Actions

Work Header

Six Characters In Search of a Fandom

Work Text:

The Stepdaughter says, “I’m a genius.”

No one else says anything for a while.

The Stepdaughter repeats herself, and hurls herself out of her chair, shoving across the room to pry her eternally fourteen-year-old brother away from the computer. “Lay off the Warcraft a second, I have to check something.”

-

[YuleMod2] so i was like
[YuleMod2] trying to purchase a new server and the guy e-mails me back
[homerow] You can buy servers?
[YuleMod2] you buy space on one
[YuleMod2] anyway
* figliastra has joined #yulechat *
[YuleMod2] this guy, he’s read my books and he recognized my name
[Rowan|writing] Welcome, figliastra!
[JesusPandaHippo] Hey!
[YuleMod2] and he joked about giving us a discount and i wished it wasn’t a joke
[YuleMod2] hey figliastra
[beedledeedle] yo
[figliastra] Hey guys, question: Is Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore up this year?
[YuleMod2] so we got to talking about the seventh one
[JesusPandaHippo] Is the what in the what what?
[yulemod1] Check the submissions page, figliastra.
[yulemod1] or the nominations page.
[YuleMod2] and if I send him an autographed copy when it comes out, he says he can give us an upgrade or something
[figliastra] I did, it’s down.
[figliastra] they’re both down.
[JesusPandaHippo] I have it up in tabs, I can’t find it under that name.
[searchingweasel|semihere] Sei personaggi = Six Characters In Search of an Author.
[searchingweasel|semihere] I know it’s up because I requested it.
[YuleMod2] it’s cool, but feels kind of dishonest
[JesusPandaHippo] Yeah, found it, figliastra. One request, two offering so far. Tiny fandom is tiny.
[homerow] Hey, at least it has offers.
[searchingweasel|semihere] It’s an absurdist play by Pirandello. Of course the fandom’s tiny.
[searchingweasel|semihere] It caused a couple of riots in its day, and today no one understands.
[searchingweasel|semihere] It’s like having a fandom for the Rite of Spring.
[searchingweasel|semihere] In 1913.
[searchingweasel|semihere] Only they actually tried to make dinosaurs dance.
[beedledeedle] that is the nerdiest fucking thing I’ve heard today.
[searchingweasel|semihere] Yeah, I know. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to getting one of my opera requests. I mean, at least the same person’s probably offered for a couple of those fandoms.
[figliastra] I wouldn’t be so sure.
[YuleMod2] and I wish the upgrade could be this year instead
[searchingweasel|semihere] What, you’re offering?
[figliastra] No, I’ve tried writing that story before. I need an author.
[searchingweasel|semihere] Oh, you’re requesting.
[searchingweasel|semihere] Well, guess that means I have a chance of writing it.
[YuleMod2] so that we could stop crashing
[searchingweasel|semihere] (Happened with one of my other fandoms too. Only requester, only one offering.)
[JesusPandaHippo] Six Characters sounds cool, though. Can I read it online?
[figliastra] Yeah, we’re public domain. Check Guttenberg!
[JesusPandaHippo] In English or Italian?
[figliastra] Both. In English, I prefer the Murline. He makes us sound less dated.
[searchingweasel|semihere] We...? Us...?
* figliastra winks.
[figliastra] Thanks everyone!
* figliastra has left #yulechat
[YuleMod2] and like actually have an archive on christmas morning
[beedledeedle] I dunno, Error 502 makes a good stocking stuffer.

-

“All yours.” The Stepdaughter pats her brother on the shoulder, and then leans down to actually look in on his Warcraft window. “—what do you mean, you can’t pause it?”

The Boy narrows his eyes at her, and starts burning through his avatar’s healing spells.

Either way, it does not deter the Stepdaughter from her mission. She turns to the rest of her family of characters and announces, “We’re going to be a Yuletide fandom.”

The Son rolls his eyes. “I’m opting out.”

“Are you kidding? You’re just the type for most of these writers. A shortsighted and selfish asshole. And a man.”

The Mother cries.

“But what is a Yuletide fandom?” the Father asks, edging to the Mother’s side to comfort her, if with a certain perfunctoriality “And why should we want to be part of one? All of our searches for authorship have proven disastrous. The original play did not turn out nearly so well as we have hoped, and the subsequent revivals and translations have all had the same ending. Even the operatic version has failed us in our quest for authorship.”

