Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Thursday, September 30, 2010

404, Daily: Chapter Thirty-Four

Hello folks!

Well, we're nearing the final chapter and things are looking dire indeed for Marco and Jess. They've come a long way, survived so much... but what happens next will shake them to their very core. The end is coming to meet them head on, their enemy soon to be revealed in full.

There's only 6 chapters left and time is running out.

Which leads me to a bit of sad news:

Unfortunately, due to the fact that chapter 35 contains some massive reveals, and the final episode is going to be one long, huge spoiler, it looks like we've come to the end of the Dailies for my novel '404'.

I want to thank everyone who's taken time out of their day, popped on by my blog during their lunch break or after work; stopped me at get-togethers or sent me emails to congratulate me on this little endeavour of mine.

Moreso, to think that so many of you would throw your support behind me -- that you would pay out your own hard-earned money in these trying times to support an unknown writer in his work... well, I'm truly humbled. Your feedback and your encouragement, from week to week, episode to episode, has been an amazing and profound experience.

To all of you, I truly hope that you've enjoyed sharing in this experience with me. I know it's not exactly an idea most writers would get behind -- showing their 1st draft work (let alone online) -- but I like to think that by sharing my process with you that, maybe, just maybe, it's made it a bit more of an engaging and intimate experience.

Yes, as you may have realized, my grammar isn't always up to snuff and I certainly have a few 'fall back' words when my mind is seized up in the mud... but at the same time I think it's granted me a certain sort of freedom as well. Freedom from myself.

Freedom from that nagging little perfectionist in my head that would normally never let the light peek in.

Posting a new Daily, every day -- while not always easy -- has been something that I've looked forward to because instead of sitting there, pondering every word, rewriting each and every sentence a thousand times... it's forced me to move on; made sure that, no matter what, I'm moving forward from day one.

And now, here we are... almost done. The Finale looms.

And while the easy route would be to simply say 'Thank you for your support' and leave it at that, I want to do an extra something special to reward you for your faith in me.

Those of you who've subscribed to my novel, please keep an eye on your inboxes when the final episode of '404' rolls in next week.

Hopefully you'll like it.

For the rest, thank you once again for following along with me over the last couple of months -- and if you're interested in seeing how it all ends you can still subscribe up top in the corner there. Otherwise, the final version of the novel will be released at the end of October for $9.99 CAD.

Anyways, without further ado, here's the Daily for Chapter 34:

Cheers,
Brandon
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*Please Note: What follows below is only the FIRST page of Chapter 34 and is considered to be 'Raw Footage' -- unedited, first-draft material that may be subject to change (even in its entirety). This is designed to keep you in the loop with my story as well as, hopefully, intrigue you enough to want to buy the full, finished episode at the end of the week.

Warning: there will be SPOILERS and coarse language as well, so please keep that in mind before you read on.

Episode #7 (which collects the finished and polished versions of chapters 31-35) will be available on Sunday, October 3rd for 99 cents CAD.

You are encouraged to offer feedback and/or interact with me as this process unfolds. I'd love to hear what you like, what you don't like and what you'd love to see more of.
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CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

The stench of ash and death wafts through the air as Marco and Jess watch in silent horror at what lies before them. From their perch on the deck they watch as the carrier trundles past a massive flaming pit in the earth; as men in heavy gas masks and Hazmat suits shovel the still-decomposing bodies of men, women and children inside.

The carrier picks up speed as it crosses the bridge and Jess slaps her hand to her mouth, fighting back a sudden need to vomit: as far back as they can see, off into the horizon, are more flaming pits, each tended to by its own Hazmat-suited crew. Bodies are piled high beside each of them as massive dump trucks back up and deliver more.

“What is this?! What the fuck have you done?!” Marco calls out to the Commander, his fists clenched, ignoring the guns digging into his back.

“What is done is done, Mr. Temura. No use crying over spilt milk,” the Commander says, his gaze fixed on the road as the carrier rolls past.

“Spilt milk?! How fucking dare you?! How dare you wear that uniform and say that??” Marco yells, anger washing over him as Jess puts a hand on his shoulders.

“Marco, don’t,” She whispers. “They’re just looking for an excuse to kill us…”

He stops, anger muted for the moment, his hands shaking as he tries to contain his rage. “Look at them, Commander! Look at what you and your people’ve done!” Marco’s eyes burn with hatred, spittle forming on his lips as he lunges toward the Commander, receiving a solid boot to the gut for his efforts. He collapses to the ground, coughing as he fights to get back to his knees, still reaching toward the gray-haired man.

The Commander turns and looks down at him with contempt, as if recognizing a gnat, before nodding to a soldier. Marco receives a gun-butt to the head, a swift blow that lays him out and rings in his ears.

Jess puts her arm around him, trying her best to comfort him as the machine speeds down the hill, toward a wide, squat building: The Pentagon.

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