synczomb's sandbox

1872 days. That was how long Whiskers had been stuck here. "The City of Abandoned Stories," they called it. The place where Characters from Stories of Authors who gave up on them would eventually end up. Some were here because their Authors were discouraged. Others were here because their Authors didn't have time to write. And others still, such as Whiskers, were here because their Authors simply did not care about them. Whiskers sighed and looked behind him, seeing his beautiful ginger coat blend seamlessly with his shiny, orange scales just before where a typical cat's hind legs would be. He often wondered why his author would leave his tale unfinished.

This thought was on his mind as he walked down the street. Whiskers hated walks; they always gave him too much time to think about his circumstances. But he was running low on milk, and he didn't have any other way of going to the grocery store, so walk he must.

The grocery store was too cold, as always. Not even Whiskers' warm-blooded half could stand it. His snake-like tail lay limp on the floor. "Come on, little buddy," Whiskers said to his tail, "we have some milk to find." Whiskers often spoke to his own tail. It wasn't a very good conversation partner.

After wandering around for a few minutes, he eventually found what he had come for. He picked up a jug of milk with his teeth and set it down in his basket. As he left the dairy aisle, he quickly glanced at a small fountain filled with fairies. Whiskers didn't understand why the store didn't do anything about them. The city had strict laws against killing other Characters – Ideas can't exist without hosts, after all – but this was clearly an infestation. Also, he recognized one of those fairies as the traitor from what would have been his Story, and he didn't want to be reminded of yet another figure who broke his heart.

Business was slow today, so only one aisle was staffed. Whiskers stood behind a young human with squirming tentacles sticking out of his mouth and placed his milk on the…conveyor belt? Was that what it was called? He couldn't remember. Regardless, that's where he placed his milk.

The human-shaped abomination left, so Whiskers stepped forward to buy his milk. The clerk was a cactus, humanoid from the waist up, planted in a flower pot resting on a stepladder.. Her arms ended in nubs, her eyes were sky-blue, her mouth was in a w-shaped smile, and she had a little pink flower on the side of her head. Her nametag identified her as "June."

"Oh, hey!" June said in a somewhat high-pitched voice. "A Main Character! Haven't seen one of those before!" Great, Whiskers thought, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. He didn't care much for them; fortunately, very few wound up in the City. Whiskers wondered what this meant about the world of the Authors. "Is this all?" June asked, pointing to his milk. Whiskers nodded. He paid for his milk and left.

As he walked home, he couldn't help but wonder about June. The fact that most other Characters enjoyed their existences here was bewildering enough, but why would a living cactus, of all things, enjoy life in an urban area? He figured she'd be at least a little upset that she wasn't in a desert, but no, she was happy. This thought kept him up an hour later than usual, causing him to fall asleep at 4:00am.


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