Plenty of overwrought prose and melodramatic angst mark this fang-sharp parody of number-one New York Timesbestseller New Moon
"I want to bite you, Heffa. I want to bite you very hard. I'll be gentle, I promise. If you really loved me, you'd let me."
Heffa Lump is just a typical pale 17-year-old who doubts that anyone will ever see her true beauty and needs to grow up and get a life. Fortunately, the Spatula Academy of Fictional Excellence specializes in helping characters from kids’ books cross over into adult fiction. Unfortunately, she’s distracted from her attempts to leave adolescence behind when she meets Teddy Kelledyan impossibly gorgeous boy who eats rare meat, is super-strong, and never goes out in daylight. Could hejust maybebe a vampire? (Hint: totally.) Soon, Heffa finds herself harassed by supernatural forces on all sides: Will she be able to narrate herself out of danger? Will Teddy learn that being with a girl doesn't always have to be about biting? And what will happen when the New Moan rises? A tale of first love, painful longing, and even more painful pointy teeth, New Moan is a hilarious parody of the phenomenon that is Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga.
|Publisher:||Michael O'Mara Books|
|Product dimensions:||7.04(w) x 4.48(h) x 0.66(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The First Book in the Twishite Saga a Parody
By Stephfordy Mayo
Michael O'Mara Books LimitedCopyright © 2009 Stephfordy Mayo
All rights reserved.
I grew up in Sunnytown, Nevada. It never rains there. Ever. There's glorious sunshine 365 days of the year. In a somewhat pointed contrast, the town of Spatula in an unidentifiable northern state was the exact opposite; it never did anything but rain. I could understand why my mom had been so keen to leave. When I got to the age of six and realized that the world did in fact revolve around me, I'd made my father visit me in Sunnytown rather than suffer the indignities of a place where the sun didn't shine. But now everything was about to change.
'Are you sure about this, Heffa?' my mother asked as she hugged me goodbye at Sunnytown Airport. 'You know you can stay with me and Hunk the (Minor League) Football Player. We've got a spare room for you, and I don't have to travel that much.'
'Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? I'm just too noble and self-sacrificing to stay, so deal with it. God.'
'Okay, honey,' my mom said. She was my closest friend – almost a sister – but it was tiresome how often I had to remind her what was best for her. I was leaving her now because she had a man in her life to look after her. Hunk the (Minor League) Football Player would hold her hand crossing the road from now on. I was going to live with my father, Chump – the only parent left who would be able to give me the undivided attention my fragile soul required.
Mom hugged me again. 'If you ever need me, I'm right on the other end of the phone.'
'Yeah, whatever. You don't have to be so clingy.' I didn't look back as I boarded the plane: the thought of seeing my mom all weepy and pathetic was too much to bear.
Chump met me at Port D'Angerous Airport. Unlike my mother, he was a man of few lines of dialog. He greeted me with one of his favorites: 'Hey, Heff, how's it going?'
'How do you think?' I scowled, climbing into the cab of his 4x4. 'My mom's shacked up with a steroid addict, my life's going nowhere fast, and I've been forced to come and live in the gosh-darn middle of nowhere with you. I'm not bitter or anything, but for the record, I didn't ask to be born.'
My father likes to call himself a private detective, but I didn't let this fool me into thinking anything dramatic would happen. I blamed his choice of career on too many Humphrey Bogart movies. He even had a fedora. But Spatula was far too dull to attract criminals, and all he ever seemed to do was track down missing cats.
'Well, things here are just as quiet as ever!' Chump said cheerily.
I said nothing; simply stared out of the window as we drove towards the town. Spatula is surrounded by forest – great redwoods whose rigid trunks thrust into the air. They penetrate the sky so thickly no light gets through at all, rain running down their sides in moist, musty dribbles that —
Chump touched my arm, and I jumped. I was sure I'd been on the edge of a really adult thought before he interrupted me.
'What do you want?' I asked, glowering at him lovingly.
'I was just saying, things here are as dull as ditchwater!' he said, though it was quite hard to hear over the sirens as three police cars sped past, followed by an ambulance and a fire truck. In the distance, I could see smoke clouds rising. 'No excitement here in Spatula. I guess you'll find it kind of boring.'
'Tell me something I don't know,' I said, and rolled my eyes in a sophisticated manner. 'Why aren't you driving? The lights are green.'
'Oh, uh, just thought I should wait while the ambulance gets that man off the road,' Chump said. 'Looks like there might have been some sort of accident, I'm sure it's not a big deal.'
I peered up ahead – the EMTs were stretchering off some guy dripping blood on the asphalt, while the cops wrestled the screaming girl with the knife to the ground. Honestly, were we going to have to wait here all day?
'Just another quiet day in good ol' Spatula,' Chump grinned as he swerved carefully around the broken glass. I sighed. He was right. This place was dead.
