The Unknown: The Red Line.

And William wrote:

“I dare any of you to finish this scene.”

Z rolled his eyes at the officer. “I don’t know, ma'am,” he said, “I’ve never had a driver’s license.”

The highway patrolwoman stepped back and eyed the length of the Winnebago.

Incredulous, she asked Z to step down from the car.

A burning joint fell to the Oklahoma highway.

The door opened and Z stepped down.

If he had been wearing pants, it would have been easier to predict what would have happened next.

“Cut! Cut, cut, cut, cut, CUT!!!!


“Is that the best you can do, William?”

“What do you mean? I haven’t misread anything, or stumbled over any words.”

“Yeah, that’s about all you’ve done, not stumbled. Geez. Maybe we should just bag this whole idea.”

“Scott, calm down. What the hell are you talking about?”

“Look, William, I would have thought that your years doing a radio show would have taught you something about using your voice expressively. Jesus Christ, we’re not talking to ourselves here, we’re recording the hypertext for posterity. As such, the least you could do is put a little pizzazz in your reading. I mean, this one of most hilarious episodes in the entire hypertext and you read it as though you were a Greyhound employee zonked on Percodan announcing a bus departure at Gate 23.”

“I do not.”

“Yes, you do. In fact, is that perhaps the problem? Have you once again overmedicated yourself into oblivion?”

“No. But even if I had, it’s none of your fucking business what drugs I take or when or how much.”

“It sure the hell is when we’re trying to put out a quality product here which will be impossible if you keep reading the way you have been.”

“Look asshole, this is my section, I wrote it, and I can damn well read it any way I see fit. And if you don’t like it, you can stuff a blank CD up your colon and record that!”

“Godammit, William, ever since you recovered from that bungie-jumping accident you’ve been impossible to work with. You don’t even like the hypertext anymore, do you?”

“Let’s just say I’ve found better ways to spend my time.”

“Yeah, like remain completely fucked up on prescription painkillers.”

“that’s it. I’m outta here.”

“Hey! Wait a minute. So you refuse to help out with the recording?”

“No, I just refuse to be insulted by a tin-plated control freak. Besides, my leg is starting to act up again.”

“Oh right. Again with the leg. What’s your damn leg have to do with how you use your voice?”

“Let me see if I can explain this in terms your puny data processor can comprehend. My leg hurts. That means I’m experiencing pain. Which further means I’m having trouble concentrating.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, so—”

“So ergo, I would find it difficult read out loud in a manner acceptable to a fathead fucking dictator such as yourself! Capiche? Or should I put the message in your cigarettes where you’ll be sure to find it?”

“Hey, smoking does not impair my ability to get work done and do it right.”

“Scott, blow it out your ass, o.k.? Do whatever the fuck you want. Just do it without me. I don’t need the aggravation.”

“So, what? Record the whole thing myself?”

“I don’t care. Why don’t you ask the Almighty Cult Leader to help out: he loves hearing the sound of his own voice.”

“Funny, William, real funny. Have a little respect for the dead, why don’t you?”

“I would if I really thought he were dead.”

“What? What are you saying? You mean, Dirk’s not dead?”



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The Unknown at Spineless Books.