Monday, 1 November 2010

The Last Weekend

NaNoWriMo 2010 has just begun for us in the UK. I'm really excited about this year's story - can't wait until I really get my teeth stuck in to it! But for now, here's the first bit of the one from 2006, just to get me in the mood...

Prologue

Ronnie Wilson let himself into his flat, shut and locked the door, then heaved a sigh of relief. Going out had been a mistake. Going out was always a mistake these days, just like coming home was always a reminder of what he had lost. He shrugged out of his jacket, hung it up and went into the kitchen. Ten minutes later he was in front of his computer, mug of coffee at his elbow.

Once the machine had booted up he got online, accessed his list of favourite sites and clicked on www.endofdays.com He was spending a lot of time on there these days. ‘End of Days’ was a personal outlook for the people who met there, not some sort of religious fundamentalist thing. It was a site for people who, irrespective of any dogma or doctrine they might subscribe to, believed that the end of their days was both desirable and imminent. Site users met there for advice and support, and users generally weren’t around for all that long. The friendships that were forged were lifelong, but short-term. People used the site to help them to find the best way to end their lives, one that would guarantee success at the first attempt. As well as hints and tips, the site was littered with warnings, horror stories of people who had tried and failed to kill themselves; the worst ones were those that left the suicide unable afterwards to try again unaided. That was their biggest fear; being trapped in their existence by people who simply didn’t get that not all lives were worth living. That was why they wanted to get it right first time. End of Days was for people who were quite genuinely sick of their lives. Which made it just another thing that Ronnie’s friends wouldn’t understand, just one more reason why they had so little in common anymore. They seemed to be permanently out of step.

Take tonight. Apart from Ronnie, they’d all been on the pull, designer shirts and aftershave used as bait to lure similarly intentioned women. These days most of them were serious about finding someone and starting a relationship, they weren’t just looking for a quick shag. Not that they’d necessarily turn one down, but what they really wanted was to be one of a pair, half of a couple, to make a home with someone. Rob was even talking about kids since his sister had made him an uncle: he was getting broody, for Christ’s sake! Ronnie felt like he was on the far side of an ever-widening chasm, the gulf between him and his mates not one he knew how to bridge. Because while Toby, Mark, Rob and Pete were looking for someone to live with, Ronnie dreamed of someone he could die with.

Anna Mayfield saw Indigo enter the chat room and tapped in a greeting.

Hey, Blue Boy, where you been? Mayfly

Hi Mayfly. Hi all. Met some mates, went out for a drink. Bad move. Indigo

Wanna talk? Mayfly

Sure. Indigo

He and Mayfly transferred into a private room to continue.

So… how was it? Mayfly

Oh, you know how it is. They’re always so full of plans, what they’re going to do, where they’re going to go, jobs, homes, partners…
Indigo

Yeah, I know. Like we’re all into that shit. Like it’s so great on planet Earth we want to stay forever. Mayfly

I just don’t get it. I mean, I know I used to want that stuff, too, before. But now it’s like they’re talking in a foreign language.
Indigo

I know, Indi. My mates have started dropping sprogs, and the ones who haven’t talk about it non-stop. Like breeding is their only purpose in life. Fucksake! As if anyone with a conscience would bring a child into this world! Mayfly

I’m so sick of it all. If I was less of a coward… or more of a bastard, I can’t work out which it is, I’d exit stage left. Indigo

Here’s something you might find interesting – www.thelastweekend.com - check it out. I’ll hang on here. Mayfly

Ummm… okay. Back in a mo. Indigo

Ronnie copied and pasted the link into a new tab in his browser, then watched as the screen unfolded before him. It was a simple enough message. There was nothing to link to further on in the site, it was all there to see on the single black-edged web page.

THE LAST WEEKEND
Don’t travel alone
A unique opportunity for a select bunch of people to take the ultimate trip
All tickets one way only – guaranteed.
reaperman@thelastweekend.co.uk

He returned to the private chat room.

Interesting. What do you make of it? Indigo

I think it might be what I’ve been looking for.
Mayfly

Are you planning to get in touch?
Indigo

I already have.
Mayfly

4 comments:

  1. This is such a cool concept, but I'm left wanting more. Did you finish this one? I envy everyone who can commit to and finish NaNoWriM0. I just don't have it in me.

    I hope your 2010 is the Rock-n-Roll story you previewed a while back. I think about that one often. Best of Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I did finish this one, by NaNoWriMo standards, anyway! I did everything I could to make time for writing - I even volunteered to go to London for a one day conference, just so I could have writing time on the train there and back, and in the hotel room the night before!

    The story still has gaps and is - in parts - very clumsy. I really should do a thorough rewrite, though, because I still like the story and I love my characters.

    My rock-n-roll story is also still on the pile to be rewritten. I have loads of notes - I know where it needs to go, now - but the NaNoWriMo one is something new. All about two sisters, plus abduction, guilt, betrayal, religion... fun, fun, fun! I've done some planning, but, in accordance with the rules, have yet to start writing. (I'll be starting soon - hopefully within the hour!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. All the best for NaNoWriMo, kidda. Sadly, I'm not well enough to commit to it this year. Thanks for posting the prologue of your 2006 project, I really enjoyed reading it. Would like to read more of this story if you ever have a chance to post it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Sam, you're a gent! And yes, I'm happy to post more as and when I get it tidied up. For a story about suicide (and with a high body count) it's actually quite heart-warming and life-affirming - in parts, anyway.

    Hope to see you again soon - take care, m'dear.

    ReplyDelete