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Transient Revised plus Chapter 2


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Ok, so I went back and and revised everything that needed revision (thank you Bruin) and added another chapter for good measure. It's still a bit short as far as chapter goes, but they'll become longer as the story goes on.

Simply put, Transient is story of a young man moving out to a new city to be a musician and search for his life purpose. Along the way he meets various people from all walks of life and connects with them. He also finds his love in the down trodden and dirty side of Seattle, and desperately tries to save him from his self.

I have discovered that writing a story in third person is much more difficult than I thought it would be. And, also, that paragraphs on here and on Microsoft Word are vastly different. On here they look even more short, so I do not like that...I do not like that at all. lol

Comments are very welcomed and very much appreciated, especially criticism! And who knows, it may change my entire out look on which direction I put the story in. I had planned on the main character to be a drummer, but now am going to portray him as a vocalist so as to put a little of my poetry in there to add to the depth and message I hope to put in Transient. (Thank you Merkin.) :icon6:

So anyway, here's my second jab at the beginnings of what I hope to be a great novel. Enjoy! And remember, stay critical! :icon13:



When we are young, we dream. When we are young, we are fools. Such are we, the young, foolish dreamers. We do stupid things just to do them, and believe our selves invincible. We believe anything can happen, so long as we believe in ourselves. You can't exactly blame us for trying. It's drummed into our heads from the beginning; "This is America! This is where dreams come true!" Once we are out there, however, we discover it's not as easy as it seems. Sometimes, plans don't work out. Sometimes, it's not so simple. Sometimes, dreams don't come true.

And then we are old, and we realize the trip was wasted. We wish we could have the years back. To do things differently. To change the outcome of what our lives have summed up to be. To try, one last time, to follow our dreams. Those days, however, will never be given back.

Then, hopefully, we'll realize that it isn't about failure or success. It's about the journey. It's about the people we've connected with. It's about the places we've been. It's about the stories and the memories we make. Most of all, it's about taking a chance! About making a move toward our dreams, and whether or not we at least tried.

This is a story of hope. This is a story of dreams. This is a story, of wasted youth.



He walked down the street of this unknown town with his bag on his back. The wind gently blew, stirring up the fall leaves, and causing him to turn up his collar so to keep warm from the autumn air. It had been five days so far. Five days since he packed some clothes and just left. He wondered what everyone back home was thinking. Hell, he wondered what he was thinking, leaving home at eighteen with no plan, no money, and evidently no sense of direction. He figured that out when he rode into a town where its inhabitants spoke with an accent that told him he was a little too close to Canada. He still didn't know where exactly he was, but he knew he was very close to his destination, since he'd finally made it to Washington.

There was a small restaurant up ahead. Smelling the familiar odor of burgers and other fried goods, he realized he was quite hungry. He strolled up to the old building, with its dark green awning. The bricks were faded, and the cast iron frame around the windows showed the same signs of old age.

Opening its door, the tinkle of a bell let the people know that he had entered. A waitress came up to him with a smile and asked, "What can I do for you sir?" Her apron was dirty from a hard days work, and her blonde hair was held up in a bun.

"Hello, ma?am," he said, "I was wondering if you could tell me which direction Seattle is in?"

"Sure thing, if you order our special today," she said, smiling broadly.

"How much is it?"

"It's $2.95, and very good."

Chuckling he said, "Alright then ma?am, I'll take the special."

"Please, stop calling me ma?am; you make me feel so old. My name is Stacy," she said, pointing out her name tag, "and you are?"

"I'm Jake. Jake Collins," he said.

"Pleasure to meet you Jake Collins, it will be about ten minutes, so have a seat and I'll bring it out when it's ready," she said, turning to leave.

"Thank you," he responded, taking a seat on a stool at the bar. Jake glanced around at the pictures and tapped on the counter to pass the time by. He noticed that some of the pictures were really old, probably taken when the town was first founded. The room was filled with the chatter of friends and relatives discussing the local news. Apparently some woman had gotten married yesterday. It sounded like it was a beautiful and happy day for her.

