Daylight final day: full story

2 Oct

EMO used to stand for ‘emotional’ – the teen subgroup that’s only happy to be sad. Now it’s become a disease eerily similar to vampirism.

*

My name’s Bell. I considered being EMO once, but then I saw a pretty butterfly and got over myself. Got bored and decided to save the world.

*

This is the documentary tale of the brave few fighting to find a cure for EMO (or, failing that, a quick and easy way to kill all those vampires dead).

3 Oct

In Civic, Ed kissed me and sighed. “Oh, Bell. Cloudy days are so deep.”

“Oh no!” I cried. “Ed, tell me you haven’t been bitten by an EMO!”

*

He didn’t laugh once at our preview of “Saw VI”. I yanked him into a rare patch of sun – and he sparkled. My boyfriend had turned EMO!

*

Finally he confessed: “My mum bit me.”

“Your MUM!?”

He sighed, “Sad, I know.”

“Do you want to drink my blood now?”

“Er. . . no,” he lied.

4 Oct

On the news: “The EMO subculture has now become a pandemic. EMO teens can be recognised by their depression, dark clothes, and bad poetry.”

*

I walked in the yard just as Mum set some weeds on fire. “Mum,” I said through the smoke, “Ed’s EMO.”

“That’s nice dear.”

*

My name’s pretty bad, but my brother is Pi. He’s ten and wears a labcoat. I told him, “Ed’s EMO.”

“Hm. Can I do experiments on him?”

“NO!”

5 Oct

“Ed, it’s the holidays. Don’t you feel a LITTLE happy?”

“No,” he said. “Bell, would it be okay if I drank you – just a little?”

“NO!”

*

“Exodermal Melanin Occlusion is spreading fast,” the news said. “Symptoms now include sparkling in sunshine, darkening hair, and whining.”

*

Ed tried to bite me, and I tripped over another EMO as I dodged him. Bruised my knees. Still not EMO, despite my black hair and long fringe.

6 Oct

Still not EMO, despite drenching rain. All the EMOs are thrilled they’re not sparkling today (Ed almost smiled). Bring back the sun!

*

“Cheer up,” said Mum, “I’ve decided to have a wedding.”

“But. . . you’re married.”

“Don’t spoil it. It’s exactly what all those EMOs need.”

7 Oct

I was dying my hair when Ed called. “Want to play EMO baseball with my family?”

“No.”

He cried until I hung up.

My hair turned green. Oops.

8 Oct

Pi asked me for Ed’s old hairbrush, so I humoured him and brought it. He said, “Bell, I think there might be a cure for EMOs!”

*

Still not EMO, although Ed keeps trying to bite me. Awkward!

9 Oct

Mum said, “Don’t you just love weddings?”

“Does Dad even know?”

“Hush,” said Mum.

Our shopgirl wept quietly as she pinned Mum’s dress.

10 Oct

“Do you think a wedding could cure EMOs?” I asked.

Pi snorted and said, “Has Ed bitten you at all?”

“No, we just make out.”

Pi looked ill.

11 Oct

I saw Dad writing a journal and looking mournful. Uh-oh. Still not EMO myself, despite blood-starved boyfriend and lime green hair.

*

“Don’t let ANYONE drink your blood,” said the news. “Authorities recommend hitting EMOs with cricket bats. Stay alert, not alarmed.”

12 Oct

Ed wore an overcoat and hat to school. Our teachers freaked and put him in detention. I think he bit Mr Joh, the science teacher. Awkward!

*

Ed and I wandered the mall and saw heaps of decorations. Ed sighed, “Christmas is so deep. It makes me feel all –”

“Sad?”

“How’d you know?”

13 Oct

Mr Joh burst into tears while telling us about the reproductive cycle of fruit flies. Ed gave him tissues. This EMO pandemic is so wrong.

14 Oct

Maths class was full of sighs and weeping. (Life hasn’t changed much.) I was put on detention for being insensitive about life’s deep pain.

*

The principal ran detention. He looked thirsty. I shrank in my seat. “Tomorrow,” he told me, “come to my office. Bring your school spirit.”

15 Oct

I brought my school spirit and a cricket bat. The principal grabbed my arm but I whacked him and dived under his desk until the bell rang.

*

Still not EMO, despite listening to principal discuss philosophy for the entire lunch hour. Thank you, cricket bat, thank you.

16 Oct

Ed took me to a graveyard for a date. It was crowded. He licked me on the neck, and I kneed him in the groin. “Don’t you love me?” he wept.

*

Still not EMO, despite kneeing EMO boyfriend in the groin. Actually, that was pretty fun.

17 Oct

I said to Pi, “You know how you wanted to experiment on Ed? Go for it.”

“Thank you thank you!”

It was great to see his childish joy.

18 Oct

Ed called and said, “My Mum wants to know how you got that lovely green in your hair.”

“Well, I –”

“Oh, what’s the point?!” he cried.

*

Pi and I snuck over, gagged Ed, and dragged him home. He sparkled all the way. We locked him in the spare room with a saucer of rat’s blood.

Still not EMO, despite Ed’s slurping of his rat blood. He always was a messy eater. Now he stinks too (he owns only one all-black outfit).

19 Oct

Still not EMO, despite Dad cornering me in the laundry to lecture me on the meaninglessness of his existence. Hope we find a cure.

20 Oct

Caught Pi measuring Ed’s fringe. “When do you start experimenting on him?” I asked.

He said, “Soon. I’m gathering data.”

Still not EMO.

*

Pi said, “Should we ungag Ed? Mum and Dad are fine with him being here.”

“No,” I said, “If we did that, he might start talking again.”

21 Oct

Is being obsessed with Ed’s hair a symptom of EMO? Pi was measured it AGAIN. I wish he’d go into the sunshine so I could see if he sparkles.

22 Oct

“Eureka!” Pi yelled from the EMO room. I ran in. Pi brandished his clipboard. “EMO makes your fringe grow!”

“How is that useful exactly?”

*

Still not EMO, even though my boyfriend has better hair than me. On the up side, Pi stood in sunlight for me – no sparkles. Unlike Dad.

23 Oct

“Oh,” Dad sighed, “weddings always make me cry.”

“No they don’t! You always laugh at the priest wearing a dress. Won’t that be fun?”

“No.”

24 Oct

I felt mean and gave Ed his ipod and speaker. He played “Bleeding Love” for twelve hours. Still not EMO, though after that I do want to cry.

25 Oct

Ed’s Mum rang. I said, “Erm. . . Did you want Ed back?”

She sighed and said, “I don’t deserve him. You keep him.”

“Thanks. Thanks SO much.”

26 Oct

Came home from school to find Pi wrestling Ed. They broke apart and looked at me guiltily. “Ed! No biting!” I said.

“Who me?” he said.

*

Dobbed on Pi, but Mum wasn’t concerned. “Healthy exercise is just what EMOs need. What do you think about a red colour scheme?”

“Mu-um!”

27 Oct

Found Ed pinned helplessly under Pi’s ten-year old foot. “This gets easier by the day!” said Pi.

I said, “We already KNEW EMOs were weak.”

Still not EMO, despite my boyfriend getting regularly beaten up by my nerdy little brother. Dad said red is a very emotional colour. Great.

28 Oct

Mr Joh said life is a meaningless series of unconnected events, so there’s no point studying. Finally this pandemic has an up side!

29 Oct

Pi enjoyed demonstrating his ability to restrain Ed with a single finger.

Mum and Dad’s wedding is set for thirty November.

Still not EMO.

30 October

Mum said, “Be my bridesmaid.”

“Sure – but won’t it be hard to keep your guests from biting one another – enclosed spaces, and all that?”

31 Oct

Finally a weekend! No more sightings of Mr Joh and the principal sharing a tissue box. No more in-class essays on HOW I FEEL. Just Ed. D’oh!

1 November

“Can you believe it’s my wedding month already?” trilled Mum.

Dad and I exchanged a glance of woe. I caught myself and checked for sparkles.

*

Still not EMO. How can my hair be so green without falling out? Maybe I’ve become an anti-EMO. If only I could believe that.

2 Nov

Someone with a hand-drawn Red Cross badge came looking for donations today. I’m pretty sure they don’t usually collect blood door-to-door.

3 Nov

The art teacher made us draw self-portraits. Most of the class mixed their paint with real tears. Went home and bashed head against wall.

4 Nov

The newsreader said, “Our alert has been raised to red – a deep, emotional red. You may as well get bitten. What does it matter anyway?”

5 Nov

All TV cancelled in favour of OC re-runs. Pi and I sat watching Ed cry for two hours. His fringe grew visibly. Still not EMO (pretty sure).

6 Nov

Spent our date night feeding Ed different types of animal blood. He likes dog best. I chose not to ask where Pi got it from. Dad likes cat.

7 Nov

Ed played “Bleeding Love” until I smashed his ipod speaker. He said I was unsupportive and tried to bite me. I’ve got to stay alert!

8 Nov

Decided to confirm Pi’s previous experiment, and challenged Ed to fisticuffs. Beat him easily every time. Science is fun.

9 Nov

I asked the school counsellor for advice on helping friends with EMO-related depression.

“It’s not depression,” she said, “It’s TRUTH.”

10 Nov

For English, Miss Winter read “Wuthering Heights”. It was impossible to understand, because she was sobbing so hard.

Still not EMO.

11 Nov

Our French teacher lectured us today on the deep sadness of all European nations. Luckily, she did most of it in French.

Still not EMO.

12 Nov

In History, Mr Theo told us the World Wars were largely pointless. And so was the Industrial Revolution. And everything else.

Still not EMO.

13 Nov

The principal interrupted maths to bite most of the front row. When the sun shone in the window, the sparkles were blinding.

Still not EMO.

14 Nov

Ed said if I loved him I’d let him bite me. He was too weak to try, but I kicked him in the groin anyway. Suddenly my week got better.

15 Nov

Mum hung out washing and my heart stopped. She was sparkling.

“Mum! You’re EMO!” I cried.

She said, “Nonsense. Look again.”

She was fine.

*

“Pi, I swear she was sparkling one moment and not sparkling the next.”

“Impossible,” he said.

I said, “You’re right. It must be the stress.”

16 Nov

“Two weeks to the wedding!” Mum yelled, waking me.

At least I could be certain she wasn’t EMO. Dad drew sad smileys on the invitations.

17 Nov

Mum picked fresh tomatoes for our dinner, and once again I could have sworn she was sparkling. But when I blinked, she wasn’t. Weird.

18 Nov

“Bell! Bell!” said Pi.

I said, “What?”

“You were right! Mum has a natural immunity.”

“Fantastic.”

“I know. We have to clone her!”

“Pardon?”

19 Nov

“I have to what now?” I asked Pi.

He said, “Just ask Dad how often he bites Mum.”

“But –”

“We need to know. And I’m WAY too young to ask.”

*

Still not EMO, despite finding out Dad gives Mum hickies “every day or two”. I certainly FEEL sick. But will their grossness save the world?

20 Nov

I helped Pi get his cloning machine out of the shed. “And you DIDN’T win the science prize for this?”

He shrugged and said, “Nah. Volcanos.”

21 Nov

I got Mum to agree that she wished there were two of her doing all that wedding prep. She sat in Pi’s cloning machine and BOOM! Two Mums.

*

Still not EMO, despite suddenly copping twice as much wedding talk. I wish we could cure EMOs without actually talking to people.

22 Nov

Mum2 refused to get bitten. “Clones are people too. We have rights.”

“We?” said Pi.

That’s when Mum2 introduced Mum3, Mum4 and Mum5.

23 Nov

“Bell,” said Mum, “don’t be upset, but I’m going to be my own bridal party. Won’t it be fun?”

“Are ANY of you EMO yet?”

“Just your fathers.”

24 Nov

Ed’s coming to the wedding, because “it’ll be SUPER deep.” Tissue prices are rising. Still not EMO, despite getting shafted as bridesmaid.

