Friday, May 25, 2012

What May 25th Means To Me: Fan Fiction

Listen, I'll come right out and admit it. I do not understand the appeal of fan fiction.  At all.  Not even a little. More specifically, I don't understand the sensation currently known as "50 Shades Of Grey." I know it's like the biggest thing out there right now, so I figured I'd read an excerpt or two to see what the fuss was about.  It doesn't seem particularly interesting, or well written, but I guess a gazillion people can't be wrong, and the author, who originally concocted the story as Twilight fan fiction, is rich beyond belief.  So I guess she wins. 

I've written a book and some screenplays that I feel are pretty good, but clearly, I've not experienced near the success of the "50 Shades of Grey" lady. So what's the answer?  As I sit here at 2am, fitful from lack of sleep, I only have one solution: To write fan fiction! DUH! Genius! And why not do it with my current obsession: Game Of Thrones?  I'm titillated by just the thought of it.  It'll be brilliant.  Or something kind of mocking and dumb.  OK, something really mocking and dumb. But why not?  God knows I've wasted my time with stupider (I think.) 

(***Upon reading this over once, this really has to be the stupidest thing I ever spent time on. *** Oh, and in true fan fiction tradition, I didn't bother checking syntax or fact I didn't edit it at all. :) )



I checked my watch for what seemed like the 500th time.  It felt like I'd been in this place for hours, but only 45 minutes had actually elapsed.  I rested my head against the plush booth and looked towards the dark ceiling, lost, while I let the ambient sound from the jukebox overtake my thoughts.  I couldn't believe I was there.  That place.  A place that was once home to my sweetest memories.  Memories that were now painted blood red and dripped from the corners of my mind until there was nothing left but stain.

"Duuuude," my friend Tanner said. "C'mon, we took you out tonight so you wouldn't be miserable."

Our friend, Chase, agreed with him. But they had no idea of the pain I felt.  I just wanted to leave. To be anywhere but in this loud place.  I just wanted to go home.

"Not now, guys." I responded, as I closed my eyes.

Tanner and Chase both raised from their seats and placed their Abercrombie clad bodies in front of mine.  "Dude, you've gotta get over her," Chase said. "I'm sorry, man, but you know she's over you."  That didn't help. 

"Thanks Chase, I appreciate that," I responded, sarcastically.  I had the full intention of heading out the door.  Tanner had noticed that I had had enough.

"Alright, Dude, I'll tell you what.  Just talk to a girl.  Any girl here.  See that there's other fish in the sea," Tanner said. "And then you can go home."


"Then we'll keep you here all night," Chase said, with a laugh.  "You know we can.  We're bigger than you."

They were.  And it was exactly the sort of thing they'd do.  I've seen them do it to mutual friends in the past.  I didn't want to deal with their offer, but figured if it was the quickest way to go home, a 3 second conversation with some girl who wouldn't want to speak with me anyway wouldn't be the end of the world.  Tanner noticed that I had relented.  He knew me too well.  Excited, he scanned the entire bar, scoping out possible women I might speak with, one by one eliminating potential targets.

"She's too pretty," he said about one.  "She's too snotty," he said of another.  "And ooh, she's too fat."

His eyes finally rested on a young woman sitting at the end of the bar.  She was alone.  Her face was shield by her platinum blond hair.  She looked undisturbed.  Lonely even.  Tanner pointed to her confidently and nodded his head slowly.  "That's the one. Right there."

I sighed and begged for them both to leave me alone, but they wouldn't take no for an answer.  "Fine, fine," I said.  I picked up my body from the booth; I swore it weighed four times as much as normal.  The weight of my sorrow felt permanent on my shoulders.  But with a quick push on the back from Chase, I trudged my body towards the mysterious girl sitting alone.  As I approached her, I noticed her hair wasn't exactly platinum blond.  It was silver.  But not like an old lady; more like something out of a storybook. And her dress.  It was like nothing I'd ever seen.  Granted, I wasn't hip to fashion trends, but it just looked out of place.  It caused me to wonder what kind of drugs she might be on.  I placed myself only a foot away from the strange girl, but she didn't stir.

"Hi..." I said.  But nothing.  Not even a hint of acknowledgment.  My shoulders dropped. "Hello..." I said again, through a sigh.  Still nothing. Zero movement.  I turned back to my friends who both urged me on with flicks of the wrist.  And a bit of laughter.  I rolled my eyes and turned towards her again.  This time, I wouldn't greet her with words. Instead, I tapped her on the shoulder. And like a lightning bolt, she spun around and pierced me with her crystal clear blue eyes.  A stare so intense I could feel my throat actually tighten.  She breathed heavy through her nose and narrowed her eyes. Her lips finally parted.

"The next time you touch me with your hand ... will be the last time you have hands," she said, sternly.

I immediately stepped back and held my hands up to show I meant no harm.  "The last man who touched me without permission was given a boiling crown of liquid gold, and now aimlessly wanders the netherworld for eternity with the other animals who have tried to have me slain."

I was speechless.  I had never heard anything like that.  It was nuts. Beyond crazy.  But before I had a chance to answer, or even consider, she continued her rant: "Who sent you here," she said directly.  I could barely speak.  "Who.Sent.You.Here," she said again.  A warning.

