Okay, so it’s almost the weekend which means you have to help me do a bunch of stuff I’ve been too scared/tired/depressed/mental to do for ages in exchange for whatever food you want that I also have (which isn’t that much, sorry). Excellent! How about we get easing into it by talking to VIIIIIIX?
How about NOOOOOO.
It seems to me that you’re scared to talk to Vix. Shouldn’t we get talking to him so that you can then get talking to everyone and everyone? I’m not doing an online group thingie if that’s what you’re aiming at. You’re insane. No, no—that’s waaaaay down the tracks. That’s not even on the tracks, as far as I’m concerned! One thing at a time, okay?
I’m too scared to talk to Vix right now. Whhhhy? He’s lovely under that thoroughly unnerving exterior. I know. Besides, you created him. Shouldn’t you know him well enough to know there’s no need to get to worrying? Yeah, I should. And I do. But it doesn’t matter what I know. It’s like I always say: if somebody from the future arrived and said, “I know for a fact that nothing will go wrong with Vix”, I’d still think, “I don’t like those odds!” What d’you think is going to happen? What if I accidentally say something insensitive and then he thinks I’m THE WORST? What if he thinks I’m stupid? What if he tells a joke and I don’t get it? What if he’s feeling bad and it’s a bad time and then it all goes bad and then he feels DOUBLE BAD? What if I’m a disappointing creator and he wishes he had never found out about me? What if it’s upsetting to him that he’s not real? What if—Daney, get facing it: Vix would probably be relieved to find out he’s not real. Come on, you’ve gotten it all tangled up in your head. Let’s just get to it! Maybe tomorrow. You’ll say “maybe tomorrow” again tomorrow. And then the tomorrow after that! There’re only so many tomorrows in one life. Well, come on—it’s not like I’m not going through some serious stuff! Don’t you want to get to finding this sort of thing easy again as soon as possible? You’re Vix’s creator. You shouldn’t be scared of him. You should be saying, “YOU’RE WELCOME, VIX. HAVE A SLICE OF PIE. LAUGH LOUDER AT FENN’S JOKES.” I don’t even know how to talk to him. Well now, you just leave that to me. What are you—Vix? No, no. Vix? No, Fenn! Stop, I’m not ready. Vix? No!
Don’t call me that ever again.
VIIIIIIIX! My favourite best friend EVER :)<3:)<3:)
Oh my—is it really him?
I’ve missed you a barrel and a half!
Missed me? I only just got rid of you.
Yes, well I’m not sure how to explain this in a way that’ll get you to being even slightly convinced, but we’re not real and this conversation is currently taking place in the head of our creator, where I’ve been hanging out for some time because she needs help and also there’s quite a lot of exotic food involved.
I thought you just went to get pies.
I did also go to get pies. Daaaane, say hello to Vix!
Hello, Vix! How are you? Sorry if we’re disturbing you—we can go anytime if you’re busy! Or you could just talk to Fenn and not me because you don’t even know me but you might want to catch up with Fenn because he’s your best friend and I’m just—how’s—how are you?
A beetle just flew into my drink.
Oh no! Don’t let him get to drowning.
I’ve rescued it. It’s quite pretty—red under the wings. It looks a bit like those ones we saw chewing holes under the Dorkuskian Bridge, but I think those ones had a stripe down the side.
Can I just say, you don’t seem as surprised as I was expecting about the fact that we don’t exist.
I’m very surprised.
Oh, okay. That’s that settled!
I’ve always assumed I was real but as soon as this conversation started I suddenly realised I wasn’t. Never mind. I suppose that explains why some of the things I’ve said and done are a bit far-fetched.
Well now, that’s part of the fun! We’re fantasy characters. Isn’t that exciting? Anything could happen!
What was your name again?
Oh, me? Dane.
I have some important questions, if you don’t mind.
Ah, isn’t this nice? This is so nice!
Of course! Feel free to ask me anything you want, Vix :):):) (<3)
Given that you have the power to create any characters with any traits and characteristics you desire, why did you make it so that Fenn is so impatient to talk that he tries to swallow his food before he’s chewed it properly and then he ends up choking and coughing and spluttering in an extremely undignified way and I have to pretend to be concerned as he recovers and then by the time he’s recovered he’s forgotten what it was that he was even going to say?
HAHAHA :’'’D <3<3<3
I’m back five ticks and he’s already got his claws out.
