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Fields In Summer (Castle Rock, Annie, can be read as original) finished Feb 7


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Most likely the last fic I write for this fandom/character, at least for the time being, because I HAVE TO focus on what I should focus on instead!!! But this idea came and wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to write it. 🤷‍♀️ I'm only grateful I'm able to write, so... 


It’s late in the summer, and it’s hot, and the air conditioner is broken so they have to drive with the windows rolled down. The heat has made them both irritable, and after snapping at each other back and forth, Joy has decided to lie down and have a nap in the backseat. Annie keeps an eye out for a gas station, not because they need gas, but they need to get out of the car for a while, stretch their legs, have some ice-cream or a cool drink. But they’re in the middle of the farmlands, with miles to go before they reach the next town.

Annie takes a sip of her disgustingly warm Pepsi and puts the bottle back in the cup holder. Her throat has felt dry and scratchy for a while, so she has kept taking small sips of the drink even though it tastes horrible warm. Her eyes are dry and irritated as well, and she knows far too well why.

It hasn’t rained in weeks, and thick clouds of dust and pollen hang heavy in the air, and Annie is so very, very allergic. It wasn’t so bad earlier, but now there are only endless fields surrounding them in all directions, and she’s certain she can feel the increase in pollen compared to just one hour’s drive ago. It doesn’t help either that the road is bad, with lots of potholes and crumbling pavement, so she can’t just step on it and get the heck out of this sea of pollen.

Another mile down the road, a bunch of farmers are out in the fields making hay. Specks of the chopped grass mix with the pollen and the dust in the air, and the scent of it is sweet and strong and pleasant. But no matter how pleasant it is, Annie is only too familiar with the inevitable misery it brings.

She sniffles and rubs the heel of her hand against the underside of her nose, trying to get rid of the itch that begins to bloom inside her reddening nostrils. It’s a hopeless quest, one she has tried in vain before, but maybe she’ll at least be able to delay the impending allergy attack. She’s pretty sure Joy will be even cattier if woken up mid-nap, and Annie really isn’t in the mood for another argument. She loves her daughter dearly, but she has still not learned how to deal with Joy’s Moody Teen Phase ™. She feels like she’s constantly walking on eggshells, and it’s not even as much to appease Joy as it is to keep her own temper in control. Annie is several years into her thirties, but she sometimes feels like she is the moody sixteen-year-old in the backseat, poised and ready to explode.

Speaking of exploding… the prickling sensation has climbed higher into her nose, allergic spikes sinking into her sensitive nasal passages, like deliberate torture from a displeased nature deity. Her nostrils quiver, her eyes narrow until tears spill over and trickle down her cheeks. Her breath catches in her itchy throat and she moans quietly. Her nose feels like it’s on fire. She’s going to sneeze, whether she wants to or not.

Annie cups a hand over her mouth and nose and bobs forward with a fiercely contained stifle that makes her upper body shudder from the suppressed force.


She sniffles wetly and rubs her nose before her hand sinks back to rest on the steering wheel. She sniffles again, even wetter, and wrinkles her nose a little, as if that would do anything to quell the persistent tickle. Of course it doesn’t, and the sneezy expression begins to overtake her features. Her breath begins to hitch wildly in an irregular gasping buildup that would be embarrassing if it would happen around people.

“Hehh… heh-ahh… ahhh… nnh-GHXT! NNgh-KXThh! Heh-GNXT!“

Stifling seems to make the urge to sneeze worse rather than better, and she gets her arm up again to make only the most symbolic of covers to capture the next sneezing fit. She takes several frantically hitching breaths before she snaps forward and goes headfirst into a seemingly endless allergy fit.

“Heh-ISSH! Eh-ISSH! Hih-ESSHew! Ah-ESSSH! Hih-ESSCHew! Heh-ISSH! ISSCHoo! Hah-ISSSCH-ugh!”

She can only take a single, sharp, desperate breath between each sneeze, and it’s immediately forced out of her with the next abrupt allergic outburst. The final sneeze ends in something that’s a mix between a sigh and a moan, and when she can open her eyes for more than a second at a time she finds that she has aimed the sneezes lower than the arm meant to contain them, so she has showered the front of her blouse and her jeans-clad thigh with spray.

“That’s nice,” she mutters to herself, so congested the words sound completely distorted, and then the itch she thought she had extinguished with all those wet sneezes comes back for one more round, taking her by surprise, so the only thing she can do is surrender completely to its dominance. “EEAASSHHHew!”

