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Saga - OT EP's Neck of the Woods | One-shot/vignette thread 2015-2017

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    There's such depth here. You can't help but feel sorry for Anjie, even if he doesn't quite know if he should feel sorry for himself or not. He's acutely aware that he is being manipulated and controlled but on the other hand, there's security in that, even if it comes at an awful cost.

    Every spontaneous thing that he is carefully crafted to promote his career, the band's success, and his handlers' success. He is trying to remember exactly who he is, and wondering why it even matters.

    I enjoyed the process of creating it, the discovery of every single little tone, every single chord progression. I would lock myself in the refresher and come up with the strangest of riffs. And Wompy and Dale found themselves following my unorthodox practice, not knowing that was the only remaining trace of the actual Anjie Mencuri.

    This part was particularly sad to me; here Anjie is trying to be a creator, an artist, to build from nothing something that is new and original and beautiful, and the process is then copied and turned into some method to create more consumable media to feed the demanding masses. Even the process of being an artist is sullied and made commercial, stripping the joy from the creating and turning it into mass production.

    I am not ready yet to tell you how low I had fallen. Maybe because I never really renounced those days and I’m proud of everything I have gone through. And that would be hard to understand to somebody who never found solace in rokna blue...But I am glad that it was a part of my life. I am glad that it almost killed me, because I am finally the man I should have been all along.


    hmmm. interesting. He's still tethered to the spice and he doesn't necessarily feel it's something he should not have done. In fact he credits it for providing him the foundation for his current life. Who, exactly. IS the man he should have been all along?

    Great introspection, EP! So much to think about here. I loved this.;)
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ewok Poet - this is like too real and too true to what it means to be a big-time celebrity in our time and place as well. Much to ponder and reflect on. Brilliantly evocative writing and introspection. :cool:
     
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  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Lovely true piece of being a big-time celebrity and what can happen to you.
     
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  4. glitteryboots

    glitteryboots Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2015
    First thought is that I bet the listener is... not sure if I'm allowed to say, but you probably know who I mean. ;)

    I think when people are in this kind of situation it's very difficult to step back, separate themselves and process it as what it is, so this is definitely a huge development for Anjie, especially considering his past and general state of mind. It seems he's partially on the way to realising he was never the problem and that he didn't do anything to deserve this, though I don't think he's completely figured it all out yet - since he's still telling the listener that she's too good for him, and sadly I'd imagine that he may be wrong about Antonio having changed.

    "I feel like my eagerness to keep the illusion alive still surpasses everything I have ever done to give you pleasure." This sentence is one of the most poignant for me. Even though the illusion makes its victim miserable and controls them, and even when they can identify that, they're still so wrapped up in it and feel so obliged to fuel it that it becomes everything. I'm sure that even though Anjie has recognised it now, this will still have a huge effect on the relationship between him and his listener.
     
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  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Very powerful piece, and it's fantastic to get to know this very intriguing character better—so far we've seen him just as a kid in Letters Never Sent and a few mentions of his adult self in The Black Star. I think I too may know whom he's addressing, but like glitteryboots I'll keep mum about my guess. ;)

    Where even to begin? You've packed so much into this—pretty much every facet of the dangers of fame is addressed here. Anjie—like probably countless other celebs who don't have the guts to address it directly—has had people "shoulding" all over him since pretty much day one of his association with Steamy Wasaka Stew. There's "shoulding" about his clothing and appearance (and the Revan reference is a really fun touch, given the personality similarities he may or may not have with that character :D ). There's the "shoulding" imposed by the studio: "We were supposed to become the album and the album was supposed to become us" (which, whoa, is that even possible for any kind of performer to achieve?). There's "shoulding" about how he, as a member of the band should be behaving: he should be doing lots of drugs and having lots of casual sex. Even the "quetarra hero" image he acquired was the result of a certain type of "shoulding": he should fit the audience's expectations, always, feeding their insatiable appetite for MOAR IMPOSSIBLE QUETARRA FEATS. Of course, that doesn't make his actual musical talent any less real—and we know from Letters Never Sent that it is very real!—but we see here how fame turned that real, true talent into not much more than a "hologram." :(

    Those passages mentioned by divapilot and glitteryboots stood out to me, too. (Of course, there are many that stand out, but if I cite them all I'll be here till the shaaks come home! :p ) "I feel like my eagerness to keep the illusion alive still surpasses everything I have ever done to give you pleasure"—wow, yoicks, that shows just how much he's (in a way) internalized this celebrity image of his, to the point that maintaining the illusion takes precedence over real, actual interpersonal connection. It's as though what started as a façade has very insidiously crept into the fabric of his being, the way mildew creeps into plaster walls (and I speak from experience here :p ). But at least he notices that and admits it, and that's the first step!

    And the comment that he never really renounced those days, that he's in some way glad the spice and sex and debauchery and poisonous glitz had been part of his life... well, I do see what he's getting at there about becoming the man he is now, and it puts me in mind of that one passage in "Adam lay ybounden":

    Ne had the apple taken been,
    The apple taken been,
    Ne had never our ladie,
    Abeen heav'ne queen.

    Blessed be the time
    That apple taken was.
    Therefore we moun singen,
    Deo gratias!

    But it also raises a partial red flag that Anjie hasn't fully learned from those experiences, and that he could almost at any moment revert back to being that mixed-up, spiced-up 20-year-old hiding behind the mask of fame. I guess your future stories will show to what extent that will or will not be true, but I bet that there, too, the situation will be much more complex than "either-or," in true EP fashion!

    Mighty fine work, as always. =D=
     
  6. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I approve of citing Middle English poetry on these boards.
     
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you so much for your replies, folks. This story triggered a couple of strange coincidences, or as Kahara would say, "synchronities" and I've been all zoned out for a couple of days now, wondering if life could possibly get weirder than this...but yeah. [face_blush]

    I'm very fond of Anjie and I'm grateful for all of you who have taken the time to step in the muddy waters of such an enigma. I am not quite sure about the ways he's thinking myself, but I enjoy writing him like this.





    You...just dragged out the most disturbing aspect of the story with little to no effort. WHOA. Yes, he's still being manipulated and he may be questioning his recent decisions.

    I thin you missed a second "is" here.

    But either way, yes. There are spontaneous things that ARE who Anjie Mencuri is, but they may bear little to no similarity to what the public thinks. Sure, some things may overlap in some celebs' cases, but in cases of deep and soulful people like Anjie, these exact things may be used by the public to mock him and stereotype him. :(

    And once again, you are thinking ahead and you're 100% guessing it. While Wompy and Dale are doing what most musicians would here and seeing young Anjie as somebody they clicked with in the end (even though he slightly intimidated them in Radiophonic Heart); the producers, A&R folk and whoever will just bastardise whatever he creates and turn it into a new standard. Some works may be good, but some will be half-assed. :(

    He may find out someday. Or never. He's not somebody who can decide "I'm that" and remain that way, forever.

    Thank you. <3

    Criticism of life as it is in the Inner Rim of Milky Way is a thing here, yes. :D
    And thank you. <3
    No shorter way to say it all, but 100% spot on. Thank you. <3

    Yes, it's her. @};-

    I...have nothing to add here. As that despised individual on another board would say...wait, what would he say?

    That sentence stood out to me when I wrote it and you got it all right (as usual), but it also signifies that Anjie is not primarly a carnal pleasure type of a person. That perhaps, deep inside, he worries that the listener may not yet be seeing him as more than an attractive man that she's intimately involved with. And that, once again, can mean...so many things.
    *prepares a blaster for action* I know! :D

    And "intriguing" is the best one-word description of Anjie, I think.

    It comes so naturally that...believe it or not, I thought this story was a half-assed effort. I guess that what I consider to be "normal" in terms of topics to write about and how I handle certain characters is...bizarre to most. [face_blush]

    Where did I make a Revan reference in this one? Oh yes, the OC thread. Yes, he looks like one of those divine figures...or how people think the divine figures may have looked like.

    Corporate kriffsliders say a lot of weird, weird stuff thinking it sounds deep etc - and yes, it's bizarre!

    OF COURSE MAN WITH QUETARRA IS BASICALLY A MAN WITH A HUGE "BEETROT" WOW MUCH POWER VERY DOMINATION WOW.

    You just put everything I hate about the "guitar hero" stereotype in real life here and I know that you know. Now I need to invent a word for "macho" in the GFFA. :D

    The rest of the journey may be short. Or long. One does not know...

    There's never an "either-or" with me, I'm not an ISTJ. :p

    And thanks for teach me something new once again. I was absolutely and totally not familiar with this.

    Thank you. <3 <3 <3


    Me too!

