A Jericho Fan Fiction Archive
*sigh* Poor Jake... T_T
For Heather it must have been hell to be stuck at the clinic, damned to wait for them to come back...
So cute from Stanley to try to keep her sane, telling those old stories...
Again the flashback was wonderful! So they finally got together... *sigh*
Was 'bout time!!!!! ;)
And Awwwwwww.... that last scene between Jake and Johnston... *sniffs* It broke my heart... :(
Yeah... I saw it like you described it... The story with the girl would have been Jake's last confession before he finally gave into the cold and his injuries... *shudders*
That special scene between Jake and his father... makes me cry... *sniffs*
And the scene in the past was so sunny and full of love and laughter, so... full of ease... the contrast to the future could hardly be starker... *shudders*
God... it hurts so much to read that... you describe it so well... *sniffs*
Do you know that - when I started watching Jericho (the first time) - I was not so much impressed (have to admit, I worked alongside watching it, so I was watching with only a half eye so to speak)... then the ep came when Heather threw herself at Jake and kissed him like... like it would be the last thing she would ever do... I was like WHOAHHHH! o.O
From that moment on I stopped working whilst watching... but really hooked got me "Heart of Winter"... that was when I fell for Jake... *blushes*
Well, I have to admit, it looks like I can't resist a beaten up (and almost dying) man in a Hoodie... *sighs*
That said... you wrote it really well! Made my heart go out for him for the umpteenth time, now... *sniffs*
And again I loved the part of their past... :)
Can't wait for Jake to meet Heather's father and brothers!!!! :)
Gosh... its almost midnight now... but I think I will at least start reading the next part... *runs off* :)
Ohhhh... I so hate this other truck! Despite knowing that there are presumably people in there who also are desperate for food an other essentials... I hate them!!!!!!
"""Stop," he commanded gently, moving to stand in front of her. Jake reached for Heather's hand, extracting the puppy's lead and dropping it on the floor so he could lace their fingers together. "I haven't had a shower in more like ... twenty hours," he decided, raising her hand to his mouth so he could press a kiss to her knuckles. "Plus, I haven't brushed my teeth, either," he admitted with an exaggerated grimace that pulled another, not entirely serene giggle from Heather. "And we both have slight cases of bed head," Jake continued, wrapping a lock of her hair around the index finger of his free hand. "So basically - like your niece says - we match."""
So sweet!!! That made me squeal whilst reading! :)
And the proposal at the water tower was sweet, too! :)
Jeeez... the situation at the truck is so dire... everything's gone, it's freezing, Jake stuck, Stanley injured... *sighs*
Oh my.... :(
Aaargh - I had a nice and long review in place - and then my computer died on me... :(
I hope I can get it all together again... *grmpf*
Ok, first: "Heart of Winter" is one of my favorite eps!!!! Can't wait to see what you will do with it!
It's horrible to see them all starve... :( I mean... you get a glimpse at that in the show, but not deep enough... your story goes so much deeper and you've done a good work... It feels so real reading all those little details the show had no time to bring closer... *shivers*
And it is so... so shocking especially with your permanent flashbacks to five years before the bombs... it is like... black and white, if you know what I want to say? That makes it even harder... and more "real"... just to think at all of those people in the USA who in an instant were forced to fight for their lives... to be all in a sudden faced with third-world-problems, things they could have just ignored before, because it was on the other side of the world... and now they have to live with it, no, that's not enough... they have to realize its not a bad dream, that they really are in this mess, that - if they want to survive - thay have to fight for all and everything...
When the find that trail of the fleeing people... that was really a moment to feel like getting a slap... a harsh reminder, a short glimpse out of the relatively "safe" bubble of Jericho into the real "new" world... quite shocking... *shudders*
""Besides, while he felt bad for these desperate people, Jake couldn't help but feel that if it was a question of his own survival - his family's survival - versus theirs, then he would choose his family.""
That was heartbreaking moment... having to realize that the time will come when you have to chose... that the luxury to help everyone - hell, that the luxury to chose itself!!! - has been taken from you... that you can be happy when you will not lose a member of family, when you will come out of this mess by the skin of your teeth... that realization is just devastating... :(
"""You know what we should do," he sighed, "We should just get married.""" - well... YESSSSS!!!!! But not like this! I hoped he would be a bit more creative when he proposed for Heather! *giggles*
But I'm sure he will make it right... ;)
OK. I'm finally caught up to where I left off ~ more than 2 years ago? I was thinking how amazing it is that a show that was on for only 29 episodes and went off the air more than 5 years ago still captivates so many (including me and many friends & family members!)
Anywho ~ love the continued vigilance of the Vice and Virtue Squad. He may have just nudged things over the brink this time! Hooray!!
All of the after-the-bomb parts of the story were poignant. Doesn't Stanley have fresh milk to share with the Greens? Or eggs? Or animals to be butchered? Just seems like a farmer would have been thinking ahead and already had enough food for the animals for the winter by September (This goes for the dairy farm family, too) My complaint is with the show, not you, btw.
On the topic of the migration trail, why wouldn't they have just shot the dogs and called it a successful hunting trip? Too taboo? Maybe take them to the Richmond Ranch to be butchered so that none other than the hunting party realized they were not deer or rabbit? I think I would if I were in their shoes (and at least it isn't THEIR pet). My husband has always been a planner for the worst-case-scenario, and watching Jericho started my interested in being prepared, also. We have a long way to go, but I sure enjoyed having a generator & other supplies during Hurricane Ike!
One more thought. I know I have quite a few more chapters to read, and it sounds like you have more in progress, but please feel free (from my prespective, anyway) to continue in your AU ways and NOT kill of April and then Johnston. I can see why the show did it, but your April has the help of the med students and isn't so overworked *Ü* Just a thought . . .
Thank you for all the effort you have taken in writing!!
Great work, Marzee!
