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The Catcher


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[size=1]Okay. So I came up with this idea, right. It's based in the real world with a twist: this character, called the Catcher, goes around all his life catching people who try to commit suicide (the Catcher comes about referring to him catch people from cliffs, but he also does overdoses and hangings). The story follows the Catcher and all the stories he meets from the suicides, some more important and life changing than others. It's basically all about him and I wrote the introduction a few hours ago, so I wondered what everyone thought of it. It's very much a work in progress but I intend for the actual story to be a looooot better. What does everyone think of the idea?[/size]


[font=lucida sans]I’d had it. Everyone gets to that point where they just don’t want to do it anymore… you don’t want to breathe, you don’t want to think and you certainly, [I]certainly[/I] don’t want to feel. Most people go through being depressed and toy with the idea of letting themselves go… though a lot of us just back out. Things improve a little and they think that it honestly can’t be that bad. Well, if only I had that, perhaps a small improvement every so often or someone there to catch me, then I wouldn’t be considering this. In fact I’m not even considering this; I’m doing it. I’m doing it now and I’m not going to look back.

I didn’t care who I hurt because they hurt me and loving me deserves some kind of punishment, though I doubted I was ever loved. I wanted to die and I was going to die.

We used to travel to Wales, my brother and I, some years ago. I knew this place well because we would have our picnics up here and play these silly little games. The sun was right above my head without a cloud in sight, gloriously blinding, and the ground below me was like a desert because the grass had been worn away by other youngsters like myself all those years ago. The valley lay below so far down that it was almost like looking into mist when you stared, a small river running right down at the bottom and meandering around the scraggy boulders and mounds.

I breathed in probably the sweetest tasting air in my life. It lingered in my throat and cleared my head – I could hear the seagulls now, the wind as well, and the calmest breeze on my face. It was beautiful and almost something that could make you want to live… but no, I wasn’t going to be tempted. I wasn’t going to back away. I’m sure I could recall all my life (since it flashed a little in my eyelids anyway) and convince you this was the right choice but, alas, I won’t; I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else.

One step forward and my toes hung off the edge now. Of course I felt nervous so don’t even bother to ask me that. My head was racing at a thousand miles an hour and my heart a million; just one more step and that was it. I never believed in a Heaven or a Hell so I was excited, and equally scared, to see what lay beyond this wretched and corrupt sorry excuse for a world. What was it that sat further than our eyes could ever see? I was about to find out.

I couldn’t look down but I couldn’t close my eyes so I turned my back. I wasn’t about to walk away, though. I spread my arms out – ready to be crucified – and titled my head back to the sun and the sky. I pushed my heels back and breathed out the last breath of my life… the slowest and shakiest exhalation I’d ever known. And, with my jaw clenched, I stepped back.

It was kind of slow at first. Falling, I mean. I was weightless and moving so slow down and down past the cliff face and further into the end. The wind pulled all my hair over my face and almost tore through my shirt – I plummeted, I fell… and I even think I lingered for a second (someone must have wanted me to see the sun for the last time).

Then I turned. Gravity pulled me to face my death; my body spun during the fall and everything became fast and confusing. I could no longer keep my eyes open and the seagulls were gone. The wind was howling in my ears and the force and being thrown down so high was almost tearing me a part, twisting and turning me in the air like a rag doll that nature never cared about.

Didn’t take long at all. I went limp and I hit something. I expected it to hurt but I thought, at the time, I had just died straight away and not felt any pain. Death was probably the best experience of my life… it felt so warm. It was like being held by these strong arms in a peaceful place with flowing water below, the sweet smell of grass and trees all around, a gentle breeze in your hair. I could never, ever have felt anything like that while I was alive, I figured, and I loved it so much. I loved to die, I guess. I didn’t open my eyes straight away, instead I let the feeling take hold of me for awhile.

Yes. This was what I wanted. To be at peace, to be alone, to be secure with myself. Something I could never have in the world. I smiled and I thought, for a moment, that maybe there was a God and this was my Heaven; I opened my eyes to see it.

I expected to see clouds or at least some kind of magnificent multi-coloured-spectrum-sky but instead I saw the kindest face looking down on me. His eyes were this arctic blue colour that boarded on white and his hair, too, seemed almost like snow. His face looked so soft and his expression pleasing, wonderful, even though it didn’t smile at me, just frowned and looked worried.

I was convinced his was an angel so I reached out and touched his face. It was so soft that I gasped and he, too, gasped slightly and closed his eyes. He released me from his arms gently and I looked at him in awe, noticing that he was a foot taller than me at least.

“Are you… an angel?”

He looks at his hands, wrapped around in leather for protection, and then looked back up to me. He shook his head. I stepped back to get a full look at him and gasped in awe again; he wore this glamorous yet dignified mixture of black and white clothing (a white jacket over a black t-shirt) and high boots, slightly muddy, adding to his character just that little bit more. He was radiant and I knew, I [I]knew[/I] that somehow, no matter what he said, he was an angel.

“So where is this? Heaven?”

He smiled with gracious white teeth. “No. Not yet for you.”

I narrowed my eyes. “I don’t understand.”

He chuckled at me. “Take a look around.”

His voice was so calm and sweet that I had no choice but to obey. I took a look around and saw a river meandering around scraggy boulders and mounds; I saw the ground below, like a desert because the grass had been worn away, and mist here and there. I turned to the cliff I had leapt off and saw it still standing there with the same sun blazing above it and the small breeze attacking its keep.

