🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

Hello, blogsters! 

Here is a sample of what I’ve been working on while not blogging, and not being all that social on WordPress. I had posted Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM, of the second book in my series, a few months ago. A huge thanks to all who had read, liked, and commented on those posts. Since then, that chapter has been re-numbered and revised. Being the extreme writing perfectionist I am, it’ll most likely end up getting another revision or ten. 

Are you ready to get grossed out over an extraterrestrial illness? This chapter tells all the gray, rotten cheesy details. This first section tells about Artheena’s traumatic childhood memories from when she had skeevids. 

For those of you who know nothing about my YA/sci-fi & fantasy series, or if you’re someone who just randomly stumbled upon this post, here is a little fill-in for you. 

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This story takes place on a different planet. Artheena is my main character in books 1 and 2. Mell May is her adopted sister, and Willberry is her five-year-old brother. Vervetts are the species of people they are, and Guardians are just a ruling race of vervetts. Jumellica is like a Velva Leenan version of God. A garden feeder is where compost is stored, and sackamuppo is an herbal skin treatment that prevents scars. 

*** 

Here is the first rough draft excerpt of Chapter 24: SKEEVIDS, from HECCTROSSIPY 2 The Will of the Dark creator. Enjoy—but don’t read this before, during, or after a meal. 

***    

Like how human children get chicken pox, vervett children get skeevids, including little Guardians. Artheena and Mell May had gotten skeevids when they were Willberry’s age. 

Mell May got it first, but her case was unusually mild. She had a fever like Artheena did, but her grayish white skeevid bumps were small—no bigger than the average pimple—and she didn’t suffer through the other unbearable symptoms. Her appetite was normal, she was able to get up and move around without being in constant pain, and her recovery was quick. Freakishly quick. The inflamed holes left behind from when all her skeevids popped, barely needed any plugging paste to boost their healing. They seemed to close up on their own, and her skin was almost magically smooth and healthy again. 

Mom and dad and the other grownups they knew gushed about how little Mell May was such an amazing surviver. She escaped death twice, and then Jumellica took exceptional care of her, by healing her skeevids so miraculously. They took this as a sign that the good entity must have something extra special planned for Mell May’s future. This was one of the few and far between times during their childhood, where Artheena felt jealous of her sister.  

Meanwhile, Artheena’s case of skeevids was the most traumatic twelve days of her life. She couldn’t eat or play, or do anything, but lay in bed and suffer, or scream in agony in the bathtub. All the while, the grayish white bumps all over her skin constantly swelled and popped, and then regrew. Skeevids usually form and grow gradually throughout the day, but sometimes Artheena saw them appear as gray circles on her skin, and then swell into round, hard bumps, right before her eyes. It was a total nightmare. The sound skeevids made when they burst was one that would stay in her memory, like a permanent scar. It was a loud popping and splattering sound that, to us,, would sound like someone shooting water balloons with a BB gun. The bigger the skeevid, the louder and more liquidy the pop. Even worse, when skeevids burst, they splatter out a greasy gray fluid that, to us, would smell like rotten cheese. 

Artheena’s fever was so high, it felt as though her body might cook itself to death. Mom tried to cool it down by putting damp wash cloths over her forehead and cheeks, but she could only keep them on Artheena’s skin for a short few moments at a time. The wash cloths weren’t wet enough to make them heavy, but to Artheena’s severely tender, skeevid infected skin, they felt heavier than bricks, making her face feel as though it was being painfully crushed. When mom removed the wash cloths, it barely gave Artheena any relief. Her head and joints ached from the fever, and the skeevid bumps made her skin constantly ache all over. She got quite a few of the largest sized ones, that swell up to the size of Earth’s tennis balls. These always swelled up on one of her limbs, while she was sleeping. Then she’d wake up with her leg or arm in throbbing pain, which didn’t go away until the huge skeevid burst.

Even the simplest movements were agonizing. She couldn’t sit or stand, or open her mouth to drink and eat without crying out in pain. So much pain made her unable to walk. 

When she needed a bath, mom and dad had to carry her into the bathroom, using a towel like a stretcher. Being carried in their arms felt a hundred times more crushing on her body, than the damp cloths did on her face. She was in too much pain to be able to use the toilet bucket, leaving her with no choice but to pee in the paper shroud that mom and dad kept her wrapped in, while she was in bed. Even worse, her vomiting and diarrhea was beyond her control. This humiliated her more than what a grotesque, rank smelling, skeevid popping, grease dripping mess she was. 

