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Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Epic Continuity Part V: Men in Chartreuse Ties

This story actually got published at my college's annual Creative Writing journal. For that reason, there are two versions. The first is the published version, which is re-written from a 1st person perspective and gets rid of the reference to the other stories in the Epic Continuity (as well as several other improvements suggested by the journal). The second version is the original.

Published version:

He laid the manila folder upon the desk with undeniable authority, placing it exactly perpendicular to the desk's edge, while positioning himself in his chair, sitting as straight up as his spine allowed. After several moments of peaceful silence, he gently flipped open the cover to expose the papers within, slowly reading over his former notes as if he did not know what they contained. After what seemed like countless minutes, he gently placed the cover back to its original position hiding the papers, and looked over coldly to me. I was huddled across the desk on a wooden chair, twitching back and forth systematically. “Let us go over this again,” he said in his firm monotonous (and really obnoxious) voice.

Glancing over, I looked into is unchanging brown eyes. How I hated this man. His entire being made him appear to be a statue, nothing more. Perhaps it was worse to be a statue than what I was: insane. Well, how could I forget? I was only told so everyday by this same man. If sanity meant becoming a statue, I wanted no part of it. Speaking of parts, I recall once hearing that humans are made up of of parts, like some kind of strange biological machine. But of course, I hate Biology because of that one occurrence in the Sixth grade when my Science teacher scolded me for saving the poor, innocent toads that were about to be mercilessly dissected. How terrible it must have been for them, the toads, who had nothing to look forward to but a swift death followed by the pricking and prodding and removing of organs at the hands of fat, ugly American children. But I'm not fat, no, nor ugly. This I know as a fact, for that's what my mommy told me. My poor mommy though... she was a dentist, but died when I was very little. Perhaps it is ironic then, that I hate dentists. Dentists are the worst type of doctors. Well, maybe not, but oh how I hate those dentists anyway when they tell me that I have a cavity. The nerve... Cavities are painful. Oh how I hate pain...

“Cindy,” he said sharply, “Are you with me?” Ugh - his voice cut through my daze of thoughts like a sharp razor slicing though pineapples. I then became still like him, the statue, and looked up at the man, pretending to acknowledge his self-given importance.

“I think so,” I replied softly.

“Do you know why you are here to see me right now?”

“Does it have something to do with Mary attacking that poor nurse-lady?,” I answered. “Cause you know, I saw the whole thing.” Betraying Mary was difficult. She had always been a good friend. When she saw that cruel nurse telling me to take my medication, she had no choice but to act as she had.

“No,” he started, “Because you attacked Mrs. Winters, who is still recovering from the stab wound caused by that plastic butter-knife. I have told you before, Cindy, Mary does not exist. Have you been taking your medication?”

“What a gieglo-goober!” Mary exclaimed, jumping from the man's desk and moving behind it. She stared at him, her eyes going over his balding head. She had been sitting on the desk the whole time, you see, since she was the real culprit of the incident. I don't know why Dr. Winfred lets Mary sit on the desk, while I have to sit in the boring chair. Then again, things must be hard enough for Mary, with the mean doctor refusing to acknowledge her very existence. “There he goes again, saying I'm not real! You know I'm real, right Cindy?” I glanced over to Mary and nodded.

“Why do you lie to me Cindy?,” asked Dr. Winfred, still as clueless as ever. I wasn't even nodding at him. “If you had taken your medication, you would have not seen Mary. We have been through this a hundred times. Mary is the portrayal of your anger, much like Mrs Robertson is the portrayal of your fear, and Ricky is the ...”

Blah, blah, blah... I've heard all this nonsense before but never bought it one bit. It's one thing to accuse someone of assaulting a nurse, but an entirely different thing altogether to accuse someone of having other people wandering around in their head, abducting their eyes and forcing them to project incarnations of themselves all over the room to trick herself. Oh no, that is by far more ridiculous than anything I've ever said, seen, done, or thought. Who did this Dr. Winfred think he is, telling me that all my stories and fantasies can't possibly be real?

“This man is completely dreadful, Cindy,” screeched Mrs. Robertson, swinging back and forth on her rocking chair by the office's door, knitting the same sweater that she had been working on since before I could remember. “He doesn't know the first thing about anything, does he? You know, dear, he's probably one of them...”

Slowly, I turned to face the old lady sitting by the door, and asked “Them who?” For some reason this question scared me, despite having no idea what dear, sweet Mrs. Robertson was talking about.

