Archives for category: original fiction

As I’ve mentioned I’m going to try to do Camp Nanowrimo in April. I haven’t posted anything lately because I’m kind of afraid to, at least when it concerns nanowrimo. Because, well, last time it went to hell, didn’t it? And maybe it will this time too. I really hope not.

Until April, though, I have a couple snippets of the novel for you.

***

A/N: A possible beginning to the story.

Riley Hopkins had been staring at the blank computer screen for quite a while. The vertical line towards the top left of the screen kept blinking, in and out of existence. If she flicked her eyes down to the bottom right corner she could see that another fifteen minutes had passed. She would have to go to sleep soon. But the daily diary entry was mandatory, and so she stared at the screen just a little bit onger, before fixing her fingers on the keyboard. Typing noises filled the air of the small apartment, as she forced herself to think of some trivial details to write down. There had been no mission. Nothing was out of the ordinary. And her microwavable ready-meal had tasted like carrots. Satisfied, she saved the entry onto the database and turned off the computer.

Riley had a mission in the morning, so it was time for bed.

***

A/N: A conversation between the antagonist and the protagonist’s mentor.

“We’re the same kind of people,” Murdoch says calmly, like he knows, like he’s in Hayes’ head. And if anybody can be in Hayes’ head, it’s Murdoch. And that scares him more than anything, because he still wants to believe they’re not the same. He wants to believe that he’s good still, strong still, courageous as he used to be. “You and I, Hayes,” Murdoch says and approaches him. Looks down on him. “If you hadn’t given yourself up for research, your own research, you and I could have worked together. We could have shared it all.” And Hayes is paralyzed, because Murdoch wants him to be. He is filled with renewed contempt for the man in front of him, a man who is way more delusional and idealistic than he is. The biggest difference between them also defines them. Hayes believes in the power of the people, but Murdoch believes only in the power of himself. What a dangerous person to be about to run the country.

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If you’ve been reading my previous blog entries you know that I’ve been considering writing a story that involves chemically engineered angels, lesbians and a very corrupt government. The first part of it(most likely the prologue) is posted here under the title “First Impressions”. I’ve revised it, I’ve had a good think, and I think it’s something worth doing.
To give you some background on the story:

Riley is one of the victims of an aggressive government experiment that leaves her invisible to virtually everyone. But the purpose of this invisibility is to enable her and the others like her to help and protect people who are valuable to the government. Those people are the only ones who can see her.

Having been like this for three years, 22 year old Riley comes across a girl called Jess. She is not Riley’s charge, not meant to be protected, but still Jess can see her. Puzzled and thrown, Riley goes to the government and demands answers, none of which are given.

Riley keeps meeting Jess, who gets increasingly curious of who Riley is and why she’s invisible to everyone else. As her snooping becomes more and more personal, and by proxy a threat to the government, they decide to take her out.

If Riley saves her and hides her away, the government will surely use their trackers to find Riley and kill her instead(or possibly something even worse), but if she doesn’t, she will have to watch as they kill Jess. The only person who has cared about her for the last three years, the only person who has made her feel something other than what the government programmed her to feel, dead.

If only there was a hidden third option.

What I’m wondering now, is whose point of view should I tell the story from? Should I tell it from Riley’s POV and explain who she is and why she’s like that from the get-go, or should I tell it from Jess’ POV and leave it a mystery for half the book? That is the question.

If anybody has an opinion, I’d love to hear it!

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term iTunes Drabbles(or occasionally iTunes Challenge), but the gist of it is that you put your iTunes on shuffle and write one short story(80-150 words) for every song that comes up. I haven’t done this in a long time, but I felt really full of ideas today and anxious to write something. Doing this helped me get some stuff out.

**

The characters I used were original ones that I’m just getting to know. They’re all young(19-23) and called Emery, Olli, Hayes and Spencer. These stories have nothing to do with each other, and I’ve used the characters in different ways with different relationships while still trying to retain their individual essence and feel. Also I haven’t proofread them terrible thoroughly, so you’ll have to excuse any errors.

