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16 February 2009 @ 03:00 pm
The True Meaning Of Smekday Fiction: "Even Fugitives Have to Stop And Catch Their Breath"  
Title: Even Fugitives Have To Stop To Catch Their Breath
Fandom: The True Meaning Of Smekday
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Gratuity ("Tip") Tucci, J Lo the alien, Pig the cat(Gen)
Rating: G
Summary: For the Gen Fic Battle hosted fox1013. I picked the prompts of "J Lo, sheets, and pickles."
Author's Notes: Yes, I know hardly any grownups have read the book but me. But it's a completely wonderful and hilarious story! Just doing my part to spread the love.

x-x-x-x-x

I was so looking forward to getting out of New Mexico, you can't imagine. With Crazy Vicky turning Pig over to the Boov and the Gorg trying to blow us up, I couldn't wait for miles of nothing but cactus and rocks.

Except that we needed to stop for fresh supplies before we got too far along. The folks at the compound probably weren't the sharing kind, and our store of cat food was getting pretty low.

We found a mini-mart on a lone stretch of highway about a hundred miles from the Arizona border. We parked right next to it, and J Lo put on his sheet and mittens in case we weren't the only ones around. It seemed pretty quiet, but you never knew.

The things stores had in this part of the country… it was a complete mystery. Illinois had ice-scrapers and Lincoln-penny souvenirs, but the stuff in the Southwest was weird. String necklaces and cowboy hats everywhere, and plastic lizards and fake cow-skulls. Plus all kinds of hot sauce, and I didn't know if people actually ate that or if it was something for tourists. I stuck to the food I recognized instead.

We took our haul back to the car and let Pig out to stretch her legs. The place was deserted, so J Lo took off his sheet and draped it over his arm while we looked over what each of us had brought.

"What have you to nows? For Slushious? No, Pig." Pig was climbing J Lo's sheet for about the fifteenth time, instead of chasing lizards or desert mice like most cats would.

I couldn't guess what a car would want with a jar of pickles, but the Boov are funny that way. "These are for me." I rearranged some food in the crate near the back of the car.

"Aha! Forto the skin and hair. Liketo the beautyness milk."

"Shampoo," I said. "And no. This is food."

"Is not humans food," J Lo said stubbornly. "Tip said humans do not to eat worms. In Texas, Tip said this."

"These are pickles, not worms." I fished around the floor below the back seat of the car, looking for the can opener. I found a screwdriver instead. It was good enough for prying open the seal on the lid. "See?" I said. "They're baby cucumbers, made into pickles." I held one out to show him.

"Maa-a-a!" J Lo backed away so fast he nearly tripped over his sheet. "Humans lock babies away fromto parents, for the eating?"

I couldn't believe he still didn't understand how families worked, but that was beside the point. His mouth was slanted all funny, and he looked as shocked as I'd ever seen him, so he must've been serious. "Cucumbers are plants. Like lettuces—lettuce—and tomatoes and carrots and beans. Just plants."

"Oh." J Lo pulled a mitten off and shook it over the dirt. Dust and pebbles fell onto the ground, and Pig got all excited. She jumped up and reached for the mitten with her paws. "So is not to the juices also delicious?"

"We don't—" I started, and then I remembered the Freon and ammonia. The Boov seemed to like those well enough. "Maybe. You might like it." I poured some into the lid for J Lo to sample.

"Mmmmm…" J Lo closed his eyes in appreciation. "Tangy. More?"

"After the pickles are gone." I gave Pig some fresh water, and put the rest of the stuff away for later. I hid it under a blanket, just in case.

I'd left Lincoln plenty of water back in Roswell, but what if he ran out? People were kind of afraid of the Chief, and he'd looked pretty sick when we took him to the museum. What if he wasn't back in time to take care of his dog? "Do you think the Chief—"

"Yes. Whatnow?" J Lo answered. "You are littles bit worried. Aboutto Chief Shouty Bear."

"Yes," I admitted, as we got in the car. "Among other things."

J Lo put his sheet over the back of his seat for later. "We wills to find Tipmom."

"I sure hope so." Because if she wasn't in Arizona, I didn't know where to look for her next.

"I broughtto the rubbing alcohols and mothcakes from the store," J Lo announced. "Tip cans to share."

I turned Slushious on, and the motor hummed to life. "I appreciate the thought, but no thanks. Go ahead, though. Enjoy yourself."

"Absobliminally," J Lo said, and opened a mothcake.

We were on our way again.



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(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Hee-hee-hee!

I couldn't believe it when I saw "Smekday" as one of the Fic Battle prompts. I was utterly thrilled!

It was also a yuletide prompt, but the mods said that barring the Christmas Eve blowout, all fics had to be 1000 words minimum.

Even this one is only about 760 words, but that's actually longer than I thought it would be.

I so loved that book, and I'm glad you liked this story! Smekday love! :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Wait. YOU were the Yuletide person who wanted a Smekday story.

Awesomeness! It's not 1000 words, but you got one after all. :)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
This is everything I could have wanted for Yuletide. It's like December in February, which is perfect.

I was hoping that would turn out to be true, and I'm gladdest of all that you found it. Trying to poke someone randomly for a story that mostly meets the Yuletide challenge (but not quite) would have been a challenge.

The J Lo/Tip conversations were my favorite part of the story. I was so sorry when it was over-- I could have stayed in that Smekday universe forever. Instead, I re-read the book immediately and bullied my kids and husband into reading it too. Tomorrow, I'm taking it into the office to loan to a woman there who also likes unusual stories and irony. :D
when she smiles it's like a revelation: Kidlit - Smekdayfox1013 on February 16th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
You have done such awesome things with voice here.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on February 16th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, you even have an icon for the book!

I very much appreciate that comment, because getting the voices right is so important to me. I reworked after getting a few paragraphs out because I remembered that it was first-person and not third-person, but that actually made writing the rest of it easier!

I'm so glad I'm not the only person who loved that book. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I finished it I immediately started re-reading it again. :)