"Stanley was fat and ugly and really really stupid."
No, that didn't work... Go ahead and try again.
"Due to his inability to find his way out an empty, worthless room, Stanley was stuck here. Or perhaps his hefty figure made it impossible to exit the room.
"But, unsurprisingly, he didn't bother too much about it. Ignorance really is bliss, isn't it? Ignorance…"
Hm. Too much. Try again.
"Stanley. I'm tired. Come on."
"Come on, Stanley! What is so fascinating about this room?"
It was then known to the Narrator that he greatly overestimated Stanley's intelligence.
While he never compared the man to Stephen Hawking, he knew this situation caused the poor guy to hit an all-time low. So disappointing it was, but not as much as infuriating. If it wasn't the emotional stress taking a toll on his hair it was definitely him angrily pulling it out in small clumps.
It's true; the Narrator suffered from a lack of patience for all things he considered "beneath him". But surely, he told himself, I have—in the least—the smallest ounce of restraint. I can control myself.
Well, he tried.
But what could've possibly sent the Narrator's blood pressure skyrocketing, you ask?
Within the confines of the office broom closet, there was Stanley, the central character and what could probably be believed as a close colleague of the Narrator. He failed to exit the closet, lingering long enough to even call it a home of his own. Using good manners, bargaining, force, and lastly—insults, the Narrator did his best to persuade Stanley out of the tiny storeroom and back onto the path of the story, the story that was built specifically for Stanley in mind.
"I'd understand wholly if it was the employee lounge, maybe even your own office—but the BROOM CLOSET? Of all things—of all the places Stanley could've felt content in, it just had to be the broom closet!" The Narrator spat out the last two words in venomous hatred; he even had a bitter taste in his mouth upon speaking them.
"The sad part is that I can't even drag you out of there myself. I have to sit in this office while you're practically killing me… I sure hope you're happy doing whatever it is you're doing."
Stanley was taking interest in the supplies sitting upon the rickety shelf beside him. Plopping onto the floor and sitting with his legs in a crisscross, he held a nearby dustpan, outstretching his arm and letting it soar high above his head. He performed diving motions with his arm and the dustpan, creating airplane engine noises as he did so.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. And the Narrator thought it wouldn't happen anytime soon.
It's safe to assume that Stanley had lost what was left of his saneness. It didn't come as a shock to the Narrator, but he certainly didn't expect his sanity to spoil over so quickly—and it didn't really do much good to his self-control (or lack thereof). He knew unquestionably that an unsound man wouldn't be as cooperative as a sound one. And what is a story without a sensible plot and characters? Fan-fiction?
"Wha—What is that? What do you think you're doing?" The Narrator, who (as previously mentioned before) was sitting in an undisclosed office in the complex, leaned forward from his desk to press his ear against the monitor screen bolted to the wall that displayed Stanley's situation. As if that would help anything.
"You're joking," said the Narrator in a despising tone. "My respect for you has now plummeted. You have truly thrown yourself over the cliffs of insanity."
Stanley made the dustpan nosedive onto the floor, creating a bschoom! noise to simulate a cartoonish explosion.
"Exactly." The Narrator let his head fall into his hands, fighting the urge to grab a fistful of his hair.
"What am I going to do with you, Stanley?" His voice was heavy in grief, slightly croaking with frustration.
"I really hope you're doing this to fulfill some sort of hostility you have for me because I would feel terribly sad for you otherwise.
"But let's say you are being kind about this. Now, I'm not sure if this has been instantly triggered or if it's been long-term all this time and I hadn't caught on to it earlier—I mean, what person just stumbles into a broom closet for no reason? Not a stable one, that's for sure.
"And me—man, I must be really clueless to not realize that the only person I can fully interact with has gone off the deep end. Possibly forever… I'm not sure about that…"
Stanley only distractedly hummed the tune to The Simpsons , forgetting about the dustpan.
"No." After a brief moment of silence, the Narrator shook his head and spoke, a tad too animated, "No, no, n—you're doing this on purpose, aren't you? No one in this world can possibly be this stupid! It's me, right? Is this all because of some grudge against me? Playing it dumb so you can drag me down to the depths of inanity with you! Why that's just the most…" He paused.
"I need an answer, Stanley. Tell me this is all just out of spite so we can we can all just leave, go home, call it a day! Tell me you're joking about this!" He took a hold of his monitor, jerking it back and forth in a bout of distress.
"Tell me you're joking, Stanley!"
Stanley took a long vacant look at the ceiling. It felt like hours passed by without a single sound. The Narrator waited for an answer, frazzled and definitely lacking the sophistication he always boasted about. He really needed that response, that second chance for them to make amends and forget everything about this. There was no wrong answer. No wrong answers…
Stanley opened his mouth—
One could've seen the black smoke pouring out the Narrator's ears. His face became crimson and he stood stiff.
He slowly placed his hands on the undersurface of the desk. In one sudden motion he flipped the desk over, creating quite a racket with all the office knickknacks, pencils, and many fragile objects clattering across the rock-solid floor. Still, he didn't flinch even a bit.
"What is going on here?"
A woman was at the door. With that taxing scowl and that unsympathetic voice she possessed, she could've easily been recognized as the Substitute Narrator.
On any other day, the Narrator would've taken her concerned attitude with much attention and cautiousness. Now he was seen with his brown jacket carelessly scooped up into his arms, sweat beading his forehead, too infuriated to pay mind to the lady who was willing to give him help
"You look awful," said the Substitute. "Do you mind telling me what's going on here—" The Narrator half-shoved her to the side to get out the door. He stormed down the hallway; it wouldn't have been absurd to see a stream of thick smoke following him as he did so.
"You have a job! You can't just leave Stanley like this!" shouted the Substitute.
"Where are you going?"
"I need a drink," were the Narrator's only words before he kicked the doors out of his way and left the building.
Carefully stepping over the wreckage, the Substitute made her way over to the wall monitor. Apparently, Stanley found the Narrator's episode to be rather interesting, still eager to listen with all ears.
"I'm sorry about that, Stanley," the Substitute apologized. "I don't know what came over him. I'm thinking you might have knowledge about this…"
Stanley only slapped on a wide grin and waved to the ceiling.