That is one of those sneezes that takes over your whole body and leaves you shaky and exhausted and a bit surprised that you’re capable of creating such forces, and Annie prays it’s also the end of if not the entire allergy attack then at least this fit.

That seems to be the case, and she leans back in her seat, grateful to be able to breathe without too much interruptions again. She glances in the rear-view mirror at Joy, who hasn’t opened her eyes. Annie doesn’t believe for a second that she’s still asleep, not a chance, but she rather plays along with that than having another pointless shouting match. Especially now when her voice is completely wrecked.  

She sighs and wipes some tears and smeared mascara from the corners of her eyes. She feels like she might have to sneeze again soon, but not right now. Glaring at the fields with their endless supply of floating irritants, she decides that driving through Kansas in summertime might have been one of her less than stellar travel plans.


Edited by Chanel_no5
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Did I say something? I should not say things. Story dictates its own writing. This, uhm... it started as a benign little allergy fic, took a sharp left turn and ended up in a "how will she get rid of a body when she can't stop sneezing for two minutes?"- situation, sorry about the spoiler but some may not like that kind of surprise in a sneezefic. (I know how she's gonna do it though, but before I can get to the unexpected part 3 of this I need to finish at least one of the other works I have in progress. :whip:)


Maybe it’s just the poor road quality, or maybe there really is something sharp on the road that Annie simply doesn’t see through the film of tears that keep welling up in her irritated eyes, but there’s something wrong with one of the front tires. Luckily, she can spot a gas station not far ahead, so she pulls over and parks the car.

Sighing, she takes the key out of the ignition and just sits there for a few seconds. That allergic itch is filling her entire head, it’s distracting and annoying, and her nose itches like crazy but she doesn’t feel like she’s about to sneeze. She wants to, she’s that itchy, but it’s not going to happen. Not now, anyway.

Joy opens her eyes, yawns widely and sits up. So maybe she really was asleep.

“Ice-cream?” Annie asks as if presenting a peace offer, and Joy brightens. She leans into the front seat and gives Annie a hug.

“I’m sorry I was a brat earlier.”

“You’re only apologising now because you’re going to get ice-cream,” Annie says. But she smiles. “Well, I was probably a brat too.”

“Yes you were.” Joy is also smiling. Storm clouds gone.

“I’m sorry.” Annie pats her shoulder, then reaches into her handbag and takes out her wallet. “I have to check the tire, probably have to switch to the spare, so why don’t you go inside while I do that?”

Joy gives her a sceptical glance. Annie has seen her own face in the mirror already and knows that she looks about as bad as she feels, so she endures the scrutiny, ready to downplay it if necessary. But Joy knows how much she hates having her allergies pointed out to her, so she only takes the offered money and says;

“Okay. I’ll check if they have meds too.”

She gets out of the car and starts towards the store area. Annie feels that surge of fear that she gets every time she lets Joy out of her sight in the big bad world, then she pushes it back – she has to, or she’ll lose Joy either way – and opens the door on the driver’s side.

The heat strikes her like a physical slap and she gasps, involuntarily breathing in so much pollen in one single inhale that she has to cough. On one side of the gas station is a field of tall grass, across from the street is one with corn. Annie doesn’t know if you can actually be allergic to corn silk, but she swears that if you can, she is.

Once again kicking herself for deciding to go through Kansas during high summer, she walks around the car and bends down to have a look. It definitely needs to be changed, it’s only sheer luck that the cockadoodie tire hasn’t exploded. Annie sighs again, and the sigh ends in another light cough. The constant itch in her nose flares up into a full-blown urge to sneeze, and she turns to the side and sneezes openly towards the dusty ground. After the first sneeze she can draw a full breath, but the next turns into a rapid-fire fit where she has no chance to come up for air in between. 


She shakes her head a little and wipes her mouth and nose with one hand, then wipes her hand on her jeans as she straightens up. She sneezes again as she opens the trunk of the car and takes out the lug wrench, the jack, and the spare.


She has to sniffle right after the sneeze because her nose starts to run like crazy, it’s like turning a faucet on. With both hands occupied as she rolls the spare over to the front of the car, she has no choice but to keep sniffling to keep the sudden flood of watery mess from dripping onto her upper lip. This frequent, hard sniffling obviously leads to her getting even more pollen into her nose, and she knows she’s going to pay for it.


