So it is day four of the National Write a Book month adventure and as expected, I’m falling behind. At the end of day three I had what I intended to have after two days. That’s fine I guess. I don’t really think I’m going to get to the 50,000 word goal, but progress is nice even if it’s less than it could be.

One thing I’ve noticed the last few days, and this may or may not have anything to do with writing, is the fact that by the time I get to about 8 o’clock at night I’m completely exhausted and have no more words to pour out.

My goal has been 2000 words per day, but I’ve known all along that’s pushing it. Best case scenario, I have an hour to write from 6 to 7 in the morning, half an hour to write at lunch if I’m lucky, and from about 7:30 to whenever my brain shuts down in the evening. That’s probably 2 1/2 hours total. I’m not that fast writer, but that’s OK. I don’t need to be.

Anyway the following is chapter 2 of the story. It will need a lot of revision, but this is what two day’s work looks like for me:

Chapter 2

Doug could never adequately explain to others or reconstruct to his own satisfaction the events that happened next. Somehow he must have found his way to a docked spaceship and managed to escape the gigantic glowing space station.

Sometime during his flight back to earth he must have passed out again. When he came to, he found himself in the middle of a shattered amusement park Ferris wheel on Coney Island. The ship was smashed and the pieces were scattered across the rather large crater he found himself lying in. Far overhead the mysterious space station seemed to wave to him, just pinprick of bright light in the night sky.

On the ground emergency vehicles were converging on the crash site. Still in a daze, Doug brushed aside the many proffered helping hands as he climbed out of the hole. Rescue workers moved about the Ferris wheel crumpled and smashed at the edge of the crash site, attending to the many victims scattered across the site.

“Are you alright?” asked a woman wearing an orange first responders vest. “Can you tell me what happened here?”

Doug stared stupidly at the young woman for a long second before answering. “I’m not sure.” He looked at the shattered ship scattered around him. “I think I fell out of the sky.”

“You were on the Ferris wheel?” she asked, pointing to the twisted wreckage around them.

Doug scratched at his un-dented chin. “No. I fell from a lot higher up then that. I was in space. In a space ship!”

“Right… can you tell me your name, sir?” she asked, stepping over a small burning electrical box. 

Doug looked away, unable to handle the scorn and doubt in her eyes. It crushed Doug to be looked at like that, especially when the looker was such a looker herself.

“It’s okay,” she said. “I can tell you’ve had a bad day. Look, if it’ll help, I’ll tell you my name. It’s Fiona. Fiona Fellowes.”

Doug reached for her extended hand. “I’m Doug.”

“Pleased to meet you, Doug. Do you have a last name?”

Doug nodded but said nothing.

When he didn’t supply his last name, the young woman took a step closer and gave Doug the once over, leaning in to smell his breath. “Are you drunk?” 

Doug thought about that for a second before shaking his head. “I don’t think so.”

Fiona nodded as if his claim agreed with her own suspicions. “I thought not. Are you hurt?”

Doug was less sure how to answer this one. Given the fact that he had just fallen out of the sky in a spaceship that now lay in shattered fiery pieces all around him, it was amazing he was alive—let alone in one piece. To compound the miracle, he could find not a scratch on himself. 

He looked up at Fiona and shook his head again.

“You are one lucky man, Doug,” she said. Her lips were smiling but her eyes were frowning. “But are you sure you’re really okay?”

Doug wasn’t quite sure what more he could say to reassure her he was fine, especially when he wasn’t really sure of it himself. It was starting to bother him that he couldn’t remember anything prior to waking up in the space station.

He gave Fiona a shrug. “I’m fine…but…”

“But?” she prompted.

“But I can’t seem to remember anything that happened to me before an hour ago.”

All traces of caution in Fiona’s face were instantly replaced by solicitous concern. “Maybe you have a concussion. What’s the first thing you remember?”

