Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo '09, Chapter Twenty-Eight: For Want of the Kingdom, a Nail Was Lost

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.

We're already past the wall when the military arrives. I shoot Ferris a look, but he looks as surprised as I am. I can't let this happen again.

I hate being here in person, it's bad enough that I see it in my nightmares whenever I sleep. We try to come out through the backstage area and into Splash Mountain, but the exit is blocked by bodies. Wonderful. We head back into backstage and start to circle around to another entrance, but I'm feeling more and more certain that I'm not going to live through this. There should be a way to go from here directly into Pirates. I know that's where they are. It's just a question of the best way to approach this - I need to get all the way to David if I want to be able to stop this disaster from unfolding.

The last time I was here, sixteen years ago, I came in over a wall and scrambled along the rooftops of Main Street. I saw people literally crushing each other to reach the exit, strollers discarded on the sidewalk with screaming children still strapped in. I could barely breathe. The clouds were rolling in towards the center of the park in concentric circles, ripples in reverse converging on a flickering cascade of lightning. Waves of energy would lash out from nowhere and whatever they struck exploded, or turned to stone, or launched into the air. They passed through me without any effect.

I dropped down and slowed to a walk as I reached the castle. I had no one backing me up. I wasn't sure where agent Mackey was, or the few other survivors - and I didn't care. I knew they wouldn't be able to help. of course, I was fairly sure that I wouldn't be able to help either. What do you do to stop someone who is very nearly a god? I already knew shooting him wouldn't work, and since he had stripped me of my ability that was all I had. Talking to him hadn't gotten me much the time before, aside from a trip to the hospital and a few scars. I was running towards my death.

That's what I'm doing now too, of course. I'm going to be shot on sight by the military, and blasted into dust by the freaks. If I'm really lucky I'll get to live long enough to see the world end. Ferris has his gun in one hand and his badge in the other, though I doubt the soldiers will give it a second look. We're not supposed to be here, and that makes us targets. I should probably just ditch him; I only brought him along to get me past the security here at Disneyland so that I could confront Darryl and David without alerting the military. Clearly that part isn't going according to the plan.

We turn the corner and the entrance to Pirates is there - as is a freak standing guard. Ferris and I level our weapons at her, but she doesn't look concerned. I rack my brains but can't remember her name, if I ever knew it. I certainly don't remember her ability. Will she just bounce the bullets back at us if we shoot? I'd rather not try. I lower my gun.
"My name is Silas Black, and I need to speak to Big Dave immediately. David or Emily can vouch for me - Emily is still alive, isn't she?"
The woman looks us up and down, slowly. I gesture for Ferris to lower his gun, but he keeps it pointed at her.
"Ferris, if you continue to point that at her I'll be forced to kill you myself. I'm not joking."
He lowers the gun. Good boy. The woman holds up a single finger as if telling us to wait, and then goes inside.

"And now, Ferris... we wait. Praying is optional."

On that horrible day sixteen years ago, I remember making the same choice and holstering my weapon. No weapon would ever be enough. I walked closer to the castle, in plain sight, watching as that monster hovered in the air. He saw me as I approached and drifted downwards, smiling. Smiling.
"Hello, old friend! I'm excited to see you here! Will our other partner be joining us?"
"No. He's dead, about two years back."
The smile vanished for a moment, but it seemed more like gesture to be polite than actual sadness.
"I'm sorry. It would be good to have someone else from the old crew around."
I felt so powerless. I had to make small talk, while innocent people were dying around me.
"You can't do this. Look around you! You're murdering everyone!"
He did look around, then. It was like he was seeing it for the first time. His forehead wrinkled as he thought.
"No. This is right. This is... this is how it needs to happen. You'll see."

It was hopeless.

"Don't look so sad. This is all just... temporary. I can feel the energy flowing into me, and soon I'll be able to do anything. I'll work with others, as I create them. I saw young David back at the lab, as I was passing through. I'll recruit him as well, and I promise I'll take good care of him. Together we'll build a better world."
It was then that I knew what I had to do. No matter how much damage he would do, it seemed leaving him alive was the more dangerous option.
"Prove it," I said. "Fix this place right now. Heal all those people you've killed, repair the buildings. You can do anything, right? This isn't so much to ask."
It was stupid. The oldest, weakest trick in the book. Bet the genie he can't fit in that little bottle. There was no way that anyone could actually fall for a stupid trick like that.
"Fine." he said.

And the rest was history.

The door opens, and I'm looking at Emily White. "Hello, dear."
She smiles at me. "You're the one that let me go when the feds caught me last year. None of my friends believed me. David tells me you know each other?"
Oh, yes. I nod and hand her my gun, and she leads the two of us into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It's a shock to my system, seeing it again. I know he's here somewhere, the one that caused all this devastation. He's waiting to get his power again. Last time I provoked him into destroying everything around him, but something tells me that won't be enough now. The time before that I tried to deprive him of the tools he needed, and instead he tore my powers away. The time before that... this never seems to end. Never will end, unless I end it.

I turn the corner and see the all-too familiar scene. It's all playing out like it did before, and I get to watch. Here goes nothing.