LNH/REVIEW: The Tribulations of Kid Review #7
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Jan 8 20:04:06 PST 2012
Kid Review sighed. He lifted one foot into the air, placed it in front
of the other, then did it again. And again. And again. And again.
He passed a sign labeled "Doldrums". Everything was gray. And tired.
And boring. And pointless.
Why was he even doing this? He wasn't getting any closer to his goal.
He wasn't even sure he knew what his goal was anymore.
He lifted one foot... it hung in the air. Slowly, he tilted forward,
until he was folded up on his knees in the soft ashen ground.
There wasn't really much to do, so he would take a nap. It couldn't
hurt. It wouldn't slow him down. How could anything, when he didn't
know where he was going?
As his lids grew swollen and dim, he could hear footsteps ringing like
bells on the ground. Something about the sound made him look up, but he
couldn't focus on the striking shape.
The last thing he heard before passing out was "Wow, what an exciting
PREHISTORIC PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
The Tribulations of KID REVIEW, Issue #7
Reviewing: Journey into Procrastination #1: "Preludes and Distractions"
by Adrian J. McClure
Written by Andrew Perron
His eyes opened, and Kid Review sat up.
He was in a cave of some kind; a natural formation, inasmuch as there
*was* anything natural in the Letters Page Dimension. He lay on top of
a pile of old printouts, and a crackling fire was filling the space
with warmth and energy. He could see grayness outside, shifting and
blurring with a howl that he was almost sure was wind. On the other
side of the flames stood a figure.
This... person was androgynous, in the way children often are. Kid
Review decided that "they" was the right pronoun. They were staring
intensely into the fire, their edges seeming to blur with barely-
contained energy. Suddenly, they turned their head, and a wide grin lit
their face. They strode over and took a seat next to him. "Greetings!
How are you feeling!"
"Ah... better." Kid Review shook the remaining blobs of boredom out of
his head. "I guess you rescued me out there. Uh, thanks." Not that he
was entirely sure what there had been to be rescued from. No matter
what he experienced here, his true self was safe... right?
"No problem!" The being grabbed his hand and shook it rapidly. "Always
nice to have visitors!"
"Er, yeah... where are we, anyway?"
"These are the lands of my sister and I!" They gestured, and Kid Review
suddenly noticed there was another figure by the fire. She was wispy
and ethereal, yet when she got up and moved, silently, to sit next to
them, it was slow and heavy, as if she was filled with inertia.
"Where are you from, stranger!" his host asked. "Most people know that
it is not good to be out during an apathy storm!"
"Oh, well..." He wondered if he should be revealing his mission to
random inhabitants of the Letters Page Dimension, even if they *had*
randomly saved his life. Maybe an edited version. "Well, I'm going to
find something old and dangerous and... make sure nobody gets hurt by
The energetic one's eyes went wide, and even the... girl? next to them
looked faintly impressed. "Looks like you're doing a very dangerous
"Oh, I don't mean to disturb you folks--"
They shook their head. "No, no, that's all right! As long as you *want*
to do it! As long as you do it with your heart, your soul, your
kidneys, your biceps!"
"My... biceps?" Kid Review quirked an eyebrow, but was just answered
with an enthusiastic nod. "I see. Ah... what was your name again?"
"I have many names! So does she!" They hooked a thumb back at their
"sister", then leaned in and whispered, "But most of them aren't very
"Ah. I won't pry, then." At this point, Kid Review was fairly sure he
was under Fairy Host Rules, and that made asking questions a very bad
idea indeed. "Again, thank you for saving me. Is there anything I can
do for you?" Making sure one's debts were paid up, on the other hand...
They oohed and leaned over, whispering to their sister, who gave a few
tiny nods in response. They straightened up and put their hands in
their lap. "As payment, how about you tell us a story!"
"Hmmmm." He could kill two birds with one stone - he needed to recharge
himself with Review Force badly. "How about I tell you a story *about*
"Ooooh, meta! I love meta!"
"Well, then, here's a little something I like to call... a review of a
the first issue of a new series."
> Note: This is an anthology series for short-short stories and 24-
> minute comics which I can write to get myself started again when I'm
> feeling burned out on more substantial work, and reply to High Concept
> Challenges when I can't manage to write a full story.
"A useful idea, and I--"
"Why'd you do that thing with your voice?"
Kid Review turned to his host. "What thing?"
"That > > > thing!"
"Oh, well, I-- *how*'d you do that thing with your voice?"
"Nopenope, asked ya first!"
"...hm." He shrugged. "Well, lately, I've found that criticism of
single issues flows better for me when I go through them line by line.
I've been experimenting, lately, in combining this with the more
traditional review format. I'm hoping that it will allow me to give
feedback in a timely yet thorough manner; I know I've been lagging on
"Okay! I hope the people you're talking to on the other side of the
Fourth Wall agree with you!"
"Anyway, I might look into doing something similar."
> Also, in the
> spirit of the now sadly deleted Guttertrash, some or all of the issues
> will be CC-licensed so people can build on them if they want to for
> whatever reason.
