“Aliens enter Writers of the Future, but only earn honorable mentions.”
Greg Beatty

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Day 27: You Use The Time You've Got
Sat 2010-11-27 23:44:21 (in context)
  • 47,198 words (if poetry, lines) long

I managed to use up almost the entirety of today's write-in time doing administrative stuff. It's a bit of a danger of being a municipal liaison: there are events to organize, emails to send, forum posts to submit, and on busy days the only time to get it done is at a write-in. I had about 20 minutes left when all that was done... and discovered I didn't know what to write in the next scene.

I know what happens: a series of scenes in which Jet shows up to foil every action Chender attempts to take on Earth. But I don't know what actions those are. What kinds of Adjustments does a nonphysical being attempting to force his way up the hierarchy make on Earth?

So I spent those 20 minutes babbling to myself in the scene description box.

And then today continued the way it did, all in a happy nonstop of activity, until finally 11:20 PM came around. I know it was 11:20, because that's when I checked the time, regretfully realized I must tear myself away from a fascinating conversation, retreated to my room, and opened up the laptop.

I still didn't know what Chender was up to. But yesterday I had Jet waking up in Lia's apartment. I suppose he was looking for the macguffin lapis lazuli stones.

When you don't have a lot of time, you use the time you've got. I used about 20 minutes to jot down 400 words. What follows are most of them.

I hear a sound in the kitchen, and my heart beats faster even though I know it can't be Lia. Habitually, I reach under the mattress. The pistol is there, already loaded and waiting. I move silently from bed to floor to open the door, to slip out the hallway.

Chender is rummaging through kitchen drawers, pawing through kitchen cabinets. He hits his preposterously blond head once on a cabinet door he'd left open a moment before. He does not utter a word, only ducks sharply from the impact and straightens again more carefully. So intent is he on what he's doing, he does not even turn around, not until I cock the gun.

When he sees me, his eyes go wide.

My aim is perfect.

For a moment I worry about getting blood all over Lia's kitchen counter. It's a horrid mess. But in moments he vanishes, awakens from the dream, takes his bodily bits with him when he goes. I am alone again in Lia's apartment.

Alone, and feeling very human. The apartment is just as we left it the morning that I shot Hackforth. Her favorite coffee cup, the white one with Wile E. Coyote on one side and the Roadrunner on the other, still sits in the sink. The residue inside is a kind of calendar, telling by its decay how long it's been in Earth time since I last left the dream. If I could calculate its age precisely, then subtract the days of Lia's captivity, then subtract further the days on the road since Lia's rescue, then what remained would be the hours since I watched her blood soak into the motel carpet. Her blood would still be there, a rusty stain that would not disappear the way Chender's did from her kitchen counter. My vision blurs. My eyes itch. Both sensations ceases, briefly, and I watch the tear detatch and falls away from me into the cup. With an involuntary release of saline I help to erase Lia's presence from this world. After the first, the tears all fall together, each indistinguishable from the next as raindrops blur into raindrops in a summer storm.