Kusho’s Insane, Imaginary Comedy
Written by: S. Kakusho a.k.a. FreakDeakyPyro
“Edgar Allan Poe. You may know him as the author of ‘The Raven’—” my teacher stated, carrying her literature book in her arms; her short, stick-like figure pacing around the classroom from the corner of my eye. She advanced to the board, preparing to give a writing assignment.
“And, ‘The Masque of the Red Death,’ ‘The Black Cat,’ ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’…” I muttered under my breath.
My mind was blank, temporarily defunct to do any thing, let alone a simple writing assignment. It got to the point where I could only see everyone’s mouths moving, but nothing was heard. At that instant, the door to reality slammed shut in my face, locking the door, and the key falling into a perpetual hole. I fell into an endless abyss.
I completely stopped landing on my back on a rough, rocky surface with a loud, echoing ‘THUD.’ Ash smudges were left on my clothes and skin, the smell of burning paper overwhelming my sense of smell. After propping myself up, I became aware of all the cacophonous rackets around me in the dark, musty place. My ears bled from the inside, the eardrums overpowered by the noise. Paper rustled from every direction as a constant rush of cold air blew. Fire crackled in a distance; its dim glow flickering against the wall of stone. Metal chains were clanging as they dragged along the floor, attached to familiar-looking people.
“It’s about time you showed up,” a tall, gaunt man said before me. His silhouette approached as I slowly crawled back, churning the ashes under me, its dust tickling my nose. His shadow grew longer as he stepped into the faint light.
A face appeared and I recognized who it was. “Edgar Allan Poe?” My eyes widened.
“In the flesh. Well, not really. Now get up. We’ve got to get you through this before your teacher notices you’re daydreaming.” I opened my mouth before he continued. “You are here, in your imagination, to overcome your—eh, what do you say—writer’s block. Here. We are in the level of nothingness. All the ideas you have ditched come here. See.” Poe pointed to a broken light bulb floating to the pile. “Do you see that concrete block over there?” I nodded, gazing at the massive block. “That’s Satan.”
“What!” I yelled out. “That slab is nothing more than a hunk of concrete with a badly drawn face in permanent marker.” The face changed into a picture of me. “What the—”
“You are your own critic. You judge what happens to your ideas…and your characters. Watch.” Poe took a light bulb, labeled ‘Lose Hope.’ He rolled the bulb over to the block crushing it into smithereens.
“Ah, so that’s why they call it writer’s block.”
“Yes. Here, everything is condemned. The most painful to watch is probably your characters being crushed. The screams. The blood splattered every where...” He pointed to the walls, where all my rejected characters were.
Among them, I saw Schmee, the first and simplest character of my imagination. The chains on his bony arms and legs yanked him, dragging him towards Satan. Schmee’s tiny figure stood under the large shadow, as his dirtied face slowly looked up, terrified. The block plunged over him, the sound of his fragile bones cracking and the blood spraying out everywhere as if it were a lawn sprinkler; there was no place, the blood didn’t touch.
I grimaced, sighing inwardly taking a whiff of the ashen atmosphere. I felt light-headed before I fell over.
Opening my eyes, I saw the word ‘jump’ in white, bold letters, hopping on my nose. Baffled by the action of the verb, I looked around in the pure black, endless space. The ambiance was very still, nothing stirring, everything in complete silence. I whipped around in every direction and I saw nothing, but emptiness. Unsure of Poe’s whereabouts, I breathed heavily, my breath visible to me in white clouds. I prepared to grab ‘jump’ off my nose, before I noticed I couldn’t see my hands!
“Whoa.” The word ‘whoa’ appeared before me. I covered my mouth and gasped, watching the word dissipate. Uncovering my mouth, I whispered, “Hello.” A puny-looking ‘hello’ appeared in front of me.
“I see you have perceived the power of your plain words,” I heard Poe say, out of nowhere. I couldn’t see him, but his spoken words gave me an idea of where he was. “This is the level of irrationality. Everything in here will contradict the laws of science. I bet you’re wondering why you can see these words floundering about or your breath even when you can’t see yourself, or anything else, am I right?”