1. Professor Umbridge – Nicholas Hooper(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix soundtrack)
Emery opens his eyes to darkness. The last time he awoke there was darkness too, but there was also a warm body beside him. That warmth was now gone, and the darkness much more poignant and thick. He sits up in the bed and calls for his… friend? Lover? Partner? Olli. He calls for Olli, who he can’t define. He knows that’s part of the problem. Only silence answers him, and he knows abandonment will always be his problem, if his Olli doesn’t return. A sliver of light cuts through the inky darkness, and silently he is swept up in an embrace of warmth. Love now coexists with darkness, both in this room and in his heart.

2. Mine – Taylor Swift(Glee Cast Version)
Hayes looks out on the pond. The image of the sky is reflected in the water. He feels happy, though a little anxious as he waits for his boyfriend. Spencer was always late – he shouldn’t worry. Sprawled out on the grass, he watches the clouds. Taking a deep breath to expel his nervousness, he doesn’t realize the fitful sleep he falls into. When he wakes up there are sirens drifting through the air, and his best friend Olli is shaking him awake. There has been an accident, he shouts. Why is he shouting? The warmth of the summer day rushes out of his body, as another friend runs down to them, bringing the news of death. Flash-forward to a funeral, the funeral, where everything, even the roses, are black. Until Hayes looks out on the pond, and Spencer is walking up to him, hiding something behind his back. “Is this real?” Hayes whispers, and Spencer kneels down beside him to give him a life-confirming, reaffirming, cementing kiss which leaves no doubt in his mind. Spencer pulls out from behind him a brilliant, red rose.

3. A Death Waltz – Jay Brannan
Their eyes met across the dance floor, not for the first time that evening. The old-fashioned ball had appealed to many people, but especially to Olli, who couldn’t stop his eyes from flickering from person to person, their brilliant period clothes the attraction that commanded his eyes. Until him. There was no one dressed as brilliantly as him, but his clothes were far down on the list of why Olli couldn’t tear his eyes away from him. The man’s eyes, his sharp features and his confident gait were all things that commanded attention, and Olli could feel himself move onto the dance floor as a waltz started playing in the background. As if on cue, the man met him in the middle, the couples swirling around them nothing more than background fodder, a picture with the shutter left open for too long even for the most avant garde photographer. With no words exchanged, they held each other and moved in unison to the music. Olli would find himself in the arms of this handsome, mysterious man many times in the future, not sure if his dance ever conveyed the words he couldn’t say.

4. Runnin’ – Adam Lambert
There was never a bottle so compelling as the bottle of whiskey on the table in front of him. Hayes had always been innocent. Well-behaved. The nice boy mothers loved to be introduced to. Then he had met Spencer, who had turned his world upside down. The world of girlfriends and studies and having said girlfriend’s mothers fall in love with him was over. There was only Spencer, that man and his dark eyes and all-knowing smirk. He was kind when he needed to be. So charming and protective and Hayes hadn’t been able to resist. Redefining everything he thought he was had never been so exhausting, and the escape the bottle provided was too valuable not to take advantage of. He didn’t yet have the energy or the courage to face the tall, dark and handsome paradigm shift in his life, and running was so much easier.

5. All time low – The Wanted
After finding Emery in a pool of his own vomit on the floor of his apartment, Spencer, Olli and Hayes decided they couldn’t let this go on. They wouldn’t let their best friend destroy himself, so they cleaned him up, took care of him, and told him the only way left to go was up. They were curious of what had led their friend to this all time low, but they didn’t feel like they could ask. Until Emery himself told them when he woke up for the second time. They were loved. All of them. In different ways and from different points of view, but loved nonetheless. But they were leaving, all moving away, and Emery couldn’t handle it. Their family split up, it was unbearable for the broken boy looking up at them from the bed. Shameful tears burned in his eyes and his black hair sticked to his face with sweat, but he was still swept up in a heart-crushing hug by his family. They reassured him, as best they could, and promised to take care of him wherever they went in the world.

6. Aftermath – Adam Lambert(Glam Nation Live version)
Coming out hadn’t been Olli’s decision, but the situation seemed to take the choice out of his hands. His parents found him in the hospital, holding the hand of an unconscious and to them foreign boy, which by itself would have been explainable. The fact that it was after the bank robbery and Olli himself had dried blood all over his clothes – some of it his own – and that he was clinging to the boy with desperate tears in his eyes, made the whole thing a little more conspicuous. His parents fought with him, but he stayed by the hospital bed until the boy woke up, his red-rimmed, blue eyes looking up at him. Olli smiled through his tears, and leant down to place a soft kiss on the other boy’s chapped lips. Warmth was exchanged through their intertwined hands and love, Olli thought, didn’t have far to go before it too would reach them.

7. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
The club was teeming with excitement, and the loaded atmosphere as they waited for the main act of the evening never failed to fill Spencer with anticipation. He knew this night’s main act. It was his best friend’s band, and it was the first time he would see them perform. The curtain rose and the music started, and a small smile spread on Spencer’s face. Hayes was standing in the middle of the stage, ridiculously tight leather pants hugging his legs and a ripped shirt on his upper body. Spencer had never seen him look so hot, or hot at all come to think of it, since Spencer wasn’t gay. As soon as Hayes started dancing, though, he knew he would have to reevaluate that assumption. Hot was definitely the right word, and he resolved to tell Hayes that as soon as the show was over, and worry about his sexuality and the integrity of their friendship another day.

Sunny Days, my very first novel is now finished. I’ve had a quick look through it just now, and of course I found several things I want to change. But that’s inevitable. I actually think this has been changed and revised enough times, and it’s kind of crap, which means it’s not really worth spending any more time on. It’s my nano novel from 2011, so I’ve actually spent almost a year on it already. I reckon that’s enough.

Now, and for my next novel, I want to focus on character development, and consistency, something that I… didn’t really do for Sunny Days. I focused on other, more basic things, like making the plot go round, making it realistic and describing the environment(and finishing it!). It’s very much a first attempt at a novel, and at around 35 pages it’s extremely short. But I like it because it’s finished.

My main characters in Sunny Days are quite simplistic, and they don’t really go through any major change. Plus the fact that the ending is a bit of a cop-out, mostly because I wanted to be rid of this before November this year. I promised myself that this would be finished by then. So I guess I took some liberties with the last quarter, cut some corners, you know. But, for a first attempt by a 15/16 year old Swedish girl, I think it’s pretty damn good. It’s interesting how my opinion on it changes according to what angle I see it from, though. I mean, if a publisher read it without knowing anything of the author, he’d think it was terrible. If he knew who had written it, he would probably be impressed.

I don’t know. Sorry if I repeat myself too much. I’m just really conflicted on whether to be proud of it or to be ashamed of it and shove it in a cupboard. I think I’m mostly proud of it. I think it’s important to allow yourself to be proud of what you achieve, and Sunny Days is a tremendous achievement of mine, and I can only get better from here.

So to everybody else who are writing their first novel, or short story, or script, or anything really, just don’t give up. I had given up on this, until I sat down with it one day in a coffee-fueled frenzy and something gave. I was able to find the continuation, that was previously locked inside my head. And then I had to fight to drag the last few scenes out of me, but now it’s done. Just after I printed it, just holding it in my hand, thumbing through it, 35 pages of something I’d written, it was one of the best feelings in the world.

A/N: These are the very first scenes in “Sunny Days”, my Nanowrimo novel from last year. I plan to post a part that’s somewhere in the middle of the story as well, but I’ve been promising to post an excerpt for so long and this bit is actually okay, as far as my writing goes. Feel free to critique(as long as it’s constructive!).

Mark closed his folder, and without even speaking to his class, simultaneously the sound of them throwing their books back in their bags and scraping their chairs against the linoleum floor arose in the room. As usual, they were out of there almost before he could say “Class dismissed”. He sighed as he watched them all leave. Then he packed up his things, put on his autumn jacket and hauled his messenger bag over his shoulder. He was going into town.

