I, Effing Feline, have a blank mind. I’m running out of things to write about, so I’m going to try a trick that Ed, my pet human, read about while I was keeping his lap warm. The trick to open a novel at random and plunk your finger (or paw) somewhere on the page. Whatever sentence you touch, you try to fit into your fictional character’s conversation.
It sounds crazy, I know. The idea is that humans, being an inferior species to cats, don’t stay on topic very well (unlike cats, who can concentrate singlemindedly on sleeping for hours). Inserting something random can add authenticity to fictional speech.
My superior feline version of this is to open The Saint of Quarantine Island and choose a random word. Next week I’ll riff on that word. To build your anticipation about what wisdom I’ll be imparting, I’ll tell you the word my paw selected right after this message from my sponsor.
The boat reaches Echo Bay soon after Billy jumps into it from the cliff. Janet speaks to the boat’s driver.
“Do you know the jumper?”
“Billy’s Kwakiutl, like me, and he lived on Gilford before the plague arrived. Fireworks hit Gwayasdums village real hard, so those who could, packed up and left before the island was quarantined; Billy’s the only one of us left. He’s as crazy as the worst of them when he’s soaring, and when he’s isn’t soaring he’s wild, you know? Comes from being an orphan and seeing too many people die.”
“Does he have Fireworks?”
“Yeah, I guess it comes from that, too.” He reversed the motor to stop the boat’s motion. “Let’s go.”
“To save the little bugger, what else?”
Effing Feline here again. And the word my paw landed on, the word I’ll discuss in dazzlingly brilliant detail next week is —
Are you sitting on the edge of your seat yet? Move to the edge, hiss it!
Here it comes. Drumroll, please —
What the heck? What can anyone say about the? Ed, this is a really lousy way of choosing a topic. I demand a recount!
The Saint of Quarantine Island
Maybe 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?