|Tyler Tyler Burning Bright
Author: Finn Solomon PM
The Narrator finally remembers his childhood, and realises just who Tyler is. Takes place after the events of the movie. Technically a crossover, but it'll give away the ending. Enjoy.Rated: Fiction M - English - Friendship - Words: 1,419 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 08-19-12 - id: 8445630
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This is how it ends, with words on a screen.
You're reading my words on a screen, but you don't know me. I'm not sure anyone does, not really. Not my mum, whom I haven't seen in forever. Not my father (bastard) who walked out of the door when I was a kid and never laid eyes on me again. Not even Marla. Sure, she knows what I look like naked and those modern life magazines say that's all that matters nowadays, but it doesn't. There wasn't any love, any meaning to it. Just fucking. Raw, animal fucking with sweat and slick bodies and shaking the bed so hard dust would fall from the ceiling and cigarettes when it was over.
You don't know me, but you've heard of me. At least, I assume you read the papers and watch the television in the small snippets of time before you leave for your job and after you get home from your job, whatever that may be. Because that's what they tell you to do. Read the papers (or scan the headlines, at least) and watch half an hour of talking heads and you're informed. You're an active, engaged citizen of the world. You don't have that nagging sense of despair that your life consists of a series of boxes, from the bedroom to the bathroom to the car to the cubicle and back again, without actually contributing anything useful to the development of our species as a whole.
Marla doesn't despair, however. She's suicidal, but she doesn't do despair. But her name's not Marla. Or is it?
You've heard of me because at some point, you must have wondered who the hell blew up all those office buildings downtown. Remember? People were calling it a terrorist attack. The President was all hot and bothered. No wonder he flew off half-cocked a couple of years later, when it went down in New York. But the first one? That was me. Mine. Or us. Ours. It was a project, of sorts. Not some bullshit corporate project to merge synergistically or sodomise crowd sourcing or whatever the new buzzwords are. No, it was a project strangely more akin to the ones we used to do in kindergarten. A project to engender...mayhem.
Tyler, Tyler, burning bright.
If you've wondered that, wonder no more. But maybe you're asking where I am. What am I doing. Or if I could pull off another attack, as big as the last one. Maybe you're scared. And that's good. You should be scared. Because if you're not scared, you'll end up like Marla, who wasn't afraid of anything and it didn't prove to be very healthy. Trust me, you don't want to end up like you don't need to worry. They got me. It wasn't hard, even for a buncha cops, to follow the blood trail I left behind. They took Marla away. I don't know where she is. Sometimes I think about her and I try to masturbate but it's just not the same. Masturbating to Marla's memory instead of actually fucking her is like playing some kind of stupid baseball game when you can make your own game with your own rules instead. It's just no contest.
I'm in a cell. Padded, white. All the cliches. No bed. No jacket, not after I showed that I had no interest in harming myself. Why would I want to do that? Pain hurts. Try blowing out half your mouth with a bullet sometime. Luckily it missed all the major organs and my vocal chords and the things that mattered. The docs even said there was some hope of reconstructive surgery. That would be nice. If I had anyplace to go instead of being locked up in a cell for the rest of my life, that is. Who's going to see my face in here?
I think you've heard of Tyler. He's the kind of guy whom everyone hears whispers of, I think. Tyler robbed a bank with five guys and ended up taking all the cash himself. Tyler can speak seven languages, including Latin. Tyler is the reason cinemas don't allow you to bring in cigarette lighters any more. He's that kind of guy.
I killed him. He's dead. He should stay dead, forever. I saw the blood seep from his shattered skull and fill up his nose and mouth and drip on the floor. I saw his knees hit the floor and his forehead soon after that and his eyes, blank and dead and staring at nothing. I killed him. He should be dead.
But he's not. Look. He's there, in the corner. He doesn't say much. I understand. I wouldn't say much to you if you shot me either. But he's there. He doesn't talk, but I know what he wants. He wants me to go outside. He wants to play. The thing about Tyler is that he's incredibly uncomplicated. When you get down to it, Tyler is what you get if you stripped away all the bullshit society teaches you and let the inner child shine forth. When you see a four year old ripping up pieces of paper and colouring the walls with crayons for the hell of it, you see mayhem. That's what Tyler wants.
Why he's wearing that stupid fucking fur coat, I have no idea. He was wearing it right before he died. Maybe it's special to him. Or maybe it's just nothing.
I know what Tyler wants, but I have to stop listening to him. That's what the doctor said. I have to stop listening to his tricks and plans and pleas for escape. The doctor tells me Tyler is not real. It's easier to nod and pretend to agree than to tell him the truth. The doctor was trying out some new techniques the other day. Hypnosis or something. Helping me to remember my childhood. I blocked most of it out, you see. But now it all keeps coming back.
The little suburban house, with the rolling woods outside. The snowmen I used to make whenever there was a heavy fall. I remember dad yelling at me about my snowmen. 'Sick and twisted', he called them. But it's his fault. Maybe if he told me the truth every now and then instead of making up some fucking story about how the sun sets in Arizona and waits until the morning to come up again, I wouldn't have been such a twisted little kid.
I remember school. Trying and never quite getting the answers right. The bullies who used to pick on me. The teacher who looked like life had eaten her up and spat her back out again. That slimy girl whom I could never get rid of. Susie, that was her name. Or maybe Singer. I can't remember.
But no matter what happened, no matter if my mum was yelling at me to finish eating my vegetables (green goop, more like) or if my dad was off on another of his bike rides, preferring to spend his time in the freezing cold instead of with his family, Tyler was there. He was always there. Just that I never realised it before.
In hindsight, I guess it was pretty obvious. Tyler was always with me, whenever I thought of something cool to do. Whenever I thought of leaving the dreary town where I lived and going out into the world. He had another name back then. A kid's name, really.
I hear the doctor arriving. I need to finish this up. The doctor has promised to type what I write here and email it to my mother. To Marla. But not to Tyler. Because Tyler was never real. Even though he was, I have to say he wasn't. It's all part of the game we play.
The doctor is about to come in. I know what he'll say. We say it every time we see each other.
"Hello. How are you?"
"I am fine. I am Jack's colon. I get cancer and I kill Jack."
"Colon? That's a new one...that's not your name, by the way. Jack's not your name. Your name is Calvin. Cal-vin. Remember?"
Yes. I remember. My name is Calvin.
And Tyler. My Tyler. He has always been a tiger, a proud beast unshackled by the constraints of society. Unseen to everyone but me. Except that I used to call him Hobbes.
(A Fight Club story. Inspired by this post ?id=29_0_2_0)