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Greg’s Twitter Novel: Chapter Three (Part One)

Call me crazy, but I’m writing a novel on Twitter. You can watch the magic in real time at twitter.com/gregsnovel. From time to time, I’ll post compiled chapters here, along with my notes for what’s working and what isn’t and what I might do in the next draft.
Click here to read Chapter One
Click here to read Chapter Two
Read on for the first chunk of Chapter Three, written last night, followed by some notes-to-self.

CHAPTER THREE
Rima always knew she was strong. Once or twice a year since she was fourteen she’d challenge Chris to an arm wrestle. And she’d always win.
But until today she didn’t know she was strong enough to push a 150 pound man in a wheelchair 200 yards up a 15 degree incline through two foot tall grass in less than three minutes.
The alien birds lunged at them. But the old woman running at Rima’s side snarled and swung her umbrella. And the young man with the cat swung his cat, who shrieked and yowled within its soft carrying case.
The birds fluttered away and returned to the dead bodies alongside the wreckage of the subway car.
“Scavengers, not predators,” thought Rima. “Good,” she said aloud. With eerie calm, she took note of her eerie calm.
She also noticed her failure to collapse into tears at Chris’s disappearance. And then she noted to herself that perhaps she was merely being rational and hopeful — better for Chris to be absent than among the dead currently being liquefied and guzzled by the birds.
Once she cleared the hill, Rima headed for the edge of the forest adjoining the savanna. Chances were excellent that something horrible and sharp lurked among the orange trees. Hell, the trees themselves would probably eat them.
But we evolved from arboreal simians, thought Rima. Can’t fight that instinct. Gotta head for the trees.
The trees did not eat them. But as they passed under the first branches, pollen pods exploded all around them and a soft mist of sweet smelling nectar filled the air. Rima felt an immediate surge of tremendous well-being. We’ve been drugged, she thought.
And then she burst out laughing. The old woman, the young man, and the man in the wheelchair all stared at each other, panting and smiling.
“Not funny,” said the young man, grinning. “The trees. The pollen’s an opiate,” said Rima. The old woman sat down on a fallen trunk and let out a deeply satisfied sigh. “At least we’ll die happy,” she said. The cat began to purr.
Rima sat down. Stared through the tree trunks at the birds lazily flapping away from the dessicated corpses by the subway car.
She lay her head down on the soft leaf litter and fell asleep.
NOTES TO SELF
1. Found myself finally cutting loose a bit with wordplay. Might be over the top here and there, but I can revise later if that’s the case. Nice to be relaxing a bit, having a bit more fun with the language. The interesting thing is that I didn’t realize I wasn’t relaxing until I started relaxing.
2. Still haven’t named those supporting characters. Come on, Pak. Get on that!
3. Made Rima a doctor a couple of days ago without thinking about it too much — very happy with the decision now. Gives her the professional background to react coolly and analytically under such extreme circumstances. Makes her interesting and helps with explaining/exploring the world. Also reminds me of an improv maxim, which is to play every character off the top of your audience. Rima’s SMART. She’ll be right there with us or a beat ahead of us in figuring out what’s going on in this new world, which will (I hope) help the story and mystery constantly move forward and get more interesting.

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