We watched the news with our mouths open. Throughout the entire world literary sighting were happening. Dracula was strolling around in London and there had been eyewitness accounts of a great white whale in the Pacific Ocean. The world was in utter chaos and no one knew what was going on. We had barricaded our house because a bunch of oompa loompa’s tried to get in. Outside we heard screaming and laughter coming from humans and creatures alike.
‘We need to help these people somehow.’ I said.
‘We can’t let them in here. It’s too dangerous, we can’t tell if they’re fiction or non. If you let a little girl in here, she could turn out to be a monster. I‘m not willing to take that risk.’ Guy walked away from the TV, frustrated and talking to himself.
‘I have an idea.’ Poe stood up, trying to look brave. ‘I got this idea in Narnia. Mr. Tumnus said that maybe we should get a lion who could fight for us. Now I was thinking, why only get one?’
‘But where are we supposed to get a lion?’ I asked.
‘We don’t have to get a lion, per se. We can’t fight the Writingdesk Conundrum if we don’t know where he is. So let’s first find people to find him.’
‘You mean… Are you sure we can get him back?’
‘Fiction is bleeding into reality. I think we can do whatever we want.’ Poe’s eyes flickered with a hint of excitement.
‘Well, what are we waiting for?’
The cigarette was at last inserted into the hole. The cigarette was lit. For a while the bed itself appeared to be smoking the cigarette in great heaving drags. It coughed long, loud and shudderingly and then began at last to breathe in a more measured rhythm. In this way, Dirk Gently achieved consciousness.
‘Dirk! Dirk! Where are you?’
‘We need you!’
I opened a random door and found myself in the dump Dirk called his bedroom.
‘Dirk, finally! Oh… did we wake you?’
Poe had joined me in the doorway and Dirk looked at us angry and confused.
‘What are you two doing here? I’m supposed to start a story right now!’
‘We know, but we really need your help. How do you know you need to start a story? I thought you weren’t consciousness about the whole fiction thing.’
‘Things have been feeling different lately, It’s such a drag. I already know how my day and life is going to turn out.’
Dirk looked more tired than last time we saw him. He looked worried, burdened. He continued his lament.
‘It’s just so terrible when you already know what people are going to say. Life becomes so slow and meaningless. I don’t think I feel like helping you. To be honest, I just want to lie in bed all day and smoke. It’s just all so tedious.
‘Well,’ said Poe, ‘That’s why we’re here. If you can help us, everything might turn back to normal.’
‘Do you think so?’ I whispered to Poe.
‘We need to say something to convince him. Look at him.’ He replied softly.
I nodded at Poe and then tried to look earnest at Dirk.
‘Reality and fiction are blending. It might be the cause of your know-it-all-ness.’
‘It’s called omniscience, Polly. And don’t think I didn’t hear you whispering just now. Maybe you should go to my first book, take that Dirk. He’s probably still willing.’
‘Polly still can’t go there. Besides, that Dirk is gone. I went there first, but the book was demolished…’
‘Demolished? How can a book be demolished?’
‘Well, your house was completely destroyed. The rest of the book was just silent, it looked like a ghost town. I couldn’t find a single person. I think the Writingdesk Conundrum had something to do with it.’ Poe shuddered almost invisibly. I could only imagine what he had seen.
‘So, as you can see, you are our only hope.’ I sat next to Dirk on the bed. ‘The world needs you. And to be quite honest, now we’ve been here, there is a good chance the Writingdesk Conundrum will be coming here next.’
‘Well, you make a good case. Let me get dressed and let’s get out of here! You are able to take me out of this book aren’t you? A ghost town just doesn’t sound very pleasant.’
‘I think we can manage that.’ Poe said.
It took a bit of effort, but in the end Poe and I were able to transport Dirk to the real world.
‘So this is what the fuss is all about? Your world seems a bit gray, to be honest.’
I rolled my eyes and Poe had to hide his laughter in a cough. We had landed a bit away from the front door. Our lawn was still filled with people, but no one had noticed us, they were all too busy with their fiction friends and foes.
‘I didn’t know the Frankenstein monster was non-fiction! Hi there mate! How is he in real life?’ Dirk was waving at him like an enthusiastic school girl which caught his attention. ‘Oh, he’s coming this way!’ He walked towards us, menacingly and faster than you would expect from a monster like that.
‘I think we should get inside…’ I tried to pull Dirk with me, but he wouldn’t listen.
‘Dirk!’ Poe yelled. ‘That Frankenstein is not something you want to mess with, so come inside now!’
‘He seems pretty nice.’ But right at that moment a reporter walked by, trying to ask him a question. The Frankenstein monster looked at him, a bit bedazzled, but then grabbed his head and turned it around. We heard something break, probably the guy’s neck, and he fell to the ground.
‘See!’ Poe said. ‘Let’s go!’
We ran to the front door, trying to open it. We had shut ourselves out by barricading the doors. In the back we heard the Frankenstein monster scream.
‘Stop treating me like a monster! Is that too much to ask? Please don’t run away from me, maybe we can be friends! Or even lovers!’
‘We need to get out of here, now! No way I’m becoming his lover. Let’s try the back door.’ I ran ahead of the group, dodging a good amount of fictional and real people. Some I recognized, Dorian Gray was talking up a young non-fiction boy, but as soon as he saw me he started screaming about the devil again. There were people on broomsticks swooshing by, playing Quidditch and for a second I thought of Cedric.
‘Polly, we need to keep on running!’ This time it was Dirk who grabbed my arm and dragged me with him.
We finally reached a back door, but it was also shut. A trail of scary and weird fiction was following us. Some slowly, some fast, but all threatening. Poe smashed in the window, opened the door and let us in. Together we pushed a closet in front on the door, so they couldn’t come in after us. With our backs against the closet to keep it in place, we felt them push the door. It felt like forever, but they finally gave up and walked away. Probably distracted by a non-fictioner, trying to get away from this pandemonium.
‘Well, that was exciting!’ Dirk had a big smile on his face and didn’t look weary anymore. ‘Now listen up, I have a plan!’