YA Indie Carnival: This week’s topic is what?
I’ve mentioned in this blog before that even as a teen, I walked the straight and narrow. I’ve always been a good girl. I guess that’s why I had to ask for clarification when I received this week’s topic “LOL! Yeah, that. 4/20 scenes. They go to 11.”
I had absolutely no idea. My mind was a complete blank.
So, like every normal person in today’s society, I googled it.
Dead end there. The only things that popped up were pages with the date 4/20 in the text. Finally, a fellow carnie made a reply that shined some light on it for me. Ohhhh! Pot…mary jane…they’re talking about marijuana. Right? I felt a little like the oooh cat from Puss in Boots.
Sorry, I don’t have any book excerpts that focus on the wacky weed. However, I did stumble across the following selection from Midnight Child about the absolutely wacky Nedda (no weed required). Nedda is Arden’s former mentor and the official historian of the guardians. She holds every detail of that history in her head and thus has been “driven mad by the details”. Hope you find her madness as delightful as I do. Enjoy.
“I do not intend to stay that long,” he said. He couldn’t stay long. That was the thing about Nedda. The longer you stayed, the crazier she became. “I just need…”
He was at a loss for words. What did he need? He needed answers. That’s why he was here, but before he could say that, the old woman’s chuckle interrupted.
“What’s so funny?”
“Why, it’s you, little boy blue,” she mocked. “I need, I need, I need…are you a baker, boy?”
Arden’s face turned blood red. Anger boiled up inside him. This madness was why he left in the first place. It’s why he turned her in to the elders. They reassigned him immediately, but they did nothing to prevent the greatest historian of his people from surrendering to insanity. He could clearly see that she was worse. Her long, gray hair was twisted and contorted into ponytail-like tufts that sprouted out all over her head, except for a portion covered by antique leather aviator goggles. She had two buttons fastened on her grandmotherly housecoat and had mismatched those so that it hung unevenly. The pastel flower and kitten pattern provided a sharp contrast to the camouflage pants peeking out from beneath. Her bare feet covered in dust rested on a red velvet ottoman.
It would have been sad, if he hadn’t known how dangerous she had become. There would be no use in dragging this out with forced niceties, either she could help or she couldn’t.
“I need to know about the gift mentioned in the prophecy about the Child of Sun & Moon.”
“Ahhh, the baker speaks of prophecy,” Nedda said. Something stirred inside of her. “Wrapping paper and bows for a gift misplaced…rushing around on Christmas Eve in front of a rainbow tree,” her eyes danced with excitement. “Button, button, who’s got the button and when?”
There was something familiar in her ramblings. It took him a moment before he caught on. “Yes, the rainbow tree. You know about the locket.”
“Then where is the gift, Nedda? The child is real and she needs your help.”
“Prophecy is far from fact. I have only facts. I have only facts. I have only facts.”
She continued to mumble the phrase, lowering her volume each time. When she was done, she let him go with a shove. He stumbled and removed his hunting knife. He wouldn’t lash out unless provoked. Still, his heart was racing and his awareness heightened. She was getting more violent.
Nedda scooped up the box and sat in a black satin wingback chair. She leaned over the box as if to protect it from him. Her eyes were wild.
“Is the gift inside that box?” Arden asked.
“Bigger than a bread box,” she whispered, patting the identical chair beside her.
“Do you mean the gift?”
“Smaller than an elephant,” she grinned.
Arden pushed a hand through his hair in exasperation. He was getting nowhere fast. He plopped down in the chair to her left.
“Please, you must know something. Nedda, tell me.”
But no sooner than he got the words out, the chair melted under him. It turned to tar and enveloped him. He struggled, gasping for air. She stood over him jumping and laughing.
“Tar and feather the traitor! Tar and feather him! Drag him through the streets. Make an example of the treasonous sod.”
That’s what they did to traitors in Nedda’s day. As a young woman, she nursed minutemen on the front lines of the Revolutionary War.
The chair was a trap. As quickly as Arden pulled the tar from his mouth and eyes, it would push back. It seemed to have a mind of its own. Arden stumbled across the room as he choked on the sticky black. His attempts to expel the goo from his airways were futile.
“Nedda, please,” he gasped, reaching for her.
She took a step out of his reach and he fell to the floor. The tar marred his eyes and blinded him. He rolled over and rubbed his face against the rug. It didn’t help. The goo seeped into his mouth and covered his nose. He struggled for breath, but instead took in more of the tar.
In those moments, he knew that this was how he would die. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t hear. He couldn’t breathe. This is how he would die; not for some noble cause at the hand of an enemy, but on the floor of a library at the whim of a madwoman who he once (and maybe still) loved like family.
The tar filled his mouth and nostrils. He could feel its sticky heat start to ooze down his throat. He attempted again to suck in a breath, most likely his last breath.
Then, Nedda snapped her fingers.
The tar vanished in a puff of smoke. He coughed, but he really didn’t need to. The tar was gone from his throat as well.
He sat up quickly. The sudden oxygen combined with the quick movement made him dizzy. He fell back on his hands. She leaned over him and cocked her head sideways.
“Curious little traitor, always with the please and thank you’s.”
For some more wacky adventures, check out these Indie authors…