Happy World Book Day!!!!
To celebrate here´s a short piece I wrote titled:
The Annual Celebration of Literary Icons
Wade Watts was deep in the OASIS, when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
Blinking as he unplugged and adjusted his eyes to reality, he was surprised to see a bright golden envelope lying under his right shoe.
Curious, he opened it:
You are cordially invited to the ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF LITERARY ICONS
If you wish to accept nod your head.
P.S. We have biscuits.
Now quite confused and wondering if this was a joke, Wade absentmindedly scratched his head up and down.
A monotonous robotic voice said:
“NOD REGISTERED. INVITATION ACCEPTED”
Suddenly, a blinding white light flooded the room and pulled Wade into an infinitely long corridor. All was quiet and still. As Wade recomposed himself, a peculiar animal made his way past him. A white rabbit, wearing a waistcoat.
“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” the rabbit cried
The rabbit ran through one wall. “if my mind is paying tricks on me then I feel sorry for my body” Wade thought to himself, as he hoped for the best and ran towards the wall.
Wade was surprised to land in a feasting hall with vibrant colours, acoustic music and laughter all around. What a sight to see. Surrounding the massive hall were doors varying in shape and size and looking back, he saw that the wall he´d jumped through had transformed into a gigantic ancient door. In fact, all the doors around the hall were repeatedly changing shape with the arrival of each new guest, of which there were many.
Just as Wade began another loop of questioning this being reality, he was greeted by a rather well dressed, attractive gentleman.
“Old Sport, I´m unimaginably honoured you´ve accepted my invite,” he said looking deep into Wade´s eyes, as if they´d been friends all their life, “I´m sorry for being a terrible host, but I´m unable to keep you company much longer”. He then bowed and disappeared from sight.
Wade was puzzled, alone once again. Just as he´d felt back home, something tapped his shoulder.
Wade turned to find a rather cheerful chap wearing a tall colourful hat, waving enthusiastically at him.
“I am the Hatter – Mad Hatter. Was that Gatsby?” he asked with the broadest smile Wade had ever seen.
This was Wade´s opportunity, the Hatter would surely explain everything to him.
“What am I doing here? What´s happen- LION! LION! LION!” yelled Wade leaving the Hatter behind as his fight or flight instincts engaged at the approaching Lion.
The Mad Hatter just giggled and tipped his hat to the lion in greeting.
Unfocused and still trying to flee, Wade bumped into a large, round dwarf, who was so wide in size that he didn´t move an inch. The dwarf was accompanied by thirteen other dwarves, and one shorter, beardless dwarf: wait- was that a hobbit? Yes, it was Thorin and Company, Wade remembered being told their adventures when he was younger. They were all roaring in laughter, though not because of Wade- In the middle of the dwarves were two men, in Victorian attire.
“Elementary, my dear Watson”
“That´s a funny catchphrase that is” Bombur chuckled
“Do it again!” commanded Thorin Oakenshield
“I´ve done it four times” the disgruntled Englishman in the deerstalker stated.
“Please” the group begged in unison
A voice echoed through the hall interrupting the dwarves request:
“PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR TABLE ON YOUR TICKET AND TAKE YOUR SEATS”
Not remembering ever being given a ticket, Wade checked his pocket regardless, and was shocked to discover a golden ticket with join the red table inscribed. Glancing up he saw a red table (how didn´t he notice that before?), a shade so red it would anger the tamest of bulls. All around him were colourful tables. Were they there before? At this point, Wade no longer felt inclined to question any occurrences and decided to just go with it.
Sitting at the red table, Wade took a deep breath to process what just happened.
“I survived a lion attack!” without realising, Wade had vocalized that
“A lion? I´ve never seen one before. Do they look like Aslan?” said a voice to his right.
Wade blinked back “Are you a bear?”
“Yes, you can call me Paddington.”
Paddington looked over his shoulder and addressed a flying monkey in waiter attire.
“I think I want something special this year, do you have any marmalade?”
Suddenly all the lights went out, sinking the hall into darkness. A single spotlight illuminated a podium at the back of the hall, which was approached by two tall old men who both looked incredibly wise.
“Welcome to the five hundred and fiftieth Annual Celebration of Literary Icons.” they addressed the colourful tables.
“I´m Gandalf” said one
“And I´m Dumbledore” said the other
Polite laughter erupted in the room. Confused, Wade looked around to see that the Mad Hatter had climbed on top of the yellow table and shouted:
“It´s funny ´cause they said each other´s names. They´re playing up to the fact that they have same traits and similar looks!”
The laughter grew at his ridiculous explanation of the not so good gag.
“Very funny, if you allow me to say so Gandalf” quipped Gandalf.
“Thanks Dumbledore” said Dumbledore.
The room was silent, no more polite laughs. The Mad Hatter again climbed to the table.
“They did it again” he roared in laughter.
While some laughed with him, others were bored by the repetition of the unfunny gag.
All of sudden, a loud bang crashed through the feasting hall, and the floor started shaking. A man in a purple turban came running from an entrance at the back.
“They´re here!!! They´ve sold this room to the wealthier Annual Celebration of Television and Film Characters!!! RUN!!!!” he screamed
Panic took over the hall. Everyone started running in different directions as characters began losing their dimensionality and some even disappeared completely.
“I thought you ought to know” said the man before collapsing to the floor.