The Seven Creepies in: The Christmas Crossover Caper | Part 19

We stood in a semi-circle, looking at the free-standing illuminated sign.

YOU ARE HERE, it read. There was a floorplan of the mall, with a red X in the absolute centre, not far from Pete’s Pints and Deconstructed Burgers.

“It’s the middle of the mall,” Mell pointed out, “which is the middle of the slo-time or the Gnang or whatever you call it.”

“I thought you stopped listening after ‘it was all a dream’,” I accused.

She shrugged. “I did,” she said, “but I’m also not an idiot.”

“What does it mean?” Creepy pondered.

“Why does it have to mean anything?” I asked. “You keep on wondering that, and the universe keeps on being random and pointless.”

The seven Creepies looked at one another.

“Someone’s in denial,” Mister C of 9 said in a low voice.

“And what does it have to do with the Chris Mess?” the Drake asked.

Christmas,” I said, “and nothing. Christmas was yesterday. Nothing happened. This was just a random series of meaningless events, and then they stopped happening, and…” I gestured at the sign, “and here we are. Can’t be much clearer than that.”

“Bit of an anticlimax though, isn’t it?” Creepy said plaintively.

“That’s the natural order,” I shrugged. “You can’t expect closure and narrative structure from a universe. You get what you pay for. And any cosmos that starts with a big bang is going to end with an anticlimax. Don’t say it,” I warned Mister C of 9 as he grinned and opened his mouth.

Man,” Mister C of 9 kicked unhappily at a stray chip packet. “I’m not even allowed to do an innuendo?”

“Not on my watch.”

“I can’t imagine my cliché-craft teachers of old would approve,” Winona grumbled. “Evidently Xix runs a bit of a tighter ship than this place.”

“Maybe we should do Christmas there next year,” Creepy suggested brightly.

“I’ll ask,” Winona hedged.

“So this is it?” Carla said. Her eyes were suspiciously narrowed, but she often looked like that so it was hard to say whether it was additional suspicion. “A couple of cheap shopping mall jokes dressed up in false profundity, you are here, ooooh, you get what you pay for, wow, and then what, nothing actually happens and nothing gets answered or solved? And that’s it?”

“Sounds about right,” I agreed.

“So what do we do now?” she demanded.

I looked at Creepy.

“We could all go back to our place and eat leftovers?” I suggested.

So we did.



About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
This entry was posted in Chuck Dickens’s “A Christmas Carl”, Creepy and Hatboy Save the World and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Seven Creepies in: The Christmas Crossover Caper | Part 19

  1. dreameling says:

    That’s it, for real?

    • stchucky says:

      That’s it. I’m 97% focussed on The Last Days of Earth right now, and had no idea what to do with this one, but the ending wrote itself. I was actually rather chuffed with it, in my just-amusing-myself way. It’s provided a huge clue to the Creepy and Hatboyverse, and made a snide little comment about how little readers can expect when they provide no gorram feedback or enthusiasm. A universe without energy cannot be expected to adhere to your rules.

      • dreameling says:

        I’m not used to this newfangled, socially and creatively engaged, participatory readership paradigm. I expect writers to do all the work!

      • stchucky says:

        Writers only do all the work if you pay them!

      • dreameling says:

        Wait, isn’t writing a calling? You do it — you have to do it — even if no one else cares?

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah. But you don’t also get to be like “what, is that it?” You can’t have it both ways.

      • stchucky says:

        Also you’ve been part of this paradigm for over a decade, so don’t give me this bullplop.

      • Toon says:

        I pay in lollies. And spearmint milkshake syrup.

      • stchucky says:

        And dreameling, to be fair, pays in far more effort and support than all but a very few of my readers, so there’s no real issue. But I’m not going to let that stop me from being a prima donna about this fucking canon-nuke I just dropped and everyone just completely ignored.

        Creepy and Hatboy don’t really tell a coherent story, they are almost entirely meta and will continue to be until their context is fully understood. And the blog is fuelled by feedback, always has been. I’m focussed on a major piece of writing off the blog right now and we were all super busy over the last few weeks, so I’m not really upset … just don’t expect me not to respond to “that’s it?”

      • dreameling says:

        Also you’ve been part of this paradigm for over a decade, so don’t give me this bullplop.

        No, absolutely, that’s fair. As you know by now, I was partly joking with that paradigm reply. The joke part was that I’ve obviously been participating with your work, both here on the blog and offline with the books, for years now (with fluctuating levels of bandwidth and commitment). [*] The reply does apply seriously to pretty much every single other author whose work I’ve read, though. With them, I just want the finished product; I’ve no interest in participating in their creation processes, especially from my position as a reader/consumer.

        [*] But I still feel like I don’t really want to influence your work too much, since it’s your work, your vision. And I don’t think I have, which is a relief.

        There’s a whole discussion about authors vs. readers here, and what one can and should and should not expect from the other, and in what context, but let’s save that for another time.

        I’m focussed on a major piece of writing off the blog right now and we were all super busy over the last few weeks, so I’m not really upset … just don’t expect me not to respond to “that’s it?”

        Again, that’s fair. No need for anyone to be upset.


        Apart from (a) Cratch making an appearance, which left me puzzled, even after your comment clarification, and (b) Hatboy having somehow mapped out the edge of the encroaching Wasteland and calculated a nexus point, which raises all sorts of geographical, topological, ontological, and metaphysical questions about the world they’re living in, what did I miss?

      • stchucky says:

        Hee hee, well indeed there is a lot to discuss there, as always with the excellent Hatstanders we have collected over the years. But yes, to be continued later. Suffice it to say I am a rich man, if not a rich author!

        I was mainly referring to the equivalence of slo-time with the Gnang, which isn’t really a revelation since the existence of the Myconet suggested a connection already … but it’s an added detail from an in-universe character.

        Although I admit that “in-universe” is a freakin’ joke in this context.

  2. Toon says:

    Right. So That’s It.
    Full stop. Not question mark.

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