A decent first draft: Death by Lutefisk!

This is a first draft chapter of my novel from nanowrimo 2014. It came out well (considering it still needs at least another draft or two). I have performed it at four open mics.

[NOTE: Already, I am making a change. The chapter title. I do not want to give away a Goldfinger gag too early. And I LOVE the silly feel of this new title!]

Chapter 29: DEATH BY LUTEFISK!

Harry Headbutt fumbled with a large remote control that looked tiny in his goliath hands. His frown and grunts were frustrated gorilla. “HARRY’S FINGERS TOO BIG FOR PUNY BUTTONS!”

His fat mouth mumbled words that it really shouldn’t: the little girls of Holly’s fan club were standing at the front of the crowd! Former fan club, Holly reminded herself. Their cold, haughty stares from their formerly innocent faces made Holly’s blood run cold.

Holly felt weak as a newborn kitten. A kitten who would give anything for the strength for one great big belly heave to urp all that lutefisk sloshing around in her belly. She turned her head—ugh, too fast, her vision spun for a second—toward Cal and Dan, the bat guy and the super steel armor guy. They had ringside seats, under the guard of big security rayguns. Dan looked sad and old, Cal looked grim and … calculating?

Harry’s rude voice again. “HARRY USE LITTLE TIPPY-TIPS OF HIS FINGERS TO TOUCH BUTTONS … BAH-WAH HAW HAW! SUPERLADY-KILLING THING WORKING!”

The door-sized panel few feet above Holly glowed. Holly felt so weak. She wished she had her super-strength to snap those thick metal bands that manacled her to the metal table, just like Goldfinger had done to James Bond. Except no laser gun aimed to cut her in half. Just that green glowing panel above her sapping her strength. Why couldn’t she have been turned into a Bat Lady instead?

Harry leaned over Holly, his big moon head eclipsing the green light. He smiled so big that his puffy cheeks looked ready to spilt. He started the supervillain gloating. Which was not as eloquent as in comic books.

“BIG GLOWING THING ABOVE YELLOW HAIR GLOW BECAUSE IT FULL OF GREEN GLOWING STUFF! STUFF THAT MAKE YELLOW HAIR ALL WEAK! THAT WHY YELLOW HAIR CAN’T BREAK METAL BANDS! BAH-WAH HAW HAW! BUT GUESS WHAT ELSE GREEN GLOW DO! GUESS WHAT KRIP-PULL, KRIP-PUNNLE, CARPLE-TUNNEL, UHHH …”.

Holly inwardly moaned. Where was Lex Luthor when she needed him? She rallied her waning strength for an angry shout. “Kryptonite! The word is KRYPTONITE, you bullying, bad-breath MORON!”

Harry leaned down and yelled back, each hard syllable accentuated by flecks of spittle: “STOP THAT, BIG WORDS HURT HARRY’S HEAD!” He stood up straight again. “NOW HARRY WILL ACTV … ACT OF … ACT-TUB … TURN ON MORE GREEN GLOW! MAKE YOU EVEN WEAKER! IT MAKE FISHY STUFF IN YOUR TUMMY TURN GREEN GLOWY TOO! YELLOW HAIR GONNA GET POISONED ON INSIDE AND OUTSIDE! BAH-WAH HAW HAW!” Holding the remote in one boxing-glove hand, Harry gripped a dial on it with the tip of his thumb and little finger. “HARRY START BY TURNING GLOW UP FROM ONE TO TWO! START SMALL AND KEEP GOING UP TO TEN BECAUSE TEN IS BIGGEST! HARRY MAKE TORTURE SLOW AND PAINFUL!”

Huh, he had no trouble saying “torture” or “painful,” probably he’d used those words a lot. Holly felt a headache coming on. The glow above her brightened, bathing her entire body in green light. Ew, that light had a fishy smell and a slimy feel, she still couldn’t believe she’d tasted lutefisk nearly twenty years ago at the family’s Christmas dinner. Worst meal of the year, Cousin Steve had always joked. She was so weak. She half-snarled, half-whispered, “What do you expect me to do, Butt Head, beg?”

[NOTE: Here is where I start “The Laser Beam” from Goldfinger at small open mics, timed to end just as I finish reading the chapter’s heartbreaking cliffhanger.]

Harry looked up from the remote and into her eyes. “NO, YELLOW HAIR, HARRY EXPECT YOU TO CRY! CRY LIKE LITTLE BABY GIRL!” He twisted the dial again. “HARRY TURN UP TO FIVE!”

Pain flooded into her muscles, soaked into her bones, she felt like she’d run a ten light-year marathon. She tried and failed to lift her head, like an anemic ant trying to roll a bowling ball. She took a shallow breath for every angry word: “Is … that … all  … you … got?”

Harry’s eyes flashed, his lips trembled, his breath huffed, “WHY … YOU …” Then he smiled, really mean. “HARRY GOT MORE! FIVE MORE! AND FIVE AND FIVE MAKE …” Harry’s forehead furrowed. “UHH … TEN!” He turned the dial again.

It was an effort to breathe. Holly’s vision spun for a moment. She blinked hard. Her hand. Veins on the back of her hand were turning bright green! She felt like all her muscles were melting. Her vision … no colors … except green … Cal, Dan, the crowd, her reflection in the green panel … Harry’s ugly face … all green …

Harry leaned close again. “BAH-WAH HAW HAW! NOW YOU CRY! CRY! HARRY KNOW IT HURT! YOU CRY! CRY CRY CRY!”

With her last ounce of strength, Holly spat. A blob of spit—bright green—landed on Harry’s nose.

Harry’s big face quaked with rage, his beady eyes blazed with hate. “HARRY TURN IT UP TO ELEVEN!!!” He twisted the dial hard. The remote crunched and sparked.

The light became a nauseating nova. Holly shut her eyes, the searchlight blazed through her eyelids. Inside, she felt the sickening green blossoming in her belly and reaching for her lungs, her heart. Outside, she could feel her face turning green. Inside and outside green merged and multiplied tenfold. Hard to breathe … a green elephant crushed her lungs … her heart beat slower … slower …

Harry shouted again. “WHY YOU NOT CRY? YOU SUPPOSED TO CRY! CRY CRY CRY CRY CRY!!!!

Her eyes still closed, Holly turned her face away. Or rather, her head rolled because her neck was too weak to keep her face pointed up. She opened her eyes, like lifting two ten-ton castle gates.

Through thick green haze, she saw dozens of her former fangirls, standing only a few yards away. Closest of all was Kittygirl, whose big siamese cat eyes locked on Holly’s.

Kittygirl was gaping. She swallowed hard.

“I love you, sweetie,” Holly whispered, and fell into a dark green bottomless pit.

 

One thought on “A decent first draft: Death by Lutefisk!

  1. Pingback: Only 15,00 words. Sigh. And one surprisingly good chapter. | Dave M. Strom: author of Holly the superheroine

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