The fit is interspersed with watery sniffles and as Annie puts the tire down on the ground, she realises this is not going to work, she’s going to drip all over herself if she doesn’t blow her nose.

She gets some tissues out of her handbag and tries to empty her nose of the sudden flow of liquid. Her eyes are streaming as well now, and the prickly feeling in her nose is only getting more intense.

“MmptSSHew! Uhh… huh-AGTSCHugh!”

She groans and blows harder, hoping that it’s going to stop running at least! It’s unlikely to get better anytime soon though, not when she’s stuck out here with pollen saturating every breath she takes. She’s literally allergic to the very air she’s breathing.

Eventually it seems like she’s at least catching up with it, or maybe her body just runs out of fluids to expel, plain and simple. She wipes her eyes with a fresh tissue, smearing her mascara even more, puts the tissues away and gets to work.

The sun is so fierce that it feels almost like being back in California, although she can’t remember ever being this allergic in California. There was that vineyard of course, but she never figured out what the culprit to that allergy attack really was. Out here, well, the question becomes more one of what is she not allergic to?  

She loosens the lug nuts, then she has to pause and rub at her eyes, which are swollen and rimmed with red at this point. Rubbing doesn’t do any good, it only makes matters worse, and she knows that. But she can’t help herself, the itch is unbearable. Still rubbing her eyes while sniffling wetly, she doesn’t see or hear the man approaching her until he’s right next to her, so when he starts to speak, she startles.

“Don’t worry, I’ll do that for you, honey.”

He doesn’t sound like a local, is the first thing that she registers. He doesn’t sound helpful either. Annie knows that she’s paranoid most of the time, it’s part of her mental disorders, but she has learned to detect which men genuinely wants to help (out of the inherited assumption that a woman on her own can’t do anything even remotely practical, but at least their intentions are good) and which ones expect… things, in return. This is one of the latter. This is the kind that doesn’t accept a no. Especially from a woman.

“I’ve got it,” she says without making eye contact.

“You’re crying.”

“I’m allergic.”

“Not to me, I hope.”

Annie doesn’t reply. She jacks the car up, hoping the man will grow tired of making attempts to speak to her and realise that she’s perfectly capable of changing a tire. She loves to read historical romance novels, but they’re fiction, and this is reality, and in reality, women are just as capable to do practical work as men. You just have to know how, and she does.

She rubs her nose again. It feels hot to the touch and she just knows it has gone from pink to a dark, deeply irritated red. The pollen is really determined to mess her up as much as possible, it almost feels personal. The itch is now everywhere, every nerve-ending inside her nose and sinuses is on fire with the allergic torture.

She crouches down and grabs the wrench to remove the lug nuts, but has to turn her head and sneeze again before she can even get started.


In this awkward position, sneezing and retaining balance is a difficult thing, and she wobbles a little but luckily the fit ends before she tips herself over. She has spattered her left arm with spray, but against her sun-scorched skin, that even feels good. Sniffling with renewed intensity, she turns back to the work at hand, removing the lug nuts with swift movements. She’s unpleasantly aware that the man is still around, towering over her, and they’re alone out here. No one can see them from this angle. She hopes that Joy will have the good sense to stay inside, in case this gets out of hand.

She removes the damaged tire and puts the spare in its place, picking up the lug nuts and begins to tighten them. She can't wait to stand up from this vulnerable position.

“You know, I’ve been following you since Junction City,” the man says. “I saw you change the plates on that fucking car, and I figured…”

He hunkers next to her, close enough that she can feel his breath against the side of her face. Annie has stiffened and can’t move, feeling cold despite the heat beating down on her from the merciless sun. She doesn’t even dare to sniffle, and a trickle of liquid slowly begins to leak out of her red-edged nostrils.

“… if you’re on the run from something, chances are, people will just assume you managed to elude them. Less risk of anyone questioning me about your disappearance.”

“Get away from me,” Annie snarls.

“No, no, it doesn’t work that way. See, you’re alone, you're about half my size, and you have someone you need to protect. Do as I say and your daughter lives. Try to fight me, and…”

He hasn’t even finished the threat when Annie gets to her feet, but instead of running, she acts with violence. He threatened Joy. That’s the red rag to her inner bull, and she raises the lug wrench which she’s still holding, and hits him in the head so hard that she loses her balance and almost falls over. Then she hits him again, and again, and then panic kicks in.

No, no, no! What am I going to do?!

