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Sara could hear the music in her head, feel the soft cords the piano struck, the gentle sound of drums keeping the rhythm slow and easy. She could smell the flowers, lilies, her favorite, he hadn’t forgotten that and she remembered her joy at seeing them upon her arrival. Now with her eyes closed, her fingers tightly clasping her purse to her stomach, Sara took a deep breath and the memory shattered within seconds. The elevator binged and her eyes opened, she double-checked the floor number before stepping off. She couldn’t think of the past, she only had to get through the next few minutes and she’d be home free. She would still have to deal with the pain of course, but all she needed was time. The elevator opened into a waiting area, fake plants, neutral carpet, a pastel wall paper half way up the wall, the rest heavily decorated with large pictures. Instead of hard uncomfortable chairs, there were plush over stuffed chairs and sofas, with end tables close by littered neatly with magazines and landscape picture books. Sara stepped past the sitting area up to the front desk. Why did she feel so nervous? She had an appointment. Was it because she had had to bend the truth in order to get in? Well it couldn’t have been helped. Any way, she was here and couldn’t put it off any longer.
There was a secretary sitting behind the front desk.She seemed to be very busy reading a cosmopolitan issue.She didn't look up when Sara approached her.
''Hello.I have an appointment with Mr Howard.''
The secretary look up at her, not putting the magazine down.''Your name?''
''Ms Laura Farthwer''
''Yes i see you have an appointment.You're 5 minutes late.''
Sara didn't answer this.The situation seemed ridiculous to her.She could have entered the building,or this office unnoticed if she so wished.But it was needed to follow the rules of mortals.So she went through this degrading process.Lately she encountered problems when dealing with the mundane world.She wished for the high kingdom once more.
When the secretary saw that she wasn't going to offer an apology, she motioned for her to enter the door behind her, into Howard's office.
She walked past her, and after knocking on the door briefly, entered the room.It was as she expected it.An office only an executive could afford, full of expensive furniture and what- have -you scattered about.She took notice of the expensive looking wooden desk, the loaded library shelfs and the collection of crystal figures.She wasn't impressed in the least.There was not a single material thing in this world that could impress her.Only the sunset, a beautiful forest or a strangely shaped cloud.These were the marvels of the earth, and only in those did she find pleasure.That's why she always hated visiting a place like this one.A tomb of dead people, who did not know that they were dead.
But she was here to change that.At least for one man.

Mr Howard was sitting behind his big expensive desk holding a cigar.He was staring at the ceiling blankly.Again she wasn't noticed entering the room.She often faced the same problem.She coughed trying to be discreet.
Finally he noticed her.
''Oh!Miss Laura.I didn't see you coming in.Have a seat.''
Laura found a comfortable chair and sat.''Thank you''.
Mr Howard took a look at his personal organizer.''I see here we have an appointment, but the reason is not clarified.You are here only because you got a recommendation by Mr Roger Padma.So, tell me what is the reason of your visit here?''
''As it is probably written in your organizer, it is a matter of personal nature.I am here to help you.''
''Yes indeed, all it says here is that it is a matter of personal nature.But... what do you mean ''help me''?If this is just another attempt to blackmail me with another fake set of pictures or some other foolish thing, i can tell you, im not in the least interested in hearing it.You can go with it to the newspapers or wherever you want.''He looked tired saying these things.Like he made the same speech a million times before.
''Oh no Howard.I don't mean that kind of ''help''.Merely an opportunity to live.''' Sara simply said, not showing her impatience.
''Are you threatening me?Inside my own office?If i call security, they'll be here within the minute.''
''Listen Mr Howard, i think we got off on a wrong start.Im not here to threaten you or anything else.I am sent simply to give you a chance to change your life for the better.
Howard seemed to relax.Maybe he didn't think this woman presented any danger.
''OK Laura, you have 5 minutes to explain yourself and your intentions.If i get bored, you're out of here.''
''Thank you for your time Howard.I can call you Howard can't I?''He nodded.''I'll try and make this quick.Maybe then, you'll give me the time to teach you a few things.''
She stood up, and started pacing around the room.
''Howard, when was the last time you really enjoyed something?When you thought for a minute that life was beautiful, or at least worth living?I have watched you.You go from work to home, from home to work.That's all you ever do.Your free time is counted in minutes, and lunch breaks.Sometimes not even that.You don't live.You only carry your body around working for those higher on the hierarchy of this company.'' Her words were a storm coming out of her mouth.He couldn't stop her, or deny any of the facts she presented.She continued without pausing for breath.
''There was once a time when you thought that you would work only until you have acquired the means to live a moderate life.Then, when you had that, you promised you'd stop working when you could lead a rich life.But you didn't.And you kept on pushing, trying to become richer, more powerful, happier.''She laughed.''Happy?You?When was the last time you felt like it Howard?Maybe when you first walked in this building, happy that you have at last acquired a job that could feed you?Where did that joy dissappear to?'' She was pacing furiously now, almost screaming the words.
He stood staring at her.He knew that she was right.He wasn't happy.But then again he never was.
This time, Laura the all knowing was wrong.Dead wrong.

