Not too long ago, while I was loading a Discworld fic, I noticed someone had entered Flatland into the Book Categories, but found no one had written anything for it! So I started thinking. This is the result: The first and probably last Flatfic. Basically, flatland is a 2-D plane in which the occupants are equilateral polygons (With the exception of Isosceles triangles. Inequality of sides in other shapes basically denotes future insanity); the more sides you have, the higher your office. The top is the Chief Circles, whose sides are always estimated at 1,000. The dimensions are Width and Length, which means from above, you can see their digestive tract and everything. Read the book if you don't believe me. Albert Square Was visited new year's eave 1999 (Flatland years, which are exactly 100 years behind ours- this story was written in 1883) by a Sphere who convinced him of a third dimension. The head circles threw him in jail to hush it up.

* * *

When we last left our beloved Albert Square he was locked up in prison. The head circles knew that historical records said that the Sphere had come in 1000 and 0, but still wanted the whole thing hushed up. And now Albert was doomed to spend his existence in this cell. Suddenly there was a noise behind him. Albert spun around, and in his line of vision (They see lines with no height, in which is the Flatland) he saw the door swing open and the isosceles guards shove in another prisoner.

"Who are you?"


"Mortimer, allow me to feel and be felt by[1] myself, Albert Square- You're a CIRCLE?"

"Yes," said Mortimer sullenly.

"But this area is where they put the- ARE you insane? I'm not, really. It's a just a misunderstanding. I know too much."

"Really. Well, my story is a twisted one, I assure you."

"If they threw you in with me, it must be."

* * *

Mortimer circle was from an outstanding and rich family of circles in a southtown[2] suburb of the capitol. Needing not to work for his living, he had taken up exploration as a hobby. One day he had set out going northeast to see what might be at the end of Flatland. If it has an end.

He had walked for days. Eventually, there were less and less houses. The ones he saw were the out-dated square kind. No one even built square houses anymore.

"Does this region have a name?" he asked a farmer who lived in one of these

"Not that I know of."

"What kingdom is it part of?"

"This area isn't in a kingdom. No one wants to rule the area near the land of the Irregular Squares."


"Farther north of here is a land of green fog."

"But who would dare color fog?"

"It's naturally like that."

"Green fog?"

"Yes. And inside there are giant irregular squares who play games with the lives of polygons."

"What, like God?"

"No, I mean they really PLAY GAMES with their lives. Beware. And you wouldn't happen to want a rutabagagone, would you? 25 cents each."

* * *

"A land of green fog?" asked Albert incredulously

"Yes," said Mortimer. "And what a strange place it was."

* * *

Mortimer continued onward. There were no more farms, and only one more house. It was an abandoned triangular one. From there Mortimer could see a line of green stretching across the horizon. Walking onward, he found the air around him growing continually greener and darker. In the distance there were strange noises and the cries of Flatlanders. The noises sounded like 'Boop. Boop. Boop.' Nearby, he could see two darker shapes in the fog. There was something shooting back and forth between them. It eventually shot away past one of them and they followed it. It hurtled past Mort, and he realized that the two shapes had noticed him.

"Four to twelve, my favor. I think we've lost the other Ball, let's use this."

Mortimer was thrust between them and one raced forward and smacked him with a flat facet of its body. He was sent flying, but was just as quickly caught by the second shape, which sent him going back. Now severely punch drunk, he was batted back and forth for several minutes before shooting off past one of the paddles. He thought he was free, but to his horror another creature plying a different game blocked his passage accidentally, for it did not seem to notice him, and he was sent spiraling back to the first pair.

"Five to twelve, my favor"

It appeared that the whole horrible adventure was going to begin again, when suddenly a polygon jumped between the two irregular squares.

"STOP," it rumbled, "GAME PAUSED"

"What happened?" asked a very woozy Mortimer indeed.

"Well, since the Game has been paused, we can explain," said Twelve My Favor.

"You're from Flatland, right? Thought so. This is Pongland. We are a species who call ourselves Paddles. We play a sport constantly with hapless travelers who wander in from Flatland to the south and Artland to the north. This is not our fault," it added, seeing Mortimer's look, "We do it by instinct. When a Ponglander is born, it is of either gender "A" or "B" At a young age, a Ponglander will choose a mate, and play games with them for five years. When this time is up, if the two are comfortable in each other's presence, them marry and give birth. They cease to play games, then, and care for their offspring till maturity and then retire." Mortimer thought he saw Twelve My Favor wink at Five. "And our day is today. You have the privilege of being our last Ball."


"That is what we call all who must play games with us."

"Oh. And who is Game Paused?"



"Let me explain," said Five. "Some paddles are born with special powers. As they grow, they become a different shape than Paddles. Here, feel around me."

Mortimer did so.

"You are an irregular square! You must be twice as long as you are wide!"

"This signifies insanity in your kind, correct? In our kind, it is normal. Now feel around Game Paused."

Mortimer did so.

"He is a different width that you are, but the same length?"

"Correct. Game Paused are the highly revered of our society. They are wider, and never get married or reproduce."

"Interesting. Tell me, what is your name, and are you Bride or Groom?"

"I am Sophia, the bride," said Five, "And my groom is Hue."


"Sorry about this," said Sophia.

"Not as much as me."

The game ended a few minutes later, with Hue the victor.

"Who marries Paddles?"

"Why, Game Resumed, of course.

* * *


"Well, I hope your lives be filled with happiness."

"Thank you. Would you like a smack back to Flatland?"

"Yes, I guess so- if you make it gentle."

"Of course. Hold still."

Hue was sent rushing our of the Pongland and back through the edges of Flatland, and eventually back to the capitol.

* * *

"I told the Chief Circle my entire story. Then they through me in here. And I bet you think I'm crazy."

"No. Wait till you've heard MY story," Said Albert.

* * *

Okay. But SOMEONE had to be first. Read, Review, and Flatfic. Misery loves company.

Mobius Shadow ----------------------- [1] Flatlanders appear to other Flatlanders as darker places on their line of vision. '____' could be anything, and unless there is fog on hand (In which case you can see parts of the line grow dimmer with varying degrees of intensity) the shapes feel around their edges to deduce the shape of each other. There is no sexual connotation in this AT ALL. Their women are lines (So, you guessed it, while right in front of it, it is a point. [2] They don't have the words 'up' or 'down'