Written as one of the requirements for the novel analysis I had to do as a final exam for my English subject. I had fun writing this aside from writing for the essay question ("Compare and contrast the last novel you've read before the novel analysis and how did it change your view toward contemporary literature?".)
One of the questions for the novel analysis was "Choose a scene in the novel and retell it in the perspective of a minor character." Then we had to justify it.
It was almost like writing fanfiction.
Nevertheless, I was very amused for the next couple of weeks and was thus very interested to do the paper. Originally I wanted to do a scene with Misters Croup and Vandemar, but then I was already short on time for coming up with fun ways to torture rats... And I wasn't sure how my prof would take it...
Anyway, I'm posting this here since it does qualify as a fanfic. It's so much shorter than my other fanfics, but this was written with a page limit 2-3 pages.
Disclaimers: If I owned "Neverwhere", I wouldn't be reading it for school, nor retell a scene from the POV of a minor character, right? I am only one of many young writers who wish they had the same brain wirings as Neil Gaiman and his remarkable talent for story- telling. XD
Warning: Mild swearing, spoilers for the ending of "Neverwhere".
Is That All There Is?
By: Satirical Juxtapose
Written: Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 02:58:54 PM
The new girl from Computer Services had been looking at Dick for quite a while. Gary pretended to suddenly need to use the john and excused himself. Dick, it seemed, had finally broken it off with the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
'About time too.'
If he had anyone to make bets with, he would be betting that the new girl was definitely trying to catch Dick's eye.
He saw her get up and take his stool at the bar, beside Dick.
'YES!' Gary cheered to himself. The girl looked like she was trying to strike up a conversation. She seemed like a better fit for his friend than the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Good Lord, that woman was a nagging control freak. He was doing Richard a favor and saving him from a miserable future if in case she decided to get him back... The Creature from the Black Lagoon was one pushy customer after all. Best hook Dick up with someone else to try and get her to back off. Just in case
Dick just looked like he was only half- listening to the new girl.
'For the love of-' Gary swore. 'What is that bloody idiot doing? She's a real catch, Dick! Why aren't you taking the bait?'
Just then he heard the call of nature. "I must have had too much punch." Gary turned away from watching Dick and the new Computer Services girl and walked off toward the gents.
When he came back, he saw the Computer Services girl sitting alone at the bar, the party still in full attendance but:
"Dick?" He called over the party guests' chatter and music. "Has anyone seen Richard?" The girl shrugged. He most likely had not told her where he was going off to... wherever Dick was going. Feeling a tinge of worry, Gary picked up his coat and went out.
Berwick street's cold night air immediately greeted him like an unwelcome tidal wave when he opened the door. 'Winter.' Gary thought, slipping his coat on. 'Bloody cold...'
"Dick?" He called out. "Hey? Richard?" The London air was cold... Looked like it was going to be a bloody winter...
"Over here." He heard. He looked to the side and saw Richard leaning against the wall. He looked a little too relaxed in the bloody cold. Gary frowned. He was hiding himself in the shadows like some hunter on the prowl, if that made any bloody sense at all. Gary couldn't quite put his finger on it.
Dick seemed... different.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes." Then: "No. I don't know."
Gary tried not to sigh. "Well, that covers your options. Do you want to talk about it?"
"You'll laugh at me." Richard gave him a serious look. Gary ran through his mind through several possibilities. His friend was never this difficult to read before.... Maybe he wasn't over the Creature from the Black Lagoon... Perhaps he met someone on his trip to Majorca; maybe he had bad news from home... Maybe...
Gary smirked. "I'll do that anyway." He cracked. Richard looked at him, smiling.
'That's a relief.' Gary thought, 'I think.' At least it meant that they were still friends. Speaking of friends... Gary looked back at the pub.
It was warm, noisy, happy and fun inside.
But Dick didn't seem to want to have any of it at the moment. He almost always seemed like he didn't want any of it, now that he thought of it.
Gary put his hands inside his coat pockets to keep the warmth from escaping his hands. "Come on. Let's walk. You can get it off your chest. Then I'll laugh at you." His voice betrayed the smirk he wanted to make.
He saw a glimmer of the old Richard when he heard the insult: the old Richard whom he would prank- call using the office phones and made wisecracks to about his control freak fiancée, went out for drinks with and watched on the Manchester United on the telly with on football season...
"That what friends are for." Gary told him before they set off.
The street lamps glowed as dark began to set in. The noise from the pub grew fainter as they walked further away. "Look, Gary,
"Do you ever wonder if this is all there is?"
Gary wondered when Dick suddenly became interested in philosophical discussion. "What?" He found himself asking rather dumbly.
Richard made a vague gesture: "Work. Home. The pub. Meeting girls. Living in the city. Life. Is that all there is?"
Gary wasn't one to think about looking at the big picture; it gave him headaches worse than hangovers so he could only offer his friend an equally vague answer. "I think that sums it up, yes."
