Please be warned. Word has gotten around that my amazing story is offensive to fifty-year-olds and I would urge you to act if you are in the least bit concerned about that. I don't really understand where it comes from. You know how you sometimes get someone who walks up to you and starts complaining about a joke that you made once? Yes, I understand, Jane, I'm sorry if I ruined your day and that I accidentally killed your cat in the process.
Oh, the cat? Yes, I wouldn't worry too much about that. I'm only borrowing her for the time being. I figured that Douglas could use the cat for a little experiment, but things got a little bit out of hand. It's not dead or anything just yet, but I'm just saying that things aren't looking too great.
Is that Silverstein down there? Here, catch this. If you make a mess, it's your fault, I wasn't here, and one of my friends invited me to an impromptu funeral. That does remind me—when am I going to die? I thought for sure that the dumb Frenchman would have murdered me right there and then while I replaced that salt-and-pepper statue. No, of course it isn't really salt-and-pepper, or else I wouldn't have a nose anymore.
Are you writing all of this down, Hannah? All of this needs to be put in. We'll miss something really important if you don't. Oh, I'm recording everything. Everything? Yes, everything. Good! You'll miss something incredibly important otherwise. Yes, I would really miss my poor old soul. Oh, I'm not that bad! Oh—I did miss something, though. That dialogue! Please tell them about that dialogue. Go through it word for word. Capture everything. The emotions, too, don't forget about the emotions.
Sage The seat that
Terrible, terrible, terrible. Give me that! Why would you call me Sage? Put my whole name in when you get this thing back, which is really going to be never. I bolded that just make sure I don't go back on my word for it. Oh, god—you made it sound like you were in the middle of it all! This is awful, Hannah. I'm going to fire you right here.
Good, yes, go away! I'd rather be dealing cards with a bar of soap.
Actually, never mind. Get back here this instant, Hannah Sour! Is your last name actually Sour? I find that so hard to believe. You can take this thing back, too. Holding onto that is so much work. The woes of being the most perfect for the job but not having the patience to do it! I don't like your work, Hannah, but I must admit you do it best. Admit it! Admit it! Yes… I admit it. Good! Now help me carry these three paintings—no, actually take five. You can handle five, easily. You're like a five-time boxing champion or something, aren't you?
How are we going to sneak out of this place? Oh, I'm being too loud, aren't I? Wait—Yes, just wait right there for a second—no, please don't take the narration away from me—Juniper Sage, please listen to me—I refuse! I refuse! Just get all of my words in and pretend you don't exist and I'll give you—I don't know—a pet baby? Just listen to me! Hagure—
Hagure It is come to my attention that there is a dispute of narration present.
Sage Oh, god, no.
Sour Is it being mediated again? Wonderful—no. Listen to me, Juniper. You're in a bowling alley. It's the dead of night. You can't possibly get caught, but your screaming may just alert our neighbors ten blocks away from here!
Sage groans. It's a really ugly groan, too.
Sage It's one of those times again, huh? Get off my case, Hagure. This is all for a good cause. We're hanging them up for the student council room.
Sour Re-mi-li-a. Listen. I don't care about your dumb sto—
Sour I m e a n that I am not here to take the narration away from you. It's yours. Keep it! I'm just here to write your damn story.
Sage I'm so glad to hear the words. You're impossible to get a word out of, you know? Just speak your mind, or whatever.
I know, Sour. I know. Sour smiles, but her insides boil with it.
Oh, good, that did it right? That's the new magic set of words? Don't call Hagure back here again, or I swear I'll steal your spleen. If I understand it correctly, Junilia—what?—Juniper—No, I like it!—Junilia, you haven't drawn a spleen for me, yet. Oh, that's right. Silly me. Let me draw it out very quickly:
There. That's your spleen. Juniper, that looks like a bean. Listen. Look at my hands, right now. Four crayons. All from the Crayola Multicultural Pack of crayons. And look at this. Wax paper. This is the least beany spleen you'll see in this bowling alley, and it's your precious little spleen. Is it really mine? Let's find out. Wait, no, I never said tha—
Hagure Remilia Sage eats the drawing.