He had planned to go shopping, to buy something nice for his 12 year old niece, whose birthday was just around the corner. However, the Underground gods didn’t approve of this course of action, a fact they made clear when Mark’s train stopped halfway between Warren Street and Oxford Circus.
Mark had been through this kind of stuff before, so it didn’t exactly phase him. However, he was the type of person who kept to himself, and didn’t talk to anyone outside of his family or small circle of friends if he didn’t have to. That’s why he inwardly groaned when the old lady beside him started to small talk in a shrill voice, one that was much too loud for a mostly quiet subway cart.
“I think I recognise you from somewhere!” she said, and half the people in the cart turned to scrutinise him. Everybody liked a good celebrity encounter, he supposed.
But he was no celebrity. “I’m sure you’re mistaken, ma’am. He smiled weakly.
“No, I’m certain,” she insisted and started rummaging around in her bottomless handbag. “I know I had it in here…”
Mark looked away, stared up at the ceiling. What had his life become? Ten years ago, his whole life had been promising. He had been so happy. He used to consider himself an author, a man on a mission to change the way people saw the world. Teaching was really just his backup plan.
“Here it is!” the lady next to him exclaimed without warning and tugged at his sleeve.
He suppressed a sigh and looked to her. He raised his eyebrows in confusion.
“Wait a minute, that’s my…!” he looked up at the lady, who was now smiling.
She smiled sweetly, the wrinkles on her face testifying about a long life with many meetings and moments of both happiness and sorrow. “It’s my favourite,” she said.
“It is?” Mark stared disbelievingly at the book in her hand.
She turned to the very last page and pointed at the picture that was printed there. It was of Mark, a picture of the author, from eleven years ago.
He gently pried the book away from her hands to look at the picture. He was so young there. So happy. With a start, Mark remembered that very day, and his former boyfriend who had been with him. He smiled, this time much more genuine, and handed the book back to the lady. He never thought he would see anyone with his book, as it only sold about 300 copies when it was published. “Thank you,” he said to her and pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. Thank you for reminding me who I am, he added in his mind.
She returned his smile with fervour. In that very moment the train powered up and started moving again. Mark and his newfound friend returned to sitting in silence, the rest of the people in the cart having stopped paying attention to them long ago.
“Oh!” Mark buried his head in his hands. “An autograph!” he turned back to the lady. “Did you want an autograph?”

***

He arrived in Oxford Circus at long last, an hour after he was supposed to. The streets were usually still full of tourists at this time of day, but today seemed to be a little quieter. He was mostly window-shopping, finding nothing he deemed good enough for his favourite niece. Alisha was his goddaughter as well as his niece, and he always felt like taking a bit of extra care of her. He himself wasn’t religious, but his sister was Christian and all her two children were baptised.
An hour later he had bought a gold necklace, and though he was very happy with it, it had been a struggle to get through to the jeweler  who had been wrapped up in his own problems and arguing with his wife. He headed back to the tube station at a leisurely pace, feeling more relaxed than he had in a long time. Suddenly he stopped, as he saw another man his age come running down the steps from another street, carrying an unwieldy guitar case. The man looked extremely scattered and in a hurry, and suddenly he tripped down the rest of those stairs, guitar case falling open in the air, revealing a very battered and well-used acoustic guitar, now laying outside of its case, next to the man on the cold pavement. Mark had, however, already been staring at the man for several seconds before he fell. He knew that platinum blond hair anywhere. He swore he wouldn’t have noticed if a tsunami washed over them at this point. It had to be him. Nothing else mattered, because it was him.
He ran up to the man, who was just rising to his feet. Mark had gone over there, meaning to ask if he was okay, if he could help with anything, but he found himself simply standing there, a dumbstruck look on his face.
The man he knew to be Mitchell finally looked up at him, and Mark’s heart constricted with an emotion he had abandoned, as Mitchell’s face flashed with sorrow, anger and shock. And then something happened that Mark hadn’t expected.
“Mitchell!” Another man came running down the steps from which Mitchell had just fell. “Are you all right?” the man glanced briefly at Mark before grasping Mitchell’s shoulders firmly and looking deeply into his eyes, as if he was searching for something. Mitchell closed his mouth, that was open but silent, making him briefly resemble a goldfish.
“Mitchell!” the red-haired man insisted.
“Yes, Allen!” Mitchell burst. He squirmed in his friend’s tight grip. “Now let go!”
Allen did as he was told and glared at Mark, as if everything was his fault. Which he supposed it was, in a way. Mitchell turned to Mark, an unreadable expression on his face.
“Mark,” he stated in a strained voice.
“Mitch,” Mark breathed, showing considerably more emotion with his voice. With barely perceptible motions, started moving his hands up to Mitchell’s sides, but suspended the action before they had touched. He had never expected to see this man ever again in his life. “What are you… doing here?” he asked, because if he recalled as correctly as he knew he did – he wasn’t likely to forget his year with Mitchell, least of all how it ended – Mitchell was supposed to be working as a music teacher somewhere in Yorkshire.
Mitchell picked up his guitar with slow motions, as if he had to think each one through. “Came back to follow my dream,” he said matter-of-factly, looking at Mark strangely.
Mark couldn’t decipher his former boyfriend’s expressions. Nor could he think of anything to say to the man he had once considered the love of his life.
“Mitchell?” Allen said from behind him. “Who’s this?” he curiously raised an eyebrow.
“Nobody,” he answered, all the while looking at Mark.
Mark swallowed, starting to feel sick.
“I’ve got to go.” Mitchell looked as pained as he was, but his voice remained unwavering, and so did his gait. He started walking, slowly, and looked back to catch the older man’s eyes one more time, before he started running, guitar held protectively against his chest. Outside of its case.
Allen, however, didn’t spare him a second look as he sprinted after his friend.
“Mitch!” Mark yelled. “Mitch!”
But Mitchell didn’t hear him. Either that, or he didn’t want to.
Mark sighed and looked down at the ground, where the guitar case did indeed lay, open and empty without its occupant. He closed it and picked it up gently. Maybe if Mitch was back for good they’d run into each other again. That was his argument for saving the case. He could give it back if they did. And he couldn’t just leave it there. It was Mitchell’s. Therefore, it was more important than anything he owned. It was another link to the man he had lost through sheer stupidity. He couldn’t even bare to think about what that ginger bloke might mean to Mitchell. He hoped they were just friends. He disapproved of jealous thoughts in general, especially when they were unfounded and even more so when the person having them had no right to, but he couldn’t help himself. It was in his gut, that feeling. In his heart. It felt wrong to see Mitchell with somebody else.

