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Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Word count: 50k+ Smiling zombie happy to be done!

Well, it’s all over. Finished yesterday afternoon with a 2000+ word sprint to the end. Still some story to write, and I really don’t know how to finish it in a satisfactory manner. Really feel like Ak and Zach could wander off into the sunset together with a “To be continued…” title on the screen.

November is done (almost.) For once, the November Curse seems to have been thwarted (knock on wood.) Got through the month without disaster befalling me or anybody I know (I think — if I’m forgetting any disasters, I apologize….)

Thanks to who provided all the zombification of the photos.

Always appreciate the people who ask about the story and word counts and generally pretend to be interested in the ridiculous stuff I come up with. And to everyone whose IP address shows up in the stats page.

Much gratitude to Erica for support & daily inspiration & the zombie chicken and zombiegotyerkitten.

Here’s one last excerpt, from waaaay back in the beginning pages. Feels like a good wrapper on the blog for the year, even if I end up throwing the whole wrapper away.

Cheers. And thanks. And…..braaaaaains.

Here is how my days go: First of all, I’ve lost all track of time, so the concept of “days” is a little iffy. Being a Z — undead; life challenged; reanimated corpse; whatever — means no more sleeping. We’re beyond the need for that, which is nice in some ways, because I’m getting so much more done than I ever did before. Ever want a few more hours in your day? I’ve got them! But you know, staying up all the time gets a little tiresome. A lot tiresome. In order to keep sane, though, I try to break up the days a bit. You know, keep each one from running into the next. I fake a sleep cycle — just an hour or two staring at a blank wall or I’ll just lie down in what used to be a Taco Bell and count the holes in the ceiling tiles (4,983). Anything to give my mind a bit of a break, keep from thinking about the utter shit hole that the planet has become. I’d kill for some electricity here — all those pretty gadgets, video games, all wrapped up nice. I guess they’d had some generators going here for a while; the former tenants had set up a couple consoles and giant TVs. Looks like they had a some game tournaments and whatnot. The leader boards are still posted. It’s nice to think they had a few moments of fun before the unholy swarm of undead ended their pathetic lives. If that sounds bitter, it’s because I am — I never got a chance to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 6 and it looked like a good time. I wonder if they bothered with the zombie mode at all.
There’s really not a whole shitload to do here. You’d think, what with it being a shopping mall that it’d just be a playground of fun times, but those that came before took care of all that, made sure there was not much for little old me to take pleasure in. Their final fuck you to the zombies that ruined their lives. Well, hell, I guess I deserved it, even if I didn’t personally gouge any of their eyes out, or eat their livers or whatever. I still felt some personal responsibility. Not like I lead the horde to their doorstep, those guys are unleadable, unherdable, I told you that. And not like I could have stopped them, they’re pretty unstoppable, I mean that’s how they made their name, you know? Once they get that whiff of smoothie, it’s on, there’s no stopping until the last one of you is dead and eaten. You know it’s true. I’m not sure what would have happened if I’d tried to get in their way. Like I said, they pretty much just ignore me, or tolerate me, or whatever, and I can tell you exactly how effective me standing on a soap box, yelping something about peace and love, moving along, leaving these nice people be would have been. They’d have just gone about their business. So, I play in what’s left of the mall, mostly staying in the food court, sometimes going to The Gap to pick through the clearance items, seeing if there’s something left that fits me.But look, I know this is all real interesting to you — how Zach Graves got to Woodfield Mall, what he does with his time, what he’s doing right now, scratching away at his notebook, hoping his pens don’t run out of ink, waiting for someone to come find him, and end his miserable life, or save it, or whatever, it’s all the same. No, I know you’re all wondering how it all came to this. How did the idea of people getting sick, dying, and then coming back from the dead become commonplace? How did society fall apart? How did it all go down?

Well, hold your damn horses. I’m getting to it.


Word count: 50,000+ No longer a zombie!

Word count 48,047

It’s real weird, once you get to 48k, just how quickly the whole thing gets done. Or at least, that’s my hope. I mean, it’s a mere 2000 words. That’s nothing.

Today’s bit is, I realized, kind of what I’d hoped to write when I first had this idea a year ago. A sort of zombie society where things like Zombie Digest (which I think is just a hilarious name for a zombie publication) actually exist. And zombies have conversations about which types of humans have the tastiest brains. And the Amish are just constantly terrorized what with their unadulterated-by-technology gray matter.

Anyhow — glad to get a little bit of that in this.

Crossing the room, I opened a door to find a gigantic walk-in closet, full of clothes more expensive than I had ever worn from floor to ceiling. I could tell just by feeling them that they were of the highest quality. The labels were of designers I’d only vaguely heard of, never having paid much attention to fashion. Seven empty hangars amongst his shirts and four more amongst the pants provided further evidence that Stimph had planned and packed for a trip away from home.

“Nice duds,” I said.

“Brains.” Nicer than yours.

“What do you know about fashion anyway?” I asked, defensively.

“Brains.” We are learning.

“That’s just adorable, Westy. Maybe I can show you some old episodes of Project Runway or America’s Next Top Sweatshop Workers. You’ll love them, I’m sure.”

“Brains.” We believe that you will find, once you get around to actually fulfilling your end of the bargain whereby you eat some brains, the brain matter of one who watches less than four hours of television per week are of much higher quality in terms of size, taste, and tenderness than those who watch more than four hours per week. One who watches more then 20 hours per week will have a brain that is very nearly inedible according to a recent survey.

“‘According to a recent survey’? Who conducted this survey? Where were the results published? Zombie Digest?”

“Brains.” We keep track of these things. Four out of five zombies agree that reality television has the most adverse effects on brain quality. Those who partake in video games (particularly puzzle games and adventure games), crossword puzzles, and reading are reported to have higher quality brains.

“Wild.” I considered the results. “Where the hell do you find someone who watches less than four hours of television a week anyhow?”

“Brains.” We admit, it is quite the rare delicacy. Amish country is a popular zombie destination for food holidays.

This is, for some reason, one of my favorites. Word count: 47,502

Super seriously the home stretch. 47502. <2500 words to go. A couple of dedicated writing sessions and it’s all in the bag.

Here our hero figures out (with the help of his trusty sidekick, Westy) where the evil Tim Stimph has gone.

“Where are you going next, Tim Stimph?” I asked a photo of him that I had earlier hurled across the living room and into the kitchen. The glass in the frame had shattered, but the picture itself was undamaged. I peered deep into his beady, black, soulless eyes hoping for an answer, a sign, a clue. Nothing came to me.

“Brains.” Was there nothing else in his bomb room?

“Not that I could see. Bomb making stuff, the banner, and more bomb making stuff. No diagrams, blueprints, or maps.”

“Brains.” Where else are there libraries?

“Well, hell, Westy, I’ve been a bit out of touch, you know? Three years ago, most of the libraries had already closed. There were just a few left. But they’re probably all gone by now. And anyhow, how do we know he’s not just out on walkabout, seeing the sights?”

“Brains.” Well, I’m at a loss.

“Me too.” I opened the refrigerator again. “Sure wish I could have a beer, even if it is just Miller Lite. God, Westy, how I loved beer. So much flavor and complexity, it rivals wine for variety of flavor, body, and character. Not Miller Lite, of course, but other beers. Better beers. Actual beer beers, you know? Stimph had good taste in everything but books and beer, apparently.”

“Brains.” We have just now recalled something that might be pertinent.

“Oh yeah? And what was that? That Tim Stimph is an asshole?”

“Brains.” No, not that.

“Well,” I said, shutting the refrigerator door, “I’d say that’s about the most pertinent thing I can think of. What’cha got?”

“Brains.” That woman, the human —

“Polly,” I supplied.

“Brains.” Polly. She said something about Stimph promising to bring her a bottle of his favorite beer. With the amount of ‘Miller Lite’ in this refrigerator, would it not be a safe bet to assume that ‘Miller Lite’ is Tim Stimph’s favorite beer?

“Nobody has that much Miller Lite in their ‘fridge by accident,” I said. “Where are you going with this?”

“Brains.” Wouldn’t it stand to reason then that Tim Stimph is going, or has gone, to the location where this ‘Miller Lite’ is produced?

“He wouldn’t have to go to the Miller brewery just to bring her a bottle of Miller Lite. He could have just come to his refrigerator and grabbed one. He sure had plenty here.”

“Brains.” That is true. However, and please, correct us if we are wrong, but is it not somehow traditional for vacationing or travelling humans to often say that they will bring back one of (or some of) whatever it is that the place to which they are travelling is famous for? For instance, if one were to be going to Maryland, one might say, “I will bring you back some crabcakes.” Or if one were going to Detroit, one might say, “I will bring you back some crime, unemployment, and urban blight.” Therefore, if one were going to wherever it is that ‘Miller Lite’ is produced, one might say, “I will bring you back a bottle of Miller Lite.”

“Good God, Westy,” I marvelled. “You’re brilliant!”

“Brains.” We do what we can. Now, where is it that this ‘Miller Lite’ is produced?

“Miller Lite is made by MillerCoors, LLC which is located in Chicago,” I said.

“Brains.” So he has not travelled far.

“That’s just their corporate offices, I think.”

“Brains.” Then where is their production?

“Miller products are brewed in Miller Valley. Up in Cheesland. Home of the Brewers. Land of Sausage.”

“Brains.” Milwaukee?

“Yep,” I said. “Milwaukee.”

Word count: 45,503

It’s not even 1PM and I’ve already written 2500+ words today, putting me 500 words past today’s minimum, on pace for an on-time landing. Goodness gracious, November is almost over.

Today’s excerpt is a grand discovery of the true nature of the evil that is Tim Stimph. You might not remember that when Zach and Westy tried to go to the library, they found it had been completely destroyed — Anti-library terrorism had become a problem. People equated books with book-learning which had led to the science and research that led to the cure for cancer that led to the zombie problem. So….people started blowing up books. Anyhow, upon discovering the rubble of the one remaining library in Chicago, Zach blames Stimph. Not for any real reason. It was just the sort of thing that he would do. So, Westy and Zach have gained access to Stimph’s apartment and discovered a locked door within. Undeterred, Zach puts his foot through it, and that is where our story picks up…..

I wrestled my foot from the door, an endeavor which took more time than I’d like to admit, and provided Westy with no end of amusement. Finally free, I shoved my hand through the hole I’d made and found the door knob on the other side.

“Brains.” Careful now.

“Nonsense. Just a simple twist of the wrist, et voila.”

“Brains.” Wait —

Westy’s warning was cut off as the door swung open on oiled hinges followed immediately by an explosion, which though it was, in terms of explosions, small and controlled, still rocked the apartment and slammed me against the wall behind me.

Had I been knocked out? Was it possible for a Z without a nervous system to be rendered unconscious? It was some moments, or minutes, or hours later that I opened my eyes again. I checked my head and limbs — habitual self-diagnostic — and found everything to be in the right place. The only thing amiss was the foot long piece of a Masonite Palazzo Series interior door sticking out of my chest.

“Holy fuck!” I exclaimed. “Would you get a load of that?”

“Brains.” The door exploded.

“Must have been booby trapped.”

“Brains.” Would someone go to such lengths to protect his porn collection?

“I don’t know — I might. Not that I have a porn collection. Really.”

“Brains.” Right.

I rose to my feet, yanked the splinter from my chest and tossed it aside. Why would Stimph booby trap a door in his own apartment? And how had it been rigged? And how was it possible to disable the defense system to allow for safe entry by authorized personnel. A quick examination of the wall to the right of the door revealed the remains of a keypad that had previously been hidden from view by a sliding panel.