At the stop sign by the supermarket, a crowd of teenagers were hanging around on the street corner. They were a sorry bunch, all dressed in black, with lank, unwashed hair and morose expressions. I gazed at them with sympathetic pity. One of them saw me looking and tugged at his friend's arm – in seconds, the whole lot of them were staring at me, white-faced, though I couldn't tell whether that was shock, awe, or make-up.
'Dad, have you been telling everyone who I am again?' I groaned. He just couldn't help boasting about his amazing daughter, which did make it hard to fit in.
'Why would I do that, sweetie?' he muttered. He was scowling at the unfortunate teenagers like they'd really upset him. I understood, though: he was so protective of me.
Chump still lived in the exact same, mediocre, two-storey dump he'd had when my mother left him, after she'd finally realized that he was never going to become a real noir detective. I supposed there were worse backstories – at least I came from a broken home – but I didn't see much scope for any really intriguing secrets. My parents were so selfish. Would it have been too much for them to give me up for adoption? Orphans got all the best character arcs.
We pulled up in the driveway. 'I want to show you something, Heffa,' Chump said. He looked very pleased with himself. 'Close your eyes ...'
I closed my eyes. 'Is it a car? Because I need a car. You bought me a car, right?'
'And ... open.'
I looked. 'You bought me a bus stop,' I said, staring up at it.
'I got the city council to add us to the route!' Chump was so proud. 'Now you won't have any trouble getting to school.'
'Uh, thanks, Dad,' I said, walking into the house. Obviously I couldn't ride the bus to school. I'd just have to take his car when I needed it.
Chump followed me inside and put my bags down in the hall.
'Right then, I'm going to watch the game,' he said. With that, he went into the living room, turned on the television and conveniently disappeared from the page, leaving me to explore at leisure.
I went upstairs. My room was far too small. Where was the library of long, complex novels that demonstrated my cleverness going to go? My eclectic and unusual CD collection? The knick-knacks and wall hangings that illustrated my sensitive, bohemian side? My ego? It was no good. I'd have to get Chump to knock down the wall so I could have his room as well. He could sleep on the sofa; it seemed only fair after all I'd given up in moving here.
Still, I'd talk to him about that later. It was time to focus on a far more pressing matter – staring at myself in the mirror so I could describe what I looked like.
Not that I looked like anything special. Despite living in Sunnytown's unceasing sunshine, I'd spent my days inside, or dashing from one patch of shade to another. I couldn't risk ruining my pale and interesting skin, which so successfully set off my dark hair and eyes like deep, mysterious pools of midnight shadow.
I sighed and turned away. There was no disguising it; I wasn't pretty. Even though I was.
Hopeful that doing some useful chores would lighten my mood, I unpacked my rucksack. At the bottom, I came across the little picture book that meant so much to me; the book that was, in fact, the main reason for my presence here in Spatula.
I flicked through its pages. The little girl who starred in every illustration had black braids, and she was beaming. Around her, crowds of multicolored animals and animated cakes danced. Underneath the pictures, the words spread out in an exuberant scrawl:
I want candy! I want cake!
I want picnics by the lake!
Foxes in boxes with bright yellow sockses
And mermaids on rockses
And a chocolate milkshake!
The picture book Heffa Gets What She Wants had sold a million copies in a year. Its follow-up, Heffa Makes Further Demands, was even more popular. There'd been a cartoon, themed lunchboxes, T-shirts ... for a while, the whole world had known my name.
But things change. No one wanted to read Heffa Lump Goes to High School. These days, I was just another teenage girl, average and dull, but for one shining moment I'd been a star. I wanted that back. I deserved to have that back. And I was here to make it happen.
For Spatula, besides being home to my father, acres of woodland and about a hundred inches of rain, was the location of the Spatula Academy of Fictional Excellence. The Academy specialized in helping child stars expand their range. They were the best. They'd advised Drew Barrymore, turned Little Women into Good Wives, and managed to get Alice, Wendy and Dorothy into an Alan Moore comic. I knew they'd be able to get me what I wanted – a starring role in adult fiction, or, at the very least, a main part in some sort of hybrid teen novel that had massive crossover appeal.
I was excited to be studying at the Academy, but I knew that the other students were sure to hate me, just like in Sunnytown. They said it was because I ignored them or occasionally maimed them, but I knew better. My clumsiness and aloofness had nothing to do with it.
The simple truth was that I didn't fit in with any group – and never would. No one understood me. I was a special, unique snowflake, with interests beyond the mundane, everyday dramas that preoccupied the people I was forced to spend my days with. I was destined for higher things – maybe even the Pulitzer one day. It was a good job I was so humble about it! I bore my solitude nobly, though I did wonder if I would ever find someone who could see beyond my unexciting exterior to the brilliance within. Perhaps Spatula would be different —
'Hey, Heffa, your mom wants to talk to you.' Chump stood in the doorway, holding out the phone.
I took the communication device – Stephfordy's writing book says you shouldn't repeat words even when using a different one is really stilted – and cheerily snapped, 'What do you want now? Can't you tell I'm in the middle of some deeply significant character-building wallowing?'
