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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The fatal flaw


Mental Health
The present scene is a staircase of many stories in an office building. The hapless hero of this story is not aware of the fact that he is the protagonist of a high-stakes battle between good and evil. He has walked absentmindedly onto the scene of his triumph, wandered into the path of the contrastingly self-aware (and in fact, meta-aware) villain. The villain knows he faces opposition from a good guy of some kind, but isn't yet clear on the particulars. He actually owns high-tech literary goggles that allow him to see through the fourth wall, but hasn't bothered to bring them along today.
The villain is less than 24 hours away from accomplishing a seriously nefarious deed, but he's never going to see those plots come to fruition. The hero, in addition to being totally in the dark about the story he's a part of, is terrifically clumsy. His glasses have been slipping off of his face, but he's been unable to adjust them because of the heavy briefcase in one hand and open mug of hot coffee in the other. But the glasses have reached a critical point, and as they fall, reflex takes over and causes him to toss the briefcase and mug aside and flail at his face.
The villain sees the mug and tries to get well away from the liquid's soaring path, which he does, but is simultaneously struck across both shins with the heavy briefcase, which puts him in an involuntary squatting-and-shin-clutching-type posture. When the hero trips over himself, still trying to prevent the glasses from hitting the ground, he also bumps the off-balance villain. Gravity plus ten flights of stairs below team up with the hero to prevent the imminent violent overthrow of most of the northern hemisphere's governments. The glasses, sadly, do not survive this encounter either, but as the narrator pulling the strings, I feel it's a more than fair trade.

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