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An Undeniable Writer (F) (Part 5/?) (Updated February 15, 2019)


I love Alan Rickman

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I haven’t written a story in a while, and I thought I should! I recently had an idea, and I decided I should assign it to my character Sarah Holden from “A Texan’s Mistake.” It takes place two years after the events of that story. You don’t need to read that story to understand this one, but you can if you’d like! I don’t want to include the link, though, because I’ve gotten better at writing since then and am kind of embarrassed looking back at it. :lol: 

Anyway! Sarah is now married, though she didn’t change her last name (mainly because I’m lazy to think of a new last name for her 😛). @ZakuConvoy also told me he was interested when I wrote out the idea. I hope you and anyone else reading it enjoys it! And guess what! I actually thought of a summary before writing the whole story. Yay, me! Without further adue, here it is. Please tell me what you think. I’m also open to constructive criticism.

 

An Undeniable Writer

 

100 word summary: Sarah Holden is a workaholic journalist in western Texas. She has a genius idea for her next story early in the morning and heads into work at four. However, she hits a block while she is starting to develop a bad cold from her lack of sleep and pushing herself so much to work hard. Nevertheless, she continues to try to work and deny her cold as much as possible. She tries to write and find any ways to get her creative juices working once more. Will she burn out, or will she write the best story she’s ever written?

 

Part 1

Typing away on her Mac, Sarah Holden wrote out what she was sure would be her best story yet. She was working as a journalist, stationed just a few miles from her home in west Texas, and she’d woken up at four in the morning with a brilliant idea. She couldn’t push it off, so she went into work immediately, even though her husband had told her she should write the idea down, go back to sleep, and go in later. Especially because she had gotten home at two in the morning since she was working on another story. However, work was extremely important to Sarah, so there was no way she was giving up this opportunity. She kissed her husband and explained this to him before telling him she loved him and heading off to her car. Luckily, she had a key to her work building.

Sarah typed frantically and fluently, putting down all her brilliant ideas as quickly as possible. After about an hour, she stared blankly at the screen. Her thoughts were jumbled together on the screen, and they hardly even made any sense. Of course...She couldn’t even remember where she was trying to go with her story. 

Sarah sighed to herself and rubbed her tired deep brown eyes. For the past week, she’d gotten only four hours of sleep at most in a night. Her husband kept sweetly telling her to go to bed earlier or get up later. However, she was so into working that she couldn’t do it. Now, though, her lack of sleep was starting to catch up to her and make her feel exhausted. She stared unblinkingly past a few strands of her long wavy light brown hair as she felt a prickling sensation in the back of her sinuses. She tried to ignore it and think of another idea for the story. 

Nevertheless, the tickle grew stronger and stronger, making its way down Sarah’s thin medium-sized nose like a million tiny sinus feathers. She could see her reflection in the computer screen as her delicate nostrils reddened. Her eyes half-closed as her thin nostrils flared, and she furrowed her eyebrows and crinkled her nose. She held her breath and bit her lip in an attempt to stop the sneeze, but it was no use. She closed her eyes tightly and whipped her right hand in front of her mouth and nose. “Hih, hih’TSSchhyeww!” Sarah sneezed strongly but femininely into her fist, her nose crinkling against her fist as she pitched forward violently. She inhaled once more as her nose—as always—refused to let her sneeze just once. “Heh’tsschhyeEWW! Hih, ih’TSschh!” She sighed and muttered, “Damn allergies,” before sniffling and wiping her nose with a long finger. 

Sarah sat at the computer screen for hours, having no idea where to take her story. She would right something down and get going from there. Then, she’d change her mind, erase it, and try something else almost from the start. She was in an endless loop of writing and erasing. At one point, she was going along so well but was interrupted by a sudden two sneezes and lost track of where she was going with what she was writing. She scowled, erased it, and restarted.

A new colleague of Sarah’s came in at quarter after six. “Morning,” she stated. Sarah turned to look at her. The lady was 28, just like Sarah. She had short blonde hair, pale skin, and baby blue eyes. Sarah turned away from her and coughed violently a few times into her right fist. “You alright?” The lady asked with concern.

“I’m fine.” Sarah lied. But she certainly was not fine. Her throat was aching, and her nose was itching like mad. But that was her usual allergies. Nothing to worry about. “Don’t worry about me.” She turned back away and tried to focus back on her story, writing out a few more words. She was starting to write some dialogue when... “Ih’TSSchyeEWW!” She sneezed suddenly, her eyes snapped shut as she pitched forward violently. The back of her head hit against the monitor of her computer when she snapped forward, and she winced in pain and rubbed the back of her scalp before the tickle overcame her sinuses once more and she held her palms in front of her face. “Hih’txchhew!” She attempted (unsuccessfully) to stifle since she remembered her colleague was there.

“Bless you,” Sarah’s colleague stated kindly. “Are you sure—?”

“It’s just allergies,” Sarah interjected congestedly and rubbed her runny nose vigorously with the back of her wrist. “I’m perfectly fine, thanks.” She reached for a tissue from the box on the right corner of her desk and blew her nose delicately. She sniffled liquidly, threw the tissue into the trash can by her desk, and stared at the screen once more. She jotted down a few more ideas. Perhaps she just needed a new plot was all.

