…Of All The Arts — Chapter 2

II. Lars Saves The Day

But you forget that in your fairytale, bitch, I’m the wolf!

The Dillinger Escape Plan

“Black Bubblegum”

There was a quiet but broad alley, which led straight to one of the windows of the Man’s apartment. The trees in that alley were largely unattended, and stretched their branches where they pleased, often entwining with each other, thus creating a pleasant shade. Through that shade yet another shadow moved without a sound.

The killer was getting closer and closer.

He moved swiftly and effortlessly. His outfit was immaculately black. His meticulously polished Beretta 92 ominously gleamed in the sun. He was right as rain and merciless as the flood. He was, of course, a true professional. His rules and principles were indisputable. He was the unstoppable force and the immovable object. He kept a stiff upper lip and he shot from the hip. He was the ultimate edition. He was the best.

At last, he came closer to the window and peered through it cautiously. It didn’t take him long to detect his target. The Man stood with his back to the Killer. Everything went according to plan. Silently the Killer undid the latch on the window, sprung it open and came through it. The Man startled and turned around, but it was too late. No more than a split second has passed when the Killer already took his aim, pulled the trigger and…

The Beretta coughed strangely and produced a splash of confetti. As it happened, the killer simply disappeared with a sound similar to that which a bubble makes right before it bursts. The Beretta, however, remained. It landed on the floor with a hollow clunk.

“What happened? What’s the reason for all the noise?” – Robinson caught only a glimpse of what had just occurred and was obviously bewildered.

“Some freak, dressed in black, came through the window, made an attempt to shoot the Man, and then disappeared without a trace. His gun failed him somehow. I must admit, that the whole situation is beyond my comprehension” – the Armchair briefed Robinson with a touch of tremble in its voice.

The Man, however, seemed to recover from this unexpected assault quite quickly. He strode confidently through the room, picked up a gun and put it in his pocket.

“That was just a hitman, and of course he failed his task” — the Man started to explain. – “How could it be otherwise? You see, lads, in this house we abide by the rules of Dogma 95. There is even a portrait of Lars von Trier in my apartment”.

The Man pointed at the wall, where there was indeed a picture, showing a short-haired, unshaven man, who seemed unable to decide whether he wants to smile or to frown. — “And the rule number 6 of the above-mentioned Dogma states clearly, that ‘The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)’. The same is true for our story. So, our mysterious gunslinger just doesn’t fit into this fictional universe!” – concluded the Man triumphantly.

“I must say, that your explanation served only to my further confusion, sir” – said Robinson Crusoe. – “What does “a film” mean?”

“Well it’s sort of a theatrical performance only… er… more realistic” – explained the Man. – “But I think you are able to understand the main point: murder is impossible here. As well as a properly functioning weapon” – he took the Beretta from his pocket, examined it closely and put it back.

“To me, however, everything is crystal clear now” – said the Armchair. – “Of course, we can’t just pull Robinson in here. He, too, doesn’t fit in the world, that functions in accordance with the Dogma’s set of rules. I doubt that Von Trier or Vinterberg would ever tolerate talking furniture or singing kettles in their movies, but Dogma 95 does not define clearly what kind of characters could or could not be used. So, there is some room for maneuver. But the rule number 7…”

“Of course! The rule number 7!” – interrupted the Man. – “Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden! And Robinson is a man from the Past!”

“That’s correct, my boy” – spoke the Armchair patronizingly. – “You could only get in here some character from von Trier’s movies. Particularly from those which he filmed in the 90s, when he followed his own rules most closely. How about ‘Idioterne’? That one was filmed in 1998.”

“I’d rather not” – replied the Man curtly and shuddered.

“I suppose, we must transfer the book into some Robinson-friendly fictional universe” – said the Armchair. – “I suggest…”

And then the world just stopped. The Man seemed to be captured in half-motion. Everything was perfectly still and eerily silent. So it was for several hours. Then suddenly everyone came alive again with a convulsive sigh.

“My friends!” – exclaimed Robinson Crusoe immediately. – “I can see you again! Where have you been? For some time it seemed to me that you’ve disappeared and I was left alone on this damnable island again!”

“That I can explain easily” – said the Armchair. – “Apparently, our Creator drowsed off in the process of actual creation and stopped writing us. That’s why our little world simply stood still and waited for him to wake up. And our link with Robinson was temporarily broken.”

“This is intolerable!” – exclaimed the Man angrily. – “He should finish the story as soon as possible and let us go on with our lives!”

“Therein lies another problem” – said the Armchair. – “I don’t think he himself knows how this story should end. Of course, he could interfere directly, write himself into a story, and put everything to rights. But he is not God Almighty or Ziltoid the Omniscient. So he fears that his direct interference will only complicate the situation. He even considered a possibility that a friend might step in and help him to finish this. But in the end he decided that we’re smart enough to find the ending on our own.”

“Not until you’ll help me with this terrible misfortune! I don’t want your story to end when I’m still trapped on an island” – Robinson didn’t even bother to conceal pleading notes in his voice.

“Now it’s all messed up! You cannot give up![1]” – sang the Kettle in almost-too-sweet yet still pleasant voice of James LaBrie.

“Nobody’s going to give up!” – objected the Armchair. – “I was about to make a suggestion before it all stopped, remember? Do you recall that old Italian comedy with Paolo Vilaggio? I suggest that you and Robinson should get inside that movie. It should be easy to release Robinson from his book once you’re in there.”

“That sounds like a good idea. I think I have… er… a copy of ‘Signor Robinson’ somewhere” – the Man seemed to be mildly confused for no apparent reason. Nonetheless he proceeded to a bookshelf and searched in there for a while.

“There it is!” – he exclaimed finally, and turned around to show his companions a…

Next Chapter

[1] A quote from a song ‘Agony’ by James LaBrie

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…Of All The Arts — Chapter 2

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