She always loved her bath time, but while sick with skeevids, taking a bath felt like the most brutal torture that could possibly exist. Mom and dad persistently tried to comfort her with reassuring words of Jumellica’s love for her, and how she was going to be all better, any given day. But Artheena was in too much agony to listen to them, and she screamed over all their coddling. The sensation of water on her skin felt both icy cold, and scalding hot at the same time. No matter how gentle mom and dad tried to be, when they wiped Artheena down with a wash cloth, to her, it felt like they were shredding her skin with a giant vegetable peeler. 

Her skin was so sensitive, she couldn’t even ware clothes. The slightest brushing of fabric against her skin felt like being stung by hundreds of insects while getting scratched with razor sharp thorns. 

The only thing that she had to let touch her skin was the coping shrouds. The uncomfortably stiff paper shroud, which was dusted with powdered herbs on the inside, was believed to have good healing benefits. However, the only thing they did was enhance her discomfort. Mom and dad wrapped her up in a new dry, crinkly, gritty shroud, every time they put her back in bed. Between the coping shroud and the rest of her aches and pains, she couldn’t get comfortable. Sleep only came if she cried herself to exhaustion. Or when her energy became so drained from her vomiting and diarrhea, it made her desensitized to the pain. 

The vomit and diarrhea erupted from her body, as though they had minds of their own. She couldn’t understand where it all came from, when her stomach could hardly hold anything down. It didn’t take much to make her queasy. The smells that she smelled every day, like the cool, earthy smell of her house’s stone interior, the aromatic wood and mylo mellow furniture, and the garden scented breezes that came in through the open windows, seemed noxiously overbearing. The poultry broth, nutritional teas, and porridges that her parents fed her tasted and smelled more like they were made from the contents of the garden feeder. Artheena couldn’t help gagging, as she obediently forced down the nourishment her parents carefully spooned into her mouth.

This living hell lasted for seven days. Through it all, the people around her did what they could to keep her distracted from her pain, and cheer her up. Friends, teachers, neighbors, and even some Guardians stopped by the house to deliver positive affirmation cards, and colorful bouquets of sensitive-stomach-friendly paper flowers. Mom read to her, dad entertained her with his stories about his intercontinental piloting great grandparents’ world traveling adventures, and both parents quizzed her on the lessons she was learning in school. When Mell May had fully recovered, she and their friends paid visits to Artheena, whenever they played outside. They talked to her through her open bedroom window. Or they’d sing to her, and tell jokes. A couple times, they made puppets out of their hands, and things they found around the yard, and performed a silly puppet show on Artheena’s outside windowsill. She appreciated everyone’s concern and attentiveness towards her, and did her best to act like she was getting enjoyment out of it. But Artheena was so miserably sick that she honestly wished to be dead. 

On her eighth day of suffering, no more skeevids formed, and all the ones that were there had popped. When she awoken that morning, her fever cooled down and most of her pain had subsided, but her skin was hideously honey-combed with greasy gray holes that were ringed with scaly rashes. She was in hysterically panicked tears, fearing that she was going to be ugly for the rest of her life. This fear got worse every time her parents reapplied the dressing around her skin, and she saw that the disgusting holes hadn’t closed up yet. 

While her skin was healing, she still was sick with a mild fever for another five days, and spent most of that time sleeping. Throughout those five days, mom and dad had to change her dressing, three or more times a day. She had to stand in the bathroom for a long many moments of time, while they carefully unraveled the tightly clinging fabric strips from her body. Then they tediously dug out the used plugging paste from each hole, with their fingernails, and plugged all the holes back up with fresh paste. She was then slathered head to toe with slimy lisp leaf gel, and re-wrapped in more fabric strips. Stay strips is what they are called, because they cling to the skin, and are better at securing medicine in open wounds than regular cloth bandages. When those five days were over, and Artheena was feeling better, she still had to undergo three days of full-body sackamuppo treatments until her skin was back to normal again.

This all happened ten years ago, but when poor Willberry got skeevids, the traumatic memories came back to Artheena as clearly as though they had happened last season. 

*** 

That was only a section. There’s more dialogue and drama in the rest of the chapter, and more of how awful life gets for Artheena and her family. Thank you so much for reading. I’m aiming to get The Will of the Dark Creator ready for beta readers, before the end of summer. 

Love you all! Second excerpt coming up tomorrow!… 

PART 😬😬 of… 🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

Hi, again. 

It’s tomorrow! As I promised, here is the second excerpt to Chapter 24: SKEEVIDS from HECCTROSSIPY 2: The Will of the Dark Creator. The plot thickens, and oh, ugh, so does the mess. 

*** 

“What’s wrong with me?” Willberry asked, through frightened tears. 

“You’re sick,” said Burjiss, gently. “You have skeevids, but it’s going to go away soon.” 