“Crap. Should have thought of that first.”

“Brains.” We did.

“Well, you could have said something.”

“Brains.” We tried.

“I suppose you did,” I admitted. “Well, no matter. We’re still in one piece, I think.”

“Brains.” Your shoe is on fire.

I looked down to see that Westy was right — my shoelaces were smoldering. I stomped on one foot with the other, putting it out.

“Good looking out, Westy.”

“Brains.” No problem.

I peered through the smoke into the bedroom. Apparently the trap had been designed only to kill or maim someone breaking into the room, and not to destroy the contents of the room itself. I guess that spoke to Stimph’s confidence that the bomb would do its job, and a lack of foresight that a mostly indestructible member of the walking dead might be curious about what was behind that door. I supposed that had I been your every day run of the mill human being that I might be in worse shape. If the splinter through my chest hadn’t done me in, there were plenty of other dangers that would take care of an ordinary homo sapien: the shockwave of the explosion forcing al the air from my lungs; the resulting fire; or the smoke. Whoever had made this bomb knew what he was doing.

As the smoke cleared, I took stock of the bedroom. There was no bed — where one might have gone, there was a large table that had been covered with beakers, test tube and other lab equipment. The glass, of course, had all shattered, and anything sturdier had been thrown aside, but it was still clear that this was a work table of some sort.

“Was Stimph cooking meth?” I wondered aloud. But I immediately knew this wasn’t the case. I’d watched Breaking Bad and knew that even the smallest meth labs required more space, security, and ventilation than this room could offer. Still, it appeared as if he was making something that required chemicals; something that required the greatest secrecy.

Smoke still obscured much of the room, but I could make out a closet to my right. The doors had been thrown off their rails by the explosion, and they had absorbed some of the blast, but they were still mostly intact — the blast really was designed to blow out of the room. I pulled the doors down and threw them aside. Inside the closet were two large drums — one of ammonium nitrate, the other of some sort of sulfate. Bomb making stuff. It appeared as if Stimph had rigged the bomb himself.

Word count: 43,020

Once again, praise be to Erica for today’s title, and the line.

About a thousand words today, mostly due to Morseland interfering, and also to seeing Muppets (manamana!)

Come to think of it, last year during NaNoWriMo there was that time that the alarm siren at Morseland just kept blaring on and on at 4AM and I had to go over there and cut the damn thing. Today was computers. And printers. And etc.

Sorry. I don’t mean to prattle on.  Over 43K. <7K left. That’s exciting.

“Son, maybe you haven’t been around much lately but  I can tell you ain’t stupid, so I hope you won’t get offended if I give you a piece of unsolicited advice.”

“Not at all,” I said.

“You gotta always be on your guard these days. I ain’t sure how you lived before Westphail fever swept the nation, but you can’t be livin’ any other way but this. You traipse about like you’re still in the good ol’ days, you won’t last long. Just strollin’ along, mindin’ your own business and then bam! –” he shouted this; I didn’t flinch “– zombie got yer kitten.”

“‘Zombie got yer kitten?’” I asked.

“Yep,” he said, as if no further explanation was needed, and I suppose one wasn’t. “Zombie got yer kitten.”

Bloated, post Thanksgiving zombie. Word count: 41,792

Coming into the home stretch here. All these threads of plotline (chasing Tim Stimph; the Zombie Hunter) are loose…. Potential for each of them. Maybe Tim Stimph started the virus himself? Maybe the Zombie Hunter kills him? Maybe maybe maybe….

Meanwhile, I seem to be content to just write dialogue between Zach and Westy.

Awkward silence extended into a full-fledged cessation of conversation. I guessed that Westy finally listened to me.

