Half Past Never – Part 3

Wordcount: 1,457
Rating/Warnings/Genre: PG-13, Urban Fantasy/MuseFic
Summary: And lo, the first part of Sam and Fluffy’s story comes to an end… except it doesn’t really.

This is the semi-weekly posting of my Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016 NaNoWriMo ‘Novel’ in which I and my Fictives attempt to polish off all of the in-progress stories in the Tales of the Drunken Unicorn ‘verse!

MuseFic is in black, the original draft is in blue, and the new draft is in green.

NOTE: This is a MuseFic in which the Writer, the Muse, and her fictives work to create the rough draft of a story (or just worldbuild). There will be spoilers for the story being drafted, which will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies.

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~*~*~*~

“So this is a MuseFic?” Rugby looked around the dorm room that was constantly morphing because it had never properly been defined. “Seems…” he trailed off, at a loss for the right adjectives.

:It seems pantsed.:

“Made up as I go along,” clarified the Writer. “Sorry for your, um, fogginess, I wasn’t expecting you to pop up. I just needed someone else to explain what was going on that wasn’t Fluffy.”

“So why not use someone who already existed?” Rugby sat down next to Sam on the bed, since that was the only really solid thing in the room. “Not that I mind existing, this is just a little weird.”

“It’s a lot weird,” said Sam around a mouthful of waffles.

“There aren’t a lot of people in this ‘verse yet,” admitted the Writer. “Jack isn’t supposed to show up until much later, Leah and Ava are also pretty new. But Ava needs to not know about Fluffy for Beware the Pointy End and Leah is a mundane, so she can’t help. Terry is a dhampir, so he’s out. …And that’s pretty much everyone I have so far.”

“So this universe is pretty much empty,” said Rugby thoughtfully.

The Writer’s eyes narrowed at his smile. “You don’t get to invent more people.”

“Too late!”

***

They made it out the around the corner of the building just as the pack of kids had formed a semicircle, cornering Fluffy against the building. His horn was glowing faintly and pointed directly at the group’s leader.

“Get out of here!” The boy was not quite yelling. “We don’t want your kind here, my Mom made that very clear.”

:I don’t take orders from a vigilant–:

“Don’t you dare finish that thought.” Rugby snapped as he pushed through the ring. “Did you seriously not tell anyone you were coming?”

:I’m not required to inform the glorified neighborhood watch when a Guardian is assigned.: Fluffy snapped.

“What Guardian? Did you really kidnap some kid– wait,” the kid faltered. “Rugby that’s not your unicorn, right?”

“Hell no,” he snorted. “There’s not enough alcohol in the world to get me to agree to that. Sam on the other hand apparently does really stupid things when she’s drunk.”

“Nice to meet you, um– Charlie, was it?” Sam waved half-heartedly, having given up all hope of escaping this with her dignity intact. She was pretty sure she recognized the group’s leader from her chemistry classes last year, but college thus far had been a bit fuzzy thanks to her social life.

“Cory. So you— wait, but why?” the kid looked at the unicorn then back at her, lost.

“Yeah I know, not one of my better decisions.” She shrugged. “So what are you, vampires or werewolves or fairies or something?”

“Nah, they’re just hedgewitches, like my Dad,” Rugby offered. “I would have been part of the merry band if genetics had been a little kinder to me. But then I’d be playing Buffy with Cory instead of Rugby.”

“We’re not playing.” Cory objected, but he seemed more annoyed than upset. “We’ve told the Council repeatedly that we don’t want a Guardian working this node. The politics here are too fragile for brute force.”

“Can I just point out that technically sober me never agreed to any of this?” Sam said. “I don’t want to be doing politics or brute force.”

***

“Well,” said the Writer, leaning back from the keyboard. “That wasn’t quite what I was expecting.”

“You invented a whole organization,” Sam was trying very hard not to sound impressed, but failing. “I couldn’t even get her to describe my dorm room for ten years and here you are with a minimob to your name.”

“It’s not a mob, exactly,” Rugby objected. “You needed someone to get upset that wasn’t actually dangerous, I figured with my backstory this made sense. After all this node hasn’t had a Guardian in decades, so something had to be keeping the peace in the meantime.”

:Amateurs. They should leave the guarding to professionals.: Fluffy snorted.

“You don’t need professionals for this node,” Rugby argued. “We’ve had a nice steady stalemate for years between the dhampirs and werewolves. Together they’re more than enough to handle whatever else shows up and threatens the status quo.”

:Yes, but only if they feel like the threat would endanger themselves. They aren’t sworn to defend the innocent bystanders.: Fluffy stomped a forehoof. :They prey on innocents, I protect them.:

Sam watched the debate bounce back and forth thoughtfully. “I’m really torn between arguing with you based on the knowledge I have now or on the knowledge I had back when the story started.” She summoned another stack of waffles. “But I think this is a little too meta to handle right now. So who is this Cory kid again?”