Mark and Mitchell’s last meeting was so long ago, they hadn’t seen each other in ten years. Mark had almost started seeing him as a dream, being so utterly perfect in his memory. And he knew, that nobody was perfect. Maybe that was why, with each passing week, even day in the beginning, Mitch had felt less and less real until he seemed to Mark a concept, a dream you barely remember when you wake up, and one you distort further every time you tell it to someone. Mark hadn’t even thought about him for months, yet there he was, just like that. The same day somebody reminded him of Mitchell. The same day he found a new friend on the subway.

A/N: I don’t really know what this is, to be honest, I don’t even know if I like it. But it’s different from what I usually write so I thought because of that it might be worth posting. As I’ve said, I do a lot of experiments with my writing lately, just to sort of see what I can do and not just keep to simple things. Interpret this how you like, I have something in mind for these characters for the future. I don’t know if this scene will be incorporated, but I like how these characters are in my mind and I’m actually thinking of writing a fantasy story around them. More on that later, though. Thanks, whoever you are, for reading my blog =)

Jess looked around the room awkwardly, holding a cider in her hand when suddenly a girl appeared next to her.

“Hi,” she said.

“Erm, hi,” Jess answered, surprised and not used to people initiating conversations with her.

“You enjoying the party, then?” The girl asked, friendly and inquisitive.

“Yeah, sure,” Jess said, apparently not too convincingly because the girl gave her a look that told her she didn’t believe her. “No, not really,” she conceded. “Parties aren’t really my thing.”

“No, mine neither. I’m Riley,” she said, offering her hand for Jess to shake.

“Jess,” Jess paused and looked at the woman she was facing. She was older than her – maybe a year or two – had short, dark blonde hair, a piercing through her eyebrow and a grey band t-shirt(Black Sabbath). That’s how Jess noticed people. Little, scattered things about them that caught her attention. It wouldn’t be until later, when they were stood on the balcony away from the people inside, that she noticed her burgundy slim jeans and the tattoo on her left  collarbone that she couldn’t make out the exact shape of in the relative darkness.

“So why are you here if you don’t like parties?” Riley asked her, above the noise of the music they were playing.

Jess smiled. “Half my class is here, they kind of dragged me,” she confessed.

“Oh, I know the feeling,” Riley said, taking a sip of her beer. Then she seemed to realise something. “Oh, so you’re in Robbie’s class then?”

“Yeah, why?”

“I’m his big sister,” Riley smiled, and that was when Jess noticed her piercing cheekbones.

