to celebrate national novel writing month (or the unfortunately nicknamed "NaNoWriMo") this year i will spare myself the white-hair-inducing effects of writing 50,000 words in the month of November by writing a story a day.

these stories will be of any length and veer into any territory i wish. the idea is for me to write one a day for every day of november. these will be first drafts with minimal editing.

if you are into any of it. please comment below! perhaps you can help me figure out if there's ANYthing in these stories worth adapting or polishing into something awesome. 

story 4. sugar in the raw (by jenny yang. sunday, november 3rd, 2013)

they can’t be serious. i look around to the others looking for an amen. i mean, this sugar in the raw crystal is ginormous! but the others keep scurrying by.  geez. thanks. i guess all of us are “on assignment.”

my sargent told me that i was ready. he said that had trained enough. i’ve gotten up in my days...i’m at about 23 days old now.  i’ve done all the caretaking of the queen and i’ve been deemed an excellent cleaner - like i can move piles of dead ants into garbage piles better than most. and now that i’m a veteran, i’ve gotten my first assignment to forage.

foraging. wow.

i mean “each of us has a place and a job and are equally important” blah blah blah but i finally get a chance to bring home the bacon!

but this sugar crystal. this big golden brown sugar crystal. my first assignment has to be this? i’m having a hard time keeping myself from just licking it.

i walk up to the thing and i get into position. i use my front legs to crouch down to get as far underneath the crystal as possible. i bow my antennae and head down there as well then scoop as swiftly as i can with my front arms to heave this thing up on my back. i mean like the sargent said, it is all about MOMENTUM.

ugh. FAIL.  i just barely budge this thing. okay. i guess this isn’t an initiation into foraging if i don’t break a sweat.

i dig low again and three, two, one, up! the crystal rolls forward a few steps.

gah! this is impossible.

just then, two forager ants a few days older than me stopped next to me.

“first timer, huh?” said the ant with the longer antennae. he shoves out his front right hand, “Gary.”

i turn to Gary and shake his hand, “Cary.”

we all chuckle.  “nice! i’m Sherry,” said the other one.

Sherry continues, “you’ve been at this for a little too long. we’ve been watching you. how about a few pairs of hands?”

“oh. wow. really?” i say in gratitude.

“of course,” Gary chirps. “Cary, you have many many days ahead of you as a forager. You will have plenty of time to build up your strength. but for now, it’s time we get this sugar back home!”

yeahs all around!

so Gary and Sherry put their shoulders underneath the crystal with me and three, two, one, GO!

the crystal pops up on my back like magnet to metal.

“ugh. as heavy as it looks. thank you so much, friends,” i barely get out the words through my panting.

Gary and Sherry bow and continue on their way. just like that. no other pleasantries and they were gone.

well, i thought to myself, that must be the fiftieth Sherry and forty fourth Gary i met in my life. probably won’t see them again. so as i lumbered my way with each heavy step, i thanked them in my heart.

the end.