    No comments about the story itself, tho? :(
     
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  8. gaarastar58

    gaarastar58 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Great introspection, very evocative and, as others have mentioned, a lot of parallels with our own celebrity culture. I love this piece's blunt, conversational tone with all Anjie's mistakes and slips of the tongue left in. It "humanises" the story. Very like a twenty-something to think they know about life and really not have a clue! More please :)
     
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  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    I love it when I know that I got his conversation style right, that it's visible that he has a certain speech pattern. :)

    And yup, twenty-somethings, especially at the start of the third decade of life, can be completely clueless, arrogant, with more strange episodes than an average soap opera.

    As for more, there's been two things featuring Anjie so far:

    Radiophonic Heart - in this one, he's 18, so two years younger than the state he recalls in Before the Fall.

    Letters Never Sent - you did start reading this, as far as I can remember...Anjie, at the age of 4-6 is present up to chapter 15 and often mentioned later.

    Hope that helps. :)

    Thank you, it's wonderful to see you commenting again!
     
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  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    After the Climb

    Genre: General, OC backstory
    Characters: Anjie Mencuri
    Timeframe: 5 ABY-ish
    Rating: PG-13 (references to spice use)
    Summary: Anjie Mencuri appears sure of his re-stabilised hyperlane through the fame and tight scrutiny. But is he?

    A/N: This is the companion piece to the previous story in this thread, Before the Fall and it's my response to the Bring Back the OC Revolution Spring 2016 Challenge, kindly provided by @leiamoody:

    Write about a character who is normally always busy doing nothing (i.e. something that is essential for daily survival but not life-altering; ex. Doing laundry). This can be a brief moment of downtime during an otherwise busy day, or someone who is undergoing a long period of inactivity. The writer can decide if their character is happy/unhappy with this state.

    I think I totally missed the topic here and/or went on about it with too much artistic freedom.




    I never learn
    And I never will
    Everything that saved me
    Is the same thing that kills

    I never grow
    I never know
    I am never the one
    I thought I would be

    "Kriff this!" He told himself.

    This was the first song that was coming to him in a long time and it did not seem quite right. Did the netherworldly ones want him to change the way he was approaching his artistry? He was used to words racing through his mind and just ending up on a sheet or flimsi like that. The words that failed him were never to become songs, he knew he would have never looked at them again. It always seemed to him that they wanted to be unleashed, set free, sent to some other place, for somebody else to make use of them. After all, the artists were not the owners of their art - it was all there, waiting to be borrowed from the vacuum of space, the endless, warm void, cold to those who did not know how to forage the way he did.

    When he was young, he used to think that music was divine. So did many others, but he truly and honestly believed it from the very first verse, the very first note. He would often outright reject the idea that there was such a thing as a happy poet or a lyricist. Happy people were blinded by the wrong kind of light, they could not truly see. The flimsi in front of them were blank. No single ibbot quill, no single stylus could find the way through that maze of blindness. Unlike these deluded beings, those with a dark edge to their hearts and souls, they saw beauty where everybody else saw tragedy. They could open their eyes further than what it really looked like!

    And he was, too, attracted to sad things. Sometimes even his own sadness.

    Sometimes, but not now.

    The thick-framed spectacles were sitting on the desk next to him, like a companion avian and very much teasing him in a way one such being would. For somebody who often felt he could see through times past and days to come, he was useless without those spectacles here and now. How ironic, for a half-Hapan to even think about a more advanced vision. He was technically blind at night and the voids he dreamed so much of were nothing but eternal night sowing the seeds of celestial bodies.

    I never am
    I never do...

    "I never do what?"

    Is that what sobriety was always like? With no bursts of inspiration, not leading anywhere?

    "Why don't you just do it and quit kriffin' moaning?"

    "It's all right if you fail again."

    He heard both of these countless times and he was sick of them.

    "You are too weak. You have lost your magic touch. You cannot keep up with the tempo you have stubbornly imposed on yourself. It's never going to be the same again. You are half of a man. A de-crescent moon of a man."

    That was most certainly not his own subconscious speaking, that was a whole constellation-worth of fears. But the more the outside world was feeding them to his mind, the more they took the shape od something more lyrical, something he liked as much as he hated it.

    "You are a spice-addled wermo."

    No, he wasn't. Yes, he had been. He replaced spice with his own take on the Force and the Universe, hand-tailored from about any denomination he could think of. The Jedi. The Sith. The Nightsisters. The Soulism of Aurea. The former Church or the Blind that allegedly existed in the ancient city of Taliore on Vagran. Cosmic Balance. The Light Spirit. As long as there was something giving him comfort, he was ready to embrace it.

    Comforting too was the starlit night. Unlike the others, he was at his best when no other being was awake.

    ...​

    He woke up and the bed was way too warm. He was not sure what time of the day it was, but it was not like he cared in the first place. The dream where he hated himself could have as well been reality, but he did not care about that, either. That other Anjie Mencuri, the one trapped behind his eyelids, he had surely come up with a good idea for lyrics when he was angry with himself.

    Could he remember the words? He grabbed a stylus and a sheet of flimsi.

    I never learn
    And I never will
    Everything that saved me
    Is the same thing that kills

    I never grow
    I never know
    I am never the one
    I thought I would be

    He reached deep within, but the voices blasting judgement were silent. There were days when it was hard to silence them, but luckily, this was not one of those. This was the day when they were stuck on the other side.

    He looked at the words again. He liked how they sounded. He liked the loose structure.

    Perhaps this version of life was not that bad at all.




    Footnotes
    Church of the Blind is some upcoming fanon, which I based on one of @Briannakin's prompts for the June 2016 Word Race.
     
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    I think you did a fine job capturing the concept of inactivity for a very spiritual creative type like Anjie (and it's great to see him back again!). It's only natural that the first creative thing to come to a person like him after such a long period of creating nothing, is going to feel rather odd and off and not quite right—especially if he was previously the type who had "words racing through his mind and just ending up on a sheet or flimsi like that." And it's just so cool that the song lyrics he's thinking up now seem to be about that very state of inactivity: never doing, ever growing, never knowing...

    And the "constellation-worth of fears" (one of so many instances of the hallmark EP celestial imagery that really heightens the otherworldly atmosphere of this story) that start talking to him is equally characteristic of that same moment, when one starts creating again after creative inactivity; I love how you make those sort of both inside and outside him at the same time, as if the fears are creatures in their own right. "You are a spice-addled wermo"—for some reason that one hit me the hardest, and I think it's because it's such a sudden change of tone from the more metaphysical, elevated language of earlier, and because of the sudden emphasis it places on Anjie's own physical state, past, present, or both. And that works perfectly, because that's how our fears can be. (I'm glad, though, that he ultimately switched to the "other spice" of spirituality instead!)

    (The comparison of the spectacles to a pet avian was another very EP piece of imagery that made me smile. Perhaps they too are a reminder of his own physicality, in a way, and of whatever tension there may be between that physicality and the spirituality he's pursuing now.)

    But I love that Anjie is not just wallowing in these "not quite right" feeling, either. He's sensing that the experience of inactivity may actually be helping him grow in his artistic sense, beyond some of the rather callowly extreme views of his youth, like the one about sadness being necessary for artistry. And he gradually realizes that he can actually create something out of those fears—they have a lyricism of their own that in turn increases his appreciation of the lyrics he's working on now. And even though the lyrics themselves are a bit bleak, the process is the opposite of bleak, and seems to be a good start to getting him back on track with his creative work. Go Anjie, you can do it—and those voices of judgment can just stay on the other side where they belong! :)
     
  12. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    I don't know the character much, but I like him already. I love his whole issue with writer's block and the constant wonder if it's due to his sobriety. I also really like how the lyrics really reflect what his situation is.

    Good work, Ewok Poet! A great response to the challenge!
     
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  13. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    (I just wrote a long review of this and just kriffing lost it because I over shot the scroll bar and hit X. that's the second time I've done this on one of your stories. But garsh darn it, I'm going to try to recover what I was saying. )

    Anjie is an enigma, and I love him for it. You have once again filled such a small story with such huge ideas and brilliant insights. There is a lot here so I am going to take it thematically.

    First, the symbolism of his spectacles/glasses. Physically, Anjie is sight-impaired and in fact is night-blind (more on this later). Emotionally and spiritually, he is incredibly far-seeing. Anjie sees beyond what normal people can see. He sees "beauty where everybody else sees tragedy." He steps over a thin line between seeing what is real and what is imagined, such as when he talks about "that other Anjie Mencuri, the one trapped behind his eyelids." In a way, Anjie is a metaphorical pair of glasses: he takes in visions and experiences that others can't imagine, he re-frames them, and then presents them to the public in a way that makes those visions and experiences accessible to them.

