Dan Eats Cat Food’s Inferno: Circle Five: The FanFicker

Posted: May 22, 2010 by kaostheory in Inferno
Tags: , , ,

After briefly indulging our more base instincts – entirely away from each other, mind you – Astley and I continued our venture onwards towards the Fifth Circle. Though I asked of Astley numerous times what we would be seeing, he ignored me, content to walk in silence. Annoyed, I glanced around me. A long, gray expanse greeted my vision, studded occasionally with broken, desecrated monuments. I opened my mouth to ask what they were but Astley interrupted me before I could begin.

“Look, traveler. We hasten towards our next encounter. Stay steadfast.”

My stomach twisted and turned, a snake inside me, as we walked towards the long and winding river in front of us. Lightning seared the sky above us as blackness surrounded all that existed. I looked ahead and was afraid. There, standing on the shore, was another boatman, grasping his oar – curiously similar in appearance to a golf ball retriever – and looking sullen and bored.

“Poet, what do I gaze upon?”

“Have peace, Kaos. The vast stretch of water that you see is the mighty River REO Speedwagon. That is, my friend, in fact the Fifth Circle as you soon shall see. And the boatman who shall take us across, Ghyslain Raza, is…we shall call him competent at best.”

“He looks quite familiar. Ho there, boat man?”

“Oui?”

“I have seen you on the Internet, have I not? Your portly exterior seems to trigger a memory from long ago. Perhaps from the year of our Lord two-thousand and two?”

“Oui. I am, how you say, ze Star Wars Kid.”

“My gracious! You are! I laughed for ages at your awkward, stumbling acrobatics.”

“I see. Well, I do not wish to ferry you across the river now. My feelings are so gravely hurt.”

Astley gave me a withering glare and I shrank back, a bit ashamed. He pushed me roughly out of the way and began to speak quietly to our ferryman. Feeling unwanted, I peered into the river, curious at what I would see. To my horror, souls thrashed deep beneath the surface of the river. What flowed to and fro as far as I could see was not water. To the best of my knowledge, it appeared to be a mixture of printer’s ink and pen ink. Worried, I attempted to speak to my guide.

“Astley! What is…”

“Kaos! Mind your tongue, friend. I am attempting to curry this young man’s favor so that we may cross this damned place. Stay out of it for now, please.”

He turned back and I stared back into the water. From time to time, sheets of paper would float to the surface. The next time one appeared, I swiftly grabbed it from the flow of the river and began to read. What I saw – thankfully only a sentence fragment or two – was terrifying beyond belief.

n den da Denver Bronces pinned Harryy Potter 2 da floor and began 2 slowly remov his cloths. ‘No no’ Hary cried, but dey woudn’t lissen. Frm they’re shorts they pulld out there pen wan DIKS and startd 2 rub dem on him

Horrified, I threw the paper back into the ink, my hands soiled with wet blackness and unimaginable talentless shame. Astley called to me and motioned me over.

“He has agreed to take us ‘cross the REO Speedwagon, albeit reluctantly. Come, let us depart before he changes his mind or you let loose your tongue once more.”

Slightly offended and cowed, I stepped onto the boat – watching my feet this time – and sat down. Astley and our ferryman soon followed, the boatman pushing off from the shore with his oar. Our boat slid quietly through the blackness below us. Troubled, I watched the figures below the surface gurgle and fight.

“My friend, what troubles you so?”

“I do not know what the sins of these souls are, but I have seen what they produce and it weighs heavy on my heart.”

“Ah yes. I have not explained to you as of yet what those in the Fifth Circle have done. Kaos, those that wallow beneath the swirling ink are what were known in life as fanfic writers.”

“Fan fic?”

“Fan fiction. These writers – for lack of a term less verbose than ‘rapists of canon and the English language’ – have transmitted all their darkest fantasies onto countless reams of paper and gigabytes of Word and Notepad documents. They see all media as their personal literary playground. No character is safe from the terrible penstroke of the fanficker.”

“What do you mean?”

“An example, if I may. You are in life a self-proclaimed geek, correct?”

“Yes. I am not ashamed.”

“As you should not be. You, though, as a geek, would never have pictured in your most violently unpleasant dreams a scenario where, say, Chewbacca has forcible intercourse with Han Solo’s cavities as Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker fornicate on the burned and bloody corpse of Darth Vader, yes?”

“That is a vile idea to even conceptualize!”

“It exists in the minds of fanfickers. They not only can imagine such a horrid situation, they not only write down such awfulness, they in fact use these mental images as fodder for their most secret and deplorable sessions of inserting their overweight, grubby fingers into unmentionable personal regions.”

“Lord Almighty, give me strength.”

“The Lord does not exist in the lives of these miserable creatures. They wallow only in their pursuit of the almighty Mary Sue.”

“Mary Sue?”

“Self-insertion, not of the physical kind such as with produce and overly expensive clear purple phalli, but in a literary sense of the writer into the canon of a series. Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, Twilight, The Crow, WWE, True Blood, any superheroes you can think of. The list runs as long as you would dare to imagine. If it exists in the world, it has been Mary-Sued by someone.”

“And their fate?”

“They are damned to suffer beneath the surface of all the collective ink that has been shed due to their indiscretions. Though you cannot see from above them, all they see is the object of their greatest desire – oftentimes Captain Kirk – sitting just outside their grasp, just sitting and waiting for them to be touched. They never shall be.”

“I cannot feel bad, I am afraid.”

“As can nobody that has a sense of moral judgement, friend. You are not alone.”

The rest of the boat ride was met with quiet contemplation. What sins had I committed? Were they worse than these? Lost in thought, I did not notice we had reached the other shore until Astley shook me out of my thoughts.

“Kaos, we have arrived at the City of Diss. Come. We must depart.”

In front of our eyes was a tremendous wall, reaching upwards into the sky, tearing a hole in the atmosphere. The gates of the city stood before us, massive stone and iron-wrought, the faces of thousands of demons carved intricately into the surface of the material. Surrounding the city were thick, watery marshes, unmentionable stench emanated from them.

Quietly, Astley whispered in my ear.

“The Stablyn Marshes. Do not set foot in them. They will consume you. Come, friend.”

My groin clenched in terror but Astley led me forward, a kindly hand on my back. In front of the gates stood dozens of figures, all fallen from favor on the Internet. We approached and their spears moved quickly to attention. Astley attempted to speak.

“Fallen soldiers, let us enter so that we may…”

“No!” the multitude echoed in unison, “None may enter the City of Diss who live on Earth! In here dwell those sins that require active thought! Begone poet! Begone Kaos! Leave this place for you are unwelcome!”

“But…”

“BEGONE!”

The roar from the crowd was deafening. I stumbled back, my balance teetering. Approaching me, threatening me, were horrid spectres. Angry random YouTubers – Furies – and Tila Tequila, her hair now naught but a mass of snakes, moved towards me, hissing and spitting, their foulness menacing my very being. Then, from on high, a figure clad all in white floated down, a flaming sword in her gnarled hand. She landed between us, white light pouring from her. When she spoke, the very ground rumbled, though the voice itself was quieter and craggy.

“I am Betty White, darling of the Internet and one of God’s angels! You creatures! You beasts! Move aside and allow these travellers to pass through the gates of the city! You have no right – no power – to prevent such a holy journey! Stand down!”

Reluctantly, the crowd parted and the angel – sword in hand – reached the door, touching it with the sword which greatly resembled a TV remote. The gates swung open, the angel looked at me and smiled, and in a burst of light, she disappeared. Quietly and quickly, Astley and I moved through the grumbling crowd and through the gates of the city.

I was now in the City of Diss.

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