Cathy Eats Her Words

October 14, 2007

Plot twist

Filed under: Character,NaNoWriMo,plot — jeanne @ 2:02 pm

Okay. I was watching my kid’s copy of Accepted, where a bunch of kids create a college to fool their parents, and a bunch of students show up. Like ‘what if they had a war and nobody came?’

So I thought, what if something totally incongruous happened to my story line? But hey, it’s a simple girl comes home to have a baby story. The only unusual thing is that Star goes from being the teenager from hell to being nice, sweet, thoughtful, considerate and loving. And that’s not really uproariously funny like I’m looking for. I want something akin to a madcap farce, not a bittersweet coming of age love story between mother and daughter.

So I thought about it. And husband helped, of course. He’s really good at brainstorming. What if Star has to remain hidden and they have to do the entire pregnancy and birth by themselves?

Star finds out she’s pregnant after she gets out on bail, when she checks into rehab. When she gets out, she runs to her mother for help. ‘If I have to go to jail, they’ll take my baby and I’ll never get him back.’ It might be true, and it might not, but Cathy reacts by deciding to do whatever it might take to keep Star out of jail.

So they do an Anne Frank with Star, hiding her in a secret room. She misses a court date, and they issue a bench warrant. Her boyfriend (who is a bounty hunter and threw her bail) finds out she’s missing, and looks for her in the most obvious place, her mom’s house. Cathy denies she’s there, and from then on they do skull and dagger whenever Star has to leave. Cathy uses her experience as a birth attendant (scanty), and studies up on midwifery so she can attend her daughter.

Star’s got some drug friends, women who are psychotic when they’re not on their meds. They all used to hang out together and do drugs – Star, boyfriend, the rest of the crew. One of them, Green, is pregnant, and Saphire is a witch. Star uses Green’s medicaid card and goes to an any lab test facility to get her blood work done. This is problematic, as the lab will not release the results to the patient, and Green’s doctors see that there are significant differences in her results. Cathy gets a muddled report of the results from Green, who gets several significant things wrong.

As the pregnancy goes on, it gets more complicated to hide Star. Her boyfriend is still coming around looking for her, her drug friends are unreliable and so Cathy has to hide Star from them as well. The drug friends get nuts and cause trouble for Star, telling her dad and her boyfriend and her mom all sorts of horrible things that they don’t know whether to believe or not. Husband is the voice of reason; everybody else is running around crazed. Cathy visits a local birth center, where she is awed by the technology. She goes home and attempts to create a bargain-basement hospital room, but it looks like a miser’s torture chamber.

The birth happens, at home, with interruptions by Dad, boyfriend and friends. It all goes well, and Star has a baby girl, and experiences no complications. Cathy breathes a sigh of relief. Star moves into the nursery, and the boyfriend sees her when she sits on the porch to sun the baby, who has a touch of jaundice.

The boyfriend has gone back to his double-dipping, catching miscreants by night and selling drugs by day. He’s also a police informant as a compromise to get the charges against him dropped. He shows up at Cathy’s front door, demanding Star or else. Cathy stonewalls, and the boyfriend promises to get even.

The cops show up at Cathy’s door with a search warrant. Star hides with the baby, but the cops find drugs on her front porch, and she is arrested. While she’s out, the boyfriend takes Star back to jail. Husband is left with the baby. The boyfriend doesn’t care that it’s his kid at this point, he just wants his bail money back. He tells her everything will be okay, but all she can think of is DFCS taking the baby.

Cathy gets out on bail, and goes to see Star, who is sitting in the county lockup awaiting a hearing. The boyfriend visits Star in jail and swears he loves her but had to bring her in because of the business. His dad would have his ass if he didn’t. He says they can go away and start a new life once she’s thru the legal thing. But he shows little concern for the baby because he believes the drug friends’ assertions that Star was whoring for drugs. He wants to run a DNA test on the baby. Star says she’ll think about it.Star believes his promises. Cathy doesn’t. She remembers the boyfriend’s threats.

Star’s lawyer petitions for the charges against Star to be dropped because the boyfriend’s charges were dropped. The district attorney is a hardass, and presses for prosecution. But the lawyer is a smart and scrappy young woman. They tap Cathy’s phone and record conversations between boyfriend and Star that reveal who he’s informing on. One of the criminals is a client of the lawyer. The others she is sure she can locate.

Boyfriend shows up at the door and continues to threaten Cathy, this time with a setup that will guarantee she goes to jail and loses the house. Both Star and the lawyer are in the house listening. Star comes out to confront the boyfriend and protect her mom. He threatens to get her baby taken away. She gets furious and tells him to leave. He blusters, not afraid of three women. But these women have taped evidence as well as direct contact to the people boyfriend have been setting up, and while boyfriend blusters, Star hands the tape to the mail lady for the cops, and the lawyer calls up the criminal on her speed-dial and tells him that boyfriend is an informant. She suggests that he move his bail bond activties to another state.

Star stays with Cathy and Husband and sends the boyfriend packing, finally seeing him for the scumbag he is. She’s depressed and lonely only until a hot guy follows her home. And they all live happily ever after.


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