Phil Phorce: Division

I can’t wait until you see the end of the Phil Phorce episode, so I’m trying to get it out as quickly as possible.  We’re on part 9 of 15 right now.  I wish you were on part 13, which is the best part.  Anyway, the quicker I post this, the quicker we’ll get there.  Enjoy!

Quirk trudged up the stairs.  Percival was probably at the top by now, and he had only gotten a few floors up.  He heard steps behind him and he quickened his own.  He didn’t want to be caught; that would just give Percival more to laugh at.  Quirk couldn’t stand it.  Percival was Liam’s favorite character and got away with ridiculing him, humiliating him and pushing him aside.  Quirk wished Liam would do something about it, but he didn’t know what.

Whilst thinking these deep thoughts, Quirk tripped on the stairs and rolled down into someone wearing a bright red shirt.  Phoenix?

“Quirk!” Phoenix said.  “What are you doing here?  I thought you would have taken the elevator.”

“In a word,” said Quirk, getting up, “pride.”

“Ah.  Percival took the elevator, then?”

“Yes, and the rest of the Phils with him.”

Phoenix nodded.  She had a bit more tolerance for the Vice-Phil than the rest of the Phils, except perhaps Sam, but he was tolerant of everyone.  “You can take the elevator without losing your dignity, you know,” she said.

“Not when Percival suggests it,” spat Quirk.  “He’s always there ahead of me, taking my place as Vice-Phil even though Liam appointed me.  I’m supposed to lead this exposition, not him!”

“You mean expedition, right?”

Quirk ignored her.  “I’m supposed to be leader!  I won’t be a servant to him, never!  Just because he’s Liam’s favorite doesn’t mean that I’m not worthy of breathing next to him!  I should be Liam’s favorite!”

“This is your problem,” said Phoenix, stopping and facing him.  “You’re all focused on yourself, not on anything else!”  Quirk just stood there, looking blankly at her.  “This is why no one likes you, Quirk!  You’re just too stuck on yourself to notice anything, or to lead anything!”

“No one likes me?” repeated Quirk.  “Everyone likes me, except Percival.”

“Ha!  Have you been listening to the Phils in the last few conferences we’ve had?  Steve threatened to kill you!”

“He threatened to kill Percival too, so I was okay with it.  And anyway, that’s Steve.  He’s always trying to kill someone.”

“I am not!” yelled Steve from Phoenix’s shoulder.  She had forgotten about the ping pong balls.  “I’m just trying to lower the surplus population!”

“Not even Sam likes you,” said Phoenix.  “And he likes everyone!”

“That’s a bit of an oxy-moron,” said Quirk.  “Sam obviously doesn’t like everyone, because he doesn’t like me.  Wait, he doesn’t like me?  He likes everyone!”

“You’re so full of yourself that you don’t think about anything!  The only reason you’re Vice-Phil is because you’re a Little… Fictional… PERSON!

“I resent that!  If I could change my title, I would.  I prefer LFP in any case.”

“You aren’t even listening!”

“I am, I am!” protested Quirk.  “Just not very hard.  You were saying something about… me?”

“If that’s all you heard, you’re lost.”  All her previous tolerance for the Vice-Phil had evaporated.  She felt herself growing hot.

“Phoenix, um, your hair’s on fire.  You might burn me.”

“If that’s all you care about, then fine!”  Phoenix stomped away up the stairs.

“Fine!”  Quirk walked after her.

“Fine!”  Phoenix shouted down.

“I hope this doesn’t end up like one of those scenes where two people just shout ‘fine’ back and forth for three minutes, you know?  …Phoenix?”

“Quirk, hurry up,” she called from a couple floors above.  “I’ve found Percival.”

“Oh, goody,” Quirk muttered.  When he reached the group, Percival and Phoenix were talking.

“It seems that Sebase has gone missing,” Phoenix told Quirk.

“He didn’t just go missing, he never got into the tower,” said Percival.  “He was making a diversion, remember?”

“Under your orders, remember?” Quirk shot back.  “So it’s your fault.”

“What?”

“If I had been leading, Sebase wouldn’t have made any diversion!  We would all be together!”

“We would have been killed by mice as we tried to enter!”

“But Sebase wouldn’t be missing!”

“This is getting nowhere,” said Percival, pulling his hair and walking away from Quirk.

“So how do we get him back?” asked Phume.

“I didn’t think you liked him,” said Phoenix.