Mrs. Robertson whispered her reply: “The scary Men in Chartreuse Ties, of course, dear. They're terrible people really, well, not people at all but rather robots, working for the evil Martian-Pirates of Jebediah-6 to force all the little girls on the planet Earth to take their pills. And once they do, dear, well... All the people they know and love vanish, and they become as lonely as they were before they were born.”

Before I was born? Now that was really scary... I can't even remember how lonely I was before I was born. In fact, I was quite certain that I didn't know anyone at all! If this was true, if Dr. Winfred really was one of these... Men in Chartreuse Ties...

“How can I be sure?” I quickly inquired.

“How else, dear?” asked Mrs. Robertson, who had returned to her knitting, “They wear chartreuse ties, of course.”

I quickly shot my head back and turned to Dr. Winfred, staring down at the apparel of the confused-looking man. He was indeed wearing a suit and a tie, but it was a color I had rarely seen before... it was a light greenish-yellow shade. Was this chartreuse? Chartreuse was a color that I had only heard of a few times in overheard conversations, I had no idea what it actually looked like... but maybe I could ask. “Dr. Winfred?”

“Yes, Cindy?”

“What is...” I paused for a second. After all, what if by asking him, he would realize that I was on to him? No... I had to know. “What kind of color is 'chartreuse'?”

The man blinked, barley showing his shocked reaction to the randomness of the question, but he answered anyway, “It is a yellow-green color,” he said looking down, “Like my tie here.”

As he muttered this reply, I could not help but freeze in terror. His words scared me like nothing ever had before. It scared me even more than that angry vampire chipmunk I saw outside my window when I was just a little girl. All of my worst fears were now confirmed to be true... he was a Man in a Chartreuse Tie, he was trying to make my friends disappear, he was trying to make me alone. Everyone that I knew and loved were in danger. Oh, but love... I had a love. I loved a wonderful, handsome, gorgeous, caring, thoughtful man, a man that I could only describe as Ricky.

Oh, how I love Ricky... he completes my every day, my overflowing love for him fills me. Ever since I met him, he was and is the only thing that I really care about. I even remember when we first met. It was when I was alone with only that stinky repulsive Pete to talk to (whom Dr. Winfred calls my “negative qualities”). I remember being rescued from that ugly companion in dashing style by my Prince Charming, Ricky (who oddly shares a name with a completely unrelated boy whom I had a crush on in the 3rd grade). Oh, Ricky...

I turned to Ricky (who always came with me when I had to face Dr. Winfred), and smiled, giving him “that look”. Sensing my love for him, he pulled me up from my chair and kissed me, the ultimate kiss... It was passionate, deep, complete, divine, hot, sexy... everything that one could hope for from a kiss. My tongue met his and they became locked together, I could think of nothing else. I went for my pants, I began to slip them off slowly, hoping to get him excited. But Ricky could not wait! He pushed me over playfully onto he floor. Ricky grew increasingly eager as he caressed my private parts in great anticipation. I could not help but moan...

“Cindy!” Dr. Winfred boomed, with more emotion than I've ever seen from him. He was standing now, his eyes glaring down at me from above. From my position on the floor, he appeared to be as tall as the tallest building in New York City, where I grew up. I remembered liking New York City. One time when I was walking my newest puppy in New York City, I- “What is the meaning of this! You will take your pills this instant!”

My pills! That's right! Dr. Winfred was a Man in a Chartreuse Tie! “It's funny you should mention that,” I exclaimed, quickly jumping to my feet, “For I now know what you really are!”

The doctor was not pleased with my change of attitude. For once in my life, I was determined. I was ready to take action. Ready to protect what was mine. He tried to reach for the phone on his desk, but Mary grabbed it, snapped the wire, and threw it across the room. The appliance shattered into little pieces of broken plastic and machinery, which cascaded all over the floor. What a beautiful sound.

“Cindy! Calm down!” he yelled, stepping back, frightened.

Mary then spoke in a firm, demanding voice: “He looks to destroy you Cindy, destroy us, you must dispose of him... for us!”

“Yes, for all of us, dear! You must rid the world of one of these terrible machines, dear” affirmed Mrs. Robertson, continuing to rock in her chair, knitting away.

“Please, for us, so we can be happy together forever,” Ricky pleaded, on his knees kissing my hand (This is what really convinced me).