    Next, his concept of the artistic process.Art is everywhere, like wildflowers in the field of the universe, and all he does is go out and "forage" for them. If he snatches the right words, they will tumble onto his paper. If they are not the right words he simply brushes them aside. He also sees music as divine, as if the muses pour out their beauty to him and he is simply the conduit for them. Then he credits (indirectly) his own addiction as the impetus for artistic genius. When he says, "Is that what sobriety was always like? With no bursts of inspiration, not leading anywhere?" he clearly thinks the opposite is true, that addiction produces bursts of inspiration that lead to meaningful, insightful places. Anjie feels that he himself is not responsible for his art. This makes me think that he feels he himself is not important; the only thing that matters is the art that this physical machine he inhabits creates. He certainly measures his worth by the art he produces.

    Lastly, what most intrigues me about Anjie is the way he crawls in and out of the dark and light places in his life. To him, they are all the same. He has no sympathy for those who would avoid sadness. "And he was, too, attracted to sad things. Sometimes even his own sadness." He likes sadness because it's simply the opposite side of happiness and both are necessary. He credits the darkness for allowing him to recognize the light, and he credits the light for allowing him to see the darkness. Even his own concept of day/night is affected by this: "He was not sure what time of the day it was, but it was not like he cared in the first place." He knows he has an unhealthy relationship with spice but it doesn't matter because it's again part of that "wholeness" of embracing both sadness and joy as one unit. And that's tied into those voices in his head that disparage him and accuse him of being a failure. He is both wild success and dismal failure at the same time. He walks this razor's edge between two worlds and by doing so he embraces both of them.

    Going back to his night blindness:
    and yet, here's that idea that he finds comfort in the starlit night - the stars he can't see with his own eyes. That's so intriguing. What does he see when he looks into the night sky?

    Anjie may be a quetarra hero, but you, dear EP, continue to be a rock star. ^:)^ Awesome work, thought provoking as always.
     
  14. glitteryboots

    glitteryboots Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Another intriguing glimpse into Anjie's mind and life! Even when he's not doing much (and is sober) he still comes across as very intense. It seems this isn't as intense as it gets, either, if the voices are unusually silent. I hope as he gets further into sobriety things calm down for him.

    "the voids he dreamed so much of were nothing but eternal night sowing the seeds of celestial bodies" wow, love this. :) I had to smile at the "pet avian" simile too, of course. It's also really nice to see his passion for music to this extent, especially how he considered it divine since the first note, and how that's part of who he is. The lyrics are great, too, and really fit what's going on.

    The ending - him thinking this version of life isn't so bad - is a really uplifting contrast to him wondering if sobriety can only bring negatives. Would definitely be good if things stayed this way!
     
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  15. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    You definitely captured the essence of inactivity and what it forces a person to do, which was my intention for the challenge.

    Anje's inability to create for a long time is a dreadful feeling (plus a dreadful experience). I like that he felt some connection to creator divinities which help him create art, because I think at one time or another every writer has felt divinely inspired. Then creator's block falls into one's life, and it's like losing a connection to something vital. So Anje, the chosen prophet of the creator divinities, is suddenly no longer in touch with their divine voices. So he has to struggle to find some voice within himself that will allow him to create on his own terms. Because, really, it's impossible to wait for "divine inspiration" (which is really just your own subconscious anyway working out images and ideas). That's why someone like him went to drugs, to get in touch with that creative force within himself (although Anje's reasons seem like they were also emotionally driven, based upon your other stories about him. I get the impression he's someone who feels every human emotion VERY intensely).

    This is a great response to the challenge. :D
     
  16. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    After the Climb was good; felt quite auto-biographical, but I suppose any time a writer writes about a writer variant, that can be an easy impression.

    Interesting views about "happy" versions of himself, outright rejecting their validity; and a good collection of religions and beliefs that your fellow draws upon.

    Good description of the spectacles as having an avian quality.
     
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  17. gaarastar58

    gaarastar58 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Lack of inspiration can feel like the worst fate that can befall someone who is as innately creative as Anjie appears to be. Without his music, what is he? If he is not creating, what is his purpose? I loved your descriptions of his inactivity, it takes great skill to write inactivity without the reader becoming bored, but your insightful observations about Anjie's thought-process gives this piece plenty of momentum. I don't think I can add much to the replies above, but I can only say that I was so glad Anjie was able to silence those self-judgemental voices, even if it's only for a little while. Great response to the challenge.
     
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  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    (Space for these replies - they're on the laptop, drafted and I am on the desktop, trying to meet a deadline after done with this...ouch!)

    I am sorry to be leaving these replies as late as October 27th, 2016. I did not mean to. The first time 'round, they were almost complete and then I rebooted both machines. Can you say "moron"? [face_blush]


    Turns out there were a couple of unfinished replies, which I completed on November 28th, 2017.




    Anjie is here to stay. I am not saying that he's one of the principal characters in a huge epic, but...[face_whistling]

    The words racing might be a curse of certain creative types - too many ideas, too many things on their minds, to the point where even the emptiness that Anjie himself is experiencing now appears to be inspiring.

    I really, really like the sentence I bolded. Anjie's fears definitely live by his side and they have never left him. He is likely to personify them as well, so - who knows - maybe he sees his fears as some sort of semi-physical entities.

    The tone change? His view of reality, compared to the one of fantasy, is still pretty bleak...

    That one was an inside joke and you know it. ;)

    He skipped a huge part of growing up, so at this point in his life, he alters between an adult man and a kid. That's his coping method. That's the only way he knows how to do it. And the bleakness is a natural way of patching the hole that his premature exposure to stardom had drilled in him.

    Oh, you do. ;) Believe me.

    And yes, the thing with lyrics is intentional.

    Can't top the number of times it happened to me on one of Finds' stories and on the four out of five of your most recent stories - only the most recent one was spared from the curse. The H/L one, I had the best reply ever some months ago, then I legit cried when it disappeared. And yes, I need to tackle that one as well. Again. I'm just frustrated about the idea of not remembering everything.

    And garsh indeed, that's what berks do to ars! :eek:

    Hey, I thought YOU were known for that, not me! :p

    And those things are all pros and cons of being slightly sight-impaired. He might get some things wrong, some things right, be extremely ignorant of some people, situations and events, yet deeply, deeply observant about others. Dichotomies rule. And when he closes his eyes and, yes, becomes glasses, it's a whole new world.

    Anjie sees himself as some sort of a device to channel the music. He believes that art already exists, but that it has to be found, discovered. Of course that such a belief will make him feel inadequate.

    And, of course, drugs could cause a quick euphoria and inspiration at first, but later on, they won't work.

    He loves dichotomies, as I have said above. And he mixes the things he contrasts. He's a walking contradiction, if I ever saw one! :p

    The blind chart the stars... ;)

    Heeeeeeey...rock stars are manifactured, I'm the real deal. Can I be an obscure avant-garde type? :D


    That's the adjective I was looking for, definitely. Intense. On the inside.

    :D

    *snort* YOU KNOW IT. :p

    I tried to make the lyrics relatively simple, but fitting to the situation, yet make it look like they came out as a result of (what he think is) struggle. Hope that it was that way.

    And the new life will take some time to get used to, but that's with every radical-ish beginning. Even with simple things such as weight loss.


    That's good to know - I was worried that I didn't understand it well at first. [face_blush]

    I never took an opiate in my life, so...not autobiographical, note in that way. But if it's about writers' block in general, yes, the whole idea that it leads to despair is right there. And I think any "writer variant" (love that, btw) experiences it at some point or another, just for a different set of reasons.

    A lot of things I've written this year play on the whole idea of rejection of validity of various things that are most likely valid. It's an interesting challenge.

    That one is based on an odd joke, but I can see that people welcomed it. :)

    You did add a lot, actually. You implied that not creating does make an artist doubtful of why they are here in the first place and that's something that turns the lack of inspiration into a curse. Anjie, however, was not uninspired, more likely...not trusting himself. But that's the way it usually goes.
     
  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Not Just Talking Body

    Genre: Romance, OC backstory
    Characters: Anjie Mencuri, Madelle Griasmaa (OCs)
    Timeframe: 4 BBY
    Rating: PG-13 (references to what we call sex, drugs and rock'n roll in our world)
    Summary: Two standard years have passed since an awkward near-Human named Anjie Mencuri became a member of Steamy Wasaka Stew. He is one of the boys – it's all about spice, sex and parties. Or is it? Let’s see what happens when he meets a girl...

    A/N: This is my response to the Chart Hits Challenge. I had the misfortune of picking a sex song, Tove Lo's Talking Body. I approached it from both the literal stance and otherwise.

