Daily Archives: November 19, 2006

NaNoWriMo 2006- Day Nineteen

I’m seeing the end of the 50,000 word tunnel, although the story will be far from complete. I’ll have reached the target tomorrow, unless something happens. Shouldn’t put the cart before the horse (or, as we say in French, the plough before the oxen).

Here’s another unedited excerpt to either feast your eyes on or take a red pen to:

“How much would it cost, in dollars, to buy a Phoenix?”

Jacqueline frowned. “Sales of Phoenixes are prohibited on Earth, due to humans’ overwhelming lack of knowledge of other species. Owning such a species as the Phoenix could change the balance of knowledge and accelerate humanity’s—”

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the speech before. Next you’ll tell me my brain is too small to understand all of it. How much?”

“Hold, please, while I convert funds.” She disappeared again. I glanced at Eve. She looked sad, almost ready to cry. “I’m not thinking of buying you,” I said, my voice grumpy even to my ears. That did it. Her face scrunched like a dried-up apple, then she launched a wail that made the windows tremble. Shit.

What did I do, now? Every time that happened at Terry’s, Betty intervened, whisked the child away, and, after whatever she did or said, the cries stopped. Problem was, I never was privy to what she did or said, so I had no idea how to deal with Eve.

“What did you do to her?” Isabel asked behind me.

I turned, relieved beyond belief. “I didn’t hear you come in, I said above Eve’s cries. And I didn’t do anything. Really.”

Isabel threw me a pitying glance and walked over to Eve. “At least you could’ve picked her up.” She did just that. “Come here, sweetie, come here. Why so sad?”

Isabel sat in the chair, Eve on her lap, and rocked back and forth. Eve calmed down to silent tears and hiccups. “Jack mean,” she said.

Isabel looked at me, startled. “She talks?”

“Yeah. Phoenix didn’t, but Eve does.”


“I had to call her something. Anyway, I’m not being mean, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.”

“Where did you get that gizmo on the table?”

“Winston sent it. He had to leave unexpectedly on a mission, but he didn’t leave me completely in the lurch.”

“I have the data,” Jacqueline said as she appeared on the screen.

Isabel’s eyebrows rose. “Jacqueline?”

I grimaced. “Winston’s little joke. So, what would it cost me?”

“Again, I must emphasize—”

“Cut it, sister. I asked you a question.”

“Very well. The twelve-hour model is between two hundred and five hundred thousand, depending on where you order it from. The twenty-four hour model would run between one million five to two million, again depending the source factory.”

I whistled. That was no chump change. I could easily afford the half-hour model; the twenty-four one would be a bit of a stretch, but, with equal payments… I blinked.

Wait a minute, here, I thought. What was going on? All of a sudden, I wanted to buy a Phoenix? I stared at the bag, which was sitting right beside the communication station on the coffee table.

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