from the OTHER archives: Shoes, Part 1, Chapters 1-4

I didn’t expect to be making this post today. But writer’s fatigue seems to have stricken A Shatter Down The Hall again, even though I already have the ending planned out and I’ve made Vey more of a normal person thrown into unfortunate circumstances than a flat cardboard cutout of a character.

It’s been five months since I last did a review of the cursed trilogy. Since then, my circumstances have drastically changed- I’ve moved into an entirely new house, started drafting for a parody religion, gotten ideas for a new book (which I still haven’t titled, being the only thing I know for sure is the name of the main character) and managed to unwittingly make another enemy at my new school. Guess I’ll have to add Savannah to my list of assholish names, which so far consists of Morgan, Morgan and also Morgan.

Also, if you see our lord and savior Zero around, be sure to tell him happy birthday on my behalf.

The two were kissing, completely ignorant of anything but each other, when Abbey snuck up on them and pressed two nothink devices into the back of their necks.

They fell straight onto the thin mattress, still entwined in each other’s arms.

I’ve completely forgotten how much I hated the old books, but thanks to this one passage alone, I’ve unthankfully remembered. That reminds me, I’ve gathered a database of reaction images. Let’s start the cancer, why don’t we?

Is this what ‘perfect’ love is? Abbey wondered, looking at Mriri and Tim, who were sprawled on the thin mattress.

No, it’s not. It’s prepubescent angsting forced on two Mary Sue characters used as conduits for living the life that basement dweller G wished she had instead of holing up in her room all day with little to no friends.

She wished she still had that kind of love toward her husband. The feelings between them were prime conditions for divorce, but they were still married for their children’s sake.

You do realize that shared parenting is a thing, right? And why can’t you get remarried if the conditions are “prime for divorce”? How is perpetuating that kind of environment healthy in any way for the kids?

Their remaining children, for exactly a month after Abbey’s husband had disappeared 2 years ago in 2011, her daughter Yasmin had also gone missing during a field trip at school.

But Lily felt nothing like a daughter.

If I remember correctly, Abigail only ever had two children- Yasmin and Lily. True, there was also a pregnancy, but that was written off as a cheap plot device intended to generate a few more posts. One of the only times G was ever self-aware. But in any case, this sentence makes absolutely no sense. If there are more children, then where are they kept? Where are they raised? And by who? Abby seems too preoccupied with Algeria and her escapades to do much else.

Mriri,

Last time I saw you, you were unconscious amid a sea of metaphorical diamond shards. If you’re reading this, you have probably woken up.

Note for self in the future- if you’re planning to write any sort of epistolary novel, this is exactly what not to do.

I wish you were here. Things here are boring. And I keep having dreams about nothink devices and divorce and Justin Bieber (don’t get me started on hating) and plastic surgery. (Don’t ask about the last three. That dream was very creepy.)

Contrived and easily outdated pop culture references: 0/10 for a novel intended to be timeless. True, you could fabricate a fictional celebrity and rail against them, but without proper characterizing beforehand, you’d just end up confusing the readers and making the reference stand flat.

Not that a certain celebrity hasn’t been doing harmful shenanigans, but the hateful anti-fan act has gotten more than old and stale.

Don’t tell Yasmin this, but I hacked into her blog and gave myself administrative privledges. And I’ve been posting junk that has nothing to do with her.

I have to go now. The creepers are waiting for me.

Ah, yes. Thank you, G, for reminding me of a time I sincerely believed I was allergic to Minecraft and would go home and scribble over my shoulders in emulation of a “rash” every time I went over to my cousin’s house. Although, I have to admit, reliving the experience of being beaten with a rolled-up Minecraft sheep poster brings a little life to my day.

“Why, hello, Lily.”

“Would you shush up, Twenty? My name’s Tomorrow. And besides, we have to get going if we’re going to arrive at Triko’s place in time to rig the voting machines.”

