Mia wandered around the forums in search of inspiration. She still had time to come up with a plot. After all, NaNoWriMo didn’t start for days.
Whoosh! Something flew over her head and landed in the distance. Mia turned around, trying to figure out where it came from. Then she spotted it: someone had thought it was a good idea to build a battalion of trebuchets in the square.
“Whoa, whoa,” Mia said, walking toward the Wrimos with the trebuchets. “What on earth is going on?” She looked from Wrimo to Wrimo, but each one looked like they were enjoying themselves. One of them held what appeared to be a pale yellow sponge in his hand.
“We’re the Trebuchet Club,” a Wrimo by the name of lustforlike said.
“But what are you doing out here?” Mia asked. “I thought everyone was supposed to get their own thread in the forums.”
“We do have one,” lustforlike replied, pointing to the building right behind them: WRITING GROUPS AND CLUBS.
“The problem is,” MissTatlock, the Wrimo with the urinal cake said, now attaching it to the end of the trebuchet, “that these trebuchets were taking over when we started to build them. So we decided to take them out here instead.”
Mia looked at the urinal cake. “That’s great, but what’s up with the urinal cakes? And why are you building trebuchets in the first place?”
“They’re for our novels,” another Wrimo named KristenS said, popping into the conversation. “We’re part of a group that includes trebuchets in our novel every year. Of course, if you know anything about ancient history, you know that trebuchets take awhile to build, so we’re starting on them now along with any outlining we do.”
Mia looked around. She didn’t see anything else that could resemble a plot. Well, besides all the rabbits that were chasing Wrimos. Speaking of rabbits, one was nibbling her sock right now.
“What are you doing here?” Mia asked, looking down at the bunny. The bunny kept nibbling at her sock, begging for her attention. It meeped at her, just like the bunny that meeped at the other Wrimo.
“Take a vampire,” the plot bunny said. Mia noticed that the plot bunny’s voice was pleading at her. “Make it homeless and desperate to survive in a society that shuns vampires, but the society is very pro-human. What happens next?”
“I told you,” Mia mumbled, picking up the plot bunny. “I don’t write fantasy. I don’t like vampires.” She took this chance to look the plot bunny in the eye. It was a very cute bunny, she had to admit: bright blue eyes, a button nose, and two little teeth peeking out of its mouth. “Even if they don’t sparkle. I’m sorry.” Mia set the plot bunny back on the ground and patted it before releasing it into the wild again.
“Sorry about that,” Mia mumbled, but when she looked at the other Wrimos, she noticed that everyone looked sympathetic.
“Don’t worry,” MissTatlock, “I understand. They come when you least expect it.” She turned back the other members of the club. “Let’s launch it.”
She placed the urinal cake on the launch pad and pulled it back. “Ready?”
“Ready!” everyone else yelled back.
“Fire!” MissTatlock (now formerly the Wrimo of the urinal cake) launched the urinal cake. Mia watched as the urinal cake flew into the distance and fell. Everyone else turned as well. “Hey, at least they’ll get a kick out of it.”
“A kick out of what? And why did you just fling a urinal cake on the forums?” Mia asked.
“Oh, if only you knew,” lustforlike said. “But to be honest, no one knows around here.” He continued to look in the direction that the direction that the urinal cake was flung. He lowered his voice. “But if you do find out, I recommend leaving them to their devices.”
Naturally this made Mia very curious. Why was a urinal cake on the forums, anyway? She wandered in that direction, wondering what she would see next. The next thing she would see, though, was a sight to behold: madness. OFF TOPIC, the plaque in front of the building read. Urinal cakes were scattered around the front of the building, and Mia noticed that she wasn’t alone in investigating the source of these urinal cakes. Wrimos were whispering to each other, asking each other questions, and Mia broke into one of the circles.
“What are these about?” Mia asked. “Don’t urinal cakes belong in urinals?”
“I know,” the other Wrimo, antiquarian_codex, replied. “This is really weird.”
“Well, I’m going in,” Mia replied. No one else bothered to follow her, but she burst through the Off Topic door and noticed that the smell of urinal cakes grew stronger as she reached the end of the hall. For some reason (who knows why), she chose to enter that room instead of either of the sticky rooms near the door.
