More bombs. Cocking an experienced ear to the whistling, Mae Ellen estimated that that one would hit several blocks to the south, well away from her ambulance. No need to detour this time. She continued driving, lights off, through pitch-black streets. Starlight glinted off gashes in the paint where rubble and shrapnel had gouged it away. In the back, Jackie gently wiped the poor sod’s forehead. Frankly, Mae Ellen could hardly credit his survival, after two days trapped in the rubble of that bank. His rags had probably begun life as some high-end togs, suitable for impressing the respectability and seriousness of the bank on its customers.
Editor’s note: A historian could probably do some really interesting research on this, write a fascinating paper on it. Unfortunately, I’m no historian, but I do have a good thinking brain, and here’s what it’s thinking about, based on my (admittedly fuzzy) recollections from my US History class.
I’m not feeling so much like fiction today. This morning I woke up thinking about the character I invented yesterday, and I wrote some ideas about her story. I’m not ready to go anywhere with that, yet—it kind of seems to want to be a big story, tied to history in a way that means I’d have to actually do more research. I may decide to not worry about getting historical stuff exactly right and just go for the story itself, which is really the spirit of NaNoWriMo; but I want to give the overall arc some more percolating time. It’s been quite a while since I thought of a story that had scope.
“It won’t be long now.” In the distance, the sound of sirens slowly grew nearer. They didn’t have all that far to go; what was taking so long? John stood silhouetted against the window, one hand holding back the lacy curtain as he watched out the window for the first flashes of red and white emergency lights. Glancing into the room over his shoulder, he jerked his chin at Mike. “Still hanging in there?”
Mike grunted, breathing too hard to say anything, but he didn’t stop the chest compressions, either.
I know NaNoWriMo is about writing a novel, or story, or something with a story arc of some sort, but since I’m only sort of participating, I figure I’ll do it however I like. Today I’m not exactly bursting with fictional creativity – there’s something about spending all day around financial forms that seems to dry up that normally overflowing spring (are there springs that don’t overflow?) – but I can’t really blame it on anything other than myself, really. Lots of people have soul-sucking jobs that are far worse than mine, and they still have lots of creative juices. In fact, it seems like some people just burst with it in general, like being in a blank job just gives them time to come up with cool ideas.
This may be a bit ambitious, but National Novel Writing Month is nearly upon us. I haven’t participated in quite a few years, due to various reasons starting with “B” and rhyming with “wenji,” but I’m considering participating this year.
Anyway, like I said, ambitious — because I’m thinking of setting a goal of writing 1660 words a day through the month of November. I don’t have any story ideas, and I’m not even sure that I’d be writing a cohesive story or even anything related day to day, but I’m a little interested to see if (a) I can do it; and (b) what might come out of that. Do I even still have any new ideas?
At first, coming back online felt so much like waking up that I thought I still operated on wetware. I rose up into consciousness slowly, a drop of oil in a deep pond. I pried open sleep-heavy, crusted eyelids reluctantly, lethargy clinging tenaciously to my limbs still heavy after a deep, deep sleep. I felt the satiny sheets cradling my body heat in a cocoon I was loth to break. I even felt my breaths, inhaling and exhaling with the steady rhythm achieved only in the deepest level of sleep, although I also knew some practitioners of meditation who could slow their bodies in the same way.
Here is my evil plan. I will become a bestselling author of action novels*, a la Tom Clancy. In my novels, the good guys will always triumph, but only by the skin of their teeth, overcoming the villain’s superior planning, financial advantage, and ruthless nefariousness through a combination of good fortune, unbelievable physical resiliency (including the ability to not need a pee break for more than 72 hours during the exciting climax), and sheer willpower. No main characters will ever die, but at least one will always come close.