“But what type of plot?” She asked herself aloud. She paused and sat there in thought, rubbing her (now aching) temples. “Perhaps something with a puppy. That always attracts attention.” 

Sarah sniffled and started to describe a little puppy who was in desperate need of a home. She paused, her hands frozen above the keys of the keyboard. “No, too sad,” she stated with a shake of her head and held down the backspace key. She positioned her hands perfectly on the keys once more. “Let’s give him a wonderful home and an owner who is trying to find him a companion.” She typed out some more until she had an idea written down. She paused again and read through it. “Too cliche,” she stated, shaking her head once more at the story. She deleted that, too. Now, she was left once more with an almost blank page, and her brain started to get foggier and foggier with her sleepy mind. Maybe she just needed a little nap. Yes, that would surely make her feel better. Sarah was the queen of naps since she didn’t sleep much otherwise. She sat her arms on her desk and laid her head on her arms. She sniffled, closed her eyes, and drifted off to sleep almost instantly.

 

(P.S. Sorry there wasn’t very much sneezing in this part. If you want more, I can do that. I’m just trying to make things more natural,  have more plot, and incorporate the sneezing into the plot.)

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1 minute ago, NoV said:

Some really great descriptive writing here - looking forward to part 2

Thank you! I’m working on description and imagery. I am enjoying writing it. :) 

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10 minutes ago, macrotwentytwo said:

I hope she gets the whole office sick 

There will definitely be contagion as time goes on. ;) 

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@NoV @macrotwentytwo @ZakuConvoy @M214186 I’m so glad you all enjoyed the first part! I’ve been working recently on the second, but I was busy with Thanksgiving coming up and planning things with family. Before all the craziness this evening, I was able to finish it and post it now. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it, and I hope you enjoy part two.

 

Part 2

“Sarah!” A familiar male voice called out, jerking Sarah awake out of her sleep. She sniffled.

“Huh?” She asked tiredly, sitting up and looking around the large room. Her tired gaze locked with her coworker Mike’s concerned green eyes. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and looked at his spiky black hair. “What time is it?”

“Seven,” Mike stated, his eyes scanning her face with concern. “Damn, Sarah. You look like you went to hell and back. Are you alright?”

“Just sleepy is all,” Sarah replied simply, and she brought her right hand up to her mouth as she yawned widely. “Excuse me.” She subconsciously rubbed at her prickling nose.

“You look under the weather,” Mike pointed out with a frown. “You sure you don’t need some help? You look like you should probably go home and rest.”

“No, I’m fine,” Sarah insisted congestedly and rubbed her itchy nose with the back of her wrist. “It’s just my allergies. I need to finish this story.” She sniffled once more.

Mike looked down at the floor and sighed. “If you insist,” he stated, slumping his shoulders. Sarah felt he likely was thinking he shouldn’t have expected any more. Most of her coworkers knew from her that she was perfectly capable of tending to herself. He looked back up at Sarah. “But remember, if you change your mind or need anything, just come to me.”

“I won’t need anything since I can handle myself, but thank you,” Sarah almost spat out and sniffled. She paused, softened, and looked around nervously. “I’m sorry, I didn’t intend for that to come off as rude. I’m just a little stressed.”

“It’s okay,” Mike assured her and placed his hand on hers. She shivered involuntarily at his touch. His hand felt surprisingly cold. “Take care of yourself, alright?” Sarah nodded, sniffled, and rubbed her nose once more on the back of her wrist. Matt gave her a friendly smile and turned, walking back to his own cubicle, which was only a few cubicles across from hers.

Sarah wheeled back around and observed her computer. She still wasn’t sure what her story was going to be about, but it was a bit easier to focus now that she had slept a little. Nonetheless, she still wasn’t really focusing much whatsoever. Therefore, she abandoned her story for a little bit and walked over to Matt’s cubicle.

“Need something?” He asked curiously, looking up from his Mac monitor. “Didn’t think it’d be that fast.”

“I don’t know what to write,” Sarah admitted, leaning gently against Matt’s desk, her left hand supporting her. “So I thought maybe you could give me some ideas.” She swallowed, winced, and rubbed her throat, which was achy and scratchy.

“Really?” Matt asked her with surprise. A lot of Sarah’s coworkers admired her for being able to constantly think of ideas right in the moment. Therefore, seeing her clueless with her foggy brain must’ve befuddled Matt. Little did they know that she had these clueless situations much more often than they thought. But she would never admit that. She couldn’t believe she even admitted it to herself.

Sarah sniffled and rubbed her nose as the tickle spread once more through her sinuses. “Well what has stopped—“ Matt began as Sarah stared blankly at him.

Hih, hiht’ssscheyeww!” Sarah sneezed loudly, clutching her hands to her nose as she pitched forward violently, her hair falling in front of her face like curtains. She took another deep breath. “Ih, ihsss’scheww!” She blushed in embarrassment and sniffled liquidly before straightening up and pushing her hair out of her eyes. She rubbed her nose on the back of her hand.

“Bless you!” Matt stated with surprise, his eyes widening at Sarah. “Are you sure you’re alright?”

