Ringside with Buttercup

After all the excitement yesterday it time to rest up, relax, and spend a little time back in at the casa.  Spending four hours on the road can become a tiring experience, so by the time I rolled back to the apartment I wasn’t in the mood to do anything but veg and maybe watch a little television, and hope for a good night’s sleep.

The sleep I got.  The television was pretty lame, as there wasn’t anything good on, so I let it play in the background.  A couple of the flicks on were five hours of BS stuffed into two hours of celluloid, but since everything is digital these days, you can do that with compression.

Oh, and there was writing.  I finally put all my new kids in their respective covens, so no more worrying about who is suppose to be where when I need affiliations.  I also figured out who isn’t returning for their B Levels, because I do think ahead.  I’m like that; always planing for the future of people who don’t exist.

This also means the writing is back on track, with over a couple of thousand words written over the weekend.  The word count total–as the novel finishes up the Chapter Nine Thursday classes and moves into the Chapter Ten Friday morning participation–is one hundred nine thousand, two hundred ninety-nine.  I’ll pop up one hundred ten today, and it would appear, with this short Chapter Ten, and two more to go, that I’ll finish this first episode of Book One in another fifteen thousand or so words.  Yes, one third of a story clocking in at one hundred twenty five thousand words–no problem.  Happens every day.

It’s not a nice return for Kerry, however.  He spent the night in the hospital, and the other A Levels didn’t know what was happening with him.  No, they didn’t rush to his bedside:  this is a bunch of kids who hardly know each other.  No bonds formed here yet.

When he does walk into class–which happens to be “Self Defense for Beginners”–he gets asked how he’s doing.  He also starts getting teased by a couple of boys because when my Dark Mistress of All hauled Kerry off to the infirmary, he was doing a bit of the moaning and crying thing.  One even went so far as to tell another girl who was sticking up for Kerry that “sure, you’d cry, that’s what girls do,” and ended up getting all the female types in the room to shoot death laser eyes at him, thereby insuring he’ll never date an A Level girl at any time during the next six years.  (As a side note, the girls in the school outnumber the boys by a little more than four-to-one, something that Kerry pointed out with great glee.  Yes, at Salem, It’s a Girl’s World–and they will let you know it.)

How does Kerry deal with this?  He turns to Annie and starts quoting lines from The Princess Bride.  Fortunately for him, she’s seen/read it, and she start quoting what she remembers, and they end up playfully chasing each other around the huge, open room with a sparing mat in the center.

Kerry doesn’t say that quote.  You know which quote I’m talking about, don’t look at me like that.  That’s not one of my favorite quotes of the movie, and just like in the flick, it gets said over and over so much in real life that when I hear it I just sigh and pretend I’m atomizing the person.  No, the one I prefer is when he yells, “I want my father back, you son of a bitch!”, due in part to the intensity Mandy Patinkin delivers.  He admitted that when doing the scene he was reminded of his own father’s death, and the memories were getting to him when he uttered his lines.

Besides, I almost always think of Mandy as Rube Sofer from Dead Like Me, the middle man for the Reaper who always meet at Der Waffle House to discuss what souls they’re going to take for the day.  Rube, who is always trying to get Death to stop in for dinner and who swears at him when he doesn’t like something on the list of people they’re taking before they die.

"This job is killing me. Yeah, I went there . . . (checking list) Whadday say your name was?"

“This job is killing me. Yeah, I went there . . . (checking list) Whadday say your name was?”

And who tries to offer words of wisdom to new Reaper Georgia, who’s first assignment is to take the soul of an eight year old girl who dies in a train derailment, and decides not to, that it would be better to let her live:

Dead Like Me: Pilot (#1.1)

George: If you want her to die so bad, you do it!
Rube: [angrily] I can’t, no one can except you. Death is non-transferable, she’s your mark. Only you can do the deed.
George: Well then, barring any unforeseen accidents, I’d say she has another eighty years.
Rube: Yeah, well you believe me, that’s eighty years she doesn’t want.
George: What is that supposed to mean?
Rube: Her fate was sealed the moment she got onto that train. Her soul expired. You know what happens when you keep a soul around after its time?
George: No.
Rube: Same thing happens to milk. It spoils, goes bad, souls go bad in all kinds of ways.
George: But…
Rube: [continues to speak in quiet anger] If you’re having trouble comprehending the severity of the situation, why don’t you consult Webster’s on the definition of bad? If you don’t take her soul, it’s going to wither and die and rot inside her. I’ve seen it happen. Do you wish to condemn her to that?
George: [crying] She’s just a little girl. She can’t die, it’s cruel!
Rube: [gently] It is cruel. It’s cruel she won’t know what life’s really like. It’s cruel that she’ll miss out on so much love and pain and beauty, and that’s sad for everyone in the world except for her. She won’t give a rat’s ass, she’ll be doing something different. That’s just the way it is.

Good ol’ death, always a comfort.  And the Reapers will show up at Salem soon enough.

You can bet on that.