Home > Creative Writing Exercises, Fallen Earth, NaNoWriMo, Writing > FE NaNoWriMo 2010: Installment No. 2

FE NaNoWriMo 2010: Installment No. 2

June 14, 2156

The journal wasn’t my idea.

Old LaRue had kept a diary going since before Alec Masters lost the Hoover Dam to the Children of the Apocalypse. He swore up and down that it helped him keep track of the web of scams he kept cooking at any given time. It let him follow the accounting of fate and friendship. Who proved loyal? Who stabbed him in the back? How best to deliver payback?

When he died, gut-stabbed by a Lightbearer outside Odenville, I kept the notebook. It’s been a great resource so far, providing information about the wilds of the Grand Canyon Province that may just help keep me alive a good while – assuming Boss Scarpelli doesn’t kill me for losing the box.

I miss Old LaRue. He took me in when I was a kid. I never knew my parents. Am I an orphan? Did they die tragically, eaten by sand worms or mauled by grizzlies? Or did they dump me on a doorstep in front of one of the musty Odenville tenement buildings while acid rain splashed the pavement? I don’t know. I don’t really care. As far as it ever mattered to me, Old LaRue was my father. He took me in, taught me the Code, and trained me in the art of the steal, the delicate crafts of the long con and the short grift, and the importance of recognizing how people think and why they act the way they do.

So, after he died, I kept this book and I decided to add to it. I don’t pretend to think my life should be all that interesting to anyone else, but Old LaRue always said it was important to leave a legacy. Proof you lived. Proof you mattered, maybe just a little, to someone.

I’ve still got the old pages. From time to time, I look through them. They give me comfort. When time permits, I’ll share some of the old man’s writings.

***
Now for today’s business.

• Need shoes.
• Need weapon.
• Need location of the Gully Dogs who took that box.

It’d be nice to track down some food too. First things first, though.

***
No luck so far.

The toothache’s not getting better. Every once in a while it sends a sharp, stabbing pain right through my upper jaw. It’s like I’ve been shanked in the cheek. Can’t remember the last time I felt pain this bad.

It’s awfully hard to concentrate on the details of the grift with that nagging ache in my face.

And now I can’t help but think of what Old LaRue would’ve said to this: “Your face is hurting you? Well, it’s killing me!”

***
I suppose it could be argued that I’m making this much more difficult than necessary. Maybe it’d be more efficient for me to just suck it up, take that walk to Depot 66 without the green metal box, and insist that it’s not my fault the Gully Dogs made off with his prize. After all, what would’ve happened if I’d resisted? I might’ve killed one of them. Maybe just wounded one or the other. But then I’d sure as hell be dead on the ground. That box would still be gone.

Of course, depending on what’s in the box, Boss Scarpelli might not consider me nearly as valuable as what I lost.

***

Scribbled in the right margin: Found a dead scavenger behind a burned-out house along the main drag in town. No special resurrection collar on this one. The shoes are tight, but they’ll do. No laces. Nothing much in the way of weapons, but I did take the garden fork slung from his belt.

Scribbled in the bottom two lines of the page beneath the last entry and underlined twice: FOUND CAMP. ATV. WELL-GUARDED. TOMORROW?

Scribbled in the top margin: Mmm. Rat again. Trying to chew just with the right side of my mouth. Too painful with that tooth on the left side.

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