Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo '09, Chapter Seventeen: It's All Fun and Games Until...

The below is a section of the novel that I wrote for National Novel Writing Month. It isn't a stand-alone story, and it's probably not worth your time to read. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month so wordcount is valued above quality. This is a good thing, as it encourages people to actually finish a project. Nobody expects that the result will be ready for public consumption without heavy editing. If you want to read it for some reason you can view the whole thing in one place HERE although that's still totally unedited and terrible. You have been warned.

It's perfect. Flawless. The single most beautiful plan ever to be formed by a mortal. Nothing can possibly go wrong - though I refuse to say that last one out loud. Other phrases on my ban list include "I'm invincible" even though I am, and "There are never any cops around here" when you don't want to get pulled over. I've been practicing my part all day, much to the frustration of everyone around me, and I can't wait to go for it. This is going to be epic.

Jezebel is fussing over me, putting makeup on me and taking it off again. I just have to trust she knows what she's doing. The other guys tried to give me a hard time for wearing makeup, but once they heard the plan they stopped laughing. Well, no. They continued to laugh, but it was with me rather than at me. I'll take that any day. Jezebel's husband is watching her work… I can never tell if the guy is jealous or not. If he is, he doesn’t need to be - Jez is crazy about him and if I ever made a move on her she's petrify me before I knew what hit me. Actually, that thought scares me a little. When you're nearly impossible to kill the few things that might do the trick seem extra scary.

Charlie bursts into the room in a blur, holding a large bucket with a lid.
"Got it, Jezebel. Just like you asked for. Anything else I can do to help the plan?"
She takes a second to answer, because she's busy squinting at my face.
"No, Charlie. I am good. Tamara is looking for our friends now, and when she finds them we can move in."
Oh, please let them be working the checkpoints today. If they're not this whole thing is a waste. We didn't start setting the plan up until Rodriguez reported seeing them setting up a barricade together, but there's a chance they set it up and then headed somewhere else. It has to be those two.

The only part of the plan I'm not crazy about is that Jez tore my shirt - and it will probably be filled with holes by the end of this, too. I really liked that shirt.

Before this whole rebellion thing got going, I was terrified of getting caught. I mean, since I can't be killed by normal means I figured they would have a really good time experimenting on me, shoving probes up my wazoo or whatever freaky shit those mad scientists were into. And then it wouldn't stop, ever. No thanks. But now, with everyone fighting back and making the government look like morons I can walk out there without worrying, because if they catch me some of my pals will just bust me out again.

Don't get me wrong - I was a little scared when they dumped me in the ocean. I said to myself, "Michael? What are the odds that your friends will pull you out of this mess before you drown?" And I didn't really have an answer for that, because I'm not good at math and I wasn't really paying attention to what I was asking myself anyway - being fairly distracted by all the water coming into the van. Still, I figured if I could survive poison gas a little oxygen deprivation wasn't going to do me in too soon, so I just held my breath and sure enough some friendly faces appeared to whisk me away.

There's nothing like friends who can fly and pass through walls and shit. I'm not kidding, if you have the opportunity to pick up a few I would highly recommend it. It really makes me wish I had moved to Los Angeles sooner - I'd been keeping to myself in Florence, Arizona because I was scared to go somewhere that they had the time and energy to really search for people like me. When I heard that they were looking everywhere, and that Los Angeles had suddenly become the safest place of all… well, I thought it was a trap. I stayed, tried to lay low, and some sort of SWAT team showed up at my door. I can't get hurt, but a big pile of guys can pin me down and hogtie me. Wow, that sounds dirty.

So I ran, and they shot me rather than break a sweat chasing me. Then they shot me again. And again. Somewhere around there they did start running, but I had a head start and managed to get away. I still don't know how they found me in the first place, unless they can scan for freaks by satellite - of course, even if they can it probably won't work this close to Disney, not to mention any trouble it would have trouble from the storm that's always over the city. There are three guys here - well, two guys and a girl - that can mess with the weather, and they keep it overcast just to make surveillance harder. Seriously, find yourself some friends like this.