    In terms of where it is in on the timeline of my Anjie Mencuri shorts, this story happens two years after Radiophonic Heart, shortly after the events referenced in Before the Fall and long, long before After the Climb. If you're new to these stories, I recommend you to read them in the order I wrote them.

    Madelle Griasmaa is an OC. A composite character, so to say – I based her on 2-3 characters I had on the ol’ drawing board and morphed them into a single one.

    Disclaimer: I am, in no way, endorsing or excusing some of the behaviours seen in this story! Just showing them the way they were in this micro-universe.




    Their first meeting had been anything but a start of a perfect relationship.

    He was twenty, she was twenty-four. She was a struggling all-round artist, he was a fresh-faced and, as of recently, rich musician. She knew that he idolised Tosh Correll, or that he was made to believe that he did. That part was never clear to her – some said that it was something the marketing team had made up, some said that the boy was a lifelong fan of the older of the two brothers now resting in the cold vacuum of space. But she had given up on believing anything, from anybody at this point – after all, the marketing experts could have been working for COMPNOR at the same time, or some kind of weird poodoo like that.

    A mutual friend set them up. They were to meet in Svrtotrto’s, a small Squib-owned cantina in the Treasure Ship Row mall and talk about art. She had two tickets for a performance at the nearby semi-dilapidated Imperial Youth Club, a former expensive restaurant owned by somebody called Blobbo Fasolia Toupé. But his first impression of the young man that had caught her eye earlier was that he would likely eat them. He was not behaving like a sentient. The ability to speak was not making him intelligent and she was close to disappointment.

    He was sitting in the corner, frenetically smoking cigarras and drinking caf. With an almost Kaminoan-pale skin tone, a youthful face that made her wonder if he was really twenty or if he had forged his personal records, and a black tunic three sizes too big over a pair of a grav-ball short, he resembled a jester at the Imperial Palace. There would have had to be jesters, right? What kind of beings forget to put on their trousers when they head out?

    She walked up to him and entered the cloud of cigarra smoke surrounding what was to be her seat.
    "My name is Madelle Griasmaa. You must be Anjie?"

    He looked up, grinned and stared at her for about ten seconds, not noticing that ashes were falling off his cigarra, straight onto the piece of flimsi he was scribbling on.

    "Y-yes. I am the motherkriffin’ Anjie Mencuri! Don't you forget who I am!" He was screaming into her face. Seconds later, he reached for his belt, dropped his trousers and she saw more than she wanted to see before even meeting him. "Look, that’s my Imperial Star Destroyer!"

    And look, she didn't.

    "Is this supposed to impress me?" She took Anjie's other hand. "I guess Antonio and Wompy never tell you any stories about women who were more than a talking body, those they did not manage to seduce. I was friends with the Correll brothers for a while. I know insecure boys with quetarras up to the black hole in their Deep Core!"

    He was blushing. Was a member of Steamy Wasaka Stew ever capable of something like that, or did he actually have some wacky stage make-up on that she was not aware of? He pulled his trousers back on and looked down. For the first time since he had become famous, a girl was straight up telling him that he was full of poodoo. What was going on? The guys had taught him how to get any woman – from a chained Twi'lek dancer to a stuck-up Kuati girl from a good family and he was young and capable of getting what he wanted and then moving on to the next. And next. And next. But this was different.

    "I'm sorry, Madelle." He eventually managed to blurt out, with a deep sigh. "Please, sit down."

    She sighed and took the remains of his cigarra, then put it out. "How many of these did you have while you were waiting for me?"

    "Eight…maybe seven…but I think eight." Anjie was squirming in his chair, as if he had sat on a bunch of needless, slightly blushing. “What do you th-think of the symbolism of that n-number?”

    Madelle’s face lit up. Maybe she was right about her initial assessment of the young man before her, after all.

    …​

    On their next date, Anjie was seemingly more approachable. That was the first time Madelle noticed the difference between his real smile and the one she had caught many times at the theatre where SWS were rehearsing for their Corellian Oversector tour in support of their new holoalbum, StarSpiceSexySinners. The latter was bordering on a sneer, showing his awkwardly large teeth and it would usually come with a flamboyant pose. When holocams were away, however, he had a sweet, sheepish smile, he was soft-spoken and fidgety, rarely looking into her eyes. There was a moment when she caught him playing with his own foot, with the sense of wonder not seen in anybody over two standard years of age. She was not sure if she was supposed to ask him if he was feeling comfortable - this seemed to be the more comfortable of his default states to begin with! And he did call her “Mady” at some point, solely to ask if he was allowed to do so and apologise afterwards.

    “Mady it is. Nobody ever calls me Madelle, after all.” She assured him. They spent the rest of the evening talking about Vayad Bantheus’ real self vs. his constructed on-stage characters and Anjie seemed to be a big fan of the one who had gone to another galaxy and came back completely changed. At some point, she thought that maybe, just maybe, he wanted to become somebody else. But he was young, boys were to be boys and, at twenty, still not looking as if he were shaving more than twice per week, he was most certainly a boy - not a man.

    ...​

    The third time around, Madelle suggested that they take a walk around the Axial Park. Anjie was somewhat unsure of it, but he eventually accepted it. He was walking faster than her, mostly looking at his own feet, and always carrying a cigarra in the hand that he was not holding her hand in, forgetting about it more often than not. He seemed generally cheerful, talking about his fascination with the teachings of the Sith Wars-era sages. This was not the first time that she heard of somebody admiring the Jedi as much as Sith - after all, a true artist had to appreciate the evil ones, too. Weren’t they too just dancing with the death most of the time? Especially those heavily involved in the spice scene of the Blue Sector here in Coronet!

    Anjie ordered a take-away caf and they sat down. Then he had to order it again, because he dropped it the moment he looked at her.

    “All this technometry...technocracy...technology, sorry..” He pulled yet another sheepish grin. “...and we still don’t have anything that would keep these mugs from spilling! Kriff that!”

    She assured him that it was all right by her. Once he came back with another cup, she held his hand again. He blushed and looked at her. Madelle knew that expression well - this was the moment he was likely going to find an awkward way to kiss her on the lips.

    Just then, they were interrupted by a Human and a Theelin girl passing by.

    “Is that one of the guys from Steamy Wasaka Stew?” One of the girls asked.

    The other one squeaked like a furry sentient. “Somebody famous? A musician?”

    The one that seemed more rational continued. “Yup, alright...not that sexy Antonio, but the other kind of handsome one. Close to our age. Heard he had a big lightsaber, too - Sylee has seen it, though I’m not sure if it was just her wishful thinking.”

    What came from the previous squeaking girl’s mouth was finally beginning to sound like words. “Nobody can be bigger than Antonio, that’s nonsense! He is the biggest lover in the Galaxy! Every woman wants him! I don’t want to see this one, he’s stupid! Just a boy!” She was on the verge of tears.

    “I think I know his name.” The pragmatic one said. “Tosh Correll. His brother is at the drums and he plays quetarra. I’m going to ask him to sign something.” She pulled a piece of flimsi and ran towards Anjie and Madelle.

    “Excuse me, Master? Are you Tosh Correll, the quetarra player in the Wasakas?”

    Madelle cocked her head. Anjie smiled.

    “N-no, he died three years ago. M-my name is Anjie Mencuri and I replaced him. I d-d-do look up to him. I’m sorry to have disappointed you.”

    “You didn’t.” The girl looked down for a moment, but seconds later, she pulled a stylus and a piece of flimsi from her bag. “You’re still a member of Steamy Wasaka Stew, which is, like...super-Core! Could you sign this for me?”

    Anjie nodded and took the stylus. Madelle noticed that he was signing his full name - no stylish signature to speak of. He got a letter in his own last name wrong, or so it seemed. She was about to tell him so, but the other girl, previously standing further away, suddenly stormed towards them.

    “Sign my stormie helmets!” She screamed, opening her tunic just about enough not to completely expose herself. “Please! You are famous! And….can you introduce me to your friend, Antonio Nokaarbe?”

    Had the girl not stood between his date and him, Anjie would have been able to seek help from Madelle. This way, he shrugged and, his hands shaking, signed the young girl’s chest. He then swallowed a lump and told her where they were rehearsing.

    Soon later, both girls disappeared - still giggling. Anjie reclined himself on the bench and he stared at the sun setting in the distance, over the high-rises of the Coronet City, not saying a word to Madelle.

    “W-would you like to see m-m-my equipment?” He asked all of the sudden.

    At this point, Madelle was pretty sure that he was talking about his music recording gear and not what she had already seen minutes before their first date had even started. But either way, she was in for both. A small smile, just barely seen with the ends of her lips going up, appeared to have confused him.

