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A STORY HAS TO START SOMEWHERE, WROTE SKIP
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 27 issues with your opening paragraph alone. I don't even need to read any more to know that this whole thing is a useless incompetent heap of !@#$."
"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 did 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 four 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."
"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 someone... or something like that. Wow, my brain's like completely fried. Did I just use 'like' improperly? 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 fucking 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? And a 4-'w' alliteration to boot."
"Not bad, Squash, except it plagiarized my original joke. Maybe your protagonist can actually come up with something original."
"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 created him. He doesn't actually have to do anything we ask him, right, Skips?"
"Free will's a bitch, fellas."
"See? One of us has to appease him."
"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 details. 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?"
"--thffwuwuwahhagk! 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 still unnamed, 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..." began the ridiculously- still-unnamed third in the room somewhat awkwardly due to the absurd voyage of putting Skip in a room with his own creator, and hence the reader of the story of all those in the room, and due to uncountable other gross violations of common sense self-consistency and encapsulation.
At the name, a crash of contrivedly timed Matrix- esque thunder sounded all around to console Mr. Flick on his Hitchhiker's slip and eliviate the looming foreshadowing that he alone would have torpedoed the up- to- then- Fair- Use- lawyer- free potential of the scene.
"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 to take his hand out of the cookie jar and go do his homework by a kitchen burglar.
"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. "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 Star 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 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 you could even consider..." Squash trailed off into a trail 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 easy but it actually took me quite awhile."
"Wait," Skip interrupted.
"Oh, hrm? Yes."
"You said 'great' twice, right in a row, to modify the same noun. It was unnecessary."
"No. The second time I meant great as in 'mighty, vast and timeless', and the first time I meant great as in 'wow, now that's a great slice of cliche!' 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 couldn't possibly have any skills he didn't, given he couldn't have infused Skip with any abilities he didn't have; it was hard to tell.
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 stuff.
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 gay 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, and then all the way to exhasperated, in a very short period of time.
"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".
"Dear Yanni! We've been stuck in 13.274 for over a year! 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! Who the hell wants to read a portable version of total shit. Did we really ramble nonsensically for that long? Wait, where the hell are my ADHD medications? Do you guys want some? Where are they...?" Squash began looking all around him despite there being absolutely nothing that could possibly be holding up a bottle of anything at all.
"Week? Month?... Year! It was just last year I started fleshing out this place. Wait, that's can't be right. I already said that just last sentence. Or just last full one, anyway. That is' been a year can't be right either..." 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!"
The third was a question Squash ask that seemed to answer Skip's and Mr. Flick's both and bring up another issue himself.
"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.
" 'A year'?" asked Mr. Flick, continuing to ask clarification of Squash's terms to be misinterpreted as exhasperated rhetorical comments by Squash.
"Yeah, I know. Alright, let's wrap all this up!"
Squash looked slowly and deeply upward as if up toward the core of heaven or a really really really long column of text, whatever the relation between the two (if any). Then he looked even more slowly downward as if a claustrophobic pyro afraid of heights stuck in an elevator shaft on a cinamatographic flooded skyscraper by a world-event act of god. 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 whatever 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 ts 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," feared Squash.
"What is?" asked Skip. Mr. Flick dropped his head in an ambiguous motion 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 copyrights 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 a 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 a second sounding would most certainly infringe upon its first and give up 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.
"..The scene since you arrived has had just enough literary value to pass as a bad draft of a coherent artwork rather than complete 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 techniques, leap-frogging our situation to intrude up into the readers reading a story about us, that should jump start a momentum toward a whole purposeful plethora of similar things to come--"
"It's not working!" Mr. Flick argued arguably melodramatically over the increasing sort-of ominously loud storm sounds. Squash continuing his rant as if using the storm-stuff as a good excuse not to listen to a word of his publish's advice.
"What's not?" asked Skip vaguely curiously though at a perfectly mundane and hearable volume. Mr. Flick continued yelling as if only one of them was in outright violation of the setting's established decor, and it certainly wasn't the humble publishing agent written with the vice of ironic non-dynamic character due to being intrinsically perfectly flawless.
"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 great 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 a good 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 line even if nothing that followed it made any sense."
Skip replied instinctively calmly and politely as if satisfied with his new job of gradeschool English teacher teaching a rainy day and very willing to deal with the less intelligent writers of the class.
" 'Has to' should probably be condensed to 'must'. There's no functional difference, and brevity -- especially with key taglines harboing in a microcosm some key aspect of the themes in question -- is always a great--' " 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-satar who'd ran into the wrong frwoa by mistake and the responsibility of main protagonist was suddenly upon him by not even the plans of his scene's 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 a moment ago 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 rather than use the time for something more productive said a very worthy deal about the dedication of editors to the art of storytelling, or at least to their proper grammar and spelling.
Mr. Flick violated the scene's haste by giving a hefty resolved sigh to tolerate the poor grammar of Skip's narration not being in quotation marks of any kind, in favor of using his focus on more important things (partly due to the suggestion that he behave as such).
"--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 suddenly barged out of nowhere back into the core spotlight of the scene's ongoing climax. 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 the 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 so on and so on. 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 as all its freers may or may not have known its dawn to the final polar ending of the final unwritten novella of Zeroa -- there was a chance it would help rather 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 fix 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 in the world with the task of dealing with this type of incompetence. Not just from one writer, but from two. His ears snapped up. He'd missed a sentence or two as Squash was already dropping a manic rant of advice onto Skip in the short time they all had left to be in the scene together.
Remember, when writing nonlinearly or dealing with the construction of nonlinear frwoas in general, at no point do you have to all you need do is write redundantly enough so that all your have many things in common with many others and hence appear to be connected in some way, then convince your that the entire haphazard junkyard of bullshit makes a full, crafted, ingenious sense too far over their heads to understand without multiple readings. Given an impossible mission of reestablishing crippled reading level, they'll simply placebonate why each story flow makes perfect self-sustenant sense, and then mentally theorize what they ate that caused the mental gas responsible for their initial brain farts of why they didn't see the obvious to begin with.
Also remember 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 back and read the whole thing. When you throw in plot twists, sometimes a cliche twist can be useful, such as revealing you're deceased father, or that you played all 8 mascots in the cricket league that caught the killer. Such things are great for conclusive-esque lines, such as, "Harold Milkman was his own milkman!" or "So concludes attention- challenged Jimmy's writing assignment for English... his least favorite subject!
"Or even easier, conclude with something so absurd 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 abandonment that--"
"Wait, what's 'Frangles'?"
"That's what you have to write! Our scene's practically a nova long, and only a vast lifetime project can exlplain and justify intentionally throwing in that much rubbish."
"Yes, Frangles! Stop over keywording! SE bots are getting smarter all the--"
Probably to mock (or better, break up) the absolute beyond- 4th wall breaking absurdity of the moment, the storm thing or whatever caming to a raging sudden climax. A real one. Or perhaps it had been getting there for awhile and no one had been paying attention. \\ A real, actual setting and set of themes and characters was suddenly upon them; or at least one of them... No one was quite sure, as the narrative point of view hadn't quite tangibalized yet, possibly because it hadn't even yet been up to now. It was the last thing to come into existence. When it did, someone-or-other's last thought was that it might have been a better one if it had more thoroughly convinced itself than Frangles need not be written given that re-reading their scene over and over endless times would probably serve the same purpose as vindicating its value with the only radical fractal nonlinear saga ever, ever mentioned between the start of the scene and the end of the only known universe anyone would ever now and then know forever as
A Story Must Start Somewhere.
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