Break The Walls Down

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story in which the same line recurs three times.... view prompt

1 comment

Contemporary Speculative Funny

This line will be repeated.

This line will be repeated.

This line will be repeated.

"So that's it? That's how you're going to address the prompt? Just add a line three times?"

"Yes, why not?"

"What do you mean by why not? Where's your creativity, you just used up the lines and addressed the prompt. Those lines don't even make sense."

"I am creative. I used up those lines and now my creativity is boundless. I've broken all the walls that restricted my free thought, and who knows, maybe more walls will be broken further."

"But those lines don't make any sense with the context of your story?"

"Who said that? Why are you assuming that? Don't assume, otherwise you might be a bigot."

"I never assumed, I'm just trying to understand the context of those three lines. And you don't make any sense by just repeating those lines."

"Are you implying that I don't have any sense?"

"Now hold on a minute, where did that come from? I never mentioned anything like that. You are the one who assumed it."

"So you assumed that I assumed that you implied that I don't have any sense?"

"Ah! I understood it now. You will keep repeating the cycle and use that as a silly tactic to fill up this page."

"What cycle?"

"The cycle of assuming and accusing, it goes back and forth. You will accuse me of assuming, then I will assume that you accused me, and so on. See, even our reader is getting bored now"

"Wow, you made a lot of sense to me now."

"Oh really, you think I made a lot of sense to you?"

"Yes, of course. Without any assumption."


"So... what?"

"We've barely covered up a quarter of the page with this back and forth conversation. How do we cover up the rest?"

"Now that's a real pickle. Do you know anyone or anything that keeps producing content throughout the day?"

"It's really difficult to produce content and not be derivative. No author can write like that, but I think I might have an idea."

"Why are you holding back? Just tell me."

"I was trying to lag the story a bit, cover up a few more words."

"That's enough. Don't do it again. The judge might turn judgmental. Tell me your idea."

"News channels..."

"Don't lag it now. Just come to the point."

"News channels create conflict if there is nothing interesting. That's how their system works doesn't it?"

"Ah yes! Of course, we've seen that way too often. But what conflict can we create now?"

"Have you observed that our reader has been silent all along?"

"Yes, of course, our reader has been silent. Even if he/she speaks something to us, or thinks something about us, it won't reach us."

"That doesn't matter. We have to be narrow-minded now, has our reader been silent?"

"Yes, our reader has been silent."

"So when both of us were arguing, our reader remained silent?"

"My answer is the same no matter how many times you repeat the question. Yes, our reader remained silent."

"So if a person is silent when others are in conflict, it can only mean two things. Either the reader is enjoying the conflict or doesn't care about the conflict. If our reader is enjoying the conflict, then shame on you reader, you are heartless and sadistic. What kind of a moral compass do you have, that you indulge in pleasure by observing the pain of others? I think we can assume that the internet and video games have desensitized the reader to a morbid mental state. Reader, you are so bad, you are.. you are.. this and that."

"Yes! Yes! I agree"

"But let's say our reader doesn't care about our conflict. Then it means that our reader is passive. When a conflict is going on, and you don't make any effort to resolve it, you are part of the conflict."

"Yes, what a passive person the reader is. Shame on the reader, he or she needs to be more active."

"But that's our world today, isn't it? People are more passive these days. Especially during the lockdown."

"Of course, people have become more passive over the past year during the pandemic. The virus has taken its toll."

"Say, you spoke about the virus, why don't we cover the conspiracies behind the inception of the virus?"

"Oh no, please keep those aside. We've had enough of them for the past year."

"Alright, my brain is fried from dragging our conversation. You take up the responsibility now."

"Yes, I have an idea now."

"Go on."

"Have you observed that your conversation shifted from discussing my lackluster efforts to address the prompt to then accusing and abusing the reader?"

"Yes, how can I forget it, we just spoke a few lines ago about this."

"We haven't been able to speak about one thing for too long."

"Yes, I've observed that we can't stay on one thing."

"Our attention spans are really bad aren't they?"

"Yes, our attention spans are bad."

"What does that tell you about us?"

"It implies that we have a short attention span. I can't think of anything else."

"Why do we have a short attention span?"

"Now that's a question whose answer I want to know."

"We have a short attention span because our writer gave us a short attention span."

"Oh, I see! Now let me take over while you rest for a while."

"Phew, go on. I have to admit, my brain too got fried while extending our conversation."

"Hey Writer! Look at what you've done to us, not only have you given us a short attention span, but you have made us overthink and gotten our brains fried."

"I second that."

"You are even more sadistic than anyone else, you are... you are.."

"Stop there, don't repeat it just for the sake of it."

"We haven't crossed the finishing lines of the story yet."

"What! Even after all this?"

"The last mile is always the hardest to run, we too are suffering in that regard. Look even our writer is suffering, he looks more fried than the both of us combined."

"Yeah he does, but he deserves it."

"Why do you think he deserves it? Don't stoop down to his sadistic level."

"I think he deserves it because he conveniently crafted repetitive characters and dragged both of us through this boring conversation."

"Phew! We've crossed the line."

"But we can't just end it here abruptly, can we?"

"Let's just end it with a cliched inspirational quote. Our reader needs some motivation after surviving this ordeal that our lazy writer put through.

"A pen without ink is still a pen. In the same way, the writer may not be write something on the paper, but the reader can still read a blank paper."

"Repeat after me, The End."

"The End."

July 08, 2021 20:52

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1 comment

J.L. Anderson
23:05 Jul 14, 2021

I enjoy how you chose to address this particular prompt, a prompt I will admit I rolled my eyes at when I saw it in the email. At various points the dialogue does feel a bit forced, which may be part of your intention, and I kind of wish you'd decided to delve into the Covid conspiracies, as I personally think that would have been fun. Still, the banter between your characters was fun to read, and I think this is an exchange that most, if not all, authors can relate to. Good job!


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