Preview: Mad World – Chapter One

Note: This is the rewritten version of Mad World, a story I wrote in 2004-06. I absolutely hate every inch of it, so even though the old version was a few chapters away from completion, I can’t stand to finish it. So I’m taking back the original concept and redoing it. I like the new version so much better. It doesn’t go off in eight different directions, and I think the characters are truer to themselves.

What you need to know: This begins in 2004. Lorenzo Alcazar and Diego Sanchez do not exist in my world. Lorenzo was around for a while, but headed out of town after Sage was murdered. Diego never showed up. Elizabeth came home from California in June. Sam and Jason are still hiding the paternity of Sam’s child, the world believes it’s his, but there’s nothing romantic going on. Sonny doesn’t know the truth about Kristina. Any other questions, just feel free to ask.

The reason I’m posting a preview of this story is kind of selfish — I really want this to win the poll so I can work on it next, haha, and I hope that getting a taste of what I have planned might encourage you. The Best Thing is currently winning, but I’ve been trying to storyboard the scenes, and it’s slow going.

P.S. You may get the idea from this part that I might steer the story into a Lucky/Elizabeth storyline. That is just not going to be a thing, but I will revisit their friendship, and try to see my beloved Lucky in him again, albeit a bit more grown up.

Song: Full of Grace (Sarah McLachlan)

November 2004

Port Charles Park

The winter here is cold and bitter

Brooke Lynn Ashton pulled her coat tighter around her skin, wishing not for the first time that she had called a cab from Kelly’s or even called Dillon to pick her up, but it hadn’t felt so cold when she left the restaurant.

But now, hurrying through the park, less than ten minutes from the Quartermaine Estate where she and her father lived in the gatehouse…it felt as though the chill had seeped into her bones, freezing her from the inside out.

It’s chilled us to the bone

She missed Bensonhurst on nights like this, on days like this. The ease of public transportation, the closeness of her neighborhood where nothing was more than five minutes from anywhere else.

She loved being with her father, she really did, but nothing else had turned out the way she thought it would in Port Charles. She and Lucas argued all the time, and there had been that horrible Sage girl who’d ended up murdered in her own home.

Life in Bensonhurst had seemed boring, but Brooke longed for the neighborhood squabbles, with nothing more than pride and dignity at stake.

We haven’t seen the sun for weeks

As she passed a stone fountain, the heel on her boot snapped and she huffed, limping to the nearby bench. She’d never make it home like this. She reached for her purse, intent on calling it quits, and begging Dillon to come get her.

Before she could fish her phone from her ridiculously small bag, a hand covered her mouth. “Not a word,” a voice rasped in her ear.

Terror. Her body froze, and then leapt into action. She dug at the hand on her mouth and then reached down with both hands to clutch at the bench as she felt herself being lifted.

Fight, fight. Got to get away. But the fright was seeping into her, making her body limp. This wasn’t happening to her.

This didn’t happen to girls like her.

Too long too far from home

She couldn’t get him to let go, she couldn’t scream, and before long, he’d pried her from the bench, her nails scraping against the bench as she slid past it, into the bushes.

And then she knew nothing else.

General Hospital: Pediatrics Ward

I feel just like I’m sinking

“I know what has to be done,” Alexis Davis murmured, pushing the dark curls back from her little girl’s forehead. She looked at her husband of exactly one hour and then back at Kristina. “I just…”

“Can’t bring yourself to do it.” Ric Lansing covered her hand with his own. “I understand. I really do, Alexis. But…”

“I know…” She closed her eyes, and tried to remember all the reasons they’d already discussed.

And I claw for solid ground

“If we wait for Nikolas to be tested and he doesn’t match,” Ric continued softly. “Is that time we should waste, when Sonny or Morgan, or even Courtney might be a match?”

“It seems so simple when you put it that way.” Alexis continued stroking Kristina’s soft hair. “So simple to throw away two years of secrets and lies.”

“It’s not even close to simple,” Ric said. “I wish I had been a match, Alexis, and we could have kept this to ourselves until Kristina was older, but…”

I’m pulled down by the undertow

“That’s not how life works.” Alexis nodded. “Ned and I have debated this at length. He told me he’d find the bone marrow somewhere, he’d buy it if he had to, if that’s how I wanted to do it, but…” She closed her eyes, her throat too tight to continue.

