Eons ago, while people were still wondering about whether the world was indeed a world, or just a stage… things happened for a Reason.
They happened because someone Wrote them down.
Someone had the inclination and concern enough to observe events closely enough (or just think them up)…and then take the pain to sit down and Write them all out. Along the way they might have embellished them a little, but it is a small price to pay to learn of the invincibility of Hercules, or the relative immaturity of Tutankhamen, or the sheer flirtatiousness of Krishna. All of these very human tendencies needed to be Written down; and once Written down, the manuscripts had to be taken care of (but not too carefully: history is more believable when discovered on parchment than crisp yellowing bond paper), and passed on. All the while ensuring people did not assume that the Writings were just a good source of fuel. Or, later on, toilet paper. There is a reason that it took years for the Vedas to be written down.
Parts of our magnificent epic history that we do not want to completely believe as true – such as Rama being a goody-two-shoes – we call mythology. This does not mean it does not exist, or did not happen. The way it was Written was the way that things ended up happening. Life gets placed in a retroactive continuity in this manner.
In short: being a Writer meant something once upon a time.
Then of course, one of the Writers had to go and focus on a carpenter who could bring the dead back to life. The fact that the said Writer actually had the hots for the said carpenters’ girlfriend has never been talked about.
Who’s to talk about it? The guy in charge of that Wrote the story. And now, we have had at least four religious wars, as well as another two political ones. Not to mention the thousands of wars people have with a so-called “conscience” everyday thanks to a religion based on it.
Now, the concept of Writing is normally known to be a tad risky. In the past, when people didn’t really understand it, Writers were mistaken for janitors, which could get very irritating after a while. The number of rulers in India who have been killed within a few years of ascension is well documented. There were also a number of palaces in the old days that had to be demolished due to the janitors quitting, and rulers made quite a profit by claiming insurance against “pillaged” palaces. Today, this type of insurance is non-existent, thanks to companies finally catching onto rulers actually having a hearty meal with their pillagers, post-pillaging.
Writers shape reality. Being able to talk about history as it happens is a risky business, and Writers are always very carefully trained. The screening process was more rigorous than most marine exercises. There was no waking up at five in the morning, or jumping as high as you can off a smoke stack… but there was a lot of screaming and yelling and trying to come up with the most creative method of dancing naked around a fire.
It was not so much a fire as green muck on the ground, but nevertheless. Tough.
How does any of this relate to the creation of the carpenter religion, one may ask. How does this relate to the current apparent disarray in the Writers, one may wonder. Once the aforesaid Writer completely rewrote some history, as opposed to mythology, and made his carpenter a saint, the shape of the world changed. One of the changes that were wrought was that the Writer was killed in one of the many stoning events that were to happen. This was in part because he wrote the stoning event to have occurred in the very location he was sitting in, and missed the minuscule detail of exactly when. Not having such detail means that things start happening in natural progression; ergo, the Writer died even as he Wrote of interring the carpenter. It is said there were to be details of necrophilia… but those are mere rumours. Not having a trained novice meant that, for a time, the art of Writing was in the hands of untrained novices.
Which, as has been seen in Fantasia, can have deep, dark results.
On an unrelated note, it can be pointed out that any kid knows when its babysitter is incompetent. This usually leads to the child taking matters into its own hands. Eventually, the babysitter is found sitting on the couch with a slightly bemused expression on the face, surrounded by a blaring TV, a few broken plates, and a gigantic mess which will take about two days to clean up… the child will be found far away from such destruction by the time of such discovery.
We shall now relate this to the next thing that happened. History had to start writing itself.
History is no kid when it comes to Writing, but having never been given a chance with a pencil; now that it was presented with a near-empty canvas, a lot of ink, and no babysitter…suffice to say, Rorschach would have gone ballistic with the results. Time was a bully, but even bullies pale in front of headstrong kids. The scene was psychotic. One kid with a lot of ink, one inky bully biding his time to get back, and one very messy world. On this very real, very existing world, between the wars and the “discovery” of things that had existed before its inhabitants, people remained acutely blissfully ignorant. Some, of course, tried to continue Writing. The lack of yelling in front of green muck had its toll on the quality of such work, and very soon there were a whole lot of Writers in the world. A bunch of different things got written, parallel universes came into existence, Elvis was born, a few world wars were made to happen due to cosmic interventions, while Time kept mucking around with what was once well documented history. And mythology. He had hit puberty now, and a lot of his mucking about was with Nature (who was getting pretty hot and slutty, what with global warming and pollution).
It suddenly becomes very obvious why scientists are so obsessed with naming the start of everything the “Big Bang”.
Humans, however, continued to notice nothing amiss. They remained obsessed with why Brad and Jen broke up; and previously, whether Elizabeth I was ever going to marry. The universe was getting into rough times; the world was going for a toss. Writing had all but become an art for the large majority, and this was how it was getting to be used as well. People talked about all sorts of things in writing, never realising that an ancient power was looking to rediscover its outlet, which had been pretty well stopped up for centuries, Time’s misdemeanours notwithstanding. Most of the people this ancient power had tried to use so far had ended up blabbering about the world being a stage, or even about the answer to everything being a random number.
The law of averages was waiting in quietly in the corner. Two thousand years of not being old enough to have fun with Time and History, plus fifteen of not being able to play around with quantum anything would get frustrating for anyone. Every kid knows just when to have its existence felt at the most inconvenient of times – which mostly happens in movie theatres, or, as in this case, around the time Time and Nature were alone in a dark room – and thus, the inevitable finally happened.
A Writer was born.
Physicists also realized that strings could have something to do with the universe.
Excerpted from my never-went-beyond-10000-words novel from last year. Yes, I know its Pratchett-ized.