averita: (mary: yellow)
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posted by [personal profile] averita at 12:17am on 05/04/2012 under ,
Title: Two Octobers
Author: [livejournal.com profile] averita
Summary: She dreams, strange, scattered dreams that taste like salt when she swallows them away.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~1000
A/N: I'm pinch-hitting for the [livejournal.com profile] mary_mcdonnell Minor Character Month of Love, which gave me a chance to explore Rose Darko! She's one of my favorite characters so this was a fun opportunity. The first drabble is from a collection I wrote three years ago featuring various characters Mary has played. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] meryl_edan for the beta!
Disclaimer: None of it is mine. The last line in the third drabble is from "Mad World" by Tears for Fears.

1. She smokes too much these days, but she likes the burn of it in her chest, the shapes she can make when she purses her lips just right. Sometimes she inhales and holds it, watching the ember flare at the tip of the cigarette.

When she holds her breath like this her bones grow heavier and her head, lighter. Smoke curls inside her lungs and settles like another weight pinning her down. The sun is setting; reds and oranges dance before her tired, unfocused eyes.

She thinks this must be how he felt when he died. It must have been peaceful.

2. He mutters it, but loudly, and she pauses outside his room. She's long given up on restricting their language, but as often as the word is thrown around, it's been a long time since it's been directed at her. She wonders where it came from.

She wonders a lot of things: where her son goes at night, why he's stopped taking his pills. She wonders why he needs them in the first place; if it's her fault, somehow, though she knows it's not. She wonders why

She's tired, and her head hurts. She'll talk to him in the morning.

3. She dreams, strange, scattered dreams that taste like salt when she swallows them away. Her throat is always tight. She doesn't speak much, and Eddie doesn't sleep, but she only knows this because they're still in a hotel room that smells like a hospital and he doesn't have an armchair.

She dreams of that girl, the one who waved, and thinks Donnie would have liked her. She dreams of houses that aren't hers, burning. She dreams of planes, the shaking, an oxygen mask and craters in a field. The dreams in which she's dying are the best she's ever had.

4. They don't talk in the morning. Instead a plane falls on their house, and no one can seem to tell them anything. She woke with her heart in her throat; it stopped pounding when Donnie's room turned up empty, but doesn't return to her chest until he shows up, covered in grass stains and smiling an odd smile.

Later, when the FAA has gone, she pulls him to her and he lets her. Her own smile is tremulous as she brushes his hair from his eyes. "Sometimes I sleep better outside," he says, and right now that's enough for her.

5. Bush wins, of course, despite Elizabeth and the campaign she threw herself into like the deep end of a pool.

Rose didn't vote. She thinks Eddie did, but he won't say one way or another, and dinner is tense. "This whole fucking world is going to hell," Elizabeth snaps, finally, and storms off. Rose doesn't move except to close her eyes, part of her waiting for the sarcastic, bitter laugh she knew so well, for tonight's variation of the word "fuck".

Sam picks the cheese off her pizza. Rose sips her wine, eyes still closed, ears ringing in the silence.

6. The election is in less than a month, but somehow these days she hears more about Jim goddamn Cunningham than Dukakis versus Bush. She's not sure if that says more about her or Kitty Farmer.

She's sick of Kitty, and would be amused if she weren't so worried when Donnie tells her where to shove it. But then there's another phone call, the fucking Antichrist, and a rabbit called Frank. When she sees Cunningham's house burning on TV, the words "
They Made Me Do It" flash before her eyes. She blames the leftovers as she tries not to be sick.

7. The house is already on the market by the time it's been repaired. Eddie's found a nice place with four bedrooms across town. It's a fifteen minute drive from the nearest golf course; she doesn't know why that feels important.

It falls to Rose to pack. (When Kitty Farmer shows up with garbage bags and yellow gloves, she finally gives in to the urge to slam the door in her face.) Upstairs smells like paint and fresh plaster. On the third day she collapses into the new corners of Donnie's bedroom and weeps.

It's December already. Sometimes she wears his coat.

8. "How does it feel to have a wacko for a son?" he asks, and she's only partly lying when she says it's wonderful. It's getting harder to live with the constant burn in her eyes, but it reminds her of those days almost eighteen years ago - those sleepless nights, the desire to know what he was thinking and make everything better.

She nearly cancels three times, but Samantha's glowing, and Eddie's voice is soothing on the phone. Donnie squeezes her hand. The next day he pulls her into a hug like he never wants to let go, and waves.

9. Eddie's fingers relax when he comes, leaving a dull throb in her hip. He kisses her shoulder as she shudders around him.

After, she lays her head over his heart and listens. Sometimes all she hears is pounding. The other day she met Elizabeth's boyfriend, and for a second it swallowed her, the thunder, a feeling like falling.

