Post by Akbar Le Grey on Jun 20, 2007 4:16:01 GMT -5
In an effort to make this a more public affair, entries should now be posted in this thread. The prizes for this contest include The Grim Grotto, signed by Lemony Snicket, and 1,000 posts to the runner-up. .
A contestant may submit one entry in each of the types of written material (fanfics, poetry, articles, reviews, etc.), or just one of whichever they like.
Good luck, happy writing, and remember to be punctilious!
Last Edit: Jun 24, 2007 16:08:49 GMT -5 by Hermedy
Post by Akbar Le Grey on Jun 20, 2007 4:19:58 GMT -5
I felt the impact more than I saw it.
Well, sure, I saw the first half of the fall, but then my glasses slipped off and the rest was nothing. I felt myself fall onto them and heard them crunch sickeningly. I heard Violet proclaim that they were ruined. You don't have to tell ME twice, I thought, picking up the wreckage. Although my eyes saw only a meaningless black blob, my hands could feel that they were ruined beyond repair.
I heard Charles, Violet, and the foreman bickering about the eye-shaped building my sisters and I had encountered earlier that day. We had all agreed that it was bad news, but from what I could hear, the adults were going to force me to go there, because I was "only a child," and in an adult's eyes, children should listen to what an adult has to say. Sunny held my hand and wimpered as we listened to the conversation.
"Charles, no! He can't go there!"
"He cannot safely do his job if he can't see."
"I'd be more than happy to accompany him."
I saw (if you could call it seeing) Violet run up to me, even if her dress was only a purple blur.
"Klaus, are you SURE that your glasses are broken?" she asked, solicitous about my safety as always.
"I'm sure," I said in dismay, holding the wreck in her general direction. "I really do think I should -"
Before I could say anything more, I was grabbed roughly and was being led outdoors, through the wooden gate, and onto the relatively calm streets.
I of course couldn't see what was going on, but I could hear an occasional car and the rhythmic pounding of feet on pavement, and soon enough, on wood as I was led up a set of stairs. I saw nothing but a large, greenish circle with a black door in the center and a sign that hung over it, proclaiming nothing but scribbles, like some sort of alien language. The door was opened, and I was roughly pushed inside.
I noticed that I was in what appeared to be a small waiting room, from what my vision could make of the myriad colors that swam in front of my eyes. I went up to what I thought was the reception desk, signed my name on what appeared to be a sign-in sheet, and walked to what seemed to be a chair with red cushions.
After a few minutes, I heard someone come in from my left and take my hand.
"Dear me," the female (for she obviously was, from the sound of her voice) asked, "What ever is the matter?
I relayed my story about the fall and showed her the broken glasses.
"Oh, how terrible," She said sympathetically. One really annoying thing about being an orphan is that people are always trying to help you, even if you are fully capable of being able to do something yourself. You can try to explain, but they always attempt to help you out in one way or another, even if it's just to watch over your shoulder whilst you do it. And then, if you should accidentally hurt yourself, they make a huge fuss about it. "My name is Dr. Orwell, by the way."
"Pleased to meet you," I said, "What an interesting last name. You must get that a lot."
"Actually, no. You must be quite well-read for your age to know that."
"Yes, I am. I love to read, actually."
"It's always nice to see a young person so interested in literature. What is your name?"
"Klaus. Klaus Baudelaire."
She lead me into a small white room with only a single chair. She sat me in it and ran the regular tests for eye examination. My guess was that it had taken about an hour or two, but I assumed that it may have taken a little longer. There was a clock in the room, but I could not read its numbers until Dr. Orwell gave me a new pair of glasses to put on.
As soon as I did, I could tell that something was horribly wrong.
I had left around one o' clock. It was now four.
Alarmed by this, I counted out the moments from lunch at twelve-thirty until now. Our lunch break took about a half-hour, then we worked for about an hour until one, when my glasses broke and I was lead into the eye-shaped building. I had waited for about 10 minutes and then was lead here around one-thirty. That meant my treatment had taken almost three and a half hours, and of course a normal appointment for new glasses and a check-up didn't take nearly that long.
Then I noticed how unnaturally clean and empty the room was. It was plain white, as I had noticed earlier, and had no windows. But that wasn't the strange thing about it: The room had no optometry equipment, other than the eye-checking chart, no tables, no desks, nothing. Not even a chair for Dr. Orwell. Nothing at all except for the chair and the eye chart. I became extremely nervous and attempted to move my arms and legs, but to my horror, they had been strapped down. I glanced around in panic, wanting to escape as soon as possible.
"Please, don't struggle," the optometrist said. "It will all be over in a few minutes. Just calm down." As much as I wanted to rebel against her words, there was something oddly soothing about her voice, and I became a little calmer. That is, until I noticed Dr. Orwell remove some kind of pendulum from her pocket.
A sudden image from a fictional book I had once read flashed into my mind. In it, there was an orphaned girl who found out that she could hypnotize people, just by looking into their eyes. The book had mentioned the use of pendulums, but only briefly, and it was this image of Molly with a pendulum she had bought in the book that I saw. "You..." I could scarcely say the words. "You... You're going... t-t-to hypnotize me!"
"Oh dear, you've figured me out, haven't you?" The false optometrist didn't sound friendly anymore.
"But... why me?" Stupid thing to ask, I couldn't help thinking, She's an evil hypnotist. Does she NEED a reason? I felt the metal clamps around my arms tighten; felt the chair tilt back; felt something cold and metallic clamp around my head, restraining it.
"Because, Klaus," Dr. Orwell said, striding over to me, "You were foolish enough to not watch were you were going." I knew she meant my being tripped by the foreman, and I was about to offer an angry rebuttal, but thought better of it. This woman could, if she so chose, program my mind to harm my siblings - or myself. She could make me do anything that she wanted me to, and so it was better that I not make up some witty retort that she would most likely take into offense. "And," she replied, giving me an ominous look, "Because a close friend of mine asked me to."
I was about to ask what she meant when I heard a terrible, rough laugh from behind me, followed by Count Olaf's unmistakable tone of voice. "So we meet again, Klaus," he said, stepping around to the front in order to face me. "This time the tables have turned.You're in our house now. You've been fooled, child, and there's nothing that you can do about it."
I was too terrified about my current predicament to say anything as Olaf moved back and Orwell moved forward, pendulum in hand. "Dear boy, please do try to relax," she said in what was undoubtably meant to be a calm voice. "You're as stiff as a wooden plank. Then again," she swung around behind me, lowering the golden pendulum just inches from my face, "A hypnotist has the power to make even the toughest resistor melt like butter." She started the pendulum swinging, and soon there was nothing but me and that golden, eye-shaped charm, slowly moving back and forth. Right... left... right... left... I continued to watch, falling deeper and deeper into the trance. I attempted to fight the urge to close my eyes, using what little bit of consciousness I had left, but the attempt was futile. I could feel myself slowly tumble into darkness. "No..." I managed to say, and the last thing that I heard was Olaf laughing evilly and Orwell's sly, calm voice fade into echoey words as I slipped slowly into unconsciousness.
