|frangles > Flutonia > Skip > Writer's Bricks||<
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A STORY HAS TO START SOMEWHERE, WROTE SKIP1/
A story has to start somewhere, wrote Skip, which may or may not have been a good first line for a story all existence depended on. Fortunately, he didn't have time to suffer the writer's block of considering another, as a giant plethora of purposely vague and ineffably indescribable existent phenomena whaooshed out of nothingness to pluck and plop him into the latest place he wanted to be.
"Okay, so, I have about 47 issues with your opening paragraph alone. I don't even need to read any more to know that this whole thing is an incompetent heap of crap."
"Let's have them, then. If I can't knock some literacy into you, at least I can have a decent fantasy that I might have recieved some good feedback today had I been conversing with someone more insightful."
"Alright. Where to begin. Firstly, you don't introduce your character properly. We know nothing about him other than that he's the only character mentioned in the first paragraph and is likely be our protagonist, but you've given us no reason to care whether he gets sucked out into oblivion or not. Why didn't you--"
"But that's the point! The suspense of what's going to happen next is doubled by us not knowing who the hell this Skip is or if we're ever going to care about him enough to mourn anything tragic that ever happens to him."
"Alright, well what's this first line all about? I don't get it."
"Well, well, Skip's line foreshadows what happens next! He notes something obvious for a romantic, rhetorical effect--"
"Or he's an idiot and doesn't realize the obviousness of his comment, taking a hint from his writer..."
"--and then something immediately happens *to him* that demonstrates *his* axiom in full force, purposely awkwardly leap-frogging our *character's* situation to intrude up into the reader's reading a story *about* Skip, creating a 4th- wall- breaking medium- barrier demolishing force that jump starts a momentum toward a whole plethora of similar things to come, involving the very reader in the ominous tragedies looming ahead!"
"Well, given your prose, I agree with the ominous part, certainly, but-- well, even if all your generals make sense -- which they don't -- but even if they did, your particular language use is just outright ridiculous. Why do we need 'multiple' phenomena when one would do just fine, especially given your character is so scantly fleshed out that it shouldn't take much to whisk him right out of the story?"
"And your *modifications* of 'phenomena' are outright run-on. A 'plethora' of something is--"
"That's reflecting the character's skill as a writer, see? Where 'bunch' would do, I've purposely exessively used 'plethora' because that's something a writer might say, hence this helps flesh the character out more directly, which is one of your issues with the paragraph."
"Ignoring the idiocy of what you just said and assuming your logic makes sense for the sake of argument, we still don't need a *'giant'* plethora of something, because you've already excessively used 'plethora'. Then, ironically, your next 5 modifiers themselves drive home the point that they add absolutely no imagery to tell us what these phenomenon things look or feel like..."
" 'Purposely'! 'Purposely!' How can you not get the point of 'purposely'!"
"You can carve 'purposely' in a plop of shit with a stick and it's still not going to taste very good when you mush me in the face with it, especially if I'm a publisher who gets enough of that shit already!"
"I think the opening paragraph and your entire inter-bickering dialogue about it is just about worth the waste of time for the comedic idiocy of the last three lines."
"Skip! What in the-- what in the flying-- !@#$-- flying.. @%??"
"See! See! The paragraph worked perfectly! *Perfectly*! Skip was plucked and plopped right out of fiction and into real life! Insert witty comment here about the magnitude of vindication I'm feeling that I'm too distracted in elation about to bother wording properly! Maybe next time I'll pluck and plop a creative writing professor into existence to teach you a few things about--"
"That's another thing!! What the hell is 'pluck and plop'? You pluck or you plop, you don't do both!"
"It's more irony you'll never understand, and frankly, I'm purposely sick to plethorably phenomenon of explaining it. So! Skips! How are you doing?"
"My name is 'Skip'."
"No, it's 'Skips'. You look like a 'Skips'. How do you feel, Skips?"
"He looks dizzy."
"Of course he's dizzy, and his freers to boot! They've all been awkwardly plucked and plopped from a plain Pulitzer- winner into a strange vifa oblivion that doesn't make any corporeal sense, and there hasn't been a single line of narrative description explaining where the hell any of us are or what the hell this place is all about since he's been here! At least from a colloquial frangle. Is that what you were thinking, Skips?"
"And I bet you're craving a good pun involving a novel cover model and a blackberry Sam Adams that doesn't quite work so there's room for revision. Am I right?"
"You know me so well."
"See? I'm so familiar with my character I can predict his very thoughts and feelings. Take that for 'incompetent'!"
"No, it was sarcastic irony, moron. You Mary Sued yourself an entity with skills so surpassing your own that now you're the token idiot thrown in for comic relief. Am I right, Skip?"
"I'd confirm with something clever, but I'm suspecting any joke insulting your intelect would go straight over both your heads and not be worth the effort."
"No, you dunce. He's mocking maintenance of your failed analysis by pretending to continue with his supposed sarcastic momentum via replying with precisely what you tried to foreshadow. He can't answer 'yes' because that would contradict your overanalyzing, and you wouldn't believe him if he said 'no'. The only way to mock you without your knowledge is to reply with exactly what you'd expect from someone clever. Given, I suppose he's poking a little fun at me as well somehow, but that's not the point, and if it is, he's probably just tricking me, so I'm sure I'm in the right."
"Perhaops we're both being mocked. If not by Skip, than at least by our writers, because our childish bickering is just plain surreal given we're both sophisticated intellectuals."
"It wasn't funny the first time."
"Pfah! It was the only successful humor in our entire ordeal since I read your cursed opening paragraph. And since Skip seems to be the only competent writer out of the two of you, why doesn't he it a shot! Alright, Skip, let's see where your skills are at."
"Give *what* a shot? Where the hell are we? I'd figured I was daydreaming about a fired Seinfeld writer's real life nightmare, but now I'm lost again. What exactly is this place, anyway?"
"You tell us, and we'll tell you if you're on target."
"We're not the ones who's writing skills all existence depends upon! Now once and for all, give it a shot!"
"Yeah, give it a shot, Skips, let's see what you've got. Or what I got you... or had myself before I gave to you... or will later.. wait, I shouldn't have said that. Or something like that. Wow, my brain's like completely fried. Did I just use 'like' colloquially? Wow, my brain's like completely fried. Help me out, Skips, I've been at this forever. Try pulling your weight for once. You haven't done a !@#$ing gram of work since I came up with you. Maybe I Mary 'infsued' you with too much of my delinquency! Eh? 'Infsued'? I fused 'sued' with 'infuse', see?"
"Not bad, Squash, except it plagiarized my original joke. Maybe your protagonist can actually come up with something original."
" 'Squash'!? Great, now I'm 'Squash' to Skips. The mighty 'Squash' and the protagonist that would always regret having the chance to name his own creator torn away from him. How's Skips going to narrate a world into existence now that he has a creator with the most ridiculous name in all of, well, wherever we are?"
"He can do it. Give it a go, Skips!"
"I refuse to do a damn thing until one of you tells me your name or gives even a hint of implication of where the hell am, because you've clearly been here a lot longer than I have, and if you haven't been able to figure out a single *thing* about where we are, I won't lend you my creative skills because I'd just be narrating into a literary black hole, a use of time that would if nothing else sport suicidal redundancy, as we already seem to be in one."
" 'Black hole'! Our first metaphor. Keep going."
"What do you expect *me* to do? I can't control him, I just made him. He doesn't actually have to do anything I ask him. Intrinsic downside of the gift of life."
"Free will's a bitch, fellas."
"One of us has to appease him, and it's sure as hell not going to be me, because, well, because I'm too tired to do the rhetorical work of thinking up the plethora of good reasons you know I could given I'm the more creative than both of you."
"That your ego alone is superior already renders your argument a waste of breath."
"Oh, alright! Call me... Mr. Flick! I'm Mr. Flick, and we're in a suicidally rhetorical black hole oblivion, and this is your mysterious unintroduced writer who brought you into existence, and you're so confused about being *brought* into existence that your bafflement is causing all this so-called black hole-esque literary vertigo at least someone in the room seems to be experiencing. Is that enough momentum for you to go on?"
" 'Skip raised an eyebrow, then sunk into a sigh. He took a moment to fully take in his setting. It was different, very different. Just minutes ago he was--' "
"Nuh! Stop. No unnecessary external allusions. Cripples modularity, you know! Think of all the ways you might have gotten here and all the things you might be up to, but don't tell me. Then, narrate in a general way that will progress all of them without giving details as to which particular situation you're in. Fuse together all the infinitely dimensioned possibilities your measly novelist brain can fathom, squeeze them all into one isomorphic whole, and--"
"--ask yourself--oh, hnm? Yes, Skips?"
"The parts would be isomorphic, not the whole."
"You said squeeze the parts into an isomorphic whole. Isomorphism is a type of common ground or structure that multiple things of some sort share or adhere to. If there's only one thing, then there's nothing for it to be isomorphic *to*. Unless the whole actually is made up of a bunch of self-similar things, which your whole clearly doesn't since you fused all your parts into one. Unless you were about to inform me that you've set me up on a blind date with a really hot novelist cover model who thinks along the same lines I do, in which case I vehemently apologize for interupting you and urge you to get to the part where you introduce us.
" 'Mr. Flick had a look of not being sure where to devote his mental focus: calculation whether Skip was technically correct, annoyance at being interrupted, or defense strategies against self-esteem loss as someone literary and logically competent both professionally and coloquially. Mr. Flick decided to table the waste of time by correcting himself in a tone of voice that would imply slips of the sort were coloquially acceptable if not preferable when pressed for time (and hence perfefctly correct usage, as 'coloquially' is a defined English term), while putting down Skip's nitpick as just plain rude and unnecessary (literally, functionally, *and* coloquially). But before he could, he halted his train of thought to look offended that Skip's attempt to subliminally implant suggestions in his mind via narration (or not so subliminally since Skip was of course exposing them out loud as he spoke). Then Mr. Flick tabled the offense as well and resolved to appease Skip by doing exactly what he'd foreshadowed he would do, if for no other reason than to humor (and hence vindicate) Skip's narcisistic nitpicking and move on with the day.' "
" 'Skip twiddled his fingers and refused to narrate the matter further until someone in the room gave some kind of hint that Skip's grammatical nitpick had some weight.' "
" '...' "
"*Self*-isomorphic. Squeeze them into a *self*-isomorphic whole. That better?"
"...fuse all the infinitely dimensioned possibilities your measly, *horny* novelist brain can fathom, squeeze them all into one *self*-isomorphic whole, and then--"
"I couldn't help but notice that you didn't bother denying that you have a model novelist lined up for me tonight."
"I didn't deny I have a flying elephant in the next room, either."
"But I didn't inquire about a flying elephant."
"You didn't inquire about a date, either. You simply stated that if I had one for you, then my use of 'isomorphic' would have been correct, and your correction incorrect--"
"More like hastily inserted, as the correction took its own limited clairvoyance into account as a premise, whether or not I threw it in after the fact to save face..."
"--leaving the matter undecided, since I've neither confirmed nor denied I have a Pulitzer lapdancer for you in the back room."
"Although it's quite unlikely, for sure."
"Not really, actually. Not at all! For it's probably one of the few inscentives that would motivate you to finish a damn manuscript, and what better way to present the news I have one for you than to catch you rudely and incorrectly--"
"--hastily correcting a kind and caring agent who quite possibly even got you a philanthropic present in addition to being correct, polite, and unhasty."
"That's quite enough of that."
"So! ...fuse all the possibilities your measly, *hasty*, horny brain can fathom into one *self*-isomorphic whole, and then--"
"So when can I see her?"
"--thfuwuwahhagk! I'm ignoring that one, Skip, because I know how much of a gamble the third- time- just- might- be- a- charm- and- vindicate- two- failed- attempts- at- humor- but- will- probably- just- piss- everyone- listening- off humor tactic is, and I applaud your daredevil risk taking: a skill we're more in need of around here, however prone to failure."
"...But one more interruption and I'm outright calling whatever police or bounty hunters mot exist around here to put a bullet straight into your sarcasm!"
"So! Fuse all the.. fuse the... self-iso-mwuhuthfwh---...!@#$ it. You get the point."
"I just told you I got it."
"But you said that before I spoke. And you were talking about something else."
"Self-fulfilling foreshadowing contrived after the fact."
"Now, for the last and final time, once and for all, why don't you go ahead and--"
" 'Skip was suddenly struck with an empathetic vertigo, an awareness of the disorientation of any hovering freers who'd been following his and Mr. Flick's conversation since they'd met up without any external narration. Of course, it almost *always* sucks to follow a conversation without any sense of environment or physical description, but this conversation seemed *particularly* saturated with vagueries for anyone who had the unpleasant task of deducing a sense of environment from his and Mr. Flick's conversation to date. In fact, Skip himself had barely taken in his environment. For his sake and that of those freers, he offered some retroactive narration by thoroughly doing so now. Since he'd not *significantly* done so already, then deeply absorbing his setting would have the dual function of informing the vertigo-stricken freers of the environment, while supplementing the vertigo of the ones fortunate enough to already be freeing bad descriptions and narrations of what was happening.
" 'Around Skip and Mr. Flick was a fragmented oblivion; a corporeal void; a rush of a something-or-other so ineffably wonderous and terrifying as to completely eschew any tangible description that would have been so valuable in easing the vertigo of hovering audio- track- only freers. Skip gazed and marveled and pondered at the pure immersive depth of the place, and was ever so sad that it could not be conveyed in any way given his literary agent previously forbade any of those types of particulars and condemned all involved in the matter with a starvation for corporeal real-life awareness for weeks to come, however many real life, corporeal, linear and non-nonlinear frwoas they injected into their systems afterward to compensate.' "
"Very good, very good. Deceptively describing a setting that has absolutely nothing to do with where we are is a great way to force the freer into imaginative new dimensions of confusion. Since the freer will probably get a sense from our conversation alone that our environment *is* in fact very describable (especially from my current direct commentary on the matter), the--the *self*-clashing duality is likely to get their brains watering for more and more."
"But you're the one being deceptive. I was the one being honest. This place is disgustingly beyond description."
"Yes, I know. Your unoriginal parotting of your environment was boring the hell out of me, so I thought I'd skillfully confuse the freer myself while shocking you into a jealous rage at my technique and steeling your resolve to better your own skills."
"Why bother, when I'm already a step ahead?"
"What? Oh! You mean you were *purposely* feigning a lack of talent to show me a thing or two about the immorality of scheming to deceive people more logically skilled than I am?"
"More like futility, but yes, more or less."
"No. No, no, I don't buy that at all. I think you were just being an untalented idiot."
"Perhaps with nothing else to distinguish them, the two frangles are isomorphic to each other", said Skip's long-forgotten creator 'Squash', who, incidentally, hadn't spoken in quite awhile, due to horrid continuity issues regarding the scene that would probably never be resolved to any editor's liking.
At the word "isomorphic", Mr. Flick slapped his head toward Skip like a rabbit resurfacing with hopeless post traumatic stress from its last encounter with the same wolf, replacing his write- or- flight mechanism to an anticipated just plain fright- then- die. Skip, not missing a beat, paused for effect, then spoke as if addressing a confused, delinquent third grader.
"It was perfectly correct usage."
"Of course it was correct usage! I'm an editor, not an idiot!"
Skip instinctively opened his mouth for some sort of sarcastic jab involving the relationship between the two nouns, the after- the- fact hypocrisy of Mr. Flick calling his comment rhetorical when he had intensely feared it, the award-unworthy blandness of his uncreative last statement, and the ironic stupidity of having uttered a nicely rhythmically alliterated sentence without having crafted or likely even noticed it. However, just as Skip was about to speak, he noticed the slight smigen of predatory starvation in Mr. Flick's otherwise expertly cloaked sigh of boredom with whole issue. Gilded with an impressive fraudulant glare of yearning to move on with the conversation, the illusion was so successful that Skip himself sighed in the way one yawns when they see someone else do so, and genuinely lost energy for the debate, in light of Mr. Flick's obsessive stamina. Accepting the consolation prize of coming out the clever one in the argument sans recognition, Skip simply threw out something bland and easy for Mr. Flick to chew on however he liked. "Perhaps the two are iso--"
"Ha! Ha! No they aren't! You mean 'synonymous', not 'isomorphic'! 'Isormorphic' would imply some common structure or set of attributes that each word reflects, whereas you just mean they're basically the same! Although... I suppose if you suppose that each word is an angle on an isolated base concept rather than on each other, i.e., that, uh, each is its own equally weighted angle on the base thing and that hence the thing template they sort of, you know, reflect, or, reflects, the, uh... the-- the..whatever it is the poem was about!" Mr. Flick audibly cursed. He'd clearly intended to plagiarize an obscure Hitchhiker's reference without notice, then realized he at least should have altered a word or two so it wasn't immediately recognizable to anyone who'd even flipped through the book and caught the sentence. Skip, realizing the reference was the first external infringement since he'd popped into the place (and hence was an especially criminal one), offered Mr. Flick an empathic smile of mixed congratulations and sympathy. He put it away when he realized he may have been letting traces of vindication bleed through.
"If I may..." interrupted Squash.
A sudden, scary, terrifying, petrifying, horrific, horrid, dramatic melodramatic crash of thunder and lightning sounded and flashed all around them now, for 2 reasons. 1, it was mad that it was just about completely and entirely misplaced, given that in a different draft of this scene, this is where Squash's name is given for the very first time, being unnamed all the way up until now, requiring an environmental anomaly so strong that it has now stuck around even after the scene was revised not to need it. 2, to console Mr. Flick that his Hitchhiker's quote slip would not be the sole reason the scene is currently being brought into court on charges of copyright infringement, since the co-timing of a storm with dialogue is clearly ripped off from the Matrix (and whatever movies the Matrix ripped it off from), although ironically in this case there isn't actually much co-timing going on at all because the storm crash was only there/here/etc to serve the purpose of a previous draft anyway. Naturally, the storm dramatics now resolved to withdrawing from the foreground, backpetaling to where they belonged: an ominous rumble in the distance eager to strike suddenly without warning as soon as the plot gives an opening.
"Perhaps it would be best to get off formulated sitcom nitpicking once and for all and get straight to the point."
"And what would that be, exactly?" replied Skip as if being told by a kitchen burglar to take his hand out of the cookie jar and go do his homework.
"I don't want to bother with 'exactly' so I'll tell you in *general*... No, wait, I'm sorry, I'm doing it myself, now. Alright, to the point. The point, the point..." Squash was concentrating as if regretting agreeing to speak at a seminar on improvisation in the hopes the pressure would jump start something to say about the artform. "Alright, well-- hold on, give me a sec."
"Well... that's all, folks!"
It was the most ridiculous and incompetent strategy to date to fade the scene to black and leave any hovering freers with the abysmal dissatisfaction of reading an encyclopedia-length brick that not only hadn't been explained clearly, but had contained nothing worth explaining, nor even explainable. It was a good general lesson in how to purposely shatter the promise made by the length of a run-on scene that at least the punch line would be worth the wait. It was a tragedy so thrust and frustrating on and to the freer that it intrinsically received a number of honorable mentions by god himself.
...The scene went on.
"It never works," Squash sighed, then glanced around the room again to see if anyone out there thought the phrase 'It never works' would make a good enough ending to humor his ongoing goal to bring the scene to a sudden death. When nothing vanished, he sighed again for the same reason, then got dizzy from the paradox that he would have to sigh an infinite number of times just to see if the cumulative effect was appealing to anyone who had the power to end the scene. He shook the confusion off, composed himself, and seemed genuinely ready to continue. His only remaining frustration was how the hell to competently relay what he had to contribute. Squash glanced around the room like an outpatient psychologist who'd been in session with a weekly therapy group for Wars Trek fans unable to distinguish real life from science fiction, but was summoned to into an entry-level philosophy paper analyzing the themes of a fictional book on bad console RPGs and trading card games, still unsure of why or how it had happened. He decided to smile regally as if the entire vifa oblivion around them was his personal kingdom, then smiled that there would never be a better way to obliterate all literary worth of his writing than to break from the best possible moment to vindicate it in order to blatantly slap all his main theses upside everyone's heads rather than via proper literary demonstration.
"This is what all this is about!" he began, and gestured around them, foreshadowing intention to accelerate his wimpy announcement toward some sort of meaningful justification of the last dozen millennia of all their lives."
"This place..." Squash already stopped as he realized he was spreading his arms outward in a way that further too resembled a scene in one of the handful of external frwoas aluded to since Skip was plucked and plopped. After a quick debate, he continued to gesture in the same way, either figuring the infringement didn't matter for some reason or was pardonable under Fair Use law, which Mr. Flick, the distant thunder, Squash, and a previous and upcoming narration surrounding the scene, had already well invoked (or would soon, in the case of the latter).
"..is..err, that is to say..." Squash paused again and fully gave in to his urge for the introductory Morpheus/Neo explanation parody, damaging the scene's originality further if only because he knew his declaration would have to be preceded by a comment explaining where the hell the stupid phrase he was about to say came from. (Giving credit where credit is due always strengthens the defense of an infringement lawsuit.)
