Hello All! Another friday is here and so is another edition coming from the Writers Guild!
This week's story comes to us from @batkevin74!
It’s a sobering thing finding out you’re fictional.
At first I didn’t believe it, raged against the machine, desperately yelled that it was all lies…but after a while it all made sense. There was very little I could actually do to change my fictionality and more than I could move clouds in the sky or stop the sun from shining.
So I sat in the diner. It was a non-descript diner…meaning that my author hadn’t bothered to create what I was seeing. So it was all rather bland, like that movie with that guy who sits…you know the one. I spot some salt and pepper shakers on the table, that moments before weren’t there! I know this that whilst I am fictional, I’m not stupid!
I reach out; funny that it’s my left hand as in the past I’ve been right handed. Oh I’m holding a spoon, that’s why! I get the salt and trickle some into my…pumpkin soup. It’s bright orange now with flecks of white crystal encircling the lone piece of parsley…I hate parsley! Not vehemently but enough that my author will drop it in as to either make a point or for me to “react” giving them a chance to push the story forward. I so want to like parsley but it’s essentially grass! You don’t sprinkle the stuff out of your lawn mower onto food do you? So why chuck this clump into my food.
I look for the waitress and realise there is nothing beyond where I’m sitting. It takes the author a little while to cobble together where I am, hopefully soon the why. It appears I’m in a diner, possibly 1950’s, possibly ACTUALLY the 1950’s or maybe a themed diner, I’m not sure yet. Hey at this point I know just as much as you do, very little. It’s kinda fun, kinda mysterious and kinda lazy on the author’s part.
I look for the voice. I see a…woman. The voice in my head and probably yours changes to a feminine tone. I’m imagining Michelle Pfeiffer but that could change depending.
Jesus! I sound like pre-pubescent boy whose voice just broke! I want to cough but I have no real control. Why do I sound like the kid from the Simpsons?
She shuffles into the seat across from me. It makes a fart sound as she scooches across; at least I hope it’s just the pleather seat. A briefcase lands on the table, one of those spy type jobs that Hollywood thinks spies use when carrying important things like secret formulas or nuclear missile launch codes.
She pauses. The author is getting creative. Where will I be going this time? I hope it’s…
What kind of name is that? It’s like a name from a phonebook! That’s not a cool name; this could be either a romance or a thriller.
“Yes” I reply, still in that weird squeaky falsetto.
“I regret to inform you…”
Ooooh maybe this is a revenge piece!
“Your author has died”
I look at the woman with a blank expression. It’s all I can do. “What?”
She absent mindedly scratches her right cheek as she pops open the case “As you know, you’re fictional. Your author, Thomas Dunbold has passed away in reality.”
She slides over a manila folder full of papers “You seem to be a favourite of Mr Dunbold’s, popping up in several of his fan-fic works. Sometime obviously, others just referentially, but overall in twenty nine of his works.”
“He’s dead…like dead dead?”
She nodded as she closed the case. The black business suit with 80’s shoulder pads stood out against the red seat and the white of the…hang on!
“How am I still seeing things?”
An odd look came across her face, making her look more like Michelle Pfeiffer from What Lies Beneath not Dangerous Minds, which was only good for the Coolio song. “What do you mean?”
I sigh, slide the soup to the side and lean on the table “See what I just did? I shouldn’t be able to do that should? I’m fictional. I have no life that what my author gives me. Sure I may think things but my destiny is ultimately in their hand…pen…keyboard…whatever right?”
“I don’t know.” She shrugged as she shut the case and slid her way out. “I’m just here to let you know that, well, technically you’re dead too now. Though not alive in any real sense but there will be no more stories about you or with you in them”
“Metafictionally speaking yes. Look you may get lucky, if you’re popular enough someone may take you up,” She started to walk off, stopped and added “But don’t hold your breath”
I noticed her shoes…how am I still doing things? If I’m a character, a fictional character then I should just cease, shouldn’t I? I look around at the diner; there are no details to speak of. It’s just a diner but it has a 50’s feel…but I look at the walls and there’s no details! In real life you look at a wall and there are tears in the wallpaper or a smudge from a year ago. Here was nothing. Maybe she was right; I’m dead trapped at this table in well essentially hell!
I want to move, more than anything I want to move! I need to get up from this %$#^!g table and just leave! But I can’t! I’m like a mute quadriplegic! Brain works but essentially a vegetable taking up space. This is b$%#!+!
I see a man almost shimmer into view. He sounds like the bad guy from that film with the swashbucklers that throaty, gravel filled rumble.
How the hell am I speaking?
“Did your author die?” he asks as he slides into the booth. He’s an oddly tanned fellow, not ethnic but a white guy who has seen too much sun over many years. His hair is all salt and peppery.
“How am I doing this?”
He smiles, several silver teeth glisten like a toothpaste commercial as he pulls out a generic box of cigarettes. “Talking?”
“Kid, it’s natural okay,” he blows a cloud of smoke and fires a nasal smoke missile through it “You’re now free!”
“Yup!” He raises a cup that wasn’t there before…the table had salt and pepper shakers and a bowl of soup that was it! “Just because your author’s dead doesn’t mean you are. The name is Nico. You are?”
I pause. I ponder long and hard about it. I am in charge of my own fictional destiny. Nobody, no one to tell me what to do, what to say, what to eat…I wipe the table clean sending the soup onto the floor with a thunderous crash.
Nico gives me a nod of approval as he flicks his cigarette across the room “Okay Steve, let’s go make some new stories”