Not a Treasure Hunter:
How to Become a Character in a Fantasy Story
Written by Missy Minerva
Author's Note:This one just jumped into my brain and I decided to slap it down just for fun. (I guess I've been thinking about the nature of myths and stories, and how much is drawn from life, yet completely distorted or placed in a different context.) Please do comment. I would really like some feedback.
This is the story of how I became transformed into a fictional character.
It all started with this story she's been writing.
Tina, my roommate, is not one to keep secrets (to an alarming degree of blunt honesty), but she's suddenly become very elusive about one particular thing: The computer and whatever it is that she's writing there.
I guess it all really started when my curiosity got the better of me.
Tina went out for a walk, so I couldn't resist it. I mean, she's been holed up in here for months in front of this computer screen, writing like a demon. Writing. But what? She had not told me. Wouldn't tell me. A strange girl, that one. I'd been busy enough with work these past few weeks that I barely even noticed at first, but every evening when I came home, there she was, by the screen. Laughing.
The laughter would draw anyone to curiosity. So yeah, I had to read it.
I was completely blown away by what she had written.
The Final Fantasy - a novel by Tina Branford.
How was I to have expected that? I didn't, of course. Not surprising, as Tina is an avid fantasy fan and just a little extreme with her hobbies. But a novel? I read onward . . .
Chapter One: Narshe
(That's the name of the grocery store down the street: Narshe's Convenience)
The girl, Terra, was discovered unconscious in the mines there. An unusual girl, whose powers reacted to the Esper in a way that was nearly fatal. Seemingly a pawn of the Empire, she was held in the home of Arvis, a Returner, and recovered there. He had removed the slave crown that adorned her head, but she remembered nothing.
A loud knock on his door startled them both. The Empire had returned for her, and Arvis was forced to aid in her escape. Knowing that the situation was growing out of his control, he called for assistance from the Returners to keep the girl from the Empire's clutches. Help arrived in the form of Locke Cole, treasure hunter and trail-worn traveller.
Locke Cole . . . a treasure hunter? Well then. Apparently, she has written me into this strange little fantasy novel and I'm something called a treasure hunter. What the in the name of bloody hell is a treasure hunter?
And Terra, I suppose that would be Tina's alter ego. A frail little witch girl, full of strange powers. Fair enough. She really is an odd girl.
I was about to continue when the door downstairs opened, signally Tina's return. I scrambled to hide my guilty actions, close the document, leave it undisturbed. I wouldn't want her to think I didn't respect her property.
She walked in and acknowledged me warmly. She was wearing her long tousled hair in a red ribbon. She asked me about my day and I shrugged, said that it was just another day at the office. I walked from the kitchen and toward my room, casually picking up my current reading matter as I passed. The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. Kafka. Kefka. No wonder . . . I began to see a pattern forming.
She sat in front of the screen, flipped her long curled hair, and opened her file again.
That night I dreamed of her strange little world. All Espers and controlled by the Empire and what the hell are moogles?
(Am I really that much of a freak? All keys and tall and lanky and a treasure hunter? What the bloody hell? What a description. Does she really see me like that? I'm never wearing a bandana again . . . )
So now, I find myself compelled to see what else she had written into this story. Constantly waiting for an opening. Waiting for her to go out for an hour. Then move in with stealth, and discover what other liberties she has taken with this story. Which other aspects of our lives she has chosen to horribly distort in the name of Final Fantasy.
I met Celeste Chere about four months ago. She was at this party that one of my co-workers, invited me to. She was beautiful, tall, and blond. I was instantly taken by her. The night, form that point onward, moved in very slow motion. I finally worked up the energy to speak to her and she regarded me with cold indifference. But such eyes . . .
Later, as it seemed she had been fighting with this friend of hers (male, so who knows . . . ), I made another attempt to meet her. She was a little cold at first, obviously strong willed and not used to displaying weakness before others. She assured me that she was not some love-starved twit and then begrudgingly allowed me to walk her home.
After we left the party, we were all over each other within minutes.
The relationship that I pursued with Celeste was a fragile one. She wasn't used to accepting warmth from anyone and often started petty arguments with me. Granted, I'm not entirely without blame, as I always took the bait. Always hung up the phone. Cold as ice.
She left me, about a month ago, and I was heartbroken for weeks. Even now I dream about her, feel her soft skin against mine in bed.
So when I read chapter three of Tina's novel, I was very not impressed.
Chapter Three: To Vector
Locke saw her imprisoned, a traitor of the Empire. General Celes. His heart lept when he gazed upon her pale beauty. He unlocked her chains and they fled to Narshe, together.
Locke's fiancee Rachel lay preserved in a coma. His goal in life now was to find her a cure. A cure for death.
(Rachel is the co-worker that invited me to the party)
At the Opera:
Locke viewed Celes in her dress and turned a bright red. "Aai yai yai!" He exclaimed.
And so onÖ
It's not hard to see where this is going. (Tina is so dead.) So I decided to talk to Terra about my relationship problems with Celes.
And I'm not a treasure hunter!
The conversation went like this:
Locke: Tina, I have a confession to make.
Tina: You've read the story?
Locke: Uhhh, no . . . Well, yes, but . . .
Tina: I knew you couldn't resist. Treasure Hunter, indeed.
Locke: Treasure Hunter! I am not a treasure hunter! What even is a treasure hunter supposed to be? Itís ridiculous! You may have well had called me a thief, Terra!
Terra: Indeed. Good point.
Locke: Oh no! Call me that and I'll . . .
Terra: Rip my lungs out?
Locke: No, I'll get bloody mad though.
Terra: Oh, donít be silly, Locke. You'll love it in the end. It's quite a good story.
Locke: ( . . . )
Terra: Now go feed Mog, okay?
(Mog is the name of our cat. He's white, and apparently, so are moogles.)
So I didn't explain my fury at the portrayal of my painful relationship with Celeste through the filter of Tina's World of Balance.
The next night Tina was out for dinner with her friend, Edgar. I sat and read like a demon. I got to the part where Celes tried to commit suicide and then I'm suddenly crying and feeling like a complete fool. I wipe my eyes and nose without any noticable results as I'm now a blubbering runny idiot. Then she finds the bandana and goes off in search of Locke.
The phone rings. I'm still a wreck, so I let the machine pick it up.
Celes: (In a slightly sarcastic singsong voice) Oh my hero, so far away now . . .
The message ends with a request that I meet her outside her apartment. I run to the door, grabbing my coat on the way, and quickly drop by her place. What follows can only be described as blissful and rated R. We take a moonlit walk afterwards, and things are going along just perfectly. I am at such ease I consider telling her about Tina's story, but I know she would think I'm living with a very peculiar woman, which I guess I really am.
We drop into a favorite pub of ours called The Falcon and have a few drinks and a game of pool.
When I arrive home, Tina is asleep. Mog is asleep on the monitor, as I stumble by him and into my room. Terra is mumbling in her sleep. The next day I discover that she has added Celeste's song into the Opera scene. I only laughed when I saw it.
I am dismayed to find that I almost like the story now.
But I'm not aTreasure Hunter!