Introduction: Letter to my Agent

Introduction: Letter to my Agent

A Chapter by Green Regol
"

Something I've been dying to get off my chest ever since I sent her that last book.

"

Dear Tara Walsh,

I felt useless. Without a goal - without ambition. I’d finished all I’d intended to complete. What now? What was the next step after crossing the finish line? Did I take hold of the trophy, thrust it into the air and rejoice? Such a jovial celebration would only last a few days. Now the party was over and I was left searching for a new goal - a new idea.

The ceiling of my bedroom spun around in a dizzying circle. I watched the corners pass my line of vision and followed the upper lines of the walls until they met another. If only someone could’ve seen me then, sprawled as I was on my computer chair. My head hung back as my feet spun me round and round. This was what I did every day ever since the week after I published my last book. I would sit there, stare at the ceiling and spin. Then I would eat breakfast, shower and dress. After that I would spin some more. Then I would have lunch. Then spin. Then dinner. Then spin. Then sleep. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

“New idea,” I muttered to myself, “New idea.” I was getting redundant in my writings. They started to sound the same. I needed something different.

“I think we have something for you,” spoke a little voice. It was hardly audible, though - I doubted I actually heard it, but I answered anyway.

“We?”

“Yes,” it spoke again, “we.”

Frowning, I lifted my head from the chair and looked around. There was nobody there.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Do what?” I asked. My eyes darted low and found a little creature staring at me from not too far away. Once I registered its dark body and the harshly bent shape of its too-many legs I screamed, bolting out of my chair and cowering with my back against the wall. “How did you even get in here?” I cried.

It was a tarantula and it was huge. Its dark hairy body was about the size of my thumb and its legs were far too long for comfort. I couldn’t stop looking at it - if I closed my eyes, opened them, and then discovered it was gone I wouldn’t have felt at ease until I knew it was gone for good.

“I entered under the front door,” it answered. This wasn’t happening - I couldn’t believe it.

I whimpered. “No, but why? Why are you in here? I clean up after myself. I don’t leave food or garbage laying around. I don’t have any messes for you to hide under. So how are you here? What compelled you to come here?

It emitted an unmistakable laugh - little, but frightening all the same. “Don’t be afraid of something you can crush in an instant.”

“I hate it when people tell me that,” I whispered.

“You look foolish.”

“You’re a talking spider!”

“Is there any other kind?”

I took a moment to whimper more. “Why are you talking?”

“I speak because I must. I have a voice, and with it a story to be heard.”

“You’re a storytelling spider.”

“We all are, in our own ways. The webspinners weave tales; the rest of us tell them.”

“And you want to tell me a story.”

“Yes,” it answered, lifting its legs and scurrying towards me. 

I screamed and backed into my bedroom door. “Don’t come near me!” I cried, “Just - just stay there! Come any closer and - I swear to God - I will crush you so bad!”

“I don’t doubt it,” was the tarantula’s response. For a moment neither of us said anything. All I could hear was my heart beating in my ears and my whimpering breaths. When it crawled a few a inches away I yelped.

“Would you stop moving?” I whined. 

It only laughed at me. “Are you ready for the story? It’s a long one.”

“No. No I’m not ready for a story - I’m not ready for anything. How do I prepare myself? I mean - I have a talking tarantula in my room! If that can happen, anything can! How do I ready myself to expect the unexpected?”

“A paradox, I know, but it’s unimportant. I promise my visit is the only out-of-the-ordinary thing you will experience. After I tell you my story and you copy it down and send it out to the world,1 I will let you be.”

I stared, turning my gaze from the arachnid, to my computer, and back again. “You want me to publish your story.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because the web collection that once kept it was destroyed not too long ago. Millions of webspinners contributed, each adding every detail their scant memory could retain. I collected the webs and arranged them into a sensical storyline underground where it was less likely to be tampered with. There was a shifting in the earth and with it the story was scattered. Please, Ms. Regol. This tale is too great to be lost.” 

