The Tenth One Ch. 02bythechangedone©
Chapter Two: Gateway to Infinity
"Let me get this straight," says Pauline."You want the loonies to get scared shitless, just so you can open a portal to another universe?"
"Precisely!" answers the publisher. "We're gonna stay here, inside the doc's office. The orderlies are in position, too. We're gonna use Skype to communicate. Infinity awaits! Isn't that exciting!?"
"Skype?" inquires Pauline, while displaying a more cautious approach to the entire endeavor.
"Yeah," the publisher nods. "It's what we need. Plus - it's free!"
"Are you sure the shrinks are gone?" asks Pauline.
"They're never gone," the publisher asserts. "Can you imagine a loony bin without loonies supreme? Never gonna happen! Everything's been properly arranged. Don't worry, girl!"
"True," nods Pauline. "So when the loonies come in, what then?"
"We record all we can, of course!" exclaims the publisher.
"And what are we gonna do with the recordings?" asks Pauline.
"I don't know yet," the publisher says. "But hey, turning you into a writer was the best idea EVER!"
"Well, yeah," Pauline says. "I didn't really enjoy the little dress with tassels hanging from the hem that much, though.. plus the black Pleaser heels.. what was that about?"
"This is America!" the publisher exclaims. "In America, pageantry always goes a long way! You entered the writing business with a BANG!"
"I made a bang, all right," Pauline replies. "When I fell on my ass during the signing of the book."
"And that expression on your face was priceless!" the publisher throws her hands in the air. "Especially the curls, covering your face! You almost broke your nail! Awesome! Not to mention it's all done in record time!"
"That's a good way to disguise reality as fiction," Pauline says. "I'll give you that."
"Exactly," the publisher clicks her fingers. "That's why you're so realistic and the money keeps pouring in! How many people think about linguistic differences between realities? Exactly! And we've got it covered, among other sui generis things!"
"I appreciate your honesty," Pauline says. "That it's about the quid pro quo."
"Yeah," the publisher continues. "No free lunches! I'm not hiding that fact. You see, writing is about fooling people. You can even appear foolish - with appear the operative word. What counts is whether you're aware of what you're doing.. and making sure your eyes see all there's to see."
Pauline nods in acknowledgement.
"Dancing, as well as joining rosary circles," the publisher continues. "That's what it's all about!"
"That's an awesome metaphor," replies Pauline. "I'll keep that in mind."
"I think that's only fair," the entrepreneur says. "You know, given the amount of vanity publishers and fishy agents out there. Flattery goes a long way. Just tell them how brilliant they are, and they'll be kissing your ass in no time!"
"Vanity knows no bounds," Pauline nods vigorously.
"They're in!" one of the orderlies says via Skype.
"Good," the publisher replies. "Make sure everything runs smoothly!"
"We've got every single inch of the corridor covered," the orderly replies.
"We'll see where this goes," the businesswoman replies. "Pauline - observe."
"It's Halloween and we're in a mental institution," Pauline grins. "There's no better place to observe a bunch of loonies than this."
"Not to mention there's a tornado warning," the publisher adds. "This is a perfect storm."
"We see them!" the publisher informs the orderlies. "Nine of them. By the way - straitjackets are a good idea!"
"This is," Pauline mutters. "This is unique."
"Like I said," the publisher says. "You're lucky. Every single one of them has gone haywire after arriving in this reality. We think it's only fair to test the inter-universal bridge on them."
"The monsters are coming!" the orderly exclaims.
"Watch this!" the publisher grabs Pauline's hand. "Watch this!"
A phantasmagoric dance is unfolding in front of Pauline's eyes: nine individuals, restrained to the point of grotesqueness, contort their bodies in all possible ways imaginable.
"Damn!" the publisher bursts into laughter. "This is better than the Exorcist!"
"Look!" the orderly exclaims. "Something's happening!"
"Pauline!" the publisher grabs the woman's hand. "Let's go!"
"This is so cool!" the publisher squeaks in excitement. "Look at the mirage! Just like in China!"
"This isn't a mirage!" Pauline replies. "They're disappearing!"
"Abort!" the publisher runs toward the loonies, waving her hands. "Abort!"
"We can't see anything here!" the orderly can be heard. "What the hell's going on down there!?"
"The patients are gone," Pauline replies on Skype. "They're just.. gone."
"That wasn't part of the plan!" the orderly exclaims. "Damn! That wasn't part of the plan! Do you know what mess we're in now!?"
"We'll fix this, don't worry!" the publisher adds her two cents. "They weren't even registered, remember that! This isn't our fault, I'll explain everything to the shrinks!"
"Good luck with that," the orderly replies. "I was never here!"
"Someone out there's gonna have a heck of a Halloween," the publisher mutters to herself.