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Manoline's chapter 2 left Jarod and Miss Parker stuck in the kitchen with baby Kyle. How they plan to get out may be up to you! Thanks to Sarah for her excellant beta work and Cathy, this story is for you!
"I've warned you for the last time Jarod. I never want to hear that damn song again!" A furious Miss Parker pulled her Smith and Wesson nine millimeter out of the smiling pig cookie jar and ejected the clip. Satisfied that it was loaded, she slammed the clip back in and racked a round, then pointed it at Jarod. "I said stop!"
""Cree craw toad's foot. Geese walk barefoot." He continued to sing and ignored her threats as he sat in a chair at the kitchen table. He stirred the melted ice cream in the bowl as baby Kyle let out another scream.
"I said stop it!" In a firing stance with both hands on the gun, she took aim at Jarod's chest and fired two rounds.
"You...you shot me!" He cried and grabbed his chest. A shocked expression appeared on his face as he stared at her in disbelief. He tried to stand but collapsed back into the chair. "I didn't think you had it in you! The writers never let you kill me! Lyle tries but I....I didn't think you would."
"Neither did I." Her blue eyes wide, her face deadly white. As a look of shock crossed her face she lowered the gun. She waited for Jarod to bleed and collapse onto the kitchen floor, cough up blood, fall face first into the ice cream.......she wasn't sure what to expect. The explosion of the gun intensified baby Kyle's screams which added to the confusion she felt.
"I can't believe you shot me!" Jarod coughed as he continued to clutch his chest and looked up at her in terror. "Why? How could you do this?"
"I told you not to sing that damn song." The response was so quiet even she could barely hear her own voice. She was unable to move and everything seemed so surreal. Then slowly Jarod pulled his hands away to reveal a very intact chest, no bullet holes, no blood, nothing! Not even a grey hair was missing.
"Damn!" She cried, partly relieved he wasn't hurt, partly disappointed that she couldn't get rid of him even by shooting him. She ran her free hand through her hair and swore under her breath, then shoved the gun back into the smiling pink pig.
"I'm...I'm not going to die! Look at that! I'm not dead!" Jarod laughed as he stood up and began to dance. "I didn't even feel it! Ha! Ha! I'm not dead! "
"What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm doing a happy dance!" He danced around her, then stopped and looked at her. "You know...because I'm happy!"
"Stop it Jarod or I'll..."
"Or you'll do what? Shoot me? You tried that and it doesn't work."
"Gawd, I need a decent drink, a bed and a good night's sleep. " Miss Parker moaned as she pulled a pack of cigarettes out of the silverware drawer and glared at Jarod.
"It's not my fault that the writer hasn't done anything for days." He slumped back into the kitchen chair and glared at her, his good mood gone. "I still can't believe you shot me."
"Well someone is to blame for this hell we're in and it's not me!" She growled back as she snapped her zippo and lite her cigarette.
As Baby Kyle continued to cry, both Parker and Jarod yelled together. "Shut up!" Baby Kyle ignored both of them.
"Great! The writer takes off and forgets about us and we're left here with a squalling brat!" Parker puffed furiously on the cigarette.
"There has to be a reason." Jarod moaned as he played with his ice cream again.
For several days they had been stuck in the kitchen. Parker was exhausted. Jarod and Baby Kyle had overdosed on sugar, and were cranky. And while she had her stash of cigarettes which never ran out tucked away in the silverware drawer, she was sorely in need of a drink. The fan fic writer had left her high and dry, the only alcohol in the kitchen was cooking sherry and it did nothing but irritate Miss Parker's ulcer. The lack of sleep was getting to both her and Jarod. They had tried to clear the table of the sugar and junk food so they could sleep on it. But the junk food re-appear on the table as quickly as they cleared it off. So Miss Parker had curled up on the counter top with the mixer and blender and snoozed briefly while Jarod fell asleep in a chair. Baby Kyle sleep off and on in his carrier.
