The Madness Thus Far:
It began rather unfortunately when the novelist forgot his sword cane. He found his manuscript cluttering with all the usual stereotypes, and found himself inexplicably part of his manuscript.
It continued when a Giant Face in the Sky told the novelist to file complaints with the Scriptwriter. But the Scriptwriter proved to be an inexplicable Sock Monkey, more interested in selling tea than answering for his crimes against literature.
It continued continuing when the Sock Monkey shunted the novelist into an inexplicable city. It turned out to be Pillsday. (Don’t worry, the novelist doesn’t know what that is yet, either.) He fell in with a poet and the Press, attended a meeting of the Committee for the Preservation of the Liberation Of, and found himself being chased across an alien landscape by ten thousand baboons.
It will not continue with the debate between the novelist, the poet, and the Press about the nature of the script, the Scriptwriter, and Pillsday. The committee chairman has just swooped in.
The novelist is about to speak.
The Madness Continues:
“What?” said the novelist.
He had a horrible feeling it wasn’t the most profound thing he could have said just then.
“Er, ah, quite.” The commitee chairman wiped his forehead with the edge of his cloak, and looked around guiltily.
An awkward silence fell heavily.
“Oof!” it gasped. “Yark!”
The Press jumped, glared at it. “Bad business altogether, this place. Never know what’s going to swoop down from these crags!”
“Yark?” asked the awkward silence. It waved its tentacles feebly.
The novelist felt things weren’t progressing satisfactorily. He was, after all, making—or trying to make—a career of gripping plots. He looked around the exhausted company huddling in the shadows.
The poet had resumed staring at the sky. The Press had given up all pretence of reporting, and was busy sketching a reproduction of Giordorio’s Chap Without Trousers On Down Escalator. The committee chairman, having successfully concluded his swoop, was rummaging in his pockets for a cigarette. The awkward silence was rooting around for mushrooms. The scent of distance, time, and death was thankfully still asleep.
What we need, the novelist decided recklessly, is motive.
He grabbed the committee chairman’s collar. “Hoy! Batman! What do you want and why?”
The committee chairman gaped. “Er, what?”
“What’s keeping you from getting it?” the novelist demanded. “What are you going to do about it?”
“Yark,” observed the awkward silence. It slobbered a mouthful of mushroom.
“Well, really.” The committee chairman flustered. “Perhaps our worthy treasurer would like to comment?”
The novelist gave up and turned to the Press. “What do you want? Why? What’s stopping you?”
The Press snapped shut his notebook. “No comment.”
The poet blinked dreamily. “It’s like a poem. One minute on, one minute off. I shall call it, ‘the hot water while i’m in the sho – AUUGH!’”
The novelist flailed his arms in the air. “Look, I know I’m mad, but that doesn’t mean I’m crazy. This, I must say, is madness! Though I says it who shouldn’t. Do you realize none of us have a motive?”
The Press considered. “Poet, Novelist, Committee Chairman, and Journalist Have No Purpose. No, can’t say I see that making the headlines. It ain’t news.”
“Yark,” the awkward silence yarked.
“Then what,” the novelist shouted, “is the purpose for this scene?”
“You forget,” said the poet, “that we really only matter in a peripheral sense. You, after all, are the title character and presumably the protagonist. You make things happen.”
“Oh?” The novelist was beyond mad now. He danced on one foot in a fury. “Then I will have this happen! I want an applesauce sandwich. I cannot have an applesauce sandwich because there is no local diner! I will overcome this by questing to the end of the earth to punch a sock monkey in the heel! Yaaargh!”
“Yark!” yarked the awkward silence happily.
With a lumious puff, a diner appeared.
The novelist stared. Now he knew, beyond all comprehension, that the script was still in revision.
The Press rushed to the door. He yelped. “I say, you lot! The applesauce sandwich isn’t on the menu. It’s not on the blithering menu!”
“Ladies and gentleman,” said the poet dreamily, “I give you motive.”
“All in favour?” asked the committee chairman.
“Yark,” the awkward silence yarked.
The novelist fainted from sheer relief.
He regretted that later, since he missed the part when they were all taken prisoner by pirates, and didn’t wake up until they were well below deck.