Quick Novel

::: the novel written in seven hours :::

chapter twenty

"Watermelon watermelon watermelon..." Susan had gotten bolder and spoke in audible range, but audible range did not compete with buzzers and shrills and frustrated shakers of pinball machines. Ruby had a rush of nostalgia and jutted the little red joystick around protecting Ms. Pacman from Inky and Sue. She was finding it difficult to hold her cigarette in one hand and protect the yellow dot with a pink bow in the other, but she knew how to rub her stomach and pat her head, and this was just a little bit tougher. Susan appeared to be reading her dusty arbitrary volume of academia aloud, but in fact she wasn't really interested in the laden words of past post-grads, but speaking about summer's fruit and waiting for enlightenment. Her nightly absolutions of bathing in the glow of Pinball Pete's proved to be a light show that fosters philosophical revelation.

Bob leaned down and tapped her book, "Pinball Pete's is Pointless" he alliterated, waiting conspicuously and impatiently for her to revel a hypothesis so she might get on with the sexually perverse aspects of their experiment..

"Bob, now your just waxing philosophical, and its going straight over my head." Susan spoke in baby voice. She played these games, she threw him bones, but her genius could not be spared.

Drew was watching Kenny wander away into the night from the entrance of the glass doors when he noticed Ruby shaking the giant amusement box with moving images. She was thinking she should be getting back for her most likely coffee drinking psuedo-college date with her English class counterpart. She might get laid tonight, after all.

Drew and Ruby meet eyes. Ms. Pacman dies. What was Ms. Pacman's maiden name? Drew and Ruby move in closer. A date of skeeball on full stomachs and a night run might be cheaper than they were expecting. It might involve tokens. It might involve moving vehicles that don't really go anywhere. They might end up parking in a car-shaped video game.

"Ruby-this is amusing. I didn't know you came here to relive Atari..." Drew smiled and began to scratch his name into her styrofoam Chinese doggybag. This is what meeting fucked up grad students on their way to philosophical revelations that buy you Chinese Food and even let you take home the leftovers are for. They make great stories and are terribly easy to ditch. If Ruby decides to Rush, she would tell her Chinese food story to every girl with the sorority pin, every girl she means to look flirty and talkative to. But she would never do a thing like that. You've gotta have Rush stories, but you never can rush.

"These people found me and took me out to dinner and talked Zodiac with me and one is incomprehensible and the other tries so hard to diverge from the norm he ends up being a pretentious poser and they are both so amusing..." she began her story in the middle, because it started long before Bob and Susan ever crossed the street.

"I met this guy in the arb who-(Drew had a story, as well)"

They both found it funny and charming that they had met and Ruby read him her crumpled stepped on poem and they found it so deep and they then went on wandering through life in darkness struggling for light but never thinking to stay in Pinball Pete's long enough to truly see that light, that eye strained mesmerizing suction cup of screens with blinking lights. Only Susan knew the truth.

Blah Blah Blah.

There's supposed to be a resolution now so here it goes, this writer is tired and cranky. Shes been writing too long.

The writer is introducing a new character. He's called the Janitor. He's come to lock up Pinball Pete's and send them off to their respective beds. It's late and he's just doing his job, and he tries to tell the woman in trance with the dusty book on her lamp, or the vamp fool sleeping next to her, or the two young lovers mounted on the plastic motorcycle driving to wherever the promo for the game takes them. Game Over. Actually, game is just on pause for fourteen years, during Susan's rebirth onto CD-ROM. Perhaps this is not a resolution, but I'm doing the Quick Novel people a grand justice in creating room for a sequel. This is called forethought. Forethought is better than closure, it brings out anticipation, it brings out best-sellers and airport novels. So, yeah.

"Aren't you going to go into greater depths about the many allegorical and metaphorical and icals and isms of my work?" Susan calls across the room to the writer.

"Save that for your thesis, Bitch!" the writer retorts. Susan, our hero, is silenced.. The writer has won.

...on to Chapter Twenty-one...

Any questions? e-mail chris@osric.com