“Oh, okay,” Jess said, slightly surprised. Although she could see the similarities between her artistic classmate and the girl in front of her. “How old are you, then?” She asked, feeling a little lame. She didn’t really know the rules of conversation in a situation like this. She didn’t even know what sort of situation it was.

“I’m 19,” Riley said, and looked around her as somebody raised the volume of the music. “You want to go outside?” she half-shouted, leaning into Jess. To make her voice carry, no doubt.

On the inside Jess was shocked, intrigued, and a little bit scared. Maybe it was that kind of a situation. Despite herself, she was excited. She said yes, and let herself be led through the house, Riley’s hand always touching some part of her, casually, as if they had been friends for years. The hand eventually landed on the small of Jess’ back, as Riley had closed the door to the balcony.

“I hope I’m not being too forward,” Riley said, and Jess’ heart skipped a beat. Or several.

“No, no, course not,” she heard herself say even though she wasn’t sure at all.

This was when Jess noticed the warmth radiating off the girl in front of her, and how much taller she was, since they were standing so close together. Riley looked into her eyes, not moving a muscle. The moment intensified.

This was when Jess noticed herself, standing on the other end of the balcony, a ghostly pressure on her lips.

A/N: This is something I wrote while in Oxford this summer(taking an English course) where I went against my unoriginality instincts and wrote about where I was. What I knew. Oxford inspired me the day that I wrote this, and I’m very glad I let it. This is one of the short stories I’ve written almost like practice for myself, to not think about everything so much and just let the story guide me. Also to describe looks and surroundings more, as that is one of the major criticisms I’ve gotten from various friends and teachers over the years. You probably won’t be too fond of this unless you’re a sappy romantic just like me.

“I feel like a tourist,” Ben said and continued to bite his thumbnail.
“You are a tourist,” Martin smiled affectionately at him as he took another stroke to propel them further along the Thames, that was more correctly called the Isis as it was running into Oxford. A gust of wind caught their boat making it sway slightly.
“I can’t believe you talked me into this,” Ben remarked, continuing his string of falsely negative comments.
Martin knew that Ben didn’t like being in a boat, but he also knew that he loved Oxford, meaning that most of Ben’s protests against doing anything touristy were bound to be simply for the sake of protesting. Rowing further down the river, Martin studied his boyfriend. The over-sized t-shirt with a Beatles print, the long, blonde hair done up in a ponytail, the dark sunglasses giving an air of nonchalance to him(but that was really just a way for him to hide what he was looking at). Like right now, when he was alternating between looking at the scenery and looking at Martin’s bare chest. He really wasn’t trying to show off. The day was just exceptionally hot.

They made an odd couple, Ben and him. Martin was half Greek and tanned all through the year while Ben had ancestors from Scandinavia, which made him pale in the winter and blushed when he was exposed to the sun. Martin was confident and loved to exercise while Ben was more careful and had an insatiable love for ice cream. As did Martin, when he came to think of it. Maybe they weren’t so different after all. Not when it came to ice cream flavours, and not the important stuff either. They had the same religious views, the same political believes and they loved the same music. But above all, they loved each other. Martin stopped rowing, putting the oars down on the sides of the boat and smiled at his boyfriend. He couldn’t suppress the urge to reach forward and kiss him.
“I love you,” he said between kisses, ones that Ben reciprocated happily.
“What’s gotten into you?” Ben asked with a smile on his face.
“You have,” Martin answered and peppered his neck with kisses. The boat swung back and forth as their kissing got more heated, and as Martin leaned further forward the balance was set off. Panting, Ben reached for him, grabbing on to his belt buckle to pull him closer. Neither of them noticed how much the boat was tipping, nor did they think of any possible witnesses to their passionate display of affection, despite the business of the day. The wind grabbed on to them once more, this time causing the already unstable boat to wobble, and just like that the inevitable happened.

At first they were shocked, and Ben managed to swallow a mouthful of dirty water, but then they got themselves together and resolutely swam to shore. Laughing, they sat there on the grass for a good five minutes, before they realised that the boat they had been in was a rental.

EDIT 21st February 2013: I’m a huge Sherlock fan, and I’ve read a fair amount of Johnlock fanfic in my time, but I seriously didn’t realize until now that these characters are called Ben and Martin. Seriously. Perhaps my subconscious was trying to tell me something(though they obviously don’t look like Ben and Martin, but still).