"Welcome to the Wildcard!"
A crash of thunder refused to sound.
"The Wildcard! This is a place that echews tangible description and any attempt to corporealize or even relay its utter uneschewable indescribeableness! It can't be described, or summed up, or elaborated on in detail, not even by pointing out it's almost exactly like Inception's limbo, where you go if you take enough Melotonin to drop you into a coma. The only way to understand it is to experience it for yourself."
Skip rolled his eyes. "But I'm here. I've experienced it. I've described it. And I still don't have a clue where I am."
"Yes, well, err.." Some part of Squash's plan had been faulty. He sighed as if surrendering in defeat his life-long battle of circling around the point."
"You see.." Squash paused to decide if his upcoming explanation infringed any of the plethora it did enough to stand out from the others and be legally questionable. "...I had an idea for a nonlinear story. Or rather, a storytelling medium through which nonlinear stories could be told. Where I'm from, our stories are told from beginning to end, always beginning to end..." Squash gave a sigh as if remembering the short film on muffinfilms.com in which a boy wanted a muffin but could never have one, even when it rained muffins outside his window. "Well, except for Choose Your Own Adventure.. And perhaps a whole bunch of other things I'm forgetting... or don't know about... And of course every nonlinear video game where you can progress on any of zillions of permutations of story paths, assuming the video game itself can be considered a work of art... And even some of the earlier home console systems could be said to have a couple nonlinear games... Even Pacman... Yes, nonlinearity probably started with Pacman. He could progress in many directions and wasn't on a set path, sort of the whole point of playing a game, for that matter. On that note, I suppose Pong was the first radical nonlinear artwork, as you had up and down to choose between, and weren't limited to a single course of action. Yes, nonlinearity began with Pong. Although, I suppose even..." Squash trailed off into a mesh of allusions that seemed to last forever. Or at least extremely indefinitely.
"...Anyway, aside from those examples, I wanted to create a great, first great nonlinear 'fractal work of art', which I condensed to 'frwoa' by sampling a few of the letters to make a new word. It sounds quite easy, but I put quite a bit of time intro contriving credibility to claim it was an involved phonetic process, so don't take the achievement lightly."
"Wait," Skip interrupted.
"You said 'great' twice, right in a row, to modify the same noun. It was unnecessary."
"No. The first time I meant 'great' in the sense of 'Wow, that's a great slice of kiwi pie!' while the second instance I meant 'great' in the sense of 'mighty, vast, and timeless'. I was implying differing usages by purposefully parodying poor verbal repetition." Squash looked either polite as if correcting a predictable 3rd grader, or annoyed at being interrupted by someone who should have figured out by now that they couldn't possibly have any skills he didn't.
Skip frowned. It seemed an obvious answer and there didn't seem to be much room for argument. Squash seemed strangely resistant to his second-nature nitpickng, and he was beginning to worry about this whole 4th-wall breaking principle. Suddenly, for asbolutely no relevent or non non sequitur reason anyone anywhere could pinpoint or even guess at, Skip's train of thought was interrupted by some cheesy nonlocalized elevator music.
"What's that?" asked Skip.
"Oh, that's just Yanni."
" 'Yanni'?" asked Mr. Flick.
"Yeah, I know. It just plays once in awhile. Not quite sure why. I bought a Yanni CD by accident once, maybe that has something to do with it." The music loudened at this, and by the twitch of lessening of annoyance on Squash's face, Skip suspected he must have bought the CD quite on purpose. Not that it mattered a damn bit; it did nothing to solve the fact that they were all in this strange descriptionless limbo place getting ridiculously more horribly not fleshed out by the eon.
As suddenly as anything else had happened, a professional-looking clipboard dropped into the air in front of Squash, who gave it an effortless, instinctive snatch. He began running his finger downward on each page, flipping them over as he went. The volume of his voice rose from inaudible, to indecipherable, to all-out exhasperated. "Fngsbl...frangbetur.. Frangles Fresko... Frangles Mobile... Frangles Mobile!?" Squash dropped the clipboard in surprise, which vanished, assuming it had finished its part in the scene. "They can't possibly already be up to Frangles Mobile. They started 13.274 just last.. erm.." Squash seemed to be placing his finger on a short period of time in the ballpark of something that could be placed after the phrase "just last". "Week? Month?... Year! It was just last year I started fleshing out this place." Squash looked all around as for a clock that would of course be no good at confirming the level of unit that his issue lay on, but whether he found one or not or had just used the time to do a few mental calculations, no one anywhere in all the histories of all the Okuaka galaxies of all the run on taglines not to be understood by freers not comprehending the true vastness of Frangles and friends and so on, would ever know (nor was it an important piece of information either way). "Yes! A year! Dear Yanni, We've been stuck here for over a year!