“It’s just—“ Sarah started and turned swiftly, "—Hih, iss’sschhh!” she sneezed a third time, covering it with the back of her wrist. She paused, making sure her nose was done before turning back. “Excuse me. It’s just my allergies. I’m okay.” Matt looked at her and raised one eyebrow as if he was not convinced she really was fine. “I’m serious!” Sarah insisted. She wondered why he wouldn’t believe her.

“If you say so,” he replied matter-of-factly, looking back at his computer. “But if you want my help, I want you to be honest with me when I ask you this.” He looked back up at her seriously. “Are you really sure that you’re okay?”

Sarah hesitated for a moment. She honestly didn’t feel so well. Her nose was constantly itching, it hurt for her to swallow with her sore throat, her head was starting to ache, and her brain was all fogged up. Maybe she really was—No, what was she talking about? Snap out of it. You’re not sick! You haven’t been sick in almost two years! She thought to herself and sniffled. It was just another allergy day. 

“Sarah?” Matt asked softly and concernedly. Sarah swore under her breath. Surely, he was getting suspicious with how long she was taking to reply. But fortunately, her nose twitched, maybe because she was anxious, or maybe out of real irritation, but whatever it was, she held her hand to her nose.

Hih, hih’issshyeeEWW!” Sarah sneezed strongly and femininely into the side of her hand, the last syllable slightly more high-pitched as usual. She completely succumbed to it as if trying to use it as an excuse for her silence. She sniffled and kept her hand to her nose for a few seconds, expecting another. Matt must have, too, because he waited to bless her. However, surprisingly, at least to her knowledge, this one only came with a single. She cautiously lowered her hand, and Matt blessed her. She sniffled and thanked him. “I’m sure. I’m okay,” she said half-heartedly. She wasn’t sure now if she was telling the truth to even herself. No, no, it was definitely allergies. If she was sick, she’d be coughing from this talking and sneezing. Speaking of that...

Sarah let out a sudden, swift cough and swallowed hard. Her chest was tight, but she wouldn’t let it prove her wrong. Especially not in front of Matt. She was just fine. “I need to use the restroom,” she made an excuse, her voice strained and hoarse. “I’ll be right back.” She quickly ran off to the restrooms and convulsed with uncontrollable coughs about halfway there. 

“Hello?” A slightly familiar female voice called from behind her. No...Sarah turned and saw the tall woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes. Shit. Why now? Sarah asked herself. It was her new colleague from before, with whom she swore is never going to be able to take her seriously if she only sees Sarah weak like this. Sarah was supposed to be one of the main leaders! She forced a smile before turning back around to try to hide her humiliation.

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On 11/22/2018 at 9:12 AM, I love Alan Rickman said:

@NoV @macrotwentytwo @ZakuConvoy @M214186 I’m so glad you all enjoyed the first part! I’ve been working recently on the second, but I was busy with Thanksgiving coming up and planning things with family. Before all the craziness this evening, I was able to finish it and post it now. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it, and I hope you enjoy part two.

 

Part 2

“Sarah!” A familiar male voice called out, jerking Sarah awake out of her sleep. She sniffled.

“Huh?” She asked tiredly, sitting up and looking around the large room. Her tired gaze locked with her coworker Mike’s concerned green eyes. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and looked at his spiky black hair. “What time is it?”

“Seven,” Mike stated, his eyes scanning her face with concern. “Damn, Sarah. You look like you went to hell and back. Are you alright?”

“Just sleepy is all,” Sarah replied simply, and she brought her right hand up to her mouth as she yawned widely. “Excuse me.” She subconsciously rubbed at her prickling nose.

“You look under the weather,” Mike pointed out with a frown. “You sure you don’t need some help? You look like you should probably go home and rest.”

“No, I’m fine,” Sarah insisted congestedly and rubbed her itchy nose with the back of her wrist. “It’s just my allergies. I need to finish this story.” She sniffled once more.

Mike looked down at the floor and sighed. “If you insist,” he stated, slumping his shoulders. Sarah felt he likely was thinking he shouldn’t have expected any more. Most of her coworkers knew from her that she was perfectly capable of tending to herself. He looked back up at Sarah. “But remember, if you change your mind or need anything, just come to me.”

“I won’t need anything since I can handle myself, but thank you,” Sarah almost spat out and sniffled. She paused, softened, and looked around nervously. “I’m sorry, I didn’t intend for that to come off as rude. I’m just a little stressed.”

“It’s okay,” Mike assured her and placed his hand on hers. She shivered involuntarily at his touch. His hand felt surprisingly cold. “Take care of yourself, alright?” Sarah nodded, sniffled, and rubbed her nose once more on the back of her wrist. Matt gave her a friendly smile and turned, walking back to his own cubicle, which was only a few cubicles across from hers.

Sarah wheeled back around and observed her computer. She still wasn’t sure what her story was going to be about, but it was a bit easier to focus now that she had slept a little. Nonetheless, she still wasn’t really focusing much whatsoever. Therefore, she abandoned her story for a little bit and walked over to Matt’s cubicle.

“Need something?” He asked curiously, looking up from his Mac monitor. “Didn’t think it’d be that fast.”

