Abandonment Party 2: Chapter 23 (Second Draft)

APHeader2D

 

Only a few minor descriptions were improved in this chapter. Not really worth discussing. So shoot–I guess I’d better talk about the hit manga One Piece, and how it relates to this chapter!

Actually, every Japanese action comic seems to do what this chapter does: They like to remind you that the villain is evil. Here’s what they do: Is the final showdown coming up? Is the hero/heroine on their way there? Well we can’t have that happen without first making sure that all the tragedy has sunk in!

I don’t mind if a story does that–as long as they keep it short. That’s why this chapter is one page; I don’t want to dwell on flashbacks when there’s an ending to get to.

At the same time, this segment is absolutely essential: Not only am I describing a pivotal moment in Parlay’s life, but I’m using the event to link the two books. I’m making it clear that Pinada’s actions influenced Parlay. And she/he goes on to become the “villain” of the first story, continuing the tragic cycle. Now the reader can go to the final confrontation, confident that Pinada needs to be beaten for his heinous acts. (This was also a major theme in the chapter where he killed everyone.)

One more thing: I saw my old pal Jimmy at church today! I told him about these books and this site. Hey Jimmy! If you’re reading this you might want to watch out for spoilers! There are some around here somewhere.

23 – Burial

 

A noise stirred the garden for the first time in a month: Parlay’s slim form entered from the six-tree hex door. Her hair was greasy, short, and uneven; her shirt and vest were wrinkled and tinged with stains. She had returned home.

“She’s not here either,” she said, looking past the lush plants bordering the path. “Nobody is. There’s nobody left.”

Her shoe crunched on an empty rory shell. She dropped her gaze down, lifting her foot. With raw, pink eyes she saw the tiny husks speckling the stone path.

“And I can’t get away from it, can I?” she asked. “There’ll always be something.” She stomped her foot and smashed another shell into dust. “Something to remind me of all the people I failed.”

She marched ahead, running her hand across the grasses, flowers, and reeds at her side. As she brushed against them they twisted and the color faded; the moisture bled out, shimmering in the sun. For every plant that she touched the similar kinds were affected, every species that decorated every spot in the yard. The garden rustled and cracked as she walked: branches falling and buds bursting apart from their stems. As she reached the front stairs the path behind her was withered and rotten.

“This is my great prize–for being so nice,” she uttered, pushing the door open. A small package sat on the foyer table. She picked it up with a swipe. The label read “To: Mean.”

“Friends I can’t ever see again,” she cried, flinging the box across the room. “People that only understood me for one, stupid day!”

Tears trickled from her eyes and she rubbed at them with her palm. She laughed through a sob, snapping up an amulet from the table. Squeezing it tight, vein oozed out between her fingers.

“Are you watching?” she shouted into the vast room. She drew out the red matter into a crude, jagged blade. “This is funny to you, right!?”

She swung the vein and hacked into the table, leaving deep dents in the wood. Pieces shattered off as she flailed at the couch, tearing the upholstery and spilling it out. As she lashed out with the vein it fragmented upon the floor, until nothing but a cracked stump was left. She hissed through her teeth at the rest of the room as the red pieces writhed upon the tile, sinking into the cracks. With the vein in her hands, a slow groan worked its way up through the mansion’s high walls, and the chandelier above Parlay shook.

“I just want it to end,” she said as the walls broke open: flashes of red zig-zagging from ceiling to floor. Sharp spines pressed up through the tiles, growing up in straight needles through the couch and the furniture; piercing them, widening, and ripping them apart. The pots surrounding the pit with the lily all jumped as the vein shot in from below; they shook and shattered, spilling the dirt in every direction along with the leafy plants they held. The chandelier’s chain snapped and the golden frame fell with a clang to the floor, where it was wrenched apart by the vein daggers waiting there. The room filled with the whirring of the bladed vein teeth; every object was shredded and Parlay strode through the dust.

“I don’t want want to be me anymore,” she said, walking into the pit where the lily was. She fell upon the brown leaves and clutched at her hair, drawing her legs in and wailing.

“I don’t want to remember–” she cried out as her skin split and shifted. “I don’t want to think; I don’t want to remember.”

The dust covered her and the vein withdrew. Her sobs gave way to deep laughter.

DRAFT END

Choice Edits:

“She’s not here either,” she said, looking past the lush plants bordering the path. “Nobody is. There’s nobody left.”

I decided to end the previous chapter with a guard searching for Mean. I wanted to use that idea to carry over into this chapter where Parlay is looking for Mean as well.

If this was a film or a comic book I could have the voice-over from the guard asking “where is she” overlap with the scene with Parlay. Then Parlay wouldn’t have to say anything and you’d be like “whoa.” Well, maybe I can try it! How does this look:

A noise stirred the garden for the first time in a month: Parlay’s slim form entered from the six-tree hex door. Her hair was greasy, short, and uneven; her shirt and vest were wrinkled and tinged with stains. She had returned home.

“Where is she?” the guard from five years in the future on another planet asked.

Parlay scanned the garden with wistful eyes. Where was she, indeed?

Yeah, that technique doesn’t really work so well in print.

Sharp spines pressed up through the tiles, growing up in straight needles through the couch and the furniture; piercing them, widening, and ripping them apart.

I know I said I wanted to describe many, many things being smashed but I MUST keep this chapter short. It pains me! Oh! Terrible lament! The story MUST endure without detailed accounts of leaves exploding off trees.

That already happened during Tome’s attack two chapters ago so I SUPPOSE I can do without it this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *