Chapter 3: Horrible Mayhem
“What took you so long?” Fiera shouted, annoyance plastered over her face. “You were gone for days!”
“Hey, it wasn’t my fault.” I said defensively. “I was kicked off, and didn’t get a chance to get back on.”
“Oh sure, and you couldn’t have asked to get back on?” she demanded.
“Well, my grandmother got on, and I didn’t want to be the one to ask her to get off, so there.” I retorted.
“You are definitely getting on my nerves.” Fiera stated, shaking head. Then she looked up and glared at me. “And you better make this a separate chapter, since it was written on your computer.”
“No, I’m going to make this a separate section on the third chapter, since the title wouldn’t make any sense if I didn’t include any mayhem.” I replied.
Fiera gave me a wolfish grin, her eyes energetic. “Oh, believe me, there’s going to be a lot of mayhem if you start crossing me.”
“Oh really? You forgot about last time?” I asked.
She scowled and said, “You so much as think about locking me up again like that and I’ll go all Second World on you so fast your head will spin. You already have enough on your mind. You feel like staying up past two dealing with me?”
“I could always drag Eclipse into it.” I said, smiling. “You two are so alike. I’m sure you’d get along great.”
“Just like Obsidian and Gourgh do?” she asked, arching an eyebrow. “Oh wait, that was a joke. I’m sorry, but your sarcasm was so funny, I forgot to laugh.”
I frowned and said. “Fiera, only you and I would get that that was sarcasm for now. In order for any Viewer to realize that I was being sarcastic, they’d either have to talk with me about my stories or read the relevant sections, which are currently unwritten.”
“Yeah, well then write them.” Fiera said, folding her arms across her chest. A soft wind began to blow, and her long dress billowed out around her legs as the zephyrs played with her wavy hair.
“You stop that immediately.” Fiera demanded, glaring at me. “I am not meant to be cute.”
“Well, I thought you needed some cheering up.” I replied. She growled, and I stopped the wind.
“That’s better.” she said, smoothing her hair back down. “And that pronoun was your fault. You were doing fine until you accidentally capitalized it, then Word went back and did it for you when you changed it.”
“Well, that was the first and only so far.” I said. “And hopefully, now that I’ve said that, it won’t start acting up like it always does.”
“For once, you should just let it be, so the Viewers can see how awful it looks when Word pitches a fit.” Fiera smiled. I shook my head no, and she laughed. “Well, what exactly did you do with our poor Nick?”
“Oh, so that’s your baby-daddy.” I teased. She looked up at me, mouth agape, with a mortified expression on her face that quickly turned to anger.
“You let that thought cross your mind ever again,” she hissed, “and I will not let you live to see the day…”
“Fiera, you’re not doing very well on the threats department today.” I pointed out.
“Actually, it’d be ‘in the threats department’, but you don’t really care that much, and I can just tell you’d rather be reading a book right now, especially since you’ve been writing a lot already today.” She shook her head, then said, “And why exactly are you writing this if you keep chiding yourself for not finishing Beta Thread?”
“Hey, at some point I’ll finish Beta Thread, and then this won’t make any sense at all to Viewers who have already read it.” I said. “Besides, I couldn’t just leave this alone.”
“Yeah, well you need to finish and go read before you get kicked into bed, so you’ll be happy and I can nag you to come back and write some more tomorrow.” Fiera stated, grinning. I gave her a look of utter chagrin, and she laughed. “No complaining. You chose to write this over working on CDA.”
“Hey, maybe I could get you a date with one of those two.” I prodded, smiling. Fiera crossed her arms and stuck out her tongue at me.
“Quit trying to play matchmaker.” she said. “And again with the pronouns!”
“Hey, that’s only two so far.” I said contentedly. “It’s not been as bad as some of our past writings.”
“Isn’t that the truth.” Fiera agreed.
“Was that a question?” I asked her.
She gave me the evil eye and said, “No, genius, and you know that because you’re the one that put the period there.”
“Well excuse me.” I responded, wagging a finger at her. “I’m just trying to be helpful here.”
“We got way off topic.” Fiera said, pulling herself up the sentences like they were vertical monkey bars to look at her initial question. “Whatever did happen to Nick?” she asked, dropping back down.
“Well, he went on his quest.” I said, and she frowned.
“I know that. I want to know what happened on the quest.” she clarified. “Third pronoun. Three strikes you're out.”
“What are you going to do? Kick me out of my own writing?” I asked.