"My ... my friends," I stammered, as I looked back towards them.  She met their gaze with fear.

"Who are they!" She demanded.  "Why did they send you here!"

"I swear I mean no harm," I said, with my hands up. "I just...they just.  To be honest I'm just a severely heartbroken guy and they wanted me to talk to someone.  That's all.  I'll go, right now," I said.

I waited a moment. She broke her gaze and relaxed her taut face. My comment somehow disarmed her.

"You have had your heartbroken," she said, calmer. "I, too, have had my heartbroken." For the first time in our brief conversation, she looked vulnerable.  I breathed a sigh of relief. 

"Oh?" I didn't know what else to say.

"My husband. Khal Drago.  My moon and stars.  Leader of the Dothraki," she said, with heavy sadness.  There was a moment of silence.  She for her husband. Me ... because this was easily the oddest conversation I had ever had.  What the hell did I walk into??

"Oh...ummm...can I ask what happened?" I asked.  The silence was uncomfortable. 

"He died ... fighting for my honor," she said, with a hint of guilt.

"He was killed in a fight?"  I had no fucking clue what she was talking about.

"Khal Drago would never be defeated in a fight," she said, as if it was obvious, and a little offended.  Khal Drago ... maybe a mid-eastern guy, I thought.  Regardless, an odd name. "He suffered a wound in the battle, and the infection festered until he sweated like a bleating pig.  I asked a gypsy woman, a woman from people we conquered to help, and she said she could save his life if we sacrificed another.  I offered his horse ... but she took my unborn child."  Oh ... well that cleared it all up, I thought.

"Wow... I'm sorry?" I said, as I searched for a way out of the conversation.  I looked back to my friends with a look of absolute astonishment.  They returned my expression with questioning ones.  I couldn't wait to tell them this crazy story. 

"They said my stillborn child had the wings of a bat and crumbled in the hands of the gypsy woman like black coal," she continued, sadly.  "Did your wife die in battle as well?"

"What? no." I nervously laughed. 

"In childbirth?"

"Oh, no.  no. She wasn't even my wife. I actually met her in this bar three years ago," I told her, wistfully. "But she left me. Just last week."

"Did you raise a hand to her!" she exclaimed with the same anger she displayed toward the beginning of our conversation.

"No, of course not!" I said.  "I  ... I caught her in our bed. With another man.  She said I was too nice for her."

The silver haired woman's eyes relaxed.  "I'm truly sorry for your loss," she said with sympathy.  I tried to search her face, which now appeared sad.  I realized she had not smiled once during our conversation. She looked into my eyes and grabbed my hand.  "My name is Daenerys Stormborn ... from house Targaryen," she said, warmly.  This was getting weirder with every passing second.  My friends were probably watching me, but I wouldn't dare turn towards them.  Firstly because I was fascinated with the girl, but mostly I was scared she might attack me.  "You're not from around here, are you?" I asked, with an obvious tone.

"Last I remember I was wandering through the Red Waste.  I passed out.  And when I woke up, I was here.  In your city. Alone.  And I fear my friends and followers did not make it."

"Ummm, you're from the Red Waste?" I asked.  Now I was becoming a bit amused.

"No, don't be silly," she said.  Her first smile. "No one is from the Red Waste."  She suddenly turned serious. "I am from the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  I was taken as a small child after my father, the King, was stabbed in the back by Jamie Lannister."

"Jamie Lannister?"  I thought maybe I went to high school with someone by that name.  Maybe this girl had to...before she was admitted to, and then escaped from an insane asylum.

"You've heard of the King Slayer?" she asked. "Of course you have, who hasn't heard of the King Slayer?"  As she said those last, few strange words, I suddenly noticed something creep up her shoulder.  Both her shoulders!  At first I thought it to be a rat.  But as I gathered my wits, I quickly figured it was a bat!  But as the images came into focus, I realized they were things I had never seen before.  I couldn't identify them, but everything in my being told me they were creatures from legend.  I had seen them in story books. In fairy tales.  These two small creatures propped on her shoulders were dragons. I immediately recoiled in fear.  Daenerys just laughed.  "Do not be alarmed," she said, as she gently pet one on the head.  "They would not show themselves if they did not like you."  She smiled warmly. 

I tilted my head to get a better look.  One screeched a light sound.  It appeared quite friendly.  "May I pet one?" I asked.  Daenerys laughed.  "You are a brave one, aren't you. Asking to pet a dragon," she said, as if she were impressed.  " But that would not be wise.  But are you hungry?" she continued.  I wasn't, but I felt uncomfortable saying "no."  I nodded.  She searched her surroundings until her eyes settled on the bowl of peanuts.  She grabbed a few and held them in front of the dragon perched on her left shoulder.  She uttered words in a language I'd never heard and suddenly the dragon breathed fire into her hand!  Seconds later, my nose was overwhelmed with the smell of roasted peanuts.  An aroma I remembered from the New York City streets of my childhood.  She presented the roasted nuts to me.