“Right, I get it,” I said thinking I had finally gathered all I needed, “so where’s my body? Do I have to, like, do some sort of deed before I can move on? Like some soul searching?”

He closed his eyes and sighed. “No, nothing like that,”

“Then what? What’s going on? Is this a dream? Am I in a coma? No, I couldn’t be. No one could survive that!” I pointed to the top of the cliff and laughed nervously from my throat.

“You’re not dead.” He replied like he had done this a million times before.

“Yeah. So, what, you caught me and I’m alive? Yeah, yeah… yeaaah.” My hands ended up on my hips and I was laughing to the ground.

“That’s right. You got it quicker than everyone else.”

I look up at him wild-eyed. “What?”

“I caught you. You’re not dead.”


“I caught you and you’re not -”

“Right! I heard!” I became angry and pointed at him. “Are you screwing with me? Is this a test? No one could survive that. No one could catch me. No one would [I]want[/I] to catch me! This is probably just some kind of mad dream, so get out of my head and let me be alone! I’m done with this world!”

He sighed at me heavily like he was tired of this. There was a look in his eyes that told me he felt sorry for me and that he was sad, and tired, even though his face was so damn kind. Folding his arms he had shook his head and stared at me intently as I breathed with clenched fists.

“You weren’t happy in this world?” he asked me.

“No. Not even for a moment. I can’t even remember this last time I smiled.”

“Why not?”

I narrowed my eyes at him again. I was afraid to open up but at the same time I was convinced this was a test, so I would have to speak up. Swallowing my pride I spoke:

“I dunno. I guess I never had anyone there for me. Not even family… no one there to give me a lift. No one really wanted me… I was always on my own but around people, so I finally wanted to be alone without the stupid noise around me and the stupid people… I guess I just fell into this really big hole and no one wanted to catch me or get me out.”

His chest heaved again. “I caught you.”

“Yeah, but I’m dead, and this isn’t real. You’re not a real person and no one could ever catch me from that.”

“I can.” He paused and shuffled his feet. “You have a second chance. You said you’ve never smiled in this world but you did when I caught you. If you go around looking for change on the floor for the bus ride home you will never find any, just as looking for people to love and catch you is a rather… dare I say… futile mission. They come to you. Or, I think in your case, they were always there and you can’t see it yet. You just like to push them away with your lovely attitude, young man.”

I laughed. “I’m not stupid and I know I’m dead. This is a game that my head is probably playing on me and I’m not going to be fooled. I had no friends in this world and no one really ever did like me.”

“Well,” he said with another sigh, “I could give you another lecture… instead I’ll say this: shut up and go home. You’re alive so make the most of it. You want love, give someone some love.”

His harshness caught me off guard; he was far too angelic to be firm but he did it anyway. It worked, I supposed, because I stopped my ‘no one loves me’ attitude and I listened to him for a moment. He began to walk away and I found myself walking after him.

“Wait, wait,” I swallowed my pride again, “if you’re real, then tell me your name… and we can go out for coffee sometime. I mean, I don’t believe for a second you actually saved me – because that’s impossible – but I guess that means I get another shot, doesn’t it? And if you’ll be my friend, maybe I won’t kill myself again.” I grinned at the last part as if I were luring him into a little trap. He turned to me and frowned.

“Life, boy,” he began, “is the most precious thing you’ll ever get. You can go ahead and throw yourself off again because I won’t be there to catch you. And, honestly, if you treat your friends like you do me… then no [I]wonder[/I] you have none.”

I blinked. “What?”

He shrugged. “Nothing. This is your choice now.”

It was. I could not and never will believe that this man had really caught me from the cliff and let me live; I could not and never will believe [I]for a second[/I] that someone would actually go around doing that, time after time convincing people life was worth living. And, above all, I couldn’t believe our brief conversation had managed to change my mind… even when years of arguing with myself had not.

“Wait…” I whispered, he turned to me, “what’s your name? I mean… I don’t know how to thank you but… I could give it another shot… you know?”

Not a smile from him but not a frown. “You should. Thank you, though, for not taking up so much time. Sometimes it takes months to get people back on their feet.”

I smiled. “Yeah… so… who are you?”

He stopped then and looked down at the ground biting that pale lip of his and thinking almost sternly. He turned to me, inclined his head like a little puppy and grinned for the first and last time I would ever remember.

“Well, I’m the Catcher,” he said to me, “and I caught you, so don’t let me down.”

I smiled, again, the biggest smile ever. I had never met such a kind person up until today, the day I was meant to die. So I decided to give it another chance… but the Catcher was always on my mind.

He seemed like he had started off so kind and caring and it was slowly wearing away. He had turned to me and told me, so uncharacteristically, to shut up. I saw it in his eyes that he was tired. He must have been sick of trying to convince people to live, trying to convince them not to take their life and make the most of it… but why do it? Why not let people go?

This Catcher, you see, sounded like the stuff of fairytales. There was something deep and something horrible, I reckoned, that kept him doing this for us, even though he was so tired.

I just wondered… who would be there for the Catcher when he fell?[/align][/font]
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I gotta tell you I really like the premise of your story Vicky. It's different then anything I've read before, and knowing you it should be a really good read(the intro was REALLY good).

