Day twenty-one. Mia still hadn’t written a single word that day, and she knew that she had to write over two thousand words a day in order to finish NaNoWriMo. Still, the novel wouldn’t die. She stared at the screen, knowing that the story wouldn’t die unless she made it, and started to type.
Once again, the words wouldn’t come. “No, that doesn’t sound right,” she told herself, backspacing. Mia looked around. Only Wrimos were around, walking around Wrimonia with their characters in deep discussion.
“No, look, you’re going to do what I say,” one Wrimo said to her character. “You’re not going to sleep with him.” The character sulked, and the Wrimo walked away from the character. Mia looked back at her screen. It would be really nice to see her characters again, except they ran away the night before after the last writing session.
Meep. Meep meep meep. A small rabbit hopped toward her and got comfortable in her lap. It settled down on her keyboard and looked up at Mia.
“Meep,” the bunny said.
“What is it?” Mia asked, petting it. She had to admit that it was a very cute bunny, but she didn’t have time for such nonsense right now. She had a novel to write, and bunnies played no role in the novel, especially since Ian was allergic to animal fur. He tried begging Amy for a pet at one point, but after they went to the park one afternoon and he petted a golden retriever and started to sneeze, Amy saw that a pet for Ian would be a bad idea, so she laid the idea aside. Mia knew that the bunny would be a bad idea for her too, especially if–
Meep meep, the bunny said. Great, Mia thought, knowing exactly what the rabbit was saying.
“I can’t take care of you now,” Mia said, returning to her novel. “I have this book to write.” She picked up the rabbit and set him on the ground next to her, but the rabbit crawled back into her lap, and she was finding it much harder to type under these conditions.
Meep meep, the bunny said. Mia sighed. She listened a little more carefully, and then she realized what the rabbit was saying.
A woman, an adventure, and a diary. Truth revealed. A history, a past. She had heard all this before; in fact, this sounded an awful lot like an idea she had when she was about nineteen, but she never wrote it down because… well, because she was lazy. But then the bunny started to meep at her again.
Meep meep meep. “Will you shut up?” Mia asked. The bunny refused, and it crawled up Mia’s chest and rested on her shoulder, whispering in her ear, where Mia could comprehend more than meeps that only translated slightly into voices.
“Write me,” the bunny was saying. “Your novel is nice right now, but I’m just shiny. I’m new and exciting and I’ll bring so many more words your way, and I’ll even be so much better than what you’re writing right now. Besides, I’m young and cute, and this story’s old and crusty.”
Mia looked at her crust-free laptop. The bunny was lying about that part. She lifted the bunny off her shoulder. I really should have taken strength training in college, she thought as she set the bunny back on the ground and resumed typing.
But the bunny kept trying to get back in her good graces and kept meeping at her. “You know you want to type me,” the bunny said. “I’m cute.”
“Yes, I know you’re cute,” Mia said. “But I’m writing this story right now.”
“Well, write me in December,” the bunny replied.
Mia sighed. “Fine, I’ll write you in December,” she told it, knowing that she probably wouldn’t. The only reason she was writing right now was because of the deadline. “But what will I do before then?”
The bunny hopped away from Mia. It looked like it was going somewhere. Mia saved her novel, closed her laptop, and followed the bunny. They walked toward (or rather, Mia walked, and the bunny hopped) toward the All-Ages Coffee House forum and into a thread resembling a farm. Mia could hardly see the floor when she entered, and the bunny ran into the crowd. She looked around the room and realized that she couldn’t even tell which bunny was hers anymore.
“How do you tell?” she asked one Wrimo wearing a pair of overalls and a straw hat.
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about telling them apart,” the Wrimo replied. “They can tell you apart. See, plot bunnies have a wonderful way of distinguishing their true owners from fakers. They’re just little geniuses that way, don’t you think?” The Wrimo in the straw hat walked toward a barrel of carrots and grabbed two handfuls, feeding a carrot to each rabbit he passed. “Organic plot carrots,” he explained to Mia. “These are the best foods to nourish the plot bunnies and grow them into full blown plots.” Mia stared at this Wrimo. Couldn’t you just give them chocolate? “Oh, we don’t give them chocolate or anything unnatural,” the Wrimo explained as if he had read Mia’s mind. “Think of what would happen then. Unnatural influences, you see. No, we need these plot bunnies to grow into the best plots they can become, and the best way they can do that is to eat good food. Just like you, you know?” He jabbed Mia in the stomach.
“Hey, what was that for?” Mia asked. The Wrimo pointed at the blue bar above her head. Mia blushed a little. “Well, yeah, I know I’m behind, but you don’t have to make such a big deal out of it.”
“Nonsense,” the Wrimo replied. “It’s just a little more every day. Just don’t put it off to the last minute, or next thing you know you’re writing over twenty thousand words on the last day, and those people don’t come out too well. They go sleep on caffeine lows come December first.” His voice sounded a little hollow.
“You’ve done it before?” Mia asked, looking at the Wrimo’s blue bar. He was just on track to finish NaNoWriMo on time. The Wrimo nodded.
“It was a long time ago,” the Wrimo replied. “It was my own fault, really, but I just couldn’t help it. It was one of those things that just couldn’t be avoided. I was taking care of everyone else’s plot bunnies and my own and forgot that I had a plot bunny of my very own to be raised into a very full plot. It became a full plot, and I neglected it, and that choice nearly cost me a NaNo win.” The Wrimo looked down. “I slept for nearly twenty-four hours after that. It wasn’t pretty.” He sighed and looked at Mia. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of your plot bunny for you.”
“So when can I pick him up?” Mia asked, trying to pick her plot bunny out from the crowd.
“Whenever you want,” the Wrimo replied. “And don’t worry, we have a gated complex, so your plot bunny can’t get free and wander the premises. We take them out for walks every day, though, since fresh air and new surroundings is always good for the development of good plots.” Mia smiled. Clearly plot bunnies needed the same thing that Wrimos did: good air and new surroundings on occasion. Mia thought of the eraser bench next to the Realism forum that she had written at for most of the month. She could use a change of scenery herself, actually.
“Thanks a lot,” Mia said. “I’ll come back on December first to see how he’s doing.”
“No problem,” the Wrimo replied. “Just come back before the end of September. They close us down then so Wrimonia can get a wipedown and clean up before October begins again.” Mia nodded on her way out.
This happens to so many Wrimos every year, including me. Those ideas are still around somewhere.
And when did we get to Part 27, anyway? Granted, I know exactly how many parts there are to this story, and I’m not telling. Seeing how quickly this story is being posted, even at three days a week, makes me see how quickly time flies.
Feel free to link this on your blog, Twitter, whatever. Just don’t pass this off as your own, and we’re cool.
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