Rating/Warnings/Genre: PG-13, Urban Fantasy/MuseFic
Summary: In which we continue with the beginning, but there may now be a plot. Sneaky things, those plots!
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.
:You need to stop doing that,: the unicorn finally snapped as Sam asked yet another bemused gaggle of sleepy college student about his existence.
“Why? Will it make you less imaginary?” Sam rolled her eyes.
:No, but if people start talking about ‘the crazy girl at breakfast’ it will let the people who can see me know there’s a unicorn on campus.:
:They aren’t nice people, for large values of ‘not nice’ and a liberal interpretation of ‘people’.:
“As opposed to the nice unicorns who attempt to murder me with cleansing spells.”
:That shouldn’t have hurt and considering they would try and actually murder you, yes.:
“Why me, why not you?”
:Killing you makes me go away. Killing me– well that just means someone else takes my place. It’s your contract, so I’m your unicorn. :
“The hell you are.” Sam stopped abruptly to glare at him. “I never asked for unicorn.”
:Yes you did. Last night. You were apparently drunk at the time, but the contract is valid. Trust me I’ve checked.:
“What contract? I don’t remember signing anything.” She eyed him suspiciously. “Prove it, where’s my copy?”
:It’s not like I have pockets,: the unicorn objected, :and it’s magical contract, which means it’s verbal. Obviously. We can petition the Council for a paper copy, but for the moment you’ll have to take my word for the fact that you are now the Guardian for this node and I, beyond all reasonable explanation, am your partner.:
“And you’re serious about people wanting to kill me?”
There was a pause.
“So, new rule. No talking about this until after breakfast because if ever there was a morning that demanded waffles, it’s this one. Agreed?”
The unicorn nodded and they continued on.
“That was… anticlimactic?” said Sam after a moment. “I expected us to get attacked on the way to breakfast or something.”
“We’re only a thousand words in, give it time.” The Writer leaned back in her chair and gave the screen a thoughtful look. “Maybe.”
:Right now everything the idea that what I’m telling her is true is based completely in the faith the readers have in non-lying unicorns.: Fluffy nibbled on his flowers. :Something has to happen or the suspension of disbelief is going to wear thin.:
“Waffles first, suspensions later,” Sam demanded.
“Fine, fine,” said the Writer and wrote her some waffles.
Disappointingly, no amount of waffles drowning in strawberries and powdered sugar made the concept of the unicorn being real and people trying to kill her seem plausible. Sam sighed at the remnants of her third stack.
“You gave me disappointment waffles.”
“They’re still waffles!”
:If it helps, I’m not overly thrilled with this arrangement either. My partners don’t normally associate my existence with brain tumors.: The unicorn was loitering outside the window next to her table, but the mental voice was as loud as ever. He looked like he was nibbling on the bushes, but she could never quite catch him actually eating.
Sam gave him a sharp look and the unicorn did its best impersonation of a shrug.
:Look, I’m trying to be polite, but if you keep thinking that loudly I can’t help it if I hear you.:
“And I can’t help it if the most rational explanation for all of this is that I’m hallucinating.”
“You are definitely hallucinating,” Rugby agreed as he sat down across from her, with his own epic pile of waffles. “Word on the sidewalk is you’re seeing unicorns?”
“Eh, technically I was asking them if they could see unicorns.” Sam poked at the waffle bits.
“I can’t think of a reason anyone would say yes to that, even if they could,” Rugby said around mouthfuls of waffle. “And it’s not like you’re unicorn material, you’re almost a polar opposite of a temple virgin.”
Sam nodded morosely, then flinched at a sudden spike of mental outrage.
:You have GOT to be kidding me! No wonder the cleansing spell backfired. I can’t believe you didn’t mention—:
“Look, dude, I’m sorry, stop already.” Sam waved a frantic hand at the window, eyes closed. “Ow, ow, ow.”
The mental rant cut off abruptly and she hesitantly opened one eye.
Rugby was watching her curiously, still inhaling his waffles.
“So yeah, apparently a) that matters and b) unicorns are not good at telling the difference.” She sighed. “Why can’t I hallucinate happy thoughts?”
“Because if anyone was going to have an inappropriate unicorn, It would be you.” Rugby looked out the window. “I really thought he was just here for the azaleas.”
