I started writing fanfiction back in 2008.
The following is my first fanfiction piece.
Copyright belongs to Hart Hanson and certainly not to me. (When writing fanfiction you have to put in a copyright disclaimer, as you are borrowing their characters.)
Thinking Is Surviving
In the Jeep, three people were lost in their own worlds. Booth was asleep, snoring. This disturbed the sheriff, as he was trying to listen to the country and western music on the radio. Meanwhile, gazing out into the desert, Brennan wondered how Angela was faring on the helicopter flight to the hospital, accompanying the Sheriff’s sister.
The heat of the desert was replaced by intense cold as it was getting dark. Despite the cold, Brennan gazed at the lovely sunset colours of the sky. She was indulging in one of her favourite hobbies, imagining the past. Due to her current location, she was wondering particularly about how people coped in the desert thousands of years ago. How did they endure the scorching heat during the day, and then the icy winds at night? Brennan pondered how hunters and gatherers in the past survived in the desert, trying to find sufficient water and salt to maintain their electrolyte balances. Through continuous sweating and drinking fresh water, the salt concentration in the body falls and causes severe cramping of muscles and headaches. ‘Hmm…’ Brennan thought. She had a bit of a headache, so she made a mental note to herself to take an oral hydration sachet, to prevent the aforementioned symptoms.
She continued thinking of desert dwellers; the way they defended themselves against the desert climate, their living spaces, their clothes and their various cultures. Brennan thought of different groups of people in various deserts worldwide, the Mongols in the Gobi desert, the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, and the Bedouins of the Sahara.
Booth shifted slightly in his sleep, as the jeep ran over a pothole. Shania Twain’s “Rock This Country” was now playing on the radio. The sheriff, however, barely heard the music because he was thinking of his sister as he drove along. The jostle caused Brennan’s thoughts shift to cultures and survival in general.
‘Humans have incredible survival instinct,’ she thought, ‘when they are familiar with their surroundings. Take them out of their element, and only the truly skilled can make it.’ An example of this was Angela, Booth, and Brennan waiting in the scorching heat for the sheriff to drive back. The cold water in Brennan’s canister became warm in the space of ten minutes; the temperature was 125 F, after all. Even so, it was still water; the three of them were glad to have it, and it slaked their thirst. ‘If we hadn’t had water,’ Brennan realized, ‘we wouldn’t have lived for long.’ The three of them were city people taken out of their element; they were left in the desert. Angela had a lot more practical experience with the desert than the others, even though Brennan had a lot more theoretical knowledge.
By this time, it was dark and the stars twinkled brightly. She enjoyed the night sky as the crescent moon was barely visible. The only illumination available, apart from the stars, was the light from the headlights.
At this stage Brennan’s headache was starting to bother her. She was glad that the light was gone, replaced by the soothing darkness. It was a pity that the annoying music droned on, pounding into her ears. She didn’t recognise the song this time, only that it was a popular boy band; she couldn’t keep up with all the popular music. All she knew was that she didn’t like it. The music was hurting her head even more.
“Sir? Could you turn off the radio?” Brennan asked the Sheriff. He sheriff didn’t hear her. She prodded him in the arm.
He turned his head slightly and grunted, “Eh?”
“Turn off the music, will ya?”
“Thanks.” She sat back as she continued to ruminate. Booth’s snores were oddly comforting. Like the noise of the sea swishing back and forth. The pounding in her head lessened, Brennan was able to drift back into her thoughts of survival. ‘Now,’ Brennan theorized, ‘taking people out of their element would separate the survivors from the rest.’ Brennan supposed she was taken out of her element several times in her life, metaphorically speaking. When she was taken to school at the age of four, she was frustrated and bored, waiting for her classmates to catch up. Then she changed over to Miss Smith’s class. The subject level taught matched her ability, but her social skills were stunted somewhat as she was by far the youngest in the class, the next to her in age a good few years older. Who would want to play with the little kid? She remembered the prom ball. She didn’t want to go because she feared being teased. People her own age… how could she relate to them? The only thing she liked about school was the Marco Polo game she played with her brother.
She remembered loving to analyse her classmates and other students at the school, and how being an outsider helped her to be a student of the various sub-cultures she observed at school. This enjoyment of analysis sparked her interest in anthropology.
When her parents disappeared, her paradigm crashed down. Suddenly her adored brother abandoned her, and she was sent to live with strangers. She remembered asking herself whether it was because she wanted to hold on to them. When she was put in the foster care system, she was put in classes with children her own age, in different schools.
She survived by shutting off her emotions as it was one area she had no control over. Hence sex for her was easy. It was just scratching an itch. No intimacy whatsoever. She supposed that her supervisor at college was overstepping his boundaries by sleeping with her, but she didn’t care.
She finally admitted to herself in the jeep that she was perceived as cold and aloof because she was a survivor; cutting off other people was her survival mechanism. She just did not want to be hurt again. It was only with Angela and Booth that she felt emotionally close. She wondered why that was the case. She supposed it was because they were the only non-academic people who were not threatened by her and chivvied her whenever necessary.
It hurt Brennan to see Angela upset. It was a dreadful thing for Angela to see her boyfriend’s partially decomposed, decapitated head. Normally Angela was the one to support her and help her, but now the situation was reversed. As Brennan was so used to being objective and analytic, she was afraid to comfort Angela; she just did not know how to do it without upsetting her.
How to comfort Angela properly was something else she began to think about. Eventually, she decided to tell her what she knows, not what she feels, and she knew that Angela would be ok.
Booth woke up as the jeep neared the village, and turned to Brennan. He noticed her staring into space. “Tired?” He asked conversationally.
“No.” Brennan answered, “I’m just thinking.”
“Aren’t you always?” Booth gently teased.
“Yes, I suppose I am.”
“You think too much.”
“I think because it’s an escape. When you allow yourself to go deep inside your mind, you discover things you wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s freeing.” She explained, and a peaceful smile came to her face.
“That makes sense.” Booth responded.
“A lot of things do,” Brennan told him, “When you really think about them.”