The Fanfic Letters

by Val Evenstar

Author's Note: Merry Christmas, DH! This is my first anti-badfic/anti-Sue piece, inspired partly by your enthusiastic efforts for Narnia and canon. But of course...

Disclaimer: C.S. Lewis. Always Lewis. He owns it. He's amazing. End of story.

If You Haven't Read Screwtape: Warning- Spoilers. The Screwtape Letters was written by, guess who, C.S. Lewis. Basically, it is a collection of letters from Screwtape, an Under-Secretary in some department of Hell, to his nephew, Wormwood, a tempter in charge of a patient (ie, temptee). I should probably take a moment to mention that both of them are devils. Also, 'Our Father Below' refers to the Devil (if you couldn't figure that out) and 'the Enemy' to God. But please don't let this scare you... although I would highly recommend reading at least parts of Screwtape before you read this.

Oh, and another thing that really should be mentioned: this is satire.

If You Have Read Screwtape: I know I can't even hope for a reasonable imitation of Lewis... but I have tried my best. Feel free to offer suggestions!

"I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands...Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle...There is wishful thinking in Hell as well as on earth."

- C.S. Lewis, from preface to The Screwtape Letters

My dear Wormwood,

I see that your patient has recently become a member of Fan Fiction . net. For this I must commend you, no matter how slight or accidental your role in the event might have been. I feel compelled to warn you, however, that this can be, as most things are, a double-edged sword.

You are correct in assuming that a great many authors in this particular community are firmly in the hands of Our Father Below, but you must not discount the influence of the Enemy's servants. Oh, they are out there, no matter how small their numbers. But keep in mind that the Enemy, like Our Father, is using this only as an avenue for His work. We can take equal advantage of the situation – in fact, records show that we have an overwhelming majority.

Take care, though, that you guide your patient properly. From your previous correspondence, I gather that this particular specimen you have been given charge of will be very easy to influence. You must use her youth and ignorance to the fullest extent. If there are no better ways to keep her feet firmly on the path to Our Father's residence, make sure she develops a weakness for the site. Let her examine the T and M -rated stories, and tempt her teenage curiosity with promises of fulfillment. There are many things she wonders about, I should think – let her imagination get the better of her.

There are not many things as powerful as the imagination, and as easily used for our purpose. It is because, as I explained to you earlier, it causes them to live in Fantasy. Fantasy is like the Future; the Enemy can make use of it, unfortunately – but it quite effectively removes humans from the Present. It causes them to think on What Might Be, as if they were thinking of the Future, but not quite with such a powerful effect, because their thoughts are then mostly directed to other characters who do not exist.

You may take advantage of this much more by suggesting that, instead of dreaming about fictional humans, your patient imagine herself in the fantasy-world. Thus her Fantasy will become nothing more than a harmless and perfectly impossible Future.

I was shocked to read how flippantly you described her thoughts about "the hawt King Peter". Do not take the matter lightly, and do not discourage her because the object of her lust is 'not a real person, and hence cannot lead to real sin'. Did Slubgob teach you anything? Even the Enemy Himself has said that to look at a person with lust is to commit adultery with them in their heart! Need I remind you that any such behaviour is to be encouraged? Because even if this character is fictional, I feel inclined to mention that the actor who portrays him is not. But you must press your advantage in this situation. Tell your patient that, since the 'King Peter' is not real and the actor is only his face, any romantic fantasies she might have are perfectly moral. In fact, encourage her mind to push the limits of her imagination and 'go all the way' as the humans term it in the vernacular.

Finally, I must caution you in one area. From your letter I deduce that the majority of the time your patient spends on this site is in the C.S. Lewis section. Be warned: Lewis was one of the Enemy's servants, and his works have the Enemy's fingerprints all over them. A good number of stories reflect this strongly; there are a dangerous number of influential authors fighting hard to do the Enemy's work. Make sure your patient does not fall into their company. Contact your co-workers who are with some of our best Lewis-fic authors, and encourage them to do their best to persuade their patients to welcome yours into their society. This, at least, may protect your fledgling fanficer for a while,

Your affectionate uncle,