Chapter 8: you can’t tell the rap what to say
It was May 3rd, the day before the big event. Danny was petrified with fear. He didn’t know anyone in the city, and he didn’t know how he was going to get food by himself. The people of the community never thought quite that far, however, and were only concerned with how much less trouble Jacob would be getting into without an accomplice. Of course, Jacob had been without an accomplice for a while, now, and had caused plenty of trouble. They never thought quite that far, either.
“Danny,” said Jezebel as she walked into his room, “I’m sorry it’s come to this. I hate to say I told you so, but I did.” Danny sighed and thought for a moment. “There’ll always be haters. There’ll always be peoples pullin me down. There’ll always be lepers and betraytors, and they can’t help but make me frown. The fact is, my homie, that I’mma make it on my own, now. I’mma defeat the fiery wok of doubt with a flying dragon chicken kung POW. You can’t take what I got inside, what I tried so long to hide- no, you can’t take hip hop away. You can’t tell the rap what to say. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too, so I’mma tell that chef to make me two.”
Danny had never free styled before, and he wasn’t sure where the words came from. All he knew was that he expressed his feelings better with a rhyme and a beat than he ever could with the prosaic mumblings he had previously used to communicate. The words had power, the beat had style. The combination caused not only his, but Jezebel’s feet to get a bad case of ADHD. That is to say, they both were shufflin from one side to the other long after the moment of inspiration had passed. “What was that?” Jezebel asked as she tried to get a grip on what had just happened. “That,” said Danny, “was the power of hip hop. You can’t explain it, you can’t control it. You just go with it.”
Danny still pondered and wandered in his mind, trying to figure out what Joseph could have meant. He had always been strange, but lately he was acting like some kind of seer or shaman. Danny suddenly remembered the event at Jacob’s cousins house that day. He now understood why Mrs. James had attempted a coup d’état with that cruelly misused melon. What he couldn’t understand was where that voice had come from. Now that he thought about it, Joseph didn’t seem alarmed by it at all. Of course, it’s hard to get Joseph’s attention when he’s reading Homer, so he may not have noticed at all.
The day had finally arrived. Danny woke up at sunrise to the smell of Mrs. James’ macaronis. He had never liked those macaronis. They were much harder and doughier than what he had always been used to. He went downstairs, and was not surprised to find Mrs. James there to gloat over his departure. “Why, Danny!” she said, “you look like you’re headed to the gallows today! Why don’t you have a macaroni or four?” Danny reluctantly accepted, and was soon chewing away at the hopelessly chewy cardboard confections. “They have lots of fiber to keep you from getting hungry on your trip!” chirped Mrs. James, happily. Danny would have liked to say something in return, but his polite Amish upbringing had always taught him to be a polite Amish person. He racked his brain to figure out why on earth someone who could make the best pies and cookies in town would torture friends and family with such a culinary abomination. Perhaps I haven’t adequately described the experience for you to understand the torture he was enduring? Upon placing your fork into the stiff (yet oddly rubbery) “treat”, you unleash one of the strongest aromas of wood shavings you will ever smell. The problem here is that it’s one of those smells that you love only when it is in its proper place. It’s like a raccoon. They are cute and cuddly outside, but you bring it inside and everyone freaks out. Anyway, as you raise the fork towards your mouth, you begin to notice what looks like ground up cardboard protruding from the bite you are about to ingest. When you finally conquer your most terrifying fears and put the foul thing into your mouth, you begin to think that you accidentally scooped up a forkful of dust. The only thing to convince you otherwise is the stiff, yet rubbery consistency of the food. You then spend the next five minutes attempting to chew it, swallow, and repeat about ten more times. You can imagine to some point how enjoyable this could be.
Danny labored at this ordeal for quite a while before finally giving up. Mrs. James glared at him with burning rage in her eyes as he walked out of the room leaving his unfinished plate on the table. She really didn’t hold it against him. She knew that he didn’t like her macaronis, but she would have preferred to have the satisfaction of watching him labor away for a few more minutes. Anyway, there was a ceremony of expulsionosity to occur at noon, when Danny would be formally removed from the community. Danny sat around and watched the clock with growing fear… ten… nine fifty-nine…… nine fifty-eight… nine fifty-seven… nine fifty-six… nine fifty-five, etc. You get the idea. Somewhere around nine fifty-four, time froze. He saw his life slowly reenacting itself in front of him. This moment seemed to last forever…. What was happening? Everything seemed to be in slow motion, and the clock hadn’t moved for what seemed like fifteen minutes. Just when Danny started to think the end of the world was beginning, his father walked into the room. “Oh.” Said his father. “The clock is stuck again.” He then walked over and gave the clock a hard kick, at which point it began moving at the proper rate again.
Danny sat and pondered the questions that had plagued him for so long: How did this all happen? Why did he have to find that device? What was wrong with a love of hip hop? Why does this book have so many random, unnecessary descriptions of things that have nothing to do with the plot? He couldn’t seem to find the answers. I can’t give the answers now, of course, since I still have a lot of story to tell and I have to get this book to fifty thousand words by the end of the month. Actually, I did answer one of those questions by explaining why I couldn’t answer them. This book has lots of unnecessary details BECAUSE I STINKIN WANT IT TO. And because I still have forty-two thousand two hundred twenty-four words to write. Anyway. Eleven O’clock passed without further event, and twelve was looming ominously in the near future. Jezebel was a basket case with sorrow at her brother’s crime and downfall, Jacob was still too sore to get out, and Danny’s mother was busy sowing seeds of deceit in desperate hope of stopping the fatal moment from arriving. Finally, though, it arrived.