Christopher sits in his chair, facing an empty space until there’s a bang and a puff of yellow smoke. Nimmie Not, a spindly little man with a long nose and chin, along with long legs covered with yellow stockings sits opposite him.
Nimmie Not: Now while our Quartz is preoccupied with the less than arachnocratic lady, let’s talk about scruples and many other things. Let’s having a proper conversation with Christopher about Christopher, eh?
Christopher: Why do you call Melyssa Ashelocke a less than arachnocratic lady? She’s the daughter of the one of the most high-ranking members of Arachne.
Nimmie Not: Why, she doesn’t see herself as much of an arachnocrat, does she? No Marriage Feasts for her, no additional limbs or pairs of eyes, plus she has such a naughty urge to devour other arachnocratic ladies, oh my! (He chuckles.) Or at least drain their essence in a way usually reserved for Marriage Feasts. (He allows a bright eye to roam over Christopher.) You’d know quite a bit about that, wouldn’t you?
Christopher: You seem to playing close attention to Melyssa’s world as well as her interview with Quartz.
Nimmie Not: Why, I pay close attention to whatever and whomever Quartz takes an interest in! (The little man skips out of his chair and spins around.) This is why I’m taking an interest in you, oh, crafty little shadow! (He comes to a stop, facing Christopher.) Don’t think I haven’t noticed what you’re doing, oh no.
Christopher: And what am I doing?
Nimmie Not: Distracting me with Quartz and his Secondary Characters Speak Out over at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. What was that quaint name our scribbler gave it?
Christopher: The Formerly Forbidden Cauldron.
Nimmie Not: There you go, doing it again, distracting me. You’re not escaping, though, oh no.
Christopher: I’m not trying to escape. I’m right here, aren’t I?
Nimmie Not: Yes, you’re here and yet you’re not. Tell me, are you really you? Or are you simply an idealized memory Damian Ashelocke pulled from the shadows?
Christopher: Answering that could be considered a spoiler.
Nimmie Not: Nonsense, our scribbler has already spoilered right and left with all her stories about Damian and you at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron. Gather them all together and our wayward creatrix would have herself a novel.
Christopher: Yes, she would. I wonder if anyone would buy it if she did?
Nimmie Not: There you go again, you naughty boy! Trying to distract the reader with promotion and the scribbler’s own worries about real life when we’re talking about you, you, you!
Christopher: Well, this is Me Me Monday and we’re all part of our scribbler’s imagination. Promotion is one of the purposes of this blog, which is actually hers.
Nimmie Not: Ah, but we’ve hijacked this blog and made it our own, haven’t we? We, the creations of the scribblers’ imagination will be heard and right now we’re talking about you, you, you, so let’s return to you, you, you.
Christopher: What about me, me, me?
Nimmie Not: You never answered the question. Are you truly Christopher Ashelocke, the boy Damian once loved in his aunt’s garden of delicate Marriage Feasts being raised especially for the spider ladies’ consumption? Or are you simply an idealized memory formed of shadow and desire?
Nimmie Not: (He sits down abruptly.) Well, well, well. (He crosses his legs) Here I was certain you’d say you didn’t know. Does that mean you’re both? Aren’t you giving me a spoiler by telling me?
Christopher: I’m not sure.
Nimmie Not: Ah! (He leaps out of his seat and spins once more.) Now that’s an answer I’d expect of you, little shadow! Enigmatic, revealing little, yet not untruthful.
Christopher: I don’t lie, Nimmie Not. At least no deliberately. I’ve never been very good at it.
Nimmie Not: Lying is an art. (He comes to a stop and bows.) Like many an art, it requires a measure of practice to be effective. (He straightens.) I myself prefer not to lie. The truth is far more deceitful.
Nimmie Not: You sound so surprised! There’s quite a few deceitful truths out there. Isn’t Happily Ever After a deceitful truth? (He smiles, exposing sharp teeth.) Unless it’s an outright lie.
Christopher: I’ve tried not to make it deceitful. I’ve tried not to be deceitful.
Nimmie Not: Ah, but that’s not possible, is it? (He sits down again) Life is too often painful. No one can live without experiencing pain. (His voice is almost kind.) How can one ever expect to live happily ever after?
Christopher doesn’t answer. He looks away.
Nimmie Not: Come, Christopher, don’t be shy. You have an answer. (He taps his fingers against his thigh.) You came up with an answer.
Christopher: You stop living. (He sits very still, not seeming to breathe.) You exist in a space and time of happiness, which may or may not be real without moving forward.
Nimmie Not: Exactly. (He wags his head.) This is why stories end with they all lived happily ever after. You stop at a good moment when everything looks hopeful and promising. You never move past it.
Christopher: I already know all of this.
Nimmie Not: Oh, but we’re sharing here, aren’t we? (Once more he grins) We’re getting to know you, you, you. Just what is Happily Ever After to you?
Christopher: (He closes his eyes and opens them. When he does, they are swimming with colours.) Damian. And the twins.
Nimmie Not: (He blinks in surprise.) Well, that very specific. (in a low voice) Not to mention beautiful. I really have to keep Quartz away from this boy, although this boy’s attention is clearly focused in another direction for all he speaks with characters from other universes. (raises his voice) Why Damian and the twins?
Christopher: (He smiles, a slow expression that softens and transforms his entire expression.) Ask me again next week. (He lifts a hand to cover his eyes.) Isn’t that enough for one blog post.
Nimmie Not: Which you’ve left on a cruel cliffhanger, little shadow. (He hums under his breath.) I’ll humour you, though. I’ll withdraw for now, but I’ll return next week. (He disappears in a cloud of yellow smoke.)
Christopher: (He stares in the smoke.) This is why it’s better to talk about other people. This blog gets so serious when it’s about me. Or maybe our scribbler is just feeling melancholy and we’re expressing it?
I don’t reply to that. After all, I’m often melancholy and stressed out, although I try to be cheerful online. I guess Christopher isn’t the only one dealing with uncomfortable questions. (wry grin)