Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Heather pretended to read but she was actually in the book, wandering around the paragraphs through various scenes in search of the pizza delivery boy mentioned briefly on page 37. Something was not right. The boy was just a little too polite, too much of a cliché. He'd dropped off his pizza, then vanished from the story altogether, but something about his stock nature was a cry for help. She felt that and had to find him! Heather slipped onto page 38 and cornered Sherrie Baxter, the lead character, a strong-willed twenty-something with long, auburn hair and an icy demeanor, and demanded information on his whereabouts. In a droll, emotionless voice Sherrie claimed ignorance. Heather knocked the pizza from Sherrie's hands and it would have turned violent, except Sherrie had no idea how to react, being firmly anchored in another plotline. She froze. The pizza fell cheese-side-down on the carpet, revealing a message on the flip side scrawled in charcoal: "Save us - Basement." Heather rushed through the house until she located the cellar door, stormed through, switched on the light and saw scores of characters huddled together at the base of the stairs. The delivery boy was there, too. When they realized she was a reader they cheered at having finally been freed. The author had plagiarized them from other books and kept them in hiding, waiting for an opportunity to pull them out and introduce them as his own.

Story #161

7 comments:

The Mushroom said...

There are no original ideas left in the universe, said the philosopher two thousand years ago (this without ever being exposed to a television situation comedy!). Those characters weren't stolen, they were just recycled because the author, albeit unoriginal, was earth-friendly.

How to tell it's a school: the camera may be semi-newish [EXIF data says it was shot Sept 26, 2003 with a Sunplus SPCA533 and edited with Google's Picasa], but the computer in the background is not -- a 1990's Macintosh Quadra with an ejectable tray CDROM, likely running OS 7.x or 8.1 because that's as far as the CPU could handle. Schools always have last decade's technology.

The Mushroom said...

There are no original ideas left in the universe, said the philosopher two thousand years ago (this without ever being exposed to a television situation comedy!). Those characters weren't stolen, they were just recycled because the author, albeit unoriginal, was earth-friendly.

How to tell it's a school: the camera may be semi-newish [EXIF data says it was shot Sept 26, 2003 with a Sunplus SPCA533 and edited with Google's Picasa], but the computer in the background is not -- a 1990's Macintosh Quadra with an ejectable tray CDROM, likely running OS 7.x or 8.1 because that's as far as the CPU could handle. Schools always have last decade's technology.

Indeterminacy said...

The Picasa thing probably results from my posting the photos via Picasa's Hello program. I think it does some resizing.

roachz said...

Hide me in your book!

Indeterminacy said...

Mushroom: My high school (late 70's) actually had a few good years money-wise, and upgraded the computer facilities from their IBM 360 to a Dec PDP 11. It was quite on the cutting edge. A paradise for geeks. They were still using that system (and the games I wrote for it!) in the early 90's when I went back for a visit.

Roachz: As a matter of fact I was looking for an appropriate bookmark for my Guillaume Apollinaire "The Wandering Jew and Other Stories" with illustrations remaniscent of Aubrey Beardsley. It seemed blasphemous to just use a scrap of paper. Or would you prefer to be engulfed in a volume of Luis Buñuel?

roachz said...

I don't have any Jew friends, so do hide me in the Wandering Jew book. Time to know more friends.

Sk8RN said...

What a fun post! This will go into the cellar of my brain that stores each of my favorites from your blog. ;-)