I couldn’t place how I knew what it was feeling. It didn’t have a face for emotion nor a voice for inflection, but I could tell it was sincerely begging. “Wow,” I muttered, for I realized how it conveyed how it felt via nothing but speech. This spider made me feel something for it, and that was what convinced me of it’s storytelling skills. “Alright,” I said, “That sounds reasonable, but why me?”

“You’ve managed to get so many stories out there. I want mine to be easily accessible and remembered by as many people as possible. Besides, I thought you would appreciate a new idea.”

He was right. I was in desperate need for something new - I was going crazy without it. Whether or not that was what had me believing spiders could talk, I wasn’t sure, but I was going to write the story my hallucination had to offer anyway.

I wouldn’t allow the tarantula anywhere near me at first. He always had to be in my view and at least five feet away. Time changed things, however. The story he told was way longer than expected - I couldn’t reasonably fit it all into one book. It took over three months for me to finish the first one, and in that time we grew closer. He became an everyday visitor and I gradually became accustomed to the tarantula sitting on my desk. One day he asked me why I wasn’t so jumpy with him anymore and I said it was because I thought he was a figment of my imagination. He laughed at me, told me his name was Bryant and that he was real. I would be visited by more spiders to help tell the pieces of the story he couldn’t remember.

In my mind I faced the world and all the terrors it had to offer. I stood proud and tall and dared it to inspire fear in me now that I had conquered my worst. I narrowed my eyes at the talking tarantula and growled, “Bring it on.”

He did. In the days that followed his spider friends arrived. They carried in dozens of notebooks and journals of varying age. Many were dated as early as mid nineteenth century while others were as recent as the 80’s. Names like Doctor Todd Winston, Marius, Vivian and Dragomir appeared a lot, so I had an idea of who my major characters were. I cringed a bit when I saw the subject matter, though.

“Vampires? Really?”

“What else?” inquired Bryant.

I grimaced. “There’s too many vampire stories out there. I asked for something new, not something over-done.” Rubbing my temples, I grumbled, “Now I need to relearn how to write for thirteen-year-old girls.”

“My, how warped and twisted has the female youth become?”

“They haven’t changed,” I answered, “vampires have. They’re all cute and cuddly now, misunderstood, people-loving and school-going. Whatever happened to vampires like Lestat and Dracula? They were kick-a*s and sexy. They weren’t all chaste and self-loathing, and they never needed some teenage girl to feel ‘complete’ or whatever.”

Bryant didn’t respond right away. I couldn’t guess at what was going through his mind. “I haven’t read many books of today,” he admitted, “but none of the vampires in Dragomir’s tale are at all like that. Except there is a love story.”

I wordlessly whined. “This will never get published - not now, anyway. Try again in another twenty years when the next craze is zombies, or witches or something like that. Or do you wanna pretend these people aren’t vampires at all? We can make them creatures like vampires, but we’ll call them something else.”

“To say they’re anything but vampires would be a lie.”

“A lie? They’re fiction - the entire story’s going to be a lie no matter what!”

“You would be absolutely right. If this were a matter of fiction it wouldn’t make a difference, but that is not the case. These are real beings. Most of the characters are still alive and would be insulted to be portrayed as something they are not.”

I laughed. “Really? Why don’t you introduce me, then? Oh, and how do they feel about publicity? I can get into some serious trouble for writing about people without permission.”

“Don’t worry about that - it’s already been taken care of.”

“Right, okay.  That still doesn’t help your story’s chances of being published.”

“Stop kidding yourself - you’re Green Regol. You can publish a book of photography and  have it proclaimed an excellent read.”

“Gosh, don’t make me blush.”

“I’m not one for  false flattery. Just please, if I’m to reveal any more of this tale to you, you must promise to write it as it is. There will be no changing of names or entities.”

“Alright, fine,” I said. I planned to do some changes anyway, but he didn’t need to know that. 

