The trio found themselves at the bottom of the hill covered in dirt and eraser marks. Mia dusted some eraser marks off the back of her pants before they dove down another pit, this one steeper than the first one. Mia remembered the steepness of the hills and suspected that the design of the pit was to lure unsuspecting Wrimos into the pit and never come out. Mia never made it to the very bottom of the pit last time that she knew of, but she also remembered how far she made it down and how hard it was to get out of the pit.
This year would be different, right? It wasn’t even November yet. Even with the zombies that shouldn’t even be in her novel in the first place and the two Wrimos leading her to the Pit of Procrastination all in the name of research before November started… with hours to go…
Inoru no Hoshi and Starrlilly led Mia down another hill, this time sliding down an even steeper hill and landing on an Internet video. Mia didn’t recognize this part of the Pit of Procrastination from last year. “Where are we?” she asked.
“This is Youtube,” Inoru no Hoshi replied. “You can access it from within Wrimonia as well, but when you get sucked into the Pit, well…”
“Then how are we going to get out?”
“There are ways. They’re hard, but we can do it.”
“Have you ever done it?” Mia asked, turning to the pair.
“Yes,” starrlilly replied. “It’s hard and it takes a lot of determination, but it can be done. We just have to make our escape before more distraction suck us in. Now let’s get going.”
The three of them stood in front of the video, a large screen resembling a hologram in front of them with a play button on the screen. Starrlilly reached up and pressed the play button. Three chairs popped up and scooted themselves under Mia, Inoru no Hoshi, and starrlilly.
“Whoa,” Mia said as the lights lowered over the screen. The opening credits rolled, and the movie started to play.
“Is this the entire movie?” Mia asked as the main character read off the first few rules of Zombieland. “I thought we were just going to watch Youtube clips.”
Inoru no Hoshi nodded. “You’d be surprised what you can find online. And pay attention,” she said. “Or at least take zombie notes.”
They sat back and watched the movie. Mia found herself tinkering with the seat at some point; she discovered at some point that it reclined and the feet propped up. She kicked back and relaxed, and the screen adjusted itself accordingly so it was right above her as she reclined. Why couldn’t all theatres do this?
The movie went on, telling a tale of zombies and trust and yes, love, Surprisingly Mia found herself enjoying it despite the zombies, or maybe because of the zombies. But the zombies were stirring up ideas in her head, ideas that weren’t there before.
And the ideas from the inspiration garden were still there, dancing at the edge of Mia’s mind. Could zombies fit in the novel?
“I need to get going,” Mia said as the credits rolled. “I need to plan my novel.”
“But there’s so much more to explore!” Inoru no Hoshi replied. “Have you seen Twitter? Or Tumblr?”
“No.” Mia looked for a ladder or a rope or anything that would get her out of this pit and finding nothing. “And I don’t want to either. I need to plan my novel before the first gets here and I get to start writing it.”
But there was nothing to help her leave the Pit of Procrastination, and Inoru no Hoshi and Starrlilly weren’t giving her any help in leaving the Pit, instead wandering off to other areas of procrastination. Mia looked around. The screen that Zombieland had played on had disappeared, along with the chairs they had sat in.
Mia walked in the same direction they walked off in. Maybe they did know a way out but got distracted by other things. That did happen in the Pit of Procrastination, after all.
But she got distracted by the sound of those freaking blue birds. Again.
The birds descended on everyone in the Pit of Procrastination, even those not previously paying attention to the birds. One of the birds landed on Mia’s shoulder and tweeted a message in Mia’s ear. Mia couldn’t quite understand what the bird was saying, but when another bird landed on Mia’s other shoulder and tweeted another message, Mia found herself still confused but oddly curious. What were these birds saying?
“How do I find out what the birds are saying?” Mia asked anyone who would listen.
Starrlilly had wandered back to where Mia was standing and attempting to decipher what the birds were saying. “How do you figure out what they’re saying?” Mia asked.
“You listen carefully,” Starrlilly replied. Another bird sat on Starrlilly’s shoulder, tweeting a message. But starrlilly was able to send a message back with the bird, scribbling on a sheet of paper and tucking it in the bird’s feathers. “Try listening more carefully.”
Mia tried listening more carefully, this time with an ear more attuned to bird songs. And then she heard the human voice behind the birds.
“NaNoWriMo: It’s that funny limbo when half the world has started and the other half is wiggling with anticipation. Happy NaNo/NaNo Eve, everyone!”
“NaNoWordSprints: GO! Write write write!”
NaNoWriMo was on this Twitter site! And so were these word sprints that honeyelle told Mia about earlier. Surely Twitter wasn’t the waste of time she thought it was previously. Maybe Twitter was worth something after all.
“How do I sign up?” Mia asked.
“You catch a big blue bird when it flies past,” starrlilly explained. “And you tell it you want to join and you give the bird the info it asks for. And then you’ll be able to see more users and follow them.”
So Mia began the search for a big blue bird. All the birds in this area of the Pit of Procrastination were small birds, none of them large enough to support a new user like Mia. She continued searching for a big blue bird for a few minutes before finally noticing one fly toward her in the sky.
“Hello?” she yelled at the bird. “Hello? I want to join you in…. Twitter… flight?”
The bird stopped in front of Mia and didn’t say or tweet a word. It did, however, make a motion with its left wing for Mia to hop on its back. Mia hopped on and the bird flew up and away.
“Username?” the bird tweeted.
“Mia Wonnor,” Mia replied, looking down as the Pit of Procrastination grew smaller and smaller. Was she really going to escape the pit? Was another method of procrastination really going to free her?
But before the bird could ask for anything else, Mia felt the bird change from under her, the back growing wider, the head growing smoother, and the entire body losing its feathers and wings. A series of small birds appeared and pulled the animal up. What was this animal… a whale?
Mia turned around. Yes, that was definitely a whale’s tale. The whale kept floating above the Pit of Procrastination and toward the less procrastinatey part of Wrimonia… if any other parts of Wrimonia could be called less procrastinatey.
The whale sailed over the Pit of Procrastination and back into Wrimonia, descending toward the ground. The whale tilted slightly to the left, and Mia landed in the middle of the square.
Mia looked around. Did she have a Twitter account? Did she really escape the Pit of Procrastination unscathed? She got up and dusted some dirt off her pants, then looked at the Countdown Clock.
Four hours, thirty-eight minutes until November.
Crap. There was a novel out there that still needed planning and Mia still didn’t have a Twitter, which was probably for the best. She plunked herself on an eraser bench and started outlining.
Ah, the Fail Whale. How I (don’t) miss you.
The NaNoWriMo tweet really is a NaNo tweet. I’m pretty sure the NaNoWordSprints one has been tweeted at some point, but I didn’t bother to dig it up.
Share, don’t be a jerk, donate to NaNo if you’re inclined.