It wasn't long when the waitress came back with his food. She set the bowl down and left to go about her business and chat with the locals. Jake looked at the bowl, trying to discern what was so special about this soup. Well, food is food, he guessed, and promptly started to devour it. It had been the first meal since yesterday, and even that was just two granola bars and some water. After a while, with half of his food gone, the waitress made her way over to him.

"So how do you like the special?" she asked.

"Pretty good ma?am, thank-you," Jake said, shoveling another mouthful in.

"You?re definitely not from around here. Where's that accent from?"

"I?m from Alabama, ma?am."

"Ah. That explains why you won't quit calling me ma?am," she said, playfully hitting him in the arm with her rag.

"Yes ma?am, southern hospitality and such." Jake explained, chuckling. It was obvious that she was flirting with him, though he couldn?t understand why. He wasn?t down right ugly, but he wasn?t much to look at either. The only real feature he was proud of was his eyes. One was blue, and the other brown, a trait given from his mother and father respectively.

"I guess I owe you some directions for ordering the special, huh?" she asked.

"That would be much appreciated ma?am."

"So, what's in Seattle, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Well, hopefully destiny is waiting for me there. But I won't know till I get there I guess," he responded, unsure if he even thought that to be a logical explanation as to why he wanted to go to Seattle.

The waitress gave him a puzzled look, and then resigned to pointing out the general direction he needed to go. After some more small chat, Jake got up, and dug into his pockets for what little money he had. He pulled out and counted thirty dollars. After paying the bill, he ended up with twenty-seven dollars and some change. How can anyone survive in a new city with no home, no job, and no plan whatsoever with only twenty-seven dollars?

"Oh well," he mumbled tucking the remaining bills back into his pocket, "guess it's just part of the adventure."

Jake picked up his bag and walked out the door. He followed the route Stacy had told him to the outskirts of the town. He waited at a stop light, going with same mode of transport since his first day on his own. He waited for a few minutes until finally a semi truck rolled to a stop. Seizing his opportunity, he hopped on to the back and settled in for the ride. It would only take him four more hours to get to Seattle, if everything went right. Just four more hours, and he'd be one happy guy.

Jake began to question himself again. Was this really a smart thing to do? Anything could happen there. It's a big city, and he was from a small quiet town in Alabama. In his small town, the worst that could happen would be to have an accident of some sort. In Seattle there were gangs, robbers, and murderers. He was in way over his head, and he knew it. But he was too close to turn back now. It was all or nothing, a definite gamble on his future. In his mind, though, it was worth the risk. He wanted to take the chance. He wanted the adventure, the thrill of not knowing what's around the corner. And it was approaching fast.

The semi began to pull away from the stop light, luckily, going in the direction he needed to go. The truck picked up some speed, causing the wind to ruffle his brown, almost black, hair. He counted himself lucky to even have a head after yesterday. The last semi truck he caught a ride on in Montana had apparently been driving for a while. It was late at night, and he himself was dozing off, when the driver decided to take a nap at the wheel. Jake was jolted awake at the sudden bump from veering off into the ditch. The bump caused him to roll back along its frame, his head merely inches from the trucks massive tires. The bump had also awakened the driver, luckily, and they continued the rest of the way, bringing him all the way to Washington.

Jake was very tired, and the cool wind was only making him more sleepy. He needed to stay awake to make sure he was going the right way. He was too close now to screw up and go a hundred miles in the other direction. Jake began to have that familiar feeling again. Like this is what he was meant to do. Like all this had been wrote down, and he was following along in perfect sync with the story. Destiny, he thought. That?s what this was. This was destiny, and everything was going to be just fine.



When you?re riding on the back of a semi, one doesn?t exactly know where he?s headed. All you can see are the cars traveling next to you; with the peoples puzzled looks as to why the hell you?re riding on the back of a semi, and the road. Jake couldn?t see which direction he was headed, he just hoped he was still on course. Realizing he needed to see if he was indeed going in the right direction, he decided he would risk being caught and take a peek around the side.

Jake slowly stood up, wobbling a little from standing on such a large vehicle barreling down the road at sixty miles an hour. He reached around the side of the truck cab for the grip bars, being careful to not touch the large, hot exhaust stacks. Finally wrapping his hand around the bar, he slowly pulled his self around the side and looked out.