As usual, I think you used contrast in a really interesting way, juxtaposing here the earlier scenes of intimacy between Jake and Heather, when their relationship was new (or they were taking it to a new level), with these scenes of them as a more mature couple, facing life and death circumstances. Both scenes have an impact on these characters' lives, despite how different they are, and there are paralells too.
I also want to note that it was interesting reading about how to warm someone up when they have reached near freezing-to-death. I'm not sure how often I note the well-researched technical explanations and other aspects of the post bombs universe for which you provide background or description (like the election), but it's something you do really well, that adds another level to your story, making it much more than a romance or a character driven piece. I really get the sense that this is a whole world inhabited by these somewhat familiar characters, though they are also your own characters as well.
In this chapter, I enjoyed seeing how your characters changed and evolved, how their perspectives were radically different on this freezing night than that more carefree, exciting freezing night of five years earlier. I enjoyed the appearance of Mikey, Drake and Jeff again, and liked how you ended with Jake and Johnston, after the transformative moment they shared earlier.
One more thing I have to mention - I loved the way you sprinkled humour throughout this story. It was a perfect counterpoint to all the serious stuff going on. I especially liked the mention of (and longer version of) the story of Stanley and Jake's fireworks scheme.
Great work and I look forward, as always, to the next part.
I like how you opened this part at the med center with April, Heather and the boys getting ready to go home and get some dinner just like it was any other day completely unsuspecting what was going on on the side of the road with Jake, Stanley and Mimi. I know I keep saying it but all the details you provide make your scenes come alive in my mind. I could see the worry in Heather's face when she found out it was snowing, I could picture just how April would have mouth 'Jake' to Mikey and how she tried and reassure Heather that Jake was okay.
Heather's reaction was just what I expected when she saw Stanley and Mimi without Jake. I really liked how Stanley and Mimi tried to tell Heather about Jake without making Heather panic. You did a good job of portraying Heather's transition from worried to panic as Stanley and Mimi revealed what happened to them on the road. I was glad that Heather had her family to lean on when she heard the news. I really felt for Drake when I sensed his hesitancy to go with Gail it made me realize all over again the awful things that Jeff, Mike and Drake must have seen as they made their way to Jericho. I like how protective Stanley is of Heather, refusing to tell her Jake's message to her, knowing what it would do to her.
I really liked how you depict the scene when Eric and April come into the house. I like the how busy the scene is and really got a sense of family with everything going on and how everyone was interacting. I just loved April's reaction to the news. I've said this before, but want to say again that I really like how the friendship between Heather and April has developed in DC. I thought it was amusing how April called Jake on not telling her his plan to propose when Jake himself had no plans until that morning to ask Heather to marry him. I did like the discussion about when the wedding is going to take place and was glad to see Heather backtrack when she realized that she should have talked to Jake about their wedding date before mentioning what she thought it should be. As usual I like how you portray the early years of April and Eric's marriage. You can really tell how much they loved each other. It just makes the later break-up of their marriage more poignant. I was glad to see that Jake's tradition of writing messages on Heather's leg is alive and well! I enjoyed the tour of the April and Eric's house and the private moment it afforded Jake and Heather. I can't wait to find out where they'll be going on their honeymoon!
The scene with Johnston and Jake by the truck was really touching. I felt so many more things when I read your version than I did when I saw it in on TV. This was one of my favorite scenes in the show and you made it so much better for me. I really felt the desperation that Johnston felt and when I finished reading the scene there was no doubt in my mind just how much Johnston loves his son.
"Heather," he exhaled shakily, closing his eyes. Taking a deep breath, Stanley let go of Mimi's arm, his attention focused on his friend's wife. "He's - he's gonna be okay," Stanley insisted, taking an unsteady step toward Heather, his leg almost buckling beneath him. "Okay?" he asked, gritting his teeth against the throbbing of his ankle. "It's just that there was an - an accident."
I think Stanley was trying to convince himself as much as Heather that Jake was going to be okay.
"There was an accident," Mimi repeated, answering for Stanley. Moving next to him, she wrapped one arm around his waist, drawing his arm around her shoulders with her free hand.
I like how I sensed Mimi's protectiveness toward Stanley here.
April rolled her eyes. "Screw it. I can handle Gray Anderson, trust me. Besides, it's always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission." She let out a deep breath, deciding, "We'll just run the generator an hour less each day for the rest of the week."
That whole 'Memorandum of Understanding' and his insistence that April sign it sounded so typical Gray to me. Another attempt to try and let everyone know he's in charge. I like this side of April, her confidence being able to handle Gray.
"Jake," he began, practically shouting to be heard over the harsh moan of the wind, "Jake, you'll be home real soon," Johnston promised. His breath clouded in the cold, dissipating before it had even the chance of warming Jake's frozen face. Johnston moved closer, leaning over his son, willing him to inhale and then exhale. He recalled, for probably the first time in three decades, how he'd done the same when his boys were infants. He remembered how on more than one occasion, he'd awoken in the middle of the night, frightened by a dream, and how he would get out of bed and, careful not to disturb Gail, would creep across the room to their crib. He'd strained to hear them breathing, and had held his fingers near their mouths until he could feel their soft exhalations against his skin. He'd checked them for fever, had tucked their blankets closer, and only then, finally reassured that they were safe, had his pounding heart begun to slow some.
The added detail to what we saw on the show really made a difference here. I could tell from the show how concerned Johnston was for Jake and could sense his love for him but knowing what Johnston was thinking just drove it all home for me.
Again, I liked the contrast between the suspense and intensity of the present day scene and the happiness and lightheartedness of the present day scene.I liked how the present day scene let us know what good friends Stanley and Jake are. There so many glimpses into their friendship in this part that I found particularly telling of how close they are. I found Stanley's assumption about the girl in Iraq interesting and am wondering if it will come up again later in your story. I felt very worried for Mimi venturing out into the 'wilderness' with really no idea of where she was going. I felt relieved that she remembered the way to go and that Gail and Johnston found her. I felt so bad for Gail when she saw the look in his eyes - the one that told her he had given up.
