Playing God

“The hallway wound like a serpent, coiled in darkness and dripping with a foreboding intent…”

“What exactly are you doing?” the woman asked Jack.

Jack was quick to reply, though it hardly qualified as an answer. “The woman asked Jack.

“He pondered the question for a few moments, rolling it around in his mind, hoping to find some sort of answer. Eventually, an idea sparked to his mind, and…”

“An answer, Rubashevskiy,” she seethed.

“She seethed,” Jack mumbled, before jumping back to his reply.

“’Well,’” he said. “He said, ‘I am simply narrating our experience in the third person perspective in the past tense. That way I can correct any mistakes we make now,’ he finished. His eyes seemed to sparkle in the darkness for mere moments. ‘It’s like time travel, eh?’”

“Wonderful,” she moaned.

“She moaned,” Jack added, bringing another fit of angry sighs from the woman. He only continued his descriptive narrative.

“The pair continued for some time, the hall showing no signs of stopping or even offering a choice of paths: it was all one route, single and ceaseless.”

The woman rolled her eyes, before saying, “It’s only ceaseless because you don’t know where we’re going. I know where we are headed, so it is only your incessant babbling that is making this take longer in my mind.”

“She explained,” Jack, of course, added.

“He looked about the walls, thinking that maybe the unnamed woman–” He glared at her for a few moments, pausing. “–had a secret door in mind. His racing mind got the better of him, as usual, and he ventured to ask about it. ‘So, Madame Anonymous, where is this exit of yours?’”

“I hope to God you aren’t trying to punctuate all that in your mind,” she groaned, unheard by Jack. Audibly, she added, “Good guess on the name: so close. But yes, I do have an exit in mind, and it is a secret panel, as I am sure you have guessed.”

“She taunted.”

There was a low rumble, the ground groaning.

“There was a low rumble, the ground groaning,” Jack narrated for them.

The hallway seemed to shake a little, with some specks of dust floating from the ceiling to fall like snow, sending Jack into a fit of sneezing.

“The hallway, hachoo, seemed to, to, to, hachoo! Shake a little, with some spe- spe-, specks of HACHOO. Dust floating from the ceiling to fall like sn-ACHOO!” Jack barely managed.

“Snow,” Mme Anonymous finished for him. “Aren’t you going to mention your sneezing?”

“She asked,” Jack said, rubbing a finger below his nose. “’And no,’ he answered. ‘If I don’t narrate it, then it won’t happen. And I’d like to avoid sneezing in the future; it’s quite the inconvenience.’”

She raised an eyebrow, unsure of the sanity of the rescued author.

Jack only glared back, but eventually said, “I’m not a third person omniscient narrator, Mme Anonymous, so I can’t narrate your thoughts unless you think them out loud.”

She smiled. “Weren’t you supposed to narrate that?”


Jack opened his mouth to add a "he said" after his explicitive, but was stopped short as the roof began to cave.

Wide eyes fell upon him, the woman screaming for them to run.

"I see your common senses are tingling," he laughed, before both were buried by the felling of the Tower.

Outside, a pillar of dust crashed through the streets, sugar coating everything in a fine powdering of gray or grey, depending on how one viewed the bittersweet tubling of the Tower.

The End

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