That?s when he saw it. Through some trees, he spotted his destination. It was Seattle, the beautiful city in which he would be staying in for some time. He felt that familiar feeling once more. That feeling that was like butterflies mixed with fear and uncertainty. The feeling he had a few months back when he first thought of the idea to go to Seattle to be a musician.

Looking back on it now, Jake thought it childish to think such thoughts. To think that he could go out to the city start a band. To think that he would one day be famous like the other Satellites he had admired. He can?t remember what exactly it was that made him think of Seattle. Really, he?d have a better chance if he went out to some place like New York, or L.A. Whatever it was that had made him think of it, he knew that?s where he needed to go, because that?s when he had the strange feeling. The feeling he tried to push back, but then would eventually make its way into his head, and pull him back in. The feeling Jake followed all the way here.

Jake pulled himself back down and settled in for rest of the ride in. He was getting very nervous now. The journey he had taken to get here was the easiest part. The hardest part was just beginning. Where would he go? How would he get food? Being Seattle, what would he do when it rained? These were some serious questions needing answering, but right now, he just wanted a shower. Being on the road for five days, he had had developed quite an odor.

It was another thirty minutes before he finally made it to Seattle itself. Soon, he would set his feet upon the ground he had dreamed of being on. He would walk the streets proud in the knowledge that he set his mind to something and accomplished it. Jake Collins, eighteen year old nobody from Staple, Alabama, was about to start his life, the way he wanted it to be lived.

The semi truck began to stop. Jake promptly hoped off, slung his bag over his shoulder, and breathed in deeply. He had made it. Jake looked up, admiring the tall buildings that were around him. His gaze followed from the sleek sides of the building in front of him to the sidewalk. People were everywhere, walking around, going about their lives. There were men in suits and ties, probably going to work. There was a family walking by, the mother grabbing tightly to the hand of her rambunctious child. Another couple walked by, most likely tourists, judging by the cameras and the same look Jake had plastered on his own face.

Jake made his way on to the sidewalk and began his journey. He had no where to go, but he figured he could at least enjoy the sites for a while. He passed by a hotdog vendor, who tried to get him to buy one. Jake thought about it, then declined. He had very little money, and he had to make it last until he could get a job of his own.

Jake continued on his tour of Seattle. He enjoyed the busy atmosphere of the city. Everything was moving; everyone had a place to be or someone to see. It was much more alive then his boring small town.

He passed by many shops and hobby stores. There were all sorts here. There were clothing stores with their mannequins displaying the latest fashion in the window. There were actual bakeries, with smells of fresh bread and cookies wafting out its doors. The closest thing he had back home was the deli in the local Wal-Mart, and even then it didn?t have the same wonderful smell that this baker did. He kept walking till he came across a record store.

Jake stopped to take in what he was seeing. It was an actual record store. Not a FYE, not a Hot Topic, an actual record store. He looked up at the big letters above the door that said in bold red ?Smash Records.? Jake quickly opened the door and walked in.

What Jake saw was like paradise to him. There were rows and rows of CDs, and Vinyl?s. All along the wall there were posters of bands and t-shirts. There were even vintage concert posters of some of Seattle?s more famous bands, and other bands that the owner had thought fit to put along his shop walls. He knew that this would be his new favorite hang out.

Jake made his way along the wall admiring everything. Then he looked at a rack that said ?The Family.? It was a small display rack that had various independent artists and bands that were evidently part of the Smash Records store. What their association was Jake didn?t know, but the store owner was evidently proud enough to display their works.

There was no set genre displayed there either. There were a lot of grunge artists, obviously, this being Seattle and all, but there were also Folk, Punk, Metal, and Indie artists. Jake was so involved in what he was seeing, he didn?t hear someone come up behind him.

?Can I help you?? a deep voice boomed behind him. Jake, startled, quickly turned around. Towering above him was a man covered in tattoos. He had to be at least 6?5?, and had wide shoulders. His denim jacket was torn at the sleeves, and had various pins, buttons, and patches adorned on it. This man was obviously part of the punk culture.

?No?no?I?m just looking around,? Jake said nervously. This massive man was very intimidating looking. His hands, also huge, had the words ?FUCK? and ?OFF!? on his knuckles. Yep. This man was not to be messed with.

