Another Wednesday, another #WritingWednesday for you to enjoy. How’s everyone’s week been? I’ve been too caught up with the Eurovision hype to be focusing on writing or editing, and even if I do find the headspace to write, I’ve reverted to reading American Gods. After the premiere last week, I decided to re-read it. Love the differences from the book to TV show!
With that said, I don’t have anything “new” to share this week. Okay, it’s kinda a lie. This scene is re-write from chapter 15 of Betrayed, I believe. This is the chapter where Jason leaves the Goodrem residence for the first time since his “hibernation” began. I completely scrapped this chapter and re-wrote it because I thought the paparazzi encounter in the original scene wasn’t vicious enough. After a certain…incident with a certain celebrity, I decided to change it to parallel what happened to that person.
So here it is. Hope you enjoy, and see you next week for another #WritingWednesday!
xoxo – F
15 Excerpt – JASON
Twenty minutes later, I arrive at LAX feeling slightly uneasy. I have a feeling something terrible will happen. I haven’t been around people for a couple months now; airports are FULL of people. Knowing the paparazzi, they’ll do anything to worm information out of me so they can cash in on whatever measly headline they create.
“Maybe you should tell Jess and Mom to meet you here,” I tell myself as I park the car. “They’d understand. You don’t have anyone to protect you—your life could be in serious danger without security! But… it’d be rude to have them come to you and not the other way around. It’s also be useful to help with their bags.”
Jess shoots me a text that they’re in the terminal. Looks like I arrived in the nick of time! On the bright side, that means I can just get in and collect my family, then mad dash back here. I don’t have to wait around for them. Thank fucking God!
After a quick check to see if anyone’s loitering around, I deem it safe enough to get out of the car and head inside. I lift my hood up and lower my gaze so I’m less recognizable.
I walk swiftly, hoping it’s quick enough so nobody has time to recognize and stop me. I make it into the building without so much as a second glance. Everyone’s too busy with their own agendas.
This is way too good to be true, I think as I pass a group of girls who are definitely part of the Flamily—they’re listening to “Worldwide.” How are you getting by so easily when this disguise is the most pathetic thing ever? Even you would recognize yourself like this! Either nobody cares about you anymore, or they actually do respect your personal space.
Thinking it’s safe enough to raise my gaze, I look up just a hair. I meet a security guard and nod to be nice. I highly doubt they know who I am. They didn’t do anything to acknowledge me back. Well, that’s viable enough proof that nobody will bother me. If that security guard brushed me off, then everyone will too.
I continue maneuvering the terminal, keeping my eyes peeled for Jess and Mom. no luck. I can’t spot them, and it’s not even that busy right now!
“Where are you guys?” I grumble as I scan my surroundings. “Where the hell are you guys?”
Suddenly, I hear whispers. They don’t sound like secretive whispers, but gossiping whispers, aka the type of whispers I dread the most. I could be hearing things; it could all be in my head. For some reason, they sound real, like there’s a gaggle of teenage girls waiting to strike after hearing my voice.
It can’t be that bad, I assure myself. There hasn’t been a scream yet. Maybe you’re just super paranoid about being attacked. Yeah, that’s it! It’s because you don’t have Bo or anyone else, so you’re immediately jumping to conclusions about a worst case scenario. You should really stop doing that. Everyone’s right about you being so negative. You sh—
The moment I turn around, I instantly regret it. Not entirely because I finally know where my family is located. It’s the flock of people who’ve recognized them that makes me anxious. If they can connect the dots, they know I should be around. Without any help, this can only spell trouble.
Jess catches my eye and hers hugely widen, fearful for our safety. I point to my phone and mouth that I’ll text her, and she gives me a thumbs up.
Me: Follow me outside. If I come forward, we’ll all be in trouble.
Jess: Read you loud & clear. I’ll tell mom.
I breathe a sigh of relief and stuff my phone in my pocket. I stalk the environment around Jess and Mom and pray they survive unscathed. The last thing I want is to see my family hurt when they’ve done nothing to deserve unwanted attention. It’s not their fault I’m famous; their lives shouldn’t be in jeopardy at my expense.
A few seconds pass without a problem. I’m positive those girls recognize Jess and Mom, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll try to approach them. Good. I can’t have a disaster when the whole purpose of my hiatus is to live a less hectic and more lowkey life.
Mom eyes me and nods. I take that as my cue to start moving, and quick. It’s only a matter of time before someone catches our drift and causes a scene. With the group of paparazzi about a foot away from the girls, most likely trying to eavesdrop on their whispers, I’m doomed. No, we’re doomed if anything happens. I can’t stress it enough how terrible this could end and ruin everything for me!
I swiftly walk through the crowd, head down and fingers on my hood so it doesn’t fall off. It happens, okay. I nearly run into a burly blond and his chick, but swerve away before we can collide. I’m putting my life at risk even when I’m escaping trouble!
Nobody pays me heed. Everyone’s too busy finding their own friends or families, or rushing to their own flight. I’m thankful for all the times I’ve flown—I don’t have to raise my gaze much to see where I’m heading since I know the path to LAX’s exit like the back of my hand.
