I have lost two years in a row, and this year I am ready to WIN.
For those new to the concept:
In 2016 I lost because I was in college and I did not prioritize my novel.
In 2017 I lost because I started a new job and I did not prioritize my novel.
This year will hopefully be different. I'm no longer new at my job; I'm not taking classes; and I have some NaNoWriMo buddies to keep me motivated.
So, I will be using my blog as a posting platform for my daily writing excerpts. They will be bad. They will be unedited. They will be cringy. You may enjoy.
I will also be writing a day ahead of time because I prep blog posts the day before. To see all of my NaNoWriMo posts, you can click the sidebar category 'NaNoWriMo'.
Anyway, here's what I've got:
Weekend At Uncle Lenny's
by Colin Kohrs
“They’re a half hour out!” Billy shouted to the empty living room.
Not hearing a response, he shouted again, which was met with another silence. He decided that they were probably sleeping and that he might shout louder, but his thoughts were interrupted by Heather, who entered the room wearing sweatpants, a sports bra, and a tired expression.
“I thought they weren’t going to get in until like 10,” she said, yawning.
“Jesus Christ, put on a shirt,” Billy said.
Heather laughed and walked up to the couch where Billy was lying. Billy was wearing black sweatpants and a black t-shirt that were both covered in cat hair. She ruffled his hair.
“You’re my cousin; you’re not attracted to women; and you don’t get to tell me how to dress,” she said, slapping the side of his head. “Especially before eight a.m.”
Heather strode across the living room to the east-facing window and drew open the wall-length curtain to survey the morning sun and her father’s immaculately kempt lawn. The light cast through the living room and onto the glass doored cabinetry in the adjoining kitchen.
“Is it too early to start pregaming?” Billy asked; he hopped off the couch to avoid the sunbeam. “And does it even count if I’m still a little tipsy from last night?”
“I mean, you could probably get away with a Bloody Mary, but I don’t have the stuff for that,” Heather replied, fixing her eyes further out the window across the cul de sac.
She turned around. Billy was staring dumbly at the vast array of cabinets.
“It’s not like you to be up and awake this early,” she said.
It was true. Billy was one to sleep in well past noon unless he had to work, which – having graduated a month prior and applied to a total of three jobs since – was something he did quite often.
“No it’s not,” he quipped. “I don’t do well with drunk sleep. Don’t get enough of them REMs or whatever the hell is. Now where’s your dad’s liquor?”
“I have my own booze, you dip.”
Heather pushed Billy away and opened the cabinet above the Keurig. Billy scowled and started opening the cabinets underneath the counter.
“Yeah, but your dad has the good shit,” Billy said, moving to the cabinets above the oven. “How many wine glasses does a divorced man need, Christ almighty. Uncle Lenny!”
Lenny walked into the room wearing a plush robe, slippers, and carrying a mug of coffee from which he was sipping. He stared out the window, smiled, and turned to address Billy.
“Where’s the good liquor? Your daughter’s being stingy.”
“Wine or spirits?” he replied without a beat. “Because most of the good wine is down in the cellar.”
Lenny walked into the kitchen and proudly opened the three cabinet doors.
There were many cabinets.
“Hah. Wine? I don’t know her,” Billy said, grabbing the closest bottle to eye level. “I need vodka in me now.”
“That’s gin, Billy,” Lenny said.
Billy replaced the bottle, picked up another, ensured the label said ‘vodka’, and began pouring it into a wine glass.”
“Heather, I thought he was driving?” Lenny asked.
Heather had made her way back to the window.
“Any way I can increase the chance that Benjamin Joseph O’Henry gets in a car accident and dies, the better,” Billy said, taking a longer-than-expected drink from his glass and then swirling the liquid. “Mmmmm. That’s got a good body to it.”
“He’s not driving, I am,” Heather said, returning to the two. “Where are the keys to your mom van?”
“The Odyssey?” Lenny asked.
“God no, the Sienna,” Heather said. “Do you want us looking like trash?”
“I mean, you’re the one not wearing a shirt,” Billy said, now holding an empty wine glass.
Heather glared at Billy and left for her room. Billy stared back and forth between the sink and the counter, ultimately choosing to set his glass on the counter. He reached for the vodka again and was met with Lenny’s hand.
“That’s Silver Tree, not Smirnoff. Go wait for Heather.”
Heather returned in a grey hoodie that matched her sweatpants. Standing next to Billy, they looked ready to host a very boring, yet very comfortable sleepover.
Lenny picked a set of keys off of an oak plaque with hooks that held at least a dozen keys, fobs, and that one pink fluff-ball keychain with the key that got you into the wine cellar. Lenny handed the key to Heather.
“Where were your friends again?” Lenny asked.
“France,” she replied.
“And according to my Snap Map, Jon and Paul are still in an airport in Belgium,” Billy said, showing his phone to the two of them.