“He’s from my story, so I’ve got to like him.  Unlike Quirk, who has no story at all.”

“Hey!”

“I told you Quirk, most Phils can’t stand you,” said Phoenix.

“You said ‘most’ there.”

“Okay, as you like; none of the Phils can stand you.”

“Now that’s a bit low!”

“Where’s Percival?” asked the old lady.

The light above the elevator moved up a floor.

“Well, that solves the leadership problem,” said Quirk.

.

Sebase woke up, lying on his back, still tied up in a chair.  Now both his head and his stomach hurt.  The Phils were demanding a lot of sacrifices.

After a while, a knock sounded at the door.  “Don’t come in, I’m getting dressed,” said Sebase.

“Oh, I’ll come back later, then,” said the lord’s scratchy voice.

“That was a joke,” Sebase shouted at the closed door.  “I’m still tied up in here.”

“Stranger things have happened,” said the lord, coming in.  His face was covered in an angry red rash and his left ear was twisted up like a cauliflower.  “I knew a man once who had different perfume on every time I saw him, and he was paralyzed.”

“Now that’s just creepy.  A man with perfume?”

“I forgot,” said the lord.  “You’re one of the medieval Phils.  Yes, those things happen in this age.”

“Well, not that perfume isn’t fun to talk about, but could you untie me?”

“Actually—“

“Please?”

“No.”

“Come on!  Why not?”

“Because you’re a captive, and if I untied you, you might escape.”

“I’m too noble for that.”

“That I won’t believe until it slaps me in the face.”

“Well, untie me and I’ll oblige you.”

The lord shook his head.  “Sorry.”

A female voice spoke from outside.  It sounded remarkably like Sebase’s mother.  “Ralph, come out here.  We have a visitor.”

The lord, obviously Ralph, responded to his sister’s call and excused himself from Sebase’s presence.  Through the open door Sebase could hear their conversation.

“Look who I found at our door.”

“Oh, has Liam sent you too?” asked Ralph.

“Me and the most of the Phils,” said Percival’s voice.  “They’re still downstairs.”

“What are they doing there?” asked the lady’s motherly voice.

“Arguing,” said Percival.

As soon as Sebase heard Percival’s voice, he started bucking in his chair, trying to make noise.

“What’s that?” asked Percival.

“Just a mutated squirrel we have in there,” said the lord.  “Really, you shouldn’t look—the door shouldn’t be open either; it’s dangerous.”  The door closed and Sebase couldn’t hear any more.

Sebase started alternating from gravity to centrifugal force, sending him crashing from the ceiling to the floor.  Hopefully he could either destroy the chair he was tied to, or make it necessary for Percival to look in and see him.  He began retching due to the sudden changes in movement and his overfull stomach, then gradually lost consciousness on the ceiling.

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8 Comments

  1. I like how this is coming together. Also, you mentioned somewhere once that you thought all you characters kinda sounded the same (that was you, right?), well they’re starting to have their own voices. In my head, anyway. I really notice a difference between Percival and Quirk.

    Reply
    • Thank you for saying that. It means a lot. I’ve been working on both Quirk and Percival for a while now, especially their hatred of each other, so I’m glad to see that it’s paying off. It’s with people like Percival, Sebase and Feiron where I see the same voices. And they switch voices, depending on the scenes they’re in, which isn’t the greatest either. But anyway, thank you very much. It helps to know that.

      Reply
  2. Robyn Hoode

     /  March 2, 2013

    The “nobody likes you” seemed really sudden. One minute, Quirk is upset to be overthrown then the next Phoenix tells him that nobody likes him. I understand how we got there, but I think that it could be smoothed out.

    Reply
  3. Robyn Hoode

     /  March 2, 2013

    Why would Percival just outright say that there were other Phils there? That seems a bit counter-productive. It’s like saying “I’ve come to spy on you and so have my friends, one of which is behind you?” The element of surprise is gone. And now you are more likely to get caught.

    Reply
  4. I think these posts just keep getting better and better. There’s just one thing that bothers me in this post: Why couldn’t Sebase just shout out “Help! I’m here!” or something like that instead of just moving around? He was talking just fine during his conversation with Ralph just seconds before.

    Reply
    • …True. I can’t believe that slipped past. Usually I’m pretty good with plot holes. Thanks for the help! If I ever republish this… *snorts* …I shall be sure to change it. Thanks.

      Reply

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