’t actually lose it at anyone, but the stories do exist of shouting audible over half a mile away and through walls (you think I’m exaggerating? You know nothing) and the way my eyes change colour... So I clamped down on the unhelpful images of finding furniture and hurling it around. I’ve really got to get some more sleep. Maybe in a few days’ time, when... oh fuck...

He’s due back soon. I think. Shit. What day is this, anyway? Think, what’s the last day I can remember, what’s the last thing I can remember, why can’t I remember anything, what...?

Okay, keep it cool, JJ, chill the fuck out. Find the door, find where you are, get the fuck out of here and home and sort it from there.

Bless you, inner adult. What would I do without you?

Run around panicking, drinking too much and shagging random strangers.


I sat, crossed-legged, naked arse flush with the floor and plush into the carpet - nice carpet, very thick. Chill. Closed my eyes, opened them again. Still nothing (and a moment for reflection: this girl’s got some seriously intense light-blocking equipment here; either that or the power’s out across the town or I’m in the fucking countryside because it’s dead quiet, too), but lateral thinking had come back from trying to rouse memory (in vain, dammit) and pointed something else out:

Can I feel a breeze?

Damn, yeah! A faint breeze scattered itself irregularly over the left-hand side of my face. For want of anything else to give me direction (and it was back towards the area beyond the foot of the bed), I uncurled upwards and moved as softly as possible towards it. Did you know that you move quieter if you use the whole of your foot rather than tip-toeing? True: roll each foot slowly and gently along the length before taking the next step. Moving slowly also obviates bumping loudly and painfully into unseen things, something I was keen to avoid. Instead of sweeping my hands way out in front of me and risking knocking something to the ground, I elected for one hand palm-out hip height and about three inches in front of me, waving slightly across my front, the other in front of my face (noses are delicate things). Well, I reckoned silence was more important than speed. You’d think I’d done this before...

Luck seemed to be on my side. If I’d thought about this more clearly at the time I’d’ve maybe realised that this meant beaucoup bad shit was on its way. Never mind. Anyway, a mercifully squeaky floorboard-free journey later my hands brushed against the raised edges of panelling on an old-fashioned wooden door, unpainted or varnished. The ssshhush of my skin on its surface sounded deafening to me. The handle (round, also roughly wooden) was over on the right. Now the test: was it locked, bolted, squeaky, shielding us from actinic brilliance? Fuck it - I’m going to the loo, remember?

I could feel my heart beating thickly in my throat, my fingers becoming slippery. Breath. Thud. Breath. Thud. Squeeze the handle firmly, rotate to the left and pull.



By which I mean that there was no sound or light but that the door did open.


Sweaty hand to sweaty chest, I stepped out into this new darkness, which smelt different and was colder, but not as absolute. Praying that she didn’t live in a bedsit, I left the door slightly open, propped on the thick pile, and padded along towards the faint, faint flickering light I could see coming from round the corner ahead to the left, reflecting off... well, who cares what colour the walls were?

As I walked along, skin pinching and tingling with cold and apprehension, I began to review my earlier suspicion. The house (if such it was) stank of candles (to my nose, at least) and had the odd, quiet, thick-breathing air of everyone having gone to bed, which at the 2:30am my internal clock said it was, was kind of unusual for a student house on a Friday night.

Eh? Student house? What was I doing in a student house?

The memory refused to respond to more prodding, and I gave up in disgust. I was near the corner in any case. Still moving quietly and slowly, I poked my head round, then quickly moved to the open doorway (again on the left) which was spilling the flickering light onto the badly-painted, flaked white walls (well, you wanted to know...). I realised I’d been holding my breath when the near-completely-liquid light almost guttered in the resultant gust. I unpeeled damp fingers from the doorframe and made my way in - it was an empty, empty kitchen.

God, J, what were you expecting: a row of bald, pointy-toothed cannibals sat down to dine? Nice image: thank you, just what I need right now.

I flitted into this new space, noting the smells of rolly tobacco, stale food, metallic water, dying houseplants. Okay, I spotted some of these things too, but my sense of smell really is that acute. I pulled out a chair, and sat down, only checking its cleanliness cursorily. Jesus, what a mess! What on earth was I going to do - inspect every room as I went until I found some spare clothes, Doctor Who-style? Maybe I should just go back to the sleeping woman with a candle, pick up my clothes, fuck off out of here, hope no-one notices.

Not a bad idea. I was also hungry. A look in the fridge wouldn’t go amiss...

Head stuck in the fridge, three things happened at once. I registered the contents and pulled up sharply. The lights came on and the fridge started to whirr. Someone behind me screamed very loudly.

Oh shit.


“What was in the fridge?”

“One thing at a time - don’t you want to know who was screaming?”

“Well, yes, but people scream all the time. In my world anyway.”

Dryly: “Yeeees.”

“And hang on - you were naked?”


“In this strange house, with the strange woman, with no memory of - I’m guessing - the previous five hours at least, you decided to walk around naked.” P looks somewhere between impressed, mocking and a little concerned.

“I don’t think I was quite feeling myself at the time.”

“I’ll say.”

“Can I continue?”

“Shit, yes - I’m on tenterhooks.”

“Okay then.”


(Next chapter currently available at http://uk.geocities.com/faithhope69/jj3.htm.)

