So the second half of the year has come and all the Pulp Toast stories have come in! Before I start laying them out, though, I thought I’d give all of you a glimpse at what I’ve written for this issue’s story:
I woke up in a cave, throat parched, back aching. A few steps away lay a young man, possibly my age, staring from a few steps away. Catching my voice, I grunted as I hauled myself to my side, the aches pulsing with every movement. I pulled myself over and looked at his dust-smeared face, sweat-glazed skin, and the dried blood on his khakis.
“Where did you come from?” he asked.
“I’d ask you the same thing.”
“This is my first station,” he said, “Not yours, I presume.”
I grabbed my left arm and felt a metal pin on the side of my arm – a gold ornament depicting a bird in flight, a gift from someone back home. From the corner of my eye, I spotted the end of a silver bow, hanging behind me by the bow string stretched diagonally across my front. As my mind anchored itself with these key objects, my mind groaned – not another one. I knew I was in the right place.
“Well,” I said, hauling myself off the ground, “By the looks of it, this won’t be our station for long.”
He leaned back.
“I was hoping it’ll be different,” he said.
“Archetypes can’t deviate from the Author’s storyline, my friend.”
“Yeah, and we don’t know what’s going to happen to us, or how we’re going to go out.”
He looked up, as if trying to communicate his desperate pleas to the author through his puppy-dog, forlorn gaze.
“It’s not so scary, you know,” I said, “If she does kill you off, presuming she’s a she.”
“Where were you before transition?” he asked.
“Some castle,” I laughed, “Not that much brighter than here, either way. The Author has less of us to deal with, the readers cry and go insane if I did my job well enough – no skin off my nose.”
“The girl before you was distraught when we found the last body,” he said, “She came back here, threw up, and passed out. Our Author had to transition her somewhere else.”
I looked at where he pointed. The dried vomit stain was no longer there.
“Probably her first time too.”
“What did your Author call you?”
Archetypes aren’t supposed to discuss their true identities. Archetypes aren’t supposed to divert from their story stations as well.
“Crafter,” he shook my hand.
And I’m going to leave it at that point. Until Pulp Toast / Roti Bakar #2 comes out, that is!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading what I had and hope to see you soon!