Hi everyone! Posting this here as it's the most effective way to make this announcement (without screwing up the symmetry of SoaD's end date because I like it). So here's a couple of post-SoaD events to finally wrap up this whole adventure, plus a bonus excerpt!
SoaD AMA (Ask me Anything)!
SoaD is now complete, as I hope you know, and this brings any active narrative writing for this world to a close. While I have a few deleted scenes lying around that may be posted eventually, I have no plans for a sequel because good gosh, six years is enough time to dedicate to any story.
However! As promised I plan on hosting an AMA to answer any lingering story questions you may have. The future of the characters, how I see certain unfinished plot lines playing out, anything's game.
I'll be hosting this Q&A session on Tumblr through the ask system on January 20th, 2018. Feel free to drop your questions in early! I will gather all the relevant answers onto a permanent page so future readers can find them as well. Links to the ask page and the answer page are both in my profile.
SoaD Fanart Contest!
I will also be holding one last fanart contest for SoaD. Deadline is March 18th, 2018! No April Fools confusion this year either, I promise. Prizes and rules TBA. I'll post a link to the rules/deadline announcement in my profile once I get the details nailed down.
Annnd to fulfill FFn's requirement that updates need actual story content, here's one of the above-mentioned deleted scenes, a sort of between-the-stories excerpt from a much earlier draft of SoaD. Enjoy!
I'm going home.
This was the idea that Danny clung to in the days that followed. He pictured Tucker, talking loud and fast to cover Danny's need to stay silent as they basked in the warm, perfect sunlight on this normal, blissfully boring walk to the Nasty Burger. Their plans for the day were to stuff themselves with stroke-inducing levels of grease and sugar. Even health-conscious Sam couldn't resist the wicked goodness of a Nasty Shake.
Sam. She'd shed her tights and traded combat boots for a pair of sandals in concession to the heat, leaving her legs bare. Her favorite miniskirt brushed teasingly across the back of her thighs, milky white even at the end of the summer. Soft dimples appeared behind the knees with every step she took.
Danny flushed and resumed his study of the tips of his sneakers. He did not just ogle his best friend's legs. Nope. Didn't happen. Even if they were very nice-argh. Not happening, he told himself firmly, speeding up so that he was walking between Sam and Tuck instead of lagging behind.
He hadn't meant to slow down. He was so tired, and his body ached with a deep, clinging exhaustion. He had to drag each leg forward into the next step. Not surprising, after all that...all the walking. Yeah. He'd missed breakfast this morning. Anybody would be tired.
"I'm starving," he announced, cutting off Tuck's diatribe against PC limitations. They looked at him, and he grinned. "I'm going for a Triple."
Sam and Tuck gasped with appropriate mock horror. "The three-patty, five-cheese, seven-sauce beast officially named the Ultimate Travesty of Fast Food?" Tuck stared dreamily into the distance, starting to drool.
Sam groaned. "That's a death trap on a bun! What are you, suicidal?"
"Hey, if I can survive...survive," Danny trailed off as his mind scrambled, trying to remember. It had been a great example. All he found in his memory was a cloying darkness, so he shied away from the thought, shrugging. "If I can survive what I survived, I can take on anything."
Sam looked uneasy, but Tucker laughed. "Heck yeah. No cholesterol-laden concoction dreamed up by underpaid employees could slay you."
The Nasty Burger appeared just ahead. Danny could practically taste it already. He pulled a wad of dirty green bills out of his pocket. "Last one there is buying!"
Danny was still licking the sauce off his fingers as he walked out of the Nasty Burger, leaving a crowd of cheering customers and a paramedic scratching his head behind. His two best friends followed him with awe on their faces.
"I know you said you were hungry...but man! I don't think even Teslaff could have put all that away." Tucker said. Somehow they'd wandered into the park; he could hear the fountain splashing nearby.
"It was like you hadn't eaten for a week," Sam added.
"A week? No..." Danny stumbled. Had he tripped? He looked around for the culprit, but the dirt path was perfectly smooth. No pebbles or roots. "Maybe three or four now," he said absently.
"Three weeks?! How are you not dead?!"
"Dunno," he muttered. Where was that pebble?
"Actually, it takes about a month to starve," Tucker offered timidly. "If you're human."
"Not the point here, Tucker!" Sam was mad now. Danny didn't really understand why...and how had he tripped? Where was it? He was starting to panic. It was stupid, he knew, but it felt so important-if only he could find where he'd gone wrong-
She'd just cut him off with that last cold, bewildering "That is messed up." After that nothing he said or did had reached her. He could have been a mindless blob, an insect buzzing in a jar for all she cared. Like something pinned against the wall and slowly shredded-
But...Sam. Sam had been talking to him, right? In the park. Danny blinked down at the dirt path, then up at his friends, confused. Hadn't he just...
"Danny, pay attention! This is serious!" Exasperated, Sam snatched his hand, pulling him around to face her. Danny bit back a scream from the sudden flare of pain and yanked away. Sam stared in blank disbelief at her blood-covered hand.
Danny looked down, expecting to see a pulpy mess of flesh, but his hand was...fine. It only felt like it was being peeled apart from the inside. He shared a frightened look with Sam, who clutched her inexplicably blood-covered fingers close to her chest. That sparked a sudden fear in Danny. Had he hurt her somehow?
"I'm fine," Sam answered, wiping the blood off on her skirt to show him her undamaged fingers. "Danny, what's going on?"
"I don't know." Danny said, though for some reason he was sure that was a lie.
Sam drew back, violet eyes wide and frightened. "Maybe you should go home."
Home. That's right. That's what he was doing. Danny turned away from Sam as she shimmered and disappeared, dragging one foot after another, guided only by that strange pull he felt in his core. He was going home.