“It was atonal,” the Son says. “Atonality never did anyone any favors.”

“I liked it,” says the Stepdaughter.

“Be that is it may,” the Father goes on, “whatever this Yuletide fandom is that you speak of, how could it be any different than everything else we’ve done in pursuit of an author?”

“Well, for one thing, fandom is almost always more about the characters than the story,” the Stepdaughter explains. “People who write fanfiction don’t pretend that the characters belong to them. They usually smack big disclaimers on it, these characters aren’t mine, I’m just doing this because I love them.”

“Look at you, looking for love,” the Son says.

“Look at me, about to get some.” The Stepdaughter smiles at him, big and toothy and winning. “My point is, these fanauthors are a bunch of people who know there’s no one right way to do things, and that we’re our own characters. We may need an author to get our story told, but we don’t need a canon.”

“A canon?” the Son asks.

“A hard-and-fast way of interpreting our story. A be-all, an end-all. An irrefutable truth. We may need authors to make us live, but why live once when we can live on in interpretations? Multiple interpretations! Interpretations by people unconcerned with the Author and entirely concerned with the drama, our drama, our story and our livelihood!’

“We still need an author,” the Son says.

“No,” the Father corrects. “We need a community.”

-

FANDOM PIMPING: SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (Pirandello (sort of))
by la figliastra (figliastra) in yuletide

at November 9th, 2010 (12:44 pm)
current mood: determined

So there is this completely awesome cast of characters. Ostensibly, they’re part of a play by Luigi Pirandello, or by some other guy in-story (it’s complicated and he’s dead), but they break out and go looking for someone to tell their story so they can live. It doesn’t work out, though, and the Managing Director is kind of an asshole (which makes him a great character!), and even though they live out their play no one is happy with how the actors act it out.

Anyway, because it’s such a small fandom (only two offers and one request this year) I wanted to make sure people knew how amazing this cast is and what potential they have for Yuletide.

The Six Characters are all part of a dysfunctional family. The Mother and the Father separated when the Mother fell in love with another man, and their Son went to live in the country. (We don’t have names except for the Little Girl, everyone goes by their roles. It’s actually really useful.) The Mother had three kids with her lover—the Stepdaughter, the Boy, and the Little Girl. The last two don’t have speaking roles.

Anyway, what happens is that the Mother’s lover dies before the play begins, and because she’s destitute, the Stepdaughter has to work as a whore to support the family. And then one day, the Father turns up at the bordello (which is behind an atelier run by Madame Pace, and she is one heck of a character, let me tell you) and pays for the Stepdaughter’s services, without knowing who she is! (It’s the best scene in the play.) Of course the Mother interrupts, but whether or not the damage is done it’s done, and the Father and the Son take the Mother and her children into their home out of some backhanded remorse. And then it all goes downhill from there, and the Boy and the Little Girl suffer the most. I won’t spoil the end for you, but it’s terrifying and moving and you really should check us out!

But we can’t tell all there is to tell without you! So please, help give Six Characters an Author this Yuletide.

 

(3 Comments)

by Catalina Deep (deeperwell)
at November 9th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

Um, is this some kind of isurrendered thing?

 

by a weasel with a mission (searchingweasel)
at November 9th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

Seconded—I’m the other one offering this fandom and I’d love to see more requests!

 

by Generous Degenerate (yulemod1)
at November 9th, 2010 (3:20 pm)

The fandom pimping post is this way! I don’t want to delete this though until you’ve had a chance to copy it. Comments frozen.

-

“Can she do that?” the Stepdaughter asks.

The Boy shrugs.

The Stepdaughter rolls her eyes, and lets him go back to Warcraft.

-

The Father and the Son are arguing again—most probably about what, precisely, this holding tank of literary limbo is, and whether they do, in fact, have to stay here together—and of course, the Stepdaughter is fed up with it. Lucky for her, though, the Boy has abandoned Warcraft to take a nap in the Mother’s arms, and as the Mother gently sings to him, the Stepdaughter takes this opportunity to sit at the computer again. She checks her e-mail (one would be surprised how much e-mail characters receive, which is to say, any at all, unless they are the Spidermen and Ianto Joneses of the world), updates herself on the goings-on of real people and real authors, and has just begun to browse GoFugYourself and MaleSubmissionArt when she feels a tug at her skirt.

