Is going well. I started working out again in earnest, as you will read below. My chest really really hurts right now. But when my girlfriend (who is awesome) comes back for the summer it will make snuggling even better. I’ll talk more about her, probably, as time progresses. She knows about this stuff and is very kind. That’s my favorite thing about her. She’s kind.
Is going well. I’m writing every day. At least one sentence on the days I work, though usually more. I’m trying to keep everything focused on the novel. It’s hard because I have so much more experience with shorter work.
We have $95 left to raise for that kid, if anyone wants to step up and be a hero. If not, I’ll write a story and send a free copy to everyone who donated and then sell it on Amazon like I have been doing. I’m not going to link to it again (though it’s in the previous post) as you have already all been very generous.
Sometimes I just stare out the window and have ideas.
Here’s one of them.*
*This is actually not completely my idea but enough of it came up in a conversation that I started, and I made up enough of it that I can talk about it here. Also, I’m not planning to do anything serious with it.
EMU vs EMO
I was talking with some people about how goddamn bizarre and scary emus really are, and how it is paradoxically a sign of weakness to confess to being frightened by them. All they are is neck, wings, talons and fury. They also kick like trained martial artists. But they’re birds, so somehow that means they’re not serious.
This naturally led to me thinking that there should be an emu zombie movie.
At the start of the movie there’d be an old man character with an emu claw necklace warning off a bunch of emo art students with a flat tire (in the middle of nowhere) that they shouldn’t go to some place or another because they would be offending powerful animal spirits. The old man would also give a lot of stats about the power of an emu claw strike. Like that it can penetrate such and such armor and puncture such and such a thickness of steel. And maybe he’d have a scar somewhere that he could point to and say “An emu did that to me right before it killed my wife and kids.” Which is usually a bit cliche, but in this context, would be absolutely hilarious.
The emo kids would disparage him, but also the one of them that’s changing the tire would take him seriously and ask for his help to finish changing the tire because in movie logic emo kids can’t change tires. Except for the plot twist coming up in the second act.
Back in the camper, or whatever, everyone would laugh and say “Man, an emu? I bet that guy is mentally ill, but not in the way where I have to post insufferable facebook statuses about it not being okay to disparage people who are mentally ill!” And everyone would laugh and laugh.
Upon arriving at the place (maybe a lake or whatever) the emos would put on their skinny jeans and paint their abstract paintings and blah blah blah. The guy who changed the tire would be mocked for painting a painting that actually looks like things, instead of deconstructing representations of blah blah blah. (And that would be the line in the movie, the head emo boy would be like “Why do you make your paintings reflect reality River Shadow, instead of deconstructing representations of blah blah blah” and then reveal his own painting which looks like a bunch of black smears on a white canvas). The head emo girl would beg the head emo boy to stop, but he would shame the tire changing emo kid into going for a walk to the far side of the lake.
The emos would have a campfire and eaten gluten free crackers and exchange stories of oppression of groups they don’t belong to, with an intonation as though they did actually belong to those groups. Then they’d talk about that old man (who we’ll say is Maori) trying to oppress them. Then, far off in the distance they’d hear an emu sound. Which will be horrifying, since I can make that sound like whatever I want since no one knows what emus sound like.
At this point a single, scratched and bloody girl from a Christian Campers retreat would approach the fire holding a machete in her trembling hands. She’d whisper, “Put it out, put it out, put it out” over and over again but none of the emos would react. “Please, put it out, they’ll be drawn to the light. Put it out.”
Then that terrible emu sound would come again and before anyone could do anything, the Christian Camper girl would take off at a sprint. The Emos would be somewhat panicked but console themselves that stupid Christians will believe anything. The alpha emo would go off to commune with nature and get in touch with Gaia, but actually to go to the bathroom.
Once in the middle of a clearing, after dropping his pants, he’d hear a sound and say something like “Come on, Fade Raven, not now. You know base acts like defecation put me out of the mood.” But then the silhouette of a long neck in front of the moon would fill the camera and the head emo would fall back into his own shit. And take off running.
We’d do a shaky cam sequence through the woods, until finally he throws himself under a rocky ledge. Just when he thinks he’s safe, he’d light a match to smoke and then the emu’s zombie head would drop down and stare at him, making its horrible emu sound.
Then we’d cut back to the camp, where the emo’s are preparing for bed and the one emo who is really really desperate to get laid goes through this whole complicated description of his sexuality that basically just means he’d straight and doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship or be nice to women. Then two of the emo girls would cut him off halfway through and say “That’s nice, Grave Dust, but we’re just old fashioned lesbians and we don’t like you very much.”
Everyone would go off to bed, when the desperate to get laid emo, who probably had bad parents if we’re being honest and isn’t cartoonishly evil would still be by the fire crying. We’d pan away to watch a shadow on the ground of an emu approaching behind his sobbing form, then still watching the shadows, we’d see the emu raise a leg and cut off the head of the desperate to get laid emo. Before cutting away from this scene we’d see like a half dozen more emus join the first.
We’d cut to the tire changing emo in the wood, kicking rocks, and cursing himself for being so stupid. “Come on Jack, you’ve got to be more careful. What if they find you out? They’d never accept you.” Then the Christian Camper from earlier would run right across his path, pursued by an emu. Then, the tire changing emo, would hear screams from back at the camp.
Cut back to the camp where all of the surviving emos are in the camper, desperately trying to fend off the emus who are trying to claw their way in through the windows and slashing at the body of the camper with their massive talons. The emos would be naming off all kinds of emotions saying that they’re “In terror” followed by “In a state of existential dread” and so on and so forth, as they emotionally escalate.
The head emo girl would try to start the camper, but there would be something mildly complicated and mechanical about it so she wouldn’t be able to. Then another one of the emos would shout “Look! It’s River Shadow! Oh no, this makes me feel forlorn!”
