Ok. One more.
by Nostalgia Chick
Chapter Two: The Kitchen
DHI Review by pibbs
Protected by fair use, bitch.
Cora all but fell upon her front door, fumbling out her keys in a frantic bid to shut herself inside and lock the world out. If traffic was forgiving, it took about half an hour to make it the ten miles home from downtown LA. By bus, it was closer to ninety minutes, but panic on the roads had put today’s journey closer to two hours
So, LA is panicking, because of a meteor? And maybe because some nut on the internet (her daddy) said muh aliens?
An initial panic had resulted in several fender benders both downtown and on the 110, although by the time Cora made it to her house, it seemed that the traffic was now back to boilerplate rush hour, perhaps slightly exacerbated due to a higher-than-normal number of car crashes.
...she saw dozens of people tearing by in their vehicles, clogging the streets and one of them nearly hitting her in their fervor, although what they were running to or from, she wasn’t sure, and she suspected neither were they.
And neither do we know the point of all this author. "She's got home late because of traffic." Just saved you 1,000 words.
Lindsay describes the neighborhood, showing off her, “yeah I'm from here” knowledge. She's lived there 2-3 years?
The two family dogs, Thor and Monster Truck...
Monster Truck? That's kinda funny actually. One point, Nchick.
She was so preoccupied that she didn’t even notice that she wasn’t the only person in the house.
“What are you doing here?” Cora nearly screamed when she noticed that there was a person on the couch, and that said person was playing her copy of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
April?! So, that's where she went. No, it's Aunt Lucianna. Weird reaction for someone who regularly drops by. Anyone got a Aunt that plays Skyrim? Goofy.
Monster Truck, a wall-eyed pug...
A pug named Monster Truck, that's even funnier. Another point.
Cora and Aunty discuss traffic for another page. We opened with a traffic report. That's two pages of traffic reports. Let's describe what happened then have characters repeat information. This is Ernest Cline tier shit here.
Cora blinked, her worry deepening. This was international news. Half of Southern California was searching for fallout shelters to die in, and Luciana wouldn’t even look up from Oblivion. “Lu, a second celestial object just fell from the sky in almost the exact same spot as a nearly identical one did a month ago.”
Some windows shattered in downtown buildings. Calm the fuck down, LA.
Ugh. We're going over the Ampersand/Fremda Memo thing again. Fuck's sake, Lindsay, we get it!
Still yammering with Aunty.
“I think that article Nils published today caught some attention, because I’m pretty sure some guys were spying on me before the meteor hit. There was a black Town Car following us this morning. Demi said it wasn’t the first time.”
WE ALREADY COVERED THIS IN CHAPTER ONE, LINDSAY, YOU VAPID WHORE!! This shows a lack of confidence in the writing. Did you get that? Huh? It may be important. Let me tell you again!
Wait, Cora's dad is half German. This is barely a minority! Does she still get SJW points? Anyway, halfway through this chapter and all that's happened is talking about what happened in chapter one, and that Lucianna was fired from a high security job with guv'ment clearance, because her brother spilled the beans on the aliens.
“Nils said their whole raison d’être was every country besides this one. If we’re being spied on, it should be FBI or NSA.”
Luciana shrugged. “Well, first, CIA involvement doesn’t preclude any other agencies. Second, Nils isn’t domestic. He’s committing espionage against the U.S. government from a foreign country. Ergo, he is a CIA matter.” She looked at Cora, her expression finally changing into something like sympathy. “You okay?”
Cora pursed her lips. “I think he’s challenging me.”
“Yeah. With this last article. It felt … pointed.”
“Well, of course it was pointed. He has never mentioned you before.”
“No, I mean, the uh…” Cora wrinkled her nose in disgust. “The ‘I hope they join me’ bit.”
“He’s challenging all of us.”
Cora huffed. “No, I mean me. Specifically me.”
Our guv'ment spies on me, cuz I'm the chosen one! Probably, right?
Luciana bolted upright on the couch, her attention snapping to the front window. “Someone’s here.”
Bolted... snapping to .. ladies, calm the fuck down. Cocaine, not even once]
Cora moved to look out the window, expecting a cavalcade of black Town Cars barreling in from both directions. There was no Town Car, but there was her mother’s Olds Cutlass, and she could feel a thrum of anger waves emanating from it.
There's a lot of this. EXCITEMENT! SOMETHING'S HAPPENING, oh, nothing. Nevermind.
Mom comes home and is mad because Cora didn't clock out or tell anyone. Remember, their floor's windows were blown out. Typically, the office drones don't keep doing TPS reports with a missing side to the building.
“They didn’t, but you did.” Demi’s voice was tremulous [someone got a thesaurus] with anger. “I know because Kaiser called PMT. You have been removed from staffing lists effective immediately because you left without a word during a minor crisis.”
Aliens, Lindsay. You had aliens, gov'ment conspiracies, and UFOs in your novel, yes? Two chapters, people.
So, mom works at the temp place that got Cora the job, and Cora's people fired that agency because Cora went home. This is what someone who's never worked thinks how business' are run.
Cora has gray eyes. This is important for Lindsay to point out in the middle of this for some reason. I've never met a person with gray eyes. Have you? She's probably a hybrid or something stupid like that.
Here's a sample of this conversation.
“I have a meeting tomorrow with the VP of staffing that may end with my no longer having a job. Because I recommended you to staffing,” Demi said, her anger now cold.
“I left during a crisis. The windows in the entire building had shattered.”
“Was that the noise?” asked Olive [the younger sister]. “The bang?”
“It’s okay, butternut. We’re safe,” said Cora, her tone contradicting her words.
“You still have to play by the rules,” said Demi.
“Can we please have this conversation at another time?” begged Cora, not wanting this to end in a scream-out in front of a first grader. Olive hugged her even tighter.
“No!” said Demi. “No, you do not get to duck out of this.”
And then a stranger at the door...
“Hello?” A man’s voice sounded from the still-open front door.
The three women turned to look at the man standing in the doorframe, looking like he’d caught a fair chunk of that conversation.
How does someone look like they "caught a fair chunk of a conversation?" What's that expression look like?
He was tall and willowy, with full dark hair, a slender face, and a plastic smile.
“Demetra Sabino,” he said as he took off his big, shiny aviators. “You prefer Sabino now, right?”
Monster Truck had calmed, but Thor was still challenging the intruder. Cora put Olive down and moved Thor back. She looked at the man again and nearly choked on her own sharp intake of air.
“Yes,” said Demi. “I’m not giving any press statements.”
“Not with the press.” He pulled out a badge. “Special Agent Sol Kaplan, CIA.”
It was one of the men from the Town Car.
Dun dun duuuuunnnn.....
End of Chapter Two