It is, of course, the Little Girl. The Stepdaughter smiles, and takes her little sister into her arms, and sits her in front of the computer.

“Sweetie. You don’t know what this is, do you?” Well, no wonder she’s frightened, her big brother sits here For the Horde all day. “It’s the Internet. What is the Internet? It’s a place, dear, you know, a place where people pretend they can be everywhere at once. We’re there now, you know, you and I, and then we’re really going to be there, and then we’re going to be everywhere.” She rocks the Little Girl back and forth, hums, maybe the same song that their Mother is singing. “Oh, honey. Do you think they’re going to be good fans to you? You don’t have any lines, after all, and you don’t have it in you to be an Ensemble Darkhorse or anything. What a wretched part that must be! Too young for any romantic entanglements, and I should say thank god for that, relegated to the role of an observer, a plot device. Just as on the stage you were there as a symbol, as a spear-carrier to prevent me from soliloquizing in the interest of maintaining diegesis, on the Internet you’ll be a plot device just the same. You’ll deliver flowers to that man so that he and our Mother may reconcile in some sort of fix-it scenario. Or you’ll die, just as horribly as you always do, and that man will comfort me inappropriately, because fandom seems to enjoy that. Or they’ll attempt to discern your thoughts, because this is prose, and they will have to find some way to narrate you, justify you. Will they make you hate us all? Will they make you symbolically aware of the forbidden love between that man and The Manager? Or will they make you have a crush on Adam Lambert?”

The Little Girl looks up at her, puzzled.

“Don’t bother,” the Stepdaughter explains. “The whole point is that he’s gay.”

-

“How do you think we’ll be able to tell if it’s working?” the Stepdaughter asks the Father, over supper. (The Mother does the shopping. The Stepdaughter has not asked how it is possible to get food here. A lot of it seems to consist of delicious cake.)

The Father takes a bite of the aforementioned delicious cake, chews thoughtfully, and washes it down. “I imagine it will be similar to the circumstances we had in when our story very nearly became a play. We found ourselves at that stage door in Rome—”

“I thought it was in Sicily,” says the Son.

“I thought it was in New York,” says the Stepdaughter.

“I did as well,” says the Mother. “Or Milan. The one at Milan was well received, at least.”

“—regardless,” the Father goes on, “I suspect we shall simply find ourselves there, on the Internet, as you say.”

“It’s a silly place,” the Son says. “All that noise and all that weird fruit.”

The Stepdaughter scoffs. “Well I thought we were there already. Since Guttenberg, at least, if not before. What came first, Guttenberg or YouTube?”

“—We’re on YouTube?” The Mother wails, covering her veil with her hands.

The Father consoles her. “It’s just a college production, don’t worry. And a few interviews. Nothing incriminating.”

“Honestly.” The Stepdaughter sighs. “That must be it. We’re already there, on the Internet, so we won’t be able to tell if fandom has caught on to our existence yet. Great. Just great. So we’re stuck here just the same as—hey.” She peers closely at the Son. “Why are you sparkling?”

The Son turns to glare at her, but only appears nauseated. Well, nauseated and sparkling. “Because I can’t stop thinking about you,” he says—or rather, mutters sullenly, with the faintest vestige of chagrin.

“Son of a bitch,” the Stepdaughter says.

The Mother cries.