“I don’t know what to write,” Sarah admitted, leaning gently against Matt’s desk, her left hand supporting her. “So I thought maybe you could give me some ideas.” She swallowed, winced, and rubbed her throat, which was achy and scratchy.

“Really?” Matt asked her with surprise. A lot of Sarah’s coworkers admired her for being able to constantly think of ideas right in the moment. Therefore, seeing her clueless with her foggy brain must’ve befuddled Matt. Little did they know that she had these clueless situations much more often than they thought. But she would never admit that. She couldn’t believe she even admitted it to herself.

Sarah sniffled and rubbed her nose as the tickle spread once more through her sinuses. “Well what has stopped—“ Matt began as Sarah stared blankly at him.

Hih, hiht’ssscheyeww!” Sarah sneezed loudly, clutching her hands to her nose as she pitched forward violently, her hair falling in front of her face like curtains. She took another deep breath. “Ih, ihsss’scheww!” She blushed in embarrassment and sniffled liquidly before straightening up and pushing her hair out of her eyes. She rubbed her nose on the back of her hand.

“Bless you!” Matt stated with surprise, his eyes widening at Sarah. “Are you sure you’re alright?”

“It’s just—“ Sarah started and turned swiftly, "—Hih, iss’sschhh!” she sneezed a third time, covering it with the back of her wrist. She paused, making sure her nose was done before turning back. “Excuse me. It’s just my allergies. I’m okay.” Matt looked at her and raised one eyebrow as if he was not convinced she really was fine. “I’m serious!” Sarah insisted. She wondered why he wouldn’t believe her.

“If you say so,” he replied matter-of-factly, looking back at his computer. “But if you want my help, I want you to be honest with me when I ask you this.” He looked back up at her seriously. “Are you really sure that you’re okay?”

Sarah hesitated for a moment. She honestly didn’t feel so well. Her nose was constantly itching, it hurt for her to swallow with her sore throat, her head was starting to ache, and her brain was all fogged up. Maybe she really was—No, what was she talking about? Snap out of it. You’re not sick! You haven’t been sick in almost two years! She thought to herself and sniffled. It was just another allergy day. 

“Sarah?” Matt asked softly and concernedly. Sarah swore under her breath. Surely, he was getting suspicious with how long she was taking to reply. But fortunately, her nose twitched, maybe because she was anxious, or maybe out of real irritation, but whatever it was, she held her hand to her nose.

Hih, hih’issshyeeEWW!” Sarah sneezed strongly and femininely into the side of her hand, the last syllable slightly more high-pitched as usual. She completely succumbed to it as if trying to use it as an excuse for her silence. She sniffled and kept her hand to her nose for a few seconds, expecting another. Matt must have, too, because he waited to bless her. However, surprisingly, at least to her knowledge, this one only came with a single. She cautiously lowered her hand, and Matt blessed her. She sniffled and thanked him. “I’m sure. I’m okay,” she said half-heartedly. She wasn’t sure now if she was telling the truth to even herself. No, no, it was definitely allergies. If she was sick, she’d be coughing from this talking and sneezing. Speaking of that...

Sarah let out a sudden, swift cough and swallowed hard. Her chest was tight, but she wouldn’t let it prove her wrong. Especially not in front of Matt. She was just fine. “I need to use the restroom,” she made an excuse, her voice strained and hoarse. “I’ll be right back.” She quickly ran off to the restrooms and convulsed with uncontrollable coughs about halfway there. 

“Hello?” A slightly familiar female voice called from behind her. No...Sarah turned and saw the tall woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes. Shit. Why now? Sarah asked herself. It was her new colleague from before, with whom she swore is never going to be able to take her seriously if she only sees Sarah weak like this. Sarah was supposed to be one of the main leaders! She forced a smile before turning back around to try to hide her humiliation.

Sorry, I really didn't want this stupid thing to quote your whole post but I'm on mobile and can't seem to get it to take it off.

I love this!  I love how she sneezes on to her hands.  Please more contagion, coughing, fever, sore throats, liquid mom stop sniffles... Please let her keep working closely with people while getting so sick bc she's in denial. You don't have to use it but since I'm on a roll, I love the idea of sitting in small enclosed spaces for a meeting with a sick person for an hour..... Basically I love anything that would horrify me in real life. Leaning over someone's shoulder to see their monitor and a messy sneeze.  Using the keyboard and mouse or phone of a person with a super cold. Haha please let her keep saying it's allergies so she can be careless about hygiene

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She should shake hands with that new girl, sit her down in a meeting room, start coughing, offer to go get them coffee so she can sneak a drink of water to stop coughing, sneeze and cough in the break room touching it all and spraying a table with a few surprise sneezes, leaving justas a few people walk in and sit down, bring two cups back while coughing or sneezing over them (hands full), forget which one she drank from. They could go over paperwork, passing it back and forth, using the same pen, Sarah leaning over her sniffling and breathing from her mouth clearing her throat, sneezing doubles to the side in the small room, wiping her nose and then moving the papers or signing something and giving the pen back. While the girl is being shown around they could get in a crowded elevator, all while Sarah quickly gets a fever. As she introduces the new girl around they both can shake hands with everyone. Sarah can sneeze all over the girl's new desk, complain about allergies, start losing her voice, have an endlessly drippy nose, not have any chance ever to blow it or want to bc it's just allergies so everything sprays everywhere.... Or maybe her desk becomes overflowing with tissues so she doesn't sound congested when she talks, but only used the tissues to blow and not to sneeze in.  Someone else should use that computer she's been sneezing and hacking on all day. Matt needs to touch her hand again to see if she's okay. They need to take that new girl out to a first day lunch, all ride in the same car, Sarah allergic to the air freshener, sneezes all over the Uber driver, fever and throat and cough get worse, someone wants to share a bite of food or drink with her, water cups get mixed up. Everyone super sympathetic bc they've experienced bad allergies in the past.  Menu and waitress are unlucky and get sprayed.  