At this point, my associate who witnessed this event could not relate anything more, although she does remember being dragged into a small, windowless white room and a golden eye that seemed to be drifting back and forth. This story was told from Klaus' point of view to protect the agent from danger and to make it more interesting for you, the reader.
Post by Phoebonica on Jun 20, 2007 11:41:14 GMT -5
Kit is going to fall.
She can see it happening, as clear and vivid as a childhood memory. She watches her own body as it steps forward off this tiny ledge and plummets, skirts billowing around it. She sees her hair falling out of its loose knot and trailing behind her head like a comet’s tail. She hears the guests and the concierges screaming, running to the edges of the lobby as she smashes across the tiles. She wonders how much it would hurt.
“Are you ready?” Dewey asks.
Kit blinks, back on the ledge, the rope twisted round her hands. The skin around it, where it presses into her, is white. Her mouth has dried out and frozen, refuses to work, and she has to swallow three times before she works up enough moisture to speak. “I’m not sure about the harness,” she says.
“It might feel a bit awkward on you because of your hips, but I’ve checked it. It’s fine.” Dewey tugs on the cable connecting her to the wall. It holds, as it did the last time he did this and the time before that and the times that she tried it. “You see?”
“Are you sure you didn’t dislodge it, doing that?” A young girl with a flame-red helium balloon pauses beneath them, looking round at the crowds. Kit hopes she holds on to the string. If she lets go, it will float up into the centre of the roof and be trapped.
“That’s physically impossible,” Dewey says, in the slightly too calm way of someone explaining something he knows she already knows. “Pulling on it makes it tighter. Kit, if you’re not ready that’s fine. There’s no reason you need to be able to do this. I’ve been managing up here by myself for years.”
Kit shakes her head. “I need to…” she says, but the end of the sentence eludes her. She closes her eyes and breathes in, out, in again, out again, waiting for her limbs to stop trembling. They won’t. Gravity pulls at her, gently but unstoppably, waiting for its chance.
“I’m going to fall,” she breathes.
“I know it feels like you’re going to fall,” Dewey says, still as patient as half an hour ago when they first climbed up here, “but you really, honestly can’t. Trust me, I know how it is the first time, but you’re not going to -”
His hand is on her shoulder and Kit shrieks, twisting away, “Don’t touch me!” as the world spirals around her and her feet slip on the polished wood and she falls, down and down, screaming into the abyss – except not, because there’s a hand gripping her arm and an arm around her waist and Dewey is pulling her toward him, holding her firmly against his thin body as she shivers and moans.
“What’s wrong?” he asks, from far away, and Kit shakes her head, not knowing how to answer him. She can still feel his hand on her, the slim, bony fingers, the vicious strength in them as he pushed and sent her tumbling to her doom. Which never happened, never even started to happen, and would never happen because this is Dewey Denouement, who is kind and gentle and noble and who kissed her behind the filing cabinets in room 020 as if doing so were something rare and precious, something neither of them had ever done before. Maybe for him it really was the first time. She can’t bring herself to ask.
Trust me. She knows she can. She knows she ought to.
She ought to like the way she can feel all the bones in his wrists, and the way that his collarbone sticks out and the way that if he holds her from behind his chin can rest on the top of her head. It makes her feel enfolded. These things used to appeal to her, and to some part of her they still bring pleasure. But underneath the pleasure is fear. He doesn’t deserve that, but she can’t help it.
Trust me, Kit. Don’t you trust me? I thought you did. I thought you loved me. I thought you were different.
“Kit? Do you want to come down?”
She shakes her head. Her hair is falling down into her eyes, tears sticking it to her face. Dewey brushes it away. He’s so kind. He’s too kind to her, when all she can give him is suspicion.
“I can’t do this,” she tells him. “I’m sorry.”
“Why not?” He tilts her face up, to look at him. His hands are warm.
Kit looks away, burning with shame. “Because I don’t trust you.”
He doesn’t speak for a long time. Kit shuts her eyes again, not wanting to see him hurt. Too much of a coward to let herself see that. But it’s best if she ends this now, before they’ve gone too far together. They can come down, back to solid ground.
She feels his hand on the side of her head, turning her to face him again. Her eyes open, because she can give him that much at least, and he smiles.
“Of course you don’t,” he says, just as patient as before. “No one ever does on their first climb. I didn’t. But my teacher told me it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that whether you believe it or not, the ropes are in position, the knots are all secure, and I’m right here holding on to you.”
That’s not what I meant, Kit thinks, but she looks into his eyes, and he looks back, and she thinks that maybe he already knows what she means. She looks down at the ground, letting out a breath she’s only just realised she was holding.
It’s a long way down.
“You still don’t have to,” Dewey says. “If you don’t want to.”
Kit shakes her head, and renews her grip on the rope. “Yes, I do,” she says, and steps over the edge.
Post by Akbar Le Grey on Jun 20, 2007 13:03:18 GMT -5
persnickety raven's entries:-
(Imagine this song to the tune of Freakshow)
People walk just to get to your top, you're the penthouse People sigh that they want to dine in the penthouse You're full of flair and a bit of dare you're the penthouse People stare at the things in there, it's the penthouse
In people want to know what it is about you rooms that titilates them so In people stop and ask where she got this penthouse, and why didn't I ask?
Poor people look on you like some silly pastime for the rich people to do Poor people question how someone coughed up all this cash and used it on a house Poor people say har, har as a movie stage set you just might be a star, and soon...you are!
The Daily Punctilio All the news in fits of print
Murderer attempts to murder murderer! by Special Correspondent Geraldine Julienne
Today at the world renowned Heimlich Hospital, muder was almost commited! During the the cranieoectomy operation (which is to remove a person's skull) of Laura V. Bleediote in the hospital's surgical theatre, two horrible criminals managed to sneak in. Klyde and Susie Baudelaire, the murderers (along with their older sister Veronica) of the renowned actor Count Omar, who is not Count Olaf. The criminally minded orphans actually managed to diguise themselves as Nurses Tocuna and Flo, two respectable ladies who assisted Doctors Flacutono and Lucafont. They attempted to sabatoge the operation by spouting random facts about surgical knives (such as the bowie knife being invented by a Jerry Bowie) and nibbling on Ms. Bleediotie's neck. Until the real Nurse Tocuna and Nurse Flo, and another assistant doctor arrived. The murderers tried to lie about their identities, but the assistant doctor removed their face masks, revealing them to be Klyde and Susie Baudelaire! They also claimed that Ms. Bleediote was actually Veronica Baudelaire, and that Count Omar was using this surgery as an excuse to kill her, but this is utter nonsence, of course. Soon after, Hal, the keeper of the Library of Records at Heimlich Hospital, arrived and informed the audience that those three murderers has set fire to the Library of Records. Mattathias, the Head of Human Resources, advise everyone to evacuate the hospital soon, and a posse was formed to arrest those horrible children. Unfortunatley, Klyde brandished the surgical knife, and after it narrowly escaped the assistant doctor, they escaped on the hospital gurney. The fire they set completley immolated the hospital, and they escaped justice yet again. Their current whearabouts are unknown, though they were last seen in the direction of he Mortmain Mountains.
