Still 1400 words to go tonight, but you can see why I hit a rough patch, and was resisting writing. My characters are going through a lot. This story, like most of my NaNoWriMo novellas, is dark, troubled. It is full of densities, difficulties. That's why I haven't been posting bits.
The green invaded everything.
It took over the plane like a fungus, a fine film of sticky mould. Or like the encrusted barnacles of a long drowned boat. Inside the cabin she saw it growing up the curved walls and over the ceiling, a corrosive green lace.
She felt it in the corners of her eyes, and when she looked at her brother she saw the green seeping through his hair, his skin became jaundiced as the fine feathery lace spread down his face and arms. A fine green mist hung in the air; they were all breathing it. The passengers, the flight crew.
Her mother woke back in their house in her bed unable to move because she was tied by the green ivy that had grown around her in the night.
She lay like a fly in a spider’s green net. Something tasted bitter in her mouth and when she brushed her tongue over the back of her hand she saw her saliva was a deep, algae green.
The ivy had grown through her room and filled it with tendrils that had claws which stuck to everything, the ceiling, walls, floors, the bedroom furniture, it had crept under the broadloom which was dissolving. It covered the windows with its hungry green leafy mouths, making the room dark.
Her teeth began falling out of her gums, and she spat them out, but some stuck in her throat and she coughed, and coughed.
She could not reach her phone; she did not know where the phone was in the jungle her room had become overnight.
Or had it always been like this? She could not remember, the green was seeping into her brain.
She was shaking, or being shaken.
Slowly she opened her eyes, and saw Curtis saying, “Do up your seatbelt, we’re arriving.”
Steig shook. “I had a dream, a nightmare, the green was invading everything. Mother was encased in green ivy.”
“Ha! She’d deserve that,” he said.
“It was worse, Curtis… like I was her by the end, coughing out my teeth, my brain seeping with green.”
He sighed. “Never mind, sis. It was only a dream. You’ve been asleep for hours. Dad will be waiting for us at Heathrow.”
“Can I go to the bathroom?”
“Not now. Can’t you feel the plane is descending?”
“Yeah, I guess so. I’m thirsty.”
“Steig… you’re my older sister. Stop acting like a baby.”
She lay back against the high nap of the chair, on edge, waiting to feel the bump of rubber wheels on tarmac. Such a delicate and crucial moment, touching earth.
When the plane landed lightly with a gentle thud and kept moving, but parallel to the ground, she breathed with relief.
The air was invisible, clear. Without any green tinges. Her brother’s hair was dirty blonde, there was no green ink seeping through it. Her fingers were lace free.
Yet the dream remained with her, colouring her vision.
The best part had been the attack of the plants on her mother, wrapping her like spider-prey in a web of green vines. The natural world gone awry had moved to de-potentiate her. It imprisoned her in organic shackles. Thinking about that part of the dream, Steig felt safe for the first time since she had returned from school the day before to meet her mother’s fury, and the green whip which her brother had broken.
When he broke it it revealed itself as a magic spell that was worthless now.
Soon the plane stopped rolling and the door opened and the passengers began filing off. Curtis and Steig waited in line to exit.