Young Elizabeth moved lithely through the lecherous limbs of the smelly forest, zigging this way, zagging that, mindful of the dangers which lay ahead, trying her best to ignore the smell of decay which had leached its way into every fibre of her being. The jubjub bird had proven easily enough avoided, but to successfully shun a frumious bandersnatch was something else altogether; the former could be heard a mile off, squawking and screeching its way along, but the bandersnatch? The bandersnatch, friends, the bandersnatch gives no warning. Down it might come crashing at any moment through the limbs from on high, or with a rumbling of the earth come bursting hence from the firmament and swallow you whole without uttering the most fleeting of sighs.

Why am I doing this? What is the point? Is it really worth it? These are the things young Elizabeth asked herself as she brushed away leaves and tore scraggly branches from her flowing locks which had been so well-managed just twenty minutes hence. She had risen extra early that morning and took special care in the shower, using the exact amount of conditioner as prescribed by its sagely, cylindrical plastic conveyance. She had rinsed vigorously, but not too vigorously. She had taken extra care with her new ceramic flat iron, made sure not to singe, made certain not to break a single strand in service to the gods of straight hair. But it was all for naught.

For here she was, running like a madwoman through the pointless woods with thoughts of extraordinary things racing through her normal sized head. It was too much to bear!

</indulgent authorial intrusion>

…actually, this is too much to bear. What the hell am I doing here? Who is this silly bimbo? Do I care? Do you? Probably not. You’re probably here because you searched for ‘nazi sex’ or ‘dane cook cock’ and ended up stuck with a bunch of words staring you in the face. Sorry. But who am I kidding? You haven’t made it this far anyway. Or maybe you have and you’re confused as to what’s going on now, as to what an authorial intrusion is, as to what a bandersnatch might be. Maybe you’re waiting for our heroine to be ravished by the bandersnatch? Well tough. Not gonna happen — if this was porn – nay, erotica – you’d know it by now. What this is is (man, I hate putting two ‘is”s side by side, but sometimes you just gotta do it, accept the writerly ego hit and move on) some random dude (i.e. myself) trying to work through his lifelong writer’s block by sullying the reputation of Lewis Carroll, realizing what he’s done and then making a vain attempt at covering his pathetic tracks with an attempt at being post-modern… but failing miserably. Or have I? Maybe this is brilliant and I don’t even realize it. For how can one fail at post-modernism? How can one fail at something that is, basically, whatever they want it to be as long as it doesn’t adhere to the prevailing norms of modernism? (Whatever that is… I can’t remember and I certainly can’t be bothered with unearthing my dust-covered Little Brown Handbook. I know what modernism is in regards to architecture — function over form to the utmost logical end, lots of squares and glass and concrete, so I suppose modern literature is the same — minimalistic, spare prose with a functional bent. As well [crutch? yes.] I realize that because post-modernism has an academic definition, whatever point[less] I have is moot, so fuck off Mr./Ms. book-philosopher) What was the point of trapping the preceding sentence in parentheses? I don’t know, but it’s not modernistic, that’s for sure. (If I say it isn’t, then it’s true as far as I’m concerned — and what else matters?) What is the point of this entire so-called authorial intrusion (for this entire collection is an intrusion upon the reader’s sense of textual decency)? It has none! And that is precisely the point. What is the point of anything, for that matter? I don’t know; the point is whatever you want or will it to be.

</end indulgent authorial intrusion>

It was too much to bear, but she kept her dewy eyes on the prize. She kept her nose to the grindstone. She kept on task. She shunned that mofo’ing bandersnatch, she forged onward through the scraggly brush, through the hard-hacks, thorns and alders, through the sort of vegetation no painter would bother capturing with their pathetic hairy sticks and coloured slime, the sort of vegetation no poet would bother waxing multisyllabic over. She forged onward. She screamed obscenities, she screamed at her parents, at her dog. And she finally emerged, taking a few minutes to regain her considerable composure, smooth her hair, remove the twigs, wipe the spittle from her cheeks and erase the memories of anything unpleasant that might have transpired in those lawless woods. Then she moved.

She moved with purpose. Young Elizabeth parted the glass doors of the monolithic monument to consumption like a hot knife through human flesh. She moved lithely past the food court, past the stores for fat, middle-aged women. Past the stores for pimple-faced adolescents and pseudo-adolescents. Past the stores for yuppies, white trash, ‘intellectuals’, caffeine addicts and club whores. She moved past all of it, basking in the fluorescent magnificence of it all, splashing around in the superficiality, dipping her toes in the uselessness of it all and finding the temperature quite to her liking.

She moved with purpose into the store of her choice, the one whose latest marketing campaign most appealed to her demographic, picked out a pair of jeans virtually identical to the thirty other pairs hanging in her closet at home, moved to the checkout, tossed her prize on the scratched surface of the glass-topped counter and fumbled through her purse. She turned over receipts, rifled through empty packs of former chewing gum as the cashier looked on with a blank stare and a slack jaw. It was then tat the horrible reality of her situation made itself apparent to young Elizabeth and the hair stood up on the back of her neck and she felt sick to her stomach. A cold sweat broke forth on her brow and the downy small of her back. No!

She had forgotten her wallet at home.


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