"Yes! Dear Yanni! We've really, actually been here for over a year. Or at least one of us, anyway. Would that be me? Or you, Mr. Flick? I don't suppose it was Skip, unless being the newest to join us is the equivalent of being the oldest, factoring the idea of infinity bending backwards on itself and ending up where it began, and that being the oldest and first to join a group is vaugely arguably impossible because you can join anybody if you're the first of your group. Whoever it was -- if it was anyone -- why the hell did they put up a Mobile version of Frangles before we even wrapped up here? It's not going to make any sense! I was supposed to explain all of Frangles this very brick. Who the hell wants to read a portable version of total unexplained !@#$. Did we really ramble nonsensically for that long? Wait, where the hell are my ADHD medications? Do you guys want some? Where's my motorcycle...?" Squash began looking all around him despite there being absolutely nothing that could possibly be holding up a bottle of anything at all, let alone a motorcycle. His attention whipped back to the issue at hand just as suddenly as if it was a perfect distraction from his impossible main task of finding a motorcycle that didn't appear to exist. "Alright, let's wrap my motor--err, let's wrap all this up!"
Squash looked deeply upward as if toward the core of heaven, or a really really really long column of text, whatever the relation between the two (if any). Then he slowly nodded downward as if a claustrophobic pyro afraid of heights pressed for time stuck in a slowly exploding elevator shaft. Skip got the vicious, unarguable impression that the story was about to begin going on for a long, long, long time: at the least, indefinitely, and at the worst, forever (or worse). The whole room or building or field or limbo or wherever the hell they were seemed to sense the danger, and being still not too fleshed out, decided it had the skill, means, and whim to do something about the whole ordeal. It flushed and twirled and uber-hurled; it span and swam and flashed and thrashed. It did lots of general and vague things, and things to do with those things, then things just about but not quite vague as those things, and then did things just a bit less vague than those things, then accelerated its rate of un-vagueness until its occupants were sure it was about to start becoming something fully and entirely mundane, particular, tangible, corporeal, and most importantly, describable.
"Shit. Shitshitshitshit. It's here," Squash announced with hell-cold terror.
"What is?" asked Skip. Mr. Flick dropped his head in an ambiguous emotion that may or may not have resembled disdain at being caught in a tragic scene in a book he'd ordered the main character killed off in just to up sales, when the fans were anticipating another 3 books in the series. His words held a weight that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere, almsot a rhetorical thought all around that a publishing agent just happened to be particularly verbalizing.
"The end of the scene."
Lighting and thunder crackled and smashed and surged in a cliche way that violated uncountable copyrighted frwoas, the sheer extent to which it was violating them its only originality. It was so horrible that it seemed to strike and burn and obliterate the very definition of creativity -- the mixing of little itty pieces of established ideas and artworks into multi-bit rehashes until no licensing scout could possibly chop it up and contact every single holder that the new work violates -- and announce with the vehement voice of god that nothing new can ever possibly be spoken, done, or written. Especially now. It left them with the aftertaste that it was quite possible it would strike again, even giving that a second sounding would most certainly infringe upon the strength of the first and hence fry the only original thing that it currently had going for it.
"Quick. Skip. There's still time!--"
To humor this proposition, Skip happily procrastinated trying to determine or inquire whether Squash was referring to a particular amount of time, or the very idea of time itself, as the storm crash easily could have obliterated the concept of time if it had even been in the area to begin with.
"..The scene since you arrived has had just enough literary value to pass as a bad draft of a coherent artwork as opposed to total monkey-typed jibberish. That's just enough to pass it off as a part of a larger crafted work brilliantly utilizing bad writing as a 4th-wall breaking medium- surpassing technique, leap-frogging our situation to intrude up into the reader's reading a story about us, that should jump start a momentum toward a whole purposeful plethora of similar--"
"It's not working!" Mr. Flick argued arguably melodramatically over the increasing sort-of ominously loud storm sounds, but Squash continued on.
"What's not?" asked Skip curiously at a perfectly mundane, normal volume. Mr. Flick continued yelling to drive in that only one of them them could be in outright violation of the setting's established decor, and it certainly wasn't the publishing agent who by profession was intrinsically more capable of analyzing setting than a subjective writer prone to mistakes and poor drafting.
"He's trying to create a frwoa drop-in point by alluding to some of our dialogue a bit before you got in, so the scene will start then instead of when you got here. He's hoping the plagiarization of his previous dialogue will create a roundabout effect where the end of a story gets back to the beginning and everything in between comes together! That's why we can't hear him, because the freer who's been with us that long already knows what he's relaying, like a point in a story where a main character has to be filled in by telling them a whole bunch of crap that they weren't involved in due to bad scripting, and the scene cuts to a future point and its assumed the story was told in full! It's an ingenius plan, except I don't know how the hell it could possibly help us!"
"Well is it working?"
"No! I told you! I think he chose a bad drop in line. It might have worked if he'd chosen the line, 'A story has to start somewhere, wrote Skip'. It was a tolerable opening even if nothing that followed made any literary sense."
Skip replied instinctively calmly and politely as if satisfied with his new job of gradeschool English teacher on a rainy day. "The line could use some revision. Firstly, 'has to' should be condensed to 'must'. There's no functional difference in this case, and brevity -- especially with key taglines harboing in a microcosm some key aspect of the themes in question -- is always a good idea. Even if...' "
Skip continued into rhetorical nitpick mumbo-jumbo, which seemed so pointless as to minimize him from the scene, just as Squash had been when recounting things pointless for the freer to listen to in detail. Mr. Flick suddenly looked fearful, as if his acquaintances had been non sequiturly shot down by a Marine action-star who'd run into the wrong frwoa by mistake and had the responsibility of main protagonist accidentally assigned to him by inspiration- needy writers. He scrambled to think of the exact first line of The Road Not Taken, figuring anything was better than standing there doing nothing, but was saved when Squash confused everyone by concluding with something shocking, revealing he must have trailed into something new and important between his original plagiarism and the last line ever spoken between the end of this paragraph and the end of Squash's--
"What the hell are you doing?" barked Mr. Flick.