“Undefined,” grumped the Writer.

“Awesome, then I fan cast myself as Draco,” Cory said as he wandered into the room.

“What? No!” But the Writer was already too late.

“We can do that?” Rugby said.

NO YOU CAN’T!

“I want to be Ronon,” Rugby declared and his outline snapped into place with a happy hum. “You have the best ideas, Cory.”

Cory grinned. “As always.”

“This is why MuseFics are horrible, horrible ideas.” The Writer gave up any hope of salvaging the situation.

***

“It’s a little late to opt out now,” Cory pointed out, still trying to get his mind around the fact that Fluffy was working with Sam. “But if you could ask questions first and shoot later, it would help.”

“Considering I don’t own a gun or have any useful offensive skills, I’m pretty sure that’s a safe bet.” Sam eyed Fluffy. “Dunno if the horned one has an off switch though.”

:I can promise that I won’t do anything beyond protecting myself, my Guardian, and innocents in immediate danger: Fluffy admitted grudgingly. :But you can’t keep me from reporting it.:

“The Council already has plenty of snitches on campus, one more won’t make a difference.”

“Wait, about that,” Sam broke in. “Are there really people on campus who are going to be trying to kill me?”

“Eh, possibly?” Cory looked over at the rest of his group who shrugged back. “As long as you don’t do anything, you should be fine. Just give it a week or two, let things settle down again.”

“So don’t go looking for enemies and they won’t come looking for me?”

“Don’t go looking for friends or enemies.” Cory said firmly. “Not until Mom can work her magic and smooth things out. Metaphorical magic,” he clarified as Fluffy glared at him. “We’ve been keeping this place safe for decades, give us a little credit would you?”

:No.:

“And on that note, I’m going to go back and finish brunch and not vanquish evil. Yes? No?” Sam gestured back at the table. “This has been a really crazy morning and I’d like to just pretend none of this had happened for a little bit.”

“Uh, sure?”

“Good,” Same grabbed Rugby by an arm and headed back inside. “You. Me. Waffles. Nothing else.”

He grinned, nodded, and the waffle apocalypse continued.

***

“You realize this is rolling right over into Beware The Pointy End, yeah?” Sam read over the Writer’s shoulder with building amusement. “This is totally not a standalone bit, this is going to keep going into that one without even a hiccup.”

Gah.”

:That’s not a bad thing,: Fluffy pointed out. :After all, Pointy End really didn’t have much of a plot either. Now it does. Sort of.:

The Writer was not amused.

“Come on, Pointy was only four hundred some odd words long,” Sam said. “It’s not like that one didn’t need an epic amount of work anyway.”

“Why do I have a feeling the whole plot of this is going to turn into ‘Don’t listen to Cory’,” Cory said with a smirk.

:Or the unicorn,: Fluffy agreed, much less amused.

“I need to be my own person!” Sam grumped. “I am beholden to no one, queen of my own devices.”

“Technically you’re a figment of your Writer’s imagination,” Rugby pointed out.

“Like that matters!” The Writer glared at the group. “None of you ever do what I expect you to. As soon as fingers meet keys it’s WOOSH! Plot out the window!”

“To be fair, we come up with good ideas.” Rugby was not at all subtly smug.

“I think I’m an excellent idea,” Cory agreed.

:I think you need to stop having ideas.:

“So we’re all agreed?” asked Sam. “Segway into Pointy at this point? Show of hands please.”

The fictives all raised their hands and Fluffy just sighed.

“This isn’t a Democracy!” Objected the Writer.

“The count is three in favor, one abstaining, and one Nay. The Ayes have it… onwards!”

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Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Rose

    Is the MuseFic something you came up with, or a thing other authors do? Because I’d never heard of it, but I really like the idea. I think I’m going to have to try it for brainstorming.

    Also, I’m in love with this story. But it’s kind of hard to explain when an Innocent Bystander asks why I’m dying of laughter, and I’m like “Well, this girl just named her unicorn Fluffy. That sounds weird, but the unicorn’s very Proper and opposed to this and… well, you have to read it, really.”

    1. Martha Bechtel

      Sorry for the delay, I got sucked into a black hole of work this week and didn’t check for comments! (Doh)

      Back in the days of alt.comics.fan-fiction (acff) the writing group there invented the SubReality Cafe which was a bar where all the fictives would go and complain about the stories they were in. Authors/Writers were allowed in sometimes, but not always. My MuseFics were an outgrowth of that… so yes and no! 😀

      And I’m so glad you love the story! The MuseFics are such a weird thing, I’ve never been sure if anyone except me ever enjoys them. But now I know I know and I have a perfect excuse to drag the fictives along on these adventures… hehehehe.

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