"Oho. Very good - another thing I've been meaning to think about."
> She was Jenny Everywhere.
"Ah! See above comment!"
> She'd decided a long time ago against leaving this
> world. The adventures she could have in the future were well worth
> sticking around for.
"An interesting perspective - not one you find a lot in adventure
fiction, but all the more valuable for it."
> The ship she was traveling in was taken from China
> to this land called France by a tornado, and she was the only
> survivor. So she disguised herself as a man and joined the Musketeers.
"...of course! Jenny, I don't think your mental fanfiction is very--"
> "You have corrupted church and state!" shouted Athos. "You have
> feasted upon the blood of innocents! But no longer! Your day of
> reckoning is at hand, Cardinal Dracula!"
Kid Review cackled in glee. His host began to laugh, too, and it was
infectious - he could feel the laughter bubbling up inside him,
rolling, boiling bursts of mirth breaking out, half-choked like sobs of
He found himself both unable and unwilling to stop until the sister
came and gave him a pat on the back, and he felt the wellspring of
laughter slowly close up. He cleared his throat. "Ah, thank you." She
gave him a tiny, half-visible smile.
> "No!" said Aramis weakly, struggling to stand up. "You shall not harm
> my strangely attractive comrade in arms!"
> It was the only thing of her old
> life she had left. "I wooden stake my life on it!" she shouted,
> plunging the blade into Cardinal Dracula's heart. Then she realized
> that pun didn't work at all in French. One of her English-speaking
> counterparts must be tapping into her mind. Oh well.
"..ohhhh, wait, this is something that's actually happening in another
universe, I see now."
> Dracula screamed in pain. Then he drew a metal object from his robes.
> "Behold the Reliquary of Baphomet!" It glowed and his flesh began to
> shift and change. His bones began to crack and reshape, he started
> growing, and scales covered his skin. "Now at long last you shall see
> why I am called... THE SON OF THE DRAGON!!!"
"Oh, man, this is the coolest--"
> Wait a minute, thought Jenny, the Musketeer Jenny, to her counterpart.
> Don't you have work you need to be doing?
> Jenny Everywhere is an open-source character, who can be used in any
> story. Ever since I ran across her years ago I always thought her
> concept had an enormous amount of potential, but could never really
> think of a good story for her for a long time. Soon enough I'll be
> writing an LNH story where a version of her appears, but I wanted to
> post a shorter and simpler story that could serve as an introduction.
"Awesome! I've been wanting to use her for a while, but never thought
of a good way to do so. Of course, I didn't really go into the
information available about her, or I might have been inspired!"
> I wanted to write a story that explored her unique way of
> seeing the world. This is a story I wrote for another site that does
> so from a different angle, which I think makes a nice complement to
> this one: http://ficly.com/stories/25444
"Hmmmm! Indeed. Recommended reading."
> I have no idea what she would be in
> the LNH20 world, though. Maybe she could be some kind of Flash Gordon-
> esque space adventurer. Feel free to use her there--or in any other
> imprint, obviously--however you want.
"...hm. This makes me think of the ideas I had, early on in the LNH20
thread, about the characters finding out that their world had only just
come into existence..."
"Overall, this was a strong, self-contained humor piece. The only
nitpicks I would make would be that the setup could be clearer and that
the final punchline is a bit weak. But, hell, this was done in TWENTY-
FOUR MINUTES. It's not only good by that standard, it's *exemplary*."
"...and that's pretty much how I do it."
Kid Review's host applauded. "Bravo! Bravo!" Their sister had fallen
asleep in their lap, apparently lulled to a comfortable rest by his
He bowed with a theatrical flourish. "Thankyew, thankyew. Tip your
They giggled and gestured to the cave mouth. "The storm has totally
abated! Are you going to head back out on your journey!"
Kid Review nodded. "I think so. I've no wish to leave your
hospitality, but I must continue on my quest."
"Indeed! Well then! The best way to get back on track is to follow
the red, blue, green, black, purple, white, orange, brown, and indigo
"Yep!" They slid with care from under their sister and walked out the
cave mouth. Out there, the rainbow road passed right by; Kid Review
had been only feet away when he collapsed.
"Huh. How about that." He shook his host's hand. "Well, thank you very
much. For everything."
They nodded, grinning. "Good luck, and don't start anything y'can't
finish! 'less of course you're setting up a subplot for later!"
"Um... yeah!" Kid Review waved and took off down the road.
The host watched him for a few minutes, then went back into the cave.
Their sister was waking up, with a whispery yawn that, frankly, was
adorable. They sat down next to the fire. "So, what do you think!
Will he find his way to our brother all right!"
She nodded, slowly. "yes. and i'm afraid he's going to try and save
Author's Note: Whew. Okay, now that I have this one knocked off, I'm
going to continue doing reviews of single issues for the moment. I
promise that the next one won't be quite so story-heavy.
Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, really has to do a 24-minute story
before the deadline.
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