December 20th, 2007

Girl with Owl

The house is falling down!

I've tried googling it, but everything I find just leads me to links to report it to officials. I thought I'd ask here.

I'm trying to write a story in which there is an unstable structure in a building--it's not a house, it's a multi-storied building, and it could be on any of the floors. I don't know what kind of structure it ought to be, but it needs to be something where shifting or breakage of the structure could sound like an explosion.

If anyone could help me figure out what sort of structure this could be, that'd be excellent. Thank you!

Accounts Freezing After Death?

In my urban fantasy story, the main character is a cop who kills herself, only to wake up in the morgue a night later perfectly fine with no idea of what's going on (except for the fact that she's walking around and no longer has a heartbeat).

She escapes out of the morgue without any actual detection (obviously her 'corpse' is missing, but there were no employees there that night and the camera they kept up front was busted) along with some papers on herself taken from the medical examiner's office.

Considering that she was confirmed dead (gunshot from a revolver to the skull), she can't be seen by other cops or anyone she knows without having to explain why she's walking around. However, the issue of money remains, even when dead.

My question revolves around what would happen to her checking/savings accounts at the bank she's a customer at. Would she be able to go to an ATM and withdraw the maximum a night after her confirmed death, or would the account have been frozen already? If it was not frozen by then, when (and if) would it be?

A second question revolves around there possibly being a way for her to withdraw money from her account without being seen by cameras or bank employees.

The novel is set in modern day Indianapolis, for those who wish to know.

Thanks for your help. :]

Decay of old notebooks

Ok. So. General tech level is late-medieval/early Renaissance(ish). Specific locality is a rather rural valley that's along one of the relatively few navigable routes across a mountain range (so there is some trade...). Climate is cool but not intensely cold (it snows most winters, but usually not very heavily), and it's neither especially wet nor especially dry.
Our Heroine is reading something, about 100 years old, in whatever would be the closest functional equivalent to a cheap notebook--something that someone might write unofficial or low-priority notes/records in.
first question: am I correct in assuming that this would most likely be either a leather folio with loose pages, or a somewhat crudely bound book, made of relatively low grade/second rate parchment?
second question: assuming it has been stored reasonably well (though not hermetically or anything), and not handled excessively, what kind of *condition* would it be in?

Searches tried so far: (parchment OR vellum) (storage OR deterioration OR decay)--I mostly found stuff about either poorly stored parchment (damp conditions and such), or chemical decay from either treatments to make a book pretty, or pollution. Neither apply here.

(as a side note I can probably figure out on my own if I poke my brain hard enough... assuming Our Heroine's 14, and the writer of the 100-year-old notebook was an adult ancestor, how many "greats" would he probably be? Usual marriage age in the culture is 16-20)