25 Nov

Mum spent an hour crying due to Mum3 fitting her wedding dress better. I definitely saw sparkles. Then she went for a walk and got better.

26 Nov

Dad’s hair was already darkening because of EMO. He dyed it black for the wedding. His fringe is nearly chin-length. Still not EMO.

*

Pi crept into my room at night with a handful of syringes. “We need their blood! The Mums. Any one will do.”

I’m not sure he’s coping.

27 Nov

Tried to corner Mum5 but she just laughed at me. “I know a million more tricks than you, sweetheart!”

Still not EMO, despite my ten parents.

28 Nov

Pi yelled, “Bell! Mum3 is sparkling. We can grab her while she’s EMO and weak!

I ran out, but by the time we reached her Mum3 was fine.

*

Still not EMO, despite a clone of my Mum giving me a smack for being disrespectful. I hate it when that happens.

29 Nov

Tried to reason with the Mums. Big mistake. They were far too busy experimenting with hairstyles to want to hear how to save humanity.

*

Still not EMO, despite ten parents alternately telling me to (1) cheer up or (2) stop being so shallow now the wedding’s tomorrow. Bite me.

30

Dad avoided a ray of stained-glass sunlight. All the Mums glowed, and Mum3 sparkled. Mum walked down the aisle with a huge smile. . .

*

. . . and was tackled by Mum2. “This moment belongs to ME!” screamed Mum4, and jumped on top. Mum5 weighed in. Mum3 bit Mum5 on the leg.

*

I comforted Mum, saying the wedding was certainly lively. She passed me a full syringe. “I drew blood from Mum2 after Mum4 knocked her out.”

1 Dec

It was a relief to be back at school, even with Mr Joh’s sudden fascination with every Tim Burton movie ever made. Still not EMO.

2 Dec

Pi woke me, yelling, “It’s aliiiiive!”

“What?” “Mum2’s blood. I got Dad to drink a bit, and now the rest’s gone EMO.”

I went back to sleep.

*

Still not EMO, despite little brother developing his muttering skills suddenly. Poor Pi. He might not be EMO, but he’s also not. . . right.

3 Dec

Awoke with horrible thought and went to Pi. “You said Dad drank some of the blood sample. So his BACKWASH turned it EMO?”

“Yep. Ed’s, too.”

*

Still not EMO, despite beginning to wonder if blood tastes good. Ed says it’s like milo combined with tabasco sauce. I need to get out more.

4 Dec

The 7pm Project began with ten minutes of solemn reflection (Dave cried, then bit Carrie). Marge Simpson now wears black. I’m still not EMO.

5 Dec

Pi followed Mum around with Mum2’s blood vial clutched in his free hand. By the end of the day, the blood was dried, smelly – and un-EMO.

*

Still not EMO, though Pi won’t stop coming up with ever-weirder theories about Mum’s self-curing ability. He dissected our guinea pig, too.

6 Dec

Pi stumbled in holding his neck. Blood leaked through his fingers. As he fainted, he whispered, “It’s Mum’s behaviour, Bell, not her blood.”

*

“Please, Pi, try to focus. What did you mean it’s Mum’s behaviour? What is it she does that’s so different?” He shrugged, “Who cares?”

*

Still not EMO. My poor brother. . . Dad bit humanity’s best hope of recovery. Wait a sec. . . AM I EMO? That was practically poetry! Oh no!

7 Dec

Wandered the mall searching for anyone who wasn’t sparkling. I was all alone. Six Santas sat in a gutter, weeping and tolling their bells.

8 Dec

Got chased by three sad elves. Weird and frightening. Began disguising myself with dark clothes and morose expression. Green hair unhelpful.

9 Dec

“We’re thirsty,” said the newsreader. “We’re coming to find you, and we’ll drink to your health with your own sweet delicious blood!”

10 Dec

Pi came into my room. “You’re one of us, aren’t you Bell? You don’t want to be left behind, do you?”

Ed and four Dads shadowed him. I ran.

11 Dec

Found Mum at her work. She wasn’t sparkly. “How do you do it?” I begged. She said, “A good heart and plenty of fresh air, that’s how!”

12 Dec

Dreamed I was EMO. I walked into the sun and sparkled like fire – then I blew up! It was VERY sad. When I woke up, I knew what to do.

13 Dec

I crept into Pi’s room at night and dragged him into our old treehouse. He didn’t like his gag – or being tied onto the roof.

Then I waited.

14 Dec

Still not EMO, despite hiding in a treehouse and forcing my EMO brother to sparkle for over twelve hours.

Have I made a horrible mistake?

15 Dec

Pi thrashed in his bonds, attracting Ed and the Dads. They said, “Come down, Bell, we’re thirsty.”

Still not EMO – but for how long?

16 Dec

Spent the night listening to Pi moan and the Dads discuss whether I’d taste more like chilli sauce or peppermint chocolate when they ate me.

*

As the sun rose, the EMOs left to huddle inside. I saw their eyes, watching me. Watching my blood-flushed face. Getting ever thirstier.

*

I said, “You’ll have to climb up here. And what’s the point? What does it really mean?”

They discussed it, and I bought myself one more day.

17 Dec

“Bell?”

“Pi?”

“Bell!”

“Pi!”

“You saved me!”

I felt my eyes prick with tears. “I’m so glad you’re okay, Pi. Now we have to get out of here.”

*

We broke pieces off the treehouse and Whap! Bang! bashed those EMOs until they let us go. Running down the street, we laughed for joy.

*

“The cure is sunshine,” I explained to Pi.

He said, “Of course! The sparkling is caused by the mutated melanin escaping from the system.”

*

18 Dec

We stole cricket bats and attacked the school. Once we had the principal tied to the roof, the rest of the school toppled like dominoes.

*

“Job well done,” I said to Pi. We walked away whistling.

Mr Joh called faintly, “You’re both on detention! I’ll get you!”

19 Dec

“Should I check on the school?” Pi asked.

I said, “Nah. Once they’re cured they’ll be strong enough to untie themselves. Almost definitely.”

20 Dec

We found Mum in church, basking in the stained-glass light as her sparkles faded again. “Will you help us save the world?”

“Okay,” she said.

21 Dec

The Mums enjoyed tying the Dads to the treehouse roof a little too much.

Pi and I weren’t EMO, but we certainly felt wrong inside.

*

The three of us stormed Parliament House. I might have accidentally broken the Prime Minister’s nose (a little). Awkward!

22 Dec

Dad almost fooled us into untying him from the roof. He claimed he hadn’t finished buying our Christmas presents. Diabolical EMO tricks!

23 Dec

Dad’s probably recovered, but we left him there for safety’s sake. Mum and Pi and I took over Win News and wrote our own bulletin.

*

“We have thought-provoking news,” I read. “Excessive sunbathing causes cancer, which is VERY sad. Don’t go outside, whatever you do!”

24 Dec

We took Dad to the shops to tie a few Santas to the roof and treat ourselves to a little looting. We felt we’d all earned it.

*

Counted more than fifty EMO sunbathers on the way home. Our cunning plan is working! Soooo many sparkles.

25 Dec

“Sunny day,” Dad smiled.

I unwrapped my present. “Oh Dad, you shouldn’t have! A brand new cricket bat. Thanks!”

“I got one for each of us.”

*

The EMOs came at Christmas lunch. Somehow, they knew we’d tricked everyone. They battered at the windows and scratched at the doors. Oh no!

*

The clone parents charged with bats held high – sacrificing themselves to save us. We escaped while the EMOs had THEIR Christmas lunch.

26 Dec

Mum, Dad, Pi and I hid on Mount Stromlo. The Mums found us – Mums always know where to look. Mum3 dragged me off while the others fought.

*

“It’s polite to share,” Mum3 smirked. She locked me in our basement and said, “We’ll ALL see you soon. . . sweet, delicious heart.”

27 Dec

Still not EMO, despite being locked in basement by evil clone. I hate it when that happens. Discouraged the EMOs briefly by singing carols.

28 Dec

They begged me to stop singing. I negotiated a deal for three hundred chocolate-filled advent calendars. One last cunning plan. . .

29 Dec

Ate three advent calendars’ worth of chocolate before remembering I had a plan. Too bad my mouth was full. The EMOs closed in.

*

I pelted the EMOs with sweet delicious chocolate. Their mouths were hanging open for my blood, so I got the chocolate in. But no effect!

*

“Happy New Year!” I screamed. While they contemplated their 2010 life goals I ran to Mum’s sunroom and superglued my face to the window.

30 Dec

I awoke with a blood-soaked neck. Still not EMO. . . oh wait, yes I am. Finally I understand that everything sucks. Still glued to window.

*

The sun climbed the sky. Sparkles danced across my skin like annoying little angels of joy. Bleaugh! Stupid Christmas! Stupid glue!

*

The sparkles ended, and I felt hungry for leftover Turkey instead of blood. I’m not EMO any more, hurray! Now if I could just unglue myself.

31 Dec

“Sticky situation?” Mum giggled, waking me.

I said, “Shut up and unglue me.”

“What’s the magic word?”

“Bite me.”

She sighed and unglued me.

*

Pi and Dad were fine too. “The army’s here,” said Pi, “and they’re using mirrors to reflect and multiply sunlight, 24-7. It’s over. We won!”

*

We toasted Pi and ate Christmas leftovers for New Year’s Eve. Ed joined us – happily. I just wish Mum would give back the cloning machine.

THE END

Daylight Day 90: Character Mash-Up

I awoke with a blood-soaked neck. Still not EMO. . . oh wait, yes I am. Finally I understand that everything sucks. Still glued to window.

*

The sun climbed the sky. Sparkles danced across my skin like annoying little angels of joy. Bleaugh! Stupid Christmas! Stupid glue!

*

The sparkles ended, and I felt hungry for leftover Turkey instead of blood. I’m not EMO any more, hurray! Now if I could just unglue myself.

——————————————

This is a game a friend showed me (usually played with your twelve favourite characters from any media):

Ten twittertales characters (from the first three stories – the third begins on 3 Jan 2010):

1. Sol the crazed pirate (brought up as a princess until she fled)

2. Ulandin, her disturbingly loyal first mate (and the narrator of the first twitter tale)

3. Jimmy Bind, ridiculously handsome hero of the spy tale beginning Jan 3

4. Bell, dopey girl with EMO boyfriend

5. Ed, her EMO boyfriend, who wants to drink her blood

6. Yen, the circus-raised Chinese super assassin (January story)

7. Pi, the genius ten-year old

8. Boy, the mysterious shipmate who doesn’t obey the laws of nature (gravity, physics, etc). Or magic (rules, limitations, etc)

9. Fu. He is Yen’s sister, a supervillain with mother issues (also a master of disguise) – from the spy story

10. Mrs Fu, mother to Yen and Fu, likes blowing stuff up (spy story).

11. (Can’t think of any more fictional characters) Louise Curtis (my G/PG rated self)

12. Felicity Bloomfield (mostly myself, but not quite. Obsessed writer)

1. Who would make a better college professor, #6 Yen or #11 Louise Curtis?

Louise Curtis. She/I do a lot of teaching. Yen would get annoyed and snap someone’s neck.

2. Would #2 Ulandin win the award for Cutest Guy of the Year?
No. He’s okay-looking, but if he won Captain Sol might notice he looks nice, and kill him. (She doesn’t approve of attractiveness, due to being raised as a princess.)

3. #12 Felicity Bloomfield sends #8 Boy out on a mission. Does it succeed? What is it?
Oh, that’s complex. It’s rather circular, since Boy is (sort of) Felicity’s creation, but Felicity is the creation of God, who Boy is based on. If I dared send him on a mission, it’d probably be for money. It’d succeed if he felt like giving me money. It’s far more likely I’d get frustrated and yell at him a lot. (That’s pretty much how my prayer life is, every day.)