You have to clean up your mess, Annie. That’s her mother’s voice. Annie shudders. She only has these hallucinations when she’s off her meds, but she takes them every morning at 8 sharp. But she has just killed a man. She’d probably need a bigger dose to suppress the hallucinations now.

Annie! Clean up your mess.

Yeah. Yeah, okay. Mama’s right, clean it up.

The sad thing is that she has done this before. She doesn’t regret it – threaten or hurt her girl and she’s not responsible for her actions – but she had hoped she would never have to do it again.

She drags the limp body around to the trunk of the car, placing him on a tarp and wraps the other end of the tarp around it. Her nose is burning with the need to sneeze, but she manages to hold back. The less DNA she gets on the body, the better.

She gets him in there and slams the trunk shut, then goes back to where he fell. There’s not a lot of blood, only specks, and a few drops of oil in that spot takes care of that. Nobody would be surprised or alarmed to find some drops of motor oil on the ground outside a gas station. Then she quickly finishes up what she was doing.  

She then walks into the store as if nothing happened, and tells Joy to stay in there where it’s nice and cool, while she takes the car for a drive to make sure everything is in order. Joy asks if she’s okay, but Annie thinks that’s more due to the allergic misery written all over her face rather than any odd behaviour.

“They don’t have any antihistamines,” Joy says, confirming her assumption.

“It’s alright, little love. I’ll be fine. Stay here until I get back, okay?”

Joy nods. Annie looks over at the woman managing the station. She smiles at her and gives a thumbs up to let Annie know she’ll keep an eye on Joy. Annie doesn’t like to put her daughter's wellbeing in the hands of strangers, but she doesn’t have a choice. What she has is a dead body in the trunk of her car, and half an hour at most to get rid of it.


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Oh wow.  This is so well written.  I admit I don't know the fandom, but your descriptions are just... mmm. So easy to visualize.

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On 1/10/2020 at 6:26 AM, sprinkles287 said:

Oh wow.  This is so well written.  I admit I don't know the fandom, but your descriptions are just... mmm. So easy to visualize.

Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me! :heart:

The show is almost a fanfiction-in-movie-format, based on Stephen King characters and set in a fictional town that features a lot in his works. It’s very, very good. Annie Wilkes is originally the iconic villain from the King novel “Misery”, but this is sort of a different universe and a younger version of her, giving her a backstory for why and how she turns into the total psycho she is in the “Misery” storyline. The Castle Rock version of Annie is still trying, with all her might, to keep her mental disorders in check and be her best self and “not the other one”, for the sake of her daughter. She works surprisingly well as protagonist. She’s both adorable and pathetic and strong and loving and warm and completely terrifying at times. The acting is amazing. Even Stephen King himself has apparently said that Lizzy Caplan fully became Annie Wilkes in those episodes. 

Let's say however that I do feel a little bit bad for making a character, who already has enough issues and trauma in her life, suffer like this, but... clearly I don't feel bad enough to not do it. :whistle:  My plan for this fic was just to have her stuck out there trying to switch tire while suffering from her worst allergy attack in ages, but I should have known that if you place a lug wrench in Annie Wilkes' hands, you're gonna have to help her dump a body sooner or later. :lol:


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  • 4 weeks later...

Alrighty, the third and final part of the fic that nobody asked for but me!  😅😏😇 But... she's my adorable little psycho, so... 🤷‍♀️


Annie’s sudden eruption into violence has been exchanged for cold, methodical clean-up mode. She’s not calm, not one bit, but her focus is so sharp it could cut diamonds. Even through the persistent allergic haze, her self-preservation shines clear.

She has no qualms about what she did – it’s done, first and foremost, not much use regretting it, and it was self-defence anyway. Not that she’s going to have that talk with police or a lawyer if she can help it. Her IDs are very carefully forged and would hold up in a brief check, but enough poking and it’s not that difficult to trace her back to Bakersfield and what she ran from all those years ago. And that would be a completely different story. For her own sake she doesn’t care – that too is done – but she has somebody else’s best interest to care for, and she can’t do that if she’s in prison. Or dead.

She shudders despite the heat, and decides to make sure the tarp is really covering all of the dead body in the back of the Jeep. The last thing she wants is somebody to catch a glimpse of something they shouldn’t see, and then remember it. It’s a long shot, but in stories it happens all the time.