I really enjoyed the present day scene. I like how you find little ways to make Baron a part of your story. I can just picture his antics in my mind as I reds about him. I especially liked how Jake and Heather didn't announce the news to Gail but let her find out for herself and I was glad that Jake got the reaction he expected. I enjoyed all the hints (words and actions) from Heather to get Gail to figure out that she and Jake got engaged and Johnston's reaction to the news. I was also glad to find out the story behind the sapphire ring. Gail and Johnston's welcoming Heather into the Green Family proved and interesting contrast to the reaction of Heather's father to the news. I can definitely understand Joe's reaction though. Not only is Heather is only girl, he doesn't know Jake and he didn't have a front row seat to see Heather and Jake's relationship grow like Gail and Johnston did. He can't actual see how much Jake means to Heather and vice versa. I do admire Jake for not wasting any time in addressing Joe's feelings taking the phone from Heather and telling Joe what she means to him and by arranging for a trip to Buffalo in two days time.
"With no bags?" Jake shouted, his fear and frustration boiling over. "And no fire?" A shudder ran through his whole body. He couldn't keep himself from shaking. He couldn't feel his legs or his hands even as he watched himself clutch them into fists. He was freezing; it was something he'd said a million times in his life, but he'd always been wrong before this. Now he was actually freezing. "One of us goes," he barked, "Or we all die out here!"
I really like how the description about how Jake was feeling added to what we saw in the show. In your present day scenes, it's this attention to detail that makes it seem more real to me than what I saw in the show. The addition of Jake's thoughts here really speaks to how desperate the situation is.
Letting out a slow breath, Stanley nodded, though every fiber of his being was protesting the decision. How could he let her go? "Okay," he murmured. "Okay."
I like this little insight into how Stanley must be feeling. It says a lot in a few words.
For the last hour, since he'd accepted the reality of the situation - he was stuck under a truck and there was no changing that - he'd been paradoxically thinking only of Heather and trying to not think about her. It was only his thoughts of her that had kept him fighting this long; if not for the picture he held in his mind of her as he'd last seen her - smiling at him sleepily as she'd kissed him goodbye that morning - he would have let go, given up to the bitter cold, the numbness, the overwhelming temptation to just fall asleep. But he also didn't want to think about Heather, didn't want to think about how he was going to leave her to raise their child alone, didn't want to think about how he would never even get to see or hold his baby. Jake knew, even if Stanley didn't yet, that he wasn't going to make it. He knew because he couldn't even find the energy to be angry that he was dying and, against his will, abandoning his family to this terrifying new world.
I like the insight into Jake's thoughts. It seems to me that the reasons why Jake doesn't want to think about Heather are the same reasons why he is trying to fight to stay alive.
"Sir, to be honest, I don't know that I'd take that news as well as you have," Jake started, earning an amused snort from Heather's father. "But I'm pretty sure Heather would make me meet the guy," he added, the implication that any daughter of Jake's would be Heather's daughter as well hanging between them. "So, I think we need to come out there," Jake declared, squeezing Heather's fingers. He could understand Joe's concern, and luckily, he could do something about it. "Day after tomorrow too soon?"
I like the subtle message here. Jake's acknowledgement that he understands how Joe feels and while Joe's acceptance of him means a lot to him that in the end no matter what he still plans on marrying Heather.
"I love my daughter, Jake," Joe sighed. "And you may think I'm being overprotective. I probably am," he admitted, "But she's the only one I've got, and I just want to be sure that she marries someone worthy of her. Maybe you are. But I don't know that, because I don't know you."
I like how this sums up Joe's concern over the news that Heather is engaged to someone he's never met.
Marzee, another great chapter! All the detail made the scenes come alive for me. What I particularly liked about this part was the contrast between the present and five years ago scene. The volatile and suspenseful present day scene made the proposal in the five years ago scene that much more sweeter for me and vice versa.
In the present day scenes the insights into the characters and the extra detail you provide really enriched what we saw in the series. You do such a good job of capturing the fear and panic that Jake Stanley and Mimi feel that I almost felt as I was there with them.
I enjoyed the scene with Johnston and Gail. I really like how Gail handles Johnston - makes him see that not only Jake is responsible for the state his relationship with his father but that Johnston is too. I also liked Johnston's acknowledgement that Jake is more like him then he realized. His worry that Jake would forget the times they went hunting, how they would sit in the deer stand for hours, not saying anything, just being together and his worry that Jake would have forgotten all about it and Gail's reassurance that Jake remembers and that Johnston means so much to him, I think, was especially touching.
I can't think of a better place for Jake to propose to Heather then on top of the water tower. I can just imagine how nerve wracking it was for Heather knowing what was coming as they walked to and climbed up the water tower. Such a romantic proposal - the snow swirling around him and Jake struggling to find the words to tell Heather just how much she means to him and then finding a way by quoting what was in Jason Cale's note to Heather. I can't say how much I loved Gramps suggestion that Jake look in the vault for a ring for Heather. The scene with Heather and Jake 'breaking into the vault' was a lot of fun. A ring that is a family heirloom was such a good choice for Heather, I think, much more meaningful then buying a new ring in the store. They picked out the perfect ring for Heather and I loved the comment how even though they had snow she still got a star.
Mimi recognized what the two men were up to. That field - what they'd seen and what they'd learned there - had unnerved her, and she could appreciate their attempts, blatant as they were, to distract her. "Tax return consultation," she declared, giving into a smile as she looking first at Jake and then at Stanley. Her skills were quite different from theirs, and it was her best offer, despite Stanley's claims that she needed to know how to hunt.
I'm not sure if you intended this but I liked the commentary I read between the lines here. That the new world they find themselves living in requires a new set of skills.