4. What would #9’s Fu’s favourite book be?

3001 Beards for Serious Beard Artists.

5. Who would swear fealty to whom, #2 Ulandin or #6 Yen?
Ulandin’s already sworn fealty to Sol, so he’s all full up as far as devoting one’s life to a dark-skinned insane and beautiful woman with a bad childhood goes. (There’s a certain worrying similarity in my femme fatales.) Yen would try to seduce him, fail (because he loves Sol), and kill him. Probably with a single blood-red fingernail. (Thus the answer is: neither.)

6. #5 Ed needs a roommate. Who would be better, #9 Fu or #10 Mrs Fu?
All he wants is blood, and perhaps a Linkin Park record or three. But it’s established that his own mum turned him EMO, so perhaps Mrs Fu wins this one.

7. #2 Ulandin, #7 Pi and #12 Felicity Bloomfield have dinner together. Where do they go, what do they discuss?
Definitely at Felicity Bloomfield’s house, since (a) she’s a bit agoraphobic, (b) she gets seasick (which means Ulandin’s place won’t work), and (c) Pi is ten, so he’s unlikely to host. Plus she’s the mutual friend.

Ulandin loves kids, so he and Pi would get on very well (the disparity in IQ wouldn’t bother Pi – he’s used to it). Ulandin’d probably tell some amazing stories of the high seas. Or they’d talk about how to survive roomies who want to kill and/or eat you. Felicity would be in a corner, taking copious notes and muttering to herself.

8. #3 Jimmy Bind challenges #10 Mrs Fu to a duel. What happens?
That more or less happens in the tale, so I can’t tell you 🙂 But she’d probably use her mad fighting skills and he’d probably use some gaffa tape.

9. If #1 Sol stole #8 Boy’s most precious possession, how would he get it back?
Boy’s most precious “possession” IS Captain Sol. He wins her back by letting her know he cares for her, then backing off – for several decades.

10. Suggest a title for a story in which #7 Pi and #12 Felicity Bloomfield both attain what they most desire.
Pi would probably want a Nobel Prize. Or social skills. Felicity Bloomfield wants to have her books published. So the solution is for Felicity to write a bestseller in which Pi has social skills.

11. What kind of plot device would you use if you wanted #4 Bell and #1 Captain Sol to work together?
If the EMO plague spread to Captain Sol’s ship, it MIGHT be bad enough to make Sol allow another woman on board. Plus that’d make for plenty of tension – nice! Except Bell is so limpid I don’t really want to work with her again.

12. If #7 Pi visited for the weekend, how would you get along?
I like ten-year olds. I’d probably be patronising, then awkward once I realised he’s fifteen times smarter than I am.

13. If you could command #3 Jimmy Bind to perform any one task for you, what would it be?
He’s incredibly multilingual and has lots of powerful connections. I bet he could make a difference to third world poverty.

14. Which of your friends is most like #11 Louise Curtis?
Heh. Me, obviously. Probably Chris M, because he seems like a cheerful, good-hearted person. (My other friends more closely resemble Felicity Bloomfield, who means well and is intelligent and compassionate, while also being hopelessly mentally ill. Hi guys 😉   )

15. If #2 Ulandin had to choose sides between #4 Bell and #5 Ed, who would he choose?
Bell. He’s hard-wired to rescue the girl.

16. What might #Mrs Fu shout while charging into battle?
Death to everyone!! (but she’s say it in Chinese)

17. Which song represents #8 Boy?
Amazing Grace

18. #1 Sol, #6Yen and #12 Felicity Bloomfield reach for the last crumpet. Who wins?
It’s definitely not gonna be Felicity. Thankfully she’s intelligent enough to flee if Sol and Yen were in the same room. Sol and Yen are both small, psychotic, and deadly. Yen has formal fight training (plus greater flexibility), but Sol has magic. And Sol isn’t bothered by pain. So Sol wins. (Thus answering the pirate-vs-ninja debate, because Yen has, among other things, ninja skills.)

19. What might be a good pick-up line for #2 Ulandin to use on #10 Mrs Fu?
“Killing the world is a perfectly legitimate and feminine goal.” And he’d mean it, too.

20. What would #5 Ed most likely be arrested for?
Sucking the blood of innocent folks. (Too bad that would never happen in “Twilight”.)

21. What is #6’s Yen’s big secret?
That whole circus upbringing wasn’t meant to happen. If anyone in the spy community asks, she was raised by Shaolin monks. Or wolves. Or bears. Or pirahnas.

22. If #11 Louise Curtis and #9 Fu are racing, who wins?
Fu. Simple main character syndrome. (Characters are, on average, faster, stronger and smarter than nonfictional folk.)

23. Who would you feel safer with walking through a bad neighborhood? #7 Pi or #8 Boy.
Boy. He makes Sol and Yen look like little girls kicking his shins.

24. #1 Captain Sol and #9 Fu reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat of #4 Bell’s sinister secret organization. #11 Louise Curtis volunteers to help but is secretly in league with #4 Bell. Bell has kidnapped #12 Felicity Bloomfield to force them to surrender. By the wise advice of #5 Ed they seek out #3 Jimmy Bind to complete the quest. Title and story?

Body and Sol

So Bell’s turned EMO and kidnapped Felicity Bloomfield in order to hold Louise Curtis at bay (that’d work). Captain Sol lets Bell drink some of her blood (since Sol spills it so freely anyway) to distract her while Fu and Jimmy Bind overcome their differences and use a SuperSpy Secret Formula (TM) to finally cure the EMO menace (again).

Daylight Day 89: New Year’s Resolutions

Ate three advent calendars’ worth of chocolate before remembering I had a plan. Too bad my mouth was full. The EMOs closed in.

I pelted the EMOs with sweet delicious chocolate. Their mouths were hanging open for my blood, so I got the chocolate in. But no effect!

“Happy New Year!” I screamed. While they contemplated their 2010 life goals I ran to Mum’s sunroom and superglued my face to the window.

—————————————————–

In 2010 I want to:

1) Get in the healthy weight range and stay there for twelve months.

2) Do a better job of managing the household finances (After 11 months of marriage, I think I’ve JUST got the hang of it. Maybe.)

3) Get at least one book accepted for publication.

I think numbers 1 and 2 are highly plausible. Number 3 has been highly plausible for years. I have three good chances in the first three months, though, so maybe 2010 is the year it’ll finally happen.

My three good chances are:

1) “Stormhunter” which has been almost published twice. It’s now VERY late back (a good sign) from one of the publishers who liked it before (I edited it a lot as per their comments and it’s now MUCH better than it was).

2) “Farting my ABCs” which is a brand new book, and funny. It’s technically late back, but I don’t expect a reply until late March.

3) “Miss Adventure” which I sent to a much smaller publisher (which should mean it’s less competetive, plus this publisher has a particular leaning that suits “Miss Adventure” very well).

In my fantasy world, they’d all say yes, and the first company would ask for the rest of the series. Which would neatly sell every single book I’ve written (except for the ones I’ve thrown away, and except for the National Novel Writing Month book, which needs many months of editing). Since young adult and children’s books are worth $3000-$5000, that’d add up to at least $18,000. (More, if they’re successful.)

What’s your plausible (and implausible) aims/fantasies for 2010?

Daylight Day 87: Further Zombie Apocalypse Advice

They begged me to stop singing. I negotiated a deal for three hundred chocolate-filled advent calendars. One last cunning plan. . .

———————————

With thanks to http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/04/how-to-battle-z/

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Shaun_of_the_dead_zombies You’ve found out how to take down 500-foot monsters, and learned the secret to terminating Terminators.  Now it’s time for the ultimate challenge. How you should arm yourself to survive a zombie apocalypse?

Step one, Know Your Zombies.

The idea of the zombie derives from Voodoo lore. Voodoo (or voudou or vodun) is a much maligned and misunderstood religion; the popular idea of it in the United States and Europe is about as close to the reality as Satanism is to the Catholic church. Anyone using voodoo for evil (a bokor) is the equivalent of the guys who carry out ceremonies in deserted churches with pentagrams and goat’s blood.

In any case, zombies do not feature in the original West African voodoo; the idea of a person drained of their soul and forced to obey a master only appeared in the Americas. These we could class as Natural Zombies. If you believe anthropologist Wade Davis, these are created by poisoning the victim with ‘zombie powder’ which includes puffer fish venom (tetrodotoxin). Supposedly this causes a death-like coma and brain damage which turns the victim into a pliable slaves. These zombies are harmless; you don’t need to shoot them, but watch out for the bokor who controls them.

Then there are Supernatural Zombies, corpses possessed by spirits or demonic powers. If they are animated by angelic spirits (as in the Rime of The Ancient Mariner), then they are here to help. If they are animated by something demonic (as in The Evil Dead), then firearms may be of limited use as they are beyond the laws of nature. Consult your priest, Rabbi, guru or shaman for further advice. Unless you’re one of the ultra-cool gangsters in the terrific zombie/yakuza flick Versus, that is — in which case, gunning down zombies is all in a day’s work.

However, mostly you’re likely to encounter the type of Alien Zombie favored by Geroge Romero. These are reanimated by an extra-terrestrial force; this is an infectious form of zombiedom that seems to be spread via biting. They are oblivious to most injuries but can reliably be taken out by destroying their brain.

When battling this type of zombie, you are basically trying to stay alive and get to a place of safety, as there are likely to be far too many for you to defeat them.

One tempting option is to go out there with a flamethrower. Zombies may have a natural aversion to fire, you should be able to ignite several of them with one burst, and it looks spectacular – there’s a video of a demonstration here. However, if you check the specifications it has some serious drawbacks. The U.S. Army’s M2-2 flamethrower weighed about seventy pounds, and is effective out to around fifty yards, but the big limitation is ammunition:

a fuel tank holding 18 liters of gasoline, enough for approximately five bursts of two seconds each.

So you’re probably better off with a conventional firearm. At least this is one area where we are spared the interminable debate of 9mm v .45 handguns and 5.56mm v 7.62mm. Unlike living humans, stopping power counts for nothing as far as zombies go; it’s all about shot placement. (And reliability – take at least one back-up gun in case you get a jam or run out of ammo at a bad time.) Anything larger than a .22 will do the job, so long as you’re capable of putting a round squarely though the head. And this is very much harder than you think.

In a firing range, anyone can reliably hit a man-size target. In real combat, you will probably miss most of the time. This is borne out by an analysis of armed encounters involving police officers:

 

The police officer’s potential for hitting his adversary during armed confrontation has increased over the years and stands at slightly over 25% of the rounds fired. An assailant’s skill was 11% in 1979…
 

In 1992 the overall police hit potential was 17%. Where distances could be determined, the hit percentages at distances under 15 yards were:

Less than 3 yards ….. 28%
3 yards to 7 yards …. 11%
7 yards to 15 yards . 4.2%

It has been assumed that if a man can hit a target at 50 yards he can certainly do the same at three feet. That assumption is not borne out by the reports.

An attempt was made to relate an officer’s ability to strike a target in a combat situation to his range qualification scores. After making over 200 such comparisons, no firm conclusion was reached.

The situation is much worse with zombies. The target – the brain – is very much smaller than with humans, and if you are a trained marksman you will reflexively aim at the body. Police officers are professionals who spend long hours training for close-quarter encounters; you probably don’t. And while the adrenaline factor may be high when you’re facing an armed suspect, a horde of shambling undead takes the terror to a different level.

You are liable to waste a lot of ammunition, so bring plenty. Some favor extended magazines, like the 90-round clip for AR-15/M-16 rifles or 33-round magazines for your Glock handgun. These are fine, so long as they are reliable and you have the discipline not to just keep firing until you run out.

Human factors are probably much more important than hardware. Stay cool, and keep moving. Bring a friend or three, so long as you can count on them not to scream, panic or cause friendly-fire incidents. Zombies are liable to come from all directions at the same time; you don’t get bonus points for killing more of them, so just do what you have to in order to get to safety. And watch out for the ones that are just playing dead. (Actually, they really are dead…but you know what I mean.)

