Napoleon Fish looked at his visage in the mirror and thought seriously about shaving his beard and moustache. Brown beady eyes stared back at him with wish fulfillment dancing in their corners. A hand appeared in the glass and scratched absent-mindedly at the black thatch cropping his chin. At the same time, he felt another hand scratch his ass. The hand at his chin reached down, picked up a razor somewhere off to his left, and brought it up to his nose. The steel trembled above the thin lips, not quite ready to make the first cut.
Critic A: What do you think of it?
Critic B: The opening? It reeks of self-importance. A writer who is obviously in love with prose.
Critic A: And there’s something wrong with that?
Critic B: Yes, goddamnit! Prose is in the air, it just needs to be captured, not forced onto the page.
Critic A: And how would you begin the story?
Critic B: I’m just a critic. I know what I like, and I don’t like this. Don’t ask me to create. That’s why writers write. And that’s why critics exist.
Critic A: I think he needs a love interest.
Ever since Sophia became an anarchist, she had sucked gum and typed furious poems on a broken-down Smith-Corona with the ‘e’ key missing. It made her poetry, she thought, more interesting. She had heard of a novel with no ‘e’ in it. She was not that ambitious.
Sex consumed her. Sexual politics, actually. Sex was always political. She thought long and hard about how Bakunin fucked. Did he rage a lot, or was he pathetic? Did he even think about sex? Could one think about sex when one was so oppressed? She was, and could.
Sophia had gone to jail proudly the first time, after setting fire to a police car parked innocently downtown. She just stood there watching it burn. She could have gotten away, but she felt it was time she had a record.
Critic B: You and your love interests.
Critic A: Stories with love at their heart remain the best. Love drives the universe.
Critic B: Well, it’s not a very good love interest, is it? An anarchist? Don’t they have those on university campuses? Who stays an anarchist in real life?
Critic A: It’s romantic. She’s fighting the system.
Critic B: Bunch of whiny bastards, you ask me. If they lived in a real oppressive society, they’d be dead before they could raise a rock. We coddle them; call them ‘colorful’ and ‘part of life’s rich pageant.’
Critic A: Shush. Something’s happening.
Napoleon sat on a lawn chair on top of his apartment building in suburban Portland. He didn’t tan well, but when the sun came out, he liked to soak up its rays. His face felt naked. He hadn’t been clean-shaven since he was seventeen. That was a long fifteen years ago.
“I was bearded for my twenties,” he said aloud.
He pondered his beard. Napoleon often pondered things like his beard. He once spent over an hour thinking about the New Jersey turnpike. As a young man, he …
Critic A: I want to see how it ends.
Critic B: You and your impatience! Here he is, pondering his beard, and you want to know how it ends. You already know how it ends anyway! You’ve already read it!
Critic A: I know, I know. But the ending … gets to me. Call me an overly sentimental sap. I don’t like waiting for an ending. Endings are the best thing in any story. Remember how Eliot ends his poems? Remember how White Noise ends? Or The French Lieutenant’s Woman? Or —
Critic B: Yes, yes. But those endings have no merit without the exposition and the rising action. The world cannot end in a whimper if there is no desire and no spasm!
Critic A: But —
Critic B: No buts. Ah, see, now he’s moved on. He’s stopped pondering.
Critic A: Good. I didn’t want to read that anyway.
Napoleon first heard Sophia on public access television, when she called up a show run by an anti-police watchdog. The host was going on about publishing a list of bad cops’ names and inviting telephone calls in support of his idea.
“We have Sophia on the line,” the host, whose name was Camden, said. “What do you have to say, Sophia?”
“Listen, shitbag, the revolution doesn’t need pricks like you going on the air and telling everyone to go out and bash some heads,” Sophia said. Napoleon sat up in his Barcalounger. Here was someone interesting.
“Excuse me?” Camden said. He stroked his goatee nervously. “Sophia, I think we’re on the same side here. You sound as angry as I am.”
“Go to fuck, you pederast. So who the fuck cares if some cops are bad? I’ve known some revolutionaries who fuck dogs. Naming names. Yeah, great fucking idea.”
Camden smiled. “Our producers are telling me to cut you off, Sophia, but that wouldn’t be very American, now would it? You’re telling me you don’t want to separate the chaff from the wheat, so to speak?”