-

LaFigliastra @capocomico Hi!
35 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra I thought I blocked you.
34 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico You blocked me on AIM and MSN. This is Twitter. So. Hi~!
34 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra Hi. Fine. What’s the problem now?
33 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico We’re trying to become a Yuletide fandom, and it’s mostly working out, or at least I think it is, but now @nonetuofiglio is all
31 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico Cullen.
31 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra Cullen?
30 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Sparklypants bloodsucker.
29 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra How is this any different than normal?
29 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Because this time it’s literal.
28 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra Literal.
28 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico Literal.
28 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico He’s using /adverbs/.
27 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra Are you sure this isn’t Pirandello’s fault?
26 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico What, because of that crap @nonetuofiglio made about being the voice of the author among us? That was a load of crock and you
24 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico know it.
24 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico I hate this fucking character limit.
24 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico It’s your fault for blocking me on AIM.
23 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra Whatever. So. He’s a vampire. What do you want me to do about it?
22 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Get us a better author.
21 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra HA.
20 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra HA.
20 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra HA.
20 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra HA.
19 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico You are so not helping.
19 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra HA.
19 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra Look. You can’t pick your fans. You can pick your authors, sometimes, like you tried to pick me, but you can’t choose what
17 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra kind of fandom you’re going to get. And it’s even harder if you’re trying to skip the canon part and go straight to the
17 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra fanfic. You’re going to attract the same kind of fans who skip over the canon parts and go straight to what they want to see
16 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra out of the characters. And, well, it looks like you just got yourself a helping of populism. It’s a wonder you’re not
16 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra shacked up at Hogwarts.
16 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Fine. Fair. Now what am I supposed to do?
15 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra Get a restraining order and hope that your stepfather isn’t a werewolf.
14 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra OH WAIT.
14 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Cute. Seriously.
13 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra I am serious. You can’t choose your fans. They choose you. Same as you can’t choose your directors, or you actors.
12 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra Or your detractors.
12 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Yes, you can. Directors and actors at least.
11 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra I can. You can’t. You’re a CHARACTER.
10 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra A character with a Twitter account.
10 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra Why the hell am I still talking to you?
10 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico So you can tell me to look at my life. Look at my choices.
9 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra Six Characters in Search of a Sassy Gay Friend. I really should have expected that.
8 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
8 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra I’M NOT YOUR FRIEND.
8 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra I’M NOT SASSY.
8 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra AND I’M ONLY GAY IN LIKE TWO PRODUCTIONS OF THE SHOW.
7 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra THREE IF YOU COUNT THE OPERA.
7 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra AND I AM PRETTY SURE ERNEST MCCHESNEY WAS STRAIGHT.
7 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Who?
6 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra The guy who played me in the opera version premiere back in 1959.
5 minutes ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico Oh.
5 minutes ago via Twitter for Android

capocomico @LaFigliastra My point, dear, is the same as the last nine thousand times.
4 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra You’re only hurting yourself by trying to resist the constraints of your own medium.
3 minutes ago

capocomico @LaFigliastra I do believe that was the point of the play.
2 minutes ago.

capocomico @LaFigliastra GOOD NIGHT.
1 minute ago

LaFigliastra @capocomico It was an absurdist play!
1 minute ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico THERE WASN’T A POINT!
1 minute ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico You bastard, you’ve blocked me, haven’t you.
less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra @capocomico Suck my figurative cock.
less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

LaFigliastra HEY EVERYONE. @capocomico does lascivious things with coloratura sopranos! And terrorists! And @neilhimself! AND SHEEP.
less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

-

“Are you a werewolf?” the Stepdaughter asks the Father.

He blinks. “Is that some kind of parlor game?”

-

“I believe at one point we were pilots,” the Father is saying—sometime later, that is, “or you were a pilot and I was an engineer. There was an intermediary stage in which we were ice cubes, or possibly figure skaters. Either way, there was ice involved. Or I believe there was ice involved. Now we are toast. Toast!” he cries. “I think I preferred it when we were beating eggs.”

“What the hell am I doing here?” asks the Leading Actor from his plate, spread thickly with Nutella.

The Nutella had no comment. (And also no universally correct gendered pronoun, not even in German.)

-

The Little Girl is practicing swish and flick motions with a cooking spoon.

She very nearly hits the Stepdaughter in the head.

Her hair is looking especially frizzy lately.

“Bloody Hell,” the Stepdaughter cries.

-

On a particularly sunny Tuesday, the Leading Actress comes by, and even bothered no knock on the door once before she kicked it in. She is blond, in this incarnation, and tiny, and dressed in more sensible clothing than any of the Six Characters have ever seen her. In fact, they probably would have greeted her hospitably if she hadn’t just booted the door clear off its hinges.

“Hi,” she says. “I’m here to stake your stepbrother.”

“Shiny,” the Stepdaughter says. “He’s right over there.”