His first impulse had been to honk so they'd get out of the way, but there was something about the truck, or maybe it was the tone of Jake's voice. Whatever it was, there was something wrong here, Stanley could feel it in his gut. Lips pressed together, he threw the truck into reverse, gaining speed as the vehicle rolled back down the slight rise. As quickly as he could he turned the truck, flooring it, his eyes on the rearview mirror rather than the meandering road before him. "Jake..." he muttered, his eyes widening. The black truck had turned too, and was in pursuit.
To me this highlighted how bad the situation was that Stanley, Jake and Mimi found themselves in. To me Stanley up until this point in the series Stanley seems laid back, taking everything that happens in stride but as I was reading this the desperation I sensed in Stanley really highlighted the dire straits they are in.
"Okay," he acknowledged, letting out his own relieved breath. Jake could understand her nerves - his own stomach was churning some - but still he knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was right. He loved Heather and he couldn't imagine his life without her. They continued along the road, Jake not quite pulling her along as she continued to chuckle, little trills of laughter escaping her every time their eyes met. Heather, it seemed, had developed a case of giggle fits. He frowned, throwing her a questioning look. "You're not gonna keep laughing when we get there, right?"
I like how Jake's knowledge that proposing to Heather was the right thing for him overshadowed his nervousness. Heather's nervousness dissolving into giggles I thought was a very real reaction as it happens to me too. Poor Jake, I don't blame him for wondering if Heather is going to keep giggling when they get to the top of the water tower but I expect she won't be.
"Just a splash of orange juice in the batter," Grandpa explained with a wink. "The Green family secret recipe."
I like what Gramps is not saying here - that Heather's now family.
Great job as usual, Marzee!
I liked the set up of the chapter, our unsuspecting characters at the med centre trying to keep upbeat as they anticipate a trek home and what little food might be there, while we know what they're about to find out concerning the hunting party. I'm glad Heather has so many people around her to help out in a situation like this. I was especially touched at Stanley's concern that she not know Jake's final words to him, and how he tries to protect his friends here. (And glad Mimi's looking out for him too!)
I enjoyed the appearance of Mikey, Jeff, and Drake here, as usual. They always add something to the scenes in which they appear. I really liked Drake running out to the scene of the accident, perhaps slightly reluctantly. Well, maybe not reluctantly, but it`s a stressful scene and it`s got to be a little hard for him, after all he`s been through, when these things come up I guess. I`m just saying, I`m glad he's doing it, helping out.
I enjoyed April's reaction to the news of the wedding. You continue to develop the friendship between her and Heather, to what we see it evolved to in the post-bombs scenes. Heather and Jake's early wedding plans are fun, and I'm sure we'll hear a lot more in the chapters to come. I laughed about Niagara Falls - it's the wedding capital where I'm from for sure.
Lastly, I have to congratulate you on how you captured the scene between Jake and Johnston, alone on the road discussing Jake`s darkest secret. This was one of my favourite scenes in the series, certainly between these two characters, and like many other scenes from this episode, you wrote it so well, I could feel the cold and desperation in the moment, but also, Johnston`s best efforts to comfort his son, in a way he wasn`t used to doing. Nice work!
I look forward to reading the next part!
Ah, I'm back.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I once again must comment on how masterfully you incorporate little details into your story that make the characters and their actions seem so real. It was so easy for me to see the opening scene of this part play out in my mind, everything from April mouthing 'Jake' to Michael, the Cowboy Jake reference, to Mimi and Stanley's attempt to tell what happened without absolutely panicking Heather. Later, the scene between Johnston and Jake was extremely touching. I remember it being one of my favorite on the show, largely due to the emotion in Gerald McRaney's eyes and the way Skeet Ulrich's voice broke in the retelling. Yet in reading your take on it, I felt like I got so much more in terms of nuances, as well as the urgency of their situation. Heck, I almost felt cold reading your descriptions of the weather, and it's 80 degrees here!
The scene from five years earlier as word spreads to April and Eric about Jake and Heather's engagement provided a light hearted contrast to the present day scenes. I still find myself sad for Eric and April, seeing how happy they were then and comparing that to the state of their marriage in the present. I'm definitely looking forward to Jake meeting the Lisinskis.
Thanks for sharing your story with us. I continue to enjoy it immensely.
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this latest installment of DC. I have some specifics on which I want to comment, but I'm just running on empty right now. I'll come back when I can string together some coherent thoughts.
Great chapter Marzee!
I really liked the contrast in this part, between the tense, struggling-to-survive present day scenes and the lighthearted, happier-days-gone-by scenes from the past.
Once again, though I know exactly how this turns out, I found myself in suspense as I read about Stanley, Mimi, and Jake fighting to keep their heads and not freeze to death. Coincidentally, the temperature went back down to near freezing here (and I did not adjust the thermostat accordingly), so I was actually shivering along as I read, and imagining just how painful it would really be to be that much colder, out on the road, with no sign of help in sight. I could feel the desperation in the scene, the way you wrote it.
I really enjoyed how you captured Stanley and Mimi both here. I think this episode was so important for their characters, as individuals, and I like the moments you gave each of them here. Especially this line:
There was no way she could walk all the way back to Jericho, but Jake was right: they were in mortal danger. He didn't want anything to happen to Mimi - God, he loved her - but he didn't want to die out here either. "All right." The words burst from his mouth almost against his will.
And this line:
Mimi - if she were being honest with herself - was a lot more than nervous. Scared. Petrified. There really wasn't a strong enough word for what she was. But someone had to save them, and she was it.
I love how you captured the urgency in these moments - the moments where each of them has to decide there's no more time to think, and then they just go for it. I also felt for poor Jake of course, trapped and unable to do anything or even will himself to care that he is slipping away from the life he's worked so long to protect.