Some sort of protective gear might be handy -– but can you afford to be slowed down? Do you carry something like a sword or a chainsaw for very close encounters, or are you dead by then anyway? Can you dazzle zombies with a flashlight? Any additional suggestions for zombie-fighting are, of course, welcome.

Daylight Day 87: Guest Author

Still not EMO, despite being locked in basement by evil clone. I hate it when that happens. Discouraged the EMOs briefly by singing carols.

—————————————————–

This is by our old friend, Gertrude, to finish off the guest author series.

Abreaction

“Are you an alien?” Patrick asked, as bluntly as he could.

The man gazed at him calmly. He seemed to be considering his answer.

“Yes, Patrick,” he finally said. “Everyone on this ship is an alien.”

Patrick tried not to show it, but, even after all that he had seen, this admission still chilled him to the bone.

He looked closely at the man seated across from him.

He perfectly resembled the stereotypical psychiatrist, with his neatly clipped beard, receding hairline and big, unblinking eyes.

There was something vaguely unsettling about him, but he was still by far the most human thing that Patrick had seen in the hours since he had woken to find himself in this small white cube of a room. He still had to fight his feelings of claustrophobia as he looked at the smooth featureless walls, unbroken by any visible means of entry or exit.

This strange man had finally entered by somehow stepping through the walls themselves.

“Then why don’t you look like the others?” Patrick asked.

The man extended an arm. It slowly dissolved into the fleshy, writhing tentacles that his captors seemed to consist of.

“We are natural shapeshifters, Patrick. I thought I would make you feel more comfortable. You seemed to find our natural appearance… disturbing”

The tentacles changed back into an arm.

“Why are you here?” Patrick asked, trying to keep the hysteria out of his voice.

“I just want to talk to you” the man replied.

“No, I mean here on this planet.” He paused to gather strength to ask the ridiculous, terrifying question that had haunted him for hours. 

“Are you going to invade?” he asked.

The man stared at him levelly. “Would it make you uncomfortable if were to say yes?” he asked.

“YES!” Patrick shouted.

The other just sat there calmly.

“You’ll fail,” Patrick growled, struggling to sound convincing even to himself. “We’ll fight back! We’re stronger than you think!”

“No, Patrick,” the man said quietly. “Our agents have already infiltrated all levels of Earth society. When the time comes, the battle will be over long before any human knows that it has even begun.”

Patrick wasn’t sure if he was more horrified by the words or the total tranquillity with which they were spoken.

The man suddenly opened his mouth and a series of hissing, liquid sounds spilled out.

Patrick flinched. He was about to ask what it meant when he noticed that the man’s huge, dark eyes were no longer quite pointed at him.

He spun around.

One of the aliens had entered silently and was standing directly behind him.

He leapt up and pressed his back firmly against the wall. “What’s happening?” he demanded, his voice shaking. “Who is this?”

The man made a soothing noise. “I was hoping that you might let my friend sit in on our little chat.”

Patrick forced himself to look over at it. It was hideous – like a man-sized bush made from hundreds of writhing, throbbing tentacles. He noticed that this one had an unusually long, pale tentacle, no thicker than a walking stick, growing from where its head should have been. It was thrashing back and forth wildly, and its excitement increased even more the moment that he looked at it.

Patrick shook his head furiously. “No! I don’t even want you here. I certainly don’t want that.”

The man seemed somehow disappointed. He said something more in that strange, flowing language.

The monster stood there for a moment, suddenly going still everywhere except for its excited head tentacle. It slowly turned to leave, the wall rippling as it crawled through it.

Patrick had the strange feeling that he had upset it.

Good.

“Well, if we can continue…” the man said smoothly. “What can you tell me about your mother?”

Patrick blinked in disbelief. He refused to believe that he was being held captive by the alien Sigmund Freud.

The man was as serene as always. “Would you prefer to discuss your childhood?” he asked.

Patrick put back his head and laughed hysterically.

The man seemed totally unfazed. “What would you like to discuss?” he asked.

Patrick looked at him, a million obscene responses buzzing in his head, but then he remembered the one thing that he actually did want to talk about.

“How about how you kidnapped me? How about that? How about how you killed my friends? Why don’t we have a nice ‘chat’ about that?” he glared.

“Certainly,” the man replied. He seemed almost pleased. “But first, please come and sit back down.”

Patrick was about to refuse when his interrogator suddenly continued. “Remember that that’s not just a wall, it’s also a door.”

Patrick had an abrupt vision of one of the creatures unexpectedly pressing through behind him.

He sat back down.

“Tell me, what do you remember about last night?” the man asked.

Patrick snarled. The memory was hazy, but the relevant details were all there.

He could remember walking with his friends, Steve and Harry, talking and laughing. They were in the middle of nowhere, walking towards the car that would take them back to civilisation. He remembered that there was someone waiting for them in the car, sitting behind the wheel. He couldn’t remember who.

They were almost there when it happened.

He remembered the sudden noise.

He remembered turning.

He remembered seeing the ship.

He remembered running.

He remembered the blind terror.

He remembered…

The memory was fragmented, vague. He couldn’t recall…

And then one final nightmare image came to him.

He remembered Steve, lying on his back. His glassy eyes were staring blindly off into space. Most of his head had been blown away. A constant geyser of blood was spewing from his mouth…

Patrick passed out.

The man was leaning over him.

“You fainted,” he observed casually.

Patrick tried desperately to lift himself from where he was sprawled across the floor. He eventually managed to half-sit, panting and nauseous with the exertion.

“Do you wish to discuss your recollections?” the man asked.

Patrick stared up at him with searing hate. “No, I don’t,” he hissed. “You know what happened; you were there. All of you murdering monsters were there.”

He tried to sit up more, never shifting his gaze from his captor’s face.

“What is the point of all this? Why don’t you just kill me too and get it over with?”

The man’s face was as rigid and expressionless as a mask.

Patrick finally managed to fight his way to his feet, leaning heavily against one wall.

“I don’t know what you want from me, but you’re not going to get it. So you can just go now, because I’m not going to say another thing.”

He stood there unsteadily, trying to look much stronger than he felt.

The man continued to give him his calm, blank stare. Patrick did his best to return it, his anger for the moment overruling his terror.

The man finally gave a little nod. “I see that we will have to try a different approach,” he said, then turned and melted his way through the wall and out of the room.

Patrick collapsed heavily. He felt that he had won a victory of some sort, but couldn’t help feeling that it would likely be short lived.

Hours passed as he laid there.

He tried to come to terms with his imminent death. He knew about the aliens, about their plans, there was no way that they could let him go now.

Sobbing quietly, he thought once again of his wife.

They were just about to have a baby.

Before he had left he had promised her that he would stay safe, that he would return to her, no matter what.

Patrick glanced up.

Something was happening to the opposite wall.

A section of it was opening up like a flower, its centre slowly growing more and more transparent. It was becoming a window.

Patrick looked through it in disbelief.

On the other side was the creature that had wanted to listen in on the earlier conversation. The weird little tentacle on its head had begun to writhe with excitement the moment that he had become visible.

Patrick stared at the monstrosity on the other side of the glass, hating it.

How dare it take him away from his wife and child.

What was its bizarre fascination with him? He sat for a long time, imagining all of the things that he would like to do to it if he only got the chance.

Finally, just as he was dozing off, the man returned.

This time he wasn’t alone.

Walking in behind him were two heavily built companions. All three stopped and stared at him with identical expressions on their bland faces.

Patrick quickly realised that these new arrivals were aliens also.

All of his attempts at struggle were unsuccessful. Soon, each of his arms was being securely held by one of the beefy aliens and, at his interrogator’s orders, he was bundled out through the wall and into the body of the ship.

Patrick found passing through the walls a profoundly unpleasant experience. He could feel their warm, pulsing substance pressing itself thickly against him as he somehow slipped through to the other side. He always emerged gasping for breath.

The ship’s interior was a profound disappointment. It seemed to consist purely of featureless white rooms and corridors of varying sizes. As he was forced down a particularly long corridor, he was suddenly struck by a strange sense of familiarity – then he realised that he had most likely been taken to his cell via the same route. He still had no recollection of it, though.

Finally, they passed through one last wall and into the sunlight.

Patrick gasped in disbelief.

The ship had returned to the exact spot where it had picked him up.

He was lead down the ramp and onto the ground. Patrick wanted to throw himself to his knees and kiss it, but he was still being heavily restrained.

Then they all stopped.

After a few long moments, Patrick glanced over at his former interrogator, vainly hoping to read some faint trace of intention on his face.

He just stared back, blank as ever.

And then Patrick realised why they had brought him here.

They were going to kill him.

His disappearance must have been noticed. But it would no longer be a mystery when his body was eventually found lying not far from here, showing the signs, no doubt, of some perfectly ordinary demise.

The three all slowly turned to face him. They seemed to be expecting something from him.

Patrick tried to return their stares unafraid. He wasn’t entirely successful.

But then, over to their left, there came a sudden, sharp sound.

With lightning speed, the three turned towards it. Worried, evidently, that someone else had seen their craft land and was hiding nearby.

Patrick was unimpressed. He knew that it was most likely a rabbit or something similar, and besides, he was just about to die.

His two guards stretched their necks out to get a better look at the place where the sound had come from.

They seemed awfully distracted.

Realising his chance, Patrick wrenched himself free of their grasp. With the superhuman strength borne of pure adrenalin, he shoved one and sent him stumbling back against the other.

And then he ran.

He heard the sudden cry of “Stop him! Bring him back!” from behind him, but his attention was only on what lay in front of him.

He had never run that fast before, his legs moved in a way that he wouldn’t have believed humanly possible. He felt himself cut through the air, his flight powered by pure, liquid terror.

Just like last night.

His feet pounding against the ground, not knowing how close his pursuers were behind him, he ran, desperately, madly dashing for safety, for his wife…

He felt a sudden cold stab in the pit of his stomach and knew that he had just passed the spot where Steve and Harry had died. Looking ahead, he could see exactly where the car had been parked, and just over there was that thick, dark bush where…

Suddenly it all came back to him.

He remembered how he had been walking along, Steve and Harry by his side. He’d been mid-sentence when he’d heard that loud, fear-crazed shout.

The first volley had immediately killed the driver of the car and blown the windows into thousands of glistening fragments of glass.

They had barely had time to react before they came under fire.

Harry had been closest and had died immediately.

Steve had tried to run, but had only been able to take two sprinting steps before he too was cut down.

And he remembered, suddenly remembered, how their attacker had leapt out from behind the bush, screaming, machine gun blazing.

He remembered how, in that one indescribably horrible second before half of his head had exploded into burning oblivion, how he had desperately, madly, tried to throw himself ahead, to safety, into the ship…

Patrick skidded to a stop.

For just a brief moment, he stood there, staring off into the horizon.

Then, slowly, he lifted his forearm to his eyes and, watching carefully, felt the familiar sting as he dissolved it back into its component tentacles.

He remembered his years of undercover work on Earth, imitating the natives so closely, so carefully, that he’d almost managed to convince even himself that he was…

He suddenly realised how beautiful his wife had looked when she had interrupted his conversation with the ship’s doctor.

And his son! He had grown so much! Soon he would be able to detach from her and begin his own life.

He had been so excited – Patrick hoped that he would understand why he hadn’t recognised him.

The heavy footsteps came to a halt behind him.

For a moment there was silence, then the doctor’s voice began. “We don’t know how the human got word of our rendezvous point,” he said. “But his attack was more effective than we would have expected. By the time the ship’s emitters could be brought to bear…”

Patrick suddenly noticed a large burn mark on the ground.

The doctor paused sorrowfully. “We were too late for your companions, but we did manage to restore you.”

Patrick nodded slightly, still staring off into the horizon.

Then – after taking one long last look at the beautiful world that would soon be theirs – he turned and began walking back towards his ship.

Daylight Day 86: Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse

Mum, Dad, Pi and I hid on Mount Stromlo. The Mums found us – Mums always know where to look. Mum3 dragged me off while the others fought.

*

“It’s polite to share,” Mum3 smirked. She locked me in our basement and said, “We’ll ALL see you soon. . . sweet, delicious heart.”