Just for curiosity sake, how are you planning on writing it? From the viewpoint of the Catcher himself? Or more of each chapter being focused mainly on the character the Catcher is saving?
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[size=1]I did a lot of toying with the viewpoint... I was going to have some chapters in first person and others in third but then I decided to refrain from doing it in a confusing style and just keep it in third but always keep the story on the Catcher. So in this style I can still tap into his feelings and what he's thinking but no one else.

I didn't actually like my introduction too much because, for me at least, it's quite short and I wanted to do a bit more with it but had to keep it short for myself. I definitely intend for the actual story to be a lot better... in fact, I'm going to work on it now =p.

Thank you for the comment Drizzt![/size]
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[size=1]Thank you again for the interest =). Unfortunately, no matter how many times I read things over I always miss out the mistakes, but hopefully there are none in this chapter. I rather like this one and yes, I [i]had[/i] to put a punk in there =p.

Also, a tip for my writing style: when a character appears and their name is mentioned then it becomes very likely they'll be important later on (whether it be appearing again or just by reputation). I do sometimes revisit unnamed characters but they're more like... soundtracks...

...I think you'll see what I mean in a few chapters or somet'.


[B]EDIT: Also, is everyone alright with the formatting here? Like the size and font? It's difficult for me to read because it's so big but I understand most people don't like reading small, heh. If anyone finds it uncomfortable I could mess around with the font/size, or even upload the original document in an attachment as well, which I fine quite easy to read (also you can screw around with the sizes and fonts after that if in the word document).[/b][/size]

[align=justify][center][b]Chapter I
Bigger City[/center][/b]

[font=lucida sans]The speakers played some kind of acoustic alternative through the café and the people looked quite relaxed in themselves either in a conversation with their friends, reading the newspaper or gazing out of the window at the busy street just outside Camden Lock. The shop was buzzing but still remained quite enough for his liking, full of steam and coffee smells, something he would have avoided a few weeks ago.

It was scarier in the city, full of people and strange sounds, but the Catcher was no new blood to it. The city wasn’t normally his district at all so he didn’t visit a lot and for good reason, too. He was wearing a long and thick coat and a scarf around his neck, not because he was cold, simply because he wanted people to [I]think[/I] he was cold; that was normal, wasn’t it? The idea was to never draw attention to yourself. Always slink in, do you work, and slink out without another word or a footprint left behind. You had to keep it small, even though you were –

“Can I sit here?”

The Catcher jumped out of his train of thought and banged his knee on the underside of the table. He blinked and cleared his throat with a nod, not making eye contact.

“Sorry, there just wasn’t anywhere else to sit.” The lady, he assumed, said. He heard her unfold a newspaper and that was it; no conversation, no lame attempt to grab his attention and no annoyance. The Catcher looked up at her, smiling gratefully.

She was quite professional from the Catcher’s point of view. Her hair was black and pulled back into a ponytail and her skin was quite pale with a little make-up added here and there, especially that noticeable red lipstick painted finely on her lips. Her eyes stood out from mascara, a shade of brown that almost looked black like her pinstripe suit and manicured hands that held onto the newspaper firmly.

The Catcher was smiling until she caught him looking. He jumped again and banged his other knee, uttering a small ouch. The lady chuckled and placed her newspaper down beside her coffee.

“You seem rather interested in me,” she started in such a well-spoken manner, “I’m Katherine.” She smiled at him and the Catcher smiled back a little.

He took a sip of his coffee and grimaced (he had never actually liked the taste until one man managed to get him addicted). He didn’t know where to put his eyes so he glanced around for awhile until he noticed, awkwardly, the lady was staring at him. He swallowed nervously.

“So you don’t have a name? Am I meant to refer to you as ‘guy’?”

He was half tempted to say ‘Catcher would be fine’ until he remembered that keeping a low profile was essential.

“Sorry. My head is everywhere. John.” He bowed slightly.

“John Smith? John Doe? Plain old John? Come on. You can’t tell me that someone with such a hard to place accent and such angelic features is simply a [I]John[/I]. My sister’s husband is a [I]John[/I]. The waiter who served me this cappuccino is probably a [I]John[/I]. The homeless man down the street is more likely to be a [I]John[/I] than you.”

“Well,” the Catcher pursed his lips, “I can be whatever you want me to be.”

“Oh you can, can you?” Katherine covered her mouth to contain a wide smile. “You’re charming. Slightly jitterish, but charming.” She glanced down at his hands that were wrapped in bands of leather. “So I take it you do some kind of heavy lifting? Something that requires [I]brilliant[/I] hands?”

The Catcher looked down at his hands and only managed to muster a tiny little laugh. He shrugged his shoulders at her.

“I don’t do much, really. I’m a…” he thought fast and glanced to the high-street – ‘SHOE REPAIR: Ask this man for details!’ on a large sign held by a peculiar young man – and grinned back at Katherine, “I’m a shoemaker.”

She laughed and didn’t hide it this time. “Are you from Camelot?”

He frowned. “No?”

“Shoemaker? I didn’t even know they existed anymore. I always thought… in fact I [I]know[/I] they build factories over in less economically developed countries in order to make more profit and more shoes.” She raised her eyebrow at him and challenged him to counter it.

The Catcher cleared is throat. “Well really I just sort of repair shoes…”

“Good. That’s more believable; you’re getting better at lying.”

