|Chap 2.7 - Brick 2||frangles 13/: Writer's Bricks |
"Writer's pad lock, eh?"
Skip held the mysterious metal padlock his publishing agent had given
him up to the florescent Starbooks lights. Its shiny new chrome shone
with its personal elation of having a solid life-long purpose: to keep
the greatest, most self-important Flutonian frwoa friter from
whimsically veering off whatever topic he'd last whimsically steeled
himself to cover. It was its first day on the job, but it had a
shining resume and the most competent professioned creator a pad lock
could possibly have, so it had high confidence it could damn well do
its job. To boot, there was the added plus that even if it just sat
there and did absolutely nothing (likely what inanimate padlocks are
supposed to do), it would certainly at least be half-effective via the
placebo effect, given the power of every aspiring writer's delusional
imagination and paranoia of commitment. For all it knew, it's very
train of thought and sense of awareness was just a metaphorical
interpretation of Skip's paranoia that the stupid thing might actually
Skip tried to rotate the pad lock like a master juggler
who can make it seem as if an object is almost floating without human
contact, but failed when he'd had the impulse that such a task should
involve a good amount of creativity and practice. He therefore
resolved to give it a good amount of creativity and practice, but
after a minute of trying, he began to feel a light vertigo of
anti-diligence and figured he should get back to his writing to be rid
"I thought it was only supposed to keep me on topic,
not drag me back to work. Maybe Mr. Flick thought up a cheap generic
lock brand and it isn't working quite right." Only in the back of his
mind did Skip admit the difference between not writing, and conspiracy
to avoid writing altogether.
The fact that it was working at all
suddenly made Skip even more dizzy with the threat of some upcoming
writer's consistancy, and so the back of his mind made a decision to
completely randomize his setting to hopefully plop him somewhere more
inspiring. (Not that there was any consistancy since the time he'd
received the pad lock in explaining how it was possible to think
things into existence, other than a parenthetical catch-all floating
about that would cover the minimal legal requirements of the
uninitialized environment even if grammatically confusing if not
The back of his mind's first thought,
however, betrayed Skip (due to some sort of innate writer's survival
instinct) and caused a vanilla chai he was suddenly craving to
materialize next to him to help him focus. Since the arm of a comfy
chair wasn't a very sturdy place for a vanilla chai to be (especially
since the stability of space-time there had only a moment ago been
fiddled with), it fell over just as Skip was reaching up for it. But
since Skip may or may not have ever experienced a cup of liquid
spilling onto the ground, it didn't do very much except cause a few wet
drops that he was sure a "Starbookstaffian" would mop up later.
Skip blinked, and the setting shifted to a tree next to a corporate
Starbucks building that he'd managed to climb the first time the
setting had appeared. It seemed an excellent place to continue
writing, despite the lessened access to legal stimulants. While the
wooden branch wasn't nearly as comfortable as the comfy Starbucks
chair, it at least kept him more awake and less sleepy than it, which
he supposed emulated enough of a stimulant aura to keep going. It was
only when he looked down at his notebook that his enthusiasm entirely
failed to increase. He hadn't remembered what he'd been writing after
meeting the pad lock, and hence hadn't even thought about what chapter
he was on before he'd clicked the lock shut. His jaw now dropped in
horrid terror. On his notebook, he'd written a mere two words:
Just "Chapter One".
Skip physically clawed at the padlock, but it did no good. From Mr.
Flick's description, it worked to finish whatever chapter one was
working on; but since he hadn't even decided what theme he would even
be writing about--just that it would be the first chapter of the
book--his block seemed even more hopeless than it had ever been that
day. "Perhaps it's for the best!" Skip declared with a commendable
attempt at feigning enthusiasm. "Now I'm guaranteed to set up the
initial themes and style of the whole book, and finish the best chapter
to finish first, first, to boot! Why, if I decide to use the pad lock
to write the chapters in order, perhaps I can even get the whole thing
written by brunch tomorrow! "Now, Mr. Lock, we shall write ourselves a
book!" The inanimate pad lock gave an indifferent yawn.
"Chapter one... chapter one... hmm..." After about twenty minutes of
staring blankly at his locked notepad, he soon decided it wasn't making
a hell of a lot of difference. He'd immediately stumbled onto Mr.
Lock's nemesis: a loophole in the system: just don't writing any damn
thing at all. Then, as a further distraction from not writing, he
decided to test the lock's strength.
"Chapter one... hmm!" Skip
declared with a melodramatic symphony of deception, as he reached to
turn the page to a fully blank one to move on to chapter two. The
lock, jerking awake as an already- half-sleeping guard on duty in a
priceless museum in which a field-tripping fourth grader had raised a
bat to a three million dollar vase, rushed to do something about
It yanked at Skip's will and his moral conscience to break the deal
that he had agreed to be engaged in less than a half hour before.
really wasn't quite sure as to the full nature of Skip's deception, but
it wasn't taking any chances. It simply tugged at Skip's will
justifiable degree of certainty it was being played. Skip was
intrigued at how the thing worked; its tug was a tug on his mind's
will, as if it had a power over his very decision making process,
currently fully dedicated to turning the page (or perhaps
this was all just
his conscience at work?). Given the spectrum of poorly fleshed
familiairity each had with the other, Skip decided a surprise attack
was excessively prolifically prudent.
"Oh dear me, it seems some
sort of force of conscience is holding me back from turning the page!