What dastardly act will these children do next?
This has been your Special Correspondent, Geraldine Julienne
[NOTE: Unedited; it is up to to the writers to deal with their own grammar/punctuation, and this will be taken into account during the final judging.]
If you are reading this story, you will probably think there is happiness waiting around every corner. This is not true. This story is being written in a different perspective, a word which here means different point of view from another series of books called A Series Of Unfortunate Events, which I may add if you come across you should scream and run away. Anyway, here the story goes.
This story starts in a home, not just any home, a very verdant, which means green, colored mansion. It was green because of a certain lumber that came from a lumbermill, I think it was named Blessed Odors, or Lucky Odors, something like that.
The mansion was owned by a family called the Quagmires and the Quagmires were certainly a very lucky family. You see, the family was heir to a fortune of sapphires, a word which here means very valuable, blue gems that might be desired to be obtained by an evil count, but I am shying away from the story again, sorry. But, as I sit here at the computer and type this story I can't help weep because of the events about to come.
The Quagmires were made up of a mom and dad, as families usually are, but there was something unusual about the sons and daughter of this family as they were triplets, which means 3 siblings born at the same time.
Their names were Quigley, Isadora, and Duncan and they were very bright and delightful children. They were all 13 years old. Isadora was an aspiring poet and spent countless hours writing haikus and couplets and studying the work of poets like Emily Dickenson. Duncan dreamed to be a newspaper reporter and would always take down notes on anything interesting he saw or read in the newspaper. He read all newspapers except The Daily Punctilio, which he thought was filled with mindless garbage about in things and secret societies. Quigley was an aspiring cartographist. He read books all about maps and made maps of the way from home to school and back. That fateful day, the house was pretty empty, there was usually always guests there, but only the family was in the house. Mrs. Quagmire sat in her room talking on the telephone.
" B, all right. So, we meet at 6. All right. The world is quiet here." said Mrs. Quagmire.
Quigley was studying a map of the Finite Forest in the library. Duncan and Isadora were upstairs in their rooms. They were both sitting on their beds, Duncan engulfed in the Daily Gazette and Isadora reading a book about couplets. Their parents were downstairs sitting in the kitchen having a cup of coffee.
" Darling, our plan is to go tonight to see B." Mrs. Quagmire said quietly.
Mr. Quagmire's answer was cut off by a crash in the living room. They both went to see and saw a fiery torch lying on the floor, glass broken, the sofa and coffee table already in flames.
" Ta-ta Quagmires! Hahahaha!" said a male and female voice. The Quagmires looked to see a black car quickly drive away.
" I'll try to put out the fire, you go get Quigley and the others." Mr Quagmire shouted.
Mrs. Quagmire yelled, "Quigley!" She found him in the library.
" There's a fire come on." She quickly said. They left, but couldn't see. The mansion's main hall was filled with smoke. She, then, took Quigley back to the library. In one quick motion, the rug in the library was thrown to the side and Mrs. Quagmire picked up the secret hatch.
"What is this Mom?" Asked Quigley. It really gave him a shock to see this secret passage under the library he spent a lot of time in.
" No time for questions. Stay in here while I get your siblings." declared Mrs. Quagmire firmly. And she shut the hatch.
Quigley stood in the darkness for one minute when he heard his siblings scream. He didn't know what to do.
Duncan and Isadora sat in there rooms when they heard all of the commotion downstairs. It scared them and they didn't know what to do.
Suddenly their mom arrived into each of their rooms and beckoned for them to come quickly.
" What's going on?" they cried in unison. They were answered with no reply. It was pitch black and cloudfuls of ash sprayed all around in the main hall. They screamed as they feared not only for their own lives but that of their father, mother, and of Quigley's.
Their mother led them to the bathroom where she quickly opened the curtain and opened the window inside the shower. It was big enough for Duncan and Isadora to fit through. Their mother boosted them up to the window and they went out of the house. Duncan and Isadora sat there as they watched the house become engulfed in flames and the whole house collapse right in front of their eyes and they cried because of the thought of never seeing Quigley and their parents again.
Now, as you all may know, the Quagmire Triplets felt awful. Not as awful as you feel when you're bed-ridden with the flu, but awful as in your parents have died and now you are orphans.
Duncan and Isadora sat there on the grass and watched the charred, burning remains of their home being put out by the Volunteer Fire Department. They didn't say a word. They fingered their commonplace books they kept in their pockets. It had hit them that Quigley and their parents were dead and that they would never see them again. Just like Duncan wouldn't see his collection of newspapers and Isadora wouldn't ever see her books on Emily Dickenson again.
They sat there quietly. Isadora leaned on Duncan's shoulder, a silent tear ran down her cheek.
Duncan shed no tears after he cried so much. He tried to show his sister that since he was older, that he could be strong for her throughout the Hermedy. His mother had taught him to be strong if anything happened. Wait, he thought. Did she know something he didn't ? He remembered what she had said to him like it was today, and it had been a month ago.
"Duncan, I need to tell you something." whispered his mother quietly.
He had gone with her to the study, that was located right next to the library. She shut the window and closed the curtains.
" You are the oldest of your siblings. Isadora, by three minutes and Quigley, by five. So, you have to take care of them"
She had said that so seriously that he thought she was going to leave them all right now with their father and make him the boss of the house.
" Why?" Duncan replied.
" Just in case, something happens. Not a word about it"
His mother had not talked about it afterward. He, at the time , didn't know what she meant. Now, he did. She had suspected something like this would happen. That thought, he forgot quickly because he saw it as unbelievable.
He suddenly awoke from thoughts of the past when he heard the firefighters talking.
" No survivors?" one asked.
" No, all of them died." the other said.
" I don't think so. I think.... Hey!"
He saw the two remaining Quagmires sitting down on the grass on the side of the house.
"There are survivors of the fire." he declared. " I'll call the police."
He went to call and the other watched the Quagmires. He seemed to pity them, but he didn;t walk toward them. He went back to the fire truck.
A black car pulled up next to the curb. Duncan and Isadora watched as a pudgy man came out of the car. He walked toward them and took off his top hat carefully as if something was meant to be hidden in it.