"I want a bed to sleep in, a drink..mmm scotch would be nice... and sex." Miss Parker leaned against the counter and took another a swig of cooking sherry from the bottle before she flicked the ash from her cigarette on the floor.
"A decent meal by someone who knows how to cook." Jarod shot a angry look in her direction as he lined up the PEZ dispensers before him. "A nice warm bed, sex and no kids!"
"And real clothes! I'm tired of running around in a bra and matching panties and your teeny tiny black boxers have to go. I'm surprised she gave us robes to wear in the kitchen! What's wrong with this writer? And where the hell is she?"
"Look, both of us are Pretenders, we're smart. We can figure this out." He tugged at his too tight boxers and pulled his lap top out from under the stash of candy, brush off a space for it sending PEZ in all directions. With nothing to lose, she made her way over to the chair next to him.
It was several hours later when she looked at Jarod and said seriously.
"Do you really think that's the problem?"
Jarod looked grim while he studied the stats on the screen before them. "Yes, I do. Don't you?"
"I think you're right. But I'm not sure we can do anything about it." She shook her head. "I think you should call the Muse. She seem to have a thing for you in case you didn't notice. You know the drool and forever handshake?" She smiled and winked at Jarod.
"Do I have to?" He looked uncomfortable with the idea as he remembered his last encounter with the awe struck Muse who had a crush on him.
"Well she'll come for you. If I call she might hide and then we'll never see her." Jarod stood up and walked over to the corner with Parker at his side for moral support.
"Hey Muse! We need to talk to you!" He yelled and whistled several times. No response, so he tried Parker's method. "Hey Muse! Get your ass down here!"
A few moments later a young boy with freckles and red hair appeared.
"Yes?" He asked.
"Who are you?" Parker questioned.
"I'm the writer's new muse. What do you want?"
"What happened to the other muse?" Jarod asked.
"She was sent back to school to repeat some classes. Now what can I do for you?" He hopped up on the table and grabbed a PEZ dispenser.
"Was it because of... er...certain things that shouldn't disappear did disappear during a smut scene?" Jarod looked painfully down at the bulge in his tight boxers, thankful it wasn't him.
"Nah! That was nothing that couldn't be fixed. Things disappear with new Muses all the time." He flipped PEZ candies at Jarod who quickly became annoyed with him.
"It's when a Muse gets too involved with the characters that it's a big no no. Drooling or having a crush on a character is not allowed."
"She got in trouble because of Jarod? Oh puh-leeze! He's not that good!" Parker laughed as Jarod glared at her. "So what are you? A full fledged Muse? The real deal, the genuine thing? Not some fill in?" Parker looked at the young boy with doubt.
"Yeah, so what do you want babe?" He winked at her and smiled.
"We've been stuck here for days, our writer has forgotten about us." Jarod stepped in between them, obviously not happy with the Muse's attention towards Miss Parker. "As the writer's Muse, you need to do something."
"I don't need to do anything." The young boy snapped back and tossed the PEZ dispenser to Jarod who caught it mid air. He turned and eyed Miss Parker up and down like a ice cream cone. "It's not my problem and I'd explain it but you wouldn't understand."
"Oh but I think we do." Parker crossed her arms and was very firm. "We've been going over the stats and we think we've found the problem."
"Yeah and what's that?" He grinned wickedly at her and rubbed his hands together. "I bet you look good in black leather. Maybe a whip...."
"Aren't you a bit young for that?" Jarod asked.
"No! I've been around longer then you have and besides, my strong point is being a muse for the NC-17 fan fic writers. They write the best stuff!" He smiled mischievously and lowered his voice."And I've been the Muse for some great fan fics involving you Miss Parker. You're quite a sex machine in most of them."
"Thanks for the information about Miss Parker but that's not what we're worried about. I..we've gone over the stats and it seems to be a feed back/review problem." Jarod injected with a frown.