The Catcher nodded. “Thank you… I think…” he glanced to her newspaper.

“A little boy’s gone missing,” Katherine elaborated on the paper.

“Hm? Oh, yes, front page news. I know. Can I borrow this?”


She handed him the newspaper and the Catcher flicked through to the ‘deaths today’ pages. He had only been in London for a few days but he was hoping to see that a few of them had kept their promise to him. As time went by saving people became harder to harder; in the old days, with the others around as well, it was relatively easy to catch people even when you were a million miles away. Now the Catcher had to keep moving from city to city feeling sorry for anyone who off’d themselves while he was away.

He didn’t have time to remember the names right then and be upset if it was anyone he knew. Without asking he tore the page out and folded it into his top pocket.

“Excuse me? Did you [I]pay[/I] for that?”

The Catcher looked up at Katherine and blinked. “Oh! Sorry… here…” he reached into his pocket but found only notes, “…I… I don’t have change. I could buy you a coffee if you want?”

She placed one hand under her chin and the other tapping the desk with those long slim nails. Her lips tugged into a smile and the Catcher only looked at her with a nervous disposition; she was tearing him a part with guilt and with that black stare.

“You haven’t been in the city that long, have you?”

The Catcher shook his head. “No. I normally keep to the countryside, the cliffs and mountains, or small villages at best.”


“I need to keep a low profile.”

She had taken an interest now. “Oh? Really? How [I]interesting[/I]. So what do you really do?”

The Catcher grinned his glamorous grin and ran his finger over his coffee cup. He liked this woman - sort of - because she was very solid and very real. She was on her feet and didn’t need his help and probably never would… which was a change, he supposed. He breathed in and prepared himself to make another comment until his body shivered automatically. He stopped.

“What’s wrong with you?”

The Catcher didn’t know that he was staring very wide eyed into space with his jaw tightly clenched. His expression wasn’t as kind anymore and his hands were holding the coffee mug far too hard. When he snapped himself out of it he leapt up so fast that he knocked the table hard with his lean and massive figure, sending coffee all over Katherine’s pinstripe suit.

“What the – hey! Hey come back here!” She jumped up after him.

The Catcher was normally so fast that he could have been gone in seconds but in a city, and especially in a coffee place where everyone was suddenly looking at you, he had to tame it a little. He managed to get himself out of the door but a hand gripped onto his shoulder and whirled him violently around to face the angry and wet face of the lady he had just met.

“You jerk! This suit cost me a fortune! Look at this! [I]Look[/I]!”

The Catcher tried to shrug her off him but she persisted in keeping him stood still.

“You better have a good reason for this, buddy!”

“Please! I have to go!”

He was talking through gritted teeth now and trying desperately to pull himself away from her but she dug her nails in. People had stopped to shoot the dirtiest looks at the Catcher (now who could [I]imagine[/I] that it was the woman who was in the wrong?) and he himself became all too aware of it. He had to move now before it was too late.

“I’ll pay for it! I promise! Just let me go!”

“Oh no you don’t! What are you, a con artist? Did you swipe my card from my handbag before you ran? Or are you [I]planning[/I] too?”

The Catcher had the most bewildered look on his face for a second at the paranoia of this crazy woman. He shook it off quickly when the shiver came down his spine again and twisted around in his jacket; in one quick movement he removed himself from it and darted away from her before she could even yell ‘hey!’, leaving her stood there with his massive coat in her talons.

“…bugger.” She swore and clicked her tongue down at the mess on her but went back inside. The people moved on; the Catcher sped away.

As soon as he found himself cutting down an alleyway through the buildings he kicked himself into high speed. Straight away he was at the other end of the passage with barely a second between; he kicked up dirt onto his boots and ended up in one spot then the next without a flash, or a sound, or even a glance from anyone else. He looked around and let his senses take over, something that was so deeply tuned into him and so infinitely complicated that there could never be enough pages in the world to describe the feeling. He closed his eyes and breathed in until everything slowed down.

He moved so fast through a small crowd of people around an office building staring up into the sky. He rushed past a business man and ruffled his coat with the wind and dived where his senses told him to move.

So slow. So slow to the Catcher but fast to everyone else. But the Catcher quickly slammed on his brakes and scrapped his boots to a stop as he watched the scrawny office worker move past the point of no return and make contact with the ground. His body displaced the dirt and dust, his shoulder dislocated straight away in a god awful crack and the rest of his bones followed. The people behind had moved themselves slightly and jolted forward – or back – and the Catcher even saw the sound waves and vibrations moving out from beyond the fallen man’s unfortunate ending. The birds moved off (their senses, too, being more defined than a human beings) and heads turned to what had happened.

The Catcher, however, turned [I]his[/I] head before the blood came and closed his eyes tightly, seething through his teeth at the sounds he heard. He stayed like that until the world sped back up.

“Oh my God! He almost hit you! Are you alright?”

“Jesus, you see tha’?”

“There’s blood everywhere! Someone call an ambulance!”

“Step outta the way! Get away from ‘im!”

The Catcher couldn’t look. He breathed in a shaky breath and stared at his hands with specks of blood on them, the hands that were there to protect and give second chances, the hands that were quick enough to save men from cliffs now painted, to a small degree, with dead man’s blood. A dead man that was meant to be [I]alive[/I] when the Catcher was in town.

