Oi, turn off all your stuff, terminate your bleeps and bloops, we're waiting for the show to finally get on the road.
The audience is cloaked in darkness, and the world feels like nothing.
Silence washes upon them. The honeyed lips of screaming silences.
It's like, 6AM. I just woke up.
I kind of walk out onto the stage, rubbing my eyes a bit. Wild, raucous applause echoes throughout the chamber.
The applause quiets down, except for a guy in the front row who keeps clapping.
"Fuckin'… just stop, dude."
Pico grins and rests his hands to the side.
He looks out at the rows of Redd foes in velvet seats, and through the gloom he glimpses a bear with a human face.
"Wait, what the fuck is that, I never wrote that. Jesus fuck, that's weird."
I look around, confirm that my seat is there. And yet a single lego piece rests beneath the cushion.
A part of my butt is broken.
The author swears.
"SNAKESCREWING SARSAPARILLA SKULLING SCARABSUCKING SON-OF-A-SEAHORSE! Fucking hell that hurt!"
The audience laughs. That's good.
"So yeah, uh, Acidverse, eh? Probably should have been working on that for a while, I guess."
"Yeah, it's… uh… listen, I'm in, like, my last year of University, right? I have a lot of shit to do right now. I don't have the time to write, I need to finish my Final Year Project, and I need, like, a 77 or more to get first class honours in my degree, and… hell, I should have finished my degree at the end of 2013, I should have been out of the damn tertiary education mill. But you know what I actually ended up doing then?"
The audience nods.
"Yeah, Cool War, right? Because I broke, or whatever, and that was just the sewage that happened to leak out of my mouth. But apparently there are a lot of shit-eaters around here, so they gobbled up my prose in a weird, disgusting mouth-to-mouth creation/consumption Human Centipede."
The crowd murmurs. The author de-chairs.
"Anyway, uh, there's this guy. He booked the other room. And he thinks… I dunno, there's shackles on all of you? But you look pretty damn free to me. I mean, look at that guy with the big ears, you know, what's his name… Disney's mouse, the one that fucked up copyright in the first place…"
"MICKEY!", you shout.
"Yes, I know, I was being facetious, but thank you anyway, reader. I don't know why you have to take all these meaningless subtleties and make them blatant. Anyway. To all of you, uh… cheers for whatever. This is kind of like, I'm trying to draw some parallels here, to do a pastiche as tastefully as possible, or something. With as much respect as possible, I mean, the guy in the other room, it's like… I really liked the guy, he did good things."
In the seats, the crowd…
There are a lot of people. I'd rather not do an exhaustive cast list. And indeed, the most important people are from the other rooms. They wandered in and decided to stick around. And without the chains of Disney's mouse, they were allowed to play with me, and I with them. And so I made some more people in my room, and the other guy made some people in his room, and we let them wander around outside. And it makes me glad to know that other people considered them enjoyable guests in their own memory palaces minds rooms.
"So if you want, y'know, get in here. I mean, rooms are free, provided you're over 15."
"HEY, THAT LAST BIT WASN'T SPOKEN, WE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU-"
"Yeah, you do, this is metafiction. We're all gods here. You know what I was thinking."
And there is stillness, in the sense of still being hereness.
Because we aren't going anywhere, and neither are the people in the audience.
In unison, the crowd stands up and rushes the stage.
"Wait, stop, don't… ah, whatever."
A cavalcade of recognisable faces washes over the author. Lightning arcs between them all. Nobody is there, because they wouldn't miss it - but Everybody is there, too. Aldon and Finnegan. Anderson. Ignatius J. Reilly. A bunch of weird fleshy Sarkic gods. Dr. Jekel A. Jekeled. Alex and Glacon and a bunch of AICs, who were somehow corporeal in this metafictional narrative. The Turing brothers, who I guess broke out of hell somehow. Bright and Clef and Kain and all the old guard. Feel free to edit this page if you want to. Add your own in.
A LOT MORE PEOPLE BESIDES.
I'm glad. I didn't make any of these people. But I know them, and consider them friends. Many of these people helped make me. As sad as it is to see a room disappear, the people don't leave. They just get to wander the corridors, and the people in the other rooms get to have a chat. I'd like as many people in my room as I can get.
And the author stood awhile in the stillness and the quiet, but before the stage lights went down-
"SERIOUSLY WRITE MORE ACIDVERSE YOU WANKER"