He began to talk. " Hello, I am Mr. Davidson. I am terribly sorry to hear of your loss."
Duncan nor Isadora spoke.
" This must be very hard for you, I am not your parents' estate executor. A very nice woman ,Mrs. Squalor, the city's sixth most important financial advisor is the executor of it, or shall I say what's left of it. She told me to come her and tell you something. I'd like you to know their wish." Mr. Davidson spoke it with a sense of sincerety in his voice.
Duncan and Isadora said. " What was their last wish?"
" First of all, I'd like to say that you are now owners of the Quagmire Sapphires and they will come to you when you come of age, for now they are in the care of Mr. Poe, a banker who knew your parents." said Mr. Davidson.
" Their last wish was that you would be sent to a boarding school. We have found one for you. The name of it is Prufrock Preparatory School and the Vice Principal there, Nero is his name, is willing to accept you."
Duncan and Isadora shuddered. Away from this place. Away from home. Away from friends and school. They were being led away from everything they knew and loved.
" The funeral is scheduled for Friday." added Mr. Davidson quickly.
" That's three days away." said Duncan who could barely get the words out.
" I know. Come on children. We have a place for you to stay until the funeral and when you go to Prufrock."
Mr. Davidson led Duncan and Isadora away from their home, there dead parents, and unknowingly, their brother who was, in fact, alive.
Quigley Quagmire sat in the darkness. After he heard his siblings scream, he heard their footsteps. They were frantically running around. They can't see, he thought. He heard his mother reassure them and heard themgoing through the bathroom. Slowly, the house was falling to pieces. As the earth rumbled around him, he knew the house wqas going down and that his parents and him were going to die soon.
The rumbling stopped. He heard the sound of fire engines coming down to the house. I'm alive, he thought. Maybe my parents............. No, he said to himself. They are dead. Probably crushed in the falling plaster and walls. My mom protected me though.
He heard voices.
"Help, Help!" yelled Quigley. No one was there to hear him though.
Now, I must stop writing and must tell you to stop reading this horrible volume in the tale of the Quagmire Triplets. Read anything else, except Book The Second, The Reptile Room of A Series of Unfortunate Events, which in fact was ending at the time of the fire.
Quigley's screams echoed throughout the rubble and sadly, he wasn't heard. The fire engines had their sirens on and they were very loud.
"I'll never be found." whispered Quigley silently. "Maybe, though, I can push up the door."
He climbed up the ladder and tried to push the hatch up. He couldn't budge it. One of the library's walls had fallen on top of it. It didn't move at all.
Quigley realized he would never get out. He would have to sit in the darkness until he died or was rescued. The second one would probably never occur. He felt around in the darkness and only felt air.
He tried to walk through the passage. It was easy to walk through, but he could barely see.
" I can barely see." said Quigley. "This is weird. There's a whole passage under my house that we never knew about."
He finally felt a ladder in front of him. He grabbed it and started to climb. He pushed open the hatch and entered the room where the passage ended. He sat in a glass room with plants and cages everywhere.
"Where am I?" Quigley asked quizzedly.
He didn't know at the time, but that was where his life changed. Where was he?, you ask. He was in fact, in the Reptile Room of Mr. Montgomery Montgomery's house, where the Baudelaires had just vacated.
Vacated is a word which here means empty of all reptiles, orphans, bankers, Counts, and associates. While Quigley was sitting in the passage, the Baudelaire's had in fact exposed Stephano as Count Olaf and they had left to go with Mr. Poe to be lead into more misery and woe.
Quigley sat there in the room and asked himself, What is this place?
Quigley sat in this large empty room and had so many questions. Why is this place so empty? Why hadn't my parents told me about this place? Why do these places connect by a secret passageway?
As I sit here and type all the questions Quigley asked himself, I can't help asking my own questions. Why do I have to write this story? Why am I cursed? Why am I so hungry? These questions have plagued me for so long and yet when I think I have the answers to them, more questions come out of a shroud of darkness and into my life and I wonder why I don't stop myself from asking all these questions and get on with my life.
Quigley decided the same thing and got up. He closed the hatch and wandered around the room. He read each plaque that was on the cage. They had interesting names like the Alaskan Cow Toad and the Irrascable Python.
What weird names, thought Quigley. He walked to a huge cage at the end of the room. The plaque read:
The Incredibly Deadly Viper
Quigley thought this name was the most interesting. He thought what the person that obviously took all the reptiles, would do with a viper that was incredibly deadly. He laughed at his joke. He saw a glass window and looked outside it. He was amazed at what he saw. There were snake-shaped hedges on the front lawn. Quigley thought they were marvolous. He wanted to know how someone could make something as great as that.
He stopped thinking.
"What am I doing?" he whispered. " My parents and siblings may be dead and I am worrying about hedges."
Quigley teared. He missed his family. He wished a fire hadn't broken out. He was all alone and was in a house he didn't recognize at all. He began to walk to see if there was an exit.
There were two steps that led to an open door which lead into what seemed to be a hallway. He saw something weird at the foot of the stairs. There was wood splinters on the floor. He picked them up and saw that they looked to be part of a wooden hand. There were bite marks in the wood.
Why would anyone need a wooden hand?, he asked himself. Only if they had hooks for hands or no hands probably. He left the room and entered the hallway. He walked into a living room and then walked into a kitchen. The refrigerator still had food in it. There was a cake in there. He took a piece and ate it.
Quigley found some milk to go with his cake and poured it into a glass he found. He was very hungry. He looked in the refridgerator for anything else he could eat. He found some cold cuts, words which here mean, some cuts of meat which are cold, cheese, and rolls. He made himself a sandwich and started eating more.
He was stuffed. At least I know I won't be hungry if I have to stay here, he thought
Quigley decided to adventure through the house that was currently his home for the time being.
This was, in fact, a good time to adventure through the house since there was no one in it, but it is not good to adventure through someone's house when they are in it. Especially, like I found out, if there is a man who is evil and is trying to kill you. There was no man or woman there to attack Quigley, so he was very safe.
He saw the staircase leading upstairs and walked up it. There were three rooms he saw. There was one that was plain, but had some drawings tacked up on its walls. He also saw the big window that gave him a view of the hedges again. There was also an open suitcase lying on the ground there. He walked over to it.
The suitcase he noticed was circular. There were pictures on it. Qugley noticed a snake, an eye, and a sign of a skull with crossbones. The contents of said suitcase were unusual. There was a smelly suit with pinstripes on the legs and a half-drunk bottle of wine, not meaning the bottle was drunk only halfly, but that someone drank it half way.
The next room had a big chair near the bed. A book lay there on the chair. He passed this room and saw a room with assorted hard things, like rocks lying on the ground. Meanwhile, his siblings were having an adventure themselves.