His response didn't seem to answer whatever question Richard was mulling over in his head. He heard his friend sigh. "Well, for a start, I didn't go to Majorca. I mean, I really didn't go to Majorca."
Gary stuck his hands further down his pockets. It looked like he was in for a long story. He wondered if Dick was presently drunk. He didn't usually talk this much. Sure he complained about a lot of things but what he was doing now was not actually complaining...
Richard talked for a long time, Gary only interrupting him every once in a while with a question to clarify parts of his unbelievable story.
The hours just seemed to fly past by.
'He could write a book about this.' Gary thought almost bemusedly sometime in the middle of Richard's narration about killing the Beast of London. It sounded almost too much like one of those famous dark fantasy fiction writers with a cult following... Nelson? Neil what'shisface...
"That's all." Richard concluded before drinking up the last of his tea. Sometime near the middle of Richard's story, they had gone into a café, the greasy spoon kind that stayed open all night. At least it was clean. They ordered some fried eggs, baked beans and toast, a late night breakfast so to speak.
Gary scratched his head. "Look, is this real? Not some kind of horrible joke? I mean somebody with a camera isn't about to leap from behind a screen or something and tell me I'm on Candid Camera?"
It was too unreal. Too detailed for even Dick to be saying it.
"I sincerely hope not. You... Do you believe me?"
It's all too confusing. Dick didn't seem like he was lying. Gary was at a loss on what to tell his friend. How was he to believe that underneath the city, in the sewers, the subways and behind doors that do not lead anywhere was a world where homeless people had medieval nobility, angels from Atlantis, cold life- sucking women with corpse pale skin dressed in velvet, savage beasts over hundreds of years old and what have you...?
Gary decided to take care of the bill. It looked like Dick wasn't in any condition to be thinking about other things.
So what was he supposed to say?
"I believe that, well, something happened to you, obviously... Look, more to the point: do you, believe it?"
He looked... different. He noticed that when Dick looked up at him, his eyes had dark rings around them. Then Gary doubted that this had anything to do with Jessica. At this point, it seemed that she was the least of his friend's problems.
"Do I believe it? I don't know anymore. I did. I was there. There was a part in there where you turned up, you know."
Gary tried not to look too skeptical. "You didn't mention that before."
"It was a pretty horrid part. You told me that I'd gone mad and was wandering around London hallucinating."
'Disassociative fugue? Is that what this is about?' He may as well have told him what Dick was saying he told him.
Much later he asked him, hesitantly: "Have you thought about seeing somebody?"
"See somebody? Look, I'm not crazy Gary."
"Are you sure about that?" A taxi with a lit 'For Hire' sign was approaching.
"No." Dick told him. Gary couldn't tell what tone it was that his friend was using. He couldn't tell anymore if that was depression, desperation... anything.
It just didn't seem like it was the Dick he knew at all.
"Here's a taxi. You take it. I'll take the next one."
"Thanks." Gary told him as he flagged the taxi to pull over. The taxi stopped and he climbed into the back.
"Battersea, please." He told the driver. Then he rolled the window down as the taxi began to move again.
"Richard-- This is reality. Get used to it. It's all there is. See you on Monday."
He hoped that that would be the end of the matter. He watched in the side mirror on the passenger's side of taxi in front. Richard was waving as the taxi drove away.
"Fallen angels in Islington? You've got to be bloody kidding me." Gary muttered aloud, shaking his head. "What's next? Shepherds in Shepherd's Hill?"
"Aye, when angels fall from heaven, they fall the hardest, innit? Those shepherds, mighty nasty lot to get involved with. You best avoid them, sir. They're no better than them Velvets." The taxi driver drawled to him from the front seat, a fat gray rat sitting on his cap chitter- ed as if in total agreement.
Author's Notes: I think I want to continue with the "retelling scene in a minor character's POV" draft that I had of Mister Croup and Mister Vandermar... Hmm... The "Mister Vandemar's 101 Ways to Kill a Rat... and Eat It" handbook... Or the "Mister Croup's Thesaurus of Killing". 8D
Disassociative Fugue: "Fugue" meaning "flight" is a rare condition of disassociation wherein a person travels far away from his or her home and literally leaves behind everything. A person with disassociative fugue usually exhibits signs of amnesia and has no conscious understanding or logical reason to explain why they have "taken flight". Oftentimes, it is comorbid with severe stress and or trauma. Since they have no conscious understanding or rational explanation for suddenly leaving their lives, they may become confused with regard to their identities. (There are rare cases where the individual may make for himself or herself a different identity. BUT THIS SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA OR DISASSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER (Formerly known as "Multiple personality disorder" and "split personalities")!) [Summarized from ht tp: // www. minddisorders. com/Del-Fi/ Dissociative- fugue. html I'm too lazy to put this in APA format. right now..]
Now R&R, my good citizens of London Underside... in the name of Temple and Arch!