The mst is done by D’Euly, to whom belong Ari, Karen, and herself, but not the popcorn they’re eating, which she has yoinked (without permission) from AW.  The fic is by WHenry (and not posted on the net in original form) and msted with permission.  Grudging.  But still permission.




                It was a lonely walk down the sidewalk.  A single figure diligently plodded one foot in front of the other, his head hung low. 


Ari: How do you plod one foot in front of the other?  How do you plod a foot?


D’Euly: Relax, Ari.  He just forgot a comma.  Waaay too early in the fic to get worked up about that.


Occasionally, he would look up, but it was still too early for anyone to be stirring on this seemingly forgotten path. 


D’Euly: On the contrary, everyone was kneading and folding.  A few were whipping, but those were the real weirdos.


                Suddenly, a smile spread across his face, as he looked up ecstatically.  One thought had dominated his mind. 


D’Euly: Cheese?


Mmmmm.  Delicious. 


D’Euly: I was right!


The image of a perfect red apple seemed to hang right in front of his eyes.


Ari: Or not.


He was so hungry!  If but for the shirt, one could plainly see a thin layer of skin stretched across bare bones, as well as several black bruises and hand-shaped marks. 


D’Euly: I understand the need to get the idea that this kid’s been abused early in the fic, but that was really random…


He dropped his backpack off his shoulders, and scrambled to open the zippered compartment. There, he pulled out a brown bag.  The moment of salvation!  He reached his hand into the bag, and…

It wasn’t there.  In a state of sad confusion,


D’Euly: What, Florida after the elections?


Ari: Ha.  Ha.


D’Euly: <sulks>


 he remembered that he had eaten it last night.  It was no longer in his hands.  Rather, it was in his stomach.


Ari: Yes, thank you for spelling that one out for us.


D’Euly: Actually, by now it’d be…


Ari: Okay, you can stop. 


                He drooped his head once again, put the bag back into his pack, and threw it half-heartedly over his shoulders.  With one last glance in the direction of school, he began his slow trek.

                “My life stinks” he exclaimed


D’Euly: this thought just having occurred to him.


                “Your life?  What about me!”

                Startled, the figure looked around, trying to find the source of the unexpected reply.  After swiveling his head a few times


Ari: he unscrewed it and it fell off.


, he chanced to look down.  There he saw a horrifying sight. 


D’Euly: Well, his head just fell off!  How pleasant do you think that’s going to be?


His own shadow was standing a few steps in back of him, both hands on hips.  But his own hands were in his pockets.

                “Do you think I like being dragged around all day, across miles of cement and asphalt?  No grass for me!  You should really look where you’re going.  Do you know how many times you’ve run me over dog droppings?  And besides all that, I’m being chased by a murderer!”

                Terrified, the boy broke into a run.


Ari: Oh, yeah.  That’s really going to work.


 He became terrified even more when he realized that his shadow was chasing him. 


D’Euly: Er…is this unusual?


                “No, fool.  There’s no way that’ll work.  I’ve been stuck to you for nearly 14 years, and you’ve not lost me yet.”

                Oddly, the figure stopped.


Ari: That is odd.  I would have kept running if I was trying to get away from my shadow.


D’Euly: I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me…


Ari: No poetry.  Stop it.


D’Euly: Come on!  It was begging to be said!


 He pondered the situation carefully, and, having nothing better to do, decided to go with it.


Ari: Wow.  That is one sad boy.  Decides to go along with his shadow because he has nothing better to do.


                “Well, I’m sorry.  But you really should have said something.”

                “I’m not allowed to talk.”

                “But you’re talking.”

                “You forced me into it.”

                “That doesn’t make it right.”

                “Pickled horses.  Do you think I care anymore?”


Ari: Pickled horses?


D’Euly: Actually, I kind of like that phrase. 


                The figure stopped to think about this some more.


Ari: Stopped?  But I thought he’d already stopped. 


                “What do you think we should do then? We’ve both got horrible lives, and there’s not much we can do, is there?”

                “How about we run off.”

                “If you’ve really been with me for nearly 14 years, you would know that I already tried that.  But I got caught, and sent back home.  You can’t just run away.”

                “Not anywhere on Earth.  But elsewhere.”


                “You think Earth is the only place you can run to?


both: Er…


  What’s the sense in running away from Earth to get to Earth?”


D’Euly: Whoa.  Come again?


                “But there’s no other place!”

                “Ha.  Shows what you know.  Why, there’s several places we could go.”

                “Oh really. 


D’Euly: (boy) Do you think we can find our missing question marks there.


And how do we get there?”

                “Just follow me.”

                With that, the figure’s shadow began to darken.  It started to lose its shape, until it was a huge black hole.  The figure walked up to it, and stopped a minute


Ari: which was passing by.  “Pardon me, do you have the time?” he asked courteously.


                .  “What the heck.”

                He jumped down the hole.  After he had jumped through, it began to rapidly shrink, until it got so small that it disappeared.


D’Euly: There’s something so wrong with that sentence, but I can’t put my finger on exactly what.


*              *              *

Having jumped down, the figure wasn’t prepared to come walking laterally out of the hole.


Ari: He was prepared, however, to come running laterally out of the hole.  How do you walk laterally, anyway?


 But this surprise paled when compared to the surprise that met him looking around. 


D’Euly: (surprise) Hello, boy!  Glad to meet you.  I was told to look for someone looking around.


It was as though he had walked into a black and white movie.  Except that it was much darker here.  There was no white or even light gray. 


Ari: Sooo…it was like walking into a black movie.


It was all dark grays and blacks all about him. Blobs of pure black floated around.  It was as though he was underwater, walking on the bottom of a black and muddy ocean floor.