“Sir, you shouldn’t leave until the police arrive. They may have some questions.” A man shouted over as the Catcher moved away. “Sir!”

He ignored them. He wiped his hands over the inside black shirt like an obsessive compulsive who had just shook hands with a tramp and tried to calm his breathing. He wasn’t sure whether he was angry or upset and he knew, he [I]knew[/I] he should have kept his vow and stayed out of the way of the busy urban world.

He was no superhero, despite the tales people told about him in the country. He was no saint, or angel, despite the look and demeanour. He was just a man who was given a mission and he couldn’t hear everyone, he couldn’t save every single case – but those he [I]did[/I] hear, those his heart [I]did[/I] zone in on… he was meant to save them. He was meant to give the failed some hope, not [I]be[/I] the failure.

[I]“Damn,”[/I] he thought, [I]“damn this place to Hell…”[/I]


London at night was dangerous and marvellous. The Catcher spent the rest of the day wandering around by himself feeling more down than usual until it had finally turned to night time. Camden was quieter now although the locals who seemed to live by the river were still out and the coffee shop had closed.

The Catcher’s eyes became heavy even though he didn’t get tired. He wanted to wipe them but he couldn’t because there was still some blood on his hands and he just didn’t want to smell that. He had missed people before, of course, and his reaction was always the same. Failure. Failure. Failure. In fact he had gotten better at dealing with it and that, above all, upset him the most; the value of life was still the same and so the cost of failure must not go down.

He came to another quiet high street on his night travel, defended by closed glass buildings and smoothed by the sound of a poor man’s guitar. His voice was deep and sound giving due respect to every single note in his lyrics with precision that a vocal coach could probably never teach nor master. The Catcher pulled a smile over his face and wandered over to the sound.

It was a man who was clearly homeless or squatting with fingerless gloves strumming away on a very old acoustic guitar and a leather jacket to keep him warm. The man’s face was full of stubble and tattoo’s on his neck, along with a piercing here and there to keep the scruffy little Mohawk company. The Catcher put his hand in his pocket for money but then realised he had no change so, instead, he took out the five pound note.

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” he asked the man.

The old man snapped out of his song playing and a grin came over his face when he was handed the five pound note.

“Why sure,” he said with a slight American accent, “you look like you’ve had a bad day, buddy. Here, I’ll sing ya a song. Everyone needs someone ta care for ‘em once in awhile, even if it is just a badly written song from a badly penned homeless bloke.” He chuckled.

“No, I don’t think you’re badly penned,” the Catcher said, “I think you’re as happy as you can be with nothing.”

Another chuckle. “Nothin’? Well, I’ve got it all up ‘ere, see?” he tapped his head. “Now relax and listen ta the music. Let me sing ya a song.”

He strummed on his guitar the same chords from a previous song (some removed and some reversed) and added to it his lyrics. The Catcher tried to listen but his mind went adrift and the old man’s little song was just some kind of soundtrack to all the memories and emotions in the Catcher’s skull… though at least, for a moment, it helped him calm down, helped him gather it back up and realise that he would probably have to go through this all over again someday somewhere else at some other time in some other strange, unbelievable scenario.

He sighed into his scarf.[/align][/font]
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This was a good addition Vicky, I'm just sort've surprised. I thought you'd go a different route with the character since the intro made him mysterious and almost unemotional. It was almost weird to see him have depth and lots've emotions...

Please don't take that in the negative because I really like where you are going with it now. It's nice to see a character like that as a human, I'd compare it to my story about the reaper but yours is well....good.

Keep it up, and you've obviously got a couple of us hooked. So keep them coming....
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[size=1]I did some thinking about the Catcher, actually, and realised I wasn't too keen on the emotionless characters (it was kind of boring). I wanted to make him very interesting and real.

My excuse is that the actual story is set either a few years after or before the introduction so something could have happened to make him change - I'm thinking because I've made him so jitterish that the introduction occurs some time in the future to where the story is set, but it should all come together sooner or later (I can also revisit the Catcher we saw in the intro with a sort of... errm... what is it called? That thing that's the end part of a book, anyway *shrugs*).

Thank you again for the reviews and shizznizz. I should have something to add to this by Monday or Tuesday... have a busy weekend, do I ;).[/size]
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[COLOR="Indigo"][FONT="Arial"]I'll leave the critiquing to Mr. Morphy since he does it better (that and I'm lazy). =P

Now as for my opinion on this, besides being glad to see something[I] besides[/I] the usual smut or OB fanfiction... is that it's a nice refreshing change from what I'm used to seeing in here. By used to, aside from the aforementioned, I mean fanfictions of anime or poetry, etc.

It's an interesting concept and I'm curious to see where you go with it since I found it entertaining to read. I'm sure it will have its moments, but I'm hoping the thread of hope running through it is played out instead of it turning into the catcher giving up at one point. [/FONT][/COLOR]
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[size=1]Just a small update to say thanks for the feedback. I haven't had time to write the next chapter but I have the idea all set up... I'm going to aim for Wednesday or Thursday to get this done.

