Breaking Down Support Group
Alice: (whispers to Leah) What a loser!
New Guy: (Oblivious to the group’s negative reactions, he quiets his chuckles.) Anyway, your former mod, Mrs. Cope, succumbed to the addition, so I will be taking her place. I will lead you on the path toward Real Life by showing you how to turn your backs on fanfiction and embrace being normal.
Now, I understand this group uses names from the Twilight saga to identify yourselves; I happen to disagree with this practice, but I won’t make you all change your identities midstream. So, I guess I need to pick a name for myself. Hmmm, you can all call me… (He smirks hugely)…Edward.
Everyone: (pandemonium ensues) Hell no! No way! Are you freakin’ kidding me?
New Guy: Why not? Edward is a perfectly acceptable name…
Renee: (interrupting him, standing suddenly) Let me put it to you this way. We (waving her arm indicating the entire group) all feel like we’ve met Edward. We know Edward. You sir, are no Edward!
There is applause and nods of agreement from the group as Renee sits down.
New Guy: (exasperated) Fine. What would you suggest?
The group chatters quietly while some suggestions are called out. James? Aro? Jacob?
Emily: (stands) Wait! I’ve got the perfect name for you. (Everyone quiets while Emily smiles sweetly and tilts her head.) Mike Newton.
In a moment of solidarity, the entire group likewise smiles sweetly and tilts their heads.
New Guy: (annoyed and grumbling) Fine. Call me Mike. Ok, let’s get started. First tell me who you are and a little bit about yourselves.
Angela: Hey Mike? (She stands up and joins him at the front.) Allow me to introduce everyone. I’m Angela. Over in the slash corner are Alice and Leah (they wave). They don’t only read slash; they just prefer to read stuff about Jasper, gay or straight. Then in the back we have the PEGs or P.E. Girls. They’re big fans of all fics that are “Pretentious” and “Erudite”. (They are all grouped around one woman, staring down at her hands, unaware of Angela’s words.) Next to them we have the “init”s. They’re called that because they are just “in it” to read about sex. (The girls giggle.) Both of those groups spend a lot of time on their respective forums. Then we have our resident fanfic writer Renee (she nods). And this is Emily. (Angela turns to Mike and whispers without moving her lips.) Whatever you do, don’t mention O.P. around her.
Mike: (cluelessly loud) Opie? Like Ron Howard’s character on Andy Griffith?
Emily: No you moron. Not Opie, O.P.! It stands for Obscenely Popular! She’s my absolute favorite fanfic author…
Angela: (quietly to Mike, before returning to her seat) I tried to warn you…
Emily: (continuing without a breath) Her story “Freakin’ Fantastic Fic” has got the whole fandom in an uproar. Everyone’s dying for the next chapter update because B & E’s situation is finally going to be resolved…I hope. Oh, it’s such a good story. But nobody knows anything about O.P.; she’s very mysterious and reclusive. All we know is she writes Edward better than anyone else in the…
Leah: (interrupting) Oh please…
Emily: (angrily) Leah! I know you refuse to read anything with more than 2000 reviews, but not reading something just because it’s popular is…idiotic!
Leah: I’m not stooping to join the herd mentality. I read slash, Jasper fics, and little known authors. I’m not reading anything by anyone “obscenely popular!”
Emily: You don’t know what you’re missing. Maybe she’s obscenely popular because she’s simply a wonderful writer.
PEG leader: (looking up) According to Wiki, there is evidence that she’s Stephenie Meyer herself.
Init leader: Well, I read a blog that said she was really J.K. Rowling.
PEG leader: Oh c’mon! You can’t seriously believe that! If J.K. is writing fics, she’s writing H.P. fics.
Emily: You’re both wrong. She’s actually someone in this very room. (The group gasps.) Isn’t she…Renee?
Renee: Oh for the love of God! How many times do I have to tell you Emily: I am not O.P.!!
Emily: Then why won’t you ever tell us which fics you’ve written?
Renee: (Angrily) Fine. If that’s what it takes for you to end this delusion, I will. I wrote “There is no Story” and “Imaginary Fic”.
Emily looks crestfallen. Angela freaks out, approaches Renee and starts shamelessly fangirling.
Angela: Oh, I just finished “There is no Story” and I loved it! It’s sort of a takeoff on The Matrix, right? You’re a really good writer.
Renee: Yeah, thanks Angela. You can stop hugging me now...
Mike: OK, have we all forgotten the reason we’re here tonight? This isn’t a fanfiction book signing for crying out loud. We’re here to walk the path toward Real Life. Remember our Breaking Down saying:
Fanfiction.net is the devil’s own tool.
You’ll waste too much time & feel like a fool.
And never go visit Twilighted.net…
Everyone: (loudly in unison) Your brain will be turned on; your dreams will be wet!
Mike: (angrily) Hey! That’s not how it goes! You’ve ruined the saying! (Everyone giggles. Mike shakes his head in exasperation.) It’s like you people never left junior high.
Emily: (shrieks) My friend just tweeted that the newest chapter of “Freakin’ Fantastic” has been posted!
Everyone jumps up and gathers their stuff. Someone calls out “meeting adjourned!”
Leah: (looking shocked) Alice? You’re leaving? Don’t tell me you read it too?
Alice: Of course! You should get off your high horse and read it, Leah. It’s really…well…freakin’ fantastic!
The PEGs look up in surprise to see the room rapidly emptying.
Angela: (addressing the PEGs) We just found out “Freakin’ Fantastic Fic” was updated.
PEG leader: Yeah, we know. We’ve been reading it on my new IPad. Hey girls…let’s take this next door to the coffee shop, finish reading the chapter and then discuss it. (They all get up to leave.)
Mike: Wait girls! What about walking the path toward Real Life? Don’t you want to be normal? You know…like me? (No one answers. Mike sits down, dejected. Only Leah and Angela are left in the room.)
Leah: (trying to be nice) Look, Mike – being normal is completely over-rated. Deep down, nobody really wants to be like you. (She smiles sweetly, then gets serious.) Anyway, we all know that there are worse things in this world to be addicted to than reading and writing.
Mike: (frowns, then jumps up) I think I’ll get some coffee next door. I’ll show those PEGs how “Presumptuous” and “Erratic” Mike Newton can be! (Mike leaves. Angela walks over to Leah while shaking her head.)
Angela: Is that tool actually chasing after a PEG?
Leah: Oh I hope so. They’ll eat him alive. (They chuckle, then Leah looks nervous.) So…you beta’d it. Do you think they’ll be happy?
Angela: (grinning, as she gently elbows Leah) They’re gonna be freakin’ ecstatic, O.P.
A/N: With many thanks to OlgaNYC,