And did you have to make it so that he gets excited every single night when the sun starts going down? I know it’s beautiful, but there’s only so many nights in a row I can stand to hear: “Vix, look! Get looking out the window! Look at the colours!” as if the sun only sets once in a blue cycle.
See now! When the quality of light gets to a certain goldiness I can’t help it. Something happens in my blood! Also, I love it when you impersonate me.
I’m so sorry, Vix. I can write him out if your life if he’s being a nuisance.
Psh, that’s the LAST thing Vix would want.
The last thing I want is for this beetle to fly into my mouth while I’m speaking this very sentence and lay a thousand eggs in my throat.
Haha! That’s the kind of thing I’d think of, Vix.
Why did you make me the way I am? Am I like you?
Oh…I’d say you’re pretty different from me, Vix—especially in terms of how you’d generally be perceived. Some significant things in common, sure. But overall I’ve probably got more of a scattered, chaotic Fenn vibe—that’s weird to say, given he doesn’t struggle like us. And he’s so much better than me!
Hey now, don’t say that! It’s not true.
So, where did I come from then?
I don’t really know. Probably one of the things I find most painful IN THE UNIVERSE is seeing someone who’s misunderstood. I just want to make people understand. You’re the ultimate misunderstood misfit making yourself and others better understood, Vix. But you’re also so cool and the best because you don’t care so much what others think—or at least you don’t care enough to not do what you want. You’ve done things nobody like you has done before! And you’ve turned your suffering into a force for good. Also, I needed Fenn to have a particularly dark life to brighten up. I’m really sorry for making you suffer though! I never thought I’d be sitting here talking to you, almost feeling like you’re real.
There’s no need to be sorry because I’m not real—and what a relief that is.
That’s what I said he’d say! Didn’t I say he’d say that?
Besides, you balanced things out for me in lots of ways. And as for Fenn brightening up my life, sometimes I have to close my eyes for the glare. He made it a fair bit louder too, but I’ve found candlewax mixed with zirorigel makes for some adequately Fenn-proof earplugs.
I’m almost certain he just pretends he can’t hear me so that I’ll assume he can’t hear me and then I won’t talk. But the joke’s on him because I’m quite happy to get talking to myself if I have to!
Dane, I can’t help wondering: why would you write our lives when you could live your own? Were you unhappy?
Oh…well, sometimes. I think I started writing for escapism. But some of the things I wrote about you were during the happiest times of my life!
She’s just an instravote, Vix. Like you!
He just means I like spending a lot of time alone.
Well, that is something I understand. Did you hear that, Oreyawick? We like time a-looooone. Write it down so you don’t forget.
Hey now, these earplugs are good!
We could leave you alone now if you want, Vix. I don’t want to keep you! Or we could go for a bit and come back. Or—
Where are you from?
Oh, I’m from a place called Earth. Australia, more specifically. I would say it’s a nice place to live, but it’s not really that much of a nice place to live right now. There’s a global pandemic going on and lots of violence and anger and people dying and the whole place shook and when the lid popped off the kettle I wondered if my emotions did that because it’s never done that before but it probably wasn’t and sometimes people are just friends and it’s fine and—sorry, I’m blathering on! You don’t need to know all that.
Just friends? Is that so bad? You seem to place quite a lot of importance on friendship. Sometimes it seems like you consider it to be above romantic relationships.
It’s not that I think friendship is above romantic relationships. But I do feel a friendship with romance in it is waaaaaay above a romance without friendship in it!
Well now, why do I feel like he’s looking at me? You can’t see us, can you?
I’m still looking at the beetle. She seems like a hard worker. Now, you’ll have to explain what—
Careful now, Vix—she doesn’t like explaining things.
No, no! I’m happy to explain—
Ohhhhhhhh, I get it! You’ll explain things for Vix but not for me? Because you’re scared of Vix and not me?
You’re scared of me?
I’m not—no, I—
Don’t get to being offended, Vixy. She just has no respect for me.
I wonder why, Fenny.
No! It’s not—
I’m just joking, Dane! Look now, you’re with friends. You don’t need to hold anything back. You’re scared of Vix because he’s scary. It’s fine. You’ll get used to him.
I’m not scary…am I?
You’re sometimes a touch “intimidating”—that’s all. Daney is a sensitive flower and feels reassured when people say “it’s all fine and I’m not going to hate you” with their eyes, faces, voices, and possibly actual words. AND telepathy. But don’t get to worrying—she thinks you’re cool.
I do. I think you’re so cool, Vix.
As in lirs:i.