Hope you're all still here to read by the time I'm done lol =p.[/size]
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[size=1]Unfortunately this has not been checked yet because I'm too tired. If anyone wants to read it now, though, go ahead and I'll have any mistakes fixed by the morning. The chapter isn't as interesting as the others because I'm building up for the next chapter and I also might revisit the ending... we'll see...[/size]

[font=lucida sans][align=justify][center][b]Chapter II
Drinking Buddies[/center][/b]

There was a place that was filled with bells hanging from Bonsai just below a grassy green sky. The quality of light, that silver opalescent edge to the clouds and the dusk (before the dawn that never came) gleaming white gold. Of all the words and all the voices not one of them could convey – or come [I]close[/I] – to home. And that’s what he called it.

The silence was chaotic, all the time. They never, ever spoke here, not even the trees. There were birds that couldn’t fly who stayed in the grass and picked on the seeds, gently, but they seldom made a sound. The only people there were beautiful, to say the absolute least. They were silent like usual and very careful in every move they made and, even though they didn’t speak, kind.

He always came here. He didn’t know why but he always ended up back here. He kind of missed that chaotic silence, the birds and the sky. It was the most unique memory of his life and all he did each time was sit against a tree in the grass with a smile on his face.

When the others began to move she came forward. She was a distant dream in his memory nowadays, almost non-existent because he tried to forget, though even her left over imprint remained beautiful. Her hair, like his, was so blonde it was almost white; her skin so pale, soft to the touch; lips red and eyes dark. The wings, too, were a trademark. The feathers brushed lightly against the ground with every movement and rested snugly on her back in grandeur.

She offered her hand to him and he took it. She pulled him up and he smiled as she led him to the edge where everyone else stood.

They jumped off but none of them fell because they spread their wings and flew much better than most creatures could even dare imagine.

On the edge she turned back to him and smiled. She let go of his hands and backed off as she spread her wings and turned, still smiling, to join the others against the bright green sky. He moved forward and seemed so eager to join them but, for some reason, he stopped. The smile faded and the dream became a nightmare (at least in his eyes).

It didn’t take long for them to disappear. If he had moved with them he would have fallen like an angel from heaven, so he didn’t even try, like every single time his mind brought him here. And like every other time he tucked his tail between his legs and sat in between the birds, who peaked on the ground like condemned little sinners and still ignored him.

The Catcher only wished he had their wings.


Waking up in the middle of a high street was never pleasant. The Catcher’s ears were assaulted with beeping cars and annoying high heels and he could only shake his head to get himself together. He rubbed his eyes and groaned at the dream; it reoccurred, constantly, the same situation and the same result. It was so symbolic and surreal that it made him sick to his stomach as well as the fact it revealed some dead and buried memories.

Something nudged his boot. He stirred and opened his eyes slightly into the bright sun to which a silhouette appeared in front of him. He winced, looked the side and saw that the homeless anarchist was gone; people never did stay in one place for long.

“Oh Christ…”

He bit down on his lip when Katherine, still pale and stern-faced, stood before him in another business suit with his coat wrapped tightly in her arms. She didn’t look impressed.

“Not quite,” she raised an eyebrow, “so you’re homeless. I should have gathered when you didn’t have the money to buy me coffee. Or pay for the newspaper.”

“I’m not homeless… I had a rough night…” he said in defence.

“Wife kick you out?”

He laughed. “No, not exactly.” The Catcher sighed and pulled himself up putting hand marks on the glass behind him. “Can I have my coat back, please?”

“I suppose, since you don’t look like you can afford another.”

The tone of her voice made even the Catcher frown. He reached into his pocket and took out a handful of notes, although they weren’t the same currency as the UK.

“I [I]do[/I] have money.”

“Well, why don’t you know how to live in the city?”

She handed him his coat back and the Catcher sighed. He shrugged it on and put away his euros and then he turned to Katherine (who still looked at him expectantly) with a frown.

“I told you, I’m not used to this.”

Katherine laughed. “You need a helping hand. Or a drinking buddy. Come on.” She moved off down the high street. The Catcher, confused, had to register what she had said before running after her.

“I don’t drink though!” he blurted nearly running into a business man on a mobile phone.

“You drink coffee, right?” she stopped suddenly and spun around almost knocking into him (and effectively ending up right in his face).


“Then we can be drinking buddies. Also, you owe me for that suit. You can buy me a coffee everyday, because I always go for one at lunch. Which is now.”

The Catcher sucked in his stomach and bit his lip. “No, I can’t do that.”

Katherine had folded her arms and sighed like she was talking to a little child. The Catcher moved his eyes away and (still with his dream fixated in his head and irritating him) turned to leave, but Katherine grabbed the edge of his coat.

“Listen, you’re quite pathetic. No offence.” She said harshly. “You can’t survive in the city and you’re trying to keep a low profile. You have no idea what you’re doing, do you? I’m like a hound dog in this place, I know it like the back of my hand. I could even get you a place to stay for free.”

“It’s a nice offer but I think I’ll have to decline.”

Although the Catcher didn’t know Katherine he knew, someone, she was always going to have the upper hand on him. She didn’t let go of his coat and instead pulled him back to face her, the height difference being quite amazing but Katherine still with the upper hand.

“What [I]are[/I] you so afraid of?”

He screwed up his face. “I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Then come for a coffee with me,” she started with a grin, “and prove you’re not afraid of ‘anything’. It doesn’t hurt to have a few friends in the city.”

The Catcher paused for a moment and had to consider that. That phrase was going to get stuck in his head all day like the dream now and he wondered, if she only knew his actual job, would she have said that. Though, really, he couldn’t speak from experience, since he hadn’t had friends in a very long time.

