Thursday, April 08, 2004

She Hates My Futon

Several years ago, I found an online short story, recommended by some writers on the Star Trek fanfiction newsgroup. She Hates My Futon wasn't finished yet, so I was hesitant to start it, not wanting to be left hanging. But I went ahead because the first chapter hooked me.

By the end of the twenty-third chapter, it was almost 5AM! I had kept telling myself, "Just one more." hoping to get to bed. But the story pulled me in with thoroughly believable and sympathetic characters, a realistic setting, and a narrative that just kept moving along in a what-happens-now way. Everything about this story felt real.

Sadly, the story was abandoned. I only mention it now because the author has announced he will be posting a new chapter "real soon now." I'm excited because I so want to find out how our hero will resolve his love triangle turned quadrangle. Will it be the hot, sexy college girl? Or the soul-mate single mom? Or the suddenly available coworker? Will his best friend save his marriage? And what's the deal with the mysterious and magical Girlfriend Express?

Here's a taste from the first chapter:
The issue was just brimming with ads for cheap futons and I couldn't resist turning its newsprint-scummy pages. Futon Paradise Ltd… Futons your girlfriend will hate… Really, really cheaply made Futons… Modern Futons…. Futons that sit so close to the floor that you feel like you're sleeping on the floor. As per tradition I was about to chuck it in the corner when I noticed a completely different kind of ad nestled between the ones for speed reading classes and the "Abs-master."

"Girlfriend-Express,' it read. "We'll find you Ms. Right."

They were offering to find me a girlfriend for $19.95. I wondered how they could even make such promises. Why does the Better Business Bureau let someone operate such a scam? Why would the Gutterfrump Times even accept their ad? I thoroughly scanned for the catch. I had no doubt that one was lurking somewhere.

The phone number was a local call. Not a 1-800 number. Not a 1-900 number. Nothing that said $5.95 per minute - just one price. I noted that it even had the same first three digits as my own number.

I made the call.

"Girlfriend Express, can I help you?"

"Yeah, I saw your ad and wanted to find out more."
I hate to hook you on an incomplete story, but it's just that good. I'm not sure if the author can recapture the old mood that made his writing work, if he'll see it through, or even if he's got an ending in mind, but I'm pretty sure you will also find yourself reading "just one more chapter."

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