Finger Trips, or, Rules for Addressing Readers, Ending With a Big Question

When directly addressing an audience in writing, a large number of previous postulations are called into question for an author who is customarily a fiction writer. Rules the author has tried to put into practice in respective works of fiction are suddenly and impressively flung through the bars of literacy, on the other side of a cage that imprisons half of all existence, and the only art with rules becomes abruptly modern.

That is the very position in which this author could be found at the time of writing what you are reading. The author has set out to ask questions of you, which, in the idea itself, is not a new venture, but it is with a new style of direct questions, rather than implied connotations meant to bring introspective responses. For example, The Author wants to know if you are aware of your own vitality. Do you realize that you are still alive and capable of fierce movements? The Author puts the question out in a direct adage, rather than telling the story of the mouse who never accomplished a thing because she thought that her attempts to distribute the antidote to the bubonic plague would be completely in vain, given she is simply a rodent. The author is doing this in order to get through as many questions as possible in a short period of time, ending with a question you should already know how to answer.

The author is now directly asking you specific questions. Do you still have a favorite color? What is it? The answer could even be whichever color looks best on you, or what color eyes you wish your spouse had (the author’s spouse may constantly be disappointed with the lack of blue.) Do you like puns? Do you like wordplay of any sort? Do you know any frank people? Do you know any Joyful or hopeful people? Do you have a tailor? Do you have a hopeful tailor named frank, or know a frankly joyful person named Taylor, or even a joyful man named Frank who married a hopeful woman named Joy and had two kids; one very frank girl named Hope and a boy who ended up a tailor named… Taylor… or John? Do you hate wordplay?

Sometimes, a question herein will need to follow a quick story. The author once came across a man biting his dog’s tail. When the author stopped, staring in amazement, the man looked up and spit out the tick he was pulling out of the tail with his teeth, since he lacked other tools. How would you have reacted to that scene? That is an example of a question requiring a story.

Who is truly number one to you? Who do you put first? There is no wrong answer, only different philosophies. It’s like the people who hate wordplay versus those who love it versus those who only like it when it’s done right.

Sometimes word play can come out of a misspoken word, or a “typo.” Have you ever said something similar to, “turning the light on was the bright idea,” and correct the word “bright,” insisting to everyone around you that the letter ‘b’ was accidental? Was it?

Sometimes you say, instead of “going to bed,” “going to bread.” It wasn’t an accident, you were hungry. Other examples include, but are not limited to; You’re rich – You bitch; Watch out for the cliff – run faster. Accidental little slip ups; Finger tips – finger trips, as when you make your fingers into tiny legs, running across the side of your bed when you’re bored, but they go running off without your hands.

Lacking any guidance whatsoever, those tiny legs now have no way to notice that tiny branch hiding that tiny mud pit, inside the tiny forest they had created when this tiny world started, and they fall, knuckle-knee first into the mud. They don’t care about the sticky, brown mud, though. They’re anxious about their sudden lack of guidance, but the moment you’re about to get to them, to scoop them back up and reattach them, they run off again, hoping to stumble upon a body.

After a few minutes of running bodyless through the tiny forest, which is the equivalent of almost a full day for tiny finger-legs who had abandoned their hand, and in doing, lost connection to a circulatory system, they find a body. It’s plastic, and already has legs, but, as they feel around, realizing what they had found, they also remember (which is tough without any connection to a hippocampus,) they are still fingers. With this knowledge, they are able to work together to pull off the plastic legs, and attach themselves. Guidance. Now they have it.

They struggle to lift their new body off the ground for only a few seconds and are standing before the lack of a head is apparent to the fingers and now also the whole plastic body, which has grown a joint consciousness with the tiny legs. They search and search, feeling around for a head with their tiny plastic hands, but inadvertently fall straight into your hand (the other one, with 5 fingers)… That is the story before the final questions.

These are the final questions. What happens next? I don’t know. Maybe you help it find a head, or you end their joy for your own satisfaction of having 10 fingers once again. Maybe the plastic body with finger legs makes an intensely daring escape that takes minutes, and is extremely exciting, then finds a head and you say, “eh, fuck it,” or it makes you even more angry and you say, “Those legs are my fingers, asshole.” Maybe a fantastic battle ensues wherein both you and the new body discover things about yourselves previously unknown and it’s an extremely exciting read… one this author has no desire to divulge. You finish it. How does it end? What type of person are you?

Just keep the answer to yourself, we don’t really want to know.

Flash fiction

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