No Gonzo Left Behind

Any hopes of escape were quickly dashed when Colton and Gonzo ran headfirst into the side tunnel leaking sunlight, barely tall enough for them to stand up in—and right into a sewer grate. Once upon a time, it was meant to keep teenagers out of the culvert, but now, it was keeping them trapped inside. The view out of it was perfect too—forest to hide in, a dock with a strange boat parked alongside it, not to mention the length of the lake with who knows what on the other side…

Gonzo looked ready to cry. “I-it’s no use!”

“Like heck it’s no use!”

Colton jammed the barrel of the pistol up against one of the bolts holding the grate in place and fired another shot. The rays from the CICADA boiled hot enough to melt a bike lock—rusted screws were no problem. He tried again on the other side, firing again, gripping the metal frame tight with his hand and pushing with his foot to prey on the slack. One of the bolts was already missing, so after the third, the grate clattered outwards.

Free at last, Colton made his move through the cattails and the rushes with Gonzo at his heels. The boat parked at the dock was something else indeed—flat-bottomed, with a bizarrely large propeller caged on one end and a double seat in the middle. Conveniently enough, someone had left the keys on the driver’s seat.

What a journey, goddamn. Almost 4,000 words later, and “Gonzo the Dissident”, the first big epic Pennyverse story in quite some time (and the first since that little “Back to the Sunrise” experiment this summer) is live on my site. This one started as a bit in my notebook–you might remember when I posted a snippet back in June–and only just in the past week have I realized where it needs to go and what I wanted to do with it.

Really, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I go over this more in the hidden author’s notes (not that they’re hidden much anymore >w>), but I tend to go safe and nothingy with my stories because I’ve just always had confidence issues with making lads emote and big things happen. Slowly but surely, though, things started to become clear to me, and after “Thylacine in the Sea” and an as-of-yet unreleased Pinede story involving a drama queen guild leader on the hunt for a sleepy potion, I started to swallow it. Attack stuff like that head on. Suddenly, this Gonzo story had a place to go!

It’s funny to me. I’ll still get those pangs of weariness and embarrassment, even some today, but then I’ll actually read what I put down and start smiling like an idiot. “Wow, fuck, I did that.” I don’t mean to brag because I’m sure there’s still a ton of things to pick apart in it, but–what I wrote? I think that’s pretty cool.

Ah, confidence. Anyway, as for the rest of October, I am gonna rest just a little on the story front because I’m definitely written out for the moment. I’ve been at it for a few weeks now and I just don’t need to stew and face fears constantly like I did just to get something accomplished. I can turn my attention elsewhere. And indeed, I do have things planned elsewhere! Little web projects and modding projects and plenty more music to write about. I mean, this Fold Compilation rediscovering is one more listen away from a writeup, and there’s another Midwestern Dirt ramble coming up tomorrow since Sayonara is out today! (Shit, “Lonesome Heroes” was a cover?)

Just…much to do, much happening. Recap later. Go read the story, it’s hype.

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