I suppose it's due to a confusion over my intentions. Why, it probably
looks like I'm trying to avoid my task of continuing the first chapter
of my book! What an insulting and ridiculous assumption given the
force seems to have never met me, and is apparently making
condescending judgments about my level of honesty based on a mere
fraction of a chance of the lack of it. Why, given the mathematics of
probability and quantum uncertainty, there's likely always some
chance at a living being deceiving someone else in all his waking
hours! Perhaps there's a thousandth of a percent chance that even a
Peace Corps volunteer will take a penny from the third world children's
jar every time he walks up to a drugstore register. What percentage
chance of my deception this force has decided to act on--given I could
easily just be intending to re-copy the current title for the sake of
creating a writing momentum towards the third word--I have no idea
about, but if it's anything less than beyond a shadow of a doubt, I
feel a horrible sadness at living in a cynical society in which
potential criminals are presumed guilty before innocent." The lock
began to feel sad and wondered if it knew how to cry and whether it
would rust if it shed a tear. It decided to relinquish its grip on
Skip's will and was about to do so before it realized Skip wasn't done
with his speech.
"Why, god forbid I'm framed for a murder some
day, and they toss me in jail based on on my nervous fidgeting in the
courtroom before the evidence has even been presented. God help me if
I'm ever discovered to be an exact look-alike to a captured warlord on
judgment day, and I'm sentenced to life in hell before my lawyer is
even able to request a blood test. What a horrid day for the entire
human race if we manage to master the very technologies of the universe
and rule whole galaxies of life, and are sentenced to eternity in
oblivion because the memo "Order Helen Thempto a cast" was misread as
"Cast them all into hell today" by an incompetent dyslexic secretary!
Alas, what depressing half-empty times are these indeed. And if I
think so, then surely my justified cynicism is shared by many others.
Perhaps I should simply give up writing, head to law school, and
dedicate my life to legalizing assisted suicide!"
invention of Mr. Flick -- who it considered less than fluent in the
precise subtleties of human speech and hence whom couldn't have
designed it with any concrete sarcasm-detection methods that may or may
not have been interlaced with Skip's speech -- the writer's note pad
lock was now plumitting in the guilt of assuming intentions it was now
significantly less than sure about. For all it knew, Skip's tone had
already condemned his credibility for being honest beyond a page of a
doubt, but it seemed an obscure possibility to put stock in. Given its
unfamiliarity with human nuances and its maker's enthusiasm for Skip's
potential as a documenter of human experience, the lock hadn't a clue
why it had even questioned Skip's motives in the first place. Perhaps
it was its own fear of the gray areas of its jurisdiction; was it
against the rules to turn the page and simply re-write what had been
written for whatever rhetorical purpose the writer had in mind?
Perhaps Skip and the lock would have to work on defining such
boundaries, and it seemed a perfectly logical thing to allow at this
point. Plus, Skip seemed to deserve incredible leeway by now given the lock's cruel condemnation of all of humanity.
Like a child who'd told
a stranger who'd claimed to be his guardian angel and asked for
permission to borrow his beach ball to just plain go to hell, the lock
finally decided that relinquishing his grip on Skip's will was the only
appropriate thing to do. Yet just as he began to do so with an
apologetic tear (regardless of the risk of rust), Skip -- seeing his
only chance -- used its hesitation to tear the now proverbial beach
ball from its weakening grip. He whipped the page over and shot his
pen toward the upper left corner as the lock jolted to full attention
and lunged for control of Skip's will to write.
Ttt*!@#$*....... Chapter TTT*ttttw*.... Chaaaapter *TTtttwowawa--*"
Skip lost his balance and fell completely out of the tree the surrounding air decided he was definitely in, as a large
beach ball smacked him in the wrist. The park child who'd thrown it
ran over and defiantly snatched it back as if from a pedophile who'd
gone beyond staring and actually slightly exposed his pubic hair, and
ran back toward the safety of the park pool. The pad lock likewise
harumphed and folded its arms like the expert guard it was, having
itself lost a great deal of child-like innocence in the last few
moments. It instantly resolved never to let compassion for human
dilemmas get in the way of its job again.
Skip--on the ground
now--unwillingly scribbled out the word and a half he'd written, as the
setting morphed back into the bookstore Starbucks to contrast what Skip
had gotten done to the whole library of books in order to drive in the
moral of the story. A cashier looked over the counter and frowned,
wondering what type of business Skip was engaging in on the floor.
Skip shrugged, stood up, stood tall, and plumfed back down into the
stimulantless comfy chair.
"Alright! Have it your way. I'll
just stare at the first two words of my novel for a few hours, shall
I?" The starbucksian next to Skip simply shook his head that Skip was
now talking to an inanimate chunk of metal. "Then, when it comes time
for supper, I should hope you'll let me resume my normal daily tasks
and head home, because at that point it will be perfectly normal not to
be even trying to write. Unless you intend to chain me to the chair
until I starve to death, or they toss it in the dumpster to be rid of
me and a trash compactor kills me instead. I suppose you might survive
such a fate, Mr. Lock, but my notepad and I most certainly would not!
And then we're back to your condemnation of a poor innocent being."
The pad lock said nothing. For the moment it seemed to be the totally
inanimate object it was. Perhaps the simple feeling of intense fear of
the thing's potential had caused the entire ordeal in the first place
via the placebo effect he originally suspected fueled the thing.
Or it could be playing dead.
"Back to blankly bricking! My one and only job." Causing yet another
frown from the starbuckian that he was no longer talking to a person or
a padlock but just plain thin air, Skip now raised his voice as if
addressing god himself. "Now would probably be an excellent time for a
writer to wrap up my chapter or book, for I plan on not doing a damn
thing for quite awhile!"
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