Who Is She, Anyway?

Chapter Six: Writer's Block

"Oh, this is no good."
Stormer let out a gusty sigh, ripping the sheet of manuscript neatly in half and screwing the remaining pieces into a ball, tossing it across the bedroom and into the bin. "It just refuses to work, Kimber...I can't get this melody straight at all! It was all very well before we started this but I didn't realise the harmonies were going to be so ambitious!"
"Relax!" Kimber shot her a grin. The two girls had settled in Kimber's bedroom at Starlight Mansion, where Stormer had been staying since the other Misfits had left town, to discuss their music and exchange ideas, but so far all that had been achieved was that Stormer, always a perfectionist with her writing was getting more and more frustrated. Kimber knew only too well that, although she herself was extremely talented in composition and musical creativity, a flame of something close to genius burned inside Stormer's heart and it was this which had kept the Misfits thriving for as long as they had done. Though Roxy often teased the younger girl about shutting herself away to write, when she had a 'song coming on', Stormer was generally poor company, for she was distracted and dreamy and often the other Misfits didn't know quite what to do with her.
Kimber, for her part, enjoyed writing in tandem with the other girl, for they complemented each other's ideas and ability, Kimber being a more natural lyricist and Stormer having the melodies at her fingertips.
However, today things were not coming together as easily, and the young Misfit was beginning to lose patience with herself.
"Relax?" she said now. "Kimber, we've three weeks to do this writing in, because we have to be ready to record by the time the other Misfits get back, otherwise I just know Pizzazz will find a reason for me not to do it. She was literally fuming when she left."
"It doesn't matter what Pizzazz thinks." Kimber stretched out on the floor to put a reassuring hand on her friend's. "You're stressing yourself out over it and it's stopping you from writing how you want, that's all...you don't need the pressure. Pizzazz doesn't control your contract any more, so she can't kick you out because of this...you're not breaking any rules."
"I know, but I still gotta live with her." Stormer groaned, burying her head in her hands. "It just won't work, Kimber! No matter what I do, I can't get the harmony to sound right!"
"Let me see, huh?" Kimber suggested. Stormer pushed her manuscript book across the floor, indicating the page which held the basic phrases and key changes for the main melody. Writing parts for her bandmates meant that she often wrote out each line of the tune on separate sheets, and it meant that Kimber could see at once where her friend's ideas were heading.
"Well, this is great." she responded. "Outrageous, even. What's the problem?"
"The problem is that I can't figure out a chord sequence that doesn't clash with it." Stormer responded. "Except some simple little baby thing that a first grade piano student could come up with."
Kimber laughed.
"You're too hard on yourself." She chided. "Maybe you need to take a break, huh? Leave this with me and I'll take it downstairs and dabble with the keyboard, see if I can have any better luck. Go get a drink and I'll see you later, cos you're not gonna get any work done all wound up like this."
"Maybe you're right." Stormer sighed. "Okay, I'm going...I'll see you later. Maybe a while by the pool will do me good."
"Why not have a swim? It's hot enough out." Kimber suggested. Stormer blushed.
"I...uh...can't swim." she admitted.
"Really?" Kimber looked surprised. "Oh! Well then I'll have to teach you!"
"Oh no! Really, it's okay!" Stormer said hurriedly.
"Are you scared of the water?" Kimber asked. Stormer shook her head.
"No...not scared, exactly, but I don't like being out of my depth."
Kimber laughed.
"It's okay. I did all the life saving stuff in high school and if you got into trouble I could get you out, no problem." she responded. "Please, Stormer, it'd be such a blast...and you need a break."
"I thought you were gonna work on the song!" Stormer protested.
"Well, it won't hurt to let it wait a while." Kimber dimpled. "Well?"
Stormer sighed.
"Okay." She said finally. "You win. We'll go swimming. But don't push me too hard...I'm not good at it!"

An hour later, as the two girls relaxed by the side of the pool, drinking lemonade and chatting, Stormer brought the topic back round to the song.
"You know, I think maybe I cracked it after all." she observed absently as she gazed across at the smooth blue water. Her first swimming lesson had been nothing if not eventful, for she had slipped and fallen in the water at the start and had almost lost her nerve before Kimber had even entered the pool, but in the end things had worked out and Stormer had been forced to admit it had been fun.
Kimber shot her a confused look.
"Cracked what?"
"The song. The harmony." Stormer took a sip of lemonade. "I think I got it straight in my head at last, guess being dunked under the water a few times cleared out my brain."
Kimber giggled.
"Cool." she observed. "But you're not going to work on it now, Stormer...you work way too hard, you know that? We have a break and we've plenty of songs done already...we're gonna have fun!"
"Oh?" Stormer looked suspicious. "So far today you've dragged me into a swimming pool...what else you got planned for me, huh?"
Kimber laughed.
"Nothing that's gonna hurt!" she exclaimed. "Jerr...I mean Jem and the others are helping out at Haven House this afternoon, and the girls are all at school...we got the house to ourselves, pretty much, so we can do what we like."
"Haven House? That's the place for runaways, isnt it?" Stormer asked. Kimber nodded.
"Yes. Danse is a volunteer there and we often go down and help her out if we have a moment." she agreed. "Some of those kids have had a really rough time of it, too. It makes me realise that, annoying as Jerrica can be and as much as I miss my parents, I've got things pretty good, all told."
"Yeah, I guess when you encounter people who're less well off than you you do start to think like that." Stormer mused, her mind on Roxy. She did not know the specifics of her bandmate's past, but she knew that Roxy had been a runaway and had fended for herself on the streets of Philadelphia from an early age. "I mean, I have noone in the world but Craig...but some people don't even have that to fall back on."
"Yeah. And you got me." Kimber grinned. "Even if the Misfits are social rejects, I'm always here for you."
"I know." Stormer laughed. "So what you wanna do this afternoon then, if you're not gonna let me work?"
"Well, we could go shopping..." Kimber considered. "That would be cool, just to do something that normal friends do without any hassle from people, you know? Or we could go to the roller rink...you do skate, right?"
"You know I do." Stormer replied dryly. "Don't you remember the Roller Rock Out?"
"Oh yes." Kimber nodded her head slowly. "I love a scandal...charming song." She pulled a face. "Thanks for the reminder."
"Hey, we weren't friends then." Stormer defended herself. "I didn't know I was gonna like you, did I? And it wasn't that bad a song...it had a catchy beat."
"True...guess I can't disassociate it from Pizzazz messing with my boyfriend." Kimber shrugged.
"Well it all ended up okay. Shawn's in love with you, not her." Stormer replied.
"True." Kimber grinned. "I owe him a letter, actually...I'm terrible at letter writing!"
"You're lucky you have him, you know." Stormer rested her chin in her hands, her expression dreamy. "It's so romantic, the way he went to such lengths to get you to notice him...when he thought he'd lost you to Jeff, he still didn't give up, you know? That's what movies are made of, that kinda love."
"You've gone all sappy on me!" Kimber exclaimed with a teasing grin. "How they ever made you a Misfit I don't know!"
"Me either sometimes." Stormer admitted.
"Don't you ever wish that you could get a time out and do stuff like normal people do? I mean, date and all that?"
"No way." Stormer's expression changed. "I joined the Misfits partly so I wouldn't have to deal with that kinda situation."
"What?" Kimber looked confused. "How do you mean?"
"I don't really want to talk about it." Stormer said slowly. "I mean it was a long time ago and all that. Let's just say a guy hurt me pretty badly...and it took me a long while to get over it."
"Oh, I see. I didn't realise." Kimber paused, then, "But not all guys are like that, Stormer. You just haven't met the right one."
"True, but the more I see of guys the less I wanna get involved with them." Stormer replied. "Too much heartache. I mean, you and Shawn is all very well, but I can only imagine what Aja feels like when Craig has to go back to England, or what Jerrica makes of Rio chasing after Jem...not to mention Pizzazz and what Riot's done to her. And it's not like things were easy for you and Shawn when it comes to it. You had to come a long way before you settled things between you."
"I guess I never looked at things that way before." Kimber looked startled. "I dunno, Stormer, I guess if you're really in love then it doesn't matter how much you go through to be happy in the end."
"Well, count me out." Stormer sighed. "I like romantic stories and happy endings, so long as I don't have to play a part in them. I hurt way too easily to put myself in that situation again."
"Heck, what did this guy do to you?" Kimber's eyes were big with curiosity.
"It doesn't matter." Stormer shrugged. "If we're going out, let's go, huh? Or at least change the subject."
"Okay, whatever you say." Kimber gave it up. "Let's hit the town, okay? Find some outrageous new clothes to wear on the cover of our fantastic new album."
Stormer's eyes lit up with amusement.
"Sounds good to me." she agreed. "Let's go!"

Chapter One: The Misfits On Break
Chapter Two: Chimera
Chapter Three: Kimber's Proposition
Chapter Four: The Stingers' Tour
Chapter Five: Personality Clash!
Chapter Six: Writer's Block
Chapter Seven: Secrets
Chapter Eight: Betrayal
Chapter Nine: Chimera's Plan
Chapter Ten: Double Trouble
Chapter Eleven: Synergy
Chapter Twelve: As If Nothing Happened...

(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)