“Take your metaphors and shove them up your ass, white boy. You’re aiming small, like all other campus anarchists. Why don’t you go down to U. of O. and eat the shit they’re selling? Maybe you can get a sponsorship from a multinational, take your tirades worldwide!”
“I’m afraid you have the wrong idea about me, Sophia.” Camden forgot he was on television and scratched his crotch. Reflexively, Napoleon scratched his. Sophia made men protect the family jewels, he thought.
“Wrong idea. Camden, I got you pegged. Why don’t we meet and I’ll show you what real terror is like? What real oppression is like? You think you’re oppressed? Try getting out of that SUV you drive to the studio.”
The host looked around nervously. “What … how … where would you like to meet, Sophia. I’m onto you.”
“Like flies on shit, I bet.” She named a bar downtown and a time. Napoleon wrote it on a piece of paper. Camden accepted the invitation, and thankfully got her off the phone. The rest of the show was anticlimactic.
Critic B: A love triangle, perhaps? Although Camden doesn’t look like much of a match for our clean-shaven hero … Hey, what are you doing?
Critic A: “He stood on the cliff, looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Far below she scrambled down to the beach, wind toying with her auburn hair. She gazed up at him and brushed the strands out of her eyes. He –”
Critic B: Hey! Don’t skip to the ending! Not everyone has read this before, you know!
Critic A: It’s so Victorian, though. So lilting and poetic, all pre-Raphaelite and sensual. Or is it sensuous? I always get those mixed up …
Critic B: You’re a critic and you don’t know the difference between ‘sensual’ and sensuous’?
Critic A: I’m sorry I skipped ahead. You don’t have to get personal.
Critic B: Anyway, the scene at the restaurant is the best in the story. Much better than the ending.
Critic A: Excuse me? Maybe it should end the story!
Critic B: That’s a thought …
He stood on the cliff, looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Far below, she scrambled down to the beach, wind toying with her auburn hair. She gazed up at him and brushed the strands out of her eyes. He smiled as only a man in love can. Sophia had always believed in the power of love and hate, even before she decided on anarchy. Now here was a man who could give her everything, fulfill her in ways politics never could. She looked south toward Cannon Beach and felt the late afternoon sun caress her bare shoulder. The surf hissed onto shore, bringing news from Japan. He watched as she walked slowly along the sand. Rocks frozen in tumble lay below him, bunched together like refugees. The red light from the sun fluttered his eyelids.
Sophia balled a fist and thought of jail. The brutal treatment by the cops, the ugly sex, the stolen drug moments, and the dehumanization. She looked down at her left hand and its four-and-a-half fingers. No one ever told her. No one ever explained. Then, she thought of the beautiful gaping holes in the windows, the pretty flames licking the campaign posters, the way rocks felt in her hand. Weighty and full of power.
Critic A: Now see? That’s what I like.
Critic B: It’s a bit turgid, don’t you think?
Critic A: ‘Turgid’? That’s not turgid. It’s emotional. “No one ever told her. No one ever explained.” Good stuff, that.
Critic B: But now you’ve ruined the ending. I hope you’re happy.
Critic A: True, but this presupposes a happy ending now. We know things will end okay for Sophia, and we don’t have to worry. The reader can stop trying to anticipate the writer and enjoy the story.
Critic B: I don’t think that’s right.
Critic A: No one cares what you think. You’re just a critic.
Napoleon sat in the bar and scratched his naked chin. He gazed at his fingernails for a long time; they needed cutting. He had just started his second pint of IPA when he saw Camden enter. The public-access host sat in a booth in one of the darkest corners of the bar. Napoleon wondered if Sophia was there yet. He didn’t think so. She would be beautiful, he had decided, fiery and angry and rapturous. And she would have a dragon tattoo on her left shoulder. It would be an old tattoo, gotten before they became de rigueur for the young and disenchanted set. Napoleon wished he had one, but he wasn’t about to get one now.
He had taken his eyes off Camden for an instant, and when he tracked the man down again there was someone sitting at his table. Sophia? It couldn’t be. Her hair was darkly red and cropped along her chin line, pert and perky, not at all like an anarchist’s. She was wearing a black T-shirt with Spider-Man on the front, black jeans, and Vans. No combat boots. No visible piercings or tats. She smiled viperously at some comment of Camden’s. Despite his disappointment in her appearance, Napoleon was instantly in love.