 

Actually, don't do that, lol, it's cooler if you share what's in your own mind. My own mind is boring to me/myself

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9 hours ago, macrotwentytwo said:

She should shake hands with that new girl, sit her down in a meeting room, start coughing, offer to go get them coffee so she can sneak a drink of water to stop coughing, sneeze and cough in the break room touching it all and spraying a table with a few surprise sneezes, leaving justas a few people walk in and sit down, bring two cups back while coughing or sneezing over them (hands full), forget which one she drank from. They could go over paperwork, passing it back and forth, using the same pen, Sarah leaning over her sniffling and breathing from her mouth clearing her throat, sneezing doubles to the side in the small room, wiping her nose and then moving the papers or signing something and giving the pen back. While the girl is being shown around they could get in a crowded elevator, all while Sarah quickly gets a fever. As she introduces the new girl around they both can shake hands with everyone. Sarah can sneeze all over the girl's new desk, complain about allergies, start losing her voice, have an endlessly drippy nose, not have any chance ever to blow it or want to bc it's just allergies so everything sprays everywhere.... Or maybe her desk becomes overflowing with tissues so she doesn't sound congested when she talks, but only used the tissues to blow and not to sneeze in.  Someone else should use that computer she's been sneezing and hacking on all day. Matt needs to touch her hand again to see if she's okay. They need to take that new girl out to a first day lunch, all ride in the same car, Sarah allergic to the air freshener, sneezes all over the Uber driver, fever and throat and cough get worse, someone wants to share a bite of food or drink with her, water cups get mixed up. Everyone super sympathetic bc they've experienced bad allergies in the past.  Menu and waitress are unlucky and get sprayed.  

 

Actually, don't do that, lol, it's cooler if you share what's in your own mind. My own mind is boring to me/myself

Haha don’t worry, I do like some of your especially. I definitely like to get ideas. Don’t want to make it involve too much mess, but I’ll definitely find more ways for contagion. May use some of these. Thanks for the ideas. 😁

Edit: There’s one I definitely think I will use and adjust just a bit, but I don't want to spoil it. 😉

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On 11/22/2018 at 3:12 PM, I love Alan Rickman said:

Hih, hiht’ssscheyeww!” Sarah sneezed loudly, clutching her hands to her nose as she pitched forward violently, her hair falling in front of her face like curtains. She took another deep breath. “Ih, ihsss’scheww!” She blushed in embarrassment and sniffled liquidly before straightening up and pushing her hair out of her eyes. She rubbed her nose on the back of her hand.

Love this paragraph - it ticks so many boxes for me, especially the 'getting embarrassed because of her sneezing' element :D Really great update

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@macrotwentytwo @NoV @ZakuConvoy @M214186 In the past few days, I’ve worked some more on this and finished part three! Things are slowly starting to spice up. Contagion will officially take place probably in the next two or three chapters. This part is just a little bit shorter than the others, but I hope you still enjoy it nonetheless. :) 

 

 

Part 3

Sarah hid out in the bathroom for a little bit, trying to get her coughing under control. While she was in there, she also blew her nose wetly and made sure that she sounded relatively normal before walking back out. 

She made her way back to her desk when she bumped into Matt once more. She almost ran right into him with her foggy brain, but she skidded to a halt at the last second, and she swayed slightly on the spot. Matt’s eyes widened in surprise, and quickly he wrapped his strong hands tightly around her arms to steady her. “You alright?” He asked.

“Yes, yes,” Sarah insisted, shaking her head in an attempt to clear her foggy brain. “Just a little tired.” Matt‘s concerned eyes studied her face once more. Then he relaxed a little.

“Do you know Jane?” He asked her gently. Sarah furrowed her brow with confusion. “She’s new,” he explained. “Blonde hair, blue eyes, your age.”

“Oh, right!” Sarah exclaimed. So that was the woman’s name. How silly of her to not ask or look at her name tag when she was clearly new! “What about her?”

“Well, I think she could also benefit from what I was going to show you earlier,” Matt explained, looking over Sarah’s shoulder in the direction of another cubicle where Jane could be seen sitting down. “Why don’t you go get her?” Sarah looked behind her, hesitated, and shifted uncomfortably. Despite being the head manager, she wasn’t very good with introducing herself without someone else around. “Or I could,” Matt added quickly.

