Abandonment Party 2: Chapter 25 (Second Draft)

APHeader2D

In the previous chapters I said that I wanted to change some of Pinada’s dialogue around. I cut out anything that was a petty insult, opting for lines that were more witty or sarcastic. That doesn’t mean that Pinada isn’t capable of stooping that low; it’s just that the time for such stooping hadn’t come yet.

But now it’s time. His case has been shattered. His face has been punched. Things have happened that he didn’t foresee. He’s still dominating this struggle, of course, but that momentary loss of control isn’t something he’s used to.

And it’s always so satisfying to see the smug, arrogant villain removed from his comfort zone–even for a moment.

DRAFT START

25 – Dividual

 

Dark gurgled, staggering back as Mean drove the blade through his chest until the hilt clinked against his armor. Blood dribbled out through the hole that it made. She laughed, pressing him back to one of the tall pillars.

“Possession–” Tome gasped. He scrambled over to where Pinada’s body was sprawled. He swiped a triangular shard from the broken glass case, directing the jagged end down at his neck. “Mean, hold on; he can’t do it for long.”

Pinada opened his eyes and flicked with this finger. The shard zipped backward and out of Tome’s hands. He yelped as two red slashes opened at his palms; he drew his arms to his chest. The glass shard doubled back, striking the back of Tome’s knee. He fell to the floor. Pinada shrugged off his heavy coat.

“What can’t I do?” he coughed. He planted his feet on the floor and rose, the turquoise scarf unraveling from his neck, sliding off. Dark cried out through his helmet’s crack as Mean pinned him against the tall pillar. Her face wore the same grin as Pinada.

“What–you can’t be both–” Tome sputtered. Mean’s tiny hands let go of the sword.

“I can; you’re not thinking.” Her voice was louder as she chided him. “I stole your trick. I saw how you left your body on the night of the comet.”

“But I didn’t see a use for it at first,” Pinada chimed in, his voice losing the hollow rebound now that the casing was gone. “I can’t use magic without a body; and I’d rather die than be condemned to float around as a ghost.”

Mean’s finger gave the bridge of her nose an involuntary tap. “And I couldn’t find a way to permanently take control of a person. Mean here will reject my mind and force it out.”

“So that got me thinking,” Pinada said. “What if I tried to possess my own body–”

“That is, to say;” Mean went on, “my body at some point in the past?”

Tome slinked back with his feet scraping over the cave floor. He held his bleeding hands close.

“That’s what you did,” he panted. “That’s what you used that wretched virus for. You aren’t one person–there’s two inside of you from two different times.”

“Everything made sense once I figured it out,” Pinada laughed. “My power–my genius. Why I could figure out patterns that no one else could. I always had another personality at the back of my mind; the only one I could bear to be with: my own!”

Pinada kept laughing as Mean doubled over. Tears streamed from her eyes and she gritted her teeth.

“You’re fighting.” Her lips spoke, trembling. “But your mind is my tool; let me show you how I can use it.”

Her body was flung to the floor with a thud. Her dress and hair were pressed flat.

“Dark, I’m sorry!” she sobbed. She looked over at him, crying; her arm struggled to rise. After a wavering effort it slapped to the floor.

“It’s–okay–” Dark gasped. “It was him.”

Pinada smiled, closing his eyes and stretching his arms. His buttoned-up shirt displayed hundreds of tiny, tan rectangles against the black cloth. With an invigorating shiver, he cocked his head down at Tome.

“Hello Sing,” he greeted, his loud voice carrying through the cavern. “It’s been such a long time.”

He tugged at the tight-fitting sleeves on his shirt, bringing them up to his wrists.

“You’re older than the other one,” Tome said. Pinada rose his eyebrows behind his glasses.

“Oh, you can tell?” he began. “Yes, only one mind can be dominant; the other one is suppressed. It’s my failsafe”–he gestured back to where Dark stood, pinned–”as our pal Dartboard knows, a pattern faint enough is untouchable. From rories–from any sort of detection.”

He swept his arms out. The dust at his feet stirred. The coaster rails shuddered from where they were wrapped around the tall pillars; the pieces of broken glass lifted into the air. Tome swore and Pinada laughed at him.

“That’s right–” he announced, “your armored friend screwed you over!”

The shards of glass spun and maneuvered: interlocking and fusing into solid, square pieces. They swirled in the air around Pinada. One loomed above Tome as he dragged himself up, wincing as he pushed up with his hands. Pinada beckoned him over.

“C’mon, Sing,” he challenged. “Drag Parlay’s sorry body over here and show me what for. I won’t even close my case.”

“Tome, watch out!” Mean shouted.

Tome took a step in Pinada’s direction. The glass plate above him dropped and collided with the back of his skull. He was sent to the floor with a whimper and Pinada howled with loud laughter.

“Stop it!” Mean shouted. She lifted her head from the floor, wavering for a moment before slamming back flat again.

“Alright, I will,” Pinada said, lifting his glasses to wipe at his eye. “He can watch me kill you now.” He stepped upon the glass square that had just smacked Tome, drawing the other plates to him: one above with the spire reaffixed, two at his sides, and two more at his front and back.

He dragged his fingers inward and the pieces snapped together, encasing him once more. A slow grind sounded as he turned to where Mean glared at him through her tears.

“You hit me you little wench,” Pinada stated, brushing at the purpling bruise on his cheek. “Let’s see how you like it.”