?See anything you like?? he asked. His voice was gentle, but Jake was still very much afraid of him.

?Yeah, this entire shop. There?s so much music here!?

The big man chuckled.

?Thanks,? he said, ?but it?s not as big as some of the others around here. It still suits my purposes though.?

?Oh. You mean this is your store??

?Yep, this entire shop is mine. There?s this room to sell the music, the back storage room to record the music, the basement to perform the music, and the upstairs to just hang out.?

Jake suddenly had the strange feeling again. Maybe this moment, this meeting, was part of something he was supposed to do.

?Wow, that?s amazing! Total self sufficiency, huh??

?Exactly, self sufficiency is what I?m all about,? the man said. He looked down at Jake and extended his hand.

?I?m Greg,? he said.

?I?m Jake, sir. Jake Collins,? Jake said, shaking his hand. Greg?s grip was strong, dominate.

?Good to meet you Jake. I noticed you were looking at The Family section. Like anything here.?

?I?m not entirely sure. Haven?t heard of any of these guys. Why?s this section called The Family anyway??

?Because they?re part of The Family; they?re signed to Smash Records. I go out and listen to the local music. If I like them, I bring them back here, record some songs for them, then press it and sell it right here. And, they get to play shows in the basement anytime they want. The music industry is tough now, and we got to help us independent and underground types. It?s all about the family, ya know? That?s why it?s called The Family.?

?Yeah,? Jake responded. He knew what he meant. All anyone really has in life is their family, through blood or acceptance. It?s a type of bond that could never be broken, no matter the circumstances.

Jake suddenly felt guilty for leaving his own family behind. It was a bit selfish, he must admit. He was only thinking of himself, of his life purpose, when he left. He didn?t even consider the pain his own family was feeling right now. Well, his mom anyway. He knew she was probably sick with worry for him. His dad, however, was another story. Sure, his dad probably missed him and was worried too; after all, he was his son. Jake wasn?t exactly the perfect son though. He always felt like he was a disappointment.

?Well anyway,? Greg said, snapping Jake back into reality, ?I?ve got a store to run. It was nice meeting you Jake Collins.?

?Like-wise,? Jake responded as the man left to help other customers.

Jake thumbed through the rest of the CD?s in The Family. He saw some really good artwork on a lot of the covers. Jake wondered if Greg also did the artwork for these bands? CDs. Greg was without a doubt an interesting person, and someone Jake wanted to learn from.

Jake looked around a little longer before deciding to leave. He walked out of the glass door, taking a mental note to come back here again in the future. Jake continued once more on his tour of the marvelous city. He turned right and made his way across the street. Once he was on the other side, he heard the distinct sound of music. Jake followed the melodic notes to its source.

It was two street musicians busking for some change. It was a male and female folk act. The man was strumming along to the woman?s fast fiddle. The crowd seemed to be admiring them. Some were even clapping and stomping along in sync to the tempo of their performance. A couple of kids rushed forward with change, dropping it in the pan, and rushing back beside their parents to enjoy the street show.

Jake reached into his pocket to dig out what coin change he had. He grabbed a handful, walked up to the group, and dropped his money into the pan. Jake knew he should save his money, and without a job, every penny counts. He figured, though, that it would give him good karma.

The duo picked up more speed. The woman?s fingers were moving fast along the neck of the fiddle, and the man strummed chords his chords to match her speed. The crowd was really getting into it now. Even Jake couldn?t help but to clap along to their music. They finally ended their song to the applause of the small crowd.

Once they were through, the people dispersed and went about their day. Jake too left the pair to count the day?s earnings. He continued along until he realized it was beginning to get dark. His first challenge came a lot sooner than he had expected.

When the sun started to go down, so did the temperature. It was only mid autumn, but it started to feel like winter compared to what he was used to in Alabama. He began to wonder what the hell he had gotten himself in to.

Jake decided that, since he was homeless now, he?d have to sleep like one. He turned a corner and spotted an alley way. Walking towards it, he noticed someone else was there too for the night. He hoped he wasn?t a crazy war vet or something.

As he approached, the scruffy looking man looked up at him. His eyes fixated with every movement Jake was making. He looked to be in his fifties, maybe, and had a scraggly beard and dirty face. It was clear to Jake that something was wrong with him, his dark eyes still watching his every move.