Cool. Okay, thanks. So about the pand—
OH! OHHHHHH! I have to get—sorry to interrupt—I have to get to telling you the good news!
There’s good news? That’s good news.
Are you ready? Hold your hat.
When do I wear hats?
Guess who fancies me. You’ll never guess!
Iri—well now! How’d you figure that?
It’s not obvious! Excuse me? I’m a social genius. If it was obvious, I would have got to figuring it out myself!
It’s obvious to me.
I don’t know—maybe I can smell her feelings or something. I can smell all kinds of things you can’t.
You can smell Iridaeka’s feelings?
Hahaha, even I didn’t know you had that ability, Vix!
I think you just came up with it then and you haven’t decided yet if it’s an idea worth keeping.
Wow! Oh…did you smell all that too?
Okay now, this is quite excellent. Does anyone else fancy me? This is fantastic. Maybe you could give me a daily feelings update? OH! Is this why Kizeki is always going around smelling everything? Aw, I miss Kizeki. Do you think we’ll get to seeing him soon? I hope he and Aelavixa are getting on. We must get to writing to her more, Vix! She must get bored on the Other Side. Anyway, what were we talking about before this? I’m pretty sure it was important.
You were asking Vix if anyone else fancies you. Aren’t you content with Iridaeka? She’s amazing. This appetite of yours!
I’m more than content with Iridaeka! I’m over the seas and back again with Iridaeka. I’m just a curious individual who likes to learn new things. So now! What does that nosey-nose know, Vix?
It might know a thing or two.
Get telling then!
No, I don’t think I will.
I’m with Vix on this one—much more fun to let you wonder!
Does Iridaeka ever smell annoyed at me?
What is that, Fenn—a hint of anxiety? I really hope you didn’t catch that off me!
JUST A CURIOUS INDIVIDUAL. Vix?
The beetle just flew back into my drink. I suppose she’s tired of not existing.
Make sure you get to—
Yes, yes—I’m saving her. I might have to go—I can hear Raina talking to someone outside, and the someone outside doesn’t sound happy.
Okay, Vix! We’ll get out of your hair.
The beetle just flew into my hair, so can you take her on your way out?
Haha, we’ll try!
Okay now, Vixalavin. I’d get you into a hug but I have no body here and also you wouldn’t let me even if I did. But I’ll miss—see now, I hate goodbyes. I’ll—
I won’t miss you in the slightest because you’ve only gone out for pies and it’s the only peace I’ve gotten all day—that is of course until a different but equally annoying version of you disturbed the serenity of you going out for pies. I hope we’ll talk again sometime, Dane.
Oh! You do? I hope so too, Vix! We can talk anytime. I’m free anytime, probably. I’d love to talk again ANYTIME (probably).
Well now, you’ve changed your tune! Is that all it takes to go from avoidant to chomping at the bit? Barely a tick ago you were begging me not to talk to Vix.
She was begging you not to talk to me?
Fenn, don’t say things like that out of context! Vix doesn’t know all the context. He’ll think I don’t like him!
Think you don’t like him? He can probably SMELL YOUR FEELINGS. Vix, can you smell her feelings?
Noooo, I don’t want my feelings sniffed!
Vix, what’s the verdict? Anything interesting?
The verdict is hurry up and get out of my hair. Ve:kverana, Dane.
There won’t be a next time if you keep calling me that.
Is he gone?
Are you sure?
See now, didn’t that go well?
You’re sure he’s gone?
He’s gone, Dane!
Ohhhhhhhmaaaaahhhhhgoooooooossssshh, Fennnnnnnn. I’m DYYYYING. My hands don’t feel like hands. That was so scary but also the best.
Marvellous! The only way forward is through. You’ll feel better soon. Ohhh, wow. Vix was so nice to me. He’s so nice! Isn’t he nice? See? Nothing to be scared of. I can barely get to believing you didn’t want to talk to him. Me neither! What was I thinking? You weren’t thinking. You were catastrophizing. Thanks so much, Fenn. I was almost annoyed that you made me do that—actually I was just straight-up annoyed because you’re so annoying sometimes. But now I’m glad we did it! Do you think Vix meant it when he said he wants to talk to me again? Of course he did! Vix doesn’t say things he doesn’t mean. Unless he’s being sarcastic. In which case, he’s constantly saying things he doesn’t mean. But that hardly counts! I think we’ve earned a midnight snack, don’t you? I think we’ve earned two midnight snacks.
One for me and one for me!