Rowena's Page More About The Stories, Part 4

The Fifth Rowena Story

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 #37/42: By: Rowena (#68) : #5
  10/29/91 12:47am

                         Rowena Meets Her Maker

         Rowena was walking innocently past a parking lot on her
 way to the grocery store when her eyes were caught by some vivid
 silver letters in the sky.  The letters were far too bright and
 sharply defined to be the work of a skywriter, and besides, they
 were backwards.  Rowena stared, trying to make the message out.
         There was a sudden whoom! and there before her was a
 puddle.  Nothing else was even damp, and there wasn't a cloud in
 the sky.  There was no longer any writing there either; the
 letters vanished abruptly, to be replaced by new ones, the
 reflections of which Rowena now read in the puddle.
         "Sorry about that," they said.  "I've had a lot on my
 mind lately.  Hope I didn't frighten you."
         "Who are you?" Rowena asked.
         "I'm, uh--I'm that 'Biographer' person your mother
 warned you about.  Just thought I'd say hello."
         "Hello," Rowena said stupidly.  "I mean--"
         The puddle went blank, then began collecting new words.
 "I bet you want to ask me a bunch of questions, don't you?
 Everybody does.  Even 'real' people.  Everyone has questions for
 their creator."
         "So you--you're, uh--God?"
         "Not God; mercy, no.  Not even god.  Sorry.  In-joke.
 Beg your pardon."
         "I mean around here.  To *me*."
         ", I don't think so.  I doubt it.  Anyway, I
 don't have that kind of control."
         "So you're not in charge?"
         "Did I say that?  I'm in charge.  I just don't have,
 you know, absolute power.  Maybe you don't know.  I didn't give
 you an interest in writing."
         Rowena took a deep breath as the puddle cleared itself.
 She asked, "Are you a man or a woman?"
         Rowena shut her eyes.  She stood like that for a long
 time.  When she finally looked, all was quiet.
         "Are you still there?"
         Rowena shut her eyes again.  Then she opened them and
 said calmly, "Okay.  So why are we here?"
         "Dunno.  Sounds like a Vote question to me.  Actually,
 I don't know why *I'm* here, but *you're* here to amuse me.  No
         "To amuse..."
         "Yes, well, me and some other people on the BBS.  You
 don't know what that means because I didn't give you an interest
 in computers either, so's to avoid more of these self-referential
 in-joke things.  But don't worry about it."
         "Question Two," said Rowena, taking another deep
 breath.  "What's going to happen to me?"
         "I knew we'd get to that.  And I'm not gonna tell you.
 Why should you be any different from the rest of us?  I don't
 know what's going to happen to me tomorrow, or ever.  What makes
 you think you're so special, just because I thought you up?"
         "Well, why did you want me to ask you questions if you
 won't answer them?  It looks to me like you're just showing off.
 And don't go and zap me with a lightning bolt for that, 'cause
 it's too tacky."

 #38/42: By: Rowena (#68) : #5 con't:
  10/29/91 12:49am

         The puddle shimmered, cleared itself, began again.
 "Oh, I wouldn't do that.  But I can't tell you very much because
 the truth is, I haven't the faintest.  Well, maybe the very
 faintest.  Like, you may have an affair.  Or you may not."
         "Oh, nothing too tawdry, I assume.  But somebody's been
 pestering me for a sex scene for you, so it's possible.  Though I
 don't know just how to do it, considering your nature and the
 fact I've only got 4 or 8K or so in which to set it up and all
 that.  Unless I serialize the whole relationship over weeks and
 months, which is not really the way I planned to do this.  I
 mean, to make your life have some sort of coherent chronological
 structure and all that.  We'll see.
         "By the way, that dinner for your parents was rather a
 success.  Thought you should know that.  Carry on."
         "A success?" asked Rowena.  "But--"
         "Hey, listen, I gotta run.  There's a little boy I have
 to finish off and stuff into an envelope.  Gruesome, but that's
 how it is.  So--"
         "Could you just tell me why you named me Rowena?"
         The puddle shimmered again.  "I almost forgot to have
 you ask that.  I'm afraid I don't remember why I named you that.
 I can tell you why you have red hair, though."
         "Why do I have red hair?"
         "Because I named you Rowena.  When I was a kid I read a
 book that had a Lady Rowena in it, and then I met a real woman
 named Rowena, and as I recall they both had red hair.  It seemed
 to fit.  'Rowena' just seemed like a red-haired name.  I sort of
 vaguely assumed it meant 'rowan tree,' but when I looked it up in
 the name dictionary, it turned out it means 'flowering white
 hair.'  Rather a shock, that.  But by then it was too late; I'd
 already sent your first installment."
         "So you gave me red hair because you'd given me a name
 which means 'white-haired.'"
         Rowena nodded.  "Somehow," she said, "I am not at all
         "I knew you'd understand," said the Biographer.  "See
 you around."
         The puddle disappeared.  In its place a rose garden
 sprang up, spread throughout the parking lot, rendered it
 unparkable.  Rowena sniffed several of the roses, picked herself
 a pink one, and went on her way.

 #39/42: By: Radio Free Willy (#3) : Rowena becomes a Neilson family
  10/29/91 04:22pm

    "Oh my, " she noted, "you mean that puddle just sits under my TV set and  
 buzzes all the time?"

 #40/42: By: god (#29) : hmmm... scratch head. very interesting
  10/29/91 09:33pm

 Good evening. May I take your order, Ma'am?

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