Garn the Magnificent was mightily irritated. He had been firmly ensconced in his rooms at Council Headquarters for several days as he worked single mindedly on an extremely delicate task. It required nerve, dedication, laser-sharp focus, and copious amounts of Cheetos – and it had been going quite well until someone decided to pound on his door.
“Go away!” He called. “I’m not home!”
There was a moment of silence, and then the pounding began again.
“Fine!” Garn grumbled as he dusted fine, cheesy orange crumbs off of his shirt. He stomped to the entry and pressed the button to activate the door. “Someone had better be bleeding or dying!”
His not so very good friend Gral stood on the other side. His eyes widened comically. “Lord of Chaos, Man! What has happened to you?”
Garn frowned. “Nothing, obviously. And if you’re going to waste my time with nonsense, I’ll bid you good day, then.”
Gral wedged one beefy shoulder into the opening and kept the door from sliding closed. “You haven’t answered your ‘link in days, you just missed your portal reservation to Kan-Kun IV, and you’re a mess!” He said, indicating Garn’s stained shirt. His nose wrinkled in disgust as he finally entered the room. “And your quarters are a health hazard!” He said as pointed to the mound of half-full takeout food containers in a corner of the room.
Garn drew himself up to his full height. “I have been working on an extremely important project,” he said with great dignity.
Gral smirked. “And what would that be? Seeing how many varieties of Tellurian mold you can grow?”
Garn scowled. “If you must know, I am participating in NaNoWriMo.”
“Is that some sort of contest where you risk your life by eating half-spoiled food?”
“No,” Garn answered, enunciating his words very precisely. “It is National Novel Writing Month. I am writing a novel.”
Gral’s wide brow furrowed. “What is a novel and why must you write one?”
Garn sighed. “It’s a type of Earth fiction and during the eleventh month of the year, hundreds of thousands of Earthlings gather together virtually to write them. Carol told me about it. It’s quite inspiring.”
“You know you’re not actually on Earth right now, don’t you?”
“That’s awfully narrow-minded of you,” Garn sniffed. He held up a tattered paper notebook. “It’s only five standard Earth days into NaNoWriMo and I have already completed almost 10,000 of the 50,000 words I have pledged to write. Victory is mine!”
Gral looked doubtfully down at the food spattered pages. “What do you win if you finish? Is the prize food or monetary?”
Garn opened his mouth and then closed it again. “Neither of those.” He thought for several long moments. “I suppose I will just win those bragging rights that Carol has told me of.”
Gral quirked one eyebrow. “So, you’re shutting yourself into a tiny dark room for an entire Earth month for no tangible reward?” He shook his head. “Well, I suppose that I’ll just leave you to it.”
“I would be most happy if you would,” Garn grumbled. “I’ll walk you out.”
Gral turned at the door. “I just have one question – why are you writing on paper?” He pointed to a small workstation in one corner. “You have a data-comp, at least two tablets and your neural interface is working just fine. Why must you use such an antiquated, wasteful method?”
Garn gasped. “You can’t expect me to write the next great American novel on a soulless machine! That’s barbaric!”
Gral shook his head. “You realize that you’re not actually American, right?”
Garn’s mouth opened and closed several times, but no sound came out. Finally, he pushed Gral out the door. “Your presence is stifling my creativity,” he ground out. And then, without another word, Garn pressed the button and the door closed with a hiss.
Happy Thursday, Friends (and happy NaNoWriMo)!