“No, but if you fix one more pronoun, I’m going to quit talking to you.” Fiera threatened. “I am the life of this story, after all.”
“Well, actually we could get into the debate of whether or not the Viewer keeps a character alive by reading them.” I said.
“Yeah, but that argument falls apart when the character dies.” Fiera pointed out. “Then the best that the Viewer can do is keep the memory alive.”
“Until they go back and reread the story.” I parried. “At which point the character is back alive, and the Viewer could stop there, so the character would be alive to them. And even after rereading the entire history, the Viewer could still believe that the character’s spirit lives on.”
“You are making no forward progress on the gridiron.” Fiera said, shaking her head. “And will you please answer the question?”
“But I can’t help it if you’re the one sparking all the rabbit trails.” I said, and Fiera jumped up, her eyes ablaze.
“Oh, no you don’t!” she exclaimed. “We are not going into your stupid Bammers.”
“But I like my bunny changelings.” I protested.
“That’s fine, but they’re not coming in here.” she said.
“Actually, now they are.” I replied, grinning. “Nick is on a quest, and he has met his sidekick, who shall now be an Usagi Changeling.”
“You just had to do that, didn’t you?” Fiera scowled.
I bowed deferentially. “I had to start somewhere, my dear.”
“Fine. Whatever. Just get on with it.” she said. “And don’t start whining about your grammar class. I don’t want to hear it, and you just fixed your last pronoun. Tell me what’s happening with Nick, because I’m not talking anymore.” She clamped her mouth shut.
I smiled and pasted a zipper over her lips, sealing them with it, then added a lock and inserted the skeleton key. I pushed it into the slot, locked her mouth, and then melted the key in a cauldron of lava.
“All right, now you can’t speak.” I said. She glared at me angrily, and pulled her cellphone out from her pocket. “Hey! When did you get that?”
She tapped vigorously at the keyboard, and my phone (get this) in the Real World went off, the text saying, ‘I’ve always had one, dummy. And if you so much as go off on a tangent about how you had to drag in humans because you’d philosophically cut yourself out of your own writings I’m going to start blowing your phone up so fast your carrier will hate you.’
“That’s quite a long text.” I told her, and she looked at me in utter defiance, her eyes saying, ‘Well no duh; look who your talking to.’
“All right, fine. I’ll tell you what happened, and is happening, to Nick.” I said, and my phone went off again.
‘About time.’ the text said, and I frowned at her.
“If you’re not going to talk, then don’t text me if you want to hear the story.” I said, and she frowned and began to tap away again. “No!” I shouted, snatching it away amidst her displeased frown. “I’m not joking. If you want me to tell you, you have to be quiet.”
She crossed her arms and glared at me, as if demanding that I get on with it.
“Now, for the third time, Nick was sent on his quest. Standard ‘go slay the dragon’ type thing, with a lovely charger and his trusty squire/sidekick, depending on your preference.” I said, and Fiera stamped her foot. “What?” I asked. She angrily tugged at the oral confines, then ripped them off as if they were an unpleasant bandage.
“Gimme my phone back, first of all.” she snapped and grabbed it away. “And secondly, show me. I don’t want ‘And he is blah, blah, blah, and then this thing came and blah, blah, blah.’ Show, don’t tell.”
“Um, Fiera, that’s a comma splice.” I said, and she balled her fists and shouted.
“I don’t care! Show me the story!”
“Fine, fine.” I said, then grinned. “But this chapter’s met its quota. You’ll have to wait till the next one.”
“Aargh! I’m not going to let you sleep tonight, punk!” she screamed at me. “I hate you! You’re the worst father ever! You don’t love me anymore. You don’t care about me. I hate you!”
“Yeah, yeah, and the moon’s made of cheese.” I said. “I’m not your father, and throwing a tantrum isn’t going to get your way.”
“Fine, just hurry it up. I’m tired of always being stuck on the backburner while you deal with your ‘better’ stories.” Fiera sulked.
“I have never called them better, only higher priorities.” I told her. “Those are the ones I plan on publishing. This is just an ‘Easter Egg’, which is a really funny allusion since I was just over at my grandparents for Easter.”
“Haha, funny. Go to bed, let the clock run, and get your butt back here tomorrow.”
“No, I’ll be posting the update tomorrow.” I told her. “But I will write tomorrow.”
“Get out of here!” she shouted, and I saved the document before she could decide to start hurling fireballs.