“Yeah,” Sarah responded, turning back to Matt with a sheepish smile. Oh God. She must’ve looked ridiculous. Just act normal, Sarah, she told herself quietly as Matt headed off. It’s not the end of the world. She took a deep breath and let it out. This job was really testing her slight social anxiety. She was pretty outgoing, but she also worried about how others may think of her. If she showed any sign of weakness, she felt she may not be taken seriously. Therefore, even as the head manager, she was nervous around others except a few people who she had grown close to. Such as Matt. But she was already especially self conscious around Jane. She hoped she could still keep a good reputation with her.

Then, Sarah made her way back to Matt’s cubicle and observed his computer silently as her nose began to bother her once more. She swiped her hand beneath her nose and sniffled. Then she dragged another two chairs over to the desk, one on each side of Matt’s.

Matt returned shortly with Jane and introduced her to Sarah. “Sarah is the head manager,” Matt stated with a smile. “She’s truly excellent. You can go to her if you need any help.”

“I will,” Jane stated simply, nodded respectfully to Sarah, and held out her hand. Sarah paused for a split second before taking it and awkwardly shaking her new colleague’s hand. “Nice to meet you, Sarah.” 

“Matt is here to help, too,” Sarah stated swiftly and sniffled once again. “Honestly, he was going to help me out as well.” She turned to him. “I think you deserve more,” she stated with a nod. He blushed slightly and muttered a soft thank you. She rubbed her nose again and turned back to Jane. “Well, let’s see what he has in store, shall we?”

“Yes!” Matt replied with a smile. He sat down in his chair and typed out on his computer. “I’m going to show you an important strategy to step over the threshold in a story.” 

He turned to Jane, and Sarah quickly sneaked a tissue from the box on his desk and held it to her nose. “Sometimes even the best writers will hit a block and not know where to go.” He looked at Sarah, who was trying to quietly blow her nose. At the sudden attention, it was her turn to blush, and she wiped her nose, sniffled and nodded. Matt’s expression looked sympathetic, but he let it be and looked back at Jane. 

Sarah tried hard to listen to what Matt was saying, but it was very difficult with her nose distracting her. Nonetheless, she tried to ignore it. It seemed to work...for now. However, as she just got back to ignoring nose and listening fully to him and heard him mention something about your mind, her nose twitched uncontrollably. She tried to reach the tissue to her nose, but it was too late.

Hih, ih’tsschyeww!” Sarah sneezed delicately, not reaching the tissue to her nose on time. She forced her eyes open and saw Matt wince slightly. “Sh-hih-shit, I’m s-so sorry,” she stated swiftly, blushing a deep shade of crimson as she grasped the tissue to her nose as her breath hitched. “Hih’ttsschhew! Hih, heh’issshhew!” She continued, this time covering the sneezes in her tissue. She held her hands there for a moment before putting them down and looking cautiously and awkwardly between her two colleagues.

“Bless you. No, it’s okay,” he insisted calmly. “It was just a little spray. You’re fine.” Then he continued to speak. Something about the brain. Did he say boredom helps to be creative since you’re forced to think of something? Yeah, that must’ve been it. She’d heard that before. Something else about sitting and writing. She wasn’t so sure on that one. Her brain was not focusing so well right now. Casual allergy issues for her.

“Sarah,” Matt stated, bringing Sarah back to a bit clearer focus. She jumped in surprise. 

“W-What?” she stated and looked at him expectantly.

“Could you show Jane around?” He asked patiently, looking into her eyes. 

“Yeah, sorry,” Sarah responded and yawned widely. She gently rubbed her itchy nose and sniffled before turning to Jane. “Right this way,” she stated and led her around the office.

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Beautiful.  I'm so excited for another update already.  This is just simply amazing. I love how you are able to give us her symptoms so naturally. The yawning was a good touch, people don't realize that's another way to spread germs. I liked the earlier coughing, too, definitely. Maybe you could add throat issues and fever and don't let her go home sick, stay at work instead, she's stubborn enough to do that........?  If not, totally cool, your stuff is always great. Love the itchy nose she keeps touching

So amazing, thank you!

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3 minutes ago, macrotwentytwo said:

Beautiful.  I'm so excited for another update already.  This is just simply amazing. I love how you are able to give us her symptoms so naturally. The yawning was a good touch, people don't realize that's another way to spread germs. I liked the earlier coughing, too, definitely. Maybe you could add throat issues and fever and don't let her go home sick, stay at work instead, she's stubborn enough to do that........?  If not, totally cool, your stuff is always great. Love the itchy nose she keeps touching

So amazing, thank you!

You’re welcome! I’m glad you like it so far. :) 

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Sorry for not updating recently! Been quite busy! I’m gonna be busy for probably about another week or so as I prepare for a performance, but I’ll definitely try to get the next part written and posted in the next week or two. Hang tight! I haven’t forgotten about y’all! :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
15 hours ago, macrotwentytwo said:

omg tease!!

Sorry!! My orchestra concert is this Tuesday, then after that’s done, I’ll hopefully be working on it a lot once again.

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  • 1 month later...
31 minutes ago, macrotwentytwo said:

Any hope for a small continuation?  If not, that's cool

Yes, sorry, I’ve just been extremely busy. After my orchestra concert, I had to prepare for district orchestra and do that, and now (since I advanced to regionals), I’m preparing for regional orchestra. I’ll be trying to slip in more time to work on it, but I may have to wait until after regionals. I’m sorry for such a long wait!!