Urinal cakes scattered the floor; in fact, Mia looked down and began to suspect that the carpet in this thread was made of urinal cakes. A penguin had also made its way into the room and was dancing around, carefully avoiding any urinal cakes in its path. The Wrimos here sat around talking, and Mia could tell that they were all old friends. She could actually see their name tags from here: thetejon, Aser, GuardianOfTheFronds, tweetywill. A sign reading “The Piker Press” was plastered to the wall.
“Hi, I’m new,” Mia said. “What’s up with the urinal cakes?”
Everyone stared at her. “Here, penguin, dance,” tweetywill said. “Dance like there’s no tomorrow, because there probably isn’t.” The penguin danced to tweetywill’s command and probably wouldn’t have stopped if Mia had commanded it to.
“No, really,” Mia said. “What’s going on here? I’m so confused.”
“There’s a help wanted sign in the corner,” Aser said, and as soon as she said that, a Help Wanted sign showed up in the corner. Mia ran to the corner and read the sign, hoping that it would help her figure out this whole thread. “Schroedinger’s Penguin: Wanted Dead And Alive,” the sign read.
“Well, that’s no help!” Mia exclaimed. She was about to run out of the room on the spot, but something kept her rooted to her position.
Another urinal cake appeared in the room. This one was pale pink and looked, if not fresh, then at least mildly used. Mia examined it, slightly tempted to poke it but finally decided against it. Who knew what germs that thing would contain?
“Don’t you get it?” Aser said after a few minutes of this. “There’s nothing to get. This entire thread is an inside joke. It just started because we were talking about urinal cakes and became its own thing.”
“Yes, but you did all the work,” thetejon added. “I just started the original thread.”
“Okay, fair enough,” Aser replied. “Still, there’s nothing to get. Now, Penguin, you have some work to do.” The penguin had disappeared now, and GuardianOfTheFronds was looking in the direction in which the penguin last stood. Nothing. Mia gave up and walked out the door.
“Help!” Mia had stumbled into the NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul forum, and finally she figured out the meaning of the asterisk next to the title. Formerly called I Hate Myself And Want To Die, it said. Formerly? she wondered. Why did they change it? That wasn’t for her to wonder right now, though, as she stumbled into an empty room, found a hammer and nail, and wrote, “HELP! I have no plot!” on a poster before hammering it to the door. Then she sat down in a stiff purple chair and waited. No plot bunnies were to be found here, not even bad ones that looked cute at first sight but were really homeless vampires in disguise.
“No plot?” a Wrimo with a name tag that said Wonderer asked, peeking a head in the room.
Mia nodded. “Yeah, I have no clue what to write about,” she admitted. “Plot bunnies keep nibbling at me, but they just aren’t at all appealing. Homeless vampires? I don’t care about homeless vampires. And the adopt a plot thread isn’t helping one bit. Lawyers in pajamas? Oh please. That’s a train wreck waiting to happen.”
“But Mia,” Wonderer said. “You don’t have write a masterpiece for your first draft.” A second chair appeared. This one was just as purple and stuff as the first, but Wonderer sank into it anyway–well, as much as one can sink into a stiff chair. “It’s only a first draft. November’s about getting the story on the paper, crap and all. December is for editing.”
“But I want to write,” Mia insisted. “And how can I write without writing something beautiful?”
Wonderer had heard all these arguments before, but before saying another word, another Wrimo entered the room. MAKEAWiSH was the name behind the name tag. “Hi, MAKEAWiSH,” Wonderer said. “We have a newbie here with no plot.”
“I need to write something serious,” Mia said. “But all these crazy plot bunnies keep nibbling on me and keep asking me to write them. I don’t want to write about homeless vampires or unemployed new college grads who try to meet Bob Barker.”
“Actually, I’d read the Bob Barker one,” MAKEAWiSH said.
“That’s besides the point,” Mia replied, shrugging that thought off. “Those are too silly for me to write about. I want to write something beautiful.”
“I hate to break it to you, but that’s unlikely to happen in the first draft,” Wonderer pointed out. “The first draft is supposed to be crappy.”
Mia shuffled in her seat as another seat appeared for MAKEAWiSH. MAKEAWiSH plunked down in this seat, which was also purple and stiff.
“So you mean I’ll be writing crap,” Mia said.
“I’m afraid so, but that’s the spirit. Now as for plot, have you just let the muse rain on you?”
Could Mia be coming up with a plot soon? Only time will tell. Either that or Mia will join the many Wrimos who go into November first sans plot.
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