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03 November 2007 @ 02:15 pm
Supernatural Gen Drabble: The Unopened Door (John)  
Title: The Unopened Door
Author: HalfshellVenus
Character: John (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: For 100_ghosts "Skeletons in the closet" challenge.

x-x-x-x-x

In a library in Tallahassee, John notices for the first time in years that a woman's pretty. He'd forgotten what that was like.

Her eyes are silver, almost eerie beneath raven hair. But the effect becomes beauty when she smiles at his stack of books. "That's a lot of reading."

"Just browsing through."

They get to talking about the weather and other chit-chat, and she's bold enough to show her interest: "I'm Tessa and I'm single. How 'bout you?"

My wife burned to death on the ceiling, and I'm hunting whatever killed her. "Widowed," he says darkly.

The conversation's over.


-------- fin --------


 
 
 
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on November 3rd, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, John.

Nicely, painfully done. I like that it starts off so mellow and ordinary, and then gets so angsty.

Favorite lines:

"I'm Tessa and I'm single. How 'bout you?"

My wife burned to death on the ceiling, and I'm hunting whatever killed her.


Ouch.

"Widowed," he says darkly.

The conversation's over.


Great ending; I like how it hurts in such few words.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 3rd, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
I like that it starts off so mellow and ordinary, and then gets so angsty.
This is really a recurring theme with me for so many SPN fics, because I think that would be such a typical part of their lives-- having an ordinary encounter with someone and always having that dark layer underneath, like "I've killed things other people don't even believe in."

Great ending; I like how it hurts in such few words.
Thank you! I can't imagine it would take long before all those memories would kick right up for John, and all the pain with them that means he's done considering the offer before him.
(no subject) - iamstealthyone on November 4th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
oxoniensis: fandom: spn mea culpaoxoniensis on November 3rd, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
A nice glimpse at a moment of normality before his life intrudes again.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 3rd, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
before his life intrudes again.
Wonderfully phrased, and for John especially I think his personal reality would never be far enough away to let him enjoy even the simplest things other people take for granted.
(no subject) - oxoniensis on November 3rd, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
brigid_tanner: sunsetbrigid_tanner on November 3rd, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful! I'm always amazed when writers can say so much in so few words.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, Brigid! Drabbles are such an interesting idea, and the more you do them the more practice you get at being concise (which doesn't help if you'd also like to write longer stories, but oh well).

This prompt was perfect for setting off this idea. :)
ErinRua: Johnerinrua on November 3rd, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
Ouch. From ordinary to angst at the flip of a switch. I felt so bad for John, finally noticing a pretty woman but then shutting the door on himself. To carry hidden scars so deep as his ... As ever, you've done wonderful things with just a few words. :-)
Cheers ~

Erin
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
From ordinary to angst at the flip of a switch.
What's worse is, I think much of his life was like this for years after losing Mary-- much like Sam losing Jess. That isn't supposed to happen, not in that unexplainable way. And how do you get over feeling that it won't happen to the next person you let yourself love? *sigh*

(no subject) - erinrua on November 14th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on November 15th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - erinrua on November 15th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
May Robinsonmay7fic on November 3rd, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, ouch! That's an awfully painful truth he's living with. It's no wonder normalcy just doesn't seem to be an option for the man.

Nicely done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
That's an awfully painful truth he's living with.
It's the kind of thing that would hard to be free of, at least for many years, too. It shouldn't have happened-- how DID it happen?-- and all of his hunting and research aside, it's harder to let go of people who are taken from you "unfairly," I think.
(no subject) - may7fic on November 14th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Deadbeat Nymph: dean under metallicardeadbeat_nymph on November 3rd, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, how moving...

It's interesting because we never really think about that aspect of John's life, but it's quite significant. And it's impressive of you to get into John's head so well, especially since I know how you feel about him. Actually, I think you've been delving into it significantly as of late, haven't you?