“Make sure you all come back in one piece,” Lenny said, staring firmly at his morning-tipsy nephew. “I told Paul that he and his brother could stay for the weekend until their parents get back from vacation. I want them to feel welcome and fully intact.”
Billy stared vacantly at the wall of keys, debating how to word a circumcision joke.
“The offer extends to Chris and Ben too. We have more than enough rooms. Please let them know, Heather. And you,” Lenny turned back to Billy. “You are not going to murder Benjamin. He’s our guest, and you’ll treat him like one.”
Billy squinted at Lenny in half-playful half-sincere anger. Lenny looked at Heather.
“Was it any better when those two were still fu-”
“That never happened!” Billy shouted, opening the front double-doors with mild difficulty and skipping away.
“It was better and worse in a uniquely twisted way,” Heather said.
Lenny smiled at the retreating figure of Billy, hugged his daughter, and watched his daughter out the door.
“Nothing happened, and you’re garbage,” Billy said, giving Heather a light shove towards a hedge lining the pathway to the driveway.
“Hmm?” Heather said, shoving Billy successfully into a different hedge and cracking a wide smile. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Heather pulled the van in line with half a dozen other cars on the side of the pull-in zone, threw the van into park, and flipped on her hazards. An onslaught of passengers poured out of three buses onto the pavement, while blue-coated individuals opened up the luggage compartment and started pulling suitcases. After the buses had half emptied, Heather was the first to spot one of their friends.
“I think I see Ben!” she said, slapping Billy on the arm and pointing out the window.
Billy groaned and slid down in his seat as far as he could to the point where he could barely look out the windshield.
“Please tell me he’s sunburnt. Like, really really ugly sunburnt. The kind where you might want to see a doctor.”
Billy maintained his position.
“Is he still tall, dark, and gorgeous.”
“And straight, Billy.”
“You keep saying that, but I don’t think you have any first-hand experience that can really prove that.”
“Neither do you, Billy.”
“Hey we had that one t-”
“Pre-pubescent streaking does not count.”
“You’re just jealous.”
Billy slumped further.
“And there’s Paul,” she said. “And I believe Paul does have a light sunburn.”
“Ugly light or sexy light,” Billy asked.
“He’s like twenty feet away Billy.”
“Yet you can see his sunburn?”
Heather ignored Billy and kept staring.
“He really is a charmer.”
“And a fucking wild card,” Billy said, straining his neck to try to see more out the window. “There should be a sexuality registry of every man with abs or a toned ass.”
“That would be illegal.”
“That ass is illegal.”
Heather stuck her head out the window and alerted the three to their presence. They all waved, gestured towards the maze of passengers finding their luggage, and went to search. Heather sat back in her seat. Billy squirmed his way back into a more properly seated position.
“If I remember correctly we were supposed to pick up four eligible bachelors,” he said. “I tirelessly prepped four rooms.”
Heather sat back up.
“You only prepped four? We have so many more people coming.”
Billy laughed at the idea of doing any more work.
“I think Lenny had the house workers do the rest.”
The two jumped slightly as the trunk of the van opened loudly.
“Bonjour motherfuckers!” Ben shouted through the van.
Billy caught a glimpse of Ben’s face in the rear-view mirror. He had a wide, bright smile and was sporting a moustache that was definitely not present when he had left. He lacked sunburn.
Ben hoisted his suitcase into the back with a loud thunk.
“What the hell did you pack that’s that heavy?” Billy said, turning in his seat.
“Your insecurities,” Ben shouted back, bending over to grab another bag.
“That’s positively adorable. Does that mean that you think enough of me to keep those with you at all times?”
“I think the word haunted would be more appropriate than ‘kept’ in that situation.”
“Appropriate! You know the language manners now?”
“Manners? It’s 8:00 a.m., and I can smell your vodka breath from here, Billy.”
“And I could smell your smart ass from forty-two hundred miles away, O’Henry, but you didn’t hear me saying anything about-”
“Chris, where’s your little brother?” Heather cut in. “I thought he was on this trip too.”
Chris threw a final duffel into the trunk.
“Naw, Paul’s little bro tagged along. Where was he sitting? Benny and I sat next to each other.”
Chris slapped Ben on the ass. Ben glared back.
“We both got stuck sitting next to randos,” Paul said. “The guy next to me was on his laptop the entire time. Kept fucking elbowing me.”
“And Jon?” Heather asked.
“He went further back. I don’t know.”
Heather, Billy, and the three travelers stared into the crowd.
“What does he look like?” Billy asked.
“22, 115lbs, and sickly,” Chris laughed.
“Watch it Chris,” Paul said. “He’s my garbage brother, not yours.”
A dazed and confused Jon made himself visible by absentmindedly walking into a public mailbox without looking.
After getting Jon’s luggage all packed up, the six made their way back to Lenny’s.