“Every little vervett boy and girl gets skeevids,” said Tabatha, in the same gentle tone. “Even mommy and daddy got it when we were little. So did Mell May and Artheena, but we’re all OK now. So you’re going to be OK too.” 

“Just because you guys got it, doesn’t mean I should’ve got it!” cried Willberry. “I’m cold!” 

“Want me to put you’re blanket back over you?” mom offered. 

“No!” Willberry wined. “My blanket hurts! My bed hurts! Everywhere hurts! Why did I have to get skeevids!” He let out a howling cry of misery. 

Artheena’s heart swelled with empathy. In that moment, she felt what he was suffering through, as though she became that sick five-year-old self again. She felt the full-bodied pain of his infected skin, the burning and the aching bone chills of his fever, and the unbearable stinging and scratching sensation he probably felt when his blanket touched his skin. She wanted to hug him and hold him, and reassure him with all the words of comfort she could think up, but of course, that would do more harm than good.    

Willberry’s case of skeevids looked even worse than Artheena’s. His skin bubbled all over with the gruesome, grayish white bumps. Many of them were large enough to bulge like stones beneath his nightshirt. Tennis ball sized skeevids swelled over his knee caps. Clusters of smaller skeevids swelled between the larger ones, making his skin resemble a parasitic insects’ egg sack nursery. His whole neck, from above his collar bones to the bottom of his chin, was completely covered with the bumps, making it too painful to move his head. Skeevids were on his palms and on the soles of his feet. Egg sack clusters of them formed between his fingers and toes. They even formed on his scalp. Artheena couldn’t help feeling sick to her stomach, seeing the round, grayish white bumps slowly swelling up from beneath Willberry’s hair. 

“I know it hurts, and you feel lousy, but every little vervett has to go through it,” said mom, about to pat his head, but quickly stopped herself. “It’s a rough part of the journey of growing up, but it’ll pass very soon.” 

“Do grungol kids get skeevids?” Willberry asked, sniffling. 

“No,” said dad, “But grungols get other sicknesses.” 

The thought of Audry voraciously eating her own coins flashed into Artheena’s mind, and the way she hungrily licked the blood off her hands after she’d accidentally bitten them. 

“That’s not fair!” Willberry shouted through sobs. “Why wasn’t I born a grungol!” 

One of the tennis ball sized skeevids burst with an explosive, POP, startling them all. As much as it hurt to move his head, Willberry couldn’t help look. He screamed in horror at the sight of the gushing gray hole in his knee where the skeevid had been. He scrunched his eyes shut, crying with panic. Burjiss, Tabatha, and Artheena tried to calm him. They tried to get through to him that they were going to take care of him, and he was going to get well, and then once he was all better, the skeevids would never come back. However, he was inconsolable. He cried and screamed over them, like little Artheena did during her baths. 

Willberry knew about skeevids, but he was never exposed to the disturbing illness in real life. Tabatha was pregnant with him, when Artheena and Mell May got it. Some of his classmates went through it, and so did his friend, Snap, but he didn’t see them when they were sick. Snap’s parents were especially strict about not allowing him to have visitors while he had skeevids.   

“I’m sure I still have that old roll of stay strips from when you girls were sick!” said mom, raising her voice over Willberry’s hysterical crying. “But we might need more lisp leaves and ingredients for plugging paste for when he starts getting better!” She looked directly into Willberry’s tear streaming, disfigured face. “You hear that, little hecctrossipy! You’re going to get better, like a strong little monster!” 

“I’ll go get his supplies!” Artheena volunteered. “I hope to Jumellica that the place is open this early! We’re here to save you, Willberry!” Then she hurried out of the room, and made a leap and a short sprint to the front door. 

The rainy early morning air was so cold, it made her cough the moment she bounded onto the wet front walking path. Puddles splashed beneath her, their icy coldness uncomfortably nipping at her bare feet. She broke into a sprint again, once she reached the sticky, wet clay street. It was as putrid as Earth’s swamps outside, from so much waterlogged and rotting vegetation all over the village. Artheena’s beloved gardens were suffering too, but she hung on to the optimistic hope that all her trees and plants would survive and fully recover. The neighborhoods were a rushing blur as gray as the sky, as she sped through them, faster than Earth’s cheetahs. Rain drops pelted at her like icy pebbles, stinging her eyes, and soaking her shirt. 

It wasn’t until she reached the South Section boundary, when she realized that she had been in such a hurry, she forgot to change into daytime clothes before she went out. Artheena laughed this off without a care. It didn’t matter if she looked like a complete weirdo, going to the store in her nightshirt. The rain was getting a little heavier, which meant there was no time to waste, and her poor brother needed his coping shrouds. 