?Who are you?? he asked bewildered.

Jake stood silent, prepared to run. Maybe he just should leave anyway. There were plenty of other alleys he could stay at, or at least a park bench somewhere.

?Hey! I asked who you were!? he demanded, his eyes wide and unblinking.

Jake didn?t know what to do. He had never been in a situation like this before. He just stood there, frozen, unsure of what his next move should be.

?You?re one of them! Aren?t you?? he asked.

Jake knew now that he should just leave. He turned to walk away, but the old man jumped up, grabbed his shoulder, and turned him back around. The old mans face was just inches from his own. He could smell the stink of him. His teeth were yellow and rotting, and his breath smelled of alcohol.

?Where are the rest of you?! Where are the others?!? he demanded.

This guy was worse than a crazy war vet, he was just plain crazy. Jake was very afraid now. This old man, who still had hold of his shoulder, could try and harm him. Jake needed to get away, and fast. He suddenly had a plan. Jake locked eyes with the old man, grinning slightly to hide the fear he was really feeling.

They stood silent for a second, staring into each others eyes. It was like an old west show down, but this was real, and up close. Jake leaned in a little closer.

?You want to know where the others are?? Jake asked.

?Yes, where are they? Who sent you?? the old man said, hanging on to every word Jake was saying.

?Shhh,? Jake started, ?come closer and I?ll tell you.?

The old man leaned in closer, so his ear was next to Jakes mouth.

?I?killed?Mufasa...,? Jake whispered.

?What?? the old man asked.

He was confused, now was Jakes chance. Jake quickly brought his knee up and made contact with the old man?s groin. The old man released Jake and doubled over in pain.

?Fuck you man!? Jake exclaimed, turning around to run. He could hear the old man shouting his own repertoire of profanities as he ran. Jake turned around a corner and kept running. He ran until he was sure he?d made enough distance between him and the crazy bum.

Panting, Jake turned into another alley way and pressed his back against the wall. He tried to catch his breath. The cold night air was hurting his chest. Jake turned and looked further down the alley way. He couldn?t see anyone else making camp there, so he decided this would be his bed for the night.

Jake walked down and sat next to some old boxes. He picked up a few that didn?t smell, and began tear them so he?d have a mat to sleep on. Spreading his new cardboard cot on the ground, Jake dropped his bag and opened it up. He dug around until he found the small blanket he had brought with him.

Jake lay down on the mat, using his bag as a pillow. He settled in and pulled his small blanket over his body. It wasn?t too cold, but it was cold enough to see his breath. He wished he had his sleeping bag. He had lost that on the third day, and it was lying out on a road somewhere in Iowa.

Jake replayed the day?s events. He had only been in the city for a day and was already scared for the future. What was going to happen to him out here? Was it really worth it? He resigned to the fact that this IS what he had wanted, so he?d better get used to it. There were going to be many days like this ahead.

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Guest Dabeagle

One thing I've noted that is really handy while writing, and something I should do more often, is to let that chapter sit for a few weeks. Don't touch it, don't look at it. Then go back and read it, you'd be surprised what jumps out at you there.

One thing I noted, from my time in Georgia, was that young people tend to address adults by Miss or Mr and then the person's first name. Like he might call the waitress Miss Stacey. As far as I know that's strictly a southern thing.

Outside of a couple of sentences that I'd probably reword or embellish a bit, there's a start here.

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One thing I've noted that is really handy while writing, and something I should do more often, is to let that chapter sit for a few weeks. Don't touch it, don't look at it. Then go back and read it, you'd be surprised what jumps out at you there.

Oh yeah. This is so very much true. One of the best forms of editing that's available is time, then re-reading with fresh eyes. Good advice Dabeagle.

Keep writing Spaz-tic! Looking forward to more.

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Thanks for the advice guys, I'll definitely be able to now. I was away for the weekend, which is why it's taken me a while to respond back, so sorry for the late response. ^.^ Hopefully I'll get done with chapter 4 soon, then I'll send up what I have for submission. Thanks again guys, now I'm off to wright some more. :icon13:

Peace -

Dustin Lane

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