There are a handful of things wrong with this passage:

  1. Who the hecc is Triko? They’ve never been mentioned before. Do they have any plot relevance? Will they be introduced later? Tune in next episode for more Unanswered Questions!
  2. What is going on here? Who is Twenty? Why does he refer to her as Lily instead of Tomorrow?
  3. Why do the voting machines need to be rigged?

Tomorrow and Twenty were outside, arguing over which of Tomorrow’s many names to use. Obviously, Lily isn’t a very good name for somebody as violent as she is. But that’s just the author’s opinion.

This is not how you break the fourth wall. Unfortunately, all the examples of the correct way to do so have been censored and pushed to the meme page.

Tomorrow crawled through the narrow entrance to the helicopter they were about to leave in and shouted, “Twenty, get in here! You’re piloting it this time. And I want to take a nap on the way there.”

Do you know how loud helicopters are? You can’t take a nap in them unless you’re completely exhausted or mentally wired to do so…

…although someone takes a nap in a helicopter A Shatter Down The Hall, so maybe I shouldn’t complain.

It had been two days since Mriri and Tim had disappeared. The random kids from the bus had all gone back to their various houses. Everything except for Lecia and Grecia’s frantic hunt for Tim and Mriri had gone back to normal.

If I were in charge of a top-secret medical research facility responsible for hundreds of ethical violations and some of my specimens went missing, I definitely would not go back to normal until I had found them.

And whatever happened to the random kids on the bus? Surely some of them would have phones. Come on, put the NSA nanny state to good use and track down the locations from that day! Turn a violation of our rights into a godsend for others!

What’s wrong? You’re too lazy to write realistically? Or are you only in seventh grade and know nothing of value of the world around you?

Or maybe Algeria is just your self-insert for all the insomnia-induced dreams you had every night when you weren’t busy stressing about how the devil supposedly was coming for your soul. Which obviously was just the product of your over-reactive and radicalized mind, but that’s a story for another day.

It was this hunt that was taking place right now. Actually, it had just ended.

“Hey, Grecia!”

“Yes, Lecia?”

“Come here! I think I found them!”

Well, isn’t that convenient. No sights of the search Lecia and Grecia had to go through in order to build up suspense for the reader, no moment of realization, no characterization of these two women who are about to mess up everything- nope, just unconscious one day and discovered the next.

Grecia came to where Lecia had pulled open a heavy metal door leading to a cold room. It was in this room that they found Tim and Mriri sprawled across a mattress, still hugging each other.

Lecia and Grecia stood there for a full minute in awe and silence.

Awe and silence that these two immature teenagers didn’t decide to use the privacy to bang each other and instead remained chaste.

Their silence was interrupted by Mahogany, who was falling down the stairs and screaming, “Lily’s been in a helicopter crash-”

Funny that all the news I can find about helicopter crashes always end up in fatalities for everybody aboard. How much do you want to bet that Lily’s going to miraculously survive so that the story can continue?

“WHAT?” Lecia and Grecia shrieked at the same time after they had turned around to face Mahogany at the same time.

“She broke all four limbs-”

Well, yeah, death from a crash is usually caused by severe bodily damage.

Lecia and Grecia smiled at each other. “What are you guys smiling about?” Mahogany demanded to know.

“I was just thinking,” Lecia piped up, “that this would be the perfect time to get rid of Lily’s and Tim’s creepiness and Mriri’s ‘perfection’.”

Seriously? Your liege- master- superior- whatever the word for it is in your fictional universe has just been severely injured and possibly dead, and all you can think of is an excuse to waste precious time in a medically unnecessary surgical procedure? Have you seen the pictures of plastic surgeon addicts? Their faces look like lifeless plastic slapped onto a mannequin and then animated! Why are you condemning those poor kids to that fate? Because they’re kids. Admit it.

Also, now that I notice it, how does Lecia know of Algeria’s secret name change?

“Hmmm…”

And that was when the surveillance system decided to break.

If this chapter was written in the perspective of someone watching the events from a security maintenance console, then you did a bloody poor job of making it immersive.

And, then by convenience, the computer decided to end this post and potentially my misery.

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