'I just wanted to see how your flight was. You know you didn't have to move so far away. Choose Your Own Adventure High is right here in Sunnytown and I'm sure they'd have let you transfer in, they're pretty relaxed about last-minute decisions ...'
'How many times do I have to tell you?' I yelled at her. 'My career is the most important thing to me right now. I have to pursue it. It's a sacrifice, but I have to do it. The world needs me. The world needs my art.'
No one but losers went to Choose Your Own Adventure. They had, like, a ninety-per-cent non-completion rate.
'Okay, Heffa, if being in Spatula is what will make you happy, then I think it's just great.'
'Mom,' I groaned, 'you're my best friend, and that's an achievement to be proud of, but can't you leave me alone for five minutes? I can't breathe for all this love and kindness. It's swamping me. I'll send you a one-line email telling you to get off my back in three chapters' time, okay?'
I hurled the phone at the wall and threw myself onto the bed. It was time for a good cry. It might have been my decision to move, but I could still get in a snit about it.
I wailed my pain and rage into the night, and the wind rattled back in overwritten and metaphoric sympathy with my despair. No one had ever suffered like this before. I mean, obviously every teenager everywhere had suffered pretty much exactly like this before, but I was still the only one. If I was the sort of narrator who wrote poetry about my pain – which I totally wasn't, I was far too mature – it would have looked something like this:
Outside my window
Inside my heart
Like some rain.
Having eloquently and beautifully captured the heartache of being seventeen, I drifted off to sleep.CHAPTER 2
the first time
I woke next morning with a mixture of trepidation, resignation, and sublimation. Spatula was waiting for me in all its dreary, damp, sketchily described glory. I drew back the curtain and was amazed by the unexpected view that confronted me. A beautiful golden beach stretched away towards the horizon, fringed on one side by lush palm trees and on the other by the bluest, clearest sea I'd ever seen.
I allowed myself to feel a momentary flicker of hope – until I noticed the words 'Welcome to Cancun' hovering in the perfect sky. I angrily tore the poster off my window and crushed it into a ball, cursing Chump's sense of humor under my breath. Didn't he know how sensitive I was, and how humorless? This kind of practical joke could be literally fatal to someone as pale and serious as me.
Still, I guessed he was just trying to 'male bond' with me or something that I didn't have the right chromosomes to understand, and so I resolved to let it go, utilizing the superhuman powers of forgiveness I had always prided myself on. Spatula would be good for me – I'd only been here a day, and already I could feel my emotions becoming more nuanced.
The actual view from my window was far less Mexican. The rain rained down in a really rainy and wet way (I would have to get better at describing rain; there was probably going to be a test on it, given it was the main weather Spatula had), and the trees that surrounded the house were dripping with moisture. Their mighty trunks probed skyward and vines climbed the thick girth of those trunks like veins, pulsing with life as globs of milky cloud scudded overhead. Something about that imagery intrigued me, but I couldn't think what.
Downstairs in the kitchen, Chump was sitting at the table, frowning at the local paper. He was sucking on something, but stopped when he heard me come in, and hurriedly folded the newspaper so I couldn't finish reading the headline – something had been found drained of something else, apparently.
'Hey, Heff, how's Mexico?'
I ignored this attempt at a friendly remark, hoping that my silent scowl would help Chump realize that there was no chance of his folksy sense of humor having any impact on my deeply subtle and complex psyche. He held his belt in his hands, and I noticed that one end was covered in drool.
'Chump, are you chewing your belt?'
'Oh, yeah, yup, ha ha. Just having a bit of breakfast before I head on out to work.'
'For shoot's sake, Dad, that's what you call breakfast?' I sneered caringly.
'Well, Heff, it's not what I'd generally prefer, but I've been a bit of a mess since your mom walked out on me fifteen years ago, and I haven't really gotten around to getting any groceries in.'
'You poor contemptible soul, that's pathetic. But don't worry, I'll go to the supermarket after school and buy some food. I really like to cook. I used to do it lots for Mom, who's almost as useless as you, and it means I can practice describing all the different dishes. That always makes narratives seem less repetitive – and you can use them as metaphors, too.'
I could see that my explanation went right over Chump's head, but he smiled with pleasure at the idea of a proper home-cooked meal.
'Well?' I demanded.
'What's that, honey?'
'I need money, Chump, these groceries aren't going to pay for themselves. Honestly, you're so thoughtless and self-obsessed.'
'Sure thing, darling, here you go.' He handed me a wad of bills.
'And?' He looked confused. 'Car keys?' He passed them to me, and I marched towards the door.
'Bye, Chump, I don't want to be late for school on my first day.'
As the front door slammed shut behind me, I heard my father call plaintively after me: 'Hey, Heff, how am I meant to get to work?'
I waved away his trivial concerns, dashed through the rain to the car and turned the key in the ignition. The engine roared smugly to life, and I set off.
Excerpted from New Moan by Stephfordy Mayo. Copyright © 2009 Stephfordy Mayo. Excerpted by permission of Michael O'Mara Books Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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