My First NaNoWriMo Novel, Annals High: Chapters 13 – 18

When we last left off in Annals High, the entire school band perished in a plane crash (indeed, The Day That Music Died), leading to a school-wide riot that claimed the lives of at least a dozen more students. Let’s check in to see how everyone’s coping and get a glimpse of some more awful Photoshopped images!


(WARNING: The synopsis you’re about to read is hugely offensive and involves an astonishing number of gruesome, gratuitous death and senseless acts of obscenities. does not condone 98.2% of the following content, strongly advises against any of it occuring in real life, and apologizes to any surviving ancestors.)

Murderous thug Al Capone is angry that business is far from booming: The school riot “took care” of so many people, thus eliminating the need to kill them. Then Henry VIII shows up, needing another favor: His new girlfriend, Pocahontas, is a pain in the poca-hot-ass and he wants her gone, like his last lover, Marie Antoinette. That’s how Henry and Pocahontas find themselves on the historically inaccurate Algonquian Indian Reservation Tour, during which  Pocahontas is offered a “free scalping” by a man “wearing a construction paper headdress and a pair of Tommy Hilfiger boxers.” She manages to escape the situation and flee into the arms of John Smith, a foxy European conveniently chillin’ on the reservation, where she remains throughout the duration of this story.

Meanwhile, back at Annals High, Professor Charles Darwin announces the Junior Academy of Scientists and Inventors competition during his Natural Sciences class “in hope that it’ll cheer you all up and give you a pleasant distraction from the fact that many of your classmates are turning up dead.” (He then gets into a science-versus-religion debate with Jesus and confuses Albert Einstein for Mark Twain and Mark Twain for Colonel Sanders.)

Florence Nightingale gets hot at the premise of having to tend to all the sexy science nerds after they inevitably blow themselves up working on their JASI projects. With some inspo from resident class perv Marky D. Sade, she winds up creating her own orgasm salve. To demonstrate, she smears some on Ben Franklin’s face and whacks him in the head with a two-by-four, which, thanks to the salve, he winds up enjoying. (It hurt so good to type all that.)

In the following chapter, Beethoven hangs up a flier for a Battle of the Bands contest just before he’s stampeded by “a pack of wild teenagers, all running and screaming for no reason other than they just ate hot dogs.” Mistaken for a corpse, he’s scooped up by the “elderly gent [who roams] around the school with a bier on which to throw any unsightly dead bodies littering the school grounds.” Beethoven awakens in the basement atop the “lumpy, decomposing bodies of [Mussolini] and Che” and suffers hearing loss thanks to the bloated rat that’s been feasting on his ear.

Beethoven escapes the elderly gent’s swinging shovel and makes it to the Battle of the Bands promotional meeting, where John Lennon and Elvis Presley meet and swear to outperform the other in the contest. However, it’s not to be: Elvis is drafted into military school and Lennon is shot (no details). Jimi Hendrix saves the day by popping a tab of LSD and letting loose “a wicked guitar solo that left everyone’s pants wet.”

Elsewhere in the school, school newspaper editor-in-chief Emily Dickinson searches a filing cabinet of old articles for Charles Dickens, who requested she find his article about how Annals High has no Christmas spirit so he could include it with his college applications. Instead, she discovers the ballots for the last class presidential election, and notes that there’s not one vote for Class President Richard Nixon.

It turns out Nixon had coerced weirdo Edgar Allan Poe to rig the election in his favor, a fact that comes to light when Emily publishes the breaking story in the Annals Account. Principal Socrates bullies Nixon into resigning, which he does before “racing out the door into obscurity.”

But where will they get a new class president at such short notice, especially since most of the nominees from the last election are dead? Emily broaches a solution: the vice-president, Elizabeth I, who proceeds to have the vending machines filled with things that weren’t three years old. (“The students were thrilled. They were truly in the midst of a snack renaissance.”) Principal Socrates is also pleased with this outcome:

“Very good, Emily.” Socrates patted Emily on the head. “You have been such a little genius lately that I’m in the mood to move you up five grades.”

“But I’m a junior, sir,” Emily pointed out respectfully.

“Then go on! Get out of here! You’ve just graduated! I’ll fill out the diploma and the paperwork later. I’ll write a letter to your parents. For the next year, just take an extra long summer vacation.” Principal Socrates waved her out of the room.

Emily looked at him like a deer in headlights. “Well, all right then, sir. Thank you. And goodbye forever.” With that, Emily walked out the door and skipped down her former high school’s steps, shouting and yahooing with the knowledge that she finished her secondary education without being in a body cast or coffin.

But what’s going on with Marilyn Monroe post JFK‘s murder at the riot? Well, she’s having a bad time of it, you guys. It’s rehearsal time for Roger and Justine, and she can’t hack it as the hat rack. She’s been bawling in home ec, going home early with stress ulcers, and kicked off off the cheerleading squad. She quits the play, to director Alfred Hitchcock‘s relief and playwright Bill Shakespeare‘s joy, and goes to visit Rob Kennedy, the only person she thinks she has in her life. Rob is annoyed she’s there to talk about her feelings instead of bone, and cruelly informs her that JFK never loved her: “Get a grip, baby doll. Guys don’t leave women like Jackie for half-dressed bimbos like you…. Maybe if you’d read novels instead of Tiger Beat, you would’ve had a better shot.”

Marilyn slugs him in the face and kicks him in the gut, threatening to go public with some of the post-coital secrets Rob let slip, like that he and JFK had ties to Al Capone and rigged last year’s election. (“Orgasms always made him chatty.”) Rob calls up Al to inform him that they have a situation, while Marilyn staggers through the streets in the rain and barfs in a 7-11 parking lot. It’s there she meets Kurt Cobain and goes back to his place, where they giggle and eat Pixy Stix and drink soda pop and read Kurt’s old poetry—until Al Capone shows up with “a shotgun and a plastic bag of drugs.” He says, “Courtney and Rob will love this. Two birds with one stone!”

Due to their social pariah status, it’s awhile before their bodies are found, but when they are, they’re viewed as trendsetters: “Instead of killing other students like most kids had been doing, they went ahead and killed themselves!” The only one who mourns Marilyn is Edgar, who sneaks into the funeral home and snuggles up with her corpse on the metal table.

Meanwhile, Vincent van Gogh hacks his own ear off in the middle of art class to break the habit of tucking his paintbrush behind his ear. This act that results in a chat with fellow crazy Joan d’Arc, and they hang out under a starry night sky. (“And so then I said, ‘Is this a football game, or a religious crusade?'” she says during their date, a punchline that makes them explode with laughter.)

She confesses to him how she hears the voice of God and knows that awful things are going to befall them and everyone they know, and then they smooch: “All the passion in the world rushed over them like a powerful wave, and they knew they were slaves to their adolescent love.” (I think called upon the powers of Francine Pascal to write their scenes.)

Just four chapters left—and they’re doozies! Come back next week for the appalling finale!

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