The Children’s Medical Supplies store was a boxy, blueish purple wooden building with a few pieces of colorfully painted, babies’ sized playground equipment on its wooden front porch. Once she saw that the store’s lights were on, she leapt over the porch steps, accidentally knocking down a tiny pink slide as she scrambled through the front door. 

Two orange-collared men greeted her, each carrying a bucket of warm, frothy mange water, ready to wash the wet clay from her feet. As long as it continued raining, this was to be part of the shopping routine. Artheena thought it was kind of nice. 

“I’m so glad this place is open.” she said, smiling and lifting a foot to the orange-collar standing nearer to her. The other orange-collar proceeded to clean the floor where Artheena stepped.

“They’re open all day and night, for the time being,” said the public servant, pulling a wet wash cloth from his bucket, and scrubbing her foot. “Guardians’ new orders. Thank Jumellica too. I don’t know if it’s this bad weather, but a lot of kids are getting sick now. The hospital is getting too crowded with sick people as it is.” 

Artheena shuttered at the thought of when the Guardians admitted the truth about Jyoseppy’s dark forces spreading through the world without explanation. 

“But at least no one has gotten sick enough to die, right?” she said, letting the orange-collar dry off her foot and begin washing the other one. 

“Nope,” he said with a smile. “And by the grace of the good entity, we’ll all make sure it stays that way.” 

“I see you ran out of fresh daytime clothes.” said the other public servant, smiling at her as he finished wiping the floor, and took a seat on a half-empty table of large medicinal roots. 

“She gave the men a look, as though she thought they’d lost their minds. “Oh, come on, you guys. You didn’t here about how new Scientific studies have shown that nightshirts are a more suitable garment for running in cold, wet weather. They allow a better aerodynamic air flow which helps you move faster than if you wore shorts or pants.” Her factual tone was so convincing, the two men pondered over this bit of information for a split moment. “I’m only kidding,” she laughed. “My baby brother came down with skeevids, this morning, and I need to get some coping shrouds, lisp leaves, and extra ingredients for plugging paste. But I was so in a rush to get them that I left the house without paying attention to what I’m waring.” 

“I like it,” said a young man who suddenly appeared in the room. “It’s blue, my favorite color.” He gave Artheena a crooked-toothed, flirty smile. “And it matches your pretty eyes.” He walked over to her, and shook her hand. “Hi, I’m Danknoid. I’m one of the new staff here, and I’ll be more than happy to help you.” 

Artheena smiled at him graciously, mentally reminding herself to not go back to her old snobby ways, by judging Danknoid to be a total dweeb. His curly main of bright yellow-orange hair looked like a giant briar. And his slight build and round, pimply face made him appear no older than thirteen

“You boys go ahead and restock the tea and snacks in the break room,” Danknoid said to the orange collars, as though he owned the place. “I’ll be helping this beautiful lady with her shopping.” 

“Thank you, but you don’t need to,” Artheena said politely. “I know where everything is. I’ve been here before many times.” 

Danknoid looked amused. “No, you do need my help. You not only ran to the store in your nighttime clothes, you forgot to take your shopping tote with you.” 

“Ugh!” Artheena groaned, stomping her foot. “I forgot to bring money too! I can’t believe what a flake I am, this morning.” 

“Don’t worry about it,” said Danknoid, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll be your tote and hold your things for you, and I have hundreds of coins in my coin holder. Just tell me how many you think you need, and your shopping is covered.” 

“Oh, thank Jumellica!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him as she mentally thanked the good entity for granting her the fortune of being the girl that all the single guys want. She had always taken her way with men for granted, but for once, she truly needed this power of having above-average beauty for unselfish purposes. 

“My tote is in the store owners’ office. Follow me.” He took her by the arm and lead the way. The office was a tiny room in the back of the store that could barely fit the cluttered, two-person work desk that was crammed within it. Once they were in the office, Danknoid closed the door. A mischievous look flashed across his pimply face. Artheena felt a pang of anxiety, immediately knowing that this boy was up to no good. She backed up against a narrow space of wall, as Danknoid reached under the desk, and pulled out a purple polka dotted leather tote. Then he took out a coin holder that was twice the size of hers. He opened it up to show her that it was filled to the brim with Rewards and Thank Yous. 

“You can have all of this, and buy your brother all the medicine in the entire store if you want.” he said, in a lowered voice. “But on one condition…” He eyed her up and down with a wicked, crooked-toothed grin. 

*** 

Woe! Heck nah! Do I have the indecency to make this book, which is geared for a 14 + audience, get a little juicy??? Check your WordPress reader for tomorrow’s excerpt to find out. 

Love you all! Post you soon!