Effing Feline discusses airplanes #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, heard Ed, my pet human, talking about a nephew who’s an airplane pilot. What a ridiculous occupation!  Why would any cat in his right mind want to fly in a plane? Yes, I always land on my feet — but from miles up in the air? I’m good, but not that good.

In last week’s snippet from Ed’s WIP, New Saw a Purple Cow, we met a 14-year-old First Nations boy named Billy Seaweed who has the Fireworks virus. This disease affect the brain, and resembles extremely fast-cycling Bipolar Disorder. In the space of a day, Billy’s emotions may be soaring (manic), plunging (depressed), or relatively normal and sane.

Billy’s ‘story problem’ is that he’s the lone Kwakiutl on the island, and he’s afraid he doesn’t know how to be Kwakiutl, rather than a white guy. Here’s his manic attempt to be Indian . . . but all he knows are the stereotypes.

“I’m an unmoving totem pole,” Billy chanted, “unbending, unblinking, untouched by time, wind or rain.”

Or fucking disease. But he didn’t say that aloud. It’d be bad luck. And he was in a tough place to invoke bad luck — the edge of the cliff that gave Echo Bay its name, with his toes hanging over a twenty meter drop to the submerged rocks at the base.

“Eagle,” he said louder, moving his lips as little as possible. “Raven . . .  beaver . . .  salmon!”

The energy growing inside him was becoming difficult to control. Soon, then, soon, like shaking a pop can, pointing it at a meddlesome asshole who hadn’t yet learned that you left Billy Seaweed alone, and then stabbing the can with a pocketknife. Whoosh, right in his kisser — and then pointing the knife at the asshole and staring with the expressionless face that always sent white guys running in fear of the savage red man.

Effing Feline here again. Despite always landing on my feet, if I were in an airplane, I’d want a parachute. After all, I only have nine lives!

PS — Ed’s novel Constellation XXI is a finalist for the 2019 Rone award for best sci-fi novel by an Indie writer. InD’Tale magazine takes reader input into account, so readers with a free account (which leads to no spam!) can vote on which books progress from the semifinals to finals. So please vote for Constellation XXI.

And be sure to visit the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

Never Saw a Purple Cow

You’ve read about viruses that turn people into zombies. But how about a virus that turns people into madmen, some of whom become creative geniuses?

Spurred by her husband’s infidelity, a suburban housewife smuggles herself into a wilderness quarantine. She’s hoping to redeem her empty life by writing a great book. But the reality of lifetime exile on an island of madmen — including pirates, a suicidal Indian boy, a licentious cult leader — is crueler than any daydream. To survive, she’ll need to adapt.

But how? Nothing in her sheltered life has prepared her for this.

38 comments

  1. Effing – we brought two of our cats on the plane with us when we moved to Asia from the US. We paid extra so we could have them in the cabin with us. They actually enjoyed it, I think. We were allowed to take them out of the cages and keep them on our laps for part of the time.

    1. But did they have parachutes?

  2. Interesting snippet, and a bit funny, too 🙂

    1. The idea of thinking oneself is a totem is a bit ‘haha’ crazy .

  3. Easy to see the virus at work here. He does sound deranged and dangerous. Your heroine doesn’t have a clue what she’s walking into. Great scene for ramping up the tension!

    1. I must admit, I’ve always liked this scene. When I lived on Gilford, I’d hike to this spot because there was a readily visible bald eagles’ nest and because I could see a long way. From ground level, the forest tended to block views a lot.

  4. Love using the pop can as a “weapon” spraying pop.
    Tweeted.
    I tried to vote but couldn’t figure out how. Sorry. Best of luck.

    1. The pop can weapon captures the essence of Billy — innocent and not really as tough as he thinks, yet aggressive about keeping ‘crazy white guys’ at arm’s length.

  5. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    That is quite the virus! Hard to believe people want to catch it on purpose!

    1. I know what you mean, but at the same time, if a disease offered even a small chance of increased creativity, don’t you think some writers would jump at the chance?

  6. What a problem and I wonder what happens next. Good luck, my friend.

    1. As he said, he’s in a rough spot for bad luck — so yeah, he has problems.

  7. I like Billy already. Great depiction of his thought patterns.

    1. My memories of teaching on Gilford Island are inextricably bundled up with my suddenly awakened fascination with the native people of the Northwest Coast because of the Indian Reserve there, so I simply had to include a First Nations character. But I had a problem. I didn’t trust my ability to depict a contemporary Indian without being wrong or patronizing.

      In my Alien Contact for Idiots series, which features First Nations people even more prominently, they’re from the future. That explains any deviations from how contemporary Kwakiutl people think. In this book, the other Kwakiutls were removed when the government turned Gilford into a quarantine. His dad remained on the island, as did his uncle, but they both died.

      So he has no role models. His story problem (which is actually rather common amongst tribesmen) is that he doesn’t know how to be an Indian.

  8. My goodness, a lot of pentup emotion and feelings here! Very powerful snippet today…

    1. I enjoy writing crazy people. I’m not sure what that says about me.

  9. I like how you have taken the concept of people escaping by using this drug or that drug to reach a euphoric stage of enlightenment and putting the spin of a catching a disease instead. Awesome thinking outside of the box. (And no Effing, I don’t mean litter box.)

    1. I’m glad you added that parenthetical comment. We do NOT want Effing thinking outside the litter box.

  10. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    That virus is sure having an affect on him.

    1. It is similar to severe Bipolar, only it’s incurable and doesn’t respond to medication.

  11. I love the animal imagery, I pictured him jumping off and descending from eagle-raven-beaver then swims away as a salmon. Not sure if that’s what you meant but that’s where my mind went. Also loved the fizzy pop description.

    1. I love how your mind interpreted this!

  12. The virus is definitely interesting. Great imagery!

    1. Thanks, Karen!

  13. I like the humor–even though Billy surely doesn’t see the humor in his situation. Nicely done, Ed!

    Effing, I don’t mean to be a negative-Nancy, but I’m not sure they make parachutes for cats… Just saying… 🙂

    1. Groan. Your comment got Effing on a letter writing campaign to parachute manufacturers/

  14. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Wow! What a fantastic snippet. The depth of his feelings are overwhelming.

    1. The more extreme the emotion, the better the snippet!

  15. Anonymous · · Reply

    Effing, Jumping out of airplanes is not something on my bucket list. Flying a sailplane makes you more like a bird. Flying in a sailplane was the best 16th birthday present.
    Ed, your new book sounds exciting and good read.
    I wish you the best during this time and know you miss friends n family as I do.

    1. Yes, this has been a trying time. Looking on the bright side, writers are better situated to weather it than most, I suppose.

  16. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Interesting! Great job and congratulations on the nomination!

    1. Thanks! Back in 2018, when Rescuing Prince Charming came in second in this contest, books that were reviewed in the magazine with a 5 star rating didn’t have to go through this popularity contest, on 4.5 star books. Oh well.

  17. I loved your opening line. It had a nice rhythm. This was a cool snippet 🙂

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    1. Billy is one of the better characters in this book.

  18. Linda Hamonou · · Reply

    I’m not sure but I feel like he might be a problem in the future unless she manages to tame him.

    1. He’s more than a bit unpredictable, that’s for sure.

  19. Billy seems like such an interesting character and he must have been fun to write!

    1. He definitely was!

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