It was a dark and stormy night

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It was a dark and stormy night. A shot rang out. It sounded exactly like itself and exactly unlike a lot of other things. Then there was silence. Actually, there wasn't, because it was still raining. There was also thunder. Then there was lightning... unless it was the other way around.

The wind whistled down the lonely street like an oversized mosquito. It would have agitated the scanty flames of the streetlights if they hadn't been LEDs. It was the future. Nonetheless, it was also the present. The great big ball of time had been batted around and unraveled like a big ball of yarn by the great celestial cat, and everything had become very strange.

But that was past now.

The report was monstrously loud. It must have been heard in the next town about 20 miles away. If it were that loud, however, then that could only mean that it wasn't any darned gun that could've made that sound — it had to be something much bigger. Unless there truly are oversized mosquitoes that can fly fast enough to break the sound barrier and make such a sound (Lord have mercy on the streetlights), then it wouldn't be one's inclination to trust their ill-advised assumptions.

It is in a certain house that our scene lies; this house was at the end of the street where it joined the other end in a slip knot. The house appeared dark and foreboding because it was dark outside. Beyond that, it was relatively nondescript, though it could be compared to a watermelon. It looked exactly like a watermelon save that it had the shape and size of a typical house, it was not green on the outside nor red on the inside, it had windows and doors, it was quite square and not rounded at all, and in short, it really looked nothing like one. It did, however, look like a house.

In particular, we are concerned about a room on the first floor of this house. Maybe it is actually the zeroth floor or even the one-halfth floor. It was the future, so there were many more different standards for many different things, especially when it came to the nonchalant quality of life in the suburbs. More standards are always better, as you know, dear reader. Whatever the case may be, there was definitely at least one room in this house, or perhaps half of one.

In this room, dimly lit by one-third of a candle and brightly lit by the fixtures on the ceiling, a would-be author sat at a typewriter. You might think there wouldn't be typewriters anymore at this point in time, but in addition to being the future and the present, it was also the past. It was an appropriately futuristic typewriter, however, running on a roll of smart punch tape and printing text in a sci-fi looking font on artificially intelligent paper.

He didn't always remember to brush his teeth, but when he did, he pondered how to describe it in dramatic literary terms.

Despite the loudness of the gunshot, it took some time for him to register its occurrence. He was busy. All day he had been trying to think of how to start his novel. It would be a wonderful novel, the best ever, and it would have lots of words in it so he'd get paid a lot, but he just couldn't think of any words. Ah, what to write? It would have the right amount of drama to interest the reader, a sappy romance to derail the original plot, plenty of adjectives and adverbs, fancy symbolism that made no sense...

When he did hear it, his first impulse was not to be alarmed, nor to go out and investigate, but to consider how he might write about it. He had already mastered this state of mind, the instinct to turn everything into words rather than react; unfortunately he had thus far only succeeded in being thought cold and heartless. At least he didn't have to go to parties anymore. He hated parties.

So he began. At long last he wrote his first two sentences, the same ones he always started with, except that this time they were true.

It was a dark and stormy night. A shot rang out.

Oh yes, this was a good start. He always thought so. Suitably dramatic and violent. Readers loved that kind of thing, right? Great way to hook them.

But then what? He needed more words. Similes and metaphors were useful literary devices, good for adding words and sounding literary. Perhaps he could compare the shot to something.

He didn't have any ideas, though.

It sounded exactly like itself and exactly unlike a lot of other things.

This wasn't quite going in the direction he had in mind, but at least it was longer.

Then there was silence.

Yes. Silence was ominous. It never lasted — eventually something would happen to break it, and the reader would anticipate that. But then, on the other hand...

Actually, there wasn't, because it was still raining.

He still needed more words. He tried to describe other aspects of the scene.

There was also thunder. Then there was lightning... unless it was the other way around.

The wind whistled down the lonely street like an oversized mosquito. It would have agitated the scanty flames of the streetlights if they hadn't been LEDs. It was the future. Nonetheless, it was also the present. The great big ball of time had been batted around and unraveled like a big ball of yarn by the great celestial cat, and everything had become very strange.

But that was past now.

The report was monstrously loud. It must have been heard in the next town about 20 miles away. If it were that loud, however, then that could only mean that it wasn't any darned gun that could've made that sound — it had to be something much bigger. Unless there truly are oversized mosquitoes that can fly fast enough to break the sound barrier and make such a sound (Lord have mercy on the streetlights), then it wouldn't be one's inclination to trust their ill-advised assumptions.

Now this was getting somewhere. There were paragraphs, even.

It is in a certain house that our scene lies; this house was at the end of the street where it joined the other end in a slip knot. The house appeared dark and foreboding because it was dark outside. Beyond that, it was relatively nondescript, though it could be compared to a watermelon. It looked exactly like a watermelon save that it had the shape and size of a typical house, it was not green on the outside nor red on the inside, it had windows and doors, it was quite square and not rounded at all, and in short, it really looked nothing like one. It did, however, look like a house.

In particular, we are concerned about a room on the first floor of this house. Maybe it is actually the zeroth floor or even the one-halfth floor. It was the future, so there were many more different standards for many different things, especially when it came to the nonchalant quality of life in the suburbs. More standards are always better, as you know, dear reader. Whatever the case may be, there was definitely at least one room in this house, or perhaps half of one.

After that, he was not sure what came next. He did not even know what the plot was yet, only that there ought to be one. Surely it would come to him if he wrote enough words. Words, words...

He decided to use another traditional literary technique: self-insertion. He would be like the great artists who painted themselves into their scenes, or the great authors who drew on their own fascinating, tragic lives for inspiration. Or the not-so-great fanfic writers who liked to pretend Edward was their boyfriend.

In this room, dimly lit by one-third of a candle and brightly lit by the fixtures on the ceiling, a would-be author sat at a typewriter . . .