Skip stood confused for a moment, then realized he had instintively begun narrating aloud somewhere between the start of his nitpick and his momentary confusion just before his realization the moment before that he'd been narrating aloud, sans a better recursive paradox to justify the irony of the previous words.
"That's horrible!" Mr. Flick yelled.
Skip realized he'd still been doing it. That Mr. Flick chose to correct him on the literary value of his narration while the universe was arguably ending rather than use the time for something more productive said a very worthy deal about an editor's dedication to Q.A. Mr. Flick violated the scene's haste by giving a hefty philanthropic sigh of resolvement to tolerate the poor grammar and value of Skip's narration, which was partly inspired by the fact that Skip narrated him doing so before the fact, given Skip was, of course, still playing narrator.
"--It will have to be an enormous work to justify such a long period of literary rubbish, but I have the highest faith in you!" Squash had suddenly barged out of nowhere back into the scene's spotlight. He had either concluded with something shocking, revealing he must have trailed into something important between his original plagiarism and the last line ever spoken between now and Skip's foreshadowing this would happen, or had just lost creativity and taken Skip's suggestion out of lack of any more productive way to continue.
"The latter, I admit!" Squash yelled over the increasingly further undescribed and undeveloped storm-esque something-or-other still basically doing what it had been doing since the last point where it had been described with any coherency. Skip gave up at concentrating on not narrating his way into the leap-frogging minds of the freers, and into anywhere generally dangerous or demented.
Skip blinked confused for a moment, then realized he hadn't processed the meaning of Squash's statement. Squash had cruelly shoved some type of task on him. While he wasn't likely to appeased, and while it wasn't likely to be anything but the standard task anyone ever dumped onto Skip -- to write something mind-bafflingly great that would change all of Flutonia for better or worse -- there was a chance it would help more than hurt to have the task clarified.
"Sorry, Squash, I didn't hear you. I thought you were implying that I'm the one who should patch up the poor continuity and general lousy literary value of our time together."
"No, you heard me right! That's it exactly!..."
Mr. Flick sighed as if the only publishing agent in the world with the task of dealing with this type of incompetence. Not just from one writer, but from two. He took a silent morbid moment to dwell on his unfortunate circumstances, but even that was enough to miss enough of Squash's rant of writing pointers to Skip to have it hard to deduce its beginning (or relevance).
"...remember, when writing nonlinearly or dealing with the construction of nonlinear art in general, at no point do you have to plan ahead or have any sort of conception for a coherent work. All you need do is write redundantly enough so that all your modules have many things in common with many others and hence appear to be connected in some way. Then your reader will be convinced that the entire haphazard junkyard of bulsh makes a full, crafted, ingenious sense too far over their heads to understand outside of multiple freeings. Given the impossible mission of reestablishing an intelligence they were never missing to begin with, they'll simply "realize" via placebo why each story flow makes perfect sustenant sense. Then they'll wonder what it was they'd been eating that caused the mental gas and brain farts of why they didn't see the obvious to begin with.
"Also keep in mind that the less sense your story makes, the more you have to be brilliant wrapping it up at the end to explain why the freer was being the uninteligent one and why they have to go back and read the whole thing multiple times. So while your writing can be incoherent and unstructured, it should at least make a certain amount of sense to one extent or another as it progresses. Otherwise, you risk creating a static black hole anomaly the last few mots before your work is due. There isn't much escaping one of those. I've perished in several and have had to be re-written from scratch multiple times.
"When you throw in plot twists, sometimes a cliche twist can be useful, such as revealing you're Dylan Thomas's deceased father, or that your protagonist played all 8 mascots in the cricket league that caught the killer. Such epiphanies are great for conclusive-esque lines, such as, "Mrs. Milkman was her own milkwoman!", or, "So concludes attention- challenged Jimmy's writing assignment for English... his least favorite subject!!" Or, even easier, conclude with something so cliche, absurd or recursive it can be seen as nothing below brilliant. Like, "Skip was just his own hallucination after all!" or "Everyone at Starbooks was a discarded Frangles action figure so traumatized with defamation parody that--"
"Wait, what's 'Frangles'?"
An unspeakably deathly shadow appeared and foreshadowed the demise of local space-time. Mr. Flick flicked his head at a flicker of a threat to swallow all existence in a medium- frwoa- static- whatever- confusion- something- or- other that boomed from everywhere and nowhere. It would only be slight consolation that the nauseatingly cute alliteration of the phrase "Mr. Flick flicked his head at a flicker" would perish as well retroactively.
"Uh. Sorry. Froggles. Froggles! It's supposed to be Froggles here! I absolutely should not have said Frangles. In fact, I didn't! I said Froggles! You must have misheard at the exact moment I started hallucinating that I had something to correct myself on, because I definitely said Frangles! Er, Froggles! I said Froggles!"
The undescribable chaos slash nightmare slash raging storm slash whatever did not seem to buy this explanation. If anything, the almost certain deception augmented it. The new-forming pockets and whirls of temporal static and anti-time ripped off from the last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation gave a hint that Squash's slip may have been the sole catylist of the entire raging storm: a phenomenon so strange and bizarre that it had began to foreshadow itself beforehand to gain destructive momentum.