Without anyone on my tail, this should be a breeze. Mom and Jess already have their luggage; a trip to baggage claim isn’t necessary. I just need to lead us out of the terminal, outside, and to the car. We’re nearly there, too. Safety is just a few feet aw—
Suddenly, I hear screams. They don’t sound like the fangirl screams I’ve grown used to, but screams of pain vying for help. Fuck. Mom and Jess. It could be th—
My nightmare is confirmed by one glance. We’re in major trouble. God, I wish Bo was here to sort this out! If he was here, this wouldn’t be happening.
Jess is cornered by a group of girls—I’d say there’s at least fifteen of them. She looks absolutely mortified from being trapped on all sides. Behind her is an actual corner. On either side and in front of her are fangirls who want goodness knows what from her. I don’t even know where Mom is; I can’t see her.
I watch in horror as one of the girls push Jess back, pinning her to the wall. Jess is only ten, and those girls have the audacity to bully her just because she’s my sister? Where’s the logic in this? WHO DOES THIS TO AN INNOCENT KID?
You can’t stand by and let them hurt Jess anymore. You have to reveal yourself. You have to save your sister, Jason. You cannot let this happen! Mom would kill you if she knew you did nothing, and your conscience kick you in the ass for it. DO SOMETHING, JASON! GO! GO! GO!
After a deep breath, I pull off my hood. A chorus of gasps erupt once a few of the girls see my face. This is the most dangerous position I’ve ever faced, but Jess’ safety is more important than mine in this moment. I have to sacrifice myself for her sake. Screw my life! It’s hers that matters.
“CAN WE GET SOME HELP HERE?” I yell to nobody in particular as I walk towards the girls. “SOMEBODY PLEASE, HELP!”
Nothing. Nobody budges for the ten-year-old in distress whose hair is being pulled and arms pinned back by a group of girls who should definitely know better. They look about my age, for crying out loud!
A paparazzo appears out of nowhere, clicking his camera up my face as if he’s not invading my bubble. I shrug him off and politely tell him to back off, but he doesn’t listen.
“C’mon, man! My sister’s in trouble. Can you please just get out of my face?” I beg, shoving his camera away and accidentally knocking it out of his hands. “REALLY? Have some respect, man!”
“JASON, HELP!” Jess shouts as a tall blonde kicks her shin. “Tell them to stop. Please!”
She doesn’t have to tell me twice. I rush over to the assault scene, but the sleazy paparazzo is still on my case. He picks up his camera and follows me. I just want to help my sister so they don’t murder her, but he’s persistent.
“What the fuck, dude?” I exclaim as I trip over him.
He doesn’t apologize for being a creep. He doesn’t even say a word. He continues to snap photos like that never happened, and finally bugs off when he’s content with his handiwork. Fucking cunt.
I gun it to the girls. They all back away except for the blonde. I have to pry her away from my sister because she just won’t stop hurting her! The girl yells at me when I touch her. Again, it’s not the fangirl type of yell, but a more aggressive one.
“Get away, Jason!” she grumbles as I block her from Jess. “This doesn’t concern you!”
“No! That’s my sister you’re hurting. This does concern me!” I insist. “She didn’t do anything to you. Just let go!”
Despite my demands, the blond continues her raging fury, searching for the tiniest crevice to reach Jess. But I’m faster and I can guess her movements.
“Jess, go find Mom and get to the car!” I instruct as I hold the blonde back, leaving room for her escape. “My keys are in the left back pocket. GO!”
Jess immediately follows through, snatching my car keys and grabbing her suitcase before taking off. The blonde attempts to catch Jess as she runs, but I prevent her from grabbing any part of my sister.
I hear someone clear their throat behind me. The blonde and her cronies back away and I slowly turn on my heels. Shit. It’s security, and they don’t look too pleased to see me.
“I-I was jus—”
The security personnel whips out a pair of handcuffs. My eyes grow wide, frightened that he might use it on me. He doesn’t have a reason to hold me custody since I didn’t do anything wrong. I mean, the paparazzo was a dick and those girls were abusing my sister! I had EVERY RIGHT to come to her defense!
Cameras click and flashes of yellow-white light surround me from a distance as more paparazzi capture their first glimpses of me since last year. This CANNOT be happening! I wanted to avoid a situation like this. I wanted to stay as far away from paparazzi as possible, but this had to happen!
I can’t blame Jess and Mom; it wouldn’t be right. They don’t know anyone else in the city other than Skeeter, and they know I haven’t exactly been speaking to him lately. They know Marquilla and her family, too, but asking them for help would be awkward considering…yeah. Of course they’d text me to pick them up. We couldn’t predict something like this would happen.
“I’m going to need you to come with me, Mr. Flamel,” the security man says.
“Why? Wh-what did I do?” I frenetically question.
“You attacked that man and assaulted those girls.”
“I WAS DEFENDING MY SISTER! Didn’t you see them attack her? And that paparazzi w—”
“It’s better if you keep quiet, Mr. Flamel. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law if it comes down to that. I don’t want to use these cuffs on you, so come with me.”
I hang my head and sigh deeply. All I wanted was a peaceful day out—a drive to nowhere until the gas runs out or possibly an outdoor adventure. I help my sister, and I get arrested for apparent assault on a paparazzo who definitely was the one doing the assaulting, not me.
My career, which I’m putting on hold for now, is about to be ruined. I already have haters! This will make everyone hate me more than they already did. Life can’t get any better than this, can it?