Which was all well and good, and what I had wanted, obviously, but I had to admit Westy had given good advice on getting me into the building, and probably would have an idea or two about how to get us into Stimph’s apartment. Also, I was never happy when I knew someone was mad at me, or giving me the silent treatment. I’d do whatever I could — assuming I gave a shit about the person’s opinion — to make amends, to keep the peace. Besides, even though Westphail had turned me into whatever it was that I currently am, I’d grown accustomed to Westy’s voice. While I valued moments of silence, this one was different: intentional, weighty.

“Westy, look. I’m sorry. I’m sorry about what I said up on the roof, and just now. I know it seems like I’m a solid, well-adjusted, mentally stable rock of a man –” If Westy had a face, I know he’d have a confused look on it, as if to say, “Brains.” Are you sure you’re talking about yourself? — “…or maybe not so much. But, you have to admit I’m taking this pretty well. I know this isn’t how you planned things. I know you expected to invade my body, shut down all my vital systems and carry me along on a mad kill-crazy rampage until I got decapitated, eviscerated, and incinerated, or until, I don’t know, whatever grand master scheme you had in mind was completed, and that having a still-sentient, thinking, somewhat-feeling thing who has yet to even try to sample the brains of a human being doesn’t really line up with your goals of the day. I know you must be frustrated, and yeah, I’m frustrated too. I mean, don’t think there isn’t a part of me who doesn’t wish that I was just a brainless automaton shambling around town, tearing into human flesh without a care in the world. Sure, that sounds like fun, like maybe a better way to spend my time than climbing buildings, jumping between rooftops, trying to kick down doors, all that. Really, I’d rather just be back in my apartment, waiting for the end to come. I’d gottten pretty good at that. But, hell, this is how it is. This is the new reality. This is what’s what. We’ve got to just make the best of it. Bickering back and forth, trying to hurt each other, what does that accomplish? I know, yeah, sometimes we’re going to get on each other’s nerves and say things that we might regret, but let’s not forget that we’re on the same team here. We’ve got to make the best of it.”

I took a deep breath. There were some moments of silence then, and I wondered if I’d said too much, or come across as weak, or just been completely wrong. Maybe all my reasoning had falled on deaf ears. Maybe Westy didn’t give a shit about peaceful cohabitation. As a matter of fact, I thought, why would he? He was just a virus. It was just a virus. Fine, if it wasn’t going to make the effort to make things tolerable for the both of us, then I wouldn’t either. See how it likes it when I don’t ever eat a single brain. When I go around just —


I was too wrapped up in my thoughts to catch the nuances of the word. “What was that, Westy?” I asked.

“Brains.” You are right. We are sorry. You do not need to ‘grow a pair.’

“Well alright!” I shouted. “I wish we could high five. Or ‘hug it out.’”

“Brains.” That is not necessary.

“No, I suppose you’re right.”

“Brains.” So….


“Brains.” The door.

“Yeah. Another door.” I tried the handle again. Still locked.

“Brains.” Perhaps there is a key.

Post-feasting zombie. Word count: 40,592

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all. Had a lovely day — ran 8K in the morning, and then cooked and ate and watched football and wrote a bit for the rest of the day. Lovely company, wonderful food, etc. etc. etc. etc.


“Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit!” It had been a long time since I’d thrown a temper tantrum — at least three years — so I was about due. “I’ve been having the worst luck ever since I turned into a zombie. This isn’t fucking fair!”

“Brains.” You are acting like a child. Pull yourself together. Grow a pair.

“Grow a pair?” I shrieked. “Grow a pair? Are you seriously telling me that I need to grow a pair of testicles? You know what? I had a perfectly good working pair of balls before you came into my life you sadistic sack of shit.”

“Brains.” We are not amused.

“Well neither are we…. am I…. Whatever. Neither am I. Amused. I haven’t been amused one bit since this whole thing started. Not one bit.”

“Br–.” We–

“Do you know, Westy, how much I absolutely love being amused? Oh wait, let me correct that. How much I loved being amused? I fucking adored it. Being amused was my favorite past time. And now I’m looking at a future where I have no more amusement. Ever. Ever. Do you know how that makes me feel?”

