Prompt: You accidentally end up as a character in your own story. You need to blend in at all costs: if the characters realize you’re the narrator, it will create a paradox, and you will die. (Reddit link, to the /r/WritingPrompts post and my submission.)
Start: Sometime this morning.
The young couple sits on the double-sized bed, facing each other with embarrassed determination in their eyes. They both know what they want—each other—but are wary of the risk of rebuke.
She stretches out her hand and touches his arm gently. He looks away, feeling his face turn red. This moment of weakness betrays his naivety towards love; she realizes straight away that this might be his first time. This emboldens her to take the lead.
Rising from her legs-crossed position to her knees, she leans forward and pulls herself closer to him. Awkwardly, he embraces around the girl who he had only mere weeks ago only dreamed of ever holding in his arms. The smell of the fragrance of her shampoo overwhelms him as he finally realizes what they are about to do.
But he moves his hands off of her, then firmly takes her by the shoulders and pushes her back. She, rattled, looks at him with questioning eyes.
“Do you… not want this…”
He sighs and shakes his head.
“It’s not that. It’s just…”
“It’s just that…”
“…I can’t do it with him sitting right there.”
The couple looks over to me with wary eyes. I, uncomfortable with suddenly being the center of attention, chuckle mechanically.
“Just keep going.”
“…Dude. Can you give us some privacy?”
His words urgently plead me to take my leave. But I cannot. For this is a young adult love story and I am its narrator, and my duty to the reader defines my entire existence. I am ever-present, commenting on the events which unfold before me and putting them into words for the enjoyment of all.
“I won’t get in the way. Just pretend I’m not here.”
“Please, Mr. Stranger… Can you give us just an hour or so to ourselves?” She chimes in, trying to negotiate for some alone time so they can make love in peace.
Oh, how much I would love to grant their request. We narrators usually leave the characters be in their intimate moments, as going to the washroom or engaging in coitus are often not of interest to the reader. Unfortunately, the author of this novel wants to sell sex with this trashy young love plot line, and so I need to be here to give a play-by-play of all the events.
“Would it fix the problem if I just change where I’m sitting? I can just crawl under the bed and listen instead.”
“…Dude. How does that make it any better?”
“Look, man, I have my reasons for being here. Do you really think I want to stay here and watch you blow a load after thirty seconds of thrusting?”
“Wait, what? Thirty seconds?”
She looks at me and then him with bewildered eyes. Apparently, the brevity of the time I predicted surprises her.
“I mean, yeah. Isn’t this going to be his first time or someth—”
“Are you trying to pick a fight or something? What are you playin’ at?”
This male protagonist gets angry at this kind of stuff, I guess. Maybe I said too much.
“Sorry. Slip of the tongue.”
The female protagonist, in her usual passionate fashion, looks at her lover with sparkling eyes.
“Don’t worry. If Mike can last an hour, then so can you.”
I burst out laughing as I consider how to properly narrate this turn of events.
“An—an hour? He was that good?”
“You can do way better than that, right?”
His face turns pale as he thinks back to his late-night porn surfing. He cannot recall spending more than ten minutes before blowing a load. He begins to imagine his current girlfriend, the wonderful girl before him, getting absolutely pounded by her jacked ex-boyfriend.
Sometimes, I regret being able to read people’s minds like this.
“It’s fine, man. Just focus on making it past the first thirty seconds.”
“I’m gonna last way longer than thirty seconds, man! Shut it and leave!”
“Are you sure you don’t need some advice on sex?”
“I’ll be just fine, thank you very much!”
Giving up on thinking of a proper way to end this scene, I walk out of the room and decide to just end things there. Closing the door behind me, I hear a small snippet of their conversation:
“…Shall we continue?”
“Nah. Let’s just watch Netflix instead.”
End: Later in the morning.
Elapsed Time: I forgot >.>
A little writing exercise to prepare for a short story contest.