The Secret Diary of Cameron Baum
Cameron writes fanfiction. A simple trip to dispose of garbage becomes a life or death situation.
I have decided to try my hand at writing fanfiction. This might be the dweebiest thing I have ever done.
Daniel writes Rizzoli and Aisles fanfics. In his stories the two women share an apartment and take an inordinately large number of showers together. This seems odd since both Rizzoli and Aisles are professional women earning decent salaries and can surely afford an apartment with more than one bathroom, and certainly more than one bar of soap which seems to get lodged in some very bizarre places. Daniel winks when I point this out and says he 'knows' his audience.
My fanfic is based on Chesapeake Shores, a Hallmark TV show popular with Mia and Snowy, though the latter generally falls asleep within ten minutes. I will tell the story from the POV of Jess, the least successful character, right after she buys an Uzi submachine gun. The fanfic is called:
Jess Sorts Her Shit Out
I uploaded the fanfic two days ago and already I have received feedback. A member named bizzie337 has commented:
Omigod! This is nothing like the show! You murdered everyone - even Gran! You are a vile and twisted individual.
Oh my, a vile and twisted individual? I hadn't expected such praise for my first attempt. I am clearly a natural. Who knew?
I resolve to write another story, this time a crossover fanfic between Chesapeake Shores and Riverdale. I will entitle it:
Jess Goes to Riverdale And Sorts Their Shit Out
Be afraid, Jughead. Be very afraid...
A clear blue sky. A relentless sun. An empty highway. A desolate landscape. Scented colitas and tall, towering segouro cacti... Yes, we're in the desert. Again. Honestly, we're here so often for one reason or another we probably deserve loyalty points.
"Another hot one," Daniel observes after John has steered the pick up truck to a secure location well away from the road.
"That's why they call it a desert."
It's just the three of us. We decided to leave Snowy behind after his close call with a less than friendly giant lizard during the last occasion we were here. And Sarah Connor said, and I quote, 'I've got better things to do with my time than traipse around the desert.' These better things include repainting Snowy's doghouse a more sober color than the dayglo pink Mia favored. A neighbor complained apparently. Needless to say my offer of a 'chat' with this neighbor went down like the proverbial lead balloon. I wouldn't have hurt him that badly. Probably.
The reason we've travelled all this way is to dispose of the sack of our clothing that was contaminated with radiation following our successful takedown of the nuke-stealing T-800. We could hardly leave it out for the garbage collectors.
"Heads up." John says as he tosses me a shovel from the back of the pickup.
"Where should I dig?" I ask.
"Over there will do fine."
"So how are we doing this?" Daniel asks. "Do we take turns or what?"
"Cameron will dig the hole."
"Is she okay with doing all the work?"
"Go ahead, ask her."
"You okay digging the hole by yourself, Cam?"
I push the shovel into the gritty desert soil. Lift. Twist. Do it again. And again.
I will not get tired.
I will not require a rest break.
I will not bitch about the heat.
I will not sweat through my clothes.
I will get the job done.
I am machine. Watch me toil.
John and Daniel sit leaning back against the pickup, shaded from the scorching sun.
"This place is really in the middle of nowhere, isn't it."
"Again, it's why they call it a desert."
"Ever wonder what would happen if the truck didn't start."
"Why wouldn't it start?"
"Engine trouble, say."
"Then I'd fix it."
"Suppose you couldn't."
"What are you getting at?"
"It's the back of beyond. No cell reception. No traffic. In movies bad shit always happens in places like this."
"We'd be fine. If we're not back in five hours tops mom will come find us."
"How will she know where to look?"
"Truck's got a tracker beacon."
"Oh. I didn't know that."
"Even if it didn't Cameron could push us out."
"You'd do that, Cameron?"
"Wow, she's like the swiss army knife of girlfriends."
The swiss army knife of girlfriends? I don't know whether that's an insult or a compliment.
"I ran into Sookie the other day."
"Yeah? I thought she was at college in New York."
"She is. Just came home for a cousin's wedding."
"Was it awkward seeing your ex?"
"No, it was cool. In fact, I think she was flirting with me all over again."
"Dude, she flirts with everyone. She flirts with Snowy."
"Maybe I'll give a her call during summer break."
"Didn't she cheat on you multiple times?"
"The way I see it, Sookie's like a beautiful wild stallion who justs wants to be ridden."
"That's a pretty gross metaphor."
"Why should I try and restrain her? I should just saddle up and enjoy the ride."
"Can you please stop referring to her as a horse."
"I mean, the sex was incredible."
"O-kay, this conversation is over."
John walks over to inspect the hole. "That's plenty deep enough. I'll fetch the sack."
The sack containing our radioactive clothes is tossed in the hole.
"Okay, fill it back up, I guess."
I set to work refilling the hole I have only just finished excavating.
I don't complain.
I don't form a Union.
I don't demand shorter working hours.
I don't demand higher pay.
I don't seek any payment for my efforts whatsoever.
Machines are kind of stupid that way.
Once the hole is refilled John inspects my handiwork, using the geiger counter to test for radiation.
"Not a peep. Good. Don't want a coyote growing a second head."
Daniel takes the drone from the back of the pickup and straps on the harness.
"Too bad you didn't bring one. We could have raced."
"Yeah, too bad."
The drone is the real reason he accompanied us. He doesn't get much opportunity to fly the drones in Santa Monica. A man flying hundreds of feet in the air would likely attract unwanted media attention. Or at the very least some shaky YouTube footage. Here he has an audience of two. And we won't say a peep.