He ambled over to the booth behind them and slid in, hoping for unobtrusiveness. Two men at the small round table not four feet away from him were arguing about Proust. He prayed that they would shut up.
“… you don’t advocate violent revolution?” Camden was saying.
Her reply was lost in the murmur of the bar. Napoleon cursed himself for not sitting behind her. That booth was taken.
“But the police are part of the problem.”
Murmur murmur murmur.
“I don’t know how you can defend that position. In college we studied your Russian anarchists. They were all for revolution.”
Murmur murmur murmur. The two men next to him had switched to Joyce. Napoleon hated Joyce.
“Okay, so times have changed. It still sounds as if you’re selling out.”
That got her. “… to jail?” was what he heard.
“That’s not the point. Going to jail can be just another form of selling out, if you look at it one way.”
“Bastard,” she said. Her volume was rising. “You suck. You want to see violent revolution. Check it out.”
Silence. Napoleon resisted the urge to stick his head around the corner and see what was going on. The two men at the table shut up. They were staring at the booth that held Camden and Sophia.
“My God …” Camden said quietly. Napoleon strained to hear him.
“Yeah. Makes your rhetoric sound pretty empty, doesn’t it?” Her voice died down again, and Napoleon relaxed. He was desperate to know what just happened.
Critic B: Do those two men sound familiar?
Critic A: They weren’t in the original version I read.
Critic B: I think they’re us. You love Joyce.
Critic A: And you love Proust. How did we get into this story?
Critic B: We weren’t in the scene before, you’re right. Napoleon sits and listens, and is frustrated when Sophia shows Camden what she has to show him.
Critic A: But we saw it.
Critic B: Yes, but what was it?
Critic A: We’ve already ruined the ending. Don’t you think we owe it to the reader to keep some things secret?
Critic B: This isn’t a murder mystery. They already know she lost part of a finger! Nothing shocks today’s contemporary audience. Still, that’s not the most disturbing thing about this scene. What were we doing in it? And did you sense Napoleon’s animosity toward Joyce?
Critic A: Yes. And since he’s a fictional character, that might mean the author has some animosity toward Joyce.
Critic B: And maybe, by extension, toward us.
Critic A: Yes …
Critic B: Okay, they’re all leaving the bar. I hope we’re not in this scene.
Why did Sophia leave the bar with Camden? Some connection neither would admit? Some attraction she definitely would not admit? Too much alcohol? Napoleon had heard her order at least three Long Island Iced Teas, and he wasn’t sure if she was in charge of all her faculties. That was his ego talking. He just couldn’t stand Camden, and couldn’t believe someone he was in love with could.
He was dying to know what she had shown him. Some battle scar, some wound? A third nipple? Camden had loosened up after that, and they actually talked. Napoleon felt jealousy rise in his throat like strong cider. How could he make her notice him?
As they walked through downtown, Napoleon shadowed them like some pulp detective. He could hear snatches of conversation carried on the evening breeze, and the occasional high-pitched laugh. His heart cracked each time it reached him. Was she so shallow she could be captured by a clever phrase and some wit? Wasn’t she the girl who had cursed at the host right on the air, unafraid to vent her views? Hadn’t she bared … something to this man to shut him up when he became patronizing?
Critic A: I know this wasn’t in the original. What’s going on?
Critic B: Do you not like it?
Critic A: No, I do not. I count ten questions in three paragraphs. Get over it, Napoleon Fish! In the story I read, he goes and gets her. The evil Camden is defeated, and Napoleon gets the girl. Omnia vincit amor.
Critic B: You wanted the love interest. You got Sophia.
Critic A: But she’s no longer the love interest. She’s gone off with that oaf, and how is Napoleon going to get her?
Critic B: Stop whining. You’re as bad as he is. I’m just puzzled by the turn this story has taken. We show up in a scene, then Sophia leaves with Camden, and Napoleon is frustrated. Not the way I remember …
Critic A: So what can we do?
Critic B: Read on, I suppose. And hope for the best.
“You’re much better in bed than I would have guessed,” Sophia said.
Camden smiled and blushed a bit. He didn’t know how to respond.
Critic A: Cease! I can’t take it anymore!
Critic B: Shut up, you fool! Something very serious has happened! Sophia in bed with Camden! This is a woman who was thinking about how Bakunin had sex! Something is seriously wrong!