Much as I loved that scene, it felt like coming in from the cold for a bit when we go back in time to the aftermath of Heather and Jake's engagement. Gail's reaction was sweet and funny and so in character, but Johnston's was priceless. I'm glad Heather and Jake got the reaction they were hoping for.
Joe's reaction was very real, I think. I felt for him, getting such a surprise, and I admired how he seemed to be taking it in stride. Of course he worries that his only daughter is suddenly marrying some guy who hasn't even gone through the meet-the-family test yet. I look forward to that scene! Something tells me the Lisinski boys won't all be quite as quick to take it into stride with the same calmness as Joe does.
And back to the freezing fight for survival. I have to say, this Stanley and Jake scene was one of my favourite scenes, in the entire series, and I like what you've done with it here. I chuckled over Stanley's amendment to the Costa Rica trip plan, found it interesting to see Jake telling a slightly different story about his whereabouts, and found it all the more heart wrenching to think of what Jake is leaving behind as he feels himself slipping away. I loved seeing Stanley do whatever he could to help his friend hold on, and though I knew it was coming, I felt relieved when Gail and Johnston showed up. Great work and I look forward to the next chapter!
Another enjoyable installment, Marzee! I really liked how you fleshed out the aftermath of the road gang incident. I felt so bad for Mimi--scared for her, really, even though I knew how things would turn out. To have gone through what they did, to be unfamiliar with a place, to be cold, to be worried about those she cared for...that really puts into perspective what her venturing out to get help was all about. Then the scenes between Jake and Stanley back at the truck also held me riveted. I also enjoyed the scenes with Stanley and Jake, with Stanley trying to keep Jake conscious. I thought you did a really good job portraying their friendship and conveying Stanley's confusion over Jake's statements about the girl.
In the five years ago scenes, I thought we got to see a fascinating contradiction between the way that Jake's family reacted to the news of the engagement and the way that Heather's dad did. It stands to reason that Gail and Johnston would be excited. They have, after all, watched this romance unfold. Logically, I don't blame Heather's dad for being concerned. To him, I'm sure this would all seem very sudden. On the other hand, there was that side of me that felt really bad for Heather. Here she is with what is probably the best news of her entire life thus far, and her father isn't particularly happy for her. I thought Jake handled himself well with her dad, and I'm looking forward to reading about Jake meeting the Lisinskis. How daunting that would be! Of course, if anyone could handle it, it would be Jake.
Thanks for sharing your story with us. I always get so excited when I see that you've updated it.
I enjoyed the contrast in this chapter. There was the inherent sweetness of the proposal that made my little shipper heart go pitter-patter. Then there was the tenseness of the road gang encounter that made my heart beat in a far different way. While I knew how both encounters would end, I couldn't help but be drawn into them. The details you provide make the characters and their situations so real, Marzee.
Something else that I liked was the scene with Johnston and Gail. Pride and the lack of communication have strained that father/son relationship, obviously, but it was good to see Gail trying to draw out some of the issues from her husband.
Well done, Marzee!
Wow, I'm not sure where to begin with this chapter. Well, I guess I'll begin with the big event. I really really liked how you captured the proposal scene! The moment we've been leading up to for so long was done in such a sweet, simple way, it really seemed natural and I felt like I could see it all happening. It was romantic, and funny, and so true to these characters as we've gotten to know them, I think. I loved the mention of Jason Cale's love note here, and the northern girl in me just loved the snowy atmosphere. Beautiful image, of just them standing up on the water tower, in the midst of all that snow!
I enjoyed the scene with Gramps that followed. This line made me chuckle:
"Well, now your kingdom's as far as the eye can see," Grandpa chortled, "So don't go tradin' away the ranch for a shower just yet, if you don't mind." Taking note of her startled expression, he smiled at her kindly. "I only mean you're an official member of the family now, and this is the Green Ranch. Our kingdom, so to speak."
Of course, Heather's been on her way into the heart of the Green family all along, but it's fun to see this moment where it's become official!
Jake and Heather 'breaking into' the vault was also a fun scene, and I liked Heather's choice of rings (though I think I would pick a ruby), it sounds perfect for her. Especially since it's a star. I imagine we'll get to see some more interesting scenes to come as they begin to plan the wedding.
I also really enjoyed the Gail and Johnston scene. It was a great little quiet moment between them, and I love the additions you made to the scene, from what I remember of the original. It made me chuckle to read about Johnston imagining, with amusement, how it will be to witness Jake adapt to his new role as a parent, and I laughed at the mention of the 'triplets', though I'm also glad they are worrying over and caring for Drake, and the other boys. Also too funny - Gail remembering Gramps' aversion to less-than-fresh babies.
What do you know, I actually saved Stanley and Mimi for last this time. As usual, you captured the present day scenes with such skill, I really felt the suspense for our heroes that I first felt watching these scenes, again as I read. It's funny because I know how it ends, but I really felt the panic and fear Mimi and Jake are experiencing in this moment, and felt for Mimi as she worries over Stanley, Jake as he tries to salvage the situation and protect everyone, and Stanely as he comes to and realizes the dire straights they have suddenly found themselves in. The little additions, what they think and say, are good, and I look forward to reading the next part!
The Heart of Winter was one of my favorite episodes and I was looking forward to reading your version of the events.
The sense of desperation you painted with all your detail was heartrending and a little difficult for me to read (which I think speaks to what a good writer you are). The Green family will have some difficult choices to make if things continue they way they are. Jake especially I thought had about all he could take. I really thought that this was evident in his need to feel the baby move - it almost seemed to me that as long as he could feel him move everything would turn out okay.
