"Where have you been?" Tercil asked with a sullen glare, crossing his arms and tilting his head back to look up.

I've been working on some other things.

"I see," he said.

It's not like I've forgotten about you.

"You've left us all in quite a fix here, you know," he replied slowly. Every word was spaced out, distinct from its neighbors, laborious. "Ansel has vanished, Lilith is dropping babies into boiling water, and I think it's way past time Valerya and I split from our little party."

Don't worry, I'm on top of it. It's not like you can get bored.

"Right, time is supposed to mean nothing to me, I know," he said. "But I've learned differently."

That's sorta the point.

"It is? That's the point?"

No, not the point. Nevermind. Look, just don't worry, I'll get back to you in a little while.

Tercil kicked at the sidebar, but to no avail. "It's this blog, isn't it?" he asked. "It takes up all your writing time."

Partly; plus I've got my PhD to work on.

"Yeah, meanwhile I get pounded on by invisible monsters and Valerya gets tormented by dark, mysterious forces."


"And what's with the third-person point-of-view?" I asked, before catching myself. So that's how he wants to play it?

That's right.

Surpressing my amazement, I replied flatly, "Go ahead, read my mind -- everyone else does."

From somewhere behind me, Valerya spoke up for the first time. "What about me?" Tercil always got to tell his side of the story, and I wanted a shot at it. Oh.

Hey Valerya, how's it going?

Tercil raised his eyebrow in that irritating way of his, so I decided to ignore him for the time being. Instead, I turned my devestating smile towards the author. "It's nice to finally talk with you."


"I'm curious: what's going to happen when we leave Gareth Volno?" I asked, tilting my head in what I hoped was an alluring manner.

You'll have to read and find out, I'm afraid.

Tercil jumped in -- "You don't know yet, do you? That's why you're stalling."

I rounded on him. "We're the ones leading the adventure," I said. "It's character-driven, not plot-driven, so maybe it's our fault."

But Tercil was not amused. "You made her say that!" he accused, quite unjustly.

Maybe it was the dark, mysterious forces.

"If you're going to mock me, then I'm leaving," Tercil replied, but Valerya rolled her eyes ever-so-slightly.

"You'd rather go sit in a Word document?" she asked him.

"I'd rather get some action of our own than be trotted out for filler on some website," Tercil replied. "Still, it's nice to stretch my leg a bit."

How's it feeling?

"A little stiff. Is it going to get better?"

It's not looking likely, no.

Tercil sighed. "Great."

Valerya flopped down onto the ground and gazed around. "This place isn't so bad, really."

Thanks, it's nice to have visitors. You're welcome to visit any time; him too, I suppose.

Tercil moved to stand next to Valerya and put his hands on her shoulders. "Don't you think this is dragging on just a bit?"

Everyone's a critic.

"I'm pretty familiar with your other work," Tercil responded. Valerya turned her face up at him and scowled.

Fine then, off you go; I'll see what I can do about your boredom. Go on you two, out!



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