The Historically Sad Summer Studying Snafu

  • I don't know if this can be called a story, but it's an entry for the HSSSS.

    Sely held up a book, trying to focus on reading even though the IRC alarms on his computer were chiming incessantly. His acquaintances in #cythera were, once again, pestering him to write a story. He had tried to explain to them how busy he was with his summer reading project, but they refused to understand. Although he had already re-read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Ring series, he was still working on re-reading every Star Wars book and, at the rate he was going, he'd probably have to skip Silmarillion - a failure he'd experienced in 2013 and did not wish to repeat.

    "So you'd rather arbitrarily re-read the same books you've read every summer for the last ten years, than produce a new creative work that everyone would enjoy?" asked one of the channel occupants, 453.

    Well, duh, thought Sely, but he was too polite to say so. One could torment one's acquaintances without sacrificing one's manners. Sely merely sent her some links to Wikipedia articles about diligence and laziness, to try to educate her.

    Truth be told, Sely did mean to write a story about his character, Selax, but he didn't feel like doing it at the moment. And his summer reading project took priority.

    Sely chuckled cruelly at 453's outrage (she hated wikilinks, which was why he shared as many as possible), but decided the channel was distracting him from his reading. "I'll be back later," he told #cythera, and promptly logged off.

    (Two weeks later)

    It was a Friday evening, and Sely was looking forward to a weekend of reading. After visiting some cats, that is. On his way home from work, Sely pulled into the local PetsMart. Upon entering the store, Sely made his way directly to the cat section (he was quite familiar with it because he came by to visit the cats nearly every day).

    Imagine Sely's surprise, when he found the cat aisle to be quite full of his Cytheran acquaintances. From previous meetings, Sely recognized 453, and her Cythera-hating husband Jehezekel. The unruly little girls who were running around knocking things down and unwisely sticking their fingers in cat cages were probably their children. He also recognized (from photographs) his fellow moderator Tyrael, and the mastermind who revolutionized Cythera hacking, Bryce.

    "Well, this is unexpected," commented Sely.

    "Surprise!" said 453 happily, before quickly changing her tone. "Why didn't you come visit us when you were in Kansas?"

    "As I have mentioned," explained Sely with remarkable patience, "I wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible."

    453 sulked off under the guise of attending her children.

    "Are you all here to look at the cats too?" asked Sely.

    "Actually, we're here looking for you," said Tyrael. "This would have been a lot easier if Wizzy had given us your address."

    "Wizard respected my privacy?" asked Sely with a hint of surprise. "I'll have to remember to thank him!"

    "No, he was perfectly willing to give it to us, but he couldn't remember it," Tyrael explained.

    "I see," said Sely emotionlessly.

    "So Selax," spoke Bryce. "Are you ready for that trip to the zoo?"

    (Two days later.)

    Sely collapsed in his apartment once his Cytheran acquaintances finally went on their way back to their homes. The weekend had been... well, it had been fun to torment the others. But being around people was tiring, and it had ruined his weekend of solitude.

    But, someday in the distant future, he would probably be willing to repeat the experience. For now, he was content to watch violent, gory TV shows by himself.

    (Fifteen years later.)

    Fortunately, Sely had managed to complete his summer reading project successfully despite the zoo interruption, and he continued to successfully complete his tradition for the next fourteen summers. But the summer of 2030 might be the end of his winning streak.

    Sely was once again in Kansas, visiting his family. The timing of this trip was not ideal, but he felt obligated to attend his nephew's wedding. It was important to his family. It was, however, making it quite difficult for him to complete his reading tradition.

    Weddings were not Sely's idea of a good time. Wearing a suit, crowds of people, socializing... Ugh. It was a shame his family felt so strongly about his attending the wedding, instead of livestreaming it as he'd suggested.

    Sely sat down with his family and waited for the wedding to be over. He would leave immediately after the ceremony and skip the reception. He intended to celebrate privately, in Barnes & Noble.

    Sely's nephew and his bride kept making sappy eyes at each other, which frankly repulsed Sely. He was glad his nephew was happy, but this was deliberately trying to provoke the guests. Meanwhile, the bride was surrounded by an alarming number of bridesmaids. According to Sely's bulletin, the bridesmaids were her 12 sisters. The bride's name sounded familiar. Jadwiga Smith... where had he heard that before? He'd never met his nephew's girlfriend, but perhaps he had been told her name.

    At long last, the wedding was completed. Sely tried to make his exit quickly, before a crowd of people blocked the door, but unfortunately he got stuck behind Wizzy, who wanted to have four hour conversations with everyone he saw.

    Finally Sely was able to make it past Wizzy, and almost made it to the door, when-

    "Guess what, Sely!"

    Sely sighed and turned around. 453. What was she doing here? Her smug grin was somewhat disturbing.

    "You've finally decided to admit your love for Wikipedia?" Sely guessed.

    "Nope. Give up?" asked 453.

    Sely was eager to get out and didn't particularly want to waste time playing guessing games, so he said, "fine, what is it?"

    453's family was catching up with her and starting to gather around. There was Jehezekel the Cythera-hater (who had never responded even after Sely killed off his characters in TS-canon, proving how much he hated Cythera), and... all the bridesmaids? And the bride? Wait...

    "We're family now!" exclaimed 453. "Now you have no excuse not to visit us anymore!"

    "When I said my priority is to my family, I meant my immediate family," began Sely, but he was interrupted by someone else.

    "Congratulations on your new niece, Selax!"

    Sely turned around again to find Tyrael. He was holding hands with a pretty lady with a ponytail, and two children with adorable teeth held their free hands.

    "Thank you," said Sely. "What are you doing here, Tyrael?"

    "What else is there to do in Kansas?" pointed out Tyrael.

    "Didn't you know?" spoke up the bride, Jadwiga. "Tyry is my honourary uncle!" She snuck in beside Tyrael to give him a hug.

    "Ah, I did not know that," said Sely.

    "I used to visit him every summer when I was little!" reminisced Jadwiga. "Good times..."

    Between 453's family and Tyrael's family, Sely was surrounded. It wasn't ideal, but he had prepared for this eventuality. He silently turned into air, and floated away. He floated and floated until he was well away from the wedding and the crowd of people, then he re-materialized into his normal form and pulled his book out of his pocket. Finally, some peace and quiet.

  • Does that count as a happy ending? I can't tell. O_o

  • I pictured him floating away into the sky, but then when he re-materialized...that doesn't seem like a happy ending to me.

  • Let's assume that Sely managed to finish his summer reading tradition, and therefore it is a happy ending ^_ __^

  • I think it better to read something over the summer than not to read at all :p .

  • Me too ^_ __^ But of course, you take it (like many things) a lot more seriously than I do : __D

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