———————————————

While our hero prepares to get eaten by vampire clones of her parents, it’s a good time to work on your own zombie apocalypse plan.

Here’s all the info you’ll need:

http://hungrybeast.abc.net.au/stories/zombies

And, while we’re here, a link to an article on your truly:

http://www.therazor.com.au/?p=1221

Daylight Day 85: Story so far

2 Oct

EMO used to stand for ‘emotional’ – the teen subgroup that’s only happy to be sad. Now it’s become a disease eerily similar to vampirism.

*

My name’s Bell. I considered being EMO once, but then I saw a pretty butterfly and got over myself. Got bored and decided to save the world.

*

This is the documentary tale of the brave few fighting to find a cure for EMO (or, failing that, a quick and easy way to kill all those vampires dead).

3 Oct

In Civic, Ed kissed me and sighed. “Oh, Bell. Cloudy days are so deep.”

“Oh no!” I cried. “Ed, tell me you haven’t been bitten by an EMO!”

*

He didn’t laugh once at our preview of “Saw VI”. I yanked him into a rare patch of sun – and he sparkled. My boyfriend had turned EMO!

*

Finally he confessed: “My mum bit me.”

“Your MUM!?”

He sighed, “Sad, I know.”

“Do you want to drink my blood now?”

“Er. . . no,” he lied.

4 Oct

On the news: “The EMO subculture has now become a pandemic. EMO teens can be recognised by their depression, dark clothes, and bad poetry.”

*

I walked in the yard just as Mum set some weeds on fire. “Mum,” I said through the smoke, “Ed’s EMO.”

“That’s nice dear.”

*

My name’s pretty bad, but my brother is Pi. He’s ten and wears a labcoat. I told him, “Ed’s EMO.”

“Hm. Can I do experiments on him?”

“NO!”

5 Oct

“Ed, it’s the holidays. Don’t you feel a LITTLE happy?”

“No,” he said. “Bell, would it be okay if I drank you – just a little?”

“NO!”

*

“Exodermal Melanin Occlusion is spreading fast,” the news said. “Symptoms now include sparkling in sunshine, darkening hair, and whining.”

*

Ed tried to bite me, and I tripped over another EMO as I dodged him. Bruised my knees. Still not EMO, despite my black hair and long fringe.

6 Oct

Still not EMO, despite drenching rain. All the EMOs are thrilled they’re not sparkling today (Ed almost smiled). Bring back the sun!

*

“Cheer up,” said Mum, “I’ve decided to have a wedding.”

“But. . . you’re married.”

“Don’t spoil it. It’s exactly what all those EMOs need.”

7 Oct

I was dying my hair when Ed called. “Want to play EMO baseball with my family?”

“No.”

He cried until I hung up.

My hair turned green. Oops.

8 Oct

Pi asked me for Ed’s old hairbrush, so I humoured him and brought it. He said, “Bell, I think there might be a cure for EMOs!”

*

Still not EMO, although Ed keeps trying to bite me. Awkward!

9 Oct

Mum said, “Don’t you just love weddings?”

“Does Dad even know?”

“Hush,” said Mum.

Our shopgirl wept quietly as she pinned Mum’s dress.

10 Oct

“Do you think a wedding could cure EMOs?” I asked.

Pi snorted and said, “Has Ed bitten you at all?”

“No, we just make out.”

Pi looked ill.

11 Oct

I saw Dad writing a journal and looking mournful. Uh-oh. Still not EMO myself, despite blood-starved boyfriend and lime green hair.

*

“Don’t let ANYONE drink your blood,” said the news. “Authorities recommend hitting EMOs with cricket bats. Stay alert, not alarmed.”

12 Oct

Ed wore an overcoat and hat to school. Our teachers freaked and put him in detention. I think he bit Mr Joh, the science teacher. Awkward!

*

Ed and I wandered the mall and saw heaps of decorations. Ed sighed, “Christmas is so deep. It makes me feel all –”

“Sad?”

“How’d you know?”

13 Oct

Mr Joh burst into tears while telling us about the reproductive cycle of fruit flies. Ed gave him tissues. This EMO pandemic is so wrong.

14 Oct

Maths class was full of sighs and weeping. (Life hasn’t changed much.) I was put on detention for being insensitive about life’s deep pain.

*

The principal ran detention. He looked thirsty. I shrank in my seat. “Tomorrow,” he told me, “come to my office. Bring your school spirit.”

15 Oct

I brought my school spirit and a cricket bat. The principal grabbed my arm but I whacked him and dived under his desk until the bell rang.

*

Still not EMO, despite listening to principal discuss philosophy for the entire lunch hour. Thank you, cricket bat, thank you.

16 Oct

Ed took me to a graveyard for a date. It was crowded. He licked me on the neck, and I kneed him in the groin. “Don’t you love me?” he wept.

*

Still not EMO, despite kneeing EMO boyfriend in the groin. Actually, that was pretty fun.

17 Oct

I said to Pi, “You know how you wanted to experiment on Ed? Go for it.”

“Thank you thank you!”

It was great to see his childish joy.

18 Oct

Ed called and said, “My Mum wants to know how you got that lovely green in your hair.”

“Well, I –”

“Oh, what’s the point?!” he cried.

*

Pi and I snuck over, gagged Ed, and dragged him home. He sparkled all the way. We locked him in the spare room with a saucer of rat’s blood.

Still not EMO, despite Ed’s slurping of his rat blood. He always was a messy eater. Now he stinks too (he owns only one all-black outfit).

19 Oct

Still not EMO, despite Dad cornering me in the laundry to lecture me on the meaninglessness of his existence. Hope we find a cure.

20 Oct

Caught Pi measuring Ed’s fringe. “When do you start experimenting on him?” I asked.

He said, “Soon. I’m gathering data.”

Still not EMO.

*

Pi said, “Should we ungag Ed? Mum and Dad are fine with him being here.”

“No,” I said, “If we did that, he might start talking again.”

21 Oct

Is being obsessed with Ed’s hair a symptom of EMO? Pi was measured it AGAIN. I wish he’d go into the sunshine so I could see if he sparkles.

22 Oct

“Eureka!” Pi yelled from the EMO room. I ran in. Pi brandished his clipboard. “EMO makes your fringe grow!”

“How is that useful exactly?”

*

Still not EMO, even though my boyfriend has better hair than me. On the up side, Pi stood in sunlight for me – no sparkles. Unlike Dad.

23 Oct

“Oh,” Dad sighed, “weddings always make me cry.”

“No they don’t! You always laugh at the priest wearing a dress. Won’t that be fun?”

“No.”

24 Oct

I felt mean and gave Ed his ipod and speaker. He played “Bleeding Love” for twelve hours. Still not EMO, though after that I do want to cry.

25 Oct

Ed’s Mum rang. I said, “Erm. . . Did you want Ed back?”

She sighed and said, “I don’t deserve him. You keep him.”

“Thanks. Thanks SO much.”

26 Oct

Came home from school to find Pi wrestling Ed. They broke apart and looked at me guiltily. “Ed! No biting!” I said.

“Who me?” he said.

*

Dobbed on Pi, but Mum wasn’t concerned. “Healthy exercise is just what EMOs need. What do you think about a red colour scheme?”

“Mu-um!”

27 Oct

Found Ed pinned helplessly under Pi’s ten-year old foot. “This gets easier by the day!” said Pi.

I said, “We already KNEW EMOs were weak.”

Still not EMO, despite my boyfriend getting regularly beaten up by my nerdy little brother. Dad said red is a very emotional colour. Great.

28 Oct

Mr Joh said life is a meaningless series of unconnected events, so there’s no point studying. Finally this pandemic has an up side!

29 Oct

Pi enjoyed demonstrating his ability to restrain Ed with a single finger.

Mum and Dad’s wedding is set for thirty November.

Still not EMO.

30 October

Mum said, “Be my bridesmaid.”

“Sure – but won’t it be hard to keep your guests from biting one another – enclosed spaces, and all that?”

31 Oct

Finally a weekend! No more sightings of Mr Joh and the principal sharing a tissue box. No more in-class essays on HOW I FEEL. Just Ed. D’oh!

1 November

“Can you believe it’s my wedding month already?” trilled Mum.

Dad and I exchanged a glance of woe. I caught myself and checked for sparkles.

*

Still not EMO. How can my hair be so green without falling out? Maybe I’ve become an anti-EMO. If only I could believe that.

2 Nov

Someone with a hand-drawn Red Cross badge came looking for donations today. I’m pretty sure they don’t usually collect blood door-to-door.

3 Nov

The art teacher made us draw self-portraits. Most of the class mixed their paint with real tears. Went home and bashed head against wall.

4 Nov

The newsreader said, “Our alert has been raised to red – a deep, emotional red. You may as well get bitten. What does it matter anyway?”

5 Nov

All TV cancelled in favour of OC re-runs. Pi and I sat watching Ed cry for two hours. His fringe grew visibly. Still not EMO (pretty sure).

6 Nov

Spent our date night feeding Ed different types of animal blood. He likes dog best. I chose not to ask where Pi got it from. Dad likes cat.

7 Nov

Ed played “Bleeding Love” until I smashed his ipod speaker. He said I was unsupportive and tried to bite me. I’ve got to stay alert!

8 Nov

Decided to confirm Pi’s previous experiment, and challenged Ed to fisticuffs. Beat him easily every time. Science is fun.

9 Nov

I asked the school counsellor for advice on helping friends with EMO-related depression.

“It’s not depression,” she said, “It’s TRUTH.”

10 Nov

For English, Miss Winter read “Wuthering Heights”. It was impossible to understand, because she was sobbing so hard.

Still not EMO.

11 Nov

Our French teacher lectured us today on the deep sadness of all European nations. Luckily, she did most of it in French.

Still not EMO.

12 Nov

In History, Mr Theo told us the World Wars were largely pointless. And so was the Industrial Revolution. And everything else.

Still not EMO.

13 Nov

The principal interrupted maths to bite most of the front row. When the sun shone in the window, the sparkles were blinding.

Still not EMO.

14 Nov

Ed said if I loved him I’d let him bite me. He was too weak to try, but I kicked him in the groin anyway. Suddenly my week got better.

15 Nov

Mum hung out washing and my heart stopped. She was sparkling.

“Mum! You’re EMO!” I cried.

She said, “Nonsense. Look again.”

She was fine.

*

“Pi, I swear she was sparkling one moment and not sparkling the next.”

“Impossible,” he said.

I said, “You’re right. It must be the stress.”

16 Nov

“Two weeks to the wedding!” Mum yelled, waking me.

At least I could be certain she wasn’t EMO. Dad drew sad smileys on the invitations.

17 Nov

Mum picked fresh tomatoes for our dinner, and once again I could have sworn she was sparkling. But when I blinked, she wasn’t. Weird.

18 Nov

“Bell! Bell!” said Pi.

I said, “What?”

“You were right! Mum has a natural immunity.”

“Fantastic.”

“I know. We have to clone her!”

“Pardon?”

19 Nov

“I have to what now?” I asked Pi.

He said, “Just ask Dad how often he bites Mum.”

“But –”

“We need to know. And I’m WAY too young to ask.”

*

Still not EMO, despite finding out Dad gives Mum hickies “every day or two”. I certainly FEEL sick. But will their grossness save the world?

20 Nov

I helped Pi get his cloning machine out of the shed. “And you DIDN’T win the science prize for this?”

He shrugged and said, “Nah. Volcanos.”

21 Nov

I got Mum to agree that she wished there were two of her doing all that wedding prep. She sat in Pi’s cloning machine and BOOM! Two Mums.

*

Still not EMO, despite suddenly copping twice as much wedding talk. I wish we could cure EMOs without actually talking to people.

22 Nov

Mum2 refused to get bitten. “Clones are people too. We have rights.”

“We?” said Pi.

That’s when Mum2 introduced Mum3, Mum4 and Mum5.

