Voidville: Day Twenty-Seven

"How many more of these do I have to pose for?"

SIDE TWO, TRACK THREE: EVERYDAY I WRITE THE BOOK

He said it like it was the most natural, normal thing in the world.

That’s what kept blowing Andi’s mind.

Describe something in enough detail, and you eventually create it…

Where did an idea that crazy come from, that’s what she wanted to know.

And worse, why did an idea that crazy make more and more sense, the longer she thought about it?

Was this what life was for Benjamin and the other players? Tossing out mind-bending ideas like this every day, like it was second nature?

Andi remembered something she’d read as a child, about believing impossible things before breakfast. But she couldn’t recall which book it came from.

She had to talk to someone about this, because while it was all well and good having an explanation for something (no matter how loopy), how did you go about using that explanation to create a solution?

Assume the craziest: assume that Benjamin, somehow, created a real, live Voidville by closing his eyes and wishing very hard. Okay. Fine. All right.

How did you stop it?

How did you shut the thing down, and prevent it from trashing any more houses, or making any more guys shoot lightning out of their fingertips?

And, following the idea to its conclusion of maximum lunacy, how did you rescue Eury from it?

The more Andi thought about it, the more she felt out of her depth. She wasn’t stupid; far from it. But she felt like an expert in biology being asked to predict the weather. This was so far out of her sphere of experience she didn’t know where to begin.

It felt more and more like a job for Benjamin himself, if he wasn’t trapped in a house with a missing-presumed-dead sister somewhere in the woods and two parents who were falling to pieces over it.

So who else could she ask for help? She loved Wren like a sister, but she’d be as out of her element as Andi, if not more. Eddie? No. He’d be more focused on hitting on Andi than solving the problem.

Which left only one possibility: Cy.

Andi knew him the least out of the group. He was quieter than Benjamin, but he knew his way around the game. And he’d never struck her as anything less than a loyal friend to the others, and a generally decent guy.

She wanted to pass him a note, but didn’t want anything connecting them. Some busybody in class would squeal to a teacher, and the teacher to Andi’s parents, and the whole thing would be blown.

So she took the risk of slipping a note in his locker — always a chancy proposition, because you never knew how neat a locker was on the inside. The note could tumble into strata of garbage, never to be found.

Cy, however, didn’t seem the kind of guy to keep a messy locker. The kind of guy to cross his t’s and dot his i’s: that was Cy.

Andi dropped the note off at lunchtime, and by the end of the day had her response, deposited in her own locker. Cy’s handwriting was neater than hers.

Meet me at my house tonight, 7:00.

Too late, she hoped her note hadn’t given him the wrong impression. Cy was a nice enough boy, cute in his way, but way too short to date. She thought about her note — vaguely worded in case someone else intercepted it — and felt her stomach knot up.

She crossed her fingers that she wasn’t giving him any illusions.

***

One skillful lie about studying with Wren, and Andi was on her bike after supper, on her way to Cy’s. He lived only a few blocks away — not something she’d ever known.

His mother, gregarious and smiling, let her in. “Cyrus didn’t tell me he had company! Wait right there, hon’, and I’ll get him.” Andi stood in the knickknack-clotted living room and waited until Cy’s mother returned and waved her down the hall to his room.

Sure enough, the room was as neat as she’d imagined the inside of his locker to be. He had plenty of geeky things, no mistake, but everything had its place. The walls were decorated with framed posters and signed photos of TV stars, each rectangle seemingly plotted out to occupy the walls in an arrangement to allow maximum coverage. His books were shelved in perfect lines, none of their spines broken. Magazines shared the same shelves, organized in binders. And in an unbroken high self that ringed the entire room close to the ceiling, action figures stood side-by-side, standing vigil.

“This is where the magic happens,” he said, smiling, as he ushered her inside.

“Wow,” she said. “That’s…that’s a collection, all right.”

“I like to have the things I love around me,” Cy said, shy about her attention but still proud. “Um, here,” and he pulled out a desk chair for her to sit while he sat on his bed. On the desk sat a beige computer with brown keys. Andi saw the word COMMODORE on the machine.

“So I wasn’t quite sure about your note,” Cy said, “but I guessed it had something to do with our mutual problem?”

With a flush of relief, Andi agreed. “I went to see Benjamin last night.”

Cy’s eyes widened. “Oh, man. How is he?”

“Not good,” she said. “Mostly bad. But we talked about…the weirdness at Randall’s house. And he said something that, nuts as it sounds, I can’t get out of my head. And I wanted to talk to someone who might…understand it better than me. And that’s you.”

Cy ducked his head in an embarrassed way. “Well, geez. I mean, thank you; I’ll do my best.”

“It was — he said something about Lego. Then, and this is where it goes off the tracks, he said that if you describe something in enough detail…”

“…you can create it,” Cy finished. “Yeah. Yeah, man. So he thinks that’s what happened with Voidville? At Randall’s place?”

“Told you it was nuts.”

*****

Today’s Words: 1020
Total Words: 29099

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Notes: Back on track! By my reckoning, we’ve got four days, and three and a half chapters plus an epilogue left to go. I think it’s doable — away we go!

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I’m attempting to write a Halloween-themed horror novel in October! Visit Day Zero for more information or Day One to read from the beginning, and check out Countdown to Halloween for more blogging that’s altogether ooky!

(And the cat is Valentine — I figured the presence of a black cat would make things that much more Halloween-y!)

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