Suddenly Tamara bursts in, with Eddie Izzard smirking at me from her shirt.
"Found them! They're at a checkpoint, scanners running. Is everything ready?"
Oh, yes. It's go time. We grab everything and head out, Tamara giving us directions, and find the soldiers in question standing at attention as the regular humans try to filter past and get home before curfew. We only have one shot at this - it has to go perfectly. I try my best to calm myself, taking deep breaths and preparing to face the men that dropped me in the ocean to die. Charlie pulls the lid off of the bucket he brought and looks at me, all serious.
"Jezebel," he says, "Is this going to be okay? I'm not going to ruin the paint job?"
She insists it's fine, and Charlie dumps the water over me. It reeks like rotting fish. Jezebel carefully drapes some seaweed over me, and everyone steps back to look.
"Magnificent!" Jez yells, and everyone else applauds.

As soon as I step out people start to shy away from me, and as more people see me the street clears. I let one foot drag, and keep my mouth dangling open even though it lets some of the salty ocean water drip in. Finally the soldiers look up and I can see the recognition in their eyes. Pointing a shaking had at them, I yell my line: "Muuuunh! Guuuuh!"
They're taking it all in; the lurching gait, the grey skin, the rancid water that drips from me as I moan. Let's see how the soldiers deal with a zombie attack. Quickly, they raise their guns and try to fire. Nothing. I guess that means Darryl has been here already. Throwing their weapons aside, they open a compartment in the box behind them and pull out smaller guns. Round after round slams into me, and I can feel my skin stretching from the impact. It doesn't hurt, though, and it's not enough to knock me over.

I'm getting closer, slowly, and I crank the moaning up a notch. Reaching both arms up, I make a strangling gesture even though I'm nowhere near close enough to actually touch them. They look like they want to piss themselves. It's fantastic. They're out of bullets, and one actually throws his gun at me. Hah! A helicopter swings overhead, but I force myself to keep looking forward. I want to stay in character, mindlessly shambling forward bent on revenge. One of the soldiers breaks and runs, and the other has jumped over the barricade and is preparing to circle around to whatever side I don't go on.
"Grraugh!" I yell, trying to convey hunger for his tender, unprotected neck-meat.

A military humvee pulls up and they're aiming some huge gun that's mounted on the roof. The soldier trying to avoid me had better hope it's not some sort of flamethrower - I already know I don't burn, but he's close enough to me that he would be a charcoal briquette in two seconds. The gun gives off some sort of high pitched whine and despite myself I have to turn and look. The man behind the weapon pulls some sort of lever, and I get pins and needles all over my body. Immediately there's the bark of a rifle and a searing pain in my chest. I lose my balance, falling backwards to look at the overcast sky. I can't breathe, and everything hurts so much. Each little breath feels like I'm trying to pull a lead brick into my lung. The helicopter drifts into view for a moment and I see the pilot drop screaming from it out of sight.

There's a roof over me now, and I feel weak. Cold. It still hurts, but the pain is… localized, somehow. Someone I don't recognize is standing over me with a scalpel, hands covered in blood. I close my eyes again.
"I can't, do you understand?" he yells. "I can't cut the bullet out, I can't stitch him shut, all I can do is pack gauze in there and wait for him to die! That's it!" I feel him poking uselessly at the edge of my wound with the blade, and then the throws the scalpel in frustration. I hear it bounce off of the wall, and the rest of the room goes quiet. The light in the room changes and a draft blows in, and I hear someone with a nasal voice break the silence. "Fuck! What the hell is this? Where is Mary?"
"She got nabbed trying to reach Tamara after the helicopter went down." The first voice says. "Walter, Eddie, and a few others are trying to get them, but I would be surprised if they didn't execute them as soon as they weren't under attack."


I'm too tired to cross my fingers, but I say a little prayer as I fall asleep.