''You are not happy.You will ask:''Who is?'' and you will be right to do so.But when trying to achieve your goals, you blacken lives.And today, you prepare an atrocious act once again.I am here to stop this.One way or another.''She was changing now, turning into something fierce.Powerful.
He stood silent.She thought he was convinced.Dumbfounded.Maybe this time it would be different.Maybe this time he would decide with his own free will to stop.
He stood up.He then opened a drawer and took out a dagger.It looked like a dagger someone would use in a magick ritual.It had a hilt shaped like a snake, and it looked like it was made of gold, with a silver blade.
Sara couldn't understand what this meant.He was calm, and did not appear to be angry or willing to use the weapon he held.She didn't have time to react to his attack, despite her powers.His throw was aimed well, the dagger finding its target on her chest.
She staggered, and after making a few steps backwards, she fell.Blood was coming out of her mouth.''Why?'' she tried to say, but her voice was drowned by her own blood.
I was waiting for you.I knew you'd come.First trying to persuade me, then threatening me, then killing me.I was informed.You see, besides you fucking winged beings, as you know, and as some people think they know, there are creatures that fight you.Name them demons if you like.Do you call yourselves angels?''He laughed.He placed his foot on her throat and pushed.Maybe afraid she would say something that would hurt him.
''Dont try to speak sugar.You dont understand?But it is fairly easy darling.As you visit me today, a few days back, a creature totally opposite to what you represent visited me.And believe me, he was more persuasive.He offered me many things, and not a single time did he threaten me.I chose my side.This is the end.''
He drowned her last breath under his expensive leather shoe.

Author's note:The music and lilies Sara remembers, represent her memories of Heaven.

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The following comments are for "Memories of Haven"
by northerain

I liked this one, though not as much as the other. Howard seemed kinda, stupid. He was all right, until you introduced the darlins and sugars. Seemed odd that an executive in NYC would say such distinctly Southern monikers.

Would reccomend adding spaces between sentences. :)

Also, the foreshadowing was a little too rough for me.
"This time, Laura the all knowing was wrong.Dead wrong."
Seemed like something out of a dime novel. Sorry to be so gruff about it.

I rank stories either a 9 or a 10 on Write-Offs, 10 being winner (in my eyes), 9 being the loser (though there are no losers yada yada . . .). This one got the 9.

( Posted by: Washer [Member] On: July 24, 2003 )

Write nice!
Good try, Norther, a proper little story, not like the contrived bull I came up with. However, I feel you lacked a little punch which is surprising, considering the subject matter.
Well done...I dont know if it's ppropriate for me to vote, so I wont.

( Posted by: Delgesu [Member] On: July 24, 2003 )

Almost but not quite
You've got a good platform for the story here, but I don't think you really made the best of it. There are a few inconsistencies and the like that spoil it for me. Nothing glaring, or obvious; just little things.
I guess I'm saying it sounds a bit rushed. Can't really fault you for that, because I know it *was* rushed! That's what the write off is all about. :-) But nonetheless, I'm afraid I'm going to place it second out of the two, with a score of 7.

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: July 24, 2003 )

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