Nine-thousand words, a chihuahua, and a lot of nonsense

November 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm 3 comments

You may or may not know that I’m currently in the wild throes of National Novel Writing Month, which is to say that I’m throwing an entire month of my life away in an attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days, which is to say that it’s all complete nonsense. After one full week, I’m hovering a bit under 9,000 words — a bit behind the recommended daily average, but this year seems much more promising than last, as I only ever made it to just under 13,000 words. And I still have no idea what I’m doing.

So I thought I’d share a piece of it with you, because there’s an excellent chance that this is the first and last time these crazy words will ever reach the public, and if you choose to read it, it should only be so that you can forget that you ever read it. Nevertheless, please don’t steal this crap because, well, I care about your reputation.

The full synopsis (and other inane excerpt) is on my NaNoWriMo profile (under “Novel Info”). Forgive me. And cheer me on, baby!

* * * * * * * * * *

Winchester Wilcox the Third just didn’t understand Thaxton and Nurlene’s terrible habit of waking up at the crack of one hour past dawn. If he had a word for it, his word for it would have been “obscene,” because Winchester Wilcox the Third preferred to sleep at least until the crack of two and a half hours past dawn. Yet, because he was forced to endure the nuisance of living with two people who liked to get out of bed so obscenely early, it was of no doubt to Winchester Wilcox the Third that it had been written in the stars and he was destined to suffer premature ear droop. His fur was already losing its golden luster – he just knew it. Yet it was a fate, he decided one afternoon as he was sitting in the window watching a butterfly flutter from flower to flower, that he would bear with nobility and grace.

That’s not to say that Winchester Wilcox the Third didn’t try to sleep in. His downfall, ultimately, was that he preferred to sleep with his slate blue velvet pillow next to the grassy green drapes. It reminded him of the outdoors – somehow, as he had only ever been out to see the front yard – and every night when he curled up to sleep, he imagined that he was a pioneer chihuahua, exploring vast unknown territories, sleeping in caves and fighting off unimaginable dangers, making friends and enemies with equal mastery.

But because he slept on his blue velvet cushion next to the grassy green drapes, he was doomed to endure the pouring in of light on his chestnut face every morning at the crack of one hour and five minutes past dawn, when Thaxton would pull open the drapes and stare out the window, contemplating the day ahead of him as though it was standing there in the street waiting to be let in. Winchester Wilcox the Third would stir, begrudgingly, and turn around with his back to the window and try to bury his face under his paws.

Then, every day, at the crack of one hour and ten minutes past dawn, he would feel the cool, gentle breeze created by the swooshing of Nurlene’s silken robe, and hear the light shuffle of her satin leather-soled slippers. She would be carrying a cup of fresh, hot coffee for Thaxton, who would say, “Ah! Thank you, my dear, now the day can begin,” and finish with a peck of his dry lips on her porcelain cheek. At which she would reply by combing his hair down across his forehead with her fingers, then smooth out the top of it with her palm with a smile. And before she swooshed back into the bedroom to get dressed, she’d stoop down to the blue velvet pillow bathed in light and vigorously scratch Winchester Wilcox the Third between his ears.


Which would naturally cause anyone to involuntarily lurch out of even the deepest, most peaceful repose and exert a long and vehement shudder.

This day was no different. And Winchester Wilcox the Third, having shaken himself thoroughly from head to tail, stood stock still with his ears perched, his black eyes darting from corner to corner, evaluating the situation. He saw the billowing tail end of Nurlene’s robe slither through the doorway, and then click! the door promptly closed behind her. Winchester Wilcox the Third took two steps forward, then turned around to ensure that Thaxton, too, was where he was meant to be, doing what he was meant to do.

“Morning there, Winchester ol’ chap!” his clear voice boomed from above. Thaxton’s words reverberated through the cold tile floor, and up through Winchester Wilcox the Third’s tiny feet and legs. The chihuahua shivered. Then, seeing Thaxton’s face beaming down at him, Winchester Wilcox the Third turned himself around and trotted a few steps toward the man, stopped a few inches from Thaxton’s navy felt slipper, and wagged his tail as an added friendly gesture.

Thaxton smiled, and nudged the chihuahua under the jaw with his slippered foot. The force of it knocked Winchester Wilcox the Third backwards and sideways a few chihuahua paces, but he wouldn’t complain – Chihuahua strength and chihuahua pride! his father would have said if his father had words. And Winchester Wilcox the Third lived by the implied words of Winchester Wilcox the Second, which (Winchester imagined) were the implied words of Winchester Wilcox the Original; they reverberated in his soul like Thaxton’s voice through his legs. These were the things that moved Winchester Wilcox the Third: his raison d’etre.

Then, as every morning, Winchester Wilcox the Third lightly sniffed the floor immediately in front of him. Finding nothing, he looked back up at Thaxton, who was already staring back out the window with his mind fixed elsewhere. He looked sideways across the room – nearly completely bathed in sunlight now – to the glossy white bedroom door, which was still closed. He twitched his ears in the door’s direction and heard Nurlene’s cheerful humming as she brushed her auburn hair and painted makeup on her face. Winchester Wilcox the Third felt a familiar gurgling, hollow feeling in his belly, and so he turned again – away from the window – and strolled toward the kitchen where breakfast was waiting in a silver dish, leaving Thaxton alone with his rapidly cooling cup of coffee.


Entry filed under: Craft, Head & Heart. Tags: , .

Frostburg Dear Dad, Chief Petty Officer, US Navy, retired

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. onewandering  |  November 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Winchester Wilcox the Third is my FAVORITE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME!!! I believe that WWIII, as I shall write his name from now on, and Miss Kitty would get along famously — like Pinky & the Brain, only they’d both be Brains. ;)

  • 2. onewandering  |  November 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    PS — so proud of you for 9,000 words! Hoo Rah!

  • 3. Little Joys  |  November 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    […] So I’m thinking there’s one thing that’ll get us through the week. And that’s more chihuahua. […]


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