The tarp is doing its job well, and she relaxes somewhat as she climbs into the driver’s seat. Ideally there would be a lake or a construction site or something where she could dump this very bad man where he won’t be readily found, but she has a pretty good idea of the landscape here and she thinks both alternatives are utopias. Fields and more fields seem more likely. One more hellishly pollen-infested than the next.                      

She gets a fresh pack of tissues from the glove compartment and blows her nose vigorously, trying to halt the stream of wetness from her twitching scarlet nostrils. It might be helping, but it makes the burning sensation worse, and she snaps forward, spraying the tissue with a wet sneeze.


She rears back, hitching through a desperate buildup and sneezes into the tissue again, two sneezes almost back-to-back, then blows her nose again. She tries to order her nose to stop this, she has more important matters to tend to, but she knows that she can’t do anything about it. And she can’t sit here and sneeze until that cockadoodie tickle is gone; she’d be stuck here until allergy season is over.

Annie shakes her head and rubs her nose furiously with her wrist, then turns the key and starts the car.


And sprays the steering wheel with the loudest and most uncontrollable sneeze so far. When she sniffles, her upper lip curls in a part exhausted, part annoyed expression, and a tiny, congested sigh escapes her as she pulls out of the dusty parking lot.

The windows are still rolled down; she’d suffocate in here otherwise, (a problem her passenger doesn’t have to worry about), and the fragrances of summer on the plains come in on the hot, dusty breeze, and Annie briefly ponders if she can simply hold her breath.  

NKTSCH! TSChew! Huh-ISSCHoo-ohh goodness…” this time she rubs her nose with her entire lower arm, not just her wrist, leaving a trail of glittering wetness on her tanned skin. She can’t remember the last time her allergies were this bad, and the timing is the worst one possible.

Eyes streaming with hot allergic tears, she surveys the surroundings for a place to dump the man who tried to hurt her daughter (and her, but Annie isn’t overly concerned about her own safety if Joy’s is on the line), and decides she has to take her chances with one of the fields. He’ll be found, and way sooner than she’d like, but hopefully she’ll be in the next state, or even the next one after that, when that happens.

She pulls over and stops at the side of the road, hoping she’ll be able to spot other cars travelling down the road, as there are no bends for miles. But either way, she can’t be gone too long, so she has to get this done.

Annie gives her burning, drippy nose another thorough blow, then gets out of the car. The adrenaline in her bloodstream should suppress the allergic reaction, and maybe it does and it would be far worse without it, but she's certainly not feeling any better. Quite the opposite.

She sneezes freely several times as she walks over to the back of the car, forceful, wet sneezes that do absolutely nothing about the relentless itch in her nose.

“Eh-ISSHew! ISCHoo! ITSSHHoo! Hih… ESSHew!”

Okay Annie, stop doing that! she tells herself. You’ve got more important things to do now.

Her nose is of a very different opinion, and even as she hauls the body out of the trunk of the car, the urge to sneeze is constant. She stifles three rapid sneezes, handsfree style, and lets out a frustrated sigh, shaking her head.

She looks ahead at the vast cornfield, steels herself, and begins to drag the heavy man in between the rows of corn. She’s not going to leave him too close to the road where he might be spotted soon, but he’s so heavy! She’s panting from the effort and the heat, and with each breath she fills her sensitive airways with more and more irritating pollen.

“NkTSH! Nnngthh! aaTSHuh! NKTXshhiew!”

Annie does what she can to either stifle the sneezes or sneeze over her shoulder, everything to avoid spraying the body with more evidence than necessary, but that’s not an easy feat when she needs to sneeze all the time. She brushes against the cornstalks as she drags the heavy weight deeper into the field, and though Annie doesn’t know it, the corn is not yet ripe – and so it's overflowing with pollen. Each time she brushes against the stalks she rouses the pollen from above her head, being continuously sprinkled with more and more allergens. Annie doesn’t know about this, nor does she know she’s allergic to corn pollen specifically. She actually doesn’t even know corn has pollen. All she knows is that she’s miserable and allergic, and that her sweaty hands begin to slip on the rubbery skin. She can’t drag him much further.

How long has she been away from the gas station? She has no idea. It feels like an eternity.

“Huh-NGTSHugh!” She curls into her shoulder to muffle the sudden sneeze (if any sneeze can be called sudden at this point; the itch is hardly a surprise) and some mess shoots out of her nostrils. Sniffling, she rubs her nose against her blouse, both to scrub at the itch and to wipe mess from her flaring, irritated, red-hot nostrils. By now, liquid is constantly leaking out of her nose and eyes, and her entire face feels hot and itchy.