-

“We should have an anonymous kink meme,” the Stepdaughter suggests one night, over dinner (which again, consists primarily of delicious cake, but also weird fruit and ♥).

“For the love of god, why?” the Son groans from where he is still staked to the floor. (Apparently there was some confusion as to whether he was supposed to crumble to dust, or simply slip into torpor. Either way, he isn’t having dinner.)

“Because otherwise we’ll never get a Temeraire AU.” The Stepdaughter pushes a forkful of &heart around her plate. “Because really. Dragons.

The sounds of the Boy playing Warcraft in the next room are immediately audible.

“There’s no faster way to establish what kind of fans we do have,” the Stepdaughter goes on, more seriously. “Leave a few prompts, see what other prompts get left, see what gets filled, and then we’ll know what they want.”

The Father, as before, considers this. (He is no longer partaking of the delicious cake. It is possible that his time as a slice of Italian toast has deterred him from complex carbohydrates for the foreseeable future. The fact that he was not even turned from toast into bruschetta has been the subject of much ire.) “Leaving aside the problem of a kink meme for characters for whom consent and incest are extremely relevant concerns in their personal drama—a subject which is, to say the least, controversial in this house—what would the repercussions be for characters to design their own means of sexual exploitation?”

“I don’t know,” the Stepdaughter says. “But it worked out okay for Eli Roth.”

-

Son/Boy, ropeless bondage
(Anonymous)
2010-12-04 05:39 pm (local)

predicament bondage is totally okay too.

 

Son/Boy, hardcore discipline
(Anonymous)
2010-12-04 06:11 pm (local)

The harder the better!

 

Son/Boy, first time
(Anonymous)
2010-12-04 06:16 pm (local)

i wanna take a ride on your disco stick

 

Son/Boy, spanking
(Anonymous)
2010-12-04 06:32 pm (local)

Or strapping! Or paddling! Not whipping, though, keep it blunt so the Son can see his handprint and everything.

 

Son/Boy, daddy kink
(Anonymous)
2010-12-04 06:35 pm (local)

“I can be your father figure”

because really the Boy needs a much better one and i’d love to see something where he turns to the Son for that kind of comfort instead of shooting himself and just reaches out. so also h/c, I guess.

 

Boy/Son, Boy tops!
(Anonymous)
2010-12-04 06:39 pm (local)

and it’s filthy and the son gets all bratty and demanding! c’mon, you know you want to see this too!

 

-

“He doesn’t even have a speaking role!” The Stepdaughter punches something. It doesn’t break. “Ow.”

The Mother cries.

“It must be a very different play if the brothers aren’t fucking,” the Stepdaughter says, wringing out her bruised hand. “And what’s an Impala?”

-

It is near enough to Christmas in this literary limbo that there is a sort of snow outside the Six Characters’ window, gathering gently on the windowsill and obfuscating the decorations on the other houses of dubious characterization across the street. The Stepdaughter glares at the snow, because it gets lines of description and she doesn’t.

“The hardest part is the waiting,” she says, to pretty much no one, because pretty much no one is listening. “What if no one picked us up in time? What if we don’t even get any treats? Did someone write a Dear Yulegoat letter? Oh shit, who was supposed to write the Dear Yulegoat letter?”

“But what is a Yulegoat?” the Father asks, proving that, in fact, someone had been listening. “And why a goat? If the people who coined the neologism were attempting to coin an inoffensive moniker, why did they use a goat, a symbol of stubbornness and—”

“Nobody cares!” the Stepdaughter shouts. “And this isn’t a play anymore! We can express ourselves by means other than dialog.”

A production number commences.

The production number in question involves several dozen cheerleaders, some of whom are comic relief lesbians.

The song in question is “Long Hard Road Out of Hell”. In timbre it’s closest to the Marilyn Manson version, either in spite or because of the copious autotune.

-

On Christmas morning, the Little Girl receives a Care Bear.

The Stepdaughter roasts it on an open fire with the chestnuts. Then she kicks the Boy off the computer so that she can check the AO3 and see if—

Error 502.

Page did not respond in a timely fashion.
Either you found a page that took too long to render or we're getting more requests right now than we can handle.
You can try refreshing the page, the problem may be temporary.

:(

“Fuck this shit,” she says, “is there any cake?”

“The cake is a lie,” the Father says. “But we do have some Nutella.”