Last week I mentioned that I met Aslan, a fellow writer and coffee enthusiast, at the vet. He seemed rather interested in my proposal for the Old Asbestos Factory at the Edge of Town, so I was certain we would hit it off. I can’t say I’m as great a judge of character as I am everything else.
Wanting to discuss with him further my ideas for the Old Asbestos Factory, I decided to pay him a visit at his coffee house, Inkling’s Brew. I was also hoping a change in scenery would keep my creative juices from stagnating like the black mire of an ancient, fetid bog.
When I walked in the door, the place was… quaint. Walls built at right angles, doorways that lead to other rooms; not really my kind of place, but certainly more interesting than my usual Starbucks. Every wall was a bookshelf lined with books. He would tell me later that customers were welcome to borrow any book they liked and bring it back when they were done, or not at all, or bring in a new book to share. Upbeat folk music pumped through the speakers, and while it failed to create madness in most, it was pretty catchy. The air was pregnant with the rich scent of roasted Columbian coffee beans, as every variety they offered was roasted in-house from blonde to dark.
Aslan greeted me quite warmly, embracing me in an annoying bro-hug, which to my surprise, didn’t send him spiraling in a mad descent into the abyss. When the horror ended, he offered me a cup of my favorite coffee on the house and we found a booth to discuss my proposal for the Old Asbestos Factory at the Edge of Town.
As I began to explain my ideas to him, he quietly listened, his gaze fixed on my mighty visage, though his sanity never left him. I probably spoke for over an hour, and Aslan never even developed a nervous tic. I’m sure it’s just because the planets have yet to align and my power is yet to be fully known to this hopeless world, and on that dark day, all shall know the meaning of terror, and the pleas for death will crowd the air.
Anyway, after I explained my thoughts, Aslan insisted that I join his weekly writing group, the Drinklings, who meet every Wednesday at a local bar to discuss their work, and he said he hoped to hear an excerpt from Dreams of R’lyeh. Which was weird, because I had never mentioned it to him.
A couple days pass without anything interesting at all happening, and I meet Aslan and his friends at the bar. I didn’t bother to learn any of their names, but one who looked too directly on my countenance was struck down in terror and madness. Aslan leaned over him and breathed on him, and the man recovered his senses fully. I still don’t understand how or why he did that, or how the madness could be driven from him fully, or why it mattered if one squishy mortal should be spared, but I dare not ask; I was a guest. Aslan was endlessly gracious about it, assuring me it was an accident and it could happen to anyone. Well, he’s wrong about both.
When it was time to share, Aslan invited me to go first, but I humbly declined because I knew the greatness of my work would put the others to shame a create an awkward social situation I’d prefer not to have to deal with. Aslan went first instead.
I won’t lie. I was moved. I was moved to tears. Not like a lot of tears, but I think one of my eyes may have gotten a little misty. The others in the group were reduced to blubbering cretins, but I was more composed. I am an elder god; I’m not made of stone.
I really didn’t listen to the others’ but it was soon my turn. I tried to create the right atmosphere by assuring them it would be the greatest thing they would ever have read in their presence. As I read, the color left the others in the group and the familiar look of abject horror took hold of their eyes. When I finished, I asked them what they thought. The other, more sensible members of the group, speaking in unison, confessed its greatness readily. Aslan, however, grimaced. He had the nerve to tell me it was derivative, sloppy, and incohesive. He said I kept introducing new characters and not having them do anything before forgetting them and creating more. He complained how he couldn’t understand what the main character was saying because I used my native language and failed to translate. Worst of all, he said I should work on improving my writing. The nerve! The gall! The audacity of some lions! I was so insulted that I left the bar and attempted to start a riot, but Aslan ruined everything as usual and got all touchy-feely and stopped the riot from escalating.
Having had a few days to think about it, I’ve decided to forgive Aslan as I am the bigger person. I still need his help saving the Old Asbestos Factory at the Edge of Town, so its best I just let it slide. He’s still wrong, though.
I’d you think Aslan was wrong, sound off in the comments section. If not, perish.