For all of the friends I had ever known, this man, no, this machine, had to be destroyed. I charged, charged like a rampaging bull at the so called doctor and pushed him through the window behind him. The glass shattered from the momentum of his impact. It was a long drop down from Floor 66; not even a robot could survive that fall. I casually peeked out the window, watching the shocked Dr. Winfred topple down the building, screaming, and finally making a satisfying splat as he hit the pavement below. “Don't worry,” I told my friends, “It's over, for now.”

Original version:

He laid the manilla folder upon the desk with undeniable authority, placing it exactly perpendicular to the desk's edge, while he positioned himself on his chair, sitting as straight up as his spine allowed. After several moments of peaceful silence, he gently flipped open the cover to expose the papers within, slowly reading over his former notes as if he did not know what they contained. After what seemed like countless minutes, he gently placed the cover back to its original position hiding the papers, and looked over coldly to the young lady huddled across the desk on a wooden chair, pacing back and forth systematically. “Let us go over this again,” he said to her in his firm monotonous voice.

How she hated this man, she thought to herself as she stared into his unchanging eyes. His entire being made him appear to be a statue, nothing more. Perhaps it was worse to be a statue than what she was, which was nailed into her brain by now: insane. Well, how could she forget? She was only told so everyday by this same man. If sanity was becoming a statue, it was something she wanted no part of! Speaking of parts, she once heard that humans are made up of of parts, like a biological machine. But of course, she hated Biology because of one occurrence in the Sixth grade when her Science teacher scolded her for saving the poor, innocent toads that were about to be mercilessly dissected. How terrible it must have been for them, the toads, who had nothing to look forward to but a swift death followed by the pricking and prodding and removing of organs from ugly, fat American children. But she was not fat, no no, nor ugly. This she knew for that is what her mother told her. Her poor mother though... her mother was a dentist, she died when she was very little. Perhaps it was ironic then, that she hated dentists. Dentists were the worst type of doctors, well, maybe not, but oh how she hated those dentists when they told her that she had a cavity. Cavities are painful, how she hated pain...

“Cindy,” he said sharply, “Are you with me?” His voice cut through her daze of thoughts like a sharp razor slicing though pineapples. Her pacing stopped.

“I think so,” she replied in her soft, shy voice.

“Do you know why you are here to see me right now?” he asked.

“Does it have something to do with Mary attacking that poor nurse-lady? Cause you know, I saw the whole thing!”

“No,” he started, “Because it was you who attacked Mrs. Winters, who is still recovering from the stab wound. I have told you before, Mary does not exist. Have you been taking your medication?”

“What a giglo-goober!” Mary exclaimed, jumping to her feet and moving behind the desk to stare at the man, her eyes going over his balding head. She was actually sitting on the desk the whole time, you see, since she was the real culprit of the incident. Who knows why Dr. Winfred lets Mary sit on the desk but not Cindy, who has to sit on the boring chair. “There he goes again, saying I'm not real! You know I'm real, right Cindy?” Cindy nodded.

“Why do you lie to me Cindy?” asked Dr. Winfred, still as boring as ever. “If you had taken your medication, you would have not seen Mary. We have been through this. Mary is the portrayal of your anger, much like Mrs Robertson is the portrayal of your fear, and Ricky is the ...”

Cindy had heard this all before, however, but she didn't buy it one bit! It's one thing to accuse someone of assaulting a nurse, but an entirely different thing altogether to accuse someone of having other people wandering around in their head, abducting their eyes and forcing them to project incarnations of themselves all over the room to trick her. Oh no, that is by far more ridiculous than anything she has ever said, or did, or thought! Who does this Dr. Winfred think he is, telling her all these strange stories and fantasies that can't possibly be real?

“This man is completely dreadful, Cindy,” said Mrs. Robertson, swinging back and forth on her rocking chair by the door, knitting the same sweater she had been working on before Cindy could remember. “He doesn't know the first thing about anything, does he? ... He's probably one of them you know.”

Cindy stared in terror at the old woman by the door, “Them who?”

“The scary Men in Chartreuse Ties, of course, dear. They're terrible people really, well, not people at all but rather robots, working for the evil Martian-Pirates to force all the little girls in the world to take their pills! And once they do, bang! All the people they know and love vanish, and she becomes as lonely as she was before she was born!” Cindy thought about it for a little moment, but the thought scared her. She could not remember not being lonely before she was born! In fact, she was quite certain she saw no one at all! If this were true, if Dr. Winfred was really was one of these... Men in Chartreuse Ties... “Look, Cindy, he is wearing a chartreuse tie!”