“But it might not work. Kristina needs as many blood relatives as we can get.” Ric placed a hand on her shoulder blades, and she was surprised by how comforting it felt in the moment to have this man standing at her side.

“I know,” she murmured. “But I just…want one more minute, one more hour of this secret.”

Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room

I never thought I could feel so low

Carly Corinthos clasped her hands in front of her and stared down her betrayed husband. She had known this day would come, and perhaps she should have waited for Alexis, after all, it had been her secret to keep.

But it had been Carly’s life at stake, and no matter what, Sonny would have learned Carly knew the truth for months. If her world was going to implode…she wanted to detonate it herself.

Oh darkness I feel like letting go

“I know you don’t understand my reasons,” Carly began, her voice trembling, “but—”

“But nothing,” Sonny growled. “You didn’t tell me, but I bet you told Jason. You tell him everything! I’m going to find him and if he didn’t tell me either—”

“He doesn’t know,” Carly began but Sonny had already stormed out.

Port Charles Park

If all of the strength and all of the courage

Dillon Quartermaine was worried. He did not enjoy being worried after the year he had just had, with murders and relationship issues. He wanted simple. He wanted boring.

He wanted to know where his…niece was, and damn it if that didn’t feel like the wrong way to think of Brooke, because she wasn’t his niece to him. She was his friend, his pal. His partner against the Quartermaines.

Come and lift me from this place

And she wasn’t answering her phone. She hadn’t come home from Kelly’s. Georgie said they had closed over an hour ago. Lucas hadn’t seen her—he was starting the opposite way from Kelly’s, and hopefully, between the two of them, they’d find her somewhere. Dillon turned a corner in the path and saw the stone fountain ahead.

He almost walked past her.

She was lying in a heap of blood and nudity, partially under a bench, and had he not glanced to the ground just as he passed, he would have missed her entirely.

He stared for a moment, his mind refusing to register it.

I know I can love you much better than this

There she was. Naked. Cuts seeping blood into the cold snow.

Dillon stepped forward and then faltered, because how was this happening? This…didn’t happen to people like him.

To girls like her.

“Brooke…” His voice was weak and then he was at her side, turning her over, praying to find a pulse.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Full of grace

Samantha McCall was considering how to haul herself up from the sofa to the upstairs to go to bed without rolling when the door slammed open.

Her former lover stormed in, his hair standing up in a disheveled mess, his eyes dark with anger. “Where is he?” he hissed.

Full of grace

Sam arched an eyebrow. “Um…I’m going to need more information than that. My guard is off because you need a key to use the elevator this late at night—”

“Where is Jason?” Sonny ground out. “Where is my wife’s best friend whom she tells everything?”

My love

Sam opened her mouth, and then frowned. “Huh. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him all day.”

Port Charles Park

It’s better this way, I said

Lucky Spencer stood just past the stone fountain, towards a clump of bushes. Since the moment he had received the dispatch of a rape victim in the park, he had been thinking of that night.

Another cold night, another girl in the snow. He could see her now, crawling out from the snow, her eyes like a wild animal.

A hand closed over his shoulder and jerked Lucky back to the present, rather than that Valentine’s Day. He turned to find the sympathetic eyes of Detective Marcus Taggart.

Having seen this place before

“I know what you’re thinking, Spencer,” Taggart said quietly. “I’m thinking it, too. But we can’t right now. We have to think about Brooke Lynn Ashton…and…” He turned Lucky back towards the bench, where paramedics were loading Brooke’s unconscious form onto a stretcher in order to wheel her to an ambulance.

“I’ll stay here, secure the scene,” Taggart said. “You take Dillon to the hospital, take his preliminary statement. Wait on the doctors to tell us Brooke’s status.”

Where everything we say and do

Lucky frowned, because that seemed like something Taggart should do, as the more experienced detective. “I—”

“It should be you.” Taggart nodded towards Dillon, who trying to talk to one of the uniforms, his hair wild, his coat laying on the ground where it had once rested on Brooke.

And his eyes full of knowledge no boy that age should know.

Hurts us all the more

“Why?” Lucky murmured, but he knew why.