Doug wondered how honest should he be. While it was true he didn’t remember much of what constituted a normal “normal,” he was pretty sure stories of waking up in strange space stations didn’t qualify However, looking at her concerned, interested, and beautiful face, well he found he couldn’t be anything but completely honest and forthcoming with the cute girl.

“The first thing I remember is waking up in a space station an hour ago, not knowing where I was or how I had gotten there,” Doug explained. “Before that, I don’t remember a thing. Not one thing.”

Except for shadowy memories of Nazi dive bomber attacks along the French coast, apparently.

Fiona’s face quickly tried on a variety of reactions to his admission: doubt, disbelief, mistrust, suspicion, before her face finally settling on guarded curiosity.

“A space station? How on earth—excuse me, how in the world—no!” Fiona’s mask of calm cracked and began to grow flustered as she searched for the right stock phrase. “How in heaven or hell did you end up on a space station?”

“That’s what I’m saying!” Doug said despairingly. “I don’t know!”

“Well, if you were in the space station, how did you up here on Coney Island?” she asked, clearly trying to placate him by going along with what she saw as a delusion.

“I told you! I fell out of the sky in a spaceship!”

“In a spaceship?”

“Yes! In a spaceship!”

“Right… So where is your spaceship now?” Fiona asked, gesturing to the wreckage around them as if the absence of a space ship were definitive proof that Doug was crazy.

Doug knew he would sound crazy if he answered, but he felt compelled to be honest. He spread his arms wide and said, “It’s all around us, Fiona. It disintegrated on impact.”

Fiona scowled as she surveyed the accident site, considering her options. “Come with me,” she said at last. “I think you’d better tell your stories to my boss. Hopefully she’ll know what to do with you.”

She took him by the wrist and led him towards an older woman standing in front a row of ambulances and police cars. The woman held a megaphone to her mouth as she directed rescue efforts.

As they approached the woman, a blindingly bright light flashed overhead. Doug looked up just in time to see a point of light in the sky explode—a point of light that he very much thought might be the mysterious space station. The celestial light show bathed the city in enough illumination that for a few seconds it seemed like noontime. When nighttime returned, the point of light was gone, having spent itself completely. 

At least it was done shingling for the moment. 

Beside him, Fiona also looked skyward. Her skeptical expression had disappeared, replaced by a look of slack-mouthed confusion. She wasn’t the only one nearby who looked like that either. Everyone else within sight wore the same expression, though none did it with quite the casual grace that Fiona did. Fiona shook her head as if trying to clear cobwebs from her head.

“I’m sorry. What was it we were talking about?” Fiona asked Doug. 

Doug looked back up at the now dark and empty sky and then back to his companion. “Well, I was about to tell you how I keep hearing dive bombing Nazi planes that I know aren’t there, but keep hearing anyway.”

“You’re not drunk, are you?” Fiona asked.

“Of course not, Fiona!” Doug said. 

“Oh! You know my name? I’m sorry, but I seem to have forgotten yours,” she said with an embarrassed smile.

“That makes two of us.”

“You don’t remember your own name?” she asked. 

Doug shrugged, confused that she needed him to repeat everything he had just told her. “Yeah. Somehow I forgot it. My last name at least.” He stared at her, waiting for her to tell him that she already knew all this. When she didn’t, he added, “I do remember my first name though. It’s Doug.”

“Pleased to meet you, Doug,” she said, shaking his hand. “I think perhaps we’d both better talk to a doctor.”

“Why? You’re not hurt are you?”

“I’m not sure. You can’t remember your own name and somehow I can’t remember the last five minutes.”

“You can’t? Then you probably forgot this too, but I was just telling you that I can’t remember anything before an hour ago.”

“You can’t?”


“Then that clinches it!” she said. “We’d better get ourselves checked out right away.”

“I think you were in the process of doing that for me when… whatever happened to you happened to you.”

“Really what happened to me?”

“I’m not sure, to tell the truth. One minute you were going to introduce me to that lady over there,” Doug pointed at the woman who seemed to be Fiona’s supervisor. “The next minute you’d forgotten our entire conversation. I think you said the woman was your boss?”