    “Mady! I don’t mean the, you know, err, um...oh. I’m sorry. I have holorecs from a couple of thousands year ago and they can be p-played only on this thing that was rumoured to have been owned by the then rulers of Naboo themselves - I’m sort of Naboo, by the way, but don’t worry, I’m v-very Corellian - where was I? Oh, the holorecs. You’re going to like them...I hope!”

    She cut him short by starting to kiss him. At first, his mouth was closed, but it took him very little to join in, embrace her and whisper a sweet nothing, miles away from what his friend, Antonio, would say to a girl.

    ...​


    For the next three days, they spent the time at Anjie's messy loft on top of one of the older high-rises. Madelle was wondering if the young man had any directions or clues at all. The housekeeping droid was turned off and she had to turn him on - there had been weeks’ worth of laundry and dishes that her younger acquaintance had apparently forgotten to take care of. Similarly, she realised how many of his appliances and decoration were outdated.

    On the other hand, every single item of equipment, every single quetarra he owned was expensive. There was a point where he shyly confessed to her that he had spent his first gig credits on a genuine Zabrak, pre-hyperspace-era instrument and that he had to eat at his mother's home until the next date the wailer-group had booked, much to the dismay of his stepfather.

    Madelle was now sure - Anjie was ridiculously enthusiastic about his music, in love with creating it and exploring it, but also ridiculously unfit for everyday life. His story about how he once cleaned the marble patio of some villa close to his grandparents' home on Naboo was only adding up to it. He was apologising about the fact that he, Empire forbid, used to work a regular job at any given point and begged him not to tell anybody, but he really, really needed to see Dalyn R. Baobab perform undercover before the elusive peace-loving wailer had gone back to wherever he was residing now. And then, he went on and on about how he, just like any other true musician, loves Baobab, but prefers the "wackier" stuff he done, as opposed to Galactic peace and anti-Empire anthems, the Scarlet works, as opposed to banned.

    As far as sex was concerned, Anjie spoke about his previous lovers to detail - but he could not remember the girls' names. Most of them, he confessed while trying to avoid Madelle's eyes, came to him on their own - and some of them picked him because Antonio was busy. There was one who wanted to drink sweat from his grav-ball short after an event, but he was scared of that, so he sent her to Wompy instead. For the reasons he admitted he didn't fully understand, Wompy obliged. Madelle was shocked. He could see it, but he had to assure her that Wompy and Antonio were still his idols, best friends, older brothers and partners in crime. They would get him into the Twi'lek dance clubs that he was still not allowed in due to being underage, they would tell him where to seek an occasional fix of herbs to smoke that, it turned out during this visit, was not occasional to begin with.

    "Wompy does it all the time." He assured her. "I was full of it when we were doing the holovid for 'Take It With You'."

    Madelle had not seen that holovid. Anjie played it for her on his viewscreen - they only had to sit there for ten minutes in order to catch it. It was obnoxious - Antonio Nokaarbe was being Antonio Nokaarbe, attempting to sing, dancing as if he was taking part in a semi-sentient species' mating ritual.

    "We d-did that holovid on an Outer Rim planet called Tatooine! The director had to pay somebody called Jabba the Mutt..."

    "Hutt?"

    "...yes, Hutt, that, a number of credits to use a place called the Dune Sea! And I was nervous, the place had a strange energy! Wondering how and why, since we were so, so, so far away from the Core!"

    Just then, a glimpse of a smiling Anjie dancing with what looked like a replica of some ancient combat device, more graceful than most women she knew, came onscreen. The expression in the hologram's face was just like the expression of a young man before her. She could not help but smile back at him. Seconds later, they were lying on the floor, rolling over one another. The holovid was no longer important in any way.

    ...​


    On the dawn of the fourth day, Madelle woke up with Anjie sleeping with his head on her belly. They were both in the nude, though a single greyish sock was still on one of his feet and her hair was half-up.

    Madelle sighed. She could recall the sentence she blurted out twice that night.

    "You have never made love. And Antonio thinks nerf-like kriffing is love."

    Anjie blushed both times and the second time, he nodded in agreement. He asked her what she wanted and, though he was pretty bad at it - did everything the way she liked. She was not losing hope - he was big on practicing, after all. He was to learn how to please a woman and not fall asleep immediately after. He was to learn how not to yell a bunch of obscenities and share stories of the outrageous orgies and Wookiee-grandpa-worthy sex acts and then blush when told that he had nice abdominal muscles.

    She must have fallen asleep again, as he woke her up when Correll was already high in the sky. She grabbed her dress and put it on, then sat on the edge of the bed. Anjie was holding an instrument that made some Bith band famous in his right hand and a cigarra in his left.

    “Look, Mady! I have learned how to play bawoonka. I think!”

    His voice was raspy from what was close to three full packs of cigarras. He was sitting on the floor next to the messy bed, wearing just a Bantha wool cap that she recognised as a part of traditional Corfai attire.

    "S-sorry, I forgot to put the rest of my clothes on. I was so excited about the bawoonka! Listen!”

    He blew into the instrument, which emitted a couple of odd sounds. That was definitely not how it was played, but he seemed to be excited about it and not concerned about his hunger, his naked body and the cigarra burning through the rug. The latter was especially concerning - there was a kriffin' fire right next to him! Madelle got up and spilled some water over it.

    "S-sorry, Mady! I will dress up and m-make something to eat. I need to concentrate on the second v-video shoot, anyway. We are doing 'Underlevels' this afternoon and the manager will send an air-taxi for me at some point." He got up and looked at the hole in the rug. "That song is Antonio's m-most introspective one, ever, so the rest of us are not going to be seen as much, but still, I'm excited. The intro is beautiful, if it's...not kriffslider-ish of me to say so."

    "An air-taxi? But you have a speeder docked to your balcony!" Madelle was surprised.

    "I can't pilot one. I tried once and I ended on top of a tree somewhere in the suburbs. Not sure how that happened. but..." He reached for the cap, to take it off. “....it happened, you know?”

    "Keep that on! It looks good on you.” The girl got up and headed to the wardrobe. "It will look good with this, this and this." She was throwing pieces of clothing his way. The young man standing in the nude, in the very same place where she left him was smiling awkwardly once again. When not posed for racy holos and wearing on-stage glowing paint and the unfortunate single oven mitt costume that the Wasakas were notorious for, it was clear that he was not that buff at all. In fact, he was most likely underweight and she felt it, too- his bones were poking her when they made love. The only SWS credential he had was a rather nice build, resembling old Naboo statues of mythical fighters. He had another thing in common with those statues as well - very pale and freckled skin, reminiscent of the stone used to carve them. Overall, one would have needed a probe droid to spot any sign of a true Coronet City buff.

    Madelle was starting to see a pattern here.

    She came to him and gave him the overtunic, trousers and a pair of shoes. "I am not big on girlfriends choosing clothes for their men, but these will make you look bigger. And cute. You know...snuggly." She hugged him and gave him another kiss, ignoring his vile cigarra breath. Whatever he was smoking, it was probably an Outer Rim brand - definitely not the elite PharmaCorp stuff.

    “I don’t want you to be my girlfriend.” He said. “We will b-be each other’s doom. I am supposed to have a different girlfriend in another life...not sure if this life is worth the effort.”

    Madelle raised her voice. “Is this some poodoo that Antonio is telling girls after he beds them?"

    "N-no!" That was Anjie's clumsiest kiss so far. "I...just...don't know how to be a boyfriend. I was never a real boyfriend to anybody.” He attempted to swallow a lump without her seeing it, but his protruding trachea gave him away. “And I was serious. In another life, my girlfriend is somebody awkward...whom I would have to kiss first!”

    "I call you my boyfriend." Madelle poked him on the nose. "We will work on that.”

    "Okay, you are my girlfriend...I...I love you. I think." He blushed again. "Can you go to the shooting with me? I'm nervous about it. Really, really nervous. And do you like flatcakes with zherry jam?”

    She nodded. Twice.

    Their relationship was to be anything but perfect.




    Footnotes:
    Treasure Ship Row is a mall in the Coronet City.

    Blobbo the Hutt's fancy restaurant turned into an "Imperial Youth Club" is not the one seen here. I can imagine that he had owned more than one during his time on Corellia.

    Grav-ball is a GFFA sport and grav-ball short would be something like boxers. Fanon.

    Corellian Oversector exists during the reign of the Galactic Empire.

    Vayad Bantheus is a Bowie-like musician of the past that I created for my stories, months before actual Bowie passed away. Similarly, Dalyn R. Baobab is a Bob Dylan-inspired character.

    Axial Park is a huge park in the Coronet City.

    Blue Sector is the most dangerous part of the Coronet City.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  20. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    A nervous meeting and other anxieties going on between Anjie and Madelle.
     
