Negotiation with the Narration

May 1, 2010
She raced into the hallway, absolutely furious now, and fumbled with the lock on her locker. He had no right, the ego, the audacity, the temerity of the –

Susan turned and gave the narrator a critical look. “What the heck is temerity supposed to be? Is that even a word?”

Well…. you know…. the feeling that one has a right to complete a particular action, when it, uh, is apparent to the rest of the population that the, no, that belief is completely…. what’s the word I’m looking for…. misappropriated and –

“I think you made that up,” Susan said. She faced the audacious but not, er, temerity boy, who was beginning to think she was a little more whacked than he had thought originally.

Susan blinked. “Who are you supposed to be?” she said to the second narrator, who was behind Billy now. “And you,” she turned back to Billy, who had apparently followed her out into the hallway, “what makes you think that I’m nuts? You have people popping up at random intervals now too, adding their completely useless comments and misusing vocabulary.”

I am not, the first narrator said defensively. I know fully well what temerity means.

Billy was slowing edging away from Susan, still not entirely convinced that she was sane. He backed up straight into the second narrator, who was busy arguing over connotative meanings with the first narrator.

The second narrator pushed him back. Hey, watch it, buddy. I’m trying to prove a point here.

Billy took a huge step backwards towards Susan, who grabbed his arm and pointed. “Now do you see them?”

He nodded, eyes wide. “Who are they?”

Another narrator appeared behind Billy’s shoulder. Who else would they be? They and I are the narrators, though why so many of us are being called on to chronicle this particular event is beyond me.

“Yeah, I’m not really sure of that one myself, actually.” Susan smiled at the third narrator. “But seeing as you seem much more professional than either of those two losers over there, is there any chance that you could, you know, get rid of them?”

Well... er…, yes, I think that I could. The third narrator went over to the other two, whose argument had grown more heated in the thirty seconds it took for the third narrator to talk to Susan.

“What did you do that for?” Billy asked.

Susan sighed and turned back to her locker. She idly spun the lock until it opened. “Well, they were getting on my nerves.” She opened the door to her locker and traced the picture taped to the inside. He looked at it quizzically. “Hey, isn’t that us?”

She smiled. “Yeah, on the physics trip last year.” She dropped her finger and reached for her math book. She tucked it under her arm and shut her locker. Billy put his hand on the wall of lockers next to her head. “You’ve avoiding this, Susan. “

She turned to face him and frowned, realizing he had effectively trapped her between the locker and his body. “Avoiding what?”

He gave her a disbelieving look. “Prom? You know… you, me, my dad’s car?”

“Well, in that case… ” She looked down at the floor for a second, then back up at him, full force. “I’m kinda ticked that you would just assume that I would go to prom with you without even asking me in the first place. What if I had a date?”

“You never have a date. Ever.”
“That’s beside the point,” she said and tried to continue her rant. “Just because we have known each other since we were like five or whatever, you do not have the right to-- ”
Billy leaned in a little closer. Susan fidgeted a little, way too aware of the six feet of muscle that was less than a foot from her. “So do you have a date?”
“Well, no, but, like I said earlier, that’s really not the point…”
He grinned. “So, do you want to go with me?”
“Uh… well… yeah… I guess…”
He pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. “Guess that’s settled, then.” He leaned forward and –
What on earth are they doing? The third narrator exclaimed with disgust. Were they not in an awful argument a moment ago?
Well, I think she was mostly just angry at him, the second narrator remarked. But obviously they’ve gotten past that.
Way beyond that issue, you mean. The first narrator grinned. They’ve gotten to making out in the middle of a hallway at a high school. Not that that’s unusual.
The bell rang suddenly, and the hallway quickly filled with the noise of hundreds of teenagers trying to get from point A to point B while talking to every single person they could en route. Billy kissed Susan once on the forehead and left for his next class, absentmindedly humming the prom theme under his breath.
Susan grinned and walked over to the little alcove across the hallway, where a girl was timidly typing away on a laptop. “So, did you get all of that?”
She nodded her head and turned the laptop so Susan could read the screen.
Susan grinned. “This is really good. I especially like your use of italics for the narrators. It really makes the scene easy to follow.” She leaned in closer to the screen. “Oh, so, temerity is a real word. Were they even using it properly?”
The final narrator shook her head and opened her dictionary.
“Temerity:” Susan read. “without thought to potential danger and/or risks.” She shut the dictionary and gave it back to the girl. “None of them can use a dictionary either. Excellent work.”
The girl grinned shyly. Susan put her hand on her shoulder. “Save it.”
The final narrator clicked “save” and shut the computer. Susan helped her to her feet. “Come on, let’s get rid of the dictionary patrol over there.”
Susan strode back to the three narrators, who were all watching her, very confused. “So, then.” She pulled the final narrator forward. “Since you all are really annoying and incapable of relevant commentary, I’ve decided to go outside the union and hire her.”
Wait a minute, you can’t… The first narrator protested.
It’s not fair; I didn’t even get a real interview! The second narrator cried.
You lured me here under false pretenses, the third narrator said sulkily.
Susan grinned. “And the best part is, I don’t even care. Hope to not be seeing you.” She waved and grinned a super sweet smile. The narrators disappeared, all with extremely pathetic and desperate looks on their faces.
“Let’s go,” she said, turning to the final narrator, “I have a lot more scenes to stage.”





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