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I was seriously considering trying my hand at NaNoWriMo this year, but it looks like work is entering into a ridiculously-busy phase.

I will, however, include herein an excerpt from last year’s abortive attempt at novel-writing:


“My door is covered in scissors.” Tom spoke these words several times as he stood outside at the base of the stairs leading up to his apartment. The first time he said it, the words were a whisper of disbelief, as he wondered about the full extent of his black-and-blacker induced hangover and whether he was, in fact, awake and standing outside his apartment or whether he was still asleep on Calla’s couch. By the fourth time the words came out of his mouth, he’d convinced himself that he was awake, and the words turned into an angry rumble that began deep in his throat. Around the seventh time, he’d begun letting the words escape in a resigned sigh, accompanying them with a sad shake of his head.

He walked up the steps. The door was still covered in scissors. There were scissors of all different sorts – plastic children’s safety scissors, stainlesss steel desk scissors, a few of the cheap pairs of tiny scissors that you get in a one dollar sewing kit, and even a pair of pruning shears. There must have been over a hundred of them total. He began to count, but caught himself in the act.

Each pair of scissors was anchored only along one blade-handle axis. Every single pair of scissors on the door was at least semi-functional. Tom marvelled at them for several moments, and he probably repeated the phrase, “my door is covered in scissors,” a few more times before he thought to turn it into a question.

He carefully closed those pairs of scissors located closest to the doorknob and most likely to cut someone attempting to use it. Then, he opened the door and called out to his roommate in as calm a voice as he could muster, “Allever? Why is our door covered in scissors?”

Allever’s voice drifted out of the kitchen. “I did it to keep us safe from temptation,” he said.


“Huh. I guess it worked,” Tom said as he sat down at the table across from his roommate, who was staring intently at a waffle. He had three jars of differently-colored jellies sitting open on the table next to his plate, and had filled in each of the waffle’s squares so that they formed a spiral pattern.

Allever looked up at Tom, “No problem with snakes, then?” He sounded skeptical. “That’s good.”

“Snakes. Right,” Tom said. “No snakes.” Despite his lapses into rather strange behavior, Tom was relatively sure that Allever wasn’t really crazy or abusing drugs. He kept himself clean and had a steady job. Allever had been living in the apartment for a year when Tom moved in, and the property manager – who lived next door – only had good things to say about him. Tom wondered what she’d think about their new door decorations. “So, umm, should I ask why you put scissors on the door to keep snakes out?”

“Snakes,” Allever said, “are often depicted as agents of temptation and corruption. I suspect that this is a misapprehension based upon their phallic appearance, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You needed to be protected from temptation. You didn’t come home last night. Again. You smell like beer. What bar was it this time and what was her name?”
“You’re not my priest, Allever. Don’t lecture me. I just stayed over at a friend’s place.”

“So… was this friend,” Allever paused, briefly, “pretty?”

“Yeah. So was her couch, where I slept.” Tom glared at him. “Alone,” he added. “Not that I had to be alone, but it seemed like the best choice at the time. Now, I’m not so sure what I was thinking.”

“Ah. Good. I kept the snakes away, then.” Allever began methodically slicing his waffle along the grid pattern so that he had separate, little jelly-filled squares.



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