Nanowrimo Fakeout 2007 - Story Snippet -
“What are you doing, Helen? How can you sleep? Don’t you understand, the world is going to end?”
Helen gently removed Edgar’s meaty hands from her shoulders and finished clothing the buttons on her nightshirt. She sat down at the old wicker vanity and began to brush her hair in the traditional 100 strokes. At stroke 30 she said to Edgar, “Ed – for years now that idiot box has always been predicting something; they’d tell us the Russians were going to get us, or the Arabs – or heck – even the snow. And every time they scream doom and gloom I go to bed and get up the next morning and life still happens. The bed still needs to be made, breakfast still needs to be cooked, and the books at Mr. Johnson’s feed store still need to be balanced. And you know as well as I do I’m not worth a darn without a good night’s sleep. So, Edgar, I am going to bed so that tomorrow, if the world hasn’t ended, I can still function as a normal human being. And if that world has ended – well – quite frankly, I’d rather face my maker refreshed from a good night’s sleep than with a grumpy face and eyes red-rimmed from crying.” She finished her hundredth stroke and got into bed. “Now, of course Edgar, you may do what you’d like. Call all your friends. Sit down and finally write that novel you’ve been talking about. Go out and have an orgy – whatever you feel you need to do. If it were up to me, though, you’d put on your flannel pajamas I got you last Christmas, climb into this bed next to me and put your arms around me. When I married you I told you I wanted to do everything by your side – that includes go to sleep, wake up, and, if God so wills it – be turned to goo by alien invaders.” Helen gave Edgar a peck on the check, climbed under the covers, put on her reading glasses and picked up yesterday’s crossword. In a moment she was chewing on the pen cap in her mouth, muttering about 16 across.
Edgar went out into the living room and stared hard out in to the darkness. Down in the valley, he could see all the lights in the city burning, bright as day- search lights and sirens exploding in frenzied activities from all corners. “I should be there,” he thought. “I should do something.” He grabbed his hat and coat from the hook by the door, and ran to the lockbox where he kept his gun. He got his rifle and stormed towards the door. He’d show those alien bastards. He was the best shot in town. Why, there wasn’t a deer or trash-troubling raccoon that hadn’t gone down after he aimed and fired….
Helen looked up and smiled as Edgar came into the bedroom, wearing his flannel pajamas, still creased from the package. “Well, don’t you look handsome?” she said, putting down her crossword, and setting her glasses on top of them. Edgar got in to bed and put his arm around her. Helen switched off the light – and didn’t move from the circle of his arms even though they both heard her pen scuttle from the end table and roll across the floor. “I love you Edgar,” she said. “I love you too, Darlin,” he murmered into her hair. And they slept.