Spread the word!
Nick Carroway is no longer so great and Ishamel is sunk. Forget the guys who claim to tell a truthful tale yet never mention that they do not exist anywhere but in books. For I, Renfield Stoker-Belle, am a made up person who knows she is a Fictional Character (FC)–and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My awesomenistic self awareness sets me apart from other FC’s–and, for that matter, from most flesh and blood members of the so-called “human race” ( a competition which seems to be as fixed an event as there ever was–Right?) “Real” people (or those persons who operate under that assumption) usually get both pretty snotty and oh-so-on-the-high about what sets them apart from FC’s. They claim to have something called “Free Will.” Maaan, I call bullfeathers on Free Will. How do you know you aren’t written to think that way? Can you prove that someone hasn’t pulled you out of her butt? And maybe this person has arranged it that you have a fixation on a certain word that at no time do you use properly. Could be that there’s more awesomenicity in heaven and hell (two other things that some of you guys might be written to believe in) than what’s dreamt in your philosophy–Right?
With all that said, I dare you to wrap your minds around this: I, Renfield Stoker-Belle, a self- aware Fictional Character, have written a Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical; I call it The Authoress and the Candlehuff, in which I get to do to my so-called creator, Leila Allison, what she has been doing to me for years.
It’s like this: I, Renfield, am an FC who was created by a pen name, Leila Allison. For the past five years or so Allison has pretty much peed in my Cheerios on a regular basis. I’ve been the butt of puerile jokes, the target of sub-moronic jests, and have been painted to come off to the readership as a congenial doofus-trendoid-chick who has the morals of a Swedish meatball. Fortunately for me, however, Allison foolishly endowed me with a fictional version of Free Will. Even when she isn’t writing me, I still am, which, naturally, means that I think (whaddaya make of that, DeCartes?). Maaan, the stuff I think about. Vengeance, mainly, trends pretty steady in my mind. And at long last I discovered a way to turn the table on the Feeble Fable, so to speak. I wrote one of my own in which Allison is the butt of puerile jokes, the target of sub-moronic jests and will definitely come off to the readership as a doofus-trendoid chick with the morals of a Swedish meatball. Could I be more awesomenistic?
Of course I had some difficulty securing permission to submit this work of art. When Leila first got a gander at it an expression commensurate with her reaction to a pay tampon dispenser crossed her face. Fortunately for me scorn isn’t the only color in her emotional palette. All I had to do was wait for “the sun to pass over the yardarm” (which, I guess, means something like “It’s five o’clock somewhere”) ) and then re-approach her at the point where her personality is amenable to new ideas (this usually happens when she gets too amenable to drive). Upon gaining a sloshy “Yesh” I didn’t stick around for any second thoughts (or for any first thoughts, for that matter) to kick in.
Now I lift the veil and prove that your Free Will is good for something after all. It has brought you to me–Right?
The Authoress and the Candlehuff
The morning sun oozed through a gap in the blackout curtains. Outside the bedroom window, the day was alive with the cheerful tootlings of the songbirds. Although she can sleep through the screams of Hell, Leila Allison always awakens instantly to the cheerful tootlings of the songbirds. Leila is suspicious of all forms of cheerfulness uncaused by intoxication. She believes that the goddam song birds are always plotting against her.
Leila never awakens “well.” She’s an aggressive sleeper who punches, throws and yanks on her mattress, pillows and bedsheets throughout the night. She is a vivid dreamer who routinely goes to war against subconscious legions of hoodoos and haints on a nightly basis.
On any morning it’s difficult to distinguish Leila from a corpse for the first twenty seconds or so that pass after her exit from the weird dream-scape of her own invention. She resembles what a Picasso person might look like if she were torn to little pieces then thrown into the wind. “An amorphous tangle” is another way to describe the lady. The only consistency here is found in the fact that no matter how “strewn” her pieces are, she always comes to lying face down in bed. Moreover, her first action on any given morning is to blindly reach out (with a hand where a foot should be) to the nightstand for her cigarettes and matches (she doesn’t trust lighters; she considers sulphur sticks “natural”).
No, Leila Allison doesn’t awaken as winsome and fresh as Snow White. And she ain’t attended by bunnies or fawns or freaking chipmunks or cheerful tootling songbirds who regale her with their music as they tie a necklace of wildflowers around her neck, either. She does manage to gather herself into a seated position on the bed, by and by, after extricating herself from the covers. She just sits there and holds her smokes and matches, occasionally spitting wild strands of her hair off her tongue,her profile nothing but a nose and chin protruding from the fall of her dark hair, which she won’t toss back as to allow that first unwanted look at the day until she has steeled her nerves with her first cigarette.
This daily pattern repeated itself just last week, right on up to the lighting of the cigarette step.
Just prior to striking her first match she muttered something to her two cats, who were both still asleep atop her desk.
“I need you guys to do something about those noisy-assed birds. Tell ‘em you’ll ‘sanction them with extreme prejudice’ unless they shut the hell up. I’m pretty sure that they won’t call your bluff…they’re, ya’ know, like, birdbrains–Right? Just birdbrains. Lil’ buzzards probably believe in true love. Bunch of humming turkeys.”
Neither cat heeded Leila. She sighed, struck a match and lit her smoke. At least that’s what she tried to do. The match went out the second Leila lifted it to her cigarette. This happened again, thrice and some more.
“For the love of hell and all that’s mildewed,” Leila said. “The goddam Candlehuff is back. I ain’t in the mood for your Smokey the Bearshit.”
No other person at any fictional kingdom in the universe has a reason to immediately jump to “Candlehuff” as the cause of snuffed matches. But that’s the way it goes over here in the land of Pen-names, Imaginary Friends and Fictional Characters. And the “Great Authoress” had only herself to blame for her troubles last week, for in a decree she issued while putting a sizeable dent in a fifth of Jameson, Leila insisted that all houses and abodes in “her realm” will house, at minimum, three different kinds of ghosts. Your awesomenistic author’s (me, not her) house is the portal through which these peculiar phantasms pass. And in a rare show of unselfishness for someone who is most definitely not a socialist, Leila took in a Tintintinabulator (aka, “Bellghost”), a Shadowghost and the Candlehuff. These guys can appear only one at a time, for ghosts of all kinds are highly territorial and do not play well with others from the less popular side of the grave.
Leila is, frankly, short and wears old fashioned nightshirts (which fall to her ankles) to bed. With her dark hair covering her face she resembles that creepy little girl from The Ring. Cursing herself for taking in the Candlehuff, she padded into the kitchen (followed by the ‘huff, as further snuffed matches proved) to light the cigarette off a gas burner on the stove (a fire staunching job much too large for even a legion of Candlehuffs to do anything about, let alone one). Leila felt very clever about this until the end of her stringy hair began to smoke.
“A little help here, please, a little help,” she said. “Please” is always the magic word. And the Candlehuff put out the fire, which, really, wasn’t much more than a tiny singe.
“Thank you very much,” Leila said contritely. “I guess you are good for something after all.”
Moral: ‘tis marginally better to blow than suck.
The Awesomenistic Afterword
Surprisingly, upon sobering up, Leila didn’t object to my Feeble Fable except for the moral. “That’s an awfully dirty moral, you wrote there, Renfield,” she said. “Why yes, it is,” I replied. “Thank you for noticing.”
She made as though she had more to add, but that’s when the Tintintanabulator began annoying the cats by ringing the bells on their collars. So, the moral to my Feeble Fable stands, or kneels, I suppose, depending on the situation.