I see some optimism in Heather, in the way she told Jake Merry Christmas and in especially the way she decorated the artificial tree and wearing her Cherry ChapStick, which she was saving for saving for a special occasion. She needs to be optimistic, more so for Jake who is apparently at the end of his rope, then for herself. I especially felt sad that they had to let Baron go to fend for himself but was glad that he was able to find some food. Heather's reaction to finding the mess that Baron left on the concrete steps compared to Jake's memory of how she used to always yell at Baron for chasing rabbits spoke to the desperation she feels in spite of her optimism. I really liked the 'homey' picture you portray with Jake and Heather cuddled under blankets with Baron lolling in front of the fire. I was glad that Jake and Heather had this moment.
I liked how you touched on the politics of the town in this part. I was glad to see that Johnston still had some influence in what's going on and felt some relief when Gray didn't go against the town council but it also made me wonder if Gray would continue to submit to the vote of the town council as time went on.
I like how you couched Mimi's and Stanley's 'squabble' in between Jake's very serious thoughts. It provided an interesting contrast to Jake and Stanley. You painted such a very vivid picture of the migration trail that I felt I was right there with the three of them seeing the same things that they did. I enjoyed Jake's memory of the Green Family vacation to Mount Rushmore and the fights Jake had with his brother over the blankets in the bed they shared in the hotel rooms. I also liked the insight into Mimi - about how every new thing she saw she thought would be the worst and her realization that just maybe she didn't have it so bad. I really liked the image I got in my mind of her standing in the middle of the desolation realizing how good she had it compared to the people who passed through on the trail.
I really enjoyed the conversation between Johnston and Gail in the last scene. I'm glad that they're going to have some time to themselves while they share the Scotch that Gail found in Jake;s foot locker.
The past scenes I thought provided some much needed levity to the present day scene. I just love how you write Heather and Jake during this time of their lives. The detail you provided in the first few paragraphs of this part I felt really showed how happy Jake was to have Heather in his life. I especially liked how Jake caught himself smiling as he thought of her walking down the hall on his way to the bathroom. I just loved how Heather sang 'What are you doing New Year's Eve' to Jake to let her know she was coming home and how Jake didn't let her complete her sentence before agreeing to pick her up in Wichita. I could picture the conversation between Jake and Gramps in the hallway after Jake left the bathroom unfold in my mind as a read it. I thought Gramps was very much in character. I found the discussion of the morals clause particularly interesting in that you drew contrasts between Heather and Emily. That behavior found acceptable in Emily wouldn't be found acceptable in Heather because of Emily's background. I can't even imagine how Heather felt after hearing the discussion in the hallway between Jake and his grandfather and how she felt about Jake's solution to the problem - that they just get married.
I really felt bad for Heather when she thought of hoe Jake's unexpected proposal was worse than Mark Metzger's six months ago. It was very easy to understand why she just wanted to go home. I really liked all the insights in to Jake's mind while he was sitting on his bed contemplating what had transpired that morning, exploring his reasons for asking Heather to marry him and his concern that he had disappointed and hurt her and his fear that he had driven her way. I was happy to see that this fear spurred him into action. I really had fun with the image that came to my mind picturing Jake running after the track as it was driving down the driveway. I just love how Jake is going to take her to check out the view from the water tower. I have a feeling that Jake's second proposal will be perfect!
Thanks for your comments, Skyrose! Your observations are alwas interesting and I find myself considering them as I continue to write this story. Thanks for the time you take to leave them.
You wrote: The sense of desperation you painted with all your detail was heartrending and a little difficult for me to read (which I think speaks to what a good writer you are). The Green family will have some difficult choices to make if things continue they way they are. Jake especially I thought had about all he could take. I really thought that this was evident in his need to feel the baby move - it almost seemed to me that as long as he could feel him move everything would turn out okay.
You drew the conclusion I was trying to lead you to, so I'm happy. Poor Jake. He really is feeling the pressure of the situation, and the fact that the baby is okay is something concrete to hang onto. Heather is trying to be strong for him, and to preserve her own sanity I think. So she does things like put up a small Christmas tree and wear Cherry ChapStick.
I liked the chance to explore a little of Mimi's inner life, so I'm glad you mentioned that. I think seeing the migration trail would be an eye-opening experience for her, and might just give a little perspective. Not that I don't think Mimi didn't get a raw deal. But everyone did, and she at least landed ... not softly, but not hard either.
Being able to write the past scenes also provide me a much needed break from the desperation I'm trying to express in the present. I'm glad you liked the set-up for New Year's... and the new year. I do believe you're right, Jake will get it right the second time :-)
Had a wonderful surprise when I found the next awesome chapter of your story up. Thank you so much for writing, looking forward to the next part.
Glad you enjoyed this part harshinib! Sorry it took me so long to get 13B up, but it's there now. I think you'll like what happens next :-)
Marzee, there is so much going on in this chapter and you raise so many interesting ideas about the conflicts that would dominate life in a world such as the one facing the Jericho characters after the bombs. This chapter left me thinking about all these things, and I'm still not sure where to start in my review, so I think I'll just jump in.
The part that hit me hardest was the news of Karen Harper's demise and family annihilation. How horrifying and sad! I think you made a strong choice here, showing just how badly the events could effect people, how drastic a choice someone might make, and how some individuals might not be able to adjust at all. I think the way you handled it, with the reactions from Gail and Johnston, was very believable and realistic. You captured that sort of sickening feeling someone can experience at the death of someone who is unlikable. They still remember the negativity they experienced from her, but are also horrified by the tragedy that has occurred. It's very sobering, I think, and touches on a lot of interesting themes.
You also don't shy away at all from showing us a very realistic, gritty picture of the uneasy situation in which our nearly starving characters find themselves. Parts of this chapter are almost painful to read, that's how well I think you've captured that pervasive hunger that's taken over all aspects of life for the survivors. The dwindling resources, and Jake's having to think about his priorities, made me think a lot about the ethical and personal dilemnas all the characters would have to face. You did a fantastic job, I think, of exploring a subject that was often touched on in the show, but not always detailed the way you do here: That nearly impossible conflict, at least for the more idealistic characters, when protecting the vulnerable and their own humanity comes into conflict with their own needs and that of their families and close loved ones, and their resources really and truly are limited, with not enough to go around. I find this conflict rather wrenching, and I think you do a great job of showing our favourite characters wrestling with it.
