NaBloPoMo. NaNoWriMo. NaNoBloWriPoMo... “There’s just no redeeming this month, is there?” I asked Emmett, dejectedly.
“Sure there is,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. He emerged from my kitchen bearing a large Mason jar full of freshly-squeezed pineapple juice.
“Where did you get that?” I asked. I hadn’t bought pineapples or juice in a while. If he’d found it at the back of the fridge, it might as well be hemlock.
“Oh, did I forget to mention I was a jinn?” Emmett cocked his head to the side and looked at me strangely. Behind him, in the center of what might once have served as my dining room table, grew a small garden of pineapples.
“You’re showing off. You could’ve just materialized a crateful of pineapples from Hawaii,” I snapped.
“But then how would you know that they’re non-GMO and organically grown on burled walnut from conflict-free eastern European countries?”
I grabbed the glass from Emmett’s hand and glared at him as I drank the tart, sticky, sweet juice that tasted like bottled sunshine with a hint of ocean spray and the aroma of a beach in early summer. I handed it back. “More, please, and remove all the calories first.” I could get into having my own jinn. “Seriously, I am so far behind. My word count is now in ‘not statistically significant’ territory and I have gone – days, how many days? – without posting. I’d be hard-pressed to write a haiku and the Bonny Pest over there can rattle off a limerick in the time it takes me to formulate a sarcastic retort. Why couldn’t you and Mayette have waited till, say, December to upend my life?”
“Oh, the irony. You had something better to write about?” asked Emmett, quite sensibly. “You’d rather we interrupted your editing. You writers are all alike.”
“Do not turn this around on me and pretend you two are doing me a favor.”
“Of course not! But we’re convenient, don’t you think?”
“There is an evil witch trying to kill me!”
“Oh, don’t exaggerate. Save the hyperbole for the page. If she were trying to kill you,” the jinn pointed out quite rationally, “you’d be dead now. She’s merely toying with you. She likes making people’s lives miserable. Better yet, she revels in making people make their own lives miserable. She has no reason to kill you, at least not while she thinks she can terrify and subjugate you.”
There was an interesting, twisty little puzzle in that. If I stopped being fearful of her, as Emmett suggested, and refused to let her manipulate my emotions or my behavior, she’d lose all interest and end me. If I gave in, the wicked witch would win.
Score one for alliteration and allegory.
“I’m not saying that’s not her plan, either way,” said Emmett, plying me with calorie free juice that tasted just like he’d tapped a fresh, organic pineapple. “But the choice is yours – live your way, be happy, and hope she finds herself another mouse to toy with before ‘ending you’ as you put it, or play her game and give in to fear and distrust and always live life looking over your shoulder.”
Spoken like a man who’d just emerged from two hundred years in a silicon chip and found Netflix. “Emmett, you’re drunk on freedom.”
“Yup!” He danced a little jig and went right on grinning. “Drink with me,” he said, nodding at the glass in my hand.
I did, and it tasted like relief. It tasted like a burden, lifted. I got up from the armchair I’d perched in like an angry vulture, and began to dance around the living room with Emmett. “Rage is just despair leaving the body,” he whispered. “Joy is refusing to be locked within the iron bars of rage.”
“Revenge is a life well-lived,” I answered.
“Now you’re catching on.” He caught my hand, wrapped an arm around my waist, and taught me to Tango.
If it wasn’t clear, I’m attempting to tame two birds with one blog – NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo – simultaneously. Throughout the month, posts tagged NaNoBloWriPoMo will be works of fiction adding up, I hope, to a ridiculously silly “novel” of at least 50,000 words. I say “I hope” because I’m blogging this one day at a time – as a committed “Pantser,” I’m learning how the story unfolds just minutes (hours, at the most) before you do.
Did you miss one? Here are the chapters, all in order (more will appear as they are posted):
- The Challenge
- Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You
- It’s…Different on the Inside
- Madame and the Warranty
- Like Fireflies in a Pickle Jar
- Like Sand Through the Motherboard
- There’s No Place Like 127.0.0.1
- Drunk on Freedom, Dancing with the Jinn
- Why Me?
- The Power of Imagination and Words
- Rebellion and Revenge