From (or rather, not from) the WIP:

And what I’m here to tell you is, I now represent interests who desperately need someone to do what you do. So what I want to know is, how good are you at what you do?”

“Depends what I do. Sucking dick? Below average. Insufficiently attentive to partner’s needs. Video games? Adequate. Reliably ganks n00bs, surprisingly effective Zerg rush. Karaoke? Green Lantern Corps, motherfucker.”

“At salting, dickface.”

“Almost as good as I am at karaoke.”

Norm Flemington smiled. “Pray you’re better.”

“You’ve never heard me reinvent ‘November Rain.’”

Whether or not this really deserves to be a “darling,” it is to me. Not only because I like the exchange, but because I had plans for “November Rain.” The interlocutors here are former lovers, so the lyrics fit. The idea was, Norm (who asks “how good are you?”) has actually heard Kris sing “November Rain” in karaoke, Kris was just too drunk to remember. Norm was going to end up having a snatch of it as a ringtone, hinting at a torch he still carries. The story is about the possibility of an alien invasion, so the repetition of “You’re not the only one” in the song is suitably ominous.

But I’m targeting the thing for TERRAFORM — 2000 words, and I’m already 700+ over. The initial question just doesn’t make sense; they’re lovers, they’re industrial opponents, Norm already knows the answer. And as much as I like the snappy little list starting with “Depends what I do,” it doesn’t sound like human dialogue.

So. Murdered, for now. But “darlings” have a way of rising from the dead…


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