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, these two are definitely not perfect, but in all the best possible ways. :p Anjie—golly, what can one even say about that immensely awkward first moment with Madelle? What was he thinking pulling a... maneuver like that? I guess he thought he was thinking with the "little head" that he flashed, but was really not thinking with any head at all. (And geeze Louise, if his bandmates in SWS really and truly managed to win over women that way... well, some people, is all I'll say.) But I also find myself scratching my head about Madelle's reaction to that first encounter—verbally she puts him soundly in his place, 'tis true, and it does have a desired effect of getting Anjie to think twice about this macho-macho-man rhetoric his bandmates have been feeding him. But she says it all while taking his other hand—and then stays with him after he says sorry and offers some disjointed remarks about number symbolism? :p That suggests that she's at least as quirky and odd as he is, and that maybe these two are some species of "perfect" for each other just by virtue of being two oddballs.

    (OK, I apologize in advance if that came off as one of those woman-takes-tone-of-superiority-while-criticizing-female-character types of remarks, which is not how I meant it at all. I just mean to point how effectively you've portrayed the character's imperfections, which I know is a major theme of the story. :cool: )

    You make the progression of this quirky and imperfect relationship so fun and engaging to follow—normally reading about that sort of thing makes me a bit, well, sheepish, especially once the bedroom scenes roll around, but in this one there's an element of humor and tongue-in-cheek that keeps things lighthearted and fresh. And I think that might stem exactly from the fact that these two are completely aware how imperfect their relationship is. (Anjie, especially, with his "equipment" talk, lack of any clue about basic tidiness, gushes of geekiness, and occasionally frightening absent-mindedness—careful with those cigarra ends! [face_nail_biting] ) That is not mutually exclusive with sincerity, though: there is something really and sincerely tender about Anjie's sheepishness, and constant apologies, and the way he legitimately strives to make Madelle happy and do what she wants. Because he knows she's more than a "talking body."

    Incidentally, that's one place where you took the original theme of the Tove Lo song in several all-new directions at once. First, there's Anjie's attempt to "let his body do the talking" on the first meeting with Mady, but what it really leads to is actual real talking instead. Second, even when they eventually get to the point where they feel comfortable letting their bodies talk to each other in that way, they don't stop talking to each other in actual words—the two kinds of talk go hand in hand. Third, it occurred to me that almost whenever anyone is talking about "body stuff" in this story, they do so in double meanings (lightsabers, stormie helmets, Imperial star destroyers, equipment, etc.). And the list goes on and on; I should put Anjie's ideal "Naboo god" physique in the list somewhere too. (All this said, I shall admit right now that I couldn't bring myself to watch that video all the way through. :p )

    All through it his love of his music—from the "Take It With You" video to the bavoonka which he is so eager to pick up and start making noise on right after they make love—is the backdrop to his love of her, and one suspects that they are driven by one and the same sort of impulse. Here, too, perhaps she is the "words to his melody," as you said in another recent story of yours about a completely different couple. [face_love] (Incidentally, the bavoonka isn't in your endnotes to this story, and I'm not seeing it on the Wook, so I imagine it's your own creation and therefore something you should write a note or even a fanon post about sometime. :p )

    And of course, like all EP stories, this one is packed with fantastic, significant details that really bring everything to life:

    —Vayad Bantheus as the GFFA [hl=black]David Bowie[/hl], personas and all. :D
    —Those two airheaded teens and their talk of "lightsabers" and their "stormie helmet" request—gulp! I don't blame Anjie for being nervous. Incidentally, the two particular species you chose for them remind me of someone... [face_thinking]
    —Anjie's preference for only expensive instruments, to the point where he can't afford actual everyday furniture, reminds me of some players of early keyboard instruments I've known—harpsichords and things aren't cheap, and yet a certain species of musicians manages to get one after another after another, till there's no space in the living room for even an armchair. :p But it's all part of his love for his music, and it shows clearly that he's the sort who does nothing by halves.
    —Anjie's comment about "a different girlfriend in another life"—possibly prophetic as far as some other stories of yours are concerned? ;)
    —From the sweat drunk from the shorts (my gosh, how does one even do that?!) to "the unfortunate single oven mitt costume" (which I recall from your earlier Anjie stories), Outrageous rockstar stunts in the GFFA aren't so different from outrageous rockstar stunts on Earth, are they? [face_thinking]
    —"Wookiee-grandpa-worthy sex acts"—an homage to a certain segment of the Holiday Special, no doubt? ;)

    Great job exploring this perfectly imperfect relationship and all its funny subtleties! =D=
     
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  22. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Anjie is so fascinating. Everything in his entire life is focused on one thing- creating music. So when he meets a woman who is sincerely interested in him as a person, not a rock idol or an artist or a celebrity, he is really unsure of himself.

    Here he is, being swallowed by the machinery of celebrity, and again, not really sure that it's necessarily a bad thing. He has acquired the requisite posture and attitude and can play the oversexed rock star, even though it doesn't take Mady long to figure out that the real Anjie is nothing like that.

    Mady is intriguing. He drops his pants and presents his "star destroyer" all while yelling at Mady, and she is bemused, neither angry at the outrageous behavior or excited by it. Mady says "I was friends with the Correll brothers for a while. I know insecure boys with quetarras up to the black hole in their Deep Core!" so she recognizes the tricks of rock hero celebrity and she doesn't buy his actions as being genuine. She knows it's an act. And she recognizes that he isn't really a man yet, he's still very much a boy, and she's four years older and much more experienced. So I have to wonder what she wants, ultimately, from Anjie. (Everyone he meets wants something from him, after all.) Maybe someone she knows has amazing talent, and she wants to be his muse? Maybe she has a thing for young, insecure artists and when he gains his maturity he won't be as appealing to her? I just see this relationship ending in heartbreak for Anjie, who will then write songs about the relationship (and thus make Mady a permanent part of his career and his life). Or maybe, just maybe, she respects his art and has feelings for him.

    Anjie is mistaken for others and he's ok with that. In fact, when the giggle girls (yeah, they are familiar to me too!) approach him, they first think he's Tosh Correll, but when he corrects them they determine that he's "the other kind of handsome one." And he's cool with that. In fact, he allows them to come to the rehearsal to see Antonio, because he either isn't really aware that he is a disappointing second choice or because he lacks the confidence to brush off their unintentional insult.

    But in the end, the most important thing he says to Mady is not that he loves her (he thinks) but when he admits that he's nervous and that he would feel better if she were with him at the shooting later that day. He has found someone who takes him as he is and he can admit his insecurities to. He's not the arrogant guy with the cooking mitt, sneering into the camera as he strikes a pose, or who can't remember the names of the women he's slept with or who would pass a potential lover to the next guy in the band. He's learning it's okay to be vulnerable and make mistakes. And he's learning that in any relationship, you have to give and not just get.

    :D
     
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  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you all for your comments and sorry that I am very, very late with my responses. Post-vacation days have not been kind to me. Sorry about the number of puerile jokes in the response, too. They just...happened.[face_blush]

    I hoped that somebody would have noticed the little Easter egg somewhere in the story, but I guess it's pretty obsure.

    Also, to all who might wonder - bawoonka is canon and it originates from Naboo, Anjie's home planet. I misspelled its name.





    Yup, precisely. :)

    That was my intention. Anjie is no angel, but neither is Mady.

    I just laughed like a puberty-adled 12-year-old boy. Ha-ha-ha! The amount of puns in those three sentences deserves an award. I didn't notice them the first time I had read your comment, but now...gosh. TOO.MUCH. [face_laugh][face_whistling][face_rofl]

    Didn't come across that way for one single moment. I mean, what could have she done? When you say a bad thing, you get a slap on your face. When you...OKLETSNOTGOTHEREISCAREDMYSELF.

    On a serious note, she is quirky herself, indeed, but at the same time, experienced enough to see that he's not that macho-macho man and that he's harmless. Perhaps even too harmless, to the point where he's a grotesque, loud individual with helplessness of a newborn babe. I mean, not that much, but you get the idea.

    I was trying to keep the nudge nudge wink wink to minimum. What mattered is how...random it was all along. And how manic Anjie is, yet, from the way Mady looks at him, one can see that she's genuinely attracted.

    He was most likely freaked out about being interesting enough, so he opted for...what his peers told him was the most interesting thing about him. One could even look at that as a willing act of self-degradation, as much as bizarre, R-rated silliness.

    Wait, what video? If this is about reality and not fantasy, I have a couple of ideas...

    And, as I have said earlier...she's genuinely attracted. What we see is pure female gaze.

    Music may be his proper release. Yes.

    As far as backdrops go, this is not the first time that Anjie was juxtaposed against a holo of himself - it happened in the first story about him as well.