“Br–.” We–

“That’s right, you have no idea how it makes me feel. But you know what? Neither do I? Know why? Because I hardly feel shit anymore because, I don’t know, there’s a sentient fucking virus stuck in my head, taking over all the parts of my brain that feel shit. I’m not even sure that I’m angry right now, that’s how fucked up my head is.”

“Br–.” The–

“I don’t know why I’m yelling. I think it’s just something I enjoy — or enjoyed, thank you very much — doing back when I had feelings, and a life, and working fucking genitalia.”

“Br–” Wou–

“No, I won’t let you get a word in edgewise. I don’t care what you have to say right now.”

Pucker up! Word count: 39634

How fleeting life is. How fickle the hands of fate. At first, the person bursting onto the rooftop to surprise Zach was going to be a man. And then it was a woman. And then he was going to fall in love with her and spend the rest of the novel trying to find her and woo her. And then she became zombie food.

There’s a fine line between life and death in a world where zombies walk the streets.


Dejectedly, I walked back to the stairway door, intending to look for some previously unseen weakness in its design, or, failing that, bang my head against it repeatedly for the sake of dramatic effect. I did end up banging my head on it from the start, but just because someone opened the door right into me.

“Eeeyagh!” I said, out of shock and surprise.

“Holy fuck!” shouted the person on the other side of the door.

I took several steps back and the door flew open. An intensely nervous and frightened individual emerged from within and flew at me. The door swung closed — “Don’t let that….aw, hell!” — with a clang.

“Dammit!” I said. “That was my chance!”

Westy’s nerves — or whatever you wanted to call them; it was like “Spidey-sense” every time we got near something that excited or scared him: fire, dead bodies, other Zs — were on edge and it didn’t take a genius to figure out why: a living breathing human had just, quite literally, stumbled into our — my — arms. Her momentum had carried him right at me, taking us both down to the surface of the roof.

I lay there, looking up into the eyes of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. They were blue — the purest blue of mountain streams, or deep oceans, or something — and piercing, intelligent, cold. Strands of her long strawberry-blonde hair fell into my face. I could smell her shampoo — she had somehow remained remarkably well-groomed in the midst of all the chaos; something I instantly admired — and it was intoxicating. I mean to say, to me, it smelled horrible, like the rotting food in the grocery store manager’s office should have smelled but didn’t. But, I figured that since it smelled bad, it must be good. It was intoxication inasmuch as it made me feel like I’d been on a three day bender, had finally crawled out of bed, and was paying reparations in the form of copious amount of vomit. That kind of intoxicating.

The moment lasted for but a moment, though it seemed as though I spent a lifetime just gazing into her eyes, seeking out her soul. Had my whole life brought me to this point? Could a zombie and a human find true love? I had to know.

“Hi there,” I said, using the sexiest voice I could muster. “How you doin’?”

“Are you kidding me?” she asked, disgusted. “At a time like this?” She rolled off me and leapt to her feet, keeping a watchful eye on the door while glancing about, looking for escape routes.

I was unfazed. “My name’s Zach Graves. What’s yours?”

“We need to barricade this door,” she replied.

I laughed. “Barricade it? Lady, I’ve been trying to get through it! That thing’s locked up tight. We don’t need to worry about it. Just you and me here.”

She cast a disgusted look in my direction. “You idiot. We need to barricade it on this side. There’s a pack of Re-Ans coming up the stairs. They’ll be out here any second.”

I sidled up next to this beautiful creature — Westy was pracitcally drooling with anticipation. I was too, but for different reasons — and placed a comforting hand on her back. She pulled away immediately.

“Sorry,” I said, thought I wasn’t particularly. Touching her, ever so briefly, awoke something in me that felt amazing. It was longing of the purest sort, passion of the most intense kind; desire, and need, and… hunger. “Oh. Shit.” I backed off.