Edit: I love writing this so much I wouldn’t just give up on it. Trust me, I really want to finish the next part, too! I’ll get it done as soon as I can, but I may need about a month. I’ll definitely try to work on it before then as I said, but I can’t promise

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@macrotwentytwo @M214186 @NoV @ZakuConvoy Sorry for the long wait! I’ve written another short part, but the next part will likely be longer. This part is pretty much an update of what the characters are doing. Though it’s fairly short, I hope you still enjoy it.

 

Part 4

As Sarah led Jane around the office, she showed her around and answered every question she asked about the office. “How long have you had that?” Jane asked curiously, pointing toward an extremely realistic otter tape dispenser which laid on its back holding the tape like a little ball. "It's adorable!"

"Isn't it?" Sarah agreed and gently dabbed her nose while Jane was focused on the tape dispenser. Sarah sniffled subconsciously as she felt the familiar tickle in her nose. "We've had it for a few years n-hih-now." She forcefully pressed her tongue to the roof of her mouth to try to stop the sneeze, hoping Jane would stay focused on that otter tape dispenser. Thankfully, she repeated how cute it was and how much she loves otters, and Sarah was able to successfully fight back the sneeze before she turned back around and they continued the tour.

Sarah continued to guide Jane around and pointed out how to get to her own desk and Matt's, the break room with the coffee and snacks, the meeting rooms, etc, all as she sniffled and yawned a lot throughout. Sarah would try to find any time that Jane was distracted to gently rub her nose, which was actually more than she thought since Jane seemed fascinated by the place. By the time they finished up, Sarah's nose was tickling once more and she was exhausted. However, since she had to, she asked, “Do you have any more questions?” Sarah prayed that she wouldn’t so that she could go back to her desk and sneeze in private. She gently rubbed the side of her nose and tried to make it look like like she was scratching it instead. Jane contemplated for a moment, and Sarah stood there biting her lip, trying to quell the pesky sneeze as her nostrils flared.

After what felt like an eternity but had to have been a few seconds, Jane stated, “Yes. Are you alright?”

Taken by surprise, Sarah forgot about fighting her sneeze. She looked at Jane for a second and then swiftly pitched forward. “Hih’tssschxtew!” Sarah just barely got her hand to her nose in time to pinch her nose and manage a half-stifle. She sniffled thickly, apologized, and then insisted she was fine and her allergies were just bothering her. Jane looked at her doubtfully but let it be, thanked her for the tour, and headed off to her desk. Sarah went on her way to her own desk as well.

When Sarah got back to her desk, she looked down and placed her hands to her temples. Matt approached her with a frown. “Everything alright?” He asked kindly, gently placing his hand on her cheek. She looked at him, lowered her hands, and sniffled softly. Her nose was ticklish and twitched subtly. “Is something wrong?”

“I feel a headache coming on,” she admitted and shut her eyes tightly, holding her head once more. Her nose twitched a second time, and her breath hitched. 

“You should probably—“ Matt began, but Sarah swiftly turned and wheeled her chair back a few inches away from Matt.

Heh’ISSshhyeEWW!” She sneezed strongly into the side of her wrist. Her hair fell around her face again as she pitched forward violently. Good lord, that was stronger than she thought. “Huh, ih’schhyeEWW!” She turned red with embarrassment.

“Bless you,” Matt stated in a friendly tone. He rubbed her back as she sniffled thickly and groaned. “You should take a break and take it easy,” he suggested calmly. Sarah shook her head almost instantly.

“No,” she stated as if he had insulted her, “I can’t. I need to finish writing my notes for the meeting.” She scrubbed her nose on the back of her hand and sniffled again. She reached for a tissue and blew her nose gently and as quietly as possible. She discarded the tissue into the trash under her desk and rubbed her red nose.

“Oh!” Matt said with surprise and slapped the heel of his palm against his forehead. “I almost forgot about the meeting!” Sarah chuckled.

“Believe me, so did I,” she stated and paused. A sudden realization came to her. She cursed under her breath. “I forgot to tell Jane!” She shot up from her desk and almost ran to Jane’s cubicle to inform her of the meeting in the next few hours’ time.

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On 2/4/2019 at 11:51 PM, I love Alan Rickman said:

Heh’ISSshhyeEWW!” She sneezed strongly into the side of her wrist. Her hair fell around her face again as she pitched forward violently. Good lord, that was stronger than she thought. “Huh, ih’schhyeEWW!” She turned red with embarrassment.

^ :D Also, love how her nose twitches before she has to sneeze :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@NoV @macrotwentytwo @M214186 @ZakuConvoy I didn’t abandon you guys, just took some time since I’m busy. However, I’ve finished part five, and it’s a normal length! Please tell me what you think. There is some more about Jane in this part. However, there aren’t many sneezes in this part, but there will be more and contagion and contagion soon. I hope you enjoy it.

Part 5

“All done,” Sarah stated with relief when she finished her notecards for the meeting. They were terribly vague, but she was too tired to write any more. She’d know what she was talking about anyway, so there was no need to waste time making detailed notes.

