Phil Phorce: The Final Letter

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy and critique if possible.

I apologize– I have made a grievous mistake.  I should have put this section, the last scene of Episode Four of the Phil Phorce, with the scene about Feiron and Isaac I posted last week.  It would have been better for everyone.  I apologize for the relative inactivity of this scene as compared to the previous ones.  But please, enjoy the finale of episode four!

The night after the Castle’s death, Quirk found a thick yellow envelope sitting on his bed, sealed with genuine red sealing wax.  He opened it after briefly examining the imprint in the wax: a castle on a cloud.

My dear Quirk, the letter within began.

I never had a chance to apologize.  I ripped away your title and gave it to Percival.  You can’t have been happy about that.  I would have liked to do it in less unusual circumstances, but if I had waited, it would never have come about.

“I wish it had never come about,” muttered Quirk to himself.

If you are reading this, I am probably dead.  In order to kill the Castle, you must kill me, and I would be very much surprised if killing the Castle wasn’t your plan.  [Not cool, by the way.]

Quirk scanned the letter.  It was full of such inserts, in the Castle’s writing instead of Liam’s.  He kept reading.

My plan, however, was much more peaceful.  I wanted to retire at age sixteen and finally finish my book.  I’ve thought up an ending for it: “And he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days.”  [I think that’s been used before.]  But the Castle has put an end to my selfish plans, it seems.  It is fitting that I will die the death I’ve always admired most: the sacrifice of body and soul for my own creations, and my dearest friends.  (I would have liked to kill you off that way, in fact.  [And I would have liked to kill you any way I could.])  So if I never get the chance to speak to you again, know that you gave me the noblest death I could have asked for.  You haven’t disappointed me, Quirk.

But in all this talk of death and retirement, I haven’t reached my point.  In either case, a new Head Phil would have to be named.  This, too, is the root of my decision to make Percival Vice-Phil.

Quirk turned the page.

For though he is able and eager, he would not be a good Head Phil.  But over the past year, I have observed your interaction with him and realized how well you offset each other.  He will make a good right-hand man.  I made him your Vice-Phil so I could make you his Head Phil.

Not many of the Phils will like this, however.  I’m afraid many of them dislike you already.  [Gasp!  Shock!]  This gives you a difficult task.  You must be a better Head Phil than I ever was.  [Not difficult.]  You must win their support, starting with Percival.  You must, or the Phils will dissolve into anarchy.  [Yay!]  I need you to hold them together, Quirk.

I know that you have never felt a part of these Phils because all of them have stories but you.  [Insult material!]  As my last gift, I present to you your story.  Beginning on the next page, you can find your nearly complete history.  As you read, I have no doubt that your memories will fill in and confirm what I have written.  [Yes, that you’re a criminal and a ne’er-do-well.  I can read his mind.]  Enjoy it, Quirk.  I only wish I could know what you think.  [I knew what he thought for a full week, and it was horrible.  Don’t try it, Liam.]

Yours for the last time,
Liam, Head Phil

P.S.  Apologize to Isaac for me.  I confess, I didn’t want him to leave, so I wrote a plot bunny into his story that he wouldn’t like.  I hope he does some good for the Phils in the future.  Speaking of which, I hope he has rejoined you by now.  The refrigerator the Castle gave him as a ship didn’t look very safe.  [And it wasn’t.  Just about the only things that worked were the ejector seats.]

Quirk reread the letter.  He was Head Phil?  Impossible.  But who else could possibly be Head Phil?  Steve?  Feiron?  The old lady?  Perhaps it was for the best, but he didn’t like it.  He liked his old job of Vice-Phil.  Couldn’t Percival be Head Phil?  Quirk shuddered.  No, he didn’t like that idea either.

