Sunday, December 6, 2009

Guest Fic Rec: A Figment of Definition


Being a writer of sorts, I’m a sucker for the written word. A sucker that’s completely ignoring the fact that I haven’t read a book with a spine in the past several months, thanks to fanfiction, but I digress. Anywho, when I discovered a Twific that centered around the two main characters exchanging letters - anonymous letters, mind you – I was in Like Flynn!

Definition is told in the third person, but centers for the most part, on Edward’s point of view. Edward plays guitar in a band that includes Jasper, Emmett and Carlisle. The band is on tour, and is managed by Edward’s brother, Gabriel. The story opens with Edward sitting alone at the front of the bus, in the middle of the night, agonizing over how he may have failed to meet expectations with his performance at that night’s show. We get a glimpse into Edward’s true feelings about his place in the grand scheme of things, as he struggles with feelings of inadequacy and invisibility.

We also learn very quickly that Edward is a cutter.

I’m going to admit at this point that when the first mention of Edward’s “dirty little secret” arose, I came dangerously close to giving up on the story and moving on. Self-mutilation doesn’t set well with me, and generally speaking, topics like this tend to be romanticized when they’re discussed in Twific. The fact that Edward is disgusted by what he’s doing, and desperately wants a reason to stop, may have played a little into my decision to keep reading.

I’m so glad I did.

Just before Edward is about to sneak off with a spare set of guitar strings, he notices a crumpled piece of paper tucked in the corner of the room by some cabinets. He’s curious. The piece of paper turns out to be a letter written to no one in particular. It’s the type of letter that someone might write to get something off their chest and then throw away. The fact that the letter is anonymous, yet so telling about the writer’s deepest thoughts grabs Edward by the throat.

The letter starts out with a textbook definition of the word “depression” followed by what this particular word means to the writer:

Depression isn’t sadness. It’s a complete and utter void. It is a state of absolute emptiness. There is no emotion at all; there is no true sadness, no true pain, no true anything. You eventually realize one day that you don’t feel a thing, so you start faking reactions just because you know they’re expected. Nothing reaches you; you’re a blank slate. A complete shell. A ghost of what was once a human being, if you were ever one to begin with.

Flabbergasted that one of his band mates is suffering is silence, Edward decides to respond with an anonymous letter of his own. Edward’s letter starts out with a definition as well, and his word is “inferior.” Following the definition, he explains what he struggles with, unbeknowst to those closest to him:

You say you are nothing but bare bones, a ghost of a human being...I am the name that dies on everyone's lips when someone brighter, more beautiful walks in the room. Just a flash of recognition, the faintest impression made like footprints in the sand. Easily washed away when a more powerful force washes ashore. You want to disappear... I already have. You feel nothing… I AM nothing.

After writing it, Edward left his letter in the same place he found the one written by his friend, wondering if he would get a response.

And boy, did he get a response.

The mystery writer lashed out; shut him down for attempting to reach out to him and urged him to let it go. Edward, of course, does not and the back and forth exchange continues.

Progressing over several weeks, Edward and the mystery writer continue to exchange letters, pouring their hearts and deepest, darkets demons onto the page. Through the course of this dialogue, Edward’s friend helps him to recognize the strength he possesses and gives him the courage to stand up for himself, and demand to be recognized and respected. Edward, in turn, helps his friend to feel… anything, and to understand that his depression doesn’t define who he is as a person.

Throughout the course of the story, Edward finds himself developing feelings for his friend that exceed the boundaries of platonic friendship and, really, without giving too much away, I can say that it is all too beautiful to watch this play out. Both Edward and his friend hold on to their anonymity as they begin to express their feelings for one another with promises that, when the time is right, all will be revealed.

If you’re looking for a slash fic that’s chock full of smut – and really, Rosalee Lorraine can defintely dole out the smut – this fic may not be your thing; it’s not until late in the story that you get a taste of what the author is capable of doing with a lemon. If you’re looking for a slash fic that explores self-discovery and pays homage to the now defunct art of writing letters, then read it.


Beautiful Figment writes angsty/slashy/funny/hawt dry humps that makes the admins of this blog positively swoon. She is the 'mazing writer of the short story Louder than Words and the multi-chaptered fic, What I Failed to Realize.


  1. The phrase is "in like Flynn". Phrase came to be because of Errol Flynn bedding everything.

  2. Technically, either one would work...since there's also a James Bond parody movie "In Like Flint" that made a play on the original phrase. I would like to say I did this on purpose, because I'm an immature jackass, but I'm not that smooth ;) The fact that I was intrigued by the concept of the fic still holds true, regardless of the error.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Im trying to find this story butt ffn say it gone. Was the story pulled or did the author possibly change her penname????

  4. I think she pulled it. I couldn't find it elsewhere. :-(


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