"Stats? Feedback? Well you are a genius after all!" The Muse's green eyes lit up. "Reviews, feed back, that's all a fan fic writer gets for their trouble. Not only does it help the writer but you have no idea of what it does for the muse. It's like the elixir of life for us. Without it, we fade away and if we fade so does the writer. I know of some readers who have never written a fic in their life but give great reviews. They're wonderful! Most writers are very good about it too. But once in a while, we do come across a writer who won't give feedback to their fellow writers, even when they know how important it is. It's tragic." The young muse sighed as he stood up. The mischievous look was gone from his eyes, in it's place was a sadness. "You have no idea of how many hits a story gets and how few feed backs are left."
"Well actually..." Jarod started but Miss Parker hit him in his side with her elbow.
"I'm sure there are more hits then reviews." She said very sweetly. "That's the sad part about it. Some people read a story and never leave anything saying if they liked it or not."
"But you have to remember, there are people who don't realize how important it is to leave a review. They may feel shy or just want to lurk. Of course, writers need to respond to their reviews and they need to be supportive of other writers. It's a two way street." Jarod was determined to get his two cents worth in. "As a Pretender, I can sim what both the reader and the writer are feeling at any given time."
"Yes reviews, that's the problem." The Muse sighed again as he slipped off the table and moved closer to Miss Parker. "If you read it, review it. If you can't say some thing nice then at least leave a review such as 'interesting'. Gosh, how hard can that be?" He looked into her blue eyes and smiled. "You know you look much better in a ..."
"Yes, I'm sure I do." She cut him off. "But what can we do about the lack of reviews?"
"Not a lot I'm sorry to say. Now if there is something else I can for you, let me know." He was about to disappear when Jarod asked.
"Our first muse, she seemed to be quite capable. What caused her breakdown?"
"Well, you know how little feedback fan fic gets, and she was ambitious. I'll say that for her. Took on too much for her own good. She had writers from every group possible. Got rave reviews for her religious sermons, political speeches got people elected and even her fan fic writers did well. But there were two TV writers...Steve and ...and ...sorry, it started with a C.." He snapped his fingers as he tried to remember.
"Craig? Steve and Craig? " Parker and Jarod said together.
"Yeah! That's it! Steve and Craig. She barely got them through the first two TV movies they were writing to wrap up some TV series they had had. But it was the third movie that made her snap, they drove her crazy. Put her where she is today. You know them?"
"Let's just say we wouldn't be here without them." Miss Parker looked grimly over at Jarod.
"Well gotta go. Nice chatting with you!" The muse disappeared leaving Miss Parker and Jarod no better off then before.
"I can't beleive it! He just left! He isn't going to do anything! We're stuck here." Jarod stared at Miss Parker in shock. "You would think a NC-17 Muse could come up with something! It's called "plot, what plot?" for a reason!"
"You would think so." She shook her head. "Well I guess this means we try Plan B. Now all we need is a writer...and a new muse. Someone who can get us out of the kitchen and into chapter four. You have any suggestions as to how we could manage that, Jarod? "
"Plan B .... another writer to take over." He sighed. "Hopefuly a little less 'tv announcer', a little more Pretender."
"Someone with a Muse who can kick ass." She opened the drawer and pulled out another cigarette.
" Well who is going to be? Who will take up this story and get us out of the kitchen in chapter four?" Jarod looked around. "You know, it could be the person reading this story!"
" There has to be some one out there with the guts to hi-jack this story. And it is fan fic. They could have any character in it they want." Miss Parker raised one eyebrow as she lit the cigarette.
"Even dead ones, like Kyle. Not the baby I mean. But the grown up potty-trained version. No one seem to really die in the series. Craig and Steve were good about that. " Jarod looked around with big brown puppy dog eyes. How can they say "No"?
"Or the writer can change the main characters around." Miss Parker smiled.
"I'll even wear silk boxers!" Jarod added as Miss Parker shuddered at the thought and kicked him in the shin.
"I don't care, just as long as they get us out of this damn kitchen!" Jarod glared at her. "Then someone else can pick where they leave off."
"Well???" Jarod and Miss Parker looked around.
Miss Parker in the background:"Hey, I heard that!"