After copying down the skeleton of a story he told me and throwing in journal excerpts from the numerous notebooks, it was time to flesh it out. Bryant had neglected things like dialogue and imagery. I had to fight with him every time I made up a conversation or fabricated an event. Only when he decreed the dialogue in character and the events likely did he grudgingly let me carry on.

At the same time, I was writing a completely different version of this story. An account without vampires and with new names - the most recent story I sent you, Tara. I felt guilty the instant I sent it, though - I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t send you the original. Figment of my imagination or not, I promised Bryant I would. So here it is, the tale my tarantula told.




© 2011 Green Regol



Author's Note

Green Regol
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Featured Review

I think you used the word "whimper" too much, and that distracted me. Otherwise, I have nothing to criticize. I liked the fact that the premise of the story- someone (in this case a tarantula) who cannot write their own story has someone write it for them- was very much like one of my all-time favorite movies, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."

Also, I liked how OCD Green is at the beginning- all desperate for a new idea. I love that Bryant's name is Bryant and that the story Green has to sell everyone on is the most over-done thing ever- vampires. I'm actually quite interested in reading more, and knowing what the vampire story entails.

This was good writing and quite and interesting take on a very popular topic of fiction.

Great job, as usual.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

oh! sod the errors, I'm sure you know how to proof read. I'm guessing it's the idea and the concept you want feedback on. It's charming, it's quirky, I didn't like the going on and on about the teenage vampire thing, I think just a quick mention of it and a moan about it not getting published may be all that's needed to get people laughing, otherwise it sounds a bit like a rant and distracts. I also love the idea of you starting this via letter to agent, however, I think you should structure it more so as a letter and as if it is actually addressing the agent, it would give it a better feel, be a part of the story more. Still say exactly what you've said but in a slightly different way.

“I entered under the front door,” it answered. This wasn’t happening - I couldn’t believe it' would be 'I couldn't believe it was happening.' IDK. Anyway, I mostly wanted to comment to say how much this brought a smile to my face and how well you've got it down so far. I will read on :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

(((“Now I need to relearn how to write for thirteen-year-old girls.”

“My, how warped and twisted has the female youth become?”

“They haven’t changed,” I answered, “vampires have. They’re all cute and cuddly now, misunderstood, people-loving and school-going. Whatever happened to vampires like Lestat and Dracula? They were kick-a*s and sexy. They weren’t all chaste and self-loathing, and they never needed some teenage girl to feel ‘complete’ or whatever.”)))

These few sentences are freaking hilarious! I love the slight cynacism and insight here.......

I really like too how you can build a cool conversation in which it actually hold my attention. Dont let this story get too wierd though. I think it adquately wierd enough right now.....dont you think? :0)

I think you should go through this chapter again carefully and you will notice a few slight errors in your writing. But overall, I think this is good!



Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think you used the word "whimper" too much, and that distracted me. Otherwise, I have nothing to criticize. I liked the fact that the premise of the story- someone (in this case a tarantula) who cannot write their own story has someone write it for them- was very much like one of my all-time favorite movies, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."

Also, I liked how OCD Green is at the beginning- all desperate for a new idea. I love that Bryant's name is Bryant and that the story Green has to sell everyone on is the most over-done thing ever- vampires. I'm actually quite interested in reading more, and knowing what the vampire story entails.

This was good writing and quite and interesting take on a very popular topic of fiction.

Great job, as usual.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Widely expressed the different plains of the valley...... and connected with the web with golden threads..

Posted 6 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 12, 2011
Last Updated on July 25, 2011
Tags: Green, Regol, spider, tarantula, story, book, journal, Tara, Walsh, Bryant, webspinner, idea, spin, computer, chair, scary, frightening, funny, comical, agent, writing, published


Author

Green Regol
Green Regol

NJ



About
Green Regol, author of “Forgive the Monster,” hails from Pennsylvania and is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, making it out alive with a Bachelors Degree in Dra.. more..

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