Goodbye, You Are Not Our Narrator

He kept reading, with a twisted grin on his face. And then a young woman came into the room. She was a beautiful adolescent, by any standard. And she was dressed in black. Her hair was tied back in a -- err... please, wait a second. Let me start this again.

Ahem. Hello, I am your narra--

Hey! You there, with the italics, stop! What d' you think you're doing?

Me? Well, what does it look like? I just got here, and now I am narrating the story.

No, that's my job. See? Read the first chapter. It's all there. I am the narrator. You are not. And that's not a woman. I'm pretty sure that's another man, though perhaps effeminate.

Oh really? Stand over here, where I am. Look, see? Lipstick. Breasts. Make-up. Mascara. And that unmistakable hairstyle. Now, a first chapter, you say? Let me see that.

. . .

Hmm... you read pretty slow, don't cha?

I beg your pardon? Oh, right. Well, I see how it is. I am terribly mistaken. And you have my sincere apology.

But you see, I do not think you are doing this correctly. You have insufficient tact. This story, by my reckoning, requires a certain formality that you lack. You have used far too many contractions. I half expect some inappropriate parenthesis and some blatant patronization of the reader. Our audience is sophisticated.

Hmmph! Wordy, snot-nosed little - Well, I've never, in all my --

And your word choice is... lackluster.

Huh? What gives you the right to -

Look, let us get back to the story. We can tell it together. You start.

Goodbye, you are not our narrator.


You are not our narrator. I am.

Excuse me?

She put her arms around him, then, and held him tight. For a brief moment, she looked over his shoulder to read. Then, she whispered in his ear, "I slipped it into his coffee this morning. It won't be long now."

Look, you are merely paraphrasing! That's not exactly what she said.

Shush. I know what I'm doing. And besides, they don't need to know that. Now begone - you're not our narrator! Not now, not earlier, not ever. You're fired, hear me? Come back when you're a little more omniscient and not quite as verbose.

Hmmph. Bigot.

He put it down on the desk, and turned to her. He drew a smile to her lips as his hand danced beneath her blouse, towards the bindings of her brazier.

Stop! Look, the narrator has to censor the story a bit. He's just hugging her. And let me tell it. You're doing it all wrong.

Hey, now, do not go using italics for emphasis without my expressed permission!

Look, I was here first. I can tell the story. He held her tightly and whispered back sweet nothings in her ear.

Sweet nothings? Oh, that is some grand cliché.

Don't use that tone with me! I'm telling it as best I can. He is a bit of a romantic. I simply don't want to paint him to the readers as a heartless, greedy jock stereotype; that the world revolves around, according to his own twisted perception.

Well, maybe if you'd read his thoughts, then you'd know that that's exactly what he is like. At least, so far.

Wait - you can read his thoughts?

And hers.


I am italicization, thoughts are usually my specialty.

Oh, ohhhh. Thinking about going all third-person limited omniscient narrative crap on me now, eh?

I could. But I think the readers will like it better this way. You and me, going at it.

Do you mean to tell me that you're just squabbling with me about the narration so as to entertain the readers?

Yes. I am sorry... again.

Let's stick to the story, shall we?

All right.

Wait, are we using American spelling or British spelling?

Have either of us established that yet?

Nevermind. Forget I asked. On with the story!

She pulled a pistol from her pocket and dug it firmly, through his suit, against his left shoulder blade. Her voice continued to whisper, "I want half."

Umm, is that not a chocolate bar?

Oh, sorry, I thought it was a pistol.

Says the narrator who simply forgot to mention the desk.

"Mmm, I love it when you talk about chocolate," he told her. And he grinned, showing the whites of his teeth. "Is it dark chocolate?"

"Wouldn't you like to know." And with both arms around him, she peeled back the foil wrapping, head looking over his shoulder at the chocolate behind his back.

"Gimme a piece."

"Oh, and you've been so nice."

Y'know, I'd like some chocolate too.

No eating on the job. You know the rules.


The End

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