23 Nov

“Bell,” said Mum, “don’t be upset, but I’m going to be my own bridal party. Won’t it be fun?”

“Are ANY of you EMO yet?”

“Just your fathers.”

24 Nov

Ed’s coming to the wedding, because “it’ll be SUPER deep.” Tissue prices are rising. Still not EMO, despite getting shafted as bridesmaid.

25 Nov

Mum spent an hour crying due to Mum3 fitting her wedding dress better. I definitely saw sparkles. Then she went for a walk and got better.

26 Nov

Dad’s hair was already darkening because of EMO. He dyed it black for the wedding. His fringe is nearly chin-length. Still not EMO.

*

Pi crept into my room at night with a handful of syringes. “We need their blood! The Mums. Any one will do.”

I’m not sure he’s coping.

27 Nov

Tried to corner Mum5 but she just laughed at me. “I know a million more tricks than you, sweetheart!”

Still not EMO, despite my ten parents.

28 Nov

Pi yelled, “Bell! Mum3 is sparkling. We can grab her while she’s EMO and weak!

I ran out, but by the time we reached her Mum3 was fine.

*

Still not EMO, despite a clone of my Mum giving me a smack for being disrespectful. I hate it when that happens.

29 Nov

Tried to reason with the Mums. Big mistake. They were far too busy experimenting with hairstyles to want to hear how to save humanity.

*

Still not EMO, despite ten parents alternately telling me to (1) cheer up or (2) stop being so shallow now the wedding’s tomorrow. Bite me.

30

Dad avoided a ray of stained-glass sunlight. All the Mums glowed, and Mum3 sparkled. Mum walked down the aisle with a huge smile. . .

*

. . . and was tackled by Mum2. “This moment belongs to ME!” screamed Mum4, and jumped on top. Mum5 weighed in. Mum3 bit Mum5 on the leg.

*

I comforted Mum, saying the wedding was certainly lively. She passed me a full syringe. “I drew blood from Mum2 after Mum4 knocked her out.”

1 Dec

It was a relief to be back at school, even with Mr Joh’s sudden fascination with every Tim Burton movie ever made. Still not EMO.

2 Dec

Pi woke me, yelling, “It’s aliiiiive!”

“What?” “Mum2’s blood. I got Dad to drink a bit, and now the rest’s gone EMO.”

I went back to sleep.

*

Still not EMO, despite little brother developing his muttering skills suddenly. Poor Pi. He might not be EMO, but he’s also not. . . right.

3 Dec

Awoke with horrible thought and went to Pi. “You said Dad drank some of the blood sample. So his BACKWASH turned it EMO?”

“Yep. Ed’s, too.”

*

Still not EMO, despite beginning to wonder if blood tastes good. Ed says it’s like milo combined with tabasco sauce. I need to get out more.

4 Dec

The 7pm Project began with ten minutes of solemn reflection (Dave cried, then bit Carrie). Marge Simpson now wears black. I’m still not EMO.

5 Dec

Pi followed Mum around with Mum2’s blood vial clutched in his free hand. By the end of the day, the blood was dried, smelly – and un-EMO.

*

Still not EMO, though Pi won’t stop coming up with ever-weirder theories about Mum’s self-curing ability. He dissected our guinea pig, too.

6 Dec

Pi stumbled in holding his neck. Blood leaked through his fingers. As he fainted, he whispered, “It’s Mum’s behaviour, Bell, not her blood.”

*

“Please, Pi, try to focus. What did you mean it’s Mum’s behaviour? What is it she does that’s so different?” He shrugged, “Who cares?”

*

Still not EMO. My poor brother. . . Dad bit humanity’s best hope of recovery. Wait a sec. . . AM I EMO? That was practically poetry! Oh no!

7 Dec

Wandered the mall searching for anyone who wasn’t sparkling. I was all alone. Six Santas sat in a gutter, weeping and tolling their bells.

8 Dec

Got chased by three sad elves. Weird and frightening. Began disguising myself with dark clothes and morose expression. Green hair unhelpful.

9 Dec

“We’re thirsty,” said the newsreader. “We’re coming to find you, and we’ll drink to your health with your own sweet delicious blood!”

10 Dec

Pi came into my room. “You’re one of us, aren’t you Bell? You don’t want to be left behind, do you?”

Ed and four Dads shadowed him. I ran.

11 Dec

Found Mum at her work. She wasn’t sparkly. “How do you do it?” I begged. She said, “A good heart and plenty of fresh air, that’s how!”

12 Dec

Dreamed I was EMO. I walked into the sun and sparkled like fire – then I blew up! It was VERY sad. When I woke up, I knew what to do.

13 Dec

I crept into Pi’s room at night and dragged him into our old treehouse. He didn’t like his gag – or being tied onto the roof.

Then I waited.

14 Dec

Still not EMO, despite hiding in a treehouse and forcing my EMO brother to sparkle for over twelve hours.

Have I made a horrible mistake?

15 Dec

Pi thrashed in his bonds, attracting Ed and the Dads. They said, “Come down, Bell, we’re thirsty.”

Still not EMO – but for how long?

16 Dec

Spent the night listening to Pi moan and the Dads discuss whether I’d taste more like chilli sauce or peppermint chocolate when they ate me.

*

As the sun rose, the EMOs left to huddle inside. I saw their eyes, watching me. Watching my blood-flushed face. Getting ever thirstier.

*

I said, “You’ll have to climb up here. And what’s the point? What does it really mean?”

They discussed it, and I bought myself one more day.

17 Dec

“Bell?”

“Pi?”

“Bell!”

“Pi!”

“You saved me!”

I felt my eyes prick with tears. “I’m so glad you’re okay, Pi. Now we have to get out of here.”

*

We broke pieces off the treehouse and Whap! Bang! bashed those EMOs until they let us go. Running down the street, we laughed for joy.

*

“The cure is sunshine,” I explained to Pi.

He said, “Of course! The sparkling is caused by the mutated melanin escaping from the system.”

*

18 Dec

We stole cricket bats and attacked the school. Once we had the principal tied to the roof, the rest of the school toppled like dominoes.

*

“Job well done,” I said to Pi. We walked away whistling.

Mr Joh called faintly, “You’re both on detention! I’ll get you!”

19 Dec

“Should I check on the school?” Pi asked.

I said, “Nah. Once they’re cured they’ll be strong enough to untie themselves. Almost definitely.”

20 Dec

We found Mum in church, basking in the stained-glass light as her sparkles faded again. “Will you help us save the world?”

“Okay,” she said.

21 Dec

The Mums enjoyed tying the Dads to the treehouse roof a little too much.

Pi and I weren’t EMO, but we certainly felt wrong inside.

*

The three of us stormed Parliament House. I might have accidentally broken the Prime Minister’s nose (a little). Awkward!

22 Dec

Dad almost fooled us into untying him from the roof. He claimed he hadn’t finished buying our Christmas presents. Diabolical EMO tricks!

23 Dec

Dad’s probably recovered, but we left him there for safety’s sake. Mum and Pi and I took over Win News and wrote our own bulletin.

*

“We have thought-provoking news,” I read. “Excessive sunbathing causes cancer, which is VERY sad. Don’t go outside, whatever you do!”

24 Dec

We took Dad to the shops to tie a few Santas to the roof and treat ourselves to a little looting. We felt we’d all earned it.

*

Counted more than fifty EMO sunbathers on the way home. Our cunning plan is working! Soooo many sparkles.

25 Dec

“Sunny day,” Dad smiled.

I unwrapped my present. “Oh Dad, you shouldn’t have! A brand new cricket bat. Thanks!”

“I got one for each of us.”

*

The EMOs came at Christmas lunch. Somehow, they knew we’d tricked everyone. They battered at the windows and scratched at the doors. Oh no!

*

The clone parents charged with bats held high – sacrificing themselves to save us. We escaped while the EMOs had THEIR Christmas lunch.

Daylight Day 83: For that special someone. . . that you hate

Dad’s probably recovered, but we left him there for safety’s sake. Mum and Pi and I took over Win News and wrote our own bulletin.

*

“We have thought-provoking news,” I read. “Excessive sunbathing causes cancer, which is VERY sad. Don’t go outside, whatever you do!”

—————————————

A law firm is offering gift vouchers for divorce. It’s so wrong, and so popular.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/wacky/law-firm-lloyd-platt-co-offers-divorce-gift-vouchers-for-christmas/story-e6frev20-1225812268181

Daylight Day 82: Presents

Dad almost fooled us into untying him from the roof. He claimed he hadn’t finished buying our Christmas presents. Diabolical EMO tricks!

———————————————————-

The best present I ever received was a brand new laptop. Despite being a writer, I’d never had a new computer.

Thank you, Mum and Dad.

What was your best present ever?

Daylight Day 82: Preview of the next tale

The Mums enjoyed tying the Dads to the treehouse roof a little too much. Pi and I weren’t EMO, but we certainly felt wrong inside.

*

The three of us stormed Parliament House. I might have accidentally broken the Prime Minister’s nose (a little). Awkward!

——————————————————-

It’s that special time – the time in a twitter tale when I give out a free sample of the next story. This time, the next story is, “The Spy Who Shoved Me”.

Here’s day 1 (which actually takes place on 3 Jan – there’s a two-day gap):

The name’s Bind. Jimmy Bind. On mission to China. I can tell the flight attendant wants me diced on a tiny tray. Time for some airline food.

*

He comes at me with a poison toothpick. I click my pen and squirt gas in his eye. He reels and hits the Wong twins. Two Wongs make it right.

*

The Wongs knock the flight attendant out cold. I unclick my pen and accidentally poison myself. When I wake up, we’re in Beijing. Smooth.

Daylight Day 80: Guest Author

We found Mum in church, basking in the stained-glass light as her sparkles faded again. “Will you help us save the world?”

“Okay,” she said.

———————————————-

Today’s guest author is. . . well, it’s me. I’ve always had a fondness for weirdo stories (like, for example, twitter stories), and this is an early example. Each sentence starts with a consecutive letter of the alphabet (the original version went to Z, but I lost it).

GRAVE CONCERNS

Around the time other girls discovered boys, I discovered I was dead. Bodily odours have been a problem for my family ever since Granny was bitten by a dead neighbour.

     Cats recognize us, naturally, and a stray attacked my brother as he and I sat with his new girlfriend in the park.

     “Damn those cats,” said the girlfriend, and delivered it a swift stiletto kick in the ribs. Evie was the type of girl who was so busy practising her trendy self-defence moves she missed the apocalypse. Families like mine don’t heal, which raises unfortunate questions among her type.

     “Gee,” said Art, attempting to cover up the latest lot of teeth marks in his arm. He looked at me in a frantic plea for aid. “I. . . I’m sure it’s nothing, really.”

     Just then, I saw Evie’s brain switch to functional. Kind of not the best time. Like an idiot, I blurted out the whole story before she could run screaming.

“Me too,” she sighed at last, and settled back into Art’s gently decomposing arms without batting an eye.

Daylight Day 79: Steampunk

“Should I check on the school?” Pi asked.

I said, “Nah. Once they’re cured they’ll be strong enough to untie themselves. Almost definitely.”

———————————–

“Paranormal romance” is now its own genre – with plenty of shelf space. There’s such a lot of it that I hope the Western world overdoses and starts to hate it.

In my opinion, the next big thing is steampunk. These stories have a mechanical whimsy to them, and are often set in the late 1800s, especially in London – or in an alternate reality that is either set at the same time and society, but with far more mad science (eg Philip Reeve’s “Larklight” series – in my opinion, the funniest books ever written) or simply taking the idea of metal, cogs, and steam to a new and wonderful place (eg Richard Harland’s “Worldshaker” book – which takes the class-obsession of Victorian London and satirises it mercilessly). Movies with steampunk elements include “Sherlock Holmes”, and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.

Here’s a site steampunkers may enjoy:

http://hivequeenandcountry.com/home/

And here’s an example (one of many) of precisely what mechanical whimsy looks like:

This particular ring is made by Catherinetterings. You can find a lot of beautiful steampunk jewellery and other items by searching through etsy.