River Shadow would drop to his knees in the headlights of the camper, and the head Emo Girl would shout “Oh no! He’s been overcome by his feelings!”
Seven emus would surround him, and just at the moment when they are about to strike all the emos would look away. Only for there to be seven distinct gunshots. The emos open their eyes to see Jack standing in the headlights, surrounded by seven dead emus. Still, there would be many loud cries from an impossible number of emus in the distance. Jack would run toward the camper.
He’d come aboard with the gun, and all the emos would react to it like it is radioactive.
“River Shadow, what’s going on? Why do you have that tool of the patriarchy?”
River Shadow would start the camper and start driving the camper toward the road.
“Has anyone seen the head emo boy?” he would ask.
“No one has seen him since the attack. River Shadow, what’s going on? Where did you get that gun?”
The camper would pass the desperate to get laid emo and River Shadow would wince while all the other emos scream.
“The head emo boy is probably dead if he was alone. He wouldn’t have had a weapon. Did anyone see that girl with the machete? She might still be alive.” River Shadow would say.
“River Shadow… please, I’m so aghast,” the head emo girl would say, while laying a hand on River Shadow’s shoulder.
River Shadow would shrug off her hand but she would just put it back.
“I’m…” he would cough, and fight back his tears so only one would escape, “my name is Jack. Jack Jasper. I’m…” then he would cry, but still keep his eyes furiously on the road, “I’m a Republican.”
The head emo girl would draw her hands back as if burned.
The emo lesbians would declare “That’s impossible! Republicans don’t have feelings!”
Head emo girl would lean her head out the camper window and throw up. All the other emos would shake their heads, disbelieving.
“I can’t help it. I just… I was born this way, okay!? I’ve tried so hard… I mean, how does putting up Gun Free Zone signs deter crime? No matter how hard I tried it just never made any sense! But… I’m still human! I’m still the same Jack, I mean, River Shadow you’ve always known!”
The Head Emo girl would wipe the last bit of vomit from her mouth, breathe deeply and say, “How long?”
“Ever since I could read,” Jack would whisper.
“It will be okay. We will work this out during circle time. There are counselors back home,” the head Emo girl would say.
“I’m not sick! I told you, I was just born this way! I just think the marginal income tax rate should be distributed differently and that the state is the property of its citizens, rather than that the state is a purpose unto itself!”
“But what do you think about gay marriage!”
“Completely acceptable as marriage shouldn’t be a contract enforced by the government! I see all human beings as free and rational agents who should be empowered to make their own choices so long as they don’t injure another free agent. I’m more of a Civil Libertarian if you’re considering-”
Then Jack would have to veer off the road at the last second to avoid hitting the Head Emo Boy, who is being supported by the Christian Camper girl. While all the emos are freaking out about the emus ever-closer emu calls, the Christian Camper girl would drag the head emo boy into the camper.
“Step on it!” the Christian Camper girl would snap.
Also, I’m using the wrong tense for this, I realize it’s ruining the experience but I’ve started working out in earnest again and my pecks hurt so much that the idea of typing this again is agony.
Head emo boy would hold up a bloody right hand to reveal the tip of his pinky finger is missing, and then scream that he feels “affrighted!”
Then, we’ve gone too long without an emo attack, so one would jump up through the front window and try to attack the head emo boy only for the Christian Camper girl to cut its head off. This gives everyone a chance to behold the emu up close and get an eyeful of its emu talons. Head emo boy would wail that he’s been scarred for life.
Christian Camper girl would get in the passenger seat of the camper, and introduce herself as “Becky!” and say it’s a pleasure to meet everyone. Then detail her trip with her youth group, and would say “Then Greg Hitchens, said he was a Satanist, the goat-sacrificing kind, not just the kind that is angry at their fathers, and opened an old book and cast a spell that raised up an army of emus from hell. And if the portal isn’t closed the emus will conquer the whole of the earth and only a warrior with a bleeding heart can hope to stop them.”
It’s late so I don’t have time to detail the rest of this, but there would be an emu with one red eye who would be the the head evil emu with a demonic name. They’d find the head of Greg Hutchens and use it get intel. There’d be some kind of montage scene where the kids get held up in a barn and have to make a war-chariot of out of the camper. Also, the emos would get trained in combat with pitchforks and boards with nails in it. The head Emo Girl would convert to Deism, which is the religion Jack follows. Christian Camper girl would fall in love with Head Emo Boy who would become nice toward the end of the movie. The lesbian emos would trick some emus into some kind of mirror house (I don’t know where it would come from, but I like the idea) and confuse them, until they blew up the whole place and were revealed to have been outside the whole time.
Finally, they would fight their way to the hell portal, and Jack would get in a sword fight with the head evil emu, who would hold the sword in its beak and cut off his hand, at which point the head emo boy (who had been trying to get attention for his cut off pinky) would look really disappointed like “Does Jack have to get the best of EVERYTHING!”
Then Jack would give some kind of speech about how feelings allow you to connect to other people, even across what would seem to be vast difference, and that when we open our hearts and work together as individuals and not as faceless anonymous cowards in a mob that all of us are stronger than any of us. Then he gets a magic glowing hand made of rainbow light (the light starts of white, and then becomes rainbowy at which the lesbians nod approvingly) and he stabs it into the heart of the evil emu and casts some kind of jewel-heart thing back into the pit of Hell.
The portal closes and everyone is covered in ash and dirt and mud and someone says they can’t even tell who is who, or what anyone believes anymore.
The last scene is the survivors walking by the old man from the beginning who says he tried to warn them, and each survivor holding up not just a single emu claw on a necklace but an entire necklace made out of emu claws.