Looking up, she can no longer see the road. Actually, all she can see through the stream of allergic tears is a sea of corn, in every direction. The ground is dry and hard after so long without rain that there are barely any drag marks after the body either. For a moment she nearly panics; what if she can’t find her way out of here?

Then her concern is rapidly cut off when she stumbles on something. She automatically lets go of the body and flails her arms trying to regain her balance, but as she side steps she manages to trip herself and falls over on the side of the row she’s in. In the process she smacks her shoulder against a corn stalk and stirs up a thick cloud of tickly yellow pollen, which rains down on her as she hits the ground, almost hard enough to have the wind knocked out of her.

Looking over at whatever took her down, she realises that she was actually lucky. A hole, seemingly eroded from beneath, has opened up in the ground, and if she hadn’t stumbled on a rock right on the edge of it, she might have fallen into it. It’s not very deep, but deep enough that she could have hurt herself quite a bit had she fallen into it.

She blows a wisp of sweaty hair out of her face, sniffling messily and sneezing immediately after, as if the very air triggers it. Which in a way it does, thanks to all the pollen whirling around in it.


She shakes her head to clear it, not yet ready to stand up and keep going. Then it dawns on her that this hole is exactly what she needed. She wastes no time, she gets to her feet and drags the heavy body up to the edge of the hole and then pushes it in. It hits the bottom with a thud, and she breathes a sigh of relief. Then she ponders getting some corn stalks and cover the hole, but she doesn’t want to stay in this pollen hell longer than she absolutely has to.

Rubbing her itchy eyes furiously, Annie begins to make her way back out of the cornfield. She’s bombarded by pollen and corn silk with every step she takes, and she sneezes so hard she doubles over with each sneeze, letting them out without any attempt to cover. Her abs ache – Annie swears that allergy season is the hardest work-out she’s ever had – and she’s getting lightheaded from the constant, powerful allergic explosions. It’s getting more and more intense with each fit.  


She has never felt this allergic before; something here is really setting her off, and the only logical conclusion is that it’s corn. It could be grass too, but it has gotten progressively worse since she got into the cornfield.

Corn, she thinks with a sense of deep disbelief, shaking her head again. But there’s no denying it, she’s so itchy she thinks she might go crazy. Well, crazier, anyway. It feels like tiny needles prick at the overly sensitive insides of her nose, down into the deepest depths of her sinuses, in the back of her throat, even inside her head. Her eyes sting as if she’s gotten fine sand into them, and even her ears itch. Her body is desperately trying to rid itself of the allergens attacking it from all directions, and she’s absolutely miserable.

Stumbling out of the cornfield, she can only hope that no one is going to see her; anyone who’d see her now would definitely remember it. But she makes it to the Jeep without anyone there to see her. She sneezes repeatedly in a vicious cycle at this point; sneeze-inhale-sneeze, and once she reaches the car she falls rather than sits down in the driver’s seat, completely drained of energy but still needing to sneeze.

She takes all the tissues she has left – a depressingly dwindled supply – and blows her nose several times, hoping it will put an end to the helpless sneezing. Eventually it begins to slow down, at least, which she supposes she’s going to have to live with. Then she starts to clean herself up, which isn’t the easiest task considering that she looks like the wretched, leaky mess that she is.

There is no way she’s going to drive back with the windows down. Annie is certain that if she gets as much as another whiff of pollen up her nose right now, she’s going to sneeze herself half to death. It’s bad enough that she has pollen all over her clothes and in her hair, and she has tried to get as much of it off as possible, but you can only do so much without a shower and a change of clothes.

The miserable, messy murderer slowly drives back the way she came, still sneezing, but no longer in rapid fits but in slow, drawn-out singles. They hurt like heck, but she knows that’s a sign that the allergy attack is reaching an end, so she’s not going to complain.


The sun has moved in the sky, so it has been longer than the half hour she planned, but it’s still scorching, and Annie suffers greatly from both her allergies and the heat by the time she finally pulls in at the gas station again.

Joy has been looking out through the window, growing more and more concerned, and when she spots Annie she comes running outside. Annie meets her halfway, trying with all her might to downplay the whole situation.

“Are you okay?!” Joy asks. “I was worried!”

Annie gives her a quick hug, then puts some distance between them. Joy assumes it’s because of her messy condition, Annie knows it’s because she’s concerned there are traces of the dead man on her clothes.