Critic A: I shouldn’t have desired a love interest. I should have seen how Napoleon developed as a character before wanting him to find a woman. Maybe he’s gay …
Critic B: We have to see what happens next. Maybe Napoleon will be back.
Napoleon woke with a sour vodka taste in his mouth. He scratched his crotch and shook his head to clear the spider webs in his brain. His tongue felt like a pillow on his palette. He squinted against the early morning light and looked around. He was most definitely not in his own bed. He groaned quietly.
From behind him came a bustle, and he swiveled his head toward the sound. A woman stood in the doorway buttoning up a gray-blue blouse with thin red piping. She was smiling. Napoleon know what that smile meant. If only he knew the woman’s name.
She sauntered over, the blouse all she wore, and leaned over him. Napoleon tried not to breathe a sigh of relief. A nametag pinned above her left breast proclaimed her to be ‘Lois.’ Memories came flooding back.
Lois planted a wet kiss on his lips and stepped back. Napoleon watched her with no small desire as she pulled on panties and a skirt. “I have to go to work,” she said with a purr. “Do you expect to be here when I get back?”
Napoleon opened his mouth, but nothing came out. She tsked. “Don’t worry, sweetie. We both got what we wanted last night. If you’re here, we’ll do some other stuff. If not, your loss.”
Then she was gone, and Napoleon could reflect on his experiences over the past — he looked at the clock, 7:30 a.m. — twelve hours.
He had followed Sophia and Camden around downtown for a while, then across the Burnside Bridge onto the east side. Sophia lived in an upstairs apartment on Burnside in the 20s, and he had watched with a broken heart as she and Camden entered. He waited for almost an hour until he decided no one was coming out for the night, and then walked south to a late-night diner. There he picked up the waitress, Lois, and came back to her place. All during the sex he was seeing Sophia’s face. How could she end up with Camden?
Napoleon looked out the window and saw he was on a street down toward Hawthorne. Maybe Sophia and Camden weren’t awake yet. Maybe he could still catch them.
For some reason, he decided it was important to leave a note. He told Lois he’d be back, and hoped he was lying.
Critic A: A new love interest? Lois? She wasn’t in the original story.
Critic B: No, she’s not a love interest. She’s just a substitute for Sophia. Don’t you see? We knew too much about the story. It was too conventional. A weird and wacky man, unlucky in love, meets the fiery anarchist who unlocks his secret passion. Not very trailblazing.
Critic A: I don’t know. How often are anarchists presented as sympathetic characters?
Critic B: She’s sympathetic? She betrayed her ideals for a roll in the hay with Camden, who we’re supposed to see as shallow.
Critic A: Are we? Maybe he’s just scared. Maybe he’s weird and wacky, and she’s unlocking his secret passion. We just missed it because Napoleon has such a good name.
Critic B: That’s ridiculous! I can’t even discuss this seriously with you anymore! Let’s just keep reading!
Camden woke before Sophia and watched her sleep. Her eyes flitted nervously and her lips remained slightly pursed. He slid out of bed and went to the window. The early morning sun painted the street golden. A man was standing across the street, trying to look uninterested in the whole scene.
Camden quickly got dressed and slipped outside. The man wasn’t fast enough to direct his attention elsewhere, and Camden knew he had been watching Sophia’s place. He ran across the street and called out to the man.
The man had a face that looked familiar. It was a nondescript face, and Camden felt as if he had seen the man over and over again, in different settings. In Portland, he would not be out of place on Hawthorne, in a club in the Pearl, or on stage at La Luna.
“You were watching that apartment,” Camden said, not as a question.
Napoleon answered in the affirmative. He cursed himself for being so obvious.
Camden asked him why. Napoleon shrugged and said, “You’re Camden Fellows.”
“Yes. How do you know?”
“I watch your show occasionally. You’re thinner in person.”
“The camera adds ten pounds. What are you doing watching that apartment?”
Napoleon shrugged again. “I was waiting for a bus.”
“Bullshit. I’ll repeat myself, just so I’m clear.” And he did.
Napoleon suddenly looked sad. “What did she show you?” he hissed through clenched lips.
“Last night. In the bar. What did she show you?”
“Get the hell out of here, you freak. Get the hell out of here before –”
“Just tell me.” Napoleon took a step forward. “Please.”