He pointed at a stone and it scraped up from the floor, wobbling as it was flung. With a sudden dip it struck Mean in the stomach, cracking in two and bouncing off with a thud. She choked, gasping at the cold cave air.

“Pinada, I’m the one–” Dark said, pulling the sword out of his chest by the hilt. “I’m the one that–”

The glass case rotated and Pinada pinched at the air: the sword swept out of Dark’s body; he collapsed, gurgling.

“It’s disgusting: the way you follow her around,” Pinada said. “No drive of your own; just someone else’s pet.”

Dark coughed, pushing up with his arms. Cocoa slithered near the breastplate’s puncture. “I’m sorry–Mean, I’m sorry that I didn’t say more–”

“It’s alright, Dark, don’t talk,” Mean said. “I told you not to, remember? If only I hadn’t been so scared all the time. I’m sorry–”

Pinada scoffed.

“I had to listen to everyone on my world talk about you,” he groused, slapping the glass. “Every day it would be: ‘don’t they make a cute couple’ or some other petty remark. And Tenny with that Trisk woman–falling in love is so common, so plain. Even the lowest of animals can mate with each other; you all waste your time on such meaningless things.”

Dark made a swipe for the sword that hovered nearby, missing. Pinada pulled it further away.

“You want it, dog?” he laughed, flinging the weapon with a flick of his finger. It soared through the cavern, clanking to rest near a far-off steel strut. Dark fell onto his forearms and seethed through clenched teeth. He looked over at where Mean was held. She stared back at him with her brown hair snaking along the ground. Her yellow dress was torn where the rock had hit her.

“I forgot:” Pinada spoke down to Dark, “Parlay mentioned that you have four hearts.” He looked at his watch. “I guess you’ll live long enough to see her die, then.”

He gestured over at the heap where his discarded coat was: the turquoise scarf came rippling over to him.

“And I want you to know, Mean,” Pinada said, twirling the blue fabric in circles. “That I’m going to go back and see all of the people that you’ll never see again.” He gave a snap with his wrist, and the scarf whipped across Mean’s face. The glossy material clung to her. She writhed and and shook her head, her chest heaving. Pinada withdrew the cloth for a moment, and Mean let out sharp gasps. He snapped it over her face again.

“I’m going to go back and merge with myself,” he stated. “Then I’ll come back to this point and do it all over. Every time I’ll become more unique than anyone else; every time I’ll murder them while they call me ‘hero!'”

Mean squirmed, her skin paling. The scarf becoming wet where it clung to her mouth.

“The friends you made will never know you,” Pinada laughed, removing his glasses and wiping his eyes. “They will only cheer for me: the wonderful genius Pinada!”

He whipped the scarf away from Mean’s face again: she coughed and inhaled, looking past Pinada’s case.

“Dark, no, Dark!” she cried out. Pinada chuckled to himself, wiping his glasses’ lens with his shirt. HIs case ground against the floor as he turned.

“Well, I guess you did die after all,” Pinada said, looking down at the armor. Dark did not move, and his limbs were spread at odd angles. The cape covered his head, laid flat over the length of the body. Pinada squinted, frowned, and edged closer. He swept his hand; the cape lifted free: the armor beneath it was strewn in pieces. The helmet was laid on the floor in two round halves, each wobbling. No one was inside.

“What,” Pinada uttered, his eyes darting to drippings of blood that lead off to where the sword had been thrown. He thrust the glasses back to his head. The room went black.

DRAFT END

Choice Edits:

“You’re fighting.” Her lips spoke, trembling. “But your body is my tool; let me show you how I can use it.”

Here Pinada is possessing Mean. I thought it looked strange to write “Mean did this” or “Mean said that” when it was really Pinada using her body. And it just gets confusing if I say “Pinada did this” because the past Pinada is also over in HIS body at the same time.

So here’s how I’m trying it in the second draft: “Mean’s (insert body part) performed the action.” Or “her lips spoke” as you see above. I didn’t do it every time, but I’ll see how it goes for now.

Tome took a step in Pinada’s direction. The glass plate above him dropped and collided with the back of his skull. He was sent to the floor with a whimper and Pinada howled with loud laughter.

I replaced the elaborate beating that Tome got with this single hit. Sometimes a good sucker-punch is all you need.

Sucker punch master KRILLIN!

 

Mean squirmed, her skin paling. The scarf becoming wet where it clung to her mouth.

Aaaaaand I also felt that there was enough agonizing torture in this chapter already.

Dark coughed, pushing up with his arms. Cocoa slithered near the breastplate’s puncture. “I’m sorry–Mean, I’m sorry that I didn’t say more–”

“It’s alright, Dark, don’t talk,” Mean said. “I told you not to, remember? If only I hadn’t been so scared all the time. I’m sorry–”

I joked about this sounding romantic in my previous post, but I really did want to make it more ambiguous. They COULD be taken as a romantic lines, even though the whole “I told you not to” thing happened in the final chapter of the previous book. There, Dark was referring to his secret past.

So take it as you will. Is Dark referring to that, or is he hinting at his true emotions? Part of me wants to make their little talk here longer, but I also realize that Pinada isn’t just going to stand there and let them bare their souls to each other. I also need to be careful with what Dark says; I don’t want to milk this whole “secret identity” thing TOO much.

Next time–!

He’s out of the armor! He’s on the loose! Dark’s secret identity is revealed! Tremble with anticipation as the most shocking revelation occurs! Gasp and stare as the moment you’ve been waiting for finally arrives! NEXT TIME!!!

Leave a Reply

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