I just re-read "I Breathe" to get the rhythm into my head again so I can tear off the ending and write one that doesn't sound like it was scrawled in crayon. Wow. What a total mess. This story has given me so much trouble for so long, and I thought I had it nailed down but really ... ack. Nothing much I can do about it either, because this is what this story is as a short work. It shouldn't be short, at least not this short. Not really. This is sort of the highlight version of events, the sort of "Last time on E.R." collection of scenes and snippets of dialog. (It occurs to me that it's sort of the Kikyo's death scene of stories, and this thought makes me giggle to myself.)
I think I've also absorbed some of Sarah's energy because though I know she'd hate this story, espeically as-is, I can still hear her voice: "It can't end like that!" And I agree. And so do the characters. But I just have to tell them to calm down and get in line. Others are most definitely ahead of them in the queue.
It's also occured to me that I have about 5 days to write a version of "Ohntai" if I'm to have any chance in hell of getting it in to the Asimov Award before the deadline this year. On the positive side of things, the beginning of the current draft version of the story actually seems decent. I have hope and determination, if not a lot of time. Wish me luck.