Camden balled his fist, but didn’t strike. Instead he snarled, “I said –”
“Camden? What’s going on?” Sophia stood on the sidewalk across the street. She had to shout over the few cars rolling along Burnside. Camden spun and smiled viciously. Sophia walked to the corner, waited for traffic to clear, and crossed to the two men. She was wearing a white T-shirt, jeans, and combat boots. Napoleon smiled in relief, then stopped when she shot him a sour look.
“What’s up?” she said.
Camden touched her arm intimately. “This guy was watching your place.”
She bristled like a hedgehog. “Who are you?” she demanded of Napoleon.
“I just wanted …” Napoleon was at a loss. She had become for him something more than a person. In that brief time between learning of her existence and her mysterious revelation to Camden, she had changed him without knowing it. And now, here she was, confronting him on a street in the morning, unaware of her effect on him.
“I thought …” he started again, suddenly aware that both Sophia and Camden were watching him quizzically, unable to determine if he was some sort of idiot. “You and him,” he started again, “don’t work. It’s absurd.”
“How the hell would you know?” Camden asked.
Napoleon shook his head. “I just do.” He turned away and mumbled something.
“What’s that?” said Sophia.
“There’s a chance,” Napoleon muttered, more audibly.
“A chance for what?”
“A chance everyone has. You sounded like someone who made her own. That’s all.” Before she could respond, he walked swiftly away. Sophia just looked after him.
Critic A: Hmmm …
Critic B: Yes. Indeed …
Napoleon went to the diner where Lois worked and ordered breakfast. She spotted him and smiled, but he didn’t return it. He ate his scrambled eggs in silence. She got a break and came over to his booth, slipping in across from him.
“I didn’t think I’d ever see you again,” she said, smiling again. Her smile was sweet, he thought, except for the nicotine-stained teeth.
He made a non-committal noise. She reached out and touched his wrist. He didn’t pull it away.
“Did you think you would?”
Napoleon sighed. “Lois, I don’t know you at all. I don’t know if I’d like to. I … don’t know.”
“At least you’re honest. That’s a surprise in this world.”
“Have you ever been so convinced that something is going to happen, like it’s predestined, or fate, I guess, something like that? You reach out and touch a tall brick wall, and your hand goes right through, because it’s just an illusion. The world doesn’t make any sense.”
“You don’t make a lot of sense right now.”
“Yeah. I thought I had things figured out. I didn’t. That’s all.”
“Welcome to the real world, sweetie. What does this have to do with you and me?”
“Do you recognize those two guys at that table over there?”
She swiveled her head around, following his pointing index finger. “The fat guy with the wispy hair? His chunky friend with the curly black hair? Those guys?”
“Yeah. They seem familiar …”
“You deftly avoided my question, Napoleon. If I’m just another conquest to you, fine. I can live with that — hell, I’ve done it to men before. But don’t keep coming around here and expecting guilt-free sex. Even I have my limits.”
“What? No, no. Of course not. I’m just … They’re looking over here. Hey! What are you guys looking at?”
Critic A: I told you it was a bad idea to go out and get breakfast!
Critic B: Is he actually talking to us?
Critic A: Yes! Jesus, he’s looking right at us! How can he do that? Isn’t he a fictional character?
Critic B: Maybe not. Or maybe …
Critic A: Don’t even think that! My wife would be very upset!
Critic B: Describe your wife to me again?
Critic A: Shut up! What should we do?
Critic B: I guess we should get up and talk to him.
Sophia didn’t know why she was standing outside this particular diner. She didn’t know why she felt compelled to leave her apartment and the man who was there (what was his name? Trenton? Bayonne?) and walk twenty blocks south to a diner she had never visited. Something, it seemed, was dragging her there. She felt like her life would not go forward until she saw what was inside the diner and dealt with it. But what did she need to deal with? She may not be happy, but she was doing what she wanted with her life. Tearing down the social fabric and exposing the lie behind it. No need for anything but pure human cooperation and utopian relationships. Sex, love, hate, anger, jealousy, sadness — all tied up and encoded in genes, causing humanity to slog through the mud. Sophia needed none of it. Last night’s conquest was a perfect example. Sweat on her brow, and man between her legs — no names needed, because there would be no jealousy if either of them left — a cry in the dark, orgasm, fulfillment (only momentary, but easily recaptured), sleep. Had there been a man last night? There was a man this morning, watching her apartment. She was sure of that …
The door to the diner was grease-streaked, hazy, and hand-printed. It had taken the weight of the world and survived. The small hand of anarchy would not damage it. Sophia placed her fingers on the metal crossbar and pushed.