“Because you know what it’s like to walk in the park, looking for someone and to find them this way.” Taggart heaved a heavy sigh. “Because you might be able to able to keep him calm, to get information out of him.”

“Because he needs to know that he can learn to live with what he’s just seen.”

General Hospital: Pediatrics Ward

It’s just that we stayed, too long

Mac Scorpio walked down the hallway, where he could see Ned Ashton and his ex-wife, Lois, loitering by Kristina Davis’s room.

He had told Taggart he would do this, because he’d known Ned and Lois for years, had known Brooke as a baby. Had watched her this summer with his daughters.

In the same old sickly skin

But as he made the long journey, the guilt settled in the pit of his stomach, because he was just so damn glad that no one was making this walk toward him.

Ned glanced up with a wan smile. “Hey, Mac. Are you here about Kristina? Because there’s no news yet.”

“Ah, no.” Mac hesitated, and something in his eyes must have clicked for Lois, because she clutched at Ned’s sleeve.

“Mac,” she said. “Where’s Brookie?”

I’m pulled down by the undertow

And then Ned must have seen it, too, because his pallor shifted. Grayed. “Mac, where’s my daughter? What’s going on?”

“I…” Mac paused, because he knew he should just say the words. He was an officer of the law and the words should just be said. Simple and straightforward.

But how do you say those words? Your daughter was beaten and stripped naked, left in the park. There’s evidence of sexual assault. She hasn’t regained consciousness.

I never thought I could feel so low

“Mac.” Ned’s voice was low and harsh. “You need to just tell us.” His voice shook now. “Is she alive?”

“Yes.” Mac nodded quickly. “Dillon…found her in the park. She’d been beaten and…” He swallowed hard. “There’s evidence that…she…ah…”

A low moan erupted from Lois’s mouth and she pressed her face into Ned’s arm, but Ned’s body was just tense. Braced. Because he knew there was more.

Oh darkness I feel like letting go

“Finish it,” Ned ordered.

“She’s on her way to the hospital now,” Mac said. “She hasn’t…regained consciousness.” He cleared his throat. “We’re working on leads now, securing the scene…”

Ned nodded, and wrapped an arm around his wife. “Lois…”

“We should go to the emergency room to wait for her,” Lois said, her hand clutching at his shirt. “Shouldn’t we?”

“Yeah.” Ned nodded and looked at Mac. “Could you tell Alexis we…”

“Sure.” Mac nodded, and watched them go, almost stumbling down the long hallway toward the elevators.

General Hospital: ICU

If all of the strength

Lucky stopped in front of the room where Connor Bishop lay, now guarded by two members of the military police. “Emily…?”

Emily stepped away from door and smiled at him, her expression tinged with exhaustion. “Hey.”

“Hey. Where’s Nikolas? Elizabeth?”

“Nikolas went to get some coffee,” Emily said softly. She tilted her head to the side. “And Elizabeth didn’t work tonight. Why?”

He swallowed, knowing he ought to not to say anything, but he just…couldn’t do this. Not alone.

And all of the courage

“I have to tell Elizabeth something before she’s blindsided by the details, but, um, I guess you should know too…” He licked his lips. “Your cousin Brooke Lynn…was beaten and left unconscious…in the park.”

“Oh my God!” Emily’s hand was halfway to her face before it faltered. “The park, Lucky?”

His skin felt itchy, and he wanted to step outside of it for just a moment. “By the fountain.”

“By…” Emily closed her eyes. “God, Lucky. No…not again.”

“I have to tell Elizabeth before…he grabbed her from the bench. We found blood from where she scraped her fingers, the back of her legs, trying to hold onto it.” His chest was tight, aching because he knew…he lived through this once, watched Elizabeth relive it a thousand times.

Come and lift me from this place

“Is she at the hospital now? Do Ned and Lois know?” Emily absently wiped at her tears. “Lucky—”

“She just got to the ER. Mac’s telling Ned and Lois.” He swallowed. “I had to take Dillon’s preliminary statement.”

“Dillon?” Emily frowned and then her face crumbled. “Oh, God. He found her. Like you did. He found her. Oh, God.”

