#fridayflash: 50k

On the first day of NaNoWriMo, Andrew wrote about the dinosaurs. There were hunts by carnivores and narrow escapes by herbivores, and then an asteroid fell to Earth and killed all of them except for the crocodiles and the birds. Andrew gave one of the velociraptor characters a pet chinchilla named Squiffy, and when the asteroid fell Squiffy survived and swore revenge against any orbiting object not classified as a moon or planet.

The end of the writing day saw Andrew describing Squiffy shaking his little chinchilla fist at the night sky. Andrew posted nearly 5,000 words to his NaNoWriMo profile.

On the second day of NaNoWriMo, Andrew remembered he'd ended with a night sky and something about space objects under a certain diameter. He wrote about an intergalactic space battle being staged between Saturn and Jupiter, with the Earth completely oblivious because all the fighting occurred in Dimension X, and besides, Voyagers 1 and 2 were long finished with that part of space.

The leader of the good guy aliens was a chinchilla-like creature named Captain Squiffy. Squiffy was kind and compassionate, but knew how to always pick the right choice when it was time for tough decisions.

The bad aliens had better guns and faster ships. They destroyed the good aliens' ship. Of all the crew, only Squiffy made it to an escape pod.

The escape pod hurtled through the solar system to the nearest inhabitable planet — Earth. But Squiffy watched the aftermath of the battle through the escape pod's only portal and shook his chinchilla-like fist. He swore revenge for his crew against the bad aliens.

Andrew finished the day at just over 13,000 words in total. He updated his profile and went to bed.

The morning of the third day of NaNoWriMo, Andrew wrote about a far-future Earth. The human race had wiped itself out through poor management of natural resources and eating too much junk food. The dominant civilised species were highly evolved descendants of chinchillas. One of them, a scientist named Squiffy, had discovered a way to travel through Dimension X. She was lecturing on her discovery, showing a view of Dimension X on the giant computer screen behind her podium, when all of a sudden the scientists in the audience gasped.

Dr. Squiffy turned to see what they were pointing and staring at on the giant computer screen. "It can't be," she said.

The alien escape pod hurtled through Dimension X towards Earth.

Andrew wrote a lot about Dr. Squiffy and her efforts to rescue the occupants of the escape pod from Dimension X. By the time he was done, technically it was Day 4 of NaNoWriMo already. He was a little upset his word count would be marked as zero for Day 3, but pleased that he was almost at 26,000 words.

Andrew spent the rest of Day 4 sleeping and getting chores done around the apartment, because his roommate Doug complained he hadn't done any in almost a week.

On Day 5 of NaNoWriMo, Andrew wrote about the escape pod landing on Earth, but still inside Dimension X. The Dimension X Earth was still ruled by the dinosaurs. Captain Squiffy befriended a velociraptor. Because he was a scientist before he became a spaceship leader, he made detailed studies of Earth, saving everything in the escape pod's on-board computer.

Andrew finished Day 5 with just over 20,000 words left to go. Dr. Squiffy and her team of smart, brave scientists had just arrived in Dimension X, only a few kilometres from the escape pod landing site.

On Day 6, Andrew wrote about a Tyrannosaurus Rex discovering the team of Earth scientist chinchillas and attacking them. Captain Squiffy's friend, the velociraptor, went to see what the T. Rex was attacking, in case he could get an easy meal out of the leftovers. Upon discovering that the creatures under attack were so similar to his own beloved friend, the velociraptor called upon his entire velociraptor tribe (Andrew left a note to himself — was it reasonable that the velociraptors in Dimension X had evolved into a tribal social structure?)

The velociraptors ganged up against the T. Rex after some of the other scientists were killed, but not Dr. Squiffy. The friendly velociraptor led her to Captain Squiffy's escape pod, where they finally met.

Andrew did a word count at this point. The battle between the tribe of velociraptors and the T. Rex had been very drawn-out and detailed (to be fair, the chinchilla scientists didn't just sit around, but helped defend themselves). He was only about 5,000 words short of winning NaNoWriMo.

On Day 7, the Captain and Dr. Squiffy discovered that they spoke the same language, and spent a long time discussing how this could be before Captain Squiffy showed Dr. Squiffy and the surviving scientists the detailed notes he'd taken about Earth dinosaur life. The scientists discovered that the portal between their Earth and Dimension X was closing, so they ran for it, but the two Squiffys decided to stay together.

Andrew closed the day at just over 53,000 words and downloaded his winning NaNoWriMo certificate.

"I did it," he said to his roommate.

"Did what?" said Doug, not looking up from the comic book he was reading.

"I won the novel writing contest."

"Already? Don't you have until the end of the month or something?"


"Cool." Doug turned the page.

"What do you think about me getting a chinchilla?"

"A what?"

"A chinchilla. For a pet."

"What the hell are you going to do with a chinchilla?"

"I'd name it Squiffy, for one."

Doug finally stopped reading the comic book. "You want to name your pet chinchilla Squiffy."

"Yeah, I just said that."

Doug rolled his eyes. "That word, I do not think it means what you think it means." He went back to reading his comic book. "All the cleaning and food and vets and stuff would be down to you. I'm not helping."


"So what's the novel about?"

"It's a depiction of how the same personality reacts to different temporal and physical settings. You know, like 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' or Cloud Atlas."

"You did talking dinosaurs again, didn't you?"

"No." Andrew saved and closed his document file before Doug could see.