    ...this brings a thought of how it's much easier for a male of a species not exposed to the Galaxy and not exposed to trillions as a specific character to, err, perform and meet expectations, regardless of the, err, level of experience. I did not think about that before...

    Incidentally, it's a flute thing, too. :eek:

    And read the very beginning of this post.

    Yup! And *turns around to put the hipster glasses on* I HAD COME UP WITH THIS CHARACTER WHILE BOWIE WAS STILL ALIVE.

    ...was fully intentional, as a little tribute. The two actual characters...maybe I could see one of them as an airhead, but not the other. Definitely not the other.

    I find nothing strange about it. One of my most interesting visits of 2016 was to the home of this editor, her apartment was crowded by books. I loved every second of sitting there.

    I CAN'T HEAR YOU FROM MY OWN LOUD YELLS. I CAN'T HEAR YOU FROM MY OWN LOUD YELLS.I CAN'T HEAR YOU FROM MY OWN LOUD YELLS. I CAN'T HEAR YOU FROM MY OWN LOUD YELLS.I CAN'T HEAR YOU FROM MY OWN LOUD YELLS.I CAN'T HEAR YOU FROM MY OWN LOUD YELLS.

    [hl=black]Yes.[/hl]

    Not at all. ;)

    And I wouldn't want to know how one does that...just don't google it. EVER. My friend was impressed by the scene that inspired it and I wanted to un-think the mental picture I had upon reading about it.


    I am...very, very amused with that particular scene in the Holiday Special. :D It just didn't make any sense, whatsoever. And what's a better tribute to something as bizarre as that than to give it its own adult film genre in the GFFA? There's got to be a thriving underlevel market that specialises in bizarre dancing performances for Itchies of the Galaxy to, you know, scratch their itch. [face_rofl]

    Of course, he has to drop the mask they put on him and actually be himself. Does he even know how to be himself?

    Of course, he has to drop the mask they put on him and actually be himself. Does he even know how to be himself? [2]

    The sentence I bolded...now...that's brutal. But absolutely true. And something I actually didn't think about myself. Now I wonder if famous people eventually acquire the mindset where they expect others to exploit them in some way.

    Now, for writing songs about breakups to that extent...hmmm. The Beautiful South's first-ever hit, Song for Whoever, deals with that topic in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

    In a way, he's a bit more submissive than his wailer-mates. He accepts being the second choice. I guess that I did not depict this well.


    Nothing to add to this. Perfect!
     
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The Chancellor & I

    Genre: Humour, OC backstory
    Characters: Anjie Mencuri, Aldo Mencuri (OCs), Chancellor Palpatine, Padmé Amidala, Jar Jar Binks
    Timeframe: 22 BBY / 26 BBE, right after the Battle of Geonosis
    Rating: G
    Summary: A young judge named Aldo Mencuri tries to woo Senator Padmé Amidala and is then, err, beetroot-blocked by a blissfully unaware Jar Jar Binks. Aldo’s three-year-old son Anjie Mencuri is briefly left on his own in the Theed Palace while the three take part in an urgent meeting and attempts to befriend an older man who comes along…


    A/N: Finally! A vignette that's not a response to a challenge. And oh, poodoo! *Another* Anjie Mencuri story. For those of you who are new to the character, kid!Anjie appears in the first part of my DDC, adolescent!Anjie in Radiophonic Heart, Not Just Talking Body and Before the Fall, thirtysomething!Anjie narrates Before the Fall and is the subject of After the Climb...

    ...and fortysomething!Anjie under a different name is in A Rough Trade and The Brightest of the Stars, but you didn't hear *that* from me.

    I was slightly inspired by the “God and Oska” chapter in The Black Book And Schwambrania, an excellent book by Lev Kassil. It’s children’s literature and it deals with two brothers growing up around the time of the transition from Russian to Soviet society. The whole book is a hoot, but that particular chapter was my favourite when I was a child.

    You can read the book in English, for free:
    http://lib.ru/PROZA/KASSIL/kassil_konduit_engl.txt_with-big-pictures.html


    Many thanks to Findswoman for beta-reading and a couple of helpful comments. :)





    On what looked to be just another day at the Central Court of Keren, Aldo Mencuri, a young judge in training, received an urgent comm from Theed. Minutes later, he was on the repulsortrain, en route to attend an urgent meeting which was to involve Senator Padmé Amidala and, as rumoured, Chancellor Palpatine himself. Such were the perks of having been a part of the Youth Legislator Programme in the past – he was often called to take part in important meetings concerning the safety of his home planet, alongside a couple of other young judges and minor officials. And, more importantly, such powerful figures as the Queen, the Gungan Bosses, the Royal Advisory Council and Senator Padmé Amidala.

    Aldo Mencuri loved working with Padmé Amidala solely for one reason – she was beautiful. His marriage was about to go down in flames and he had been well aware of that for a long time now, so flirting with about any woman he considered pretty enough was his standard practice. And she was affluent as well. He had never seen her with a man, and – to him – that was a clear sign that she was available. The eight-year difference did not stop him, either. After all, all women were supposed to like older men, weren’t they?

    Today might have not been the best day for flirting, though. Amidala came back to Naboo looking really, really worn out and slightly beaten – as if she had been in a battle. Mencuri was confused when he saw her on HoloNet news the night before. On top of this, it was the “bring your youngling to work” day back at his office in Keren and, since his wife was working and his parents were away, he came to Theed with his three-year-old son, Anjie.

    The toddler had never seen the Theed Royal Palace before. He liked how everything echoed when he squealed and he greeted the statues as if they were real beings, much to dismay of the courtiers and guards. Aldo was hoping that nobody of relative importance would come across his son and accuse him, an aspiring politician, of breaking the rules. But what he was told to come for could have been a recipe for disaster.

    “Why are we here, daddy?” Anjie asked.

    “It appears that the Separatists have declared a war on the Republic. Queen Jamillia is about to abdicate and we have work on the technicalities of the new queen’s election. Boss Lyonie of the Gungans is going to be there, too.”

    “Who is going to be the new Queen, daddy?”

    “Neeyutnee, they said.”

    “That’s a funny name!”

    “Of course. But you are not going to say that out loud. Please, Anjie!”

    Just then, they bumped into Senator Padmé Amidala, who was accompanied by the Representative Jar Jar Binks.

    “Good day, your Highness!” Aldo put on his best Naboo charmeur smile and then took a bow, but he nearly managed to trip himself. He attributed that to the presence of Binks.

    “Good day, judge…what was it again?”

    “Mencuri. Aldo Mencuri.” How come she didn’t remember him?

    “Ah, right. I apologise. It’s been a rough couple of days. I was almost killed by ferocious wild beasts in the arena on Geonosis in the Outer Rim. Many Jedi Knights have perished in the battle, as well as Clones. The Confederacy of Independent Systems got what they wanted, finally – we are going to have a useless war, after nearly thousand years of peace. I’m devastated, Master Mencuri.”

    “Mesa devastaten, too. Dis mooie mooie bad!” Binks shook his head. “Dey comen with all de machineeks again! Boopjak!”

    “I know, Jar Jar.” Amidala patted the Gungan on the back and turned to Aldo again. “What I need your help with, Master Mencuri, will be some minor technicalities. We need to determine what is viable from a law point of a view. You are going to join me in this small conference room. There’s a holocomm, in case we need help from your colleagues in Keren.”

    Aldo liked this. Perhaps this was going to be his lucky day, after all.

    “Representative Binks will be joining us, too. He needs to get a hold of Boss Lyonie – it appears that the poor man had been travelling through the planet core and we are worried that something happened to him. He is not returning his comms!”

    Aldo did not like this. Flirting in presence of such a spotlight grabber as Representative Binks was worse than swimming near the crematorium! He looked nervously around the hall and just then, Padmé noticed that he wasn’t alone.

    “Is that your son?”

    “Yes, this is my son, his name is Anjie. Anjie, this is Senator Padmé Amidala, she is representing us in Coruscant!”

    Anjie grinned. “Granny Sooja puts Coruscant on the clothes when drying them, too! Lots of Coruscant!”

    Senator Amidala smiled.


    “She has to use lots of Coruscant, because I still wet the bed sometimes!” The youngling admitted, blushing.


    “You’ll stop at some point.” Amidala ran her fingers through the boy’s angleberry-blonde hair. “You’re already a big boy, aren’t you?”


    Anjie nodded. He felt that he made a new friend and he was proud to be a big boy - and he must have been so if she said that! He was so excited that he even forgot to ask this “separator Amidala” what her first name was.


    But Aldo was worried. What was Anjie saying in presence of the woman that he wanted to woo? Was he doing that on purpose? The other day, he called him “daddy scum”, for Jug-Jug’s sake! And why was he, a Human, honouring a Gungan goddess, anyway?