Daylight Day 78: Story so Far

2 Oct

EMO used to stand for ‘emotional’ – the teen subgroup that’s only happy to be sad. Now it’s become a disease eerily similar to vampirism.

*

My name’s Bell. I considered being EMO once, but then I saw a pretty butterfly and got over myself. Got bored and decided to save the world.

*

This is the documentary tale of the brave few fighting to find a cure for EMO (or, failing that, a quick and easy way to kill all those vampires dead).

3 Oct

In Civic, Ed kissed me and sighed. “Oh, Bell. Cloudy days are so deep.”

“Oh no!” I cried. “Ed, tell me you haven’t been bitten by an EMO!”

*

He didn’t laugh once at our preview of “Saw VI”. I yanked him into a rare patch of sun – and he sparkled. My boyfriend had turned EMO!

*

Finally he confessed: “My mum bit me.”

“Your MUM!?”

He sighed, “Sad, I know.”

“Do you want to drink my blood now?”

“Er. . . no,” he lied.

4 Oct

On the news: “The EMO subculture has now become a pandemic. EMO teens can be recognised by their depression, dark clothes, and bad poetry.”

*

I walked in the yard just as Mum set some weeds on fire. “Mum,” I said through the smoke, “Ed’s EMO.”

“That’s nice dear.”

*

My name’s pretty bad, but my brother is Pi. He’s ten and wears a labcoat. I told him, “Ed’s EMO.”

“Hm. Can I do experiments on him?”

“NO!”

5 Oct

“Ed, it’s the holidays. Don’t you feel a LITTLE happy?”

“No,” he said. “Bell, would it be okay if I drank you – just a little?”

“NO!”

*

“Exodermal Melanin Occlusion is spreading fast,” the news said. “Symptoms now include sparkling in sunshine, darkening hair, and whining.”

*

Ed tried to bite me, and I tripped over another EMO as I dodged him. Bruised my knees. Still not EMO, despite my black hair and long fringe.

6 Oct

Still not EMO, despite drenching rain. All the EMOs are thrilled they’re not sparkling today (Ed almost smiled). Bring back the sun!

*

“Cheer up,” said Mum, “I’ve decided to have a wedding.”

“But. . . you’re married.”

“Don’t spoil it. It’s exactly what all those EMOs need.”

7 Oct

I was dying my hair when Ed called. “Want to play EMO baseball with my family?”

“No.”

He cried until I hung up.

My hair turned green. Oops.

8 Oct

Pi asked me for Ed’s old hairbrush, so I humoured him and brought it. He said, “Bell, I think there might be a cure for EMOs!”

*

Still not EMO, although Ed keeps trying to bite me. Awkward!

9 Oct

Mum said, “Don’t you just love weddings?”

“Does Dad even know?”

“Hush,” said Mum.

Our shopgirl wept quietly as she pinned Mum’s dress.

10 Oct

“Do you think a wedding could cure EMOs?” I asked.

Pi snorted and said, “Has Ed bitten you at all?”

“No, we just make out.”

Pi looked ill.

11 Oct

I saw Dad writing a journal and looking mournful. Uh-oh. Still not EMO myself, despite blood-starved boyfriend and lime green hair.

*

“Don’t let ANYONE drink your blood,” said the news. “Authorities recommend hitting EMOs with cricket bats. Stay alert, not alarmed.”

12 Oct

Ed wore an overcoat and hat to school. Our teachers freaked and put him in detention. I think he bit Mr Joh, the science teacher. Awkward!

*

Ed and I wandered the mall and saw heaps of decorations. Ed sighed, “Christmas is so deep. It makes me feel all –”

“Sad?”

“How’d you know?”

13 Oct

Mr Joh burst into tears while telling us about the reproductive cycle of fruit flies. Ed gave him tissues. This EMO pandemic is so wrong.

14 Oct

Maths class was full of sighs and weeping. (Life hasn’t changed much.) I was put on detention for being insensitive about life’s deep pain.

*

The principal ran detention. He looked thirsty. I shrank in my seat. “Tomorrow,” he told me, “come to my office. Bring your school spirit.”

15 Oct

I brought my school spirit and a cricket bat. The principal grabbed my arm but I whacked him and dived under his desk until the bell rang.

*

Still not EMO, despite listening to principal discuss philosophy for the entire lunch hour. Thank you, cricket bat, thank you.

16 Oct

Ed took me to a graveyard for a date. It was crowded. He licked me on the neck, and I kneed him in the groin. “Don’t you love me?” he wept.

*

Still not EMO, despite kneeing EMO boyfriend in the groin. Actually, that was pretty fun.

17 Oct

I said to Pi, “You know how you wanted to experiment on Ed? Go for it.”

“Thank you thank you!”

It was great to see his childish joy.

18 Oct

Ed called and said, “My Mum wants to know how you got that lovely green in your hair.”

“Well, I –”

“Oh, what’s the point?!” he cried.

*

Pi and I snuck over, gagged Ed, and dragged him home. He sparkled all the way. We locked him in the spare room with a saucer of rat’s blood.

Still not EMO, despite Ed’s slurping of his rat blood. He always was a messy eater. Now he stinks too (he owns only one all-black outfit).

19 Oct

Still not EMO, despite Dad cornering me in the laundry to lecture me on the meaninglessness of his existence. Hope we find a cure.

20 Oct

Caught Pi measuring Ed’s fringe. “When do you start experimenting on him?” I asked.

He said, “Soon. I’m gathering data.”

Still not EMO.

*

Pi said, “Should we ungag Ed? Mum and Dad are fine with him being here.”

“No,” I said, “If we did that, he might start talking again.”

21 Oct

Is being obsessed with Ed’s hair a symptom of EMO? Pi was measured it AGAIN. I wish he’d go into the sunshine so I could see if he sparkles.

22 Oct

“Eureka!” Pi yelled from the EMO room. I ran in. Pi brandished his clipboard. “EMO makes your fringe grow!”

“How is that useful exactly?”

*

Still not EMO, even though my boyfriend has better hair than me. On the up side, Pi stood in sunlight for me – no sparkles. Unlike Dad.

23 Oct

“Oh,” Dad sighed, “weddings always make me cry.”

“No they don’t! You always laugh at the priest wearing a dress. Won’t that be fun?”

“No.”

24 Oct

I felt mean and gave Ed his ipod and speaker. He played “Bleeding Love” for twelve hours. Still not EMO, though after that I do want to cry.

25 Oct

Ed’s Mum rang. I said, “Erm. . . Did you want Ed back?”

She sighed and said, “I don’t deserve him. You keep him.”

“Thanks. Thanks SO much.”

26 Oct

Came home from school to find Pi wrestling Ed. They broke apart and looked at me guiltily. “Ed! No biting!” I said.

“Who me?” he said.

*

Dobbed on Pi, but Mum wasn’t concerned. “Healthy exercise is just what EMOs need. What do you think about a red colour scheme?”

“Mu-um!”

27 Oct

Found Ed pinned helplessly under Pi’s ten-year old foot. “This gets easier by the day!” said Pi.

I said, “We already KNEW EMOs were weak.”

Still not EMO, despite my boyfriend getting regularly beaten up by my nerdy little brother. Dad said red is a very emotional colour. Great.

28 Oct

Mr Joh said life is a meaningless series of unconnected events, so there’s no point studying. Finally this pandemic has an up side!

29 Oct

Pi enjoyed demonstrating his ability to restrain Ed with a single finger.

Mum and Dad’s wedding is set for thirty November.

Still not EMO.

30 October

Mum said, “Be my bridesmaid.”

“Sure – but won’t it be hard to keep your guests from biting one another – enclosed spaces, and all that?”

31 Oct

Finally a weekend! No more sightings of Mr Joh and the principal sharing a tissue box. No more in-class essays on HOW I FEEL. Just Ed. D’oh!

1 November

“Can you believe it’s my wedding month already?” trilled Mum.

Dad and I exchanged a glance of woe. I caught myself and checked for sparkles.

*

Still not EMO. How can my hair be so green without falling out? Maybe I’ve become an anti-EMO. If only I could believe that.

2 Nov

Someone with a hand-drawn Red Cross badge came looking for donations today. I’m pretty sure they don’t usually collect blood door-to-door.

3 Nov

The art teacher made us draw self-portraits. Most of the class mixed their paint with real tears. Went home and bashed head against wall.

4 Nov

The newsreader said, “Our alert has been raised to red – a deep, emotional red. You may as well get bitten. What does it matter anyway?”

5 Nov

All TV cancelled in favour of OC re-runs. Pi and I sat watching Ed cry for two hours. His fringe grew visibly. Still not EMO (pretty sure).

6 Nov

Spent our date night feeding Ed different types of animal blood. He likes dog best. I chose not to ask where Pi got it from. Dad likes cat.

7 Nov

Ed played “Bleeding Love” until I smashed his ipod speaker. He said I was unsupportive and tried to bite me. I’ve got to stay alert!

8 Nov

Decided to confirm Pi’s previous experiment, and challenged Ed to fisticuffs. Beat him easily every time. Science is fun.

9 Nov

I asked the school counsellor for advice on helping friends with EMO-related depression.

“It’s not depression,” she said, “It’s TRUTH.”

10 Nov

For English, Miss Winter read “Wuthering Heights”. It was impossible to understand, because she was sobbing so hard.

Still not EMO.

11 Nov

Our French teacher lectured us today on the deep sadness of all European nations. Luckily, she did most of it in French.

Still not EMO.

12 Nov

In History, Mr Theo told us the World Wars were largely pointless. And so was the Industrial Revolution. And everything else.

Still not EMO.

13 Nov

The principal interrupted maths to bite most of the front row. When the sun shone in the window, the sparkles were blinding.

Still not EMO.

14 Nov

Ed said if I loved him I’d let him bite me. He was too weak to try, but I kicked him in the groin anyway. Suddenly my week got better.

15 Nov

Mum hung out washing and my heart stopped. She was sparkling.

“Mum! You’re EMO!” I cried.

She said, “Nonsense. Look again.”

She was fine.

*

“Pi, I swear she was sparkling one moment and not sparkling the next.”

“Impossible,” he said.

I said, “You’re right. It must be the stress.”

16 Nov

“Two weeks to the wedding!” Mum yelled, waking me.

At least I could be certain she wasn’t EMO. Dad drew sad smileys on the invitations.

17 Nov

Mum picked fresh tomatoes for our dinner, and once again I could have sworn she was sparkling. But when I blinked, she wasn’t. Weird.

18 Nov

“Bell! Bell!” said Pi.

I said, “What?”

“You were right! Mum has a natural immunity.”

“Fantastic.”

“I know. We have to clone her!”

“Pardon?”

19 Nov

“I have to what now?” I asked Pi.

He said, “Just ask Dad how often he bites Mum.”

“But –”

“We need to know. And I’m WAY too young to ask.”

*

Still not EMO, despite finding out Dad gives Mum hickies “every day or two”. I certainly FEEL sick. But will their grossness save the world?

20 Nov

I helped Pi get his cloning machine out of the shed. “And you DIDN’T win the science prize for this?”

He shrugged and said, “Nah. Volcanos.”

21 Nov

I got Mum to agree that she wished there were two of her doing all that wedding prep. She sat in Pi’s cloning machine and BOOM! Two Mums.

*

Still not EMO, despite suddenly copping twice as much wedding talk. I wish we could cure EMOs without actually talking to people.

22 Nov

Mum2 refused to get bitten. “Clones are people too. We have rights.”

“We?” said Pi.

That’s when Mum2 introduced Mum3, Mum4 and Mum5.

23 Nov

“Bell,” said Mum, “don’t be upset, but I’m going to be my own bridal party. Won’t it be fun?”

“Are ANY of you EMO yet?”

“Just your fathers.”

24 Nov

Ed’s coming to the wedding, because “it’ll be SUPER deep.” Tissue prices are rising. Still not EMO, despite getting shafted as bridesmaid.