Oh, god. You've eaten my spleen. Why did you eat my spleen? Juniper, why would you eat my spleen like that? You dummy! I wanted to show you what it would be like. Don't cross me, woman. It doesn't feel good to lose a spleen now, does it? And careful with the fence, you might crash your head on the pointed bits.
Wait a second. Hannah. Hannah? Hannah, answer me this instant! I'm gonna eat your stomach next if you don't answer! Ugh, what do you want? You took the narration away from me, you l i a r! Yeah? What'cha gonna do about it?
Hagure I guess this is what she does about it.
Have you ever wondered why it's always Corelli's La Folia? Stirleight Lutz ponders this as he waves his little dong-stick around. The meaning behind happiness, fortitude, respect, mutual exchange, and things like that. Bows press down on strings as Lutz pretentiously gloats with his filed hand, the music reverberating through the chamberous concert hall with the dullest tenacity. Thank god you're listening to it behind those broken speakers. It sounds so much worse up close. This interlude would be unbearable if you were standing right here.
While our actors—well, they're not really actors—get ready for their next scene, I'm supposed to keep you busy. How's life? It's nice, isn't it? Yeah, I think so, too. That's a pretty boring question to keep you entertained with, though. Maybe we should talk about what's happened so far. That's a lot more interesting. I guess we should start with the people. It's all about the people, though. You have that girl, Hannah. And the weird guy Hagure. And then there's… me, Juniper Sage, the Juniliac. Yes—did you think you could escape me? I'd never let the narration slip by my hands.
I'm not that much of a bother now, am I? I just can't let Sour do anything that I don't want her to do. We're transitioning over to the student council room now, I think. Hannah Sour would never find herself in a room like that, so I would have to let Hagure come in. Him or somebody like Sarghin, but Sarghin is half-blind. He'd make an awful recordkeeper! Hagure said that he'd figure something out for me, but I can't really rely on somebody like him. He's a little bit of a spoon, too, you know?
Tell me when the music ends. I'm going to sleep now. I want this to be a very good and amazing story, but I'm getting kind of sick of talking to you. I'll just get somebody like Violet in here. Is there a Violet? I can't really remember. Actually, Violet would be terrible here. What was I thinking? I'll just get Hagure to fill it in.
Hagure Look, she's already asleep.
Sour That's crazy.
Hagure So much for being the narrator.
Sour Please don't provoke her. She's already flinching.
Hagure Oh. You can tell, then.
Sour Yes. Somehow, I didn't fall for this round of Juniper's Master Manipulation Tactics.
Hagure But you are being used.
Sour Ugh, who cares? Everybody's happy.
Hagure I'm just wondering when the transition will finish. It sure is taking a long time, isn't it?
Sour It might end with the song.
Hagure I hope so. I've never been one for Corelli. I'm more of a Swift enthusiast myself.
Hagure Taylor Swift.
Sour Of course.
Hagure's Correllian horror is swiftly replaced by that which can be best described as Junilian: Juniper bolts awake.
I can't sleep—I can't sleep—I can't sleep—I can't sleep—what?????? Take me to the student council room, stat. I have a lot of unfinished business to take care of with that Vermealea character! If it is in fact too hot to bear… I'll take Sour for a hornet's chair.
Varmilia My tea! You spilled my pickled tea!
Juniper Great! I don't care. They placed me here.
Varmy Why? You luntz!
Juniper Because they love conflict over there, you grisha!
Varmy You green bean!
Juniper You bottom-class vacuum cleaner!
Varmy You bandana biter!
Saverin —okay. That's enough.
Languis Saverin is that boy's name, isn't it? I think he helped out with the coffee that got stuck between the two desks. He cleaned the edges, or something.