“I’m fine, little love. I just had the worst allergy attack in my life,” Annie says. That’s true. Then she adds the lie. “So I had to pull over and sit through it.”

She eyes Joy carefully to see if she seems suspicious, but she swallows the lie without questioning it. Annie feels a twinge of guilt, but suppresses it immediately. Instead, she gestures to the car.

“Shall we?”

Joy looks concerned.

“Are you sure you’re fit to drive?”

“At least into next town.” Annie clears her throat. “I can get some antihistamines there.” She would prefer to just keep going, straight through the next town and as far away from this place as they can get, but she has to be realistic; she needs some medicine or she’s going to keep getting crazy sneezing fits the rest of the day.

“Alright,” Joy says. “Wait a minute.”

“What?” Annie’s voice is sharp, but Joy doesn’t notice.

“You never got any ice-cream,” Joy says. Annie relaxes.

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”

Joy nods and they get into the car and drives off. Annie is exhausted, too exhausted to even feel irritable, and Joy has cooled off and had some sugar, so she’s in a rather good mood. Annie half-expects her to ride shotgun for a while, but Joy opts to go back to her seat in the back and do some drawing.

“The road is bumpy ahead,” Annie warns her when she sees Joy take the cap off the pen.

“It’s alright,” Joy says and within minutes she’s deeply engrossed in the drawing that little by little forms on the paper. She doesn’t look up as they pass the field where Annie just hid the body of the man who threatened them, and that’s exactly how Annie wants it. She relaxes even more and turns on the radio, which is tuned into a news station.

“The woman and her daughter who were abducted at a gas station outside of Junction City last month have been found murdered. Their remains were found near a rest stop at turnpike…”

Annie turns down the volume. Her hand is shaking.

“We were in Junction City just yesterday,” Joy says, her voice isn’t completely steady. She looks up from her drawing. “That’s really creepy.”

Annie meets her eye in the rear-view mirror.

“You know I wouldn’t let anything happen to you, Joy. I will always do anything to keep you safe. Okay?”

“But what if they got you first?”

“Don’t you worry, little love.” Annie glances down at the lug wrench which is still on the floor on the passenger side. She has to remember to clean it up. Clean the whole car, actually. Luckily she can blame the dusty roads and find a carwash somewhere later on, but first she wants to clear this state, cross the state lines. “I would take on any dirty bird trying to hurt either one of us and I wouldn’t think twice about it.”



“Do you think whoever did that to them will do something like it again?”

Annie thinks about the weight she dragged through the dusty rows of the cornfield, how her sweaty hands had slipped on dead skin, the thud when the body came to rest on the bottom of the hole.

“No, sweetie.” Her grip of the steering wheel tightens. “I very much doubt that.”


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On 1/9/2020 at 9:56 PM, Chanel_no5 said:

She groans and blows harder, hoping that it’s going to stop running at least! It’s unlikely to get better anytime soon though, not when she’s stuck out here with pollen saturating every breath she takes. She’s literally allergic to the very air she’s breathing.

You are the queen of writing allergies! * bows to you *. This sentence did it for me for some reason this time! Such great visuals in this whole thing! 

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Thank you so much! I've felt super insecure about my writing lately, you have no idea how much I needed that, it really means a lot! ❤️


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WOW.  I don’t know the fandom either, and I only read this because of the note that it could be read as original... and I LOVE IT.  😍 Not just your brilliant allergic descriptions - which you know I drool over! - but this whole scenario is just incredible.  To take such obviously amazing complex characters and concoct this delicious slice of intellectual brilliance?!?... I love you. ❤️ Never stop writing.

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On 2/12/2020 at 7:27 PM, starpollen said:

WOW.  I don’t know the fandom either, and I only read this because of the note that it could be read as original... and I LOVE IT.  😍 Not just your brilliant allergic descriptions - which you know I drool over! - but this whole scenario is just incredible.  To take such obviously amazing complex characters and concoct this delicious slice of intellectual brilliance?!?... I love you. ❤️ Never stop writing.

Wow, thank you so, so much!! ❤️ The scenario/plot here unfolded all on its own. I was only innocently going to write some allergies and wanted her hands occupied for non-covering purposes. But I should have known, having watched the show, read the novel, and watched the movie based on the novel, that placing anything that can be used as weapon in Annie's hands would inevitable lead to all that extra work. Although I must admit I totally cheered her on here. :lol:  


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