Gentle thought: Mike and Eleven, grown up and married, sit side-by-side at their kitchen table in the early single-digit hours of the morning. The sun has yet to rise, and the moon casts a soft, milky glow through the window. There’s no sound, at first glance, save for a few early-rising birds chirping and some solemn crickets. Mike is clad in his worn-out Star Wars t-shirt and gray sweatpants, and El is snuggled in her honorary Hawkins AV Club hoodie, constellation-printed pants, and bunny slippers. With a mug of black coffee and a mug of hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows) set in front of them beside a plate of homestyle Eggos, they pore over the glossy pages of a photo album filled with pictures taken by El herself (and a handful of Jonathan’s so that she could be in front of the camera too). Moving boxes and unassembled furniture are still strewn about their new home, but both of them are too giddy and in love to care, as she rests her head on his shoulder and he gingerly holds her hand between them. Mike turns the pages and El excitedly narrates all the silly mishaps and wild adventures behind each smile and funny face and new addition. When they reach one printed photo in particular, Mike and El’s hearts stop for a moment at the memory, before the two meet eyes and share a gently fond kiss
1. Those containing things that are entirely incidental, but nevertheless delightful. 2. Those that have footnotes themselves, forming a kind of footnote tree which you can nourish and let grow by feeding the author glowing comments about footnotes and lobbying for footnote text to be removed from word count limits. 3. Those hinting at or maintaining a parallel story which is substantially more interesting than the non-footnote text. 4. Those containing a bracket that is not closed, creating a vague sense of multi-level unease that pervades the rest of the book; and those that contain the closing of a bracket that was not previously opened, creating an uneasy sense of voyeurism, as if the book up to that point was a private conversation from which the author and their confidante have just looked up from to see you staring at them. 5. Those referencing an endnote, which in turn direct the interested reader to page fifteen of some reference, a page which in turn has a footnote and so on and so forth; the trail eventually leading to a single copy of some momentous text in a discreet room at one of the world’s great libraries and its eighty-ninth page. That page is blank. The turning of the key in the lock is very loud against the silence that follows. 6. Those that turn out on later inspection to have been added by some wag with a pencil. 7. Those that are either missing, or perhaps reference some future version of the book, or are perhaps intentionally left blank to illustrate the unknowable depths of human ignorance. 8. Those that have been wearing their socks for rather too long without a wash, requiring the opening of the book in a well-ventilated place. There are whole rooms below libraries to which books with these dubious footnotes are exiled. It is a kind act to donate little book-socks to libraries, allowing these books to re-emerge into polite society. 9. One-way footnotes. You may think that you have returned to the main text from these footnotes, and that it is unchanged; but this is an illusion. Similarly there are one-way books, from which one may return to the real world but not find it unchanged. 10. Wandering footnotes that have lost or escaped from their original books and attached themselves to something else entirely: for example, a dictionary, a haberdashery department or a petrol pump. Footnotes are more comfortable in contexts where they make sense. If you have mislaid a footnote, therefore, it is worth searching for it in context.
For some reason, the year in review sliced into itself, spilling multi-colored entrails across pristine pages we’d intentionally left blank. As all the gore and viscera sank into the too-fine fibers, creating gruesome Rorschach patterns which sought to snare the whole of history in ambiguities, I paused, pondering more delicate things. The stench of autumn rain stuck to my nostrils like a nail to a post, and I wasn’t in such a hurry to make sense of this kind of atrocity. I wasn’t in such a hurry for anything, really. And slowly, everything kind of bled out. All of us were swallowed up by that hideous surge, struggling to keep our heads above the surface and partake in that air we once called “free.”
Young Sensei x García López de Cárdenas: A PSAT Fanfiction
“García! Thank you for coming, I brought you some soup!” said the Sensei, shyly. “They’re in the glasses-shaped bowls you like.”
“Thank you Kiichi!” replied the Spanish man. “How was your day?”
Kichii Shimano sighed. “Alright, I suppose, but an interviewer asked me questions like ‘What kind of ink do you use?’ I hope your day was better…”
14. This space was intentionally left blank.
“You don’t get it, Kiichi. Everyone else is seeing the Grand Canyon, but I’m the only one who SAW it.” García complained.
“I know what you mean, García.” The Sensei replied. “Nature’s effortless beauty is so hard to capture in words. It’s bedazzling. Speaking of which, I’m writing a poem but-“
He turned around to find…that García López de Cárdenas was much closer than he expected.
“Ah!” yelped Kiichi.
“What is it?” García replied, innocently. “I want to read the poem you’re talking about, what are you so surprised at?”
“N-nothing,” the Sensei spluttered, his face turning as crimson as the leaves.
Our faces… Kiichi thought …are so close…
He was embarrassed, but simultaneously at the same time, he felt a flutter in his heart.
Then, García looked at the Japanese man in the eyes, seriously.
“Kichii…” he began.
The Young Sensei’s heart pounded so loudly that he was sure García could hear it.
“Kichii…” he said again.
“I love you.” “I’ve fallen for you.” Kiichi wanted García to say something.
He did not say those words.
Instead, their faces inched closer and closer until…
The doorbell rang, and they quickly jumped back.
“I-I’ll get it!” the Sensei said quickly, rushing to the door.
He opened it, and saw a young boy no older than 8 years old.
“Will you buy candy please?” the boy asks.
“I’m so sorry!” cries a voice.
A woman rushes over, hitting the child on the back of the head.
“I wasn’t paying attention and my son ran off without me!” she apologized, and glared at her son.
“You should positively reinforce your children,” said the Sensei.
“Pardon?” she says, blankly.
“Your children are like dolphins,” he explains. “You can’t leash them.”
“I don’t believe in positive reinforcement,” she says plainly. “It’s dehumanizing.”
“Come on!” she spats at her child, tugging him along.
Kiichi Shimano closed the door, sighing loudly. Then he stopped, seeing García gathering his belongings.
“What are you doing?” The Young Sensei asked the conquistador.
“I didn’t realize you had a wife.” The conquistador said, shaking his head. “Even a son…”
“No wait, García, that wasn’t-“
“No, it’s fine. I should have known,” he says, heading for the door.
“GARCÍAAAAAAAAAAAA!” he screams.
García turns around, startled by the quiet, poetic Sensei, who had become a screaming machine.
“GARCÍA, I HAVE FALLEN FOR YOU LIKE THE CRIMSON LEAVES”, he shouts. “I JUST WANTED YOU TO LOOK AT ME THE WAY YOU LOOKED AT THAT CANYON. YOU’RE THE ONLY MAN TO ASK ME ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL MEANING BEHIND CALIGRAPHY, BUT I WILL ONLY EVER BE ONE MILLIONTH OF YOUR P.”
García’s eyes brimmed with tears.
“KIICHI!” he screams back. “I FEEL THE SAME WAY!”
He flung his arms out and embraced the Sensei.
“I am lucky,” he whispers quietly.
They kissed passionately for more than 23 seconds but less than 23.5 seconds.
After they pulled away, García López de Cárdenas said “Good girl.”
Wow!!!! All the hints dropped in City Face’s Book of Birds have finally become relevant in the last stage of the City Face ARG! After all this hard work we’ve finally deciphered all the true answers!!! We know the true secret, at last, which is that
Guy 1:What are you in for mate?
Guy 2:I robbed a bank and assaulted an officer, you?
Guy 1:I talked about the Psats online
Guy 2:Oh shit man
Guy 2:*scoots to other end of bench*
Guy 2:*points to empty spot next to him*
Guy 2:This space was intentionally left blank.