“What is it?” she asked, turning towards the door, backing away from it, assuming I’d heard or seen something.

“Nothing. No. Nothing,” I said. I couldn’t make words very well. The voice was loud, distracting, all-consuming. “No.”

I continued backing away, and she, seemingly satisfied that the door was secure for the moment, and not at all unhappy about my sudden desire to increase the distance between us, resumed her search for something with which to bar the door.

“There’s nothing,” I managed.

She had come to the same conclusion, apparently, and gave up her search for anything to be used for defensive measures and started casting about for an escape, often looking over her shoulder at me, or at the door. The only way out (that I could see) was the way I had come, and she shortly came to that realization. She had just begun gauging the distance between the buildings, deciding whether or not she could make the leap when the door crashed open again.

There were three Zs immediately visible in the doorway. They looked pretty bad — clothes ragged, skin torn, mouths agape with hunger. They clearly hadn’t fed in a long time and — aside from a momentary glance in my direction — were desperately focused upon the tasty-looking morsel now standing at the edge of the roof with a mere 20 feet of unobstructed ground to cover. The trio burst from the doorway and made a beeline for the woman. Behind the Zs was a considerably larger pack that, due to its size and lack of coordination, was having one hell of a time trying to get through the door.

I tried to shout a warning. Something like “Look out!” or “Head’s up!” but nothing would come. Instead, I watched with a mix of horror and some sort of sick delight as the Zs leapt at her, their momentum carrying them all over the building’s edge and down to the ground below. They landed with a sickening crunch. I winced and sucked air over my teeth, as if I’d just seen a particularly brutal hit in a football game. I felt fleeting sadness at my lost opportunity for love, but more than that, there was disappointment and annoyance, not unlike how you would feel if you went to the office refirgerator and found that someone else had eaten your lunch.

Big-eared zombie! Word count: 37,427

Was looking over last year’s progress report and discovered I’m about at the same place this year as I was last year, which is heartening. Don’t see much writing time over the next few days, and have only written 1227 words today, mostly due to being really, really tired. Need to push through a few hundred more to try to at least hit 38k (11/22/10: 39,700. 39! Almost 40! Imagine where I’d be if I was at 40k….)

Anyhow. Here’s a little piece of a bit:

There was about a tenfoot gap between the roof I was on and the roof of Tim Stimph’s building. I’d never been involved in a rooftop chase which required me to leap from one building to the next, but I’d seen a lot of movies, and it looked like a lot of fun, so I was eager to get going. How often do you get an opportunity like that?

I gauged the distance, estimating how much of a running start I’d need. Ten feet isn’t a whole heck of a long jump (the men’s world record in long jump is almost six time as far) but when you’re ten stories above ground, it tends to make you extra cautious even if you’re certain (or at least the voice in your head is certain) that you’d survive the fall. Jumping from roof to roof was something I wanted to do. Experiencing a 100-foot drop with a sudden and violent conclusion was not.

“This is so bad-ass,” I said, psyching myself up. “I’m a fucking action hero.”

“Brains.” You’re a zombie with a human complex.

“And you’re a wet blanket buzzkill. This is going to be so cool.”

I stepped back about 30 feet, and did a couple test runs of the running start. When I was confident I could manage the jump, I took a couple deep breaths (unnecessary, of course) tore ass across the roof and leapt into the air.

“Yippie-cay-yay motherfucker!” I shouted.

“Brains.” Why is it that David Hasselhoff was killed in a riot in Berlin? I thought he was really popular in Germany.

“Guh?” I asked. And then, as I slammed into the side of the building whose roof was my target, I said something along the lines of, “Oof.”

I’d caught the lip of the building’s roof right in my midsection. I think I felt (and heard) a couple ribs crack. If I still had a functioning circulatory system, I’d have a hell of a bruise. As it was, I was just really annoyed.

“Dammit, Westy,” I shouted, “you did that on purpose!”