“One drink, maybe,” he sighed, “but I need to -”

“Great. Let’s get going.”

People never did stay in one place for long.

They went to the same coffee place as the day before when they had caused a commotion. The Catcher sat by himself drumming his hands to the revered acoustic symphonies being played over the speakers once again whilst Katherine went to buy the coffee. The Catcher was sure he couldn’t be doing this and sure he wasn’t supposed to be making friends like this… but she scared him. She terrified him because she was so forward and stern, because she was swayed at all by his kind looks and she could probably see right through him.

“Rule number one of living in the city is to trust no one.”

The Catcher looked up in a sort of frenzied twitching motion and nodded his head when she handed him the coffee. He took a sip before spitting it out.

“Wait, what?”

“Never trust anyone.” She repeated. “Except me, of course. You see, there’s rules you have to play, and risks you have to take. Every breath is a risk.”

The Catcher nodded guessing this was his first lesson.

“You have to watch people. Observe them so you know how to confront them. Sometimes you should be stern and in control, other times you should play the mouse. You know how to play mouse, but not the wolf.”

The Catcher frowned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

She grinned. “Of course you don’t, but nevermind,” she drank and smiled at him, “you’ll see what I mean later on. I know all the tricks to survive and trick people, it’s what I do.”

“You mean like your job?”

“Yeah, I mean like my job.”

“What kind of weird job is that?” the Catcher looked quite dumbfounded but Katherine looked immensely entertained.

“I’m an artist, of sorts.”

“An artist?” he paused and tried to filter it through his already cluttered head. When the answer came to him he figured out how it was so obvious and his jaw dropped at her, only to induce another wicked grin from Katherine. “You’re a con artist, aren’t you?” he stuttered nervously.

“Don’t tell the world.” She mumbled into her coffee. “Yes, a con artist. I don’t work at all. All these suits and all that I have is the result of being a wolf, not a mouse, and knowing how to bleed London dry for all it’s got. I like you, and that’s why I want to help you. I can teach you how to survive and you don’t even have to con people.”

“How do I know you won’t con me?”

Katherine laughed heartedly. “What the hell have you got that I want, [I]John[/I]?”

“Oh, right… yeah….”

The Catcher laughed soon enough with her and found that, for once, he quite enjoyed having someone to talk to who wasn’t about to off themselves.

If anything the Catcher was a listener – he certainly had to be in his line of work – so he listened to Katherine for some time. She was born in London and lived there her whole life, moving out when she could and living on the streets. She had legally changed her name to Katherine Star when she could and she had never paid for anything in her life, except off the credit cards and courtesy of others.

He knew so much about her now. From the way she stared with those cold black eyes and that perfect smile the Catcher, with a chill down his spine, realised she probably knew as much about him, even when he didn’t say a word.

“Well, lunch is over, I have things to attend to.” She stood up, the Catcher stood up instinctively too. “No, don’t follow. Beggars and tramps follow. Stand your ground, chin up, and look refined… or try to.”

He smiled.

“And here, you can have this, seen as you stole my other newspaper pages.”

“Thanks… I think…”

She smiled in a little bit of pity. “Yeah, see you tomorrow, [I]John[/I].”

He smiled, again. She left and he didn’t follow, instead trying to look as refined as possible, though he knew the smile on his face was too childish to keep that kind of illusion up.

The Catcher sat back down and ran his hand calmly through his hair for the first time. He closed his eyes and took in all the sounds around him as he gathered together his head and weighed up his options – the risks – and of course the opportunities a head. He wasn’t even going to be in the city too long.

There was something about Katherine Star that kept his attention on her; it was something familiar that he had seen before but it didn’t make him happy. Well, he smiled with her, and laughed with her, it was just there in the back of his mind, something wicked telling him he had to be sad. He didn’t know why, or what she reminded him of, though he hoped it would come to him before he left London.

He shook his head and sighed. Unfolding the newspaper he left it all behind and flicked through the pages to get to the deaths today or at least the anniversaries to see if there were any names or faces he recognised.

Midway through he stopped at a story in big, bold letters:

[center][b]34-year-old Plummets from Office Building – Investigation Under Way[/b][/center]

The Catcher bit his fingernails as he read it. It wasn’t the fact that the man was mentioned in the newspaper that terrified him now, it was the investigation. Only then did the Catcher realise that he had always been taking a risk in this job and it was only becoming more apparent now that Katherine was around…

…maybe he could use her help, as much as he didn’t want it.[/align][/font]
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hmm, well this chapter sort've threw me for a loop. I sort've took to the Catcher as a character who would have BEEN the con artist, don't ask me why but I did.

Hmm...help from a con artist? I like it!

Somehow you keep taking the expected and shaking it up, and its definitely keeping me interested. Good show.
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  • 2 months later...
[size=1]Short and slightly rushed, but here none the less.[/size]

[font=lucida sans][center][b]Chapter III
The Connection[/b][/center]

[align=justify]The Catcher had never stopped to wonder how he knew where he was going on how he knew when someone was going to do something stupid. The Catch never asked himself, either, why he only went after people who deserved their second chance. He never even bothered to figure out why his senses were mostly only limited to city edges and, at most, counties. That?s why he had to keep moving.

He bounded through the alley ways in the darkness without leaving a trail behind, secretly enjoying the silence even though he knew it wouldn?t last. This one was stronger than usual, like it had some kind of a connection. A connection he couldn?t quite gather up right now.

