The tenth and final
chapter of the world’s shortest novel

 Disconsolate, I wandered down the no longer dark hallway and
through the swinging door to the now brightly lit dining room.  The immense windows, (with drapes open)
revealed a magnificent sunset over the mountains.  The tables were labeled with placards
representing blog rings, just like the numerous areas in the Main
Ballroom.  Xangans gathered, hunting
among the tables for the blog ring they most wanted to hang with.

 I plopped myself down in an empty chair.  The placard on the table read
NaNoWriMo2005.  I looked around at the
people already sitting there, wondering if perhaps I ought to strike up a
conversation, but they all looked deep in thought.

“Um, hi guys,” I said. 
“I’m Jodi, or rather, Transvestite Rabbit.”

“Hi Transvestite Rabbit!” they all chanted in unison.

“Is this a 12-step novel-writing group?” I joked.

“Oh, there are more than 12 steps,” a woman replied.  “At least there are in MY book.”

“Hm, you’re probably right,” I said.  “Which one are you?”

She turned her back so I could read the sticker on her
back.  Shahrazad1973.

“Oh!  Hi,” I
said.  “How’s your book coming?”

“Oh, you know, it’s just, really.  Yes.”

I stared.  Writers can
be surprisingly hard to understand.

“How about you?” she asked.

“Well, I’m about to finish it,” I said.

“No way!  You got to
50,000 words already?” Shah’s eyes opened wide.

“Oh no, I didn’t say that. 
Less than 8,000, last time I checked.”

“Then how can you be done?” 
She poured the red wine the waiter had just deposited on the table into
my glass.

I took a sip.  “I
don’t think I have anything else to say.”

Walking by on her way to somewhere, Carey stopped at my
table.  “Anything ELSE to say?  You haven’t said anything YET.”  And off she went.

I sighed.  “Maybe I
never had anything to say.”

Borderline_Traits walked by from the other direction.  “What I hear you saying is, you haven’t
anything to say.”

“Look,” I told him, “I don’t dig Carl Rogers.  It’s B.F. Skinner or nobody.”

“Fine,” he said. 
“Change your behavior and you’ll change your consequences, dig?” He
moved to the next table.

“Yeah, I dig,” I said. 
Outside it began to snow.

And snow.  And snow.

I ate a delicious meal of the sort that they serve at such soirees.  I drank a large quantity of
wine.  In doing so I discovered I had
quite a lot to say, though I’m not sure any of it made sense to anyone
else.  When dinner was over, Carey
climbed up on a table.

“She sure does that a lot,” I muttered.

“Attention please,” she called.  “I have an announcement to make.  Due to heavy snow and more on the way, the
airport has shut down.  Those of you who
thought you were going to skedaddle out of here this evening because some
existential anguish is making you uncomfortable can just forget it.”

“Swell,” I said.

The other Xangans made their way back to the Ballroom, ready
to boogie the night away.  I returned to
the condo Mrs. Jetset kindly lent us.  My
husband and children were there, drinking room service cocoa by the fire.  They looked red-cheeked, tired, and happy.

“Hi,” my husband said. 
“Want some cocoa?”

“No thanks,” I said. 

“A package came for you.” 
He held out a small parcel.

I took it and turned it over.  In crude black marker the label read:

To Transvestite Rabbit

From The Scary Clown

I took it into the bedroom. 
In a chair by the window, looking out over the snow-filled night, I tore
the paper off.  Tears streamed down my
face as I read the title.  Bubble & Squeak.

I opened the book and read the inscription inside the front

Thanks for coming; it was grand to meet you, but I’ve got to go
back.  Get busy on yours.  We none of us have as much time as we think.


 P.S. Go back to non-fiction; you obviously have no talent for
novels.  T.C.

My husband came in and handed me a tissue.  “Since we can’t get out of town, the girls
and I are going to ski again tomorrow. 
What are you going to do?”

“I guess I’m going to write,” I said.  “Hopefully something better than this trite,
self-indulgent story.”

“Cool,” he said.


31 thoughts on “

  1. Epilogue:    The daper snow white tuxedo clad Polar Bear looked around the ballroom with satisfaction.   It seems that he had consumed every last bagel, cream cheese and lox catered for the ball by Corky and Lenny’s in Cleveland.    His work was now complete.

  2. It’s not so self-indulgent.  There’s plenty of precedent for the writer being his/her own protaganist.   Of course, it’s a little disconcerting that nobody got killed or kidnapped or even mugged.  You don’t think I watch too much tv do you?
    Great job kiddo!

  3. No way! Mine gets paid for emptying the dishwasher, putting away laundry, cooking stew (I can still smell it.), and being available to me when I want some! I can handle the tech stuff!!! (It just takes me a while.;))

  4. impressive!ryq: yes, i have a few thoughts on canned vs. fresh pumpkin. canned pumpkin is easy to find year round and easy to use. fresh pumpkin can be hard to find at different times of the year and is a chore to clean, process and cook for what will undoubtedly be exactly like the pure pumpkin you can buy. i’ve never been disappointed with the canned product [and i am talking about 100% pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling] and believe it is a great convenience product.

  5. well done on the story! i got just over 1,500 words done and have essentially given up.  my motivation just isn’t there.  ah well! there’s always next year!
    ryc: i think it’s because all the members are leaving and writing books…ha ha! =-P

  6. That sounds interesting; let me know. My sax player just called and gave me directions to a turkey farm!!! I did mention that I wanted to try a fresh turkey, but how fresh do I need it to be? I mean, will I have to break its neck myself? Yikes. Heard about fried turkeys?

  7. I agree with Barn_Bear. Someone really should have died. And since I’ve made a little appearance, I could do the killing, if you like? *wicked snicker* Okay, so perhaps my attempt at writing for the horror genre is bleeding into the rest of my life, but who bloody cares, right? Whatever – I’ve enjoyed your story and I’m sorry to see it end.

  8. One thing about being forced into a 20-day Xanga absence is that, in self-defense, one must not feel compelled to read whatever number of prequels — nine, in this case — that one would normally want to read.  So this joins the list of books where I just read the last chapter and say that I read and enjoyed it.

  9. Hello…This is George Romero, and I like to option the movie rights to your novel. I think I could do some very interesting things with “Scary Clown”.  Who would you like us to contact about playing you in the movie?

  10. Hello…This is George Romero, and I like to option the movie rights to your novel. I think I could do some very interesting things with “Scary Clown”.  Who would you like us to contact about playing you in the movie?

  11. Great stuff! And placing me alone in the dark of the dining room is so ‘spot on.’ I am not very sociable, unless at parties of my own creation. I liked reading it, sorry it took me so long to get around to it. Blame my procrastination. One small bit I must complain about, however. The last chapter reminded me of something that I forgot to do, and regret everytime I think of it. I never sent T.C. anything in the mail, like I said I would. Now it is too effing late.
    But great stuff, thanks for writing it, and sharing it.

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