“Couldn’t I have stabbed Liam somewhere nonfatal?” he groaned, running his hand through his hair.  His scalp felt warm and smooth, free of gravelpox.  “Not if I wanted the Castle dead,” he answered his own question.  “What would you have done?” he asked, turning abruptly to his dying houseplant.  “Liam needed to die, but he needed to live.  Couldn’t I go back in time and change the past?  No, Percival said it’s impossible within your own lifetime.  What would you do?” he asked the plant.  It drooped sadly.  “No, I can’t stay silent,” Quirk told it; “I have to say something to the Phils.  But they’re already in an uproar over Liam’s death.  Steve wants to hang me for murder.  Percival doesn’t want to claim the Head Phil-dom, but everyone else does.  What do I do?”  He took a drink of water, made a face, and poured the rest into the plant’s pot.  The plant straightened immediately.  “You’re right, of course,” he said.  “Be strong, follow Liam’s instructions, lead the Phils.”  He picked up the intercom and said, “Listen up, Phils.  I just found a final letter from Liam.  There are instructions there I think you all should see.”

Leave a comment


  1. Robyn Hoode

     /  April 6, 2013

    So it ends.
    Quirk, Head Phil. And he has a story, too.
    I’m thinking that there is a loop-hole somewhere and that you aren’t actually dead (story-wise– I know you aren’t dead in real life).
    I have one question. Did you tear up writing this scene? I will explain my question after I get an answer.

    • Robyn Hoode

       /  April 6, 2013

      Also, you left a lot of unanswered questions… since there is to be a sequel, I hope you will answer them.

      • What questions? I’m curious.

        I didn’t, actually. It was really fun.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        What happened to Sam? And the Blanks?

        I ask because someone (can’t think of the name and too lazy to look it up) said “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader”. I didn’t cry. But then, I know the dead one is alive. So…

      • Oh, yes. I’ll get to that. As will I get to Feiron’s death/life situation.

        Yes, perhaps I should have cut up some onions or something.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        Good. I am satisfied.

        How about some tear-gas?

      • I don’t think it would leak through the internet.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        I’m not giving to you, I’m suggesting it. If you’re out, however, you could improvise with Listerine or shampoo.

      • No, I meant through the words I write, from me to you.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        You are speaking about the tears, correct?
        I don’t know.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        Write a good, emotional scene… I cried when Sam thought Frodo was dead in the end of The Two Towers (the book). If you can write something like that, you’ll have me crying.

      • I bet you’re glad I didn’t have any last words, though.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        Done right, that would have me crying.

        Yeah… I am glad. I don’t want to cry.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 6, 2013

        Thinking about it, I might cry if it’s a cheesy last words scene, too. Typical Disney Death stuff- Phoenix is bawling her eyes out, none of the other Phils have dry eyes, you are gasping in between words… you close your eyes, Phoenix starts sobbing… no true love conquers death here.
        This is depressing. Now, I am about to cry. Truly. No more Liam in Phil Phorce. Maybe i just had to think about it enough and realize that I was losing a wonderful character.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        WAIT HALF A MINUTE! IF YOU ARE DEAD AND ARE NOW NO LONGER THE HEAD PHIL……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. *gulp*………*sniff*……… are you changing your title?

      • You just realized now. But I didn’t want any cheesy scene– I think glossing over it like I did kept things from being cheesy.

        I shan’t change my title. If you look at the poster I made during the second episode ( ), it says, “Thoris, Head Phil”. He is long dead. Head Phils keep their titles even after they die.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        I had to realize that I wasn’t losing a blogger that I knew was alive anyway, I was losing a story character and he won’t be back (or maybe he will, but…). Letting that terrible fact sink in…

        Yeah, no cheese here, except maybe Quirk getting “be strong” from a plant.

        So… did you just get sick of Liam the character or did you think it’d be fun to try something like that? Or was he one of the bad characters you couldn’t do anything with? 😉 Smite until you can’t smite no more.

      • Liam the character was weak, without motivations or anything interesting. He knew a lot, but except for that, he wasn’t like real life. *preens*

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        Not sure what to say to this… I can think of at least one way he’s not.

      • Well, yes, I suppose we are both male. And writers.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        I meant unlike the blogger.

