While I was working on ideas for my next big fic, I had a few ideas of for short pieces that I didn't think were strong enough to hang solo, but that might work well when sandwiched together. I might keep this as the format for all my ficlets, I don't know.

1. The Manly World of Toby Flenderson

The waves were certainly pounding that day, but this only made things interesting for Toby.

He'd been living in this small coastal town for several years now, and he'd had more than enough time to not only learn, but to master the fine, fickle art of surfing. Fact was, most of the tourists thought he must have been on a surfboard his whole life, a misconception the locals did nothing to correct, with their many long and lurid legends of "Pops Tico." He laughed every time.

For the first time in his life, he was at home.

He allowed himself a precious second to look back towards the beach. Pam and Sasha smiled and waved back. It hadn't been easy to finally win Pam over, but he had to admit in the end, he was his only real stumbling block. Once he had worked up the nerve to tell how how he really felt, it hadn't taken too long to get Pam to appreciate what was right in front of her. As far as getting full custody, after the blockbuster success of his second book, it wasn't too hard to find a judge willing to let him rework the conditions of his divorce settlement.

Then he noticed something that made his blood boil. Twenty armed men were slowing approaching Pam and Sasha, creeping out from every crevice. He steeled his jaw, the village was generally peaceful, but every so often, some adventurous band of ruffians decided to see if he was actually as good as everyone said he was. Well, they were about to learn.

He was on the beach in the blink of an eye. Before Pam could even register that she had been in danger, every last man was strewn unconscious on the beach. Twenty men, Toby thought, pathetic.

As Pam beamed up at him with a love that bordered on worship, she noticed a strange, contemplative look on his face. "What is it?"

"While I was pummeling those thugs into submission," he said thoughtfully, "I came up with a whole new way to use my muscles."

"Really?" Pam chirped as she bounced on her heels in anticipation.

Toby nodded. "I think if I flex just right... I could use my biceps to look into alternate dimensions."

The crowd watched dumbfounded as Toby flexed his mighty arm as never before. There were "pops" and "crackles" as new muscles spewed forth into existence. Muscles upon muscles upon muscles, like some really ripped Möbius strip. Then, when Toby seemed to be so yolked that his arm seemed more like an army, the air around them shake and wavered until the space in front of them looked like a bad special effect from a crappy 60s sci-fi program.

Toby gazed into the aperture and saw himself: thin and sallow and with less hair. The other him was standing in a dull, featureless office building, which seemed appropriate as he was similarly dull and featureless. He stood in front of Pam, who didn't appear to be his wife in this reality, if the fact that he was staring at his feet while her eyes were on some boyish beanpole in the desk across from her, were any indication.

"Hey, Pam..." the other Toby muttered, barely audible.

"Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you made different choices?" Pam said suddenly, still decidedly focused on the other man. She might not have noticed Toby was there at all.


B.J. Novak stands in front of the camera wearing a sweater and jeans.

B.J.: If you're at a party and one of your friends o.d.'s, call 911 and say "someone's heart has stopped."

He stares at the camera meaningfully.

B.J.: When the paramedic's get there, tell them what they took, but... don't just say "we were all doing drugs and now I think Kim's dead," 'cos...

He shrugs.

B.J.: ...I mean, that's just stupid.

The More You Know.


Spoiler Warning: I completely spoil the last episode of Blake's 7, a program I've never even seen. I try not to be too impressed with myself, but sometimes...

2. The End of an Office

It was a particularly wednesday Wednesday in the Scranton office; no one seemed to be able to muster up the strength to do anything but sit at their desks and stare at their computers, and yet no one seemed to be getting any real work done.

"How do you think it's going to end?"

The question came out of nowhere, so Jim wasn't quite sure what Dwight possibly could have been referring to; but he was fairly confident it wasn't the Universe or the Time-Space Continuum, as he was sure Dwight had pretty specific ideas as to how those would end, mostly like with himself assuming a starring role.

So he bit the bullet and just asked Dwight what he was getting at.

"The documentary," Dwight gestured to the camera, as though it should have been obvious.

Jim supposed it should have, but while he could never really forget that the cameras were there, it was also kind of strange to think that all this film was going somewhere... that there would one day be a finished product. In any case, Jim could only see two possible endings: either the Scranton branch closed and everyone was out of work or the entire company closed and everyone was out of work. Most likely permanently if the documentary had again kind of larger cultural impact.

He looked at reception for a quarter of an eyeblink and replied. "The fairy tale ending. Everyone gets married and lives happily ever after."

Dwight snorted with contempt. "Only a queer would pick that ending."

Jim shrugged. "Then I guess I'm a queer."

"I want the Blake's 7 ending," Dwight nodded boldly.

"What is Blake's 7?" Jim asked in morbid disgust, realizing too late what he was getting himself into.

Dwight looked at Jim as though he were an idiot. Jim was okay with that. "The greatest science fiction series England ever gave us."

Jim nodded. "Of course."

"Maybe the best show of all time, " Dwight went on, "and in the last episode, they methodically kill off the entire cast, one-by-one."

"Fascinating," Jim said, bored.

"I can see it happening," Dwight as now quite lost in his fantasy, "I'd be standing over piles of still steaming corpses, holding back the Rebel Alliance with nothing but my spudgun and my ingenuity..."

Michael happened to be passing by, so Jim saw his out and took it. "Hey, Michael," he called and his ever-eager boss was there in seconds, "how do you think the documentary will end?"

As predicted, Michael jumped at the chance to have an audience. "Oooh! The Scooby Doo ending like in Wayne's World!"

Rather than asking how on earth that could possibly play out, Jim simply nodded. That was all the encouragement Michael needed.

Within seconds, Dwight and Michael were completely ensconced with recounting both Wayne's World movies (with Dwight being predictably cast as Garth and disturbingly cast as Tia Carrere) and Jim could slip away to reception.

"What are they doing?" Pam asked in bemused perplexity.

"Oh," he said softly, "we were just discussing how the documentary is going to end."

Pam nodded. She hadn't really thought of the ending before.

He smiled at her warmly as he looked deep into her eyes. "How do you think it's going to end."

Pam shrugged and broke eye-contact. Although deep down part of her knew how it was going to end, she wasn't so sure she could admit it. Just yet.


John: If you're writing fanfiction, and you write something you kinda think is too stupid to post... go ahead and post it anyway. You can never really tell what other people will like and that just might be the story that everyone reviews.

John jim-shrugs for the camera.

John: And yet only two people read "Cookies."

The More You Know.


Rainn Wilson will be back in "Ilsa Schrute Plays It Safe."