Now, as you may now, Duncan and Isadora's story didn't end when Quigley's story began. They were led away from him, not knowing he was in fact still alive. Their lives were being changed like a set of other kids were having their lives changed at this moment because they were being perched at the top of a hill that overlooked a leech-filled lake, but I am shying away from the story again, which I can't help. This story is so horrible I can't even try to stop speaking about it, or even thinking about it. This is my life's work, to write down the chronicles of the Quagmire Triplets, and I must continue to persevere.
Duncan and Isadora held each other's hands in the car as they were driven off. They were away from home now and not going back, they thought. Silently, tears ran down their face, remnants of the horror that had befallen them. They pocketed their commonplace books, as they called them, Duncan's full of reporting techniques and stories; Isadora's with couplets and poems in it.
Both were brought out of their stupor when their temporary guardian spoke to them.
" I know that this is a very hard time for you. I understand your pain. You see, my house was burnt down when I was little, so I know what you are going through." Mr. Davidson told them sincerely or at least with a sense of it.
You can tell when someone is actually sincere or if they are telling lies. Mr. Davidson was not one of those people that could easily be seen through. I will tell you, though, he was lying to them. Mr. Davidson is actually not his real name. He was actually someone with an aura of menace, so evil I will not type his real name. He lied to them straightout. You see, he was not subjected to a fire when he was little, he caused fires. Also, he resorted to shooting people with poison darts at dark theaters, but that is another fan fic and I wont go into it.
Duncan and Isadora just looked downward. They were extremely tired and hungry. They slowly fell asleep and slept soundly for 3 hours, dreaming that the events were really just a bad dream, and right now they were lying in their beds instead of a black car being driven to a boarding school. It was not a dream and this reality would hit them soon.
They awoke at the sound of Mr. Davidson's voice saying " Here we are."
Now, here they were at Prufrock Preparatory School. This school was not all what Mr. Davidson said it would be. In fact, he knew it would be miserable, since one of his associates were placed there. The kids were totally oblivious to his lies. It was all going according to plan. He would have their jewels yet.
Duncan and Isadora viewed their new home and school with awe and disgust. They saw a camera tripod placed on a lawn. The lawn, they saw, was brown as if nobody had cared to water it in about 13 years. They eyed the buildings themselves, and thought, Who would make buildings in the shape of tombstones? The buildings had been made that way, they would find out, to match the ominous enscripture on the arch over the entrance to the school. They looked at that, also. Memento Mori.
"What does Memento Mori mean?" asked Duncan and Isadora.
" I think it means 'Remember You Will Die'" Mr Davison replied.
Duncan and Isadora thought this was a weird thing to be said. They knew they were going to die someday, but to be reminded of it everyday. Not a good thing to remember all the time.
"Children. Go to that big building all the way on the left. Vice Principal Nero's office is on the ninth floor. Goodbye and good luck." said Mr. Davidson and he left them in the graveyard that was now their home.
We have reached the middle of our fan fiction story here, and I wish you would just turn off your computer screen and do something like read a book or watch TV. Anything is better than this. You see, this fan fic will not get any better and as in its name, "The Startling Start" its ending is just as startling as its beginnning was.
Now, as Duncan and Isadora were in the elevator, going up to the ninth floor where the Vice Principal was, they didn't know how startling their new home would be. They exited the elevator and were struck with the most awful music. It was being played by an awful violin player. Not only was the person awful because of the way he played it, but also of his personality as they would soon find out.
They viewed a man with a violin in his hand with distaste. He wore a brown suit and had two pigtails on the side of his head. He obviously didn't realize they were there because he continued to play.
"Excuse me, sir!" Duncan and Isadora yelled. They got his attention because he turned around and started to speak..
"Excuse me, sir." Mimicked Vice Principal Nero. " Who dare interrupt the music of a genius."
"Duncan and Isadora Quagmire. We're the orphans that Mr. Davidson sent." They replied politely, even though they knew he wouldn't be polite.
"Duncan and Isadora Quagmire. We're the orphans that Mr. Davidson sent." Vice Principal Nero mimicked once more. " Well, you twins are going to have a pleasant time here at the school, blah, blah, blah."
This hurt them. They were called twins. Duncan and Isadora always loved the fact that they were triplets and asserted that fact any time. They stayed quiet.
" Now I will show you the school and where everything is." Nero continued.
He beckoned Duncan and Isadora to come to the window. They saw the bleak, brown lawn. They saw children running around outside. From the window, they looked like tiny ants.
He went on. " This building is off limits since it is the administrative building. You'll be excused today, but if you come here again, you're silverware will be taken away."
Isadora and Duncan thought this was a weird rule. What if they needed to tell him something? What if he called them here? They almost spoke, but realized that it was pointless. They'd say something, he'd mimic them, and tell them they were wrong.
" That gray building is where the classrooms are. Isadora, you have Mrs. Bass in Room Two and Duncan, you have Mr. Remora in Room One. Remember that because if you forget I will right the room names on your hand. Also, if you are late to class, you will have your hands tied behind your back and be forced to eat lunch like a dog. " Vice Principal Nero stated firmly.
Duncan had to say something. " These rules are ridiculous!" he exclaimed.
" These rules are ridiculous!" Nero exclaimed in mimicry. " Well, too bad. These are my rules and you follow them." He went on with the tour. " The lawn is where Gym class is held. Your teacher is Miss Tench. The cafeteria is in that stone building over there. Food is served at breakfast, lunchtime, and dinnertime. If you are late, your beverages will be served in puddles."
We have come to the end of the book and I sit here and wonder why anyone would continue reading it. I wonder myself why I write it. I must catalogue the events of the Quagmires in hopes that their history may reach the general public. Now there are worse things in life than mimicking vice principals or mysterious fires, but the worse is yet to come. I myself have seen worse things whether it has been fighting members of the avian species, or many fearsome eagles turned by a villain or a quizzical ocean dweller which heads toward you as you try to reach that Vaporetto of Favorite Detritus you have made out of your books.
None of those things mattered to Quigley, though. His mind wasn't on birds or punctuation marks. He had slept at an unknown person's house and had lost two siblings and his parents, or so he thought. The night had been brutal. Quigley slept at the foot of the stairs, which I don't recommend if your roomate is a sleepwalker and jumps from the top of the stairs to the bottom, which is where you are. Quigley didn't have to worry about insomniatic roomies, he slept there, so if anyone came, he was there. Someone to answer his questions. Someone to let him know why his parents and siblings were dead.
The morning came swiftly. Quigley felt the hot sun against his face. The light shone through the windows lighting up the house. Quigley got up from his makeshift bed and opened the front door. A newspaper lay on the front. He looked first at his surroundings. The snake shaped hedges jutted out from the front lawn. It left him in awe again. His awe was broken by a putrid smell. The smell came from the factory on Lousy Lane.