Squash muttered an infathomable slew of rancid real life swears vastly surpassing the usual Froggles curse limit in the area of 3 or 4 special keyboard characters denoting an explicative. "Frangles is what we friters have to write in real life. Internally, we were going to incorporate a fictional Frangles microcosm called Froggles, so I shouldn't have said Frangles given even thinking of doing so would cause the exact type of entity that's coincidentally about to envelop us! It's like when matter and anti-matter collide, and-- wait, you're not supposed to know about science, either. Forget I said matter, I said fratter!"
The chaos-anomaly slammed and boomed.
"No, no, not fratter, I mean frogger! No wait, Frogger's an Atari vi--"
The ground shook and shattered and broke with Earthquake magnitude.
"Not that there's any such thing as video games, because there isn't! Especially not in the first age of the known universe Okuaka, which I'm not sure I'm supposed to be mentioning, either, even though we're probably in the dead center of it. Gods of Florbb, why don't I just shut up for once and--no no, wait, I can't say 'Gods of Florbb', the term's derived from the 4th Age, and you're definitely not supposed to know about that either. In fact I probably shouldn't even be cluing you in that Okuaka becomes a physical entity of corporeal matter whatsoever... Yes, you're definitely, definitely not supposed to know about Florbb. That's even worse than knowing about Frangles. Sorry, Frogger. No! Now I'm even overkeywording, too! !@#$!@#$!@ spider bots.. Google's algorithms get more defensive of my evil SEO every--"
Mr. Flick gave a deep frown (quite calmly given the setting) at that he hadn't said a word in quite awhile. It signified his worry that he was dissolving into irreleventness faster than Skip or Squash, and that the scene considered him the least important character and hence the best to off first. He considered pondering the types of irony involved in a literary agent being ejected from a setting before its writer, the latter being the less likely one to objectively critique it. Of course, perhaps that's why he was being minimized; because he was too much of a threat. He considered asking Skip's opinion, but Squash was continuing to effortlessly dig them all deeper into the fatal scenario, and Mr. Flick figured any interruption could make things worse. It wasn't a decision he long struggled with, since the storm-thing beat him to it with an especially big crash of thunder, foreshadowing its hideous metamorphosis into something approaching resolution.
Penultimately and semifinally, and probably to mock (or better, break up) the absolute beyond- fourthwalse absurdity growing out of control for quite awhile, the storm thing abandoned it's monotonous chain of growth spurts, and skipped right into a raging climax. A real one. Or perhaps it had already been there for awhile and no one had noticed. In any case, it was there now, and what it did now was beyond comprehension, or at least description: it began doing things that were entirely outside of the ballpark of being able to be described. They may have been good things or bad things, or pleasant things or ghastly things, but because of the undescribeableness, it was impossible to tell unless you were there. (Given its pattern to date, however, bad and ghatly seemed more likely.)
"Stop it! Stop!" Squash commanded, but it only made things worse and less describable. "Skip! There's one more thing I have to tell you. It's crucial to your survival, and Flutonia's, and all of everything everywhere's! And, well, you know the general level of scope and importance I'm talking about!"
Skip yawned as if a real life dragon at miniature fantasy figures questing to save their villiage being controlled by a clique of jocks unfamiliar with the basics of siff RPGs. Skip blinked a bit at Squash, awarding him the fortune that Skip was bored enough to at least pay attention out of whimsical curiosity. FYI, this attitude hadn't budged in quite awhile, especially because, like Mr. Flick, Squash and the storm had apparently minimized Skip from the scene. Perhaps the entire thing was simply a fiction-infected manifestation of Squash's real life ego, Skip thought, although the mere several blinks to ponder it was enough to miss a surreally nontrivial amount of information that Squash had started throwing at him. Skip tried to induce an origin of the rant, but it was difficult, given the annoying setting discontinuity between Squash's manic terror, Mr. Flicks' unimportant dwelling, and his own lazy, drowsy dragon demeanor.
"..when you get to level 7, you have to recharge your hit points before you reach the first save point, otherwise a bizarre run-time error occurs that we're still trying to figure out. There's a hidden shotgun on the far wall of the save point room, but you'll need the yellow keycard before you--"
The whole semi-existent phenomena graduated from the penultimate to the omega. It crashed one final absolute smash of corporeality upon its characters, and then, shockingly and surreally, it began to dissipate, and with it, its own incorporeality. It took an indescribable magnitude of time to flee, but at least it happened. Finally -- really really actually finally and for good -- a mundane, coherent, actual setting and set of themes and characters was suddenly upon them; or at least one of them... No one was quite sure which of them if any survived or continued, because it had been viperously unclear all along which of them was the protagonist and whose point of view the story was being told from.
The new setting was the last local thing to ever come into existence (at least for a good while), and when it did, someone-or-other's last thought of the mot was that the upcoming scene might have been a better one if the chaos preceding its beginning had more thoroughly convinced itself that nothing else need be written, given that re-reading their time together over and over for all eternity would probably serve the same purpose as reading endless other senseless literary crap trying to explain it. Reading Mr. Flick's, Skip's, and Squash's scene again and again akin to Chinese water torture would probably suffice as vindication of its value via the only relevant fractal nonlinear saga ever written between after the end of the scene and the dawn of Frangles' sole mandate to justify the literary rubbish now and then forever known as A Story That Skip Now Began...
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