Great job. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
And it's impressive of you to get into John's head so well, especially since I know how you feel about him. Actually, I think you've been delving into it significantly as of late, haven't you?
I've written him for drabbles off and on, like this one. The hardest part of his life for me is after Mary died, and what he chose to turn his sons' lives into. I have a seriously hard time accepting that, moreso as a parent (but also as the child of someone whose self-centered choices affected the family again and again-- not this badly, but still negatively).

But for this prompt... darn if that isn't a significant skeleton to be hiding in the closet. Who could possibly guess it's there?
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN brothers praydeirdre_c on November 3rd, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
Poor John. At least Sam and Dean have each other, he has no one.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
At least Sam and Dean have each other, he has no one.
Not after losing Mary-- and I wonder, the boys and the whole lifestyle aside, if he wasn't afraid to, long term. Both for his own feelings, and also for wondering if what happened to Mary had to do with him. :(
mooyoo: SN - John So tiredmooyoo on November 4th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
Ouch, I can definitely see how that might scare John off. Like it's okay to talk and to look and to consider a woman's looks, but when she tries to take a step forward and initiate something with him, it's too much for him. Very nicely done.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
but when she tries to take a step forward and initiate something with him, it's too much for him.
It's like he never saw that next part coming, the question about his background-- and where his mind immediately goes when his marital status comes up. He might get over the harshness of that reaction as the years go by, but I think it would really take awhile. :(
cindy: spn - ouija handstsuki_no_bara on November 4th, 2007 02:21 am (UTC)
aww, john. i love that he's surprised he notices that this woman happens to be pretty - because he just hasn't been able to see women that way - and i love that he cuts her off when she acts interested in him. he can admire this stranger's beauty but his heart still belongs to mary.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
he can admire this stranger's beauty but his heart still belongs to mary.
Even if he got beyond that later, finally, I think those first several years would have been awful. As soon as the question of whether he was single came up, whammo-- he'd be instantly transported right back to that tragedy that nearly destroyed his family and him with it. Ouch.
layne: Johnlayne67 on November 4th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Oh John. His love for Mary knows no end.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
I wonder how long it would have taken him to stop instantly having that reaction to that kind of question-- or whether in fact it ever DID stop. :(
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
How do you even begin to get over something you can't even explain?

Especially when what you had before was so good. :(
jelly babies to manual: kane lyrics a little tequilathehighwaywoman on November 4th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC)
*aches for John* Great, powerful punch to this drabble.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Oh, the prompt brought this idea out just immediately. Talk about skeletons you don't want anybody to know about (or even think about, for yourself).
sadelyrate: livessadelyrate on November 4th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
The magic and the challenge of drabbles is definitely that how much one can say in 100 words or less.
And you, dearest lady, are well-versed in this form of storytelling.

'Tis hard to think John wouldn't have even glanced at other women during the long years after Mary. But, as always, the shadow of what happened to her follows him wherever he goes, whatever he does.

*hugs*
Thank You.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! *beams*

It took awhile, back when I first tried the drabble challenges, to get the hang of them. I look back on some of the earlier entries and cringe, so it's nice to see progress.

But, as always, the shadow of what happened to her follows him wherever he goes, whatever he does.
And that aspect of him I can truly understand, and mourn along with him. What an undeserved tragedy, for all concerned. :(
Ariss Tenohariss_tenoh on November 5th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Very nice. For such a small piece of fiction, it packs a punch and I don't even like John but I've got to feel sorry for him here. Making a reader sympathise with a character they dislike is always the mark of a good writer^_^
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
and I don't even like John but I've got to feel sorry for him here.
This aspect of his life is just so awful-- not ever being able to get those images out of his head, and to spend so many years wondering why and trying to avenge it as best he could (which he thought was necessary). *sigh*

And my feelings for John are probably very similar to yours, which is why at times I feel compelled to try to get inside his head.
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 14th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
It was a great prompt, especially for the Halloween time-frame. Love these conceptual ones, especially since they're different from the other challenge-drabble community I belong to. :)