" What is that awful smell?" Quigley said out loud. " He recalled it somehow. Then, he knew."
It had been dinner one night at his old house. The smell of spaghetti had brought him down the stairs and into the kitchen. But another scent came into the picture, it made his eyes water.
" What is this putrid smell?" Quigley exclaimed. " It's so disgusting!"
" Quigley, it's horseradish." His mother said it softly. " It may not smell good, but it has its purposes."
Quigley remembered that it was horseradish. Now he focused on bringing the paper in. The Daily Punctilio. His brother called it slanderous junk. It made its uses. There was a front page article on the fire.
As he sat there reading in an ersatz home and his siblings sat in their ersatz home, they wished and wished. Wished that these whole events were ersatz and that they were back home. But the only thing ersatz was the wishes they had.
“Quigley! Watch out it’s another big………” Isadora Quagmire was cut short in her warning as yet another wide wave washed over her and her fellow triplet’s bodies. Both were forced under the water and forced to scramble to hold both their respective floatation devices, as well as one another. For the past four hours, both of the triplets had been struggling to hold on to the other’s hands as they lay in the chilly waters of the sea, waiting for the rescue they had now resigned themselves to realizing, would never come. Quigley Quagmire was lying on a strange black box, which may have been the base of a phonograph, like the one in Thursday Widdershins’s submarine. He had found the blackened box on the far side of the Queequeg shortly after crash landing upon its roof. Both the Queequeg and Hector‘s, their friendly handyman companion, hot air mobile home had exploded upon impact, and now all that remained of the two great works of human achievement were scarred an crumbling memorabilia. Even worse though, was the fact that the whole wreck was on fire, and it showed no signs of taming. Quigley had spent the first night of his ordeal screaming the names of his siblings and Hector while desperately fleeing the flaming inferno. Isadora had dealt with a similar ordeal. After the initial crash, Quigley and her had been flung to one side of the main basket of the hot air mobile home, while their other brother Duncan had been lifted out of the basket and into another, which broke off on the other side of the Queequeg. She had not seen Duncan since, but for the first horrible night she had been isolated from everyone. She had however, seen Kit, or what looked like Kit grabbing books from the wreckage and tying them together, but then after a wave washed over Isadora, she could no longer see her. She had tried calling out to her brothers, but the only response she had received was a faint whisper of the word ‘Violet’, so perhaps she had only been imagining it. She had quickly found among the fuselage a great plastic lid, nearly the size of her entire body in diameter, which perhaps if less charcoal black, would look like the lids to the great barrels in Hector’s balloon. Thus both siblings found themselves clinging to life on their makeshift rafts, an finally, after the whole gruesome night, and found one another, alive but worse for wear. They managed to somehow get close enough to one another to grab each other’s hands, though it was impossible for one of the siblings to lay on the other’s raft, for they were simply fit for just one person. Time passed slowly, and the day grew closer to noon. Neither sibling spoke besides quick warnings of impending water splashes, or brief reassurances they would survive this all. Neither really trusted what they said though, because it was unlikely anyone would find them anytime soon. The fire behind them served helpful purpose though, as its smoke was great and black from the metal and plastic it was burning. Where there was black smoke, there was an even blacker situation, and the triplets hoped against hoped that someone would see the fire and save them. More time passed and day turned to dusk. Sunburn blistered on the children’s skin and both their throats were parched from the combination of smoke and salt in the water. Their only bright thought was that they were safe for the moment from the fire. They were terribly mistaken. Quigley noticed it first. Something dark and inky was spreading across the water. It was rather glossy and was coming from the wreck. “Isadora…”Quigley said feebly, “There is something in the water. Doesn’t….doesn’t it look like…..”he drew off. Isadora glanced out at the water, and then saw something so haunting that it may have caused a weak stomached person to faint. The water was igniting. It started slowly, the fire moving from the burning material in a gust of wind. Suddenly though the entire water around the wreck was alight and the fire spread quickly across the glossy surface. In an instant both siblings realised what it was. “Hector stored oil for the Bunsen cooker in a barrel didn’t he?” Isadora asked Quigley with fear in her eyes. “Two barrels!” Quigley said with a yell. “Izzy, we have to get out of here! This place is going to fry us!” Isadora didn’t argue. With panic she let go of one of Quigley’s hands, and started to paddle with it through the water. Quigley did the same with his spare hand. They pushed frantically through the water, but were faced with the fact they were paddling against the current. They were moving, but minimally, and not nearly fast enough. The oil was spreading further and further, and in less than five minutes it would reach them with its fire, and engulf them. They looked back with sheer terror. A rumble began to grow. At first the triplets thought it was coming from the inferno, but they began to feel vibrations under the water coming from in front of them. There in the distance, a strange thing began to grow from the haze. It looked like an anchor until the image became clear. It was a man standing on a boat, heading straight towards them. The siblings looked at one another and began to wave. And out of the deathly smoke came the saviour of the day, Phil.
Dead winds and spent waves riot
Phil’s boat skidded to a halt next to the two struggling orphans, splashing them with a jet of water. It didn’t mater to them though. It woke them from the shock they were in at seeing the lumberman turned submarine crew cook, appear like an angel right before they were to be roasted alive in a fire to end all fires. Better still he was in a boat, but the boat was running on petrol, and if they didn’t get on and out in the next sixty seconds, they would all go up faster than you could say ‘burning optimism’. Without even saying hello, Isadora and Quigley clambered into Phil’s boat and gasped just a single greeting. “Go!” Phil raised his eyebrows, and then saw the rapidly approaching flames and threw the boat around, zooming off through the rippling water as fast as its little engine could take it. They were lucky. 10 second lucky. A moment after they had cleared the area, the flames reached the triplets floatation devices and engulfed them. The boat’s thee occupants stared out silently at their near fatal miss, and all thought quietly to themselves that they were lucky. But as they moved past the wreckage and out to the sea, they thought of all those who were not so lucky. Those who didn’t have a shark bitten angel to save them.