She feels brittle. She smiles more now, but it feels wrong, like it's just to stop the shaking. Her hip doesn't hurt anymore but she'll have bruises in the morning.

She dreams again, those strange, scattered dreams. Somehow they feel more real.

10. In her dream she is laughing. Elizabeth laughs with her; the sound is fresh, not bitter. Eddie's hand is warm on her back and she wants to kiss him, so she does, while Sam hides her face in his shoulder and pretends to gag.

Donnie is on the sofa, but when he looks up his eyes are young and amused. "I'm trying to read," he says, and holds up a book:
The Philosophy of Time Travel. Rose frowns, but she is happy, and laughing, and now Donnie is laughing too.

He is still laughing when the plane begins to shake.
Mood:: 'full' full
There are 18 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] marzipanilla.livejournal.com at 06:04am on 05/04/2012
I just watched Donnie Darko last week (for the whatever-th time), so that whole world is still swirling around in my brain and this just fits in so well.

I've never found much fanfic for it that handles dreams quite well, though it is a big theme for it. This is just gorgeous with just the right touch of both realities.
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:29pm on 05/04/2012
It's been ages since I watched it, and I still don't entirely understand it (though I suppose that's part of the fun), so I'm glad you think that this fits in well!

Dreams are tricky, but I liked the idea of exploring the parallel worlds and they seemed a natural (if admittedly easy) way of connecting the two. I'm really happy you think it worked.

Thanks so much for commenting!
posted by [identity profile] nvgvup.livejournal.com at 07:10am on 05/04/2012
I really love this. I think you really bring Rose to life in these short drabbles. I can feel her being tugged back & forth between the world of her son, his dreams, his psychosis, and the world of her family, and the world of everything else... Very nicely done.
posted by [identity profile] firstlady1408.livejournal.com at 12:38pm on 05/04/2012
Just had to say I LOVE your icon. The childlike empress was prob my first crush many, many, many years ago.
posted by [identity profile] nvgvup.livejournal.com at 04:42pm on 05/04/2012
Thanks! All credit goes to [livejournal.com profile] fixed_points. I saw it and HAD to have it! I grew up rewinding an old beta tape to figure out her name!!
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:31pm on 05/04/2012
Thank you so much! It's a confusing movie to watch and she's a hard character to get a read on, but I felt like she was the one who was trying so hard to hold herself and everyone else together while being pulled in ten different directions, so tried to get that tension across. I hope it worked!
posted by [identity profile] radak.livejournal.com at 07:11am on 05/04/2012
it's amazing!
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:31pm on 05/04/2012
Thank you!
posted by [identity profile] surena-13.livejournal.com at 08:22am on 05/04/2012
These were beautiful. You've managed to perfectly bring the atmosphere of the movie in these. You've really brought more depth to Rose and I love that she sort of remembers that alternate timeline in her dreams. And that you managed to work some of the lyrics of Mad World in them.

Fantastic job!
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:32pm on 05/04/2012
Thanks so much. Like I said above, it's been ages since I've seen the movie, and it's confusing at the best of times, so I'm especially glad it rang true.

As for the Mad World lyrics - lol. I wasn't sure if that counted as cheating, but I liked the idea. I'm glad you did too :)

Thanks again!
posted by [identity profile] sczep84.livejournal.com at 10:23am on 05/04/2012
Absolutely amazing!! U totally managed to capture the mood of the film and u wrote Rose very much in chacter! Love these!! Now I wanna rewatch Donnie Darko!
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:33pm on 05/04/2012
Thank you so much, bb! Rose was a great character to explore. I hadn't seen the movie in quite awhile so it was a good excuse to get it out again :)
posted by [identity profile] dlcookie.livejournal.com at 10:46am on 05/04/2012
This is fabulous.
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:33pm on 05/04/2012
Thanks you very much :)
posted by [identity profile] firstlady1408.livejournal.com at 12:37pm on 05/04/2012
Words fail me. They really do. Just simply perfect. My chest is aching.
posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:34pm on 05/04/2012
I'm glad ♥ (Well, not that your chest is aching, I don't want you back in the ER. But the rest of it. Thanks ♥)
posted by [identity profile] bsg-aussiegirl.livejournal.com at 11:40pm on 14/04/2012
I love the tone of these. They fit into the world of DD so well. I kinda feel like I don't even understand some of them, and that's perfect for DD too!!! LOL

And most importantly for this exercise, they've made me want to rewatch the movie, and then re-read them.

posted by [identity profile] averita.livejournal.com at 04:46pm on 16/04/2012
Thank you so much! (I totally wouldn't understand it all either if I hadn't rewatched and researched before writing this, so no worries there, LOL.)

I'm really glad you liked it and that it made you want to rewatch! I'd forgotten how good a movie it is, and especially how good Mary is in it.

Thanks for commenting!


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