Ari: Bobbing along, singing a song on the bottom of a black and muuuuddy floor…


D’Euly: Hey, if you can sing, I can quote poetry.


Ari: Okay!  Okay!  No more singing!


He looked down at himself.  Of the entire place, he was the only thing with color. In back of him, the hole he just walked through again took his shape.  But it no longer lay flat on the ground connected to his feet.  It walked in perfect 3D around the watery black and gray world they had entered.


D’Euly: Somehow, I’m not really picturing this well.  How do you walk in perfect 3D?  Especially if you’re a black blob?


Ari: And what’s imperfect 3D?


D’Euly: Augh…my brain just imploded…


“Follow me.”

                Half-wittedly, completely in awe of his surroundings, the boy followed.


Ari: (boy) Duh….


 As they walked, several of the floating blobs would come up to them.

                “Don’t worry.  He’s with me” his shadow would exclaim.  


D’Euly: The thought just having had occurred to him each time.


                “What is this place?” the boy asked.

                “This is the Shadow Realm” replied his shadow. 


both: Tolkien rip off!  Tolkien rip off!


“This is where all of us who aren’t confined to Earth live.  I was here until fourteen years ago, when I was called to Earth.  Ever since, I’ve been trailing you, hiding from that infernal murderer, who would see me dead.”

                “There’s that murderer, again.  Who is he?”

                “That malicious monster you call fondly call the sun. 


D’Euly: Yes we do.  We call fondly call the sun the sun.  Call.


All the time, we who are confined to your world have to hide from him and his brethren, the stars.  If at anytime he were to catch us in the open, he would kill us outright.”

                “The sun?  It can’t hurt you.  And why don’t you ever tell anyone?  We would gladly help you out.”

                “Oh, how little you know.


Ari: Well, at least someone in this fic agrees with me.


  And about talking.  That’s prohibited.”

                “By whom?”

                “Can’t say.  His orders.      

                “Why did you start to talk to me, then?”

                “I couldn’t help myself.  But I’m in a lot of danger, you know.”

                After that, they walked along for some ways in the murky Shadow Realm, his shadow occasionally calling out to fellow shadows.


Ari: (boy’s shadow) Hey, could you guys help me out here…I’m stuck with this kid…oh…well…see you later…


D’Euly: (fellow shadows) Boy, what a loser.


                Eventually, they came to a rather large black hole. 

                “Well here we are.  Can’t be staying here forever.  After you.”


Ari: He’s gonna jump in!  What a dork!  Without even making sure the shadow comes with him?


                “Are you sure you don’t want to stay?”

                “Yes.  Absolutely.  Let’s get going.  No time to waste.”


                “Never mind.  Best we be leaving.”

                Rather confused, the figure walked into the great hole.  But his shadow did not follow.


Ari: Called it!


D’Euly: Yes, we’re all very proud.


*              *              *


                As surprised as the boy had been jumping into a hole and coming out walking laterally, he was more surprised to walk into a hole, and come out falling.


D’Euly: Frankly, this one seems more logical to me. 


                He hit the ground with an audible thud. 


both: THUD!


Ari: As opposed to those inaudible thuds.


After getting up, and rubbing his bruised rump, he began to look around.

                Here was a world similar to Earth, but better.  Everywhere he looked, greenery, flowers, and birds of all colors and calls greeted him.


Ari: (greenery, flowers, and birds of all colors and calls) Hey!  How ya doin?  Salutations!  Hello!  Welcome to a world similar to Earth, but better!


 What a day he had had!  From a seemingly drab day at school, to a walk in the Shadow Realm, to, to…”


D’Euly: Wait, what’s up with the quotation marks?  Who’s talking?  And when did they start?


What was this place?

                He was about to turn about and ask his shadow,


D’Euly: (boy) Are you my mother?


 when an audible rustling of the brush off to his right interrupted his thoughts.


Ari: Another audible sound. Geez, this is a noisy world.


                Perhaps this wasn’t the paradise he had expected.

                He prepared for the worst.  A vicious wild boar, a hungry lion, anything.


D’Euly: A fluffy bunny with nasty big sharp pointy teethies?


                Out came


Ari: A muskrat.


an odd old man wearing odd old clothing, humming an odd little tune.


Ari: Damn.


                Both stopped in their tracks, each eyeing the other.


D’Euly: Wait…in his tracks?  I thought he was standing still, preparing for the worst?


                “You!  I’d wondered when I’d be seeing you next.” The man exclaimed.

                “Do I know you?”

                “No.  And I don’t know you.  But that doesn’t mean anything.”


Ari: (old man) Rather like this dialogue, as a matter of fact.


                “Who are you.”


D’Euly: No.  What am I.


Ari: What?


D’Euly: Yes?


Karen: No, what’s on second.  Who’s on first.


D’Euly: Hey, Karen!  What’s up?


Karen: Nothing much.  Stopped by for a little msting action.  Ooh!  Popcorn!


D’Euly: Nice to have someone here who actually gets my refs.


Ari: Just because you keep quoting poetry…


                “I am Bolsterous Binstac.


D’Euly: I think I’ve figured this author out.  He’s a Tolkien wannabe.  That’s the most Tolkienesque name I’ve ever heard outside the real thing.


 But of much greater importance, who might you be?  And where do you come from?”

                “My name is Justin Fisher, and I’m from New York.”

                “New York?  That sounds…odd, like really odd.  Almost Earth odd.”

                “And what’s so odd about Earth?”

                “I knew it!  You’re from Earth.  Day of Days!  What an excitement.”


all: (deadpan) Yay.


                “But what is this place?”

                “Oh, this?  This is the Garden of Eden.”


Karen: Whoa!  I think this is the first Bible fanfic I’ve ever read.