Phil respectfully didn’t ask to many questions. Neither siblings were willing to reply with answers of more than three or four words, and neither will willing to ask any questions of their own just yet, such as ‘how on Earth was Phil driving his power boat right when we needed to be rescued?’ or ‘Where had Phil been all this time?’ . According to Kit, who had first told them about Phil and the crew of the Queequeg, when Kit met with Thursday Widdershins after leaving the Baudelaires at the Hotel Dénouement, Phil had mysteriously disappeared after Thursday and him had been led away from the Queequeg by an even more mysterious woman, and Thursday hadn’t seen him since. Now here he was, healthy and well dressed, and right in the middle f nowhere that was the graveyard of their respective vessel homes. After about thirty minutes of travelling, Phil finally turned to the siblings and asked hem a question, one that had lurked at the front of their minds for the past day, one they wished they could ask Phil confidently themselves. “Aren’t you two Quagmires, triplets? Don’t you have another sibling somewhere? Where is he/she?” Isadora looked at Quigley with a small frown, sighed and said “We don’t know Phil? We don’t know where Duncan is. We don’t know where Kit is. We don’t know where Fernald, Fiona or Captain Widdershins are. They disappeared in the winds and waves.” Phil paused, and looked like he was about to ask more, but then decided against it and turned his gaze to the sea and turned the wheel softly towards the direction of the east. He knew all too well what it was lik to lose a sibling, though he was almost certain that his sibling had not perished like Duncan must have. At first the children had no idea where they were headed, but soon it became clear they were moving towards the horizon of the city, and Briny Beach. They could see they were quite aways away, and with long yawns, both promptly fell upon one another and closed their eyes in slumber. Phil continued to steer the boat against waves that had by now had lost most of their gusto, and were gently guiding the vessel towards its destination. Phil did not know what he would find when they reached the shores of his childhood, but anything had to be better than the desolation they had just left. He glanced back at the sleeping siblings, then quietly puled out something from his breast-pocket. It was a photograph, slightly blurry. A single tear fell from Phil’s eye as he looked upon the woman portrayed. “I will be back for you dear sister. I won’t leet you befall the fate of so many.” he smiled slightly, placed the photo back in his pocket and turned towards the horizon. ‘I promise.”
For reaping folk and sowing
Phil’s boat chugged it’s final puffs into one of the city harbours after nearly eleven hours at sea. Both Quagmire siblings were wide awake; the fumes of the city had broken their quiet slumber. The harbour was oddly still, considering it was just after dawn, the time when most city shipping and commercial vessels left for sea. The Quagmires also found themselves realising that they had never been to this part of the city before. They appeared to be on the border of the city and the country, for instead of the towering buildings they had expected to be confronted with since the appearance of them in the skyline, they were faced with a quiet grassy landscape, spotted with several service shops and small homes. They could still see the skyscrapers of the city in the distance, but they felt strangely detached from the harbour area, as if like a postcard inserted somewhere in their vision. “Phil?” Quigley asked quietly, “What are we doing all the way out in the Farming District?” Quigley was a rather superior cartographer, and knew a considerable deal about the city’s many districts. This was one district however that he had thought far too tedious to spend too much time looking into, for who could really hide secrets in a place that was nothing but grassland? Phil didn’t answer for a moment, and Quigley thought Phil looked as distant as the city, his expression blank and emotionless, eyes like a sheet. After a minute of saying nothing. Phil said in a quiet undertone, “This is where I grew up. Bad things have been happening to us Quagmires; to you, your lost brother, my captain and his children, and those poor Baudelaire orphans. I’ve always tried to remain optimistic about life in the city and the world that I’ve worked and lived in for the past fifteen odd years. Now though, after being through everything I’ve been through, and seeing all the horrible things I’ve seen, I’ve come to realize that life is not the wonderful thing I’ve tried making it seem to myself for so long. My sister once told me that optimism is ignorance, and now, finally I agree with her.” he stopped for a moment and looked very close to crying, like a child finding out that Santa Claus isn’t real. Neither Quagmire knew Phil very well, they had only really heard of him from their friends the Baudelaires, but despite that, both felt a little sorry for Phil. The Quagmire children had been through so much misfortune in their short lives that they had learned to treat the world with a sprinkle of cynicism, even in the brightest of situations. They weren’t pessimistic, but they did have a strong grasp on common sense, and sadly for Phil, he was only coming to terms with this now, late in his life. “Optimism isn’t ignorance Phil.” Isadora said soothingly patting him on the shoulder. “It’s just a way of living one’s life. You shouldn’t think yourself silly or stupid for having been in that mindset for such a long time.” Phil sighed, “Thank you Isadora, but I still feel that I could have done more to help people if I’d been like my sister and seen the world for what it really is, not what I wish it could be like.” “Your sister sounds slightly cynical if you don’t mind me saying.” Quigley said. “Has she always been like that?” Phil smiled slightly for once, and said “No, she was once a very happy person about life. She still is a little I suppose, but after our father died, well we both went our separate paths. Mentally of course, we never actually left our mother’s farm. I chose to live my life ignoring the bad and focusing only on the good, and she chose to fight the bad to bring back the good.’ “Was she a member of VFD?” Quigley asked. He thought she may very well be according to Phil’s vague description. Phil frowned as seem to think about this question for a moment, then said with a sad chuckle, “Who knows? She very easily could have been. I haven’t seen my sister in twenty years, and neither of us have been in contact besides the occasional birthday and Christmas card.” he sighed again “She didn’t even bother coming to our mother’s funeral.” “After I joined Captain Widdershins crew, I tried to send her a telegram, telling her that I finally had a decent job mamma could be proud of. She never responded.” The three continued walking in silence towards the road that led into the heart of the farming district. Neither Quagmire knew exactly where they were headed, but trusted that Phil somehow did. Both Quagmires weren’t keen to stay anywhere very long though. Without telling one another directly, both siblings knew they were thinking the same thing. They needed to find Duncan, but not only Duncan; no they needed to find the Baudelaires too. The Baudelaires had been part of their life for a long time now, and now more than ever, they needed them. The Quagmires had a lot of information on VFD they could share with them, but they knew the Baudelaires probably had more hands on experience with the organization then any of them. Now that they were somewhat safely on the ground, they needed to contact them, and meet with them as soon as they could. After a few minutes, Isadora decided to start some sort of casual conversation. She smiled at Phil and said “What exactly does your sister do? Perhaps she missed your mother’s funeral, because she was busy.” Phil looked at her, clearly surprised that she had brought the subject back up. Isadora realised this instantly, and felt stupid. She was about to ask a different question, when Phil said, quietly, “My dear sister is Judge in the city court. Her title is Justice Strauss.
Thirteen books hidden in a library, I discovered to be of great value: Three children hunted by one greedy villain eventually manage to be free of him. Two parents suspected dead. However there is much more, including three friends, two white-faced women and two dreadful fiends. How terribly unfortunate.
NB: You will notice that the number of people in this also add up to thirteen...
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2007 2:43:15 GMT -5 by klaus1000
songfic i wrote a little while ago, i hope that's ok, because i feel this was my peak
(Songfic based on "How does it make you feel" - Air. could be set at anytime thorughout the books really, preferably at night)
How does it make you feel
The Baudelaire children lay in their bed that night, it had been another exhausting and somewhat traumatising day, but the three were getting used to that. Although if that was a good thing or not, they were unsure. I am feeling very warm right now They huddled up together, and became lost in their dream world.