“Taggart wanted me to be with him, to take his statement because he thought I could help but…” His hands were at his side, as useless as he was. “I don’t know what to tell him, how to live with it, because I don’t know how I did it. Or if I can do it again.”

Cottage: Nursery

I know I could love you much better than this

Elizabeth Webber smiled and stroked the light brown hair on her beautiful little boy as he lay sleeping in his crib. She had never though she could be a mother, but now she couldn’t imagine a day without Cameron.

A hand slid up her back and around her shoulders. She leaned into his strong broad chest. “I just like to watch him sleep.”

“I know,” Jason Morgan said. “But if you wake him, you know he won’t go back down.”

“I know.” She smiled up at him. “Can you really stay all night?”

“Yeah.” He leaned down and kissed her. “I turned off my phone. It’s just us.”

Full of grace

“I’m so glad.” She wrapped her arm around his waist as they left Cameron’s room and headed for their bedroom. “It’s so rare to have you all day and then all night.”

“Soon,” Jason told her. “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”

“I know.” She sat on the edge of their bed and smiled at him, wistfully. “And yet…I don’t know if I’m ready for the fallout.”

I know I could love you much better than this

“It’s going to hurt whether we do it tomorrow or next month,” Jason said, sitting next to her. “Courtney’s going to find out Cameron is my son, she’s going to do the math.”

“I know.” Elizabeth rested her chin on his shoulder and looked up at him. “And Sonny and Carly are going to make your life difficult, and we’re going to have to deal with Sam, how to work her child into our lives if Sonny doesn’t want to tell the truth.”

“So we take a little more time,” he murmured, stroking her hair. “And live in our little world.”

“Just a little longer,” Elizabeth murmured, tilting her head up to receive his kiss.

It’s better this way


  • Love this so far. I had already voted for something else, so I don’t know if I can vote again, I will try. Regardless, poll or not, I think it is wise for you to follow your muse. If this is the story your heart WANTS to concentrate on, you will ultimately do better to work on this one. I am not a writer, but as an and reader of fanfiction, I find that authors forcing themselves to work on a story when their heart is somewhere else, ends up leaving their fans with no stories at all because the author gets blocked or has little motivation to write. That said, I do prefer an author force herself to finish a started story rather than leave it incomplete, so I am so what of a hypocrite. Since these are new stories, though, I again stiffest wrote what you feel, or if you feel as a woman of your word, then balance out, keep writing this June if you are feeling love for it then work on the winning story in between. As a fan of yours I know I wouldn’t complain having more stories to read…lol. That said, I am putting much faith in you as I really never read unfinished fics but I enjoy your writing so much I am torturing myself by doing it.

    According to Jen on April 9, 2014
  • Haha, I feel ya, and I am a horrible person, because I’ve abandoned a few fics in my idea, which is why I so rarely now post a story before I have at least ten chapters written, because then I’m invested in the ending and want to see it through. And if after ten chapters, it’s not working, I go back and rewrite 😛

    I could get my muse going on anything, but for some reason, some of the plot points of The Best Thing are cranky. I’ll get them straightened out and be happy I didn’t just plug in anything, but really thought about them.

    You should be able to change your vote, but it’s okay if you don’t 🙂

    According to Melissa on April 9, 2014
  • Wow, I can’t wait to see what happens next. Love that cam is Jason’s son. Felt bad for brook Lynn. Hope she regains consciousness.

    According to shay on April 9, 2014
  • I agree with Jen. Follow your muse. The results are better if the writer is writing the story they feel like writing, rather than what they’re told. I like this preview, it’s a good set-up and has me wondering what is coming next.

    According to Aradia on April 9, 2014
  • I really enjoyed this preview. poor Brooke having to go that. is Tom Baker out b/c he said those words to Liz. love that Liz and Jason are together and cam is Jason’s and Liz knows the truth about Sam and the baby. good for Carly for telling the truth.

    According to Nicole Barnes on April 9, 2014
  • great preview and while i didn’t vote for this one I think it will be a wonderful read

    According to PAMELA HEDSTROM on April 9, 2014
  • This sounds like a winner. Jason is Cam’s father. Lucky will get over what ever. And Brook lyn will learn to survive like others have.

    According to leasmom on April 9, 2014