Sarah glanced at the clock and wheeled back her desk chair about a foot in surprise. “2:30 already?” She exclaimed with shock. She didn’t know she’d taken that long. And what had taken her so long? How long had thinking of and writing notes taken? Or did just helping Matt out last longer than she thought? Where in the world had these past several hours gone? 

Sarah shook her head to clear these thoughts from her head. It’s okay. She had some time to gather everything together, go over them, and meet up with Matt and Jane beforehand. It’s alright.

Sarah left with Matt and Jane to the meeting room at 2:35 pm so they’d be there early. The meeting would start at 3. On their way to the elevator, Sarah and Matt chatted together, and Matt talked a little bit with Jane. Sarah didn’t say much to her new colleague, because she still was nervous what she must be thinking of her sneezy leader. Plus, that tour with Jane was enough of personally talking to someone new one on one for the day. She could talk to Matt the whole day, but not to someone new. She was self-conscious about first impressions.

Together, Sarah, Matt, and Jane rode the elevator up to the third floor, which was the floor where the specific meeting room they’d be in was. Sarah had shown Jane the meeting room on the first floor and only described the ones on the other floors since she hadn’t been in the mood to ride the elevator with someone new by herself. It would cause her to have to either create a conversation in the moment or stand in awkward silence, and personally, she would rather do neither.

On the way up the elevator, Jane was fairly silent. Probably nervous for her first meeting. Understandable. Even Sarah and Matt were chatting a little less. Though the whole time, it was evident that the most common sound was Sarah’s consistent sniffling. 

She had started sniffling pretty much every ten seconds, and even she was getting a bit tired of it. You know what? Instead of actually being nervous, Sarah was sure Jane was probably secretly plotting how to cut off Sarah’s nose and sinuses to get her to stop sniffling. Oh how Sarah wished she’d brought some tissues with her...Instead, she rubbed her nose helplessly on the back of her hand and sniffled some more. God, she hated her allergies. Why didn’t she...”Huh...Oh God, not again,” Sarah stated aloud and turned, pointing her twitching nose to her shoulder.

Hah, hih’tssschxtyeww!” She attempted to stifle. Honestly, why did she still even bother? She knew she sucked at stifling. Ah well. Maybe she’d get better with time. “Huh, ih’TSSsschyeww!” Nope. That was not better. That was worse. The elevator door opened, and Sarah’s nose was still itching slightly, but she took a few steps nonetheless and rubbed her red nostrils with the side of her hand.

“Morning Sarah,” a masculine voice stated from ahead. A tall lean tan male figure walked forward and held out his hand for Sarah to shake. She accepted it. “How you doin’? You look exhausted.”

“Morning, Carl. I’m tired, yes, but I’m alright,” Sarah stated and yawned widely. “Excuse me!” She exclaimed and sniffled. She reached in her pocket and took out her notes. She scanned them and rubbed her nose again. It was running more than before.

“Here,” Carl stated kindly. Sarah looked back up a little and saw his hand holding out a tissue for her to take. She blushed and looked sheepishly up at his hazel eyes and dark hair. “I think you need it,” he suggested. Sarah nodded awkwardly, accepted it, and blew her nose strongly. “Better?” She nodded.

Carl, Sarah, Matt, and Jane walked together to the meeting room. When they arrived there, they sat down. They had about ten minutes to spare. Sarah sat in the front of the table on the right next to Matt. Across from her were Jane and Carl. 

Sarah scanned her tired eyes down along the long table at her colleagues and yawned. She quickly skimmed over her notes before sitting patiently with her hands clasped professionally on her lap and watching the clock. It was 2:35. She talked a little bit with Matt, bouncing some ideas with the notes off of him. “Do you think those will work?” She asked with a sniffle when she got through a few.

“Well,” he began and looked up at Sarah nervously, “Your notes are vague. Are you sure you won’t lose track of where you are?” He watched as Sarah stifled a yawn.

“I’m sure,” she replied with a confident nod. “I know what I’m talking about.”

“If you insist,” Matt replied with a shrug, “then I think it’s fine.”

“Thanks, Matt,” Sarah responded with a smile. 

Matt and Sarah chatted for another few minutes, and they tried to get to know Jane a bit more as well. Apparently, Jane had been writing since she was little, thus she had always wanted to be a journalist or writer when she was an adult. She had recently finished college and had started off writing on her own for a few years but then decided to write with others. “Then I found you guys,” she stated with a smile. “Thanks for bringing me in. Y’all seem very kind.” 

“Not a problem,” Sarah responded and smiled. Perhaps Jane was less judging than she thought. She sighed  with relief.

Matt talked with Jane for another minute, and Sarah’s eyes slowly began to close with fatigue. However, she forced them open and looked at the clock. She couldn’t rest now. The meeting was in ten minutes! However, her body seemed to think otherwise. She propped her head up on the table as her eyes shut, and she fell asleep from exhaustion.

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/15/2019 at 8:50 PM, I love Alan Rickman said:

.”Huh...Oh God, not again,” Sarah stated aloud

For some reason, I always enjoy it when a character in a sneezefic states that they have to sneeze or can feel one building... somehow it just adds to the tension :D 

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