Cindy's eyes dashed back across to the over-bearing man, who was indeed wearing a suit and a tie, but it was a color Cindy had rarely seen before, and could much less describe. Was this chartreuse? Chartreuse was only a color that she had heard a few times in overheard conversations, she had no idea what it actually looked like! “Dr. Winfred?”

“Yes, Cindy?”

“What is...” she paused, not sure what would happen if he knew she was on to him, “What kind of color is 'chartreuse'?”

The man blinked, barley showing his shocked reaction to the randomness of the question but answered anyway, “It's a greenish yellow color,” he said looking down, “Like my tie here.”

The answer scared her like nothing scared her before. It scared her even more than that angry vampire chipmunk she saw out her window when she was just a little girl! All of her worst fears were confirmed to be true, he was a Man in a Chartreuse Tie, he was trying to make Cindy alone! Everyone that Cindy knows and loves are in danger! Love... she had a love. She loved a wonderful, handsome, gorgeous, caring, thoughtful man, a man that she could only describe as Ricky! Oh, how she loved Ricky... ever since she met him, he was the only thing she ever cared about. She remembered how they first met, when she was alone with only that stinky repulsive Pete to talk to (whom Dr. Winfred called “your negative qualities”)... how she was rescued from that ugly companion by her Prince Charming, Ricky, who oddly shares a name with a completely unrelated boy whom she had a crush on in the 3rd grade!

Ricky, who was sitting next to Cindy and sensing her love for him, pulled her up from the chair and kissed her, the ultimate kiss! It was passionate, deep, everything that one could hope for from a kiss. Her tongue met his and they became locked together, with no other care in the world. Cindy went for her pants, she would slip them off slowly to get him excited, but Ricky could not wait! He pushed Cindy over playfully on he floor, getting eager as he caressed Cindy's private parts in great anticipation. Cindy began to moan.

“Cindy!” Dr. Winfred boomed, with more emotion than Cindy had ever seen from him before. He was standing now, his eyes glaring down at her from above. Since she was on the floor, he appeared to be as tall as the tallest building in New York City, where she grew up. How she remembered liking New York City. One time when she was walking her puppy in New York City, she... “What is the meaning of this! You will take your pills this instant!”

The pills! That's right! Dr. Winfred was a Man in a Chartreuse Tie! “It's funny you should mention that,” Cindy exclaimed jumping to her feat, “For I know what you really are now!”

The doctor was not pleased with this change of pace in her eyes. He quickly reached for his phone, but Mary grabbed it, snapped the wire, and threw it across the room, making little pieces of broken plastic and machinery splat all over the floor.

“Cindy! Calm down!”

“He looks to destroy you Cindy, destroy us, you must dispose of him! For us!” Mary said to her in a firm, demanding voice.

“Yes, for all of us, dear! You must rid the world of one of these terrible machines!” affirmed Mrs. Robertson, continuing to rock in her chair knitting away.

“Please, for us, so we can be happy together forever,” Ricky pleaded her, on his knees kissing her hand.

For all of her friends she had ever known, this man... this machine, must be destroyed. Cindy charged like a rampaging bull at the so called doctor and pushed him out of the window, the glass shattering from the momentum she provided. It was a long fall down from floor 66, not even a robot could survive that fall. She peeked out the window as she watched the shocked Dr. Winfred fall down the building screaming, making a satisfying splat as he hit the ground. “It's over, guys, for now.”

Cindy walked towards the door she came in at, all of her friends following her. But before she could do anything else, however, she felt a sharp pain in her jaw followed by a loud thud on the floor. The guards detained her easily, quickly placing her in their cruel handcuff restraints and forcing a pill down her throat. A few moments after they did, her friends began disappearing one by one... Mary, Mrs. Robertson, then even Ricky vanished slowly, his vanishing being the most painful of all. No... she had lost. There were more evil Men in Chartreuse Ties after all. And they had won. As they dragged her down the stairs she heard a strange sound coming from the other room, it was a television. She turned her head to see a familiar face.

“Authorities are after this man after he robbed several banks and shot several policemen at the Route 66W's Applebees,” said the reporter, a picture of an angry cowboy flashing on the screen as footage of the event played. She heard the sound of the policemen, “We know you are in there, we have the building completely surrounded! Come out now with your hands in the air!” but her eyes were fixed on the man's face. Was she not alone? Were they really not all gone?

“Pete...?”

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