“Yeah,” I replied, slowly. The space was polluted with each spoken word. The verbs acted as their action, such as ‘floundering’ wandering aimlessly. Adjectives displayed themselves as what they described. For example, the letters of ‘plain’ were no more than a thin line, shaped into the letters. Emphasis was also taken into account, as whispered words appeared frail and emphasized words prodigious.
“If you haven’t observed yet, as much space as this place may have, nothing echoes.” Poe darkened his tone of voice, sounding sinister. “Truth is, in here, many of your characters are being put together as we speak, and with them, their fate. This level is your brainstorming level, if you will.”
“Okay…then what’s with the sounding evil thing?” I asked, ignoring the words that appeared before me, the ‘evil’ brushing past my shoulder.
“At the strike of every hour, these characters search for their creator, for praise…or for revenge.” His malicious tone grew into a maniacal laugh.
“But, if this is my imagination, then aren’t I their creator?” A ‘YES,’ the size of a building, appeared before me, as a bell tolled. I felt cold hands grasp my arms and legs and heard low grunts and grumbles, as they fought over me as if I was an old teddy bear. “Poe! A little help here!”
“Nameless here, forevermore…” he stated, his words coming out before me. “In other words, don’t call me ‘Poe.’ Have you no respect?” Someone grabbed me, snatching me away from the vengeful hands. After a long time in silence with only voices, I finally heard a natural running river in the dark cavern. I was pushed into a small boat and we were carried downriver by the current, where I saw a penny-sized hole emitting a bright light.
We had reached the end of the tunnel, where the river took us. The shimmering, ebony-colored water captivated me as the boat gradually stopped. I observed the haven, where I saw life at its fullest contained in the vast green grass. Paper butterflies fluttered in the flame-colored sky. I saw pencils with two pairs of wings hovering over a rainbow-colored pond. Within the pond, a fountain pen, acting as a fountain protruded from the center as little minnow-like creatures swam around. The trees had their autumn foliage, not to mention loose-leaf sheets of notebook paper, actually growing on them. Another type of tree I saw had light bulbs hanging on small filaments, as they illuminated a dim glow. “Wow…” I said, before discovering other people frolicking in the area.
“The level of self-satisfaction.” I turned my attention to Edgar, surprised. “All of your finished works stay here, in the ‘folio bushes’ around your field of vocabulary. Here is where your successful characters reside, in this retreat. See, like Daxter Fender over there,” Poe explained, pointing to the brown-haired, green-eyed teen, who sat under a tree, strumming a song.
“I never thought of actually meeting my characters,” I whispered, astonished. I sat in the boat, listening to gloomy, harmonic music, resonating from the guitar. “It’s so…peaceful, unlike the other two heinous levels we past through.”
“Uh-huh. Now I want you to jump out of the boat, and don’t scare the little ‘pennows’ and the ‘eraser striders.’” He sat down on the moist grass. “And, be sure not to touch what you think is water. It is ink, and if you touch too much of it, you can be poisoned.”
I did as told, and found myself doing somersaults and spins in the air, without hitting the ground. In fact, I was actually flying. I felt like I was on cloud nine, in paradise. While flying about, I found a well, where small light bulbs, labeled ‘finished,’ overflowed from the sides, while on the inside of the well, it glowed a ominous red, triggering the memory of what I had just gone through. “I just have one question, throughout this whole, odd experience. Why were you my guide?”
“Do I hear inspiration? I know what type of style you write,” Poe answered, as he smirked. He took a fleeting look at his pocket watch. “You should be going now.”
“But how?” Poe held out a key, and a door appeared out of nowhere. “Oh, the key to reality. Thanks—”
“No need for the thanks.”
I nodded. “Nice to meet you in person, sort of, even though you are a figment of my imagination.” I unlocked the door and stepped through.
Almost instantly, I fell out of my chair in class, where everyone burst out into laughter and the teacher glared at me. I let out a hesitant laugh, before I muttered a low, “Oh, boy, am I in big trouble now.” Never will I ever fall into my reverie during class again. Nevermore.