On the lighter side, I just loved seeing Stanley and Mimi here! They number among my all time favourite characters, and Heart of Winter is one of my all time favourite episodes, partly because of them. Now, I know I said 'on the lighter side', but I must say I like the seriousness you've given them here. They are, after all, experiencing some difficult moments themselves, and will soon really be having their characters' tested. I'm glad to see you giving their scenes the weight they deserve. I have to say I found this part interesting:
Jake held his hands up in mock surrender. "Hey, all I'm sayin' is that in five years, the only gun Heather's ever been willing to touch is a grease gun, and she's a little more ... shall we say, rugged? Than Mimi."
"Look, you take care of things the way you think is right," Stanley retorted, his tone perhaps a little more biting than he'd intended. "And let me do the same. She's comin' along," he insisted, frowning. "And for Heather's sake, we'll all just keep hopin' nothing ever happens to you."
I realized that, with your 'different circumstances', things are kind of flipped between Jake and Stanley here. Jake is the established family man, and so, of course expecting his priorities to be taken seriously. I couldn't help but feel for Stanley, getting a little riled at Jake's comparison here. I don't know if that's the right way to say it. It's understandable, what each of them is saying in this state of hunger-inspired irritation. I guess what stikes me about all this is that Stanley, being in a newer and not so defined relationship with Mimi, is wanting his concerns for his family to be taken seriously, and it's not that Jake doesn't see them as valid, but it is interesting, the reversal here. So, I like what you're showing us of this relationship, of the relationship between Stanley and Mimi, and the individual moments you've given them here, and I really look forward to seeing how this all plays out through this part.
So, Jake and Heather. It seems funny to comment on them after having spoken of all those tragic or conflict-riddled things I've already mentioned, but of course, they are a part of all of that too, and you also achieved such a great balance here, showing us these different moments in their relationship. I like the contrast between their serious, intimate, loving but also sad Christmas morning waking moment, and the awakening in the past. I'm sure that moment seemed serious at the time, what with the Vice and Virtue squad finally delivering a judgement, but at the same time, I couldn't help but wonder how the post-bombs Heather and Jake would think back on that moment. Of course, there were serious issues at play and it was a turning point in their relationship, but it also seems like a refreshing moment from simpler times, in a way. And that ending...I definitely look forward to the next part, seeing where Jake picks up!
There were a lot of little details I liked in this chapter too, that I don't want to forget to mention. I loved reading the 'domestic squabble' that wasn't a squabble, I think you captured it just right. I laughed at the little story about the Green family trip to Mount Rushmore and Jake and Eric's conflict over hotel room assignments in the midst of the bleak scene our hunting party were observing (I couldn't help it, it was just so Jake and Eric). I have to say I felt for Emily when I heard of how the Green grandparents had reacted to her, disapproving of her for reasons that she had no control over. And Heather singing What are you doing New Year's Eve into the phone amused me. Also, I liked hearing about Jimmy acting as the unofficial informant to the Greens. Very like him, I think. And of course, the Johnston and Gail interaction at the end was wonderful as always.
Great chapter, and I'm so looking forward to seeing more of the DC version of my (other) favourite episode! (And what I think is coming up between Jake and Heather!)
Thanks for such a thought-provoking review. I must admit that I didn't consciously set out to explore the moral conflicts that all of our favorite characters would face in this new world. But I did think long and hard about the resource issues they would be facing at this point, and the desperation that would set in as they faced truly not knowing where their next meal would come from. Karen Harper was one of these people who I especially thought would not be able to handle the stark reality of starvation and might take drastic measures. I wasn't exactly trying to be shocking with what she did.... but I was trying to show another likely scenario (though not one we'd ever expect from the Greens).
I'm glad that you (oh, Keeper of the Richmonds) enjoyed my Stanley and Mimi. I really do love them, even if I don't write them all that often. I also found your analysis of the "flip" here in situations to be very interesting. Of course, it's exactly what I was thinking when I wrote it. ;-) Well, you explained it much better than me, so thank you for that. But yes, even here, I wanted to show the narrowing of loyalties. Jake would never do anything to purposely injure Stanley, but at this point in the story he still has to weigh how much he can help Stanley because he feels he has to put Heather and their baby and the rest of the family first. Maybe that's patently obvious, but it is a conflict, and one I tried to explore.
I hadn't thought of having Jake and Heather reminisce about that first morning waking up together.... Now though, it's in my head, so if I ever write that, know it's for you, as you inspired it. I think you're right, they would look back at that simpler time with fondness.
Thanks for telling me all the little bits you liked, I do appreciate it. And, I hope you enjoy what you think is coming in 13B!
Marzee, I loved, loved, loved this installment. It was not at all easy to read (not from the standpoint of the impeccable writing but from the standpoint of imagining the characters growing desperation). At the same time, I really felt like I was reading a story told with such painstaking quality--as I always feel when I read your work. I really wish I could single out every single thing that I noticed, but then this review would be as long as your chapter!
Okay, enough general gushing. I should get to the specifics.
First off, the present...
You did such a good job setting the stage for the worsening situation the characters are facing with your details. Baron's release (which as someone who loves her dogs like children, that was soooo hard for me to read), the morbid hopefulness that perhaps one of the horses would have to be put down due to starvation, letting Christmas pass by with little mention, the lack of game for miles around, etc. So I'm not sure if the lack of game was meant to be mysterious. I figured that the game had been overhunted, but the characters' reactions left me feeling like there was more to it.
The effects of the slow starvation that the characters are experiencing--the lethargy, the short tempers--really had me concerned for them. I know they aren't real people, but through your story, I feel like I've come to know them because you put so many touches into your story that help them come to life. I can't help but wonder how they will make it through the winter, especially since it is just getting started.