:The are tasty,: said the unicorn, somewhat sheepishly around a mouthful of flowers.
“You can see him?”
“Dad would never have left me come to this campus without protection,” Rugby gestured to his necklace as he efficiently mopped up the last of his waffles. “Might not be much, but at least I can see through most of the glamours so I know who to keep an eye on.”
“What’s wrong with this campus?”
“This is gonna take at least another plate, give me a minute.” He grinned at the unicorn, who stoically ignored him and went off to get more waffles.
“Well, at least I know you’re real,” Sam said with a sigh.
:I’ve been telling you that all morning.:
And so it went.
“That is the least useful segway ever.” Sam muttered from the bottom bunk, happily enthralled in whatever she was doing on her phone.
“I needed out of that scene!” The Writer shrugged. “And I seem to have invented another person… by accident.”
:You do that a lot.:
“I just love the fact you named him after his hobby.”
“Rugby isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life!”
:I’m just amused that once again something that would have been a dramatic moment in any other story has turned into a laid back conversation.:
“I have very laidback Fictives,” the Writer objected, but made a note.
“I blame the waffles. Waffles solve everything.” Sam looked up thoughtfully, but the room’s primordial story mists fought her demands and she remained waffle-less. With an annoyed grunt, she got up and headed out the door. “I’m off to whatever passes for a cafeteria in this fog, don’t write me into anything stupid while I’m gone.”
“You aren’t helping. This is the exact opposite of helping!” the Writer called after her.
:To be fair, all she’s really doing in this is listening to other people tell her what’s going on.: Fluffy nibbed the azaleas. :I don’t suppose you’d like to rethink the whole ‘no plot’ thing yet?:
“This is Chapter 1,” the Writer objected. “It’s laying out the world and explaining the basic premise of the series. I can’t have a plot, there’s no room.”
:You don’t want there to be room.:
:That’s not the same thing.:
“What kind of plot would be short enough to pop up and get resolved in-between this and Beware the Pointy End? I can’t have anything epic happen, I– oh… wait.”
:You just thought of something didn’t you.: The unicorn gave her an uneasy look. :Can I take back my previous objections?:
“Right, so where were we?” Rugby sat down with another towering stack of waffles that weren’t long for this world.
“I’m torn between asking why campus requires magic necklaces and if you have any more magic necklaces I can borrow.”
:You don’t need those, you have me.:
“I don’t care if I need one, those look epic.” Sam objected.
“My Dad made it for me, so it won’t work for anyone else. I suppose he could make you one too, but you have a unicorn.”
“You say that like it means something.”
The unicorn gave her a look that could kill lesser men, but she was Sam and impervious to authority figures, even mythical ones.
“It does, or it should. How did you end up with a unicorn again?” He waved a fork of waffles at her disapprovingly.
“I don’t remember, but per the behorned one I was drunk at the time.”
There was a pause. “He has a name, right?”
“Err, I don’t know?” Sam blinked. “It never really came up in conversation.”
Rugby just looked at her.
“Right, so what’s your name oh hallucinogenic horse?”
:You are supposed to give me one. It keeps my real name safe.: The unicorn snorted. :There’s power in knowing a thing’s True Name.:
“I can hear the capital letters you know,” Sam objected. “So I get to nickname it– him. Um, what do you name a unicorn?”
“It’s not my unicorn.” Rugby shrugged.
“Fine,” she turned a thoughtful eye to the unicorn. “I dub thee Fluffy.”
“You can’t name the unicorn Fluffy,” Rugby objected around another mouthful of waffles, but only halfheartedly.
“Just did.” Sam said briskly, “Moving on.”
:You are seriously going to call me Fluffy?:
“It will lull our enemies into a false sense of security. Now about this dangerous campus we’re on?”
“It’s not really dangerous, per se, it’s just not– oh that’s not good.” Rugby abruptly stopped eating as a pack of college kids came into sight heading directly towards Fluffy. “We need to get outside, now.”
“Wait, what, woah!” Sam stumbled along behind Rugby as he grabbed her sleeve and dragged them both to the door. “What’s going on?”
:You can’t just stop there!: Fluffy objected.
“Can too, it’s called a cliffhanger.”
“Wait do we have a plot?” Sam came back in with a giant stack of waffles. “What did I miss?”