Violet saw a white shadow descend towards her from the sky, She was in a forest, the stars looked down from above and so too did a face, a face that she grew up looking up to. It was her mother. Please don't disappear Violet ran over the the dream figure and gave her a massive hug, it was an odd feeling, it was like she was there but not there at the same time. I am spacing out with you They looked at each other and the mother took Violets hand, guiding her up above the forest, among the stars. You are the most beautiful entity that I've ever dreamed of There they danced for what seemed like eternity.
At night I will protect you in your dreams Klaus opened his eyes to the dream world, he was in an old building, he felt safe here, he felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see what it was. I will be your angel His fathers face looked down and the hand pushed him forward, gently, towards the door at the end of the room. You worry so much about not having enough time together Klaus slowly started walking, making sure his father was close behind the whole way. It makes no difference to me I would be happy with just one minute in your arms They opened the door together Klaus, realising that a room leading to a sky full of clouds was impossible, it also seemed somehow right. Let's have an extended play together The both of them leaped through the doorway and were floating among the clouds together, seeing everything on the earth below, knowing everything that was happening. You're telling me that we live to far to love each other But your love can stretch further than you and I can see They sat there on a cloud together, pointing out interesting happenings below to each other, an interesting lake, a man having trouble with his tractor, a tree being climbed by a group of monkeys. So how does it make you feel? There they stayed until the sun went down and the stars appeared, followed closely by Violet and the childrens mother.
How does it make you feel? How does it make you feel? How does it make you feel? How does it make you feel?
The four figures floated down to the bed in the room they started in, and picked up the dream-self of their sister Sunny. Do you know when you look at me It is a salvation Sunny woke up and the sun came out again, they were in a field, everything was green and lovely. I've been waiting for you so long I can drive on that road forever Sunny began to cry, she knew it was nearly morning and their time with their parents wouldn't last for much longer. I wish you could exist to live on my planet Well it's very hard for me to say these things in your presence Their mother and father gave each of their children a kiss on the cheek and then embraced them all before fading out again. So how does it make you feel?
How does it make you feel? How does it make you feel? How does it make you feel? How does it make you feel?
Post by thistledown on Jun 23, 2007 19:19:36 GMT -5
LOVESONG A short-story by thistledown.
Life. Love. Hatred. Death. They flow together, muddled, a mess of color and sound, creating something far from perfect--a human being. But without contact with other humans, these four components of a man become dulled, to the point where life is not worth living. Where love and hatred have become one. And where death seems an embrace, a shield, from the harsh pain of life.
The building struck up from the pavement like a steel spike, glinting and eager. It was an old building, full of memories both good and bad. And, on the thirteenth floor, in a nondescript room, resided something that was also both good and bad. It was a man. Not a young man, but not an old one either. A man that had no remarkable traits and, should he have stood in a crowd, would be nearly impossible to find. And, on the odd chance that you did, indeed, pick him out, he had a face that was forgettable. This J. Alfred Prufrock of a man had at his disposal such an array of seemingly unintentional disguise--from his normal mouth to his normal dull beige trenchcoat and tophat--that one almost had to wonder if it was intentional. If this man wanted to be forgotten.
Whatever the case, he resided alone, of late. Unlike his fellow tenants, who brought home women and friends and drink, to play the night away like a game of cards, usually losing more than winning, this mysterious man would sit, solitary. And by the warm orange glow of his antique lamp he would read and write and pour over various maps and blueprints and inspect moth-ridden and dust bespeckled costumes, recording his findings in a large blue notebook that he kept on his person at all times.
He had a name. In fact, he had several. Ranging from the aforementioned Prufrock to Vonnegut, from Buchanan to Gatsby and from Denver to Baby Suggs. These he wore like snakeskin, shedding it when it became hazardous or inconvinient. But he was born with the name Lemony Snicket. And it did not matter how many times this name became hazardous or invonvinient, it was always the true name beneath the shroud of other, sometimes more appropriate ones, and he could not shed it like the others. No, that was not possible until all records of his life were gone or forgotten.
And they nearly were. Burned in various fires all over the world until only one record remained. The Snicket File. But he had given up hope of ever seeing that again a long, long time ago. Around the same time he gave up on the Sugar Bowl, believing it forever lost to the living, as it were.
Mr. Snicket had given up on many things. And he regretted that every moment of his life.
But if he had to choose, say, what he regretted most about his life, he would utter but one word: Beatrice. That is not to say he regretted the love he had for her or the wonderful times they had spent together--they had been the best moments of his life! No...he regretted the loss of her to another man, he regretted the fact that he had done nothing to win her back, resigning, instead to his sad and lonely fate among molding books and yellowing pages.
Lemony Snicket sighed, leaning back into the hard wooden chair. He would not allow himself the comfort of a cushion. Not now. Not after all he had done. He did not deserve it. Just as he did not deserve to answer the insistent letters that had been plagueing him for days now.
They were signed Beatrice Baudelaire, but, curious though he was, he knew it to be a lie. Beatrice Baudelaire was dead, along with her husband Bertrand and possibly their three children. He was certain that this new Beatrice Baudelaire was an imposter, probably sent to murder him. Yet still, that name offered him hope. A light, as it were, in his dark life. A candle to guide him.
Because there was always a chance that she was alive. And there was always a chance that it was one of the Baudelaire orphans, trying to reach his attention through that name.
Lemony Snicket paused in his musing, pushing the thoughts out of his head, concentrating on the old map of the city, the one that had come from the special box that could only be opened by a special key that had been given to him long ago. Sighing, he scribbled a word into his notebook: FIRE.
It was both a beginning and an end, giving birth to mythical creatures like phoenixes yet also chemically changing substances forever, making them irrevocably different.
Just as he had been irrevocably in love with her...
No! He would not allow himself to think of! to tarry on! to want! the sound of her name.
A slow grinding noise brough him out of his head. Out of his Mind and into Life.
It was the sound of a small saw, drilling a hole through his ceiling. Near the whirring fan.
He waited with baited breath, looking apprehensively upward, wondering what terrible fate would befall him this time. Knowing that he would have to run. Again. And find a new old building full of unobservant individuals, with a thirteenth floor and a nondescript room he could call his own--for a time, at least.
And then, quick as a bullet, a tiny square of folded paper landed on his desk. And on the front of it was his name, and next to it, after the word From--the name Beatrice Baudelaire.
He looked up at the small, paper-sized hole that was now so very visible, searching in it for an all-too-familiar and much beloved face. But nothing, just the push of wood as the removed plug of ceiling was stuffed back into place, sealing off the black portal forever.
The writing was young, childish almost, with a hint of maturity, for his sake, probably. With a deep breath, he receeded back into his Mind, resolving within to open the note and read what was meant to be read, finally.
He traced her name with a trembling hand, and, as his fingers delicately opened the paper, he knew, even before reading the first line, that the note contained within would change his life forever.