“Napoleon, you’re still avoiding the question.”
“Why are you guys watching me? Who are you?”
The fat man with the graying, wispy hair shrugged self-consciously. “I’m, I mean, we, well, we’re …”
His friend interrupted. “We’re literary critics. I work for Willamette Fictioners Magazine Journal. My colleague here is a critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Picayune.”
“Napoleon, I have to get back to work. If you’d rather chat with literary critics, be my guest. At least leave me a tip so I can feel like a high-class whore.”
Lois stood and angrily brushed past the two men. Napoleon tried to get up and follow her, but he was unable to rouse himself, like he had been drugged.
“And why are you watching me?” he said sluggishly. Hey … you were at the bar last night! With Sophia and Camden!”
The two critics exchanged glances. “Yes, yes we were,” said the fat man. “Uh, may we sit down?”
Napoleon waved them to the table. They squeezed themselves in opposite him.
“So,” the black-haired one said. “Napoleon Fish. A rather sad-sack hero, don’t you think?”
For a brief instant, Napoleon wanted to confront them about how they knew his name. Then, comprehension flooded through him like a rush of endorphins, and he nodded sadly.
“Yes. But am I a hero? Why do I have to be the hero? Can’t I just be an alter ego or something? An embodiment, rather than an ideal? There is less pressure that way.”
Critic A scratched his balding head. “Readers don’t necessarily want that, though. A reader is an embodiment of him- or herself. They know all about failure, and dashed dreams, and wasted opportunities. If you are to have those, at least you should have spectacular failures, magnificent dashed dreams, and cruelly stymied opportunities.”
“I disagree,” Critic B said. “Napoleon is a perfect modern — as opposed to postmodern — hero in that he is allowed to fail pathetically, and in failing, learn nothing. Here is a man who is so paralyzed by inaction that he lets the love of his life sleep with a pig and then can’t even bring himself to declare himself. And he ensnares another woman in his web and sublimates his feelings in debauchery. It’s all sadly familiar, and therefore comforting.”
“Aren’t I allowed to be both?” said Napoleon. “An ideal and reality?”
Critic A snorted. “Please. What kind of archetype would you be then?”
“I’m not an archetype! I’m a person!”
“You, sire, are a fictional character,” Critic B replied. “My sentimental colleague here and I are real people. Therefore we have depth you cannot even imagine.:
Napoleon stood up. “I will not be judged by you,” he whispered. He began to walk toward the door.
Critic A sniffed indignantly. “Of course he will. We’re critics. That’s what we do. Judge people.”
Critic B: Have you noticed we’re not in the diner anymore?
Napoleon pulled at the door just as it began to open. He walked right into a woman wearing a T-shirt with a burning American flag printed on it and cut-off jeans. Her hair was short and straight and a strangely fake burgundy color. He started to mumble an “excuse me” when he looked into her eyes.
One was blue and the other was green. They were the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen — large and focused on something not right in front of them. It took them a second to focus on him.
“I’m sorry,” the woman said, with a voice that reminded him of far-away thunder — threatening and menacing but filled with powerful beauty. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
It took Napoleon a moment to find his voice. “That’s okay,” he said softly. “Were you getting breakfast?”
“N-no,” she said. “I … don’t know why I was coming in here. Maybe to eat …”
A waitress appeared at their side. Her nametag read ‘Lois.’ “Are you two coming in or going out? Either way, the door needs to close.”
The woman looked at Napoleon, then at the waitress. “We’re … going. Sorry.”
Out on the sidewalk, Napoleon winced at the early morning sun. “So, can I … buy you some breakfast? Someplace else. That place … gives me the creeps. By the way, my name is Napoleon.”
Sophia smiled and extended her hand.
[I told you Sophia would be back! I’m rooting for her and Napoleon – I like those crazy kids.
I had some fun with this story, obviously, and just as obviously, given what I do, I don’t hate critics. Even back when I wrote this, before I was reviewing comics on the internet, I didn’t hate critics. But I still had to have a little fun with them, and I think “changing” the story on them mid-stream was the way to do it. I hope you’ll let me know how I did, because in the end … WE ARE ALL CRITICS.
Back next week with the return of some old friends. Which ones? Tune in to find out!]