"Oh, no thank you," I said.  Daenerys seemed offended by the rejection.  "I'm sure many men have died for you," I said.  "But I cannot tonight.  I have a peanut allergy."

She laughed, heartily.  And I returned the sweet sound with laughter of my own.  But as I looked again over her shoulder, towards the entrance to the bar, my face dropped like an imploding building.  Daenerys immediately noticed the change in my demeanor and followed my gaze to the beautiful brunette who just entered the bar.  "That's her, isn't it?" Daenerys asked.  My silence provided her the answer.

Daenerys tilted her head and looked towards me with curiosity. "What is your name?" she asked me.

"I'm Stephen," I stuttered. "Stephen Si --- of house Simon?" I said.  Daenerys nodded, satisfied.

"Stephen. Of house Simon. Can I tell you a secret?"  I met her gaze.  She looked eager.  Like she was desperate to tell me something.  I truly wanted to hear. 

"I have full plans to avenge my father's murder and take back the Seven Kingdoms.  And when I return to Westeros, there will be thousands who will cheer and fight for me, until I'm rightfully back on the throne!" she said with passion.  I didn't know what to say.  I had just seen the love of my life walk through the door, and now this crazy blond lady was blustering about kings and murder and all this crazy bullshit.  "Stephen," she said, directly.  "I want you to pledge your allegiance to me.  Be by my side, the first in my army, and when my dragons are grown we will take back the kingdoms and rule how we see fit!"

I had no clue what to say.  But I was captivated by her passion and conviction.  She narrowed her crystal eyes and looked straight through me. She was beautiful.  And I had just seen dragons. I had no clue what was happening, what to believe. So instead of thinking, I just listened. "Stephen, pledge to me your honor and I will prove mine to you right now.  Will you join me in my quest?"

"Umm, sure, why not," I said, entirely too afraid to say anything else.  I had no clue what she was talking about, but I did not dare upset her.  She slyly smiled and raised from her stool.  Her dragons retreated off her shoulders, to her lower back.  "Follow me," she said.

Daenerys confidently walked across the bar, and I soon realized that she was headed straight towards Christina, my ex.  She placed herself in plain view and waited to be noticed.  Once Christina saw the both of us standing in front of her, she rolled her eyes.  Her face dropped.  Daenerys stood tall.  "Is it true that you have wronged this man beside me?" she announced. 

"Umm, excuse me?" Christina said, in her snottiest tone.  She looked back towards her friends and laughed.  This sign of disrespect did not please Daenerys.

"I said, is it true that you have wronged this man standing beside me?"  Still no response from Christina.

"You will speak to me when I'm speaking to you," Daenerys said, in a stronger tone.  Christina looked her over and snorted.  She shook her head and returned to her conversation.

"Do you know who I am!" Daenerys yelled.  This finally got Christina's attention. 

"Umm, a crazy, psycho bitch?"  Christina said, through a laugh.

Daenerys burned.  I saw it in her eyes.  Her shoulders tensed.  Her teeth gritted.

"I am Daenerys Stormborn, the rightful heir to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms," Daenerys said, strictly.  "And you.  You will pay for your disrespect, your treachery, and your sins..."  With those last words, her dragons perched themselves on her shoulders once again. "...With fire...and blood."

At the sounds of her last words, the dragons screeched until the room was filled with bright noise. Fire sprang from their lungs until the bar was an inferno!  Flames everywhere!  Screams! Panic!  Daenerys grabbed me by the shirt until our eyes met. "You must run!"  I couldn't move. "I will be OK, leave at once!" she said.  But I was frozen with fear. "I said, RUN!"

I finally snapped to and darted out of the bar  My world was suddenly infiltrated with blood curdling screams and smoke.  Outside the bar was chaos.  Tears and fire sirens.  I gathered myself and searched the area.  I saw dozens flea the bar, including Chase and Tanner who ran, choking, to safety.  I watched each and every person who escaped, but I did not see the silver haired girl who started it.  Firemen rushed inside the bar with their hoses and oxygen tanks and yanked out trapped bodies, one by one.  But still, there was no Daenerys. 

And then I saw a  body removed from the building.  I could recognize it through the flaky, charred skin.  It was Christina. Still. Dead. I couldn't believe it.  And she was the last body they could remove before the entire bar collapsed upon itself; the uncontrollable fire burning everything in its path.  I searched the crowd one last time.  And in the smoke, the blood, and the tears...there was no Daenerys.

I tossed and turned through the night.  I barely slept a wink.  When my alarm clock sounded to greet the new day, I turned on the television to news about the fire.  They mentioned its fury. It's power.  And they said although some were hurt, the fire only claimed one victim:  Christina.  Just one, I thought.  I wondered how that could be.  I saw everyone who escaped, and I saw the building collapse.  No one could have survived that.  But I never saw Daenerys. 

That night I had seen blood.  I had seen death.  I had seen more terror than I had ever seen in my entire life.  But sadness was not what I felt. 

Because all I thought about was the silver haired girl.  And where she had gone to.

And I had a feeling that would not be the last time I saw her.


Thank you, thank you!

Can I have my multi-million dollar book deal now? :)