Fiona sighed. “Yeah, she is. That’s one fact I haven’t forgotten. Wish I could, but I can’t…”

“Would she know who to direct us to?”

“She would, but then so do I… I can arrange a doctor’s examination for you. We have several on site with us. But I’m still going to have to talk to my boss. Nuts. She’ll still need to hear why I need to be excused from the rest of this rescue mission.” 

Fiona turned towards the middle aged woman and took two steps before turning back to Doug who hadn’t followed her yet. “Well, come along. I’ll refer you to the right people before I get out of here.”

Doug followed Fiona through the debris and over to the middle-aged response team supervisor.

“Mrs. McMurray?” Fiona said. “I found this man in the middle of the wreckage.”

“How nice for you, Miss Fellowes,” Mrs. McMurray said without looking at Fiona. 

McMurray stared in confusion at a particularly nasty tangle of amusement park ride that—until a minute ago—two men in hardhats had been trying to pull off a half covered body. Now the two men were staring at the body in obvious confusion. 

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all so lucky in love as you?” McMurray ask, visibly struggling to regain her composure. “Now if you wouldn’t mind, take your new beau and go away. The rest of us have work do to.”

Fiona staggered back, looking as if McMurray had just slapped her across the face. “Mrs. McMurray,” she began again, “Doug isn’t just a guy I’m interested in. He’s one of the victims. He needs our help.”

McMurray, who until now hadn’t even glanced in Doug’s direction, finally did. She looked Doug up and down with a critical eye. “He seems okay to me. What’s your complaint, young man?”

“I—.” Doug began. Still lost in Fiona’s unexpected last statement, he didn’t know what to say. Did he actually hear Fiona right? Did she really just say she was interested in him? And if interested, did she mean romantic interest? If ever there was a moment when Doug suspected he might be living in a male fantasy, this was it. Attractive young women don’t just throw themselves at potentially brain-damaged strangers.

“He told me he can’t remember anything prior to the accident here,” Fiona said, answering for the still stunned Doug.

“Is that right, sir?” McMurray asked.

“What?” Doug asked.

“Have you really lost your memory?” McMurray repeated impatiently.

“Oh, yeah,” Doug nodded. “I have.”

“Do you remember anything? Your name? Where you live? Were you here with family?”

“I don’t know. I don’t remember any of that,” Doug said.

“You told me your name was Doug,” Fiona reminded him. “So that’s something.”

“It is something. I just wish I remembered more,” Doug said.

“Perhaps you should check his wallet, Fiona,” Mrs. McMurray suggested. She looked to Doug and asked, “You do have one, I presume?”

Doug didn’t know whether he had a wallet or not until he checked his pockets. It turned out he did have a wallet and as an added bonus he also carried with him two sets of key.

“Your full name is Douglas Myers,” Fiona said, reading from Doug’s driver’s license. “And according to this, you don’t live anywhere near Coney Island.”

Inexplicably, Doug’s heart sank at this news. Of course he didn’t live nearby. The chances of falling out of the sky and landing in his own backyard were astronomical. The earth was actually a big place after all.

“Yeah, it says here you live in Queens,” Fiona said.

Doug repressed a wave of irritation at this supposedly funny comment. However well meant it might be, he didn’t appreciate his origins being kept from him. 

When Doug didn’t say anything respond, Fiona turned to Mrs. McMurray and said, “Mrs. McMurray I’m not feeling very well all of a sudden. I think I need to go home.”

“Oh? And you think anyone else is doing any better?” McMurray responded. “Look around you. We’re all in the same boat. I don’t know why, but everyone in sight looks like they were just kicked in the head.”

Evidentially Fiona hadn’t noticed this and she grew flustered when she finally did.

“Attend to your patient, Fiona. Have a doctor look him over and see that he gets returned to his family.”

“Yes, ma’am.”