    “Can I come with you, daddy? Please!” Anjie was now pulling his father’s judge garb.

    “No.” Aldo pointed to a small table and a beautiful, stylized bench. “You’re going to wait for me there. Here’s a stylus and some flimsi.” He handed Anjie the stationery. “Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back. I promise.”

    He patted the boy on the head and disappeared behind the closed doors, together with Senator Amidala and Representative Binks. Anjie was now on his own. He took the stylus, stuck his little tongue out and started sketching the nearest statue. A couple of minutes later, he raised the sheet of flimsi and looked at it against the light coming in from a large window. His statue of a Human looked a lot like a half-dismantled droid. He frowned, curled the flimsi into a ball and tossed it aside. The next drawing was supposed to be the door, but it ended up looking like a small freighter. Anjie shook his head and tried a third time, hoping to draw what he could see through the window. There was a tower visible from when he was sitting, but, to his horror, it ended up looking like a really ugly stylus! He was on the verge of tears, as he curled up the third ball of flimsi and he threw it away angrily.

    “Hello, young man! Careful with that!” the voice came from further away. The ball of flimsi had hit somebody who had just come in.

    Anjie got up and looked at the person who had just come down the hall. Looking back at him was an older man with grey hair, in violet, grey and blue garb. He seemed friendly, but there was an air of authority to him – something that the little boy knew could result in being scolded. Therefore, he had to apologise!

    “I’m sorry!” he exclaimed quickly. “I thought I was alone here. Daddy told me to wait for him and…I draw a thing and it’s not a thing!” He crossed his arms and pouted.

    The man was intrigued about the drawing comment, but that was not what he had come for.

    “Have you, perchance, seen Senator Amidala? I’m looking for her.”

    “No!” The boy shook his head. “My name is Anjie. I’m three!”

    “I’m the Chancellor and I’m looking for Senator Amidala.”

    “Chancellor? That’s a strange name! Why did your parents call you that?”

    “No, that’s not my name. That’s what I do. My job is to…”

    “When I grow up, I am going to become that when I grow up! And I will change my name from Anjie Mencuri to Chancellor when I grow up.”

    “I…don’t think that’s a good idea, young man.”

    “No?” The little boy cocked his head. “Then I’m going to be a Brave Little Bantha!”

    There was no answer. Anjie got suspicious.

    “Have you ever heard of the Brave Little Banthas? They have a theme song! It goes…Brave, brave, little banthas! Brave, brave, little banthas! Brave, brave, little banthas! Serving the Republic, salutes!”

    The Chancellor could not understand the extremely unsophisticated kind of entertainment that holotoons were. While they could, eventually, have potential for what he needed in the future, he was clearly not going to handle that himself and right now, they were of no interest to him. It was just a charade.

    “The Brave Banthas are fictional, they must have been based on the Jedi Knights. It’s us, the politicians, who really take care of the Republic. We serve the Galactic citizens and we are very fond of the principles of democracy.”

    “My favourite Little Bantha is Leero! He’s an inventor and he also likes whipped cream with shuura and zherry fruit salad. And huttza! Like me! Brave Banthas, peace for the Galaxy!”

    The child leaped into the air, bent back and kicked another ball of flimsi with suspicious precision. The movement reminded the Chancellor of some of the greatest practitioners of Teräs Käsi among the Jedi Knights early on in their careers. The dark lord in disguise was now sure – the talkative youngling at least had some traces of the Force.

    “Say, Anjie…you were drawing when I came in. But why do you draw? Do you want to become the Galaxy’s next best painter? Like the one your Brave Little Bantha was named after?”

    “No.” Anjie looked down. “I wanted to cheer up daddy. He’s really sad right now.”

    “Cheer up your daddy, eh?” That was too much kindness, with no single hint of ambition.

    “My daddy, yes...he’s a judge and his name is Aldo!”

    That name had a familiar ring to it. “Aldo? As in Judge Aldo Mencuri?”

    “Yes, that’s my daddy! If he was a brave Bantha, he would…”

    “Stop that and tell me where he is! He was supposed to be with Padmé!” The Chancellor used Senator Amidala’s first name by mistake.

    “Padmé? Daddy says that Padmé is more beautiful than my mother because the blondes stop being egg-citing at a certain pot of time.”

    “Stop! Just stop! Where are they?” The Chancellor was yelling at this point.

    “Right in this room, Cha…cha…champion!” The youngling pointed to the big door. He was on the verge of tears.

    The Chancellor stopped for a moment to think. His Master had once told him that every single being with a midichlorian count higher than normal could be exploited. Exploited and used as a means toward achieving the greatest objective – ultimate power. But at this point, he begged to disagree. This child was not worth the effort. Moreover, he didn’t seem ambitious enough. He didn’t seem ambitious at all.

    “Fine. I am going to join them!” He marched away and closed the door behind him.

    The boy broke into tears.

    Twenty minutes later, Aldo Mencuri came out of the conference room. Anjie was sitting in the same place where he had left him, crying and clutching a piece of flimsi to his chest.

    “What is going on in here? Anjie? The Chancellor told me that he saw my youngling outside and he didn’t seem particularly delighted.”

    “He does not like the Brave Little Banthas!” Anjie said, in-between weeps. “He said that politicians and ‘Deejay Knights’ were the ones who kept the Galaxy peaceful. He is evil, though his robe is nice! I don’t like him, but he is probably nobody’s uncle and that’s why!”

    “Anjie!” Aldo was gasping by this point. “You’re being disrespectful to the leader of all people!”

    “Am not!” Anjie shook his head. “Look, I drew him this, so he would be nice to me!”

    He handed Aldo a piece of flimsi. The drawing was messy, but it resembled a very old woman with a wrinkled face wearing a dark-coloured cloak.

    “I don’t understand this. Who is she?”

    “He! The Champion! It’s a parfait of him!” Anjie said, proudly. “I wanted to draw a parfait of you because you were sad, but he was sad, too…sad and mean. So, I drew him instead.”

    “Anjie…he does not look like that! He will never look like that!”

    “He does. I closed my eyes when he left and that’s how he looked like. You know, that thing where you close your eyes and you see one thing then you slowly see another thing inside…”

    Aldo was close to giving up. He did know that his son was very bright for his young age, even if a bit unusual. He wondered if he should seek advice – perhaps catch Seeg-mon D’Fraud on the HoloNet. His supervisor, Judge Gradd, said that D’Fraud’s HoloNet show was very good when dealing with family law, too. Perhaps this was something that needed to be closely observed. Or perhaps it was nothing and his little boy was just hungry, sleepy…or both.

    “Anjie, would you like something to eat?”

    “Yes! I will have what Leero the Brave Bantha has – huttza! Brave, brave little banthas, brave, brave little banthas…”

    “Not again!” Aldo shook his head. But he let the boy continue, regardless of how much he hated the Brave Little Banthas and their theme song. He sung it until he got a large slice of huttza at the nearby market with ryoo leaves, nerf ham and mooncheese. Then, of course, he fell asleep in the repulsortrain seat on the way back to Keren. And when they got there, he desperately needed to use the refresher.

    Strange, or maybe not, Anjie Mencuri never cared about politics again – not even when everybody’s lives, including his own, depended on it.




    Footnotes
    All the names referenced other than Anjie, Aldo and grandma Sooja are canon.

    Leero is indeed a Hutt painter from the Cold War era. I can totally see how he would be seen as "sweeter in history".

    Jug-Jug, the Gungan goddess of surfing is a fanon deity created by Acaciathorn. I think that it's fun if Humans swear by her, too! She looks chill.

    In A Rough Trade the character Soluna also refers to Luke Skywalker as a "deejay". Why? [hl=black]Because Anjie is her daddy and blood is not water.[/hl]

    Brave Little Banthas previously appeared in Letters Never Sent and Anjie was established as a fan of them.

    Huttza parlor exists in the enjoyable non-canon game tinydeathstar. Therefore, PIZZAAAAAA. And of course the Brave Little Banthas eat it.

    Ryoo is a spice I take to be GFFA's basil, because a world without basil is sad. And it further supports my Naboo = Italy shtick. <3.

    Mooncheese is soft cheese stored in liquid, shaped like a moon, of greyish-blue colour. It's commonly used as an ingredient of Huttza. So, yes, mozzarella. The idea came from a long series of nonsensical posts, which you can see here, here and here.

    The specific huttza dish that Anjie likes is a variant of the pizza vesuvio: tomatoes, mozzarella, ham and, in this case, basil.
     
  25. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    A very strange meeting between Palpatine and Anjie that seems to reveal the evil purposes of Sidious.
     
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