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

CarolineSG at 18:51 on 05 October 2006  Report this post
Hi Faithope,
Welcome to Novel II. Why not come and intoduce yourself in the group discussion area? Commenting on people's work is quite a commitment and you'll find that you will be more likely to get a response if you come and say hello first. Hope that's helpful.

Beadle at 13:01 on 06 October 2006  Report this post
Hi F

This has a very definite and individual style – if I said quirky I think it would be insulting.

It feels a bit stream of consciousness, particularly with the brackets and directly addressing the reader. It’s funny, smart and a tad sarky, which are all good things in my book, and there is a strong sense of the ridiculous as well as being very honest – possibly (and I’m crystal balling here (!)) painfully honest in the future. I just get the feeling this isn’t all going to be a barrel of laughs, despite the funny opening.

You’re also keeping the reader guessing and developing their own story – we don’t know what sex the narrator is, but we know that they must have been in a same sex relationships at some point. We know it’s all going to go off, but we assume that the narrator survives fairly intact, hence the dialogue at the end of both chapters (I read Ch 2 then backtracked to Ch 1), which obviously means they are telling their story.

I think this would be the kind of book and writing that you need to ease yourself into, get into the rhythm of it, juggle the different elements (the narrative thread of the plot, plus the internal dialogue AND the asides to the reader). Once the reader had cracked that, I think the individuality of it would probably be quite compelling.

My only real critical comments would be to ease up on the stranger elements of the narrative a bit because they can take the reader out of the moment some times (or they did for me). Also, after 2 chapters the plot has not got very far, although it ends with a wowser. I like plot and I think I would want ch 3 to have a stronger pull to keep me engaged with the writing.

I’d be keen to see some more.


CarolineSG at 12:54 on 11 October 2006  Report this post
Hi Faith
I really liked the way you suddenly showed this was a conversation - thought that was a very successful device. Like Beadle said, I also enjoyed the style, although I would go easy on the little comic asides, just because they might get wearing if there were too many. I'm dying to know who the narrator is and what was going on here. You've definitely sparked my interest in finding out more!
Hope that's helpful.

charlottetheduck at 10:28 on 12 October 2006  Report this post
Hi Faith

This was really different! I thought it was very well written. I also really liked the ending, a great cliff-hanger, I'm imagining all kinds of things that could be in that fridge! I thought it was a clever and original way to end with the intriguing lines of dialogue too.

I think the sarcasm works well and adds a dryly comic element, but personally I'm not too keen on all the swearing. I found it hard to sympathise or empathise with the character because his (or her) aggressive language put me off. But that's just me - I'm a bit of an old woman at heart :)

I also do agree with Beadle - it would be nice if we knew a bit more about the character by chapter 2. It's good to keep a bit of mystery but I think a few insights into his character or life would help the reader connect and 'care' about him/her.

Hope that helps. Look forward to reading more!

Char :)

chris2 at 15:21 on 16 October 2006  Report this post
Faith - There’s no way you wouldn’t want to carry on reading past this chapter. You painted a vivid picture, without it getting too exaggerated, and I found I was definitely there with the character.

I'm not sure I agree with a couple of the others about the character. You don't need to tell us about him. It's quite OK for us to draw our own conclusions gradually from his thoughts and actions.

It’s very well-written so the only suggestions I have are the following minor editing points:

I think there are one or two places where the mixture of past and present tense narration needs tidying up. On the whole, it works OK – you use past for what happened (‘I lay on my back…’) and present for what he thinks or says to himself (‘What day is this anyway?). But on this basis ‘I think’ should be ‘I thought’ – or why not just ditch the ‘I think’ after ‘He’s due back soon’ altogether. Then further on: ‘was it locked, bolted…? Fuck it – I’m going to the loo, remember?’ Either change the ‘I’m’ to ‘was’ or the or change them both to present tense by changing the ‘was’ to ‘is’. It’s a small point but I think the mixture ought to be consistently dealt with.

I wasn’t sure about ‘jounce’, but, if it isn’t an officially-recognised word, it probably deserves to be!

The expressions ‘Blessed be’ and ‘Bless you’ didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the character’s inner dialogue which is pretty macho-heterosexual. I wouldn’t connect these expressions with a male character, or certainly not with one living the kind of life this one appears to be. (Late addition: I’ve now just read Ch 1 in the wrong order! So maybe he’s supposed to be bi-sexual which might account for some campness, in which case ignore the comment.)

I’d make ‘squeaky floorboard-free journey’ into ‘squeaky-floorboard-free journey’. The former suggests that the journey is squeaky but is free of floorboards.

Did you mean ‘Breathe. Thud. Breathe. Thud.’ rather than ‘breath’?

Hope these points are useful rather than nit-picking.

Great stuff. Looking forward to future chapters.


teck at 02:34 on 17 October 2006  Report this post

I may be completely off base here but I never got the impression the MC was a guy at all. As a matter of fact I find the idea of this character being other than another female totally contrary with my picture of what's going on here.
Perhaps that is part of what she wants the reader to manage on their own, each completing their mental vision without direction. A blatantly statement to categorize the MC as 'such and such' would seem inconsistent with the intent of the writing so far. To some degree it would spoil the scene for me. Afterall, don't we all now wonder about the person as well as the situation?

chris2 at 11:25 on 17 October 2006  Report this post
Teck/Faith - Gulp. Yes, now that I look back at Ch1 I see that there is actually no way of knowing for sure the gender of this character. I've just assumed from the dialogue that he/she is male. Hmm - interesting...


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .