Self’s hometown Fourth of July Parade was in-person this year, for the first time in three years. Though crowds were sparse, it really felt like a moment.
Posting for Brashear’s Mid-Week Monochrome Challenge.
Sam: “How are you doing, Dekka?”
Dekka: “Stop asking, Sam.”
Sam: “You have to — “
Dekka: “What? What do I have to do, Sam? They’re eating me from the inside, what do you want me to say?”
Toto: “She’s telling the truth — “
Dekka: “Shut your stupid mouth, you freak!”
There is a climactic confrontation between teens and killer bugs on a lake!
A new character shows up 3/4 of the way through this book. He was a research subject and lived in a lab. When the grown-ups disappeared, Toto just continued living in the lab, because he stumbled across a huge stash of Nutella AND Pepsi. And he lived off Nutella and Pepsi for eight months.
The others found him strange because he talked about himself in third person. Then they discovered this other thing about him: he couldn’t lie. He always had to say exactly what he was thinking. But when someone else lied, he knew it too.
They way the others discovered Toto’s skill was this: they would meet another party, and this party would say something, and Toto would suddenly blurt out: NOT TRUE. And Toto turned out to have 100% accuracy.
That’s all he does, the rest of the novel. He just keeps saying NOT TRUE at moments of crisis.
That is a very useful skill to have before the start of any negotiation.