Speaking of those not making it through the winter, I was shocked to read of Karen (Bitchmore) Harper's death. Jimmy certainly does provide interesting information. I can't say that I would mourn Karen (the way she treated Jake and Eric as their babysitter, as well as the condescension she showed Heather) certainly did not endear her to me anymore than she was endeared to the Greens. Nevertheless, the tragic end does emphasize just how dire the situation is.
The evidence of mass migration that Stanley, Mimi, and Jake saw really stirred my imagination. I wonder how badly Canada was affected by the attacks. As weird as it sounds, wouldn't people from the Dakotas and Montana have been better off seeking refuge in Canada from the winter? Yes, Canada is cold, but if its infrastructure is still in place....Of course, all of that is contigent on the circumstances in Canada. While the U.S. does provide a whole heck of a lot of food to other countries, part of Canada is renowned for its agriculture, so one would think that Canada, if willing (which iit has historically been) to accept refugees would be a valid alternative to the trek south by foot.
Once again, as a dog person, I found the description of the pack of dogs--many of whom had been pets--to be disturbing.
You also touched upon some very interesting topics of a different nature: The politics of the town, for instance, as well as imminent domain. I can understand why Mary would complain loudly, but if she thinks the confiscation of 40 gallons of fuel was a violation of her civil rights, just wait until she meets the A.S.A. Not surprisingly, she depended on Eric to make things better for her, but Eric is such a schmuck. I also liked seeing how Johnston continues to wield some influence where the goings-on in town are concerned. It's good to see that Gray will not go against the council, so that does make it easier to strings to be pulled behind the scenes, but it will be interesting to see if Gray will continue to submit to their wishes.
When I first read the description of Jake waking up with Heather, my immediate thought was not that they had slept together. I halfway thought that Jake was dreaming that he was with Heather but that he would wake up with Baron in his bed instead. LOL. I liked what you did better than what my first thought was, btw.
I love how you write Jake and Heather. That flush of new love just feels good to read. Naturally, I found Jake and E.J.'s conversation about putting Heather's reputation on the line to be interesting, particularly as some parallels were drawn to Emily. I had to chuckle at the idea of Emily's mother having married up when she married Jonah. The fact that people would forgive (or look the other way) certain behaviors of Emily but hold Heather in disdain for similar or even lesser behaviors also struck me as true. I have a student who is an absolute stinker. His classmates just saw, "That's how X is." Whereas if another one of their classmates made similar comments, I guarantee you that there would be hell to pay.
Jake's off-handed solution that they get married brought a smile to my face at first, but then I thought about it, and realized that it was not the way to ask someone to get married. (I don't have much to compare this to--I basically told my husband that we were getting married and that was that). Looks like Heather agreed with me that it wasn't the type of proposal she wanted, either.
I was worried when she started to leave but was delighted that Jake chased her down--barefoot and nearly wiping out in the process, no less. I have the feeling that he's going to get it right the second time around. :)
Thank you again for such a fabulous read!
Sandra, thank you so much for your comments. You're going to make me blush! I truly appreciate them, though. I always feel like I write too slow, but I don't know any other way to do it because I like to put in the details, and to figure out what everyone is thinking and feeling as they go through these experiences that are all unchartered territory.
I completely understand why reading about Baron and the pack of dogs Jake, Stanley and Mimi encounter would be hard. I originally thought that Jake and Heather would naturally have a dog (and maybe a cat or two) but I wimped out way back at the beginning of writing this story because I didn't want to think about what would happen to their beloved pet. Having to turn Baron out is a compromise with reality since I couldn't bring myself to have him hit by a car or put down. :-( So hopefully neither of us will regret my bringing Baron into the story. I can commit to him making it at least, as miraculous as that might be.
As for Karen Harper, I just couldn't imagine her making it too long in a world where all the rules had changed so drastically. She was all about control, and she'd certainly lost a lot of it. Unfortunately, taking her own life -- and her family's -- was a way for her to regain that control. Still, Karen I'm sure will make her presence known again at some point in the past.
I absolutely agree that Canada would be a valid alternate destination, and have wondered about that myself. I went with what the show showed us, but I do have to think that Canada would be willing to help. If course, who knows how big the EMP was, and if they were affected by it. But still, it does seem like a bit of a plot hole, doesn't it?
This made me laugh: "I can understand why Mary would complain loudly, but if she thinks the confiscation of 40 gallons of fuel was a violation of her civil rights, just wait until she meets the A.S.A." But you've also got it right. Mary's eyes will surely be opened in the future, won't they? Honestly, it seemed weird to me that Mary would frankly br wasting gasoline on the generator to power the jukebox at the end of Vox Populi, and then come Heart of Winter and Eric's claiming they can't afford the gas to drive farther out to go hunting. Also in Black Jack, Gray was already talking about rationing power to town hall and the med center. So this was my attempt to reconcile the details of all those episodes. :-) As for Johnston's continued influence in town, it sure seemed to me that he had it, and well, I can't write a world where he's completely shut out.
Okay, I really didn't think I was going to fool anyone with Jake and Heather waking up together, but I hadn't thought about it all being a dream! That's too funny. If I ever do write a scene where Jake is disgruntled to find himself waking up with Baron instead of Heather, you can claim that scene as your own. :-) I'm glad you enjoyed what I did go with.
Your take on the difference between Emily and Heather is quite interesting to me. It's not exactly what I was thinking -- how I was thinking about it -- when I wrote it, but you're right, it's in there. I just know that Heather, as an outsider, has to prove herself in a way that Emily doesn't. I think Jake learned his lesson about marriage proposals. (And for the rest on that I suggest reading Part 13B!) I look forward to finding out if you think that Jake got it right the second time around!
Thanks again for taking the time to review.