Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Just a Sprinkle of Weird

The story is starting to make sense. I'll have to go back and fix some things and move some things around, but it's looking promising. Like, it might actually turn as good as I make it sound in my summaries.

I've been adding more characters. I realized that Des is doing a terrible job of trying to fit in with human society if he never interacts with any humans. So this happened:

Yes, this was it. This was what normal people did. They talked to people with similar interests and they made friends. I could be normal.

Was this paragraph a little autobiographical? No, this paragraph was entirely autobiographical. So Des made a friend. Me, well, that remains to be seen. But you didn't come here to hear about me.

And then there was the Sprinkle Tax.

See, the Creamatorium doesn't have sprinkles because vampires are afflicted with arithmomania—the compulsive need to count things. Sprinkles tend to cause problems, so they don't have them. But Des attempted to explain the lack of sprinkles as due to strict government regulations. Like the Sprinkle Tax.

And then the Sprinkle Tax keeps coming up. I'm just going to show you. This is kind of a long excerpt, but it gives you a sense of where this story is going. (Somewhere weird, that's where.)

Arabella set something on the counter. Carefully. Like it might explode.

“Be careful with these.”

“What are they?” I asked.


Grenades, I was expecting. Bottles of nitroglycerine. Some particularly unstable fireworks, maybe. Not peanuts.


It’s for the Legume Festival. We’re running a special.”

“No, I mean, why do I have to be careful with them?”

She looked me right in the eye. Like she’d seen some shit. “They’re chopped.”

“Oh,” I said. “Oh, god.” That part had come out without me really planning on it. “How are we going to do that? I mean… the Sprinkle Tax…”

She cocked her head. “The what?”

“It’s… never mind.”

“Okay… we’re just going to use a scoop and hope for best. Just… don’t spill any.”

“You’re the boss. I’ll do my best.” After a few seconds, I added, “More important question: what the hell is a Legume Festival?”

“That’s right, you’re the new kid in town. Every year, the town hosts the Annual Legume Festival. There’s all kinds of legume based activities. There’s a chili cook-off, a parade, the Lady Legume competition…”

I held up one hand. “Hang on, Lady Legume? You have got to be fucking with me.”

“Would I lie about something like that?”

“How should I know?!”

“I don’t joke about Lady Legume. It’s a very prestigious title.”

“Seriously, though, you’re fucking with me, right?”

The front door opened with the jingle of the bell. Celeste skipped into the shop, all smiles.

“Don’t you have school?” I asked.

“We have it off for the festival. Obviously.”

“Obviously? You’re not from here either!”

“But I’m thoroughly embracing life as a citizen here.” She pointed at the box on the counter. “What’s that?”

“Peanuts,” Arabella said.

“They’re legumes,” I added.

Celeste gave me a condescending look. “I know that, Desmond.”

I grimaced. “Don’t call me that.”

Celeste looked in the box. “What about the Sprinkle Tax?”

“The what?” Arabella asked again.

“For the…” Celeste said, gesturing like she had a spoonful of something and was sprinkling it across the table.

“We’re just using a scoop!” Arabella said, throwing her arms up. “We’re going to be crazy busy, so try not to spill it!” She turned and walked into the back of the shop. “Kids these days!”

I offer no excuses, and no explanations for this.

See you Friday.

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