NaNoWriMo 2006- Day Twenty-two

Trying to keep the momentum going, even though I reached the 50,000 word goal early (Yea!). The writing’s slower also because the story has become a lot more complex and I have to keep more details into my head. I usually make notes but, in this case and for expediency, I didn’t.

In the meantime, and if you’re still into this story, here’s another excerpt:

Jacqueline stopped as if she were listening to something. “The search on the invisible species is completed. There are fifteen species that fit all your requirements, another fifty-nine partials.”

Holy crap. I was beginning to think that the story of the Invisible Man was a real biography. Almost seventy-five species that had an invisible feature in their makeup. Data began to crawl up on the screen. “Hey, what are you doing?”

“I’m showing you the results.”

“I can’t read that fast. Can I hook my printer to this thing?”

“Oh, you wanted it printed out.” Jacqueline’s hand snaked out of the screen, a ream of paper in her hand. Except it wasn’t really paper. It was virtual paper. When I touched it, my finger passed right through it. It was, however, opaque. “The paper will disappear when you close the station. It’ll reappear when you open it again. To turn a page, just wave above it.”

“What are you doing?” Eve said.

I raised my head, gaped. She’d sneaked by me anyway, and her looks just gut-punched me. She’d grown into a woman, with all the right curves and hollows, visible even under the sweatshirt. Her hair, a lustrous brown, reached down to her butt. Her eyes seemed paler but longer-lashed. Her lips were full and… calling out for a kiss.

If I thought I was in trouble before, I might as well shoot myself now. The only way I wouldn’t be able to lust after that woman was if I was dead.

And I had to go and call her Eve. I could certainly imagine her naked and tempting me with an apple. Sharing it with me, more like. Every muscle in my body, including the most obvious, had jumped to attention.

“Jack? Did you hear me?”

I tried to speak. I croaked instead. Sharp pain speared my ankle. “Ow!” Fred sat there, grinning his feline grin, looking innocent. I lifted my pant leg and checked the damage. Two gouges, already pearling with blood, ran from the front of my leg to over the bone ankle. Fred had swiped me. “You think that’s funny, do you?” The scrapes began to burn. I got up for a paper towel.

His ploy, painful as it was, had worked. I was no longer in a daze. In fact, now that I looked at Eve again, she looked more cute than gorgeous to me. I looked around the desk. Sure enough, the yellow diaper bag was sitting beside me. I stayed in the kitchen, not wanting to be influenced by whatever compulsion it had for me at the moment.

“Did you bring that bag here, Eve?”

“No. I’ve been watching the television all that time, but I got tired of it.”

“Yeah, it’s a pretty brainless activity, most of the time. Could you take the bag back to the bedroom?”

“Sure.”

She picked it up, obviously unaffected, and walked to the guest bedroom. She didn’t enter, simply threw the bag on the bed. As she walked towards the kitchen she said, “So, are you telling me what you were doing or not?”

“I was doing some research.”

“On what?”

“Nothing important, really.” It looked like I’d decided not to tell her anything, after all. I strode to my desk, pushed the black button on the station. The virtual pages floated back into the screen and the station folded in on itself. A moment later, it looked like any black businessman’s briefcase. I picked it up, set it down on the floor, and began putting my desk to rights.

“Jack, can I ask you a question?”

“Shoot.”

“I’m not like you, am I?”

“That’s true, you’re not. I’m male, you’re female.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

I looked back at her. She looked so serious, so intense, so bright. I should’ve know she would have suspected something. “What makes you say that?”

“You, Isabel, me. Not much of a sample, but the television added some information.”

“It said that to go from baby to adult, it takes at least twenty years.”

“Sometimes longer.”

“I was a baby this morning. I was a teen only a few hours ago. Now I’m an adult. But you and Isabel didn’t change that fast. So I’m not like you, right?”

“I guess you’re right.”

“You asked me earlier if I knew what I was. I don’t. But you do, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Will you tell me?”

I shook my head. The apartment had gone darker with nightfall and I hadn’t bothered turning on any lights except the one under the kitchen cupboard but I could still see her face clearly enough. Was I callow enough to tell her she had only a few hours to live? No. I couldn’t do it. But I could fudge better than anyone.

“You have a condition that accelerates your growth to adulthood,” I lied. “It’s nothing to worry about.”

“Are you my father?”

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