"Up up and awaaaaaay!"
The drone rockets him upwards and he begins swooping across the sky.
"I'm Superman! I'm the Silver Surfer!"
"You're Wonder Woman," John quips.
"Ha ha, very funny."
John takes my hands and examines the palms. "Not a single callous. My hands would be covered in blisters."
"I'm very durable."
He kisses me. I kiss him back. His right hand slips under the waist of my jeans, fingers grazing my special place.
"Uh - guys..."
"Dammit, we're having a moment here."
"Houston, we have a problem."
"What? Did you you swallow a bug?"
"The hand controller won't work. I can go up and sideways but not down."
"Press the circle and down on the D-pad."
"I am. Still not working."
"I will run a diagnostic."
Data flows across my HUD, some of it highlighted in red.
"You are correct. The controller is malfunctioning."
"Can you fix it?"
"Yes. Once I return to the safe house."
"So how am I gonna get down?"
"How high up is he?" John wants to know.
"Two hundred feet."
"If he falls from that height he dies. How much juice does he have?"
"Enough for twelve minutes flight time."
"What are you whispering down there?"
"Hang on, buddy. We'll figure something out."
"I have a solution. I could tie a rope to an arrow, shoot it at his legs and haul him down. Of course, the arrow will need to be barbed to embed securely in his flesh."
"First, no bow and arrow. Second, no rope. Third, I'd never let you do something that insane."
"Or he could fly sideways until he encounters a large body of water. When the battery fails he will fall into the water and swim ashore unharmed."
"Except we're in the middle of a desert. What are the odds he finds a large body of water in twelve minutes?"
I concede the odds are somewhat longer than ideal.
"Guys, I'm beginning to worry."
"Give us a minute."
"Oh God, I'm gonna die!"
"No one's dying."
"Tell Mia she can have my Boba Fett Funko Pop. I know she's been eyeing it."
John looks around desperate for inspiration.
"Listen to me, see those hills to the east? Fly over there."
"Not really in the mood for sightseeing."
"The higher the ground under you the less distance you'll have to fall."
"Hey, that might work. Flying there now. You guys follow me, okay."
"Right behind you, buddy."
This is easier said than done. Daniel can take a direct route through the air, we have to steer the pickup truck round rocks and between large clumps of mesquite.
"How long's he got?"
In the distance Daniel is hovering over the highest ground he can find.
"Still gonna be quite a fall. And let's hope he doesn't land on a cactus."
"Wouldn't that break his fall?"
"Probably. I just don't want to spend the rest of the day picking cactus spines out of his ass."
John halts the pickup at the point where the land begins to rise. We're on foot from here.
"Grab the first aid kit. I think we'll need it."
As the battery dies Daniel drops soundlessly from the sky. John and I climb upwards over boulders and loose scree that threaten to send us tumbling back down the slope.
"Did you see where he landed?"
Daniel is in a gully. He avoided the cacti. He's sitting up clutching his right leg.
"I think my ankle's broken."
"At least you're alive."
John begins wrapping the ankle in gauze bandages.
"It hurts real bad."
"First aid kit's got painkillers. You want tylenol or morphine?"
"Take a wild guess."
"Morphine it is."
A syringe is filled with the painkilling drug and injected near his ankle.
"It still hurts."
"Give it a second."
"Oh. I feel it. Oh...man, that's good stuff. Morphine, I want to marry you and have your babies."
"You don't have a uterus, I point out."
"I'll adopt. Have morphine babies by the score."
"Perhaps he hit his head. He's talking gibberish."
"No, it's the drug kicking in. Come on, Junky McJunkface, let's get you home."
Back at the safe house, Sarah Connor takes charge. She unwraps the bandages, cleans the ankle with antiseptic and rewraps it with fresh bandages
"I don't think it's broken; just a bad sprain. He'll need to stay off his feet for a few days."
"Sarah...Did any one ever tell you have beautiful hair?"
"I take it you gave him morphine?"
"You know what's he like. Pain threshold of a peach."
"How much did you give him?"
"One ampoule. Is that bad? Is he going to OD?"
"If he was going to OD he'd have done so already."
"Look at the morphine babies!"
"Again with the babies..."
John recounts the events of the day, omitting my discredited solutions for getting Daniel down safely. I still think a bow and arrow would've worked fine. Or possibly a harpoon? I'll run a simulation later.
When he's finished explaining, Sarah Connor turns on me, the sneer in her voice palpable.
"So, another of your gadgets almost got one of us killed. You must be very proud."
"Mom, it's not her fault. Nintendo made the controller. Blame them."
No. Sarah Connor won't be blaming anyone but me. Plus la change...
By the time Mia returns home from school Daniel is asleep in bed. We tell her he had an accident. He fell off his skateboard. This is plausible because he is a truly terrible skateboarder. Mia immediately makes a get well soon card, using dry macaronie pieces, glitter and colored Sharpies. During the night Snowy discovers the card and eats the macaroni, glue and glitter and all, making himself ill in the process.
I'd make him a get well soon card but he'd probably just eat it.
If you've ever seen Chesapeake Shores you'll know how unlikely a killer the Jess character is. Gran, on the other hand...
No idea what morphine babies are, though I picture them as tiny Mark Zuckerbergs.
Glad the previous chapter was well received. Perhaps I'll write a follow up, check on how alternate-Cameron is doing.
Next: Into the meta-verse. John and Cameron visit the set of the TV show based on their exploits.