25 Nov

Mum spent an hour crying due to Mum3 fitting her wedding dress better. I definitely saw sparkles. Then she went for a walk and got better.

26 Nov

Dad’s hair was already darkening because of EMO. He dyed it black for the wedding. His fringe is nearly chin-length. Still not EMO.

*

Pi crept into my room at night with a handful of syringes. “We need their blood! The Mums. Any one will do.”

I’m not sure he’s coping.

27 Nov

Tried to corner Mum5 but she just laughed at me. “I know a million more tricks than you, sweetheart!”

Still not EMO, despite my ten parents.

28 Nov

Pi yelled, “Bell! Mum3 is sparkling. We can grab her while she’s EMO and weak!

I ran out, but by the time we reached her Mum3 was fine.

*

Still not EMO, despite a clone of my Mum giving me a smack for being disrespectful. I hate it when that happens.

29 Nov

Tried to reason with the Mums. Big mistake. They were far too busy experimenting with hairstyles to want to hear how to save humanity.

*

Still not EMO, despite ten parents alternately telling me to (1) cheer up or (2) stop being so shallow now the wedding’s tomorrow. Bite me.

30

Dad avoided a ray of stained-glass sunlight. All the Mums glowed, and Mum3 sparkled. Mum walked down the aisle with a huge smile. . .

*

. . . and was tackled by Mum2. “This moment belongs to ME!” screamed Mum4, and jumped on top. Mum5 weighed in. Mum3 bit Mum5 on the leg.

*

I comforted Mum, saying the wedding was certainly lively. She passed me a full syringe. “I drew blood from Mum2 after Mum4 knocked her out.”

1 Dec

It was a relief to be back at school, even with Mr Joh’s sudden fascination with every Tim Burton movie ever made. Still not EMO.

2 Dec

Pi woke me, yelling, “It’s aliiiiive!”

“What?” “Mum2’s blood. I got Dad to drink a bit, and now the rest’s gone EMO.”

I went back to sleep.

*

Still not EMO, despite little brother developing his muttering skills suddenly. Poor Pi. He might not be EMO, but he’s also not. . . right.

3 Dec

Awoke with horrible thought and went to Pi. “You said Dad drank some of the blood sample. So his BACKWASH turned it EMO?”

“Yep. Ed’s, too.”

*

Still not EMO, despite beginning to wonder if blood tastes good. Ed says it’s like milo combined with tabasco sauce. I need to get out more.

4 Dec

The 7pm Project began with ten minutes of solemn reflection (Dave cried, then bit Carrie). Marge Simpson now wears black. I’m still not EMO.

5 Dec

Pi followed Mum around with Mum2’s blood vial clutched in his free hand. By the end of the day, the blood was dried, smelly – and un-EMO.

*

Still not EMO, though Pi won’t stop coming up with ever-weirder theories about Mum’s self-curing ability. He dissected our guinea pig, too.

6 Dec

Pi stumbled in holding his neck. Blood leaked through his fingers. As he fainted, he whispered, “It’s Mum’s behaviour, Bell, not her blood.”

*

“Please, Pi, try to focus. What did you mean it’s Mum’s behaviour? What is it she does that’s so different?” He shrugged, “Who cares?”

*

Still not EMO. My poor brother. . . Dad bit humanity’s best hope of recovery. Wait a sec. . . AM I EMO? That was practically poetry! Oh no!

7 Dec

Wandered the mall searching for anyone who wasn’t sparkling. I was all alone. Six Santas sat in a gutter, weeping and tolling their bells.

8 Dec

Got chased by three sad elves. Weird and frightening. Began disguising myself with dark clothes and morose expression. Green hair unhelpful.

9 Dec

“We’re thirsty,” said the newsreader. “We’re coming to find you, and we’ll drink to your health with your own sweet delicious blood!”

10 Dec

Pi came into my room. “You’re one of us, aren’t you Bell? You don’t want to be left behind, do you?”

Ed and four Dads shadowed him. I ran.

11 Dec

Found Mum at her work. She wasn’t sparkly. “How do you do it?” I begged. She said, “A good heart and plenty of fresh air, that’s how!”

12 Dec

Dreamed I was EMO. I walked into the sun and sparkled like fire – then I blew up! It was VERY sad. When I woke up, I knew what to do.

13 Dec

I crept into Pi’s room at night and dragged him into our old treehouse. He didn’t like his gag – or being tied onto the roof.

Then I waited.

14 Dec

Still not EMO, despite hiding in a treehouse and forcing my EMO brother to sparkle for over twelve hours.

Have I made a horrible mistake?

15 Dec

Pi thrashed in his bonds, attracting Ed and the Dads. They said, “Come down, Bell, we’re thirsty.”

Still not EMO – but for how long?

16 Dec

Spent the night listening to Pi moan and the Dads discuss whether I’d taste more like chilli sauce or peppermint chocolate when they ate me.

*

As the sun rose, the EMOs left to huddle inside. I saw their eyes, watching me. Watching my blood-flushed face. Getting ever thirstier.

*

I said, “You’ll have to climb up here. And what’s the point? What does it really mean?”

They discussed it, and I bought myself one more day.

17 Dec

“Bell?”

“Pi?”

“Bell!”

“Pi!”

“You saved me!”

I felt my eyes prick with tears. “I’m so glad you’re okay, Pi. Now we have to get out of here.”

*

We broke pieces off the treehouse and Whap! Bang! bashed those EMOs until they let us go. Running down the street, we laughed for joy.

*

“The cure is sunshine,” I explained to Pi.

He said, “Of course! The sparkling is caused by the mutated melanin escaping from the system.”

*

18 Dec

We stole cricket bats and attacked the school. Once we had the principal tied to the roof, the rest of the school toppled like dominoes.

*

“Job well done,” I said to Pi. We walked away whistling.

Mr Joh called faintly, “You’re both on detention! I’ll get you!”

Daylight Day 77: The Science

“Bell?”

“Pi?”

“Bell!”

“Pi!”

“You saved me!”

I felt my eyes prick with tears. “I’m so glad you’re okay, Pi. Now we have to get out of here.”

*

We broke pieces off the treehouse and Whap! Bang! bashed those EMOs until they let us go. Running down the street, we laughed for joy.

*

“The cure is sunshine,” I explained to Pi.

He said, “Of course! The sparkling is caused by the mutated melanin escaping from the system.”

————————————-

Here, at last, are the facts (and yes, this is real science – who’da thunk it?):

The sparkling is caused by a built up of Silicates in the epidermis.

EMO is a Retrovirus (i.e. a DNA-altering virus) which infects the outer layers of the skin. Like most viruses, it can be destroyed by ultraviolet light, and hence it modifies the cell’s Melanin genes so that the cell produces Silicate Crystals instead of normal Melanin.
This has three effects:
1. It makes the infected very pale and sparkly (kind of like if they were coated in countless tiny beads of glass)
2. Since Silicates reflect light very effectively, it gives the virus a large degree of protection against sunlight (unless the person is heavily exposed).
3. The Silicate crystals produced pass into the bloodstream and build up in the Brain – particularly in the Hypothalamus, Amygdala (Dysfunction of which is associated with Photophobia – aversion to light – and sometimes with compulsive biting behaviour), and the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (disruption of which results in extreme apathy and emotional blunting).

Daylight Day 76: Dangerous Baths

Spent the night listening to Pi moan and the Dads discuss whether I’d taste more like chilli sauce or peppermint chocolate when they ate me.

*

As the sun rose, the EMOs left to huddle inside. I saw their eyes, watching me. Watching my blood-flushed face. Getting ever thirstier.

*

I said, “You’ll have to climb up here. And what’s the point? What does it really mean?”

They discussed it, and I bought myself one more day.

——————————————

Since our hero isn’t able to bath at the moment, it’s more or less appropriate to share a passage from a book I just finished. It’s “Victorian London”, one of a series of historical books by Liza Picard. Like most non-fiction, it’s often a wade through educationalness (can you believe I finished uni?) but there are many moments of sheer brilliance.

This passage discusses the various methods used to heat baths (at the time, they were made of metal):

. . . Or you might prefer the more direct application of heat to the bath itself, such as Defries’ Magic Heater, which for the expenditure of 2d-worth of gas would produce a hot bath in six minutes – and, one would imagine, a pool of molten metal and a violent explosion fairly soon afterwards. Then there were those terrifying contraptions aptly called geysers since they were as unpredictable and uncontrollable as anything in nature, often resulting in blowing off your eyebrows. They assumed (1) a room free of draughts which would, and usually did, blow out the vital match which you held at the pilot-light nozzle; (2) presence of mind, at that point, to turn off the gas supply; (3) strong nerves; (4) an unquenchable desire for a hot bath, then, there, and not later or elsewhere: all to be coordinated while appropriately dressed for the bath you hoped to take.

Daylight Day 75: Heavy Metal Gift Guide

Pi thrashed in his bonds, attracting Ed and the Dads. They said, “Come down, Bell, we’re thirsty.”

Still not EMO – but for how long?

————————————–

Okay, so half of this blog is lifted straight off Steff Metal. I admit it. And she really outdid herself this time (and I’m speaking as someone who is definitely not a metalhead):

http://steffmetal.com/heavy-metal-christmas-shopping-guide/

Here’s a free sample: 

Daylight Day 73: Guest Author

I crept into Pi’s room at night and dragged him into our old treehouse. He didn’t like his gag – or being tied onto the roof.

Then I waited.

—————————————————-

Today’s guest author is Australian writer Crisetta MacLeod.

NUMBERS

My little sister was such a clever little thing – cute as a button, and learned to read almost as soon as she learned to walk.  Her favourite game was with her numbers, though.  Our Dad is a “Numbers Man” in the state government, which he thinks is a huge joke because he has always loved figures, originally trained as an accountant, then got into statistics, that kind of thing.  He always played number games with us, right from when we were babies.

Little sister Una (“Number One”, Dad called her) really lapped up his games.  I swear she understood numbers better than I did, and I was four years older than her.  She especially liked her Cuisenaire rods, and Dad would play sums with her and she would whip those wooden bricks around in a flash, and come up with an answer.  Then came the day when he asked her “What’s 7 plus 4?” expecting her usual arranging of her rods, but the minx twinkled at him and said “11” – she was beginning to do things in her little wise head!

Dad had to go to Switzerland for a conference of some sort and he brought her home a box of really enchanting numbers, carved in wood and painted, each number a quaint little person.  How she loved those!  One of her favourite games was “Looking after Number One”.  She used to tuck Number One, her namesake, up in a tiny cot at night and sing him number songs.  I’d hear her singing away …”One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so!”  And then she’d whisper to him, “I’ll always be your friend, you won’t be alone at all!

Dad loved to show off her precocious number skills when colleagues came for dinner.  One night someone asked “And what’s your favourite number?” and with a wicked look on her angelic face she replied “Eleventy-four!” and waited for the condescending, amused smiles around the table.  Then she said “That’s what I used to call it when I was little – it’s the number of the bus that goes past here all the way to Daddy’s work!  And I think it sounds much nicer than one hundred and fourteen!”

Then a black day arrived when Dad was in big trouble at work – I didn’t understand what was going on, but “We just don’t have the numbers!” was repeated despairingly – around the dinner table, to Mum, on the phone, again and again “We don’t have the numbers!” in an increasingly exasperated and anxious voice.

Una loved her Daddy.  The poor wee soul packed up her precious number friends in her Bob the Builder backpack, including her precious Number One who she dressed in a tiny jacket which had belonged to a Teddy.  If Daddy needed numbers, she would give him hers – her very best treasures.  She slipped out of the house clutching 20 cents in her little hand, and went to catch the eleventy-four bus to Daddy’s work, so that he would have the very best numbers and not be worried and sad any more.

She didn’t understand how to catch a bus.  She had never even been on one, since we drove everywhere.  She was knocked down and killed by the eleventy-four.

Her number was up.