[Short Story] High Noon

I wrote this piece during NaNo17, between the hours of 12pm and 2am the day it was due for my local writing club’s annual short story contest. The prompt was “Snowbirds.” (They are everywhere in Florida, people from up north who come to live down here during the winter to escape the snow. For the record, as a whole they are terrible drivers.)  I was half-delirious when I wrote it, but I think it turned out okay. It’s pretty much a one-shot–not much editing involved except for a last-minute review just before I submitted it for judging.

HIGH NOON

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Leona, but our system seems to have glitched. The courtesy car we were planning to give you was double-booked with another appointment at the same time.”

On any other day, Maggie would have laughed it off and joined the other unfortunates lounging in the waiting room of the dealership. She might have gladly taken a break from life to sip at a hot mug of coffee, and even at that moment the aroma of a fresh brew wafted over her like country air.

But she had to be back at the Riverrun Country Club House at noon if she hoped to defend her HOA presidential nomination against Luanne Marcone, the one woman in the world she would relinquish even coffee to sabotage. A transplant from Chicago, Luanne called Florida her home from the first week of November through the last of March. Maggie, however, came down from the Adirondacks from October through April. Luanne’s greater absence alone should have been sufficient to lay the matter of the presidency to rest.

Maggie fixed the clerk—Becky, as her nametag read—with the kind of glare that had kept her husband faithful for thirty-four years.

“I must have that car. Is it still here? If it is, I was here first.”

“I—I think it is, but let me talk to my supervisor.”

Before Becky could skulk away, the glass double doors of the dealership’s service center swung open amid a torrent of dust kicked up by the autumn breeze, and there stood Luanne Marcone. She was tall, slender only because of it, her face long and eyes shrewd. She paused a step inside, her arms still stretched wide to hold the doors ajar as she narrowed her eyes at Maggie. Maggie stared back at her, her heart pounding against the jail of her ribs. Slowly, Luanne dropped her arms to her sides, and the doors swung closed behind her with a final thud.

“Maggie.”

“Luanne.” Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo17: Day 30

*throws streamers* *shoots off fireworks* *releases doves* *reconsiders the intelligence of mixing doves with fireworks*

THE END.

I hope you all managed to write that at the bottom of your document today, but if not, keep going and make it happen! We survived, everyone! (At least, I assume you did, if you’re reading this.) NaNo17–for better or worse–is over!

My NaNo17 grand total: 506,605 words.

The half million has been vanquished. What a run. I wrote 6k this morning before work, and the remaining 4k I needed to reach 500k I really dragged my feet on this evening. I validated at exactly 500k (my 500,000th word was “accomplish”), and then just wandered the forums. Then suddenly in the last two hours, I couldn’t stand it and decided 506,605 was the number to get. I was shaking like crazy in the last three minutes, so worried I wouldn’t reach it, and the shaking made me type even more slowly–but I did it! I wrote the last word 20 seconds before midnight. Novel #5, Sky Lords, is not yet finished, though I didn’t expect it to be, so that’s cool–I’m getting into the harrowing rise to the climax, so I know there isn’t more than maybe 15-20k remaining in the story.

Now for some nerdy statistics. Because I’m a nerd, that’s why.

  • Total words written: 506,605 (New Record)
  • Most words in a day: 30,125 (11/4) (NR)
  • Fewest words in a day: 6,179 (11/18)
  • Daily average: 16,886 (NR)
  • Number of words past original goal (500,000): 6,605
  • Number of words past previous best (425,524): 81,081
  • NaNo Lifetime word count: 1,921,735
  • Number of projects: 6 (4 completed novels, 1 incomplete novel, 1 complete short story)
  • Total MC/SC deaths: 2
  • Cried for characters: 6 times
  • First word/last word: I (in dialogue)/voice
  • Ranking on Beyond 50k NaNo Faces: 4th
  • Average daily sleep: 5 hours
  • Strangest writing place: In a corner of a full, busy house, dictating quietly into my phone
  • Painkiller of choice: Aleve
  • Weight lost: 4.5 lbs.

Stats.jpg

Just like that, it’s December! My writing goals, of course, will be diminished in the coming days–I would like to finish Sky Lords within the next two weeks, definitely before Christmas. I will also be getting back to editing Cursed Book 1 and hope to have the first round of edits finished by February 11.

As a side note–I feel silly not having thought of this sooner–but you can add me as a buddy on the NaNo site if you want, even though it’s over for the year. I can guarantee I’ll be there next year!

Let us revel in our victory!