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Fly in the Ointment (Part 4: Attempting Seduction)

by sinistercutlass

"So, um… seen any good movies lately?”

Megan shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

Kathryn sighed. It boggled her mind how anyone could reduce such a potentially extensive, engrossing discussion to “Yeah, I guess.”

After all, she was the sort of person who espoused the notion that Hollywood films would have been immeasurably enriched if Johnny Depp had acted during the silent era.

Unfortunately, nobody had yet managed interest in having this conversation with her.

“Well, I guess Transformers 4 was pretty good,” Megan added.

Kathryn grew distant behind her eyes, and responded, “Oh. Yeah. Yeah, I suppose. Shia LaBeouf is pretty hot, is that right?”

Megan wrinkled her nose. “Maybe when he was younger. Now he’s just crazy and doing immoral things.”

Kathryn nodded vaguely, bored.

They fell silent. Then Megan saw Kathryn’s eyes light up.

“Oh, hey,” Kathryn said, excited, remembering something important. “D’you remember that movie that came out when we were kids? The Nightmare before Christmas?”

Megan nodded vaguely, not knowing what that twisted, bad movie had to do with anything.

“I just saw it for the first time this summer,” Kathryn explained. “Can you believe it? Eighteen years old and I’d never seen it! Did you ever get to see it?”

A little annoyed at the pointlessness of this discussion, Megan said, “Just the beginning. It was pretty stupid. You’re not missing much.”

Kathryn wrinkled her brow, desperately confused. “Did you get as far as Jack Skellington’s first song? You know, the one where he sings–“ and she actually did sing, pouring it full with rapturous feeling:

Oh somewhere deep inside of these bones,

an emptiness began to grow.

There’s something out there far from my home:

a longing that I’ve never known…

Megan stood paralyzed. Her wide, scandalized eyes darted about, scanning the scene for witnesses. The horrible ringing silence flayed her with abandon.

Kathryn, flush with ecstasy, realized that all the force of her feeling had left Megan cold and scared, instead of warm and inspired.

Kathryn wanted to scream.

Forgetting to lower her voice, she demanded, “Doesn’t that stir something in you?”

Megan quailed.

Kathryn tried again, more softly: “I mean… doesn’t every cell in your body just quiver with pleasure at such a serendipitous blend of melody, rhyme, and meaning?”

Megan stared. She was at a loss as to where Kathryn’s passion came from. “It’s OK, I guess,” she managed.

At the look on Kathryn’s face, Megan grasped that she was losing the apostate.

Quickly, she added, “I guess I did feel a little something. It’s a nice song. It’s got a lot of emotion.”

Kathryn looked exhausted, though not entirely from the singing.

She hugged herself with her arms, and quietly explained, “Before I heard that song, I thought movies were just moving pictures, you know? You pop one in and you zone out. And I thought Nightmare was a creepy kid’s movie concocted by a sick mind. That’s what I was told. Were you told that?”

Megan nodded slowly, at a loss for why Kathryn was pushing the point. 

Nobody pushed a point, ever. Nobody ever had a point to push.

“So that’s what I thought, walking into it, and then what do I get instead? Beauty, emotional honesty, artistic frustration, humanity…. all things I’d never experienced. I mean, humanity– it’s not as if I’d never been human– I mean, obviously– but I’d never been as much of a human. Think about that: my whole life, I’d been missing… not a movie per se, but an understanding, a feeling. All because small-minded people told us it was bad and wrong. We’ve missed so much.”

Megan privately doubted this.

“Do you ever feel that way?” Kathryn inquired, sending Megan a sidelong glance. “Like you’ve missed a lot just because deluded authority figures have kept you from the world?”

Megan shook her head. She really had no idea why Kathryn was still pressing this point. It was quite ludicrous now. Why is she still talking about this? Oh, wait.

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1712 Reviews

Points: 117956
Reviews: 1712

Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:06 am
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BluesClues wrote a review...

Omg I love Kathryn so much.

Okay sorry about that.

Really, though. I love how much Kathryn was developed just through this simple conversation about movies. It's fantastic. It's. Oh my gosh.

So, fantastic characterization, obviously. I know I've already said it, but once again the contrast between Kathryn and Megan is great--more so than ever in this chapter, where Kathryn is so full of feeling and life, and Megan is just like, "Meh" and "Tigers and lions and immorality, oh my!"

One thing I'm curious about, though. So I know Kathryn's dad struck his name from the book (or whatever) in Salt Lake City, so that means he turned his back on Mormon faith, yes? Does that mean he had been realizing, well, basically what Kathryn said about "deluded authority figures have kept us from the world," so he removed his family from that situation? Or is he actually still practicing somewhere else or at least follows many of the same values of morality/immorality and Kathryn has broken away from her parents?

I feel like it's the former, and I also feel like I'd understand that automatically if I knew more about Mormonism, but oh, well.

NEXT CHAPTER. Everyone hold on.

Omg, this is so good.


I'd 'like' this post multiple times if I could. I love that you're loving this story and getting out it what I want the audience to get out of it! For clarification: yes, Kathryn's whole family is out of the Mormon church.

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41 Reviews

Points: 1988
Reviews: 41

Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:23 am
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silverhanded wrote a review...

Here I am binge reading what you've posted of this story. (:

I like how passionate and alive Kathryn seems. It reminds me of how I was just after I was allowed to leave the church (parent things). I was so loud and out there and ready to go on with my life.

The way you portray that enthusiasm of freedom to explore a new world is fun. Were you ever a member of the church? A fair amount of this is absolutely spot on.

I'm really enjoying this story, thanks for posting~

Oh, I thought you had already realized... yes, of course, I was a member of the Mormon church, for the first 15 years of my life. :)

I'm so glad you can relate with Kathryn, and that you recognize her energy and vitality for what it is. Kathryn is a stand-in for me, so I completely identify with the feelings of your own that you mention.

Of all the people who have read this story, you have read into it the most accurately. I guess that's to be expected, given your background. :)

— BlueAfrica