      • Ah. There are many ways. I never went to that Fantasy Fiesta.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        I hope you were never really posessed by a Castle or had gravel-pox or had your hands superglued… this could go on a while. You had a crush on a firebird-girl, you learned to fly with centifugal force, you…

      • Yep. Yep yep yepyepyep. Yip yip.

        Sorry– I accidentally switched to small dog mode.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        What breed of dog?

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        A Maltese.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        Maybe he needed some character development…

      • With perfect characters, all you can do is lower their self-esteem (as I did with Percival in ep. 4). That would mean humiliating my fictional self. No.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        Can’t have that.

      • I remember that poster! You also had a hedgehog one, didn’t you? That seems so long ago. (Must….stop…reminiscing….)

      • Nope, no hedgehogs… I don’t think.

      • *chokes from laughter*

        Congratulations. You made me STOP tearing up.

  2. You… you…. you….wha….?
    That was very strange to type.
    I really thought someone would come up with a plan to save you. I am totally floored. Applause! I’m a little crushed, and strangely enough I love it.

    Does, do I dare even say it? does this mean this was THE LAST Phil Phorce episode? Or will there be future installments with just the other Phils? Or are you going to post Quirk’s story instead? Or is there a non-time-travel-mess-up-the-world way to save you, and will that be the plot of the next one?

    I loved how you gave Quirk what he wanted in a way that made him sick. Brilliant. And the Castle’s notes were great.

    And I disagree about your timing of this post. I like that you waited the week. It gave me a whole week to wonder whether you and Feiron could live or not.

  3. Did you just seriously….but you can’t have….no, this did not just happen. It did not just happen!

    It just happened.

    I’ll admit, I got a wee bit sniffly as I read, so nice work with that. I never really thought that you’d actually die. I thought that in some strange way you’d come back and be all triumphant (like what happened in Harry Potter). But then again, in the back of my mind I thought that you actually would die so as not to be cliche.

    So, it has come to this. The final episode of Phil Phorce. I really dislike you for ending it like this, and I must insist you post Quirk’s story sometime and write more Phil Phorce. Now that it’s ov—okay. I took a minute to scroll through the comments, and now apparently this is NOT the last episode! YAY! (Cue the marching band and kazoos!) Now then…what was I saying? Ah, yes, I remember. Now that this Phil Phorce is nearly over, what do you plan on writing next?

    Question: How are you answering comments and posting if you’re dead?

  4. Robyn Hoode

     /  April 7, 2013

    How old is Quirk? Or if he’s immortal… which I thought you were… how old does he look?

    • Ooooooooooooh yeah. I thought you were, too, Liam. What happened to that?

      • That was Quirk. In fact, for a while there I was considering making Quirk the left half of me. It never worked out, but it’s still a fun concept.

      • Um…*is somewhat confused*

      • Yeah, that’s why I omitted it.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        I get it, oddly enough.

      • It’s just weird enough to be me.

      • Robyn Hoode

         /  April 7, 2013

        So… are you Quirk’s opposite– you are right-handed, whatever the opposite of OCD is, not dyslexic, wouldn’t be caught dead in pink t-shirt and fuzzy socks (posessed or not), gets along with Percival…

      • Yes to all but the OCD part. You see, Quirk isn’t completely OCD. I’m only OCD when I’m extremely tired.

  5. Well, that didn’t make a ton of sense to me, but I couldn’t help it. I read it anyway…and it was very interesting. Good job with that.

    • Well, I’m glad you liked it. You still ought to read the whole thing if you have the time, but perhaps you can start with the next episode. There will be some things you won’t understand unless you read the earlier ones, but not many.

  6. Robyn Hoode

     /  April 10, 2013

    I said I would write a eulogy and a eulogy I have written.

    Liam the Head Phil
    His death was necessary
    May he rest in peace.

    Stick it on his tombstone, if you want.

    Okay, the time of mourning is over.


  7. This may be the longest-lasting comment war. Even the spoons didn’t last this long.

    Maybe there’s just something about final letters that does this.


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