Coming to a skidding halt the Catcher looked up to an apartment window that was open with the curtains flying outside. His senses told him that, up there, was the room he was looking for. Like a trained bird back to its master the Catcher leapt and touched the window effortlessly, pulling himself up to a perch and peering inside.

It was dark. Cold. Damp. The room?s contents weren?t fit for any human to live in, the television blurring white noise into the room and the little lamp at the bedside slowly fading. He glanced some more and found a body lay in just a long t-shirt in the middle of the room and pills all around.

He moved in slowly and grimaced when the floor board creaked under his boots. The girl was quite pretty, to say the least, with very dark long hair and perfect features. He cupped his hands over around her face and felt that she was stone cold, almost right at death?s door. He trailed his finger down her face and came down to her lips, breathing into them visible, ice blue air that came down through her throat and out of her nostrils until she drew in her own breath. The Catcher?s special life medicine.

He went and unlocked the door, leaving it a jar, and took the mobile off the side.

?Hello, can I have an ambulance please??

And he stared at the beautiful and wondered why. He would have to do everything in his power to get her back on track because, according to his instincts, she deserved another chance.


Blink. Blink.

Annoying. The flashing blinking the light above his head whist he waited half in darkness in the middle of the morning. No sound around except the faint nurse?s footsteps going past to check on a patience? of the slight hissing of the light as it tried to keep itself going. It made him realise, sadly, that it was [I]all[/I] he was doing; keeping things going.

Blink. B-b-blink.

Nerve wrecking was the word. Every time this happened it was nerve wrecking. Of course he knew the person would survive, but would they make use of their new life? Sometimes they didn?t and it was a waste. A waste of the Catcher and a waste of life.


Blink. Blink. B-

?Sir, can I have your name please??

The Catcher opened his eyes to a stone-faced doctor with a well-cut beard and a long jacket on. With a sigh the Catcher replied.

?Jason Dorian.?

?And your connection to the patient??

The Catcher smiled a little. ?None. I was passing through to meet someone on that floor for the night and I saw her lay on the floor. The door was open and I thought something might have gone on.?

The Doctor jotted each word down with a nod. ?Okay, can I asked you to sign here, please??

The Catcher took the notepad and jotted down a fake signature, handing it back. The Doctor checked it over and nodded.

?She?ll be fine. Her stomach has been pumped and she should be able to leave soon. Her family have been contacted, too.?

The Catcher pursed his lips. ?Can I see her?? he asked.

?What for?? was the reply.

?I just? I just want to see her, seeing as I might have saved her life, and all.?

The Doctor gave the Catcher the one over with his glasses and reluctantly nodded. ?Only for the night.?

Blink. Blink.

The Catcher walked into the blue-lit room and over to the bed in the corner. All the machines were on and the young lady was hooked up to them, her heart being monitored closely, her breath being timed in case any tiny default were to sneak in. A nurse dropped a clipboard at the end of the bed and slinked her way past the Catcher, who merely stood there with a sad look on his face.

He sat down in the chair beside her and took her hand in his. Her cold, small hands. Through that touch his mind made connections and gave him insight, enough insight to know she could hear him and enough to let him being his rehabilitation for her.

?Hey, you don?t know me, but I know you,? he whispered gently.

A strand of hair fell over her head ? he pushed it back.

?I meet people like you all the time, you know. Thinking this is the right choice, the good way to end a horrible life. But it?s not. You have enough to live for. Things get tough, and they will get tougher, but it?s all worth it to look back on old age and think ?hey, I did it?.?

He paused and sighed.

?Yeah, well, my name?s Jason. I saw you collapsed in your room? the door was unlocked. Phoned an ambulance for you. And I just don?t understand why such a beautiful girl??

He looked down. He?d said this so many times.

?Could try and end it all with a horrible disaster. The Doctor said you had family, can you imagine them at your funeral??

He closed his eyes to keep back tears. All these years and he still got upset.

?Imagine their faces. Devastated. Horrified. Crying all their grief into their black suits and handkerchiefs, wailing and asking some kind of god why he had taken away their daughter. Watch then weep for years and years at your grave? imagine that??

He paused.

?If you think living is tough, just imagine how tough living without you would be.?

He leaned forward now whispering in her ear.

?Just imagine the pain of living without you.?

And he kissed her there before pretending to sleep.


?Sir? Sir? Mister Dorian??

The Catcher opening his eyes from the shaking of the nurse. She smiled at him timidly.

?Sir, the young girl?s sister is here. Would you like to stay while she visits??

?Oh, no, no I was just staying with her until someone arrived, that?s all.? He stuttered. ?Yeah, I?ll be leaving now. Thank you.?

?Okay, there?s a coffee machine out there if you like.?

?No, it?s fine, I better be going.?

He straightened his jacket and took one last look at the sleeping girl. He followed the nurse out and watched turned to look, just one more time, hoping he could get through to this one.

The Catcher moved to leave and looked straight down the corridor at Katherine talking to the stone-faced doctor. Immediately, the Catcher?s eyes widened.

Blink. Blink.

[I]That[/I] was the connection.

The Doctor pointed to the room the Catcher was outside and Katherine, too, looked incredibly shocked. The Catcher swallowed down the lump in his throat and ran.

?Stop that man!?[/font][/align]
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