Normally, I stick to talking about comics here on the ISB, but while I’ll break to talk about movies or video games every now and then, only twice before has it been my honor and my privilege to draw your attention to the greatest prose works of the twenty-first century.
Tonight, another instant classic joins that august lineup, but unlike Chuck Norris’s Western masterwork The Justice Riders or the landmark pro wrestling/espionage epic Big Apple Takedown, this latest work of unrivaled genius comes not in the form of a novel, but rather an unfinished short story. And even more surprising?
It has arisen from the world of fan-fiction.
Sharp-eyed ISB readers might recall from my recent shameless boosterism that I’ve been playing through Rockstar Games’ Bully again, and while I was looking around for a fan-site I saw once that explained all the room trophies, I stumbled upon what is undoubtedly the greatest piece of short fiction ever written.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…
Yes: The Warriors.
You can click on the above picture to experience the magic for yourself, and really: I cannot recommend the experience highly enough. In two short chapters comprised of just over five hundred words, an author known only as “medayugiohman” has blown all other contemporary literature away, and there is nothing–nothing–I could add to make it better.
But that won’t stop me from pointing out a few of my favorite passages.
Take, for example, the introduction:
JIMMY!yelled young peter kowalski
Huh? what is it is someone giving you trouble?
no it’s the whole town there hurting.
Who is it?
Some gang i saw the back of there vests it said…The Warriors.
Right from the start, the author lets us know that we’re not dealing with your average story here. This is a story that, quite simply, doesn’t have time for things like description, setting, spacing at the end of sentences, attributing dialogue, or anything else the Ivory Tower of academia has declared as “necessary” to tell a story. No, this one hits the ground shouting and only stops for an ominous pause as Cleon and his crew are namechecked for the first time.
And then things just go nuts:
Has anyone in the history of the English Language ever had the balls to cap off a chapter break with eighteen exclamation points? I think not.
Suck it, Hemingway. Suck it hard.
(jimmy walks into the funhouse)
alright now you gotta fight.
pretty good now come to the docks and get ready to leave tomorrow.
One of the things you’ll notice right off the bat is that medayugiohman has taken a bold, minimalist approach to action sequences, which forces the reader to focus on his stark, Mametian dialogue. And it’s the right choice, too: Why waste time describing a thrilling, action-packed fight scene to your readers, when the one that plays out in their imaginations is no doubt superior to anything mere words–even those of a master like this one–could possibly capture?
hey jimmy why were you gone so long?asked petey.
initiation in a gang.Im leaving tomorrow.
WHAT!you cant leave ill be picked on an…
Dont worry i asked them and they said you could come.
Um…okay but what about russell he’ll probably destroy this pla…
he can come to.
(the next day)
(russells dressed as a pirate and petey is in his bunny suit becausehe was in a hurry and didnt have time to put on his other clothes)
alright i kinda lied the boats gonna be here around 11pm tonight
oh so im in a bunny suit for nuthin.
It’s in this section that I’ve found the only “problem” I’ve seen in the entire story, which is of course the idea of Petey showing up to depart in his bunny costume. To me, it seems like it would take longer to put on one’s Halloween costume rather than regular clothes, and I’m a little surprised that the author went with an odd visual gag (which, admittedly, still works beautifully in text) when the rest of his prose is so cerebral.
But perhaps I’m second-guessing it. With the story still unfinished, the possibility remains that Petey’s odd behavior (or perhaps… deception?) will be explored in the future.
For now though, it remains, like all great literature, open to interpretation in a way that hearkens back to James Joyce’s watershed Transformers / Jem and the Holograms crossover, Synergys Wake.
Experience the magic for yourself, won’t you?