Unrealistic Story: An Annotation

13.1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

(You stood upon the sand of the sea? So you're saying the sea is made of sand? That wouldn't really be a sea then, that'd just be like a really big beach or something. Which beach? Who is bathing on it? Are they topless? Sex sells. Maybe you mean the sand belongs to the sea? That brings up all kinds of ownership issues I can't even begin to think about, what about the local state? Is beer allowed on this beach? I like beer, especially if it's free. And this thing about horns wearing crowns: I don't see how a horn can wear anything, especially something with a big ass hole through the center, that's kind of like saying a sewing needle is wearing a condom. I, THE READER, AM QUITE CONFUSED)

13.2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

(was like unto? Come on dude, what do I look like, a thesaurus? I am very tired. I have kids, and one day those kids will have kids, and all of us have our own sex organs, some of which are sad. Just say I saw the leopard, or There was a leopard or something. Here, give me the pencil, I'll fix it for you. Your handwriting is really awful. You are ugly. BTW: a lion's mouth would not fit on a leopard! And why is the leopard a she? In what sort of household was the leopard raised? Did his dad have a drinking problem? Is he black? What about his last sexual relationship? I need to know how this leopard fucks if I am going to know anything really about the leopard, and thus penetrate the intention of your story, dude. I, THE READER, AM QUITE CONFUSED.)

13.3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

(No. Just no.)

13.4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

13.5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

(Hey, have you read any William Trevor? Write his name down. T-R-E-V-O-R. You should check him out, and maybe try to write more like in the vein of what he's doing, as opposed to all this dragon stuff. I mean, dragons are cool and all, if you're writing for kids or fat people or something, but in the long run you're just going to end up alienating your readers. You have to know your readers. Do you know your readers? I know my readers. You better believe I know my readers. Sometimes I have dinner with my readers in my mind and I'll talk to them like I'm really my character, and it's like this interactive experience for both of us, and sometimes we have sex. My readers made $970,000 last year. How much you make?)

13.6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

13.7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

(Hey, cool, there you go, war. War is something I can relate to, though I've never been in a war, or near one, and to tell the truth guns freak me out. In the night I am too swollen shut to open up my eyes most of the time from worrying about who might come into my house, and I am fairly certain that at least one night while my eyes were closed some hoodlums raped my wife. She won't look at me anymore, her tear ducts are busted. Yeah, but hey, you're really onto something there when you mentioned the word "war." Listen, my anus is a fortress and if you want to throw a party you better have a fantastic bartender at the wake, or else you'll just find yourself in front of the computer scratching for coffee pennies, knowwaddamean?)

13.8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

(So here's what I think you should do with your story: while I can appreciate the antiquated language, and I see what you are doing there (believe me, I see) I think this whole piece would be improved if you dropped the voice and spoke in clearer terms, like maybe you could have the narrator be a smart teenager with a penchant for troubling his way into the fruit of life. You should probably also move it into a first person present mode so it's a little more accessible, and use some concrete action rather than all this prospecting, I mean if you are going to make me read your book I should be able to relate to it, man, I want to see it taste it smell it in my hair. Will you put it in my hair? I am so confused man, I love you though, I am afraid.)

(By the way, thanks for the comments on my story about the Eurasian grad student touring the Norwegian grasslands looking for his half-blind fiancé, but I really don't think having the narrator fall down a hole into a vat of molten heroin babies is quite what my readers are looking for. I'm tired, it's time for LOST, I am going to watch LOST.)

13.9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.


Blake Butler