The Famous Author
Summer has been already. Or at least, this is what it would’ve been called in back-in-the-days. Searing and sweltering weather, becoming humid and slightly foggy in the nightsky. No stars or clouds or even the moon were to be seen that night, and the only light that shone upon the human world was the street lights on the roads, and from the tall and grand skyscrapers. One of these skyscrapers had many more lights illuminating from within, and the biggest noise in this already immense, noisy and demanding city. It was the skyscraper where The Famous Author would sit in his couch, fire burning up inside his cheeks with his ice-filled drink, bored to death while people around him surround his occupation with jokes, drinks and loud music. Sometimes he would think in such parties (it was probably Kim who organised them at his penthouse) 'How in the name of Guru and Science did I end up here?' And he was more than sure that he wasn’t alone in such thoughts, but he also knew that the only time people would openly agree with his skepticism was centuries ago.
Sometimes, he was scared of his own thoughts and he would write them down. He was definitely a hope to the society. They hoped he would make this boring world back to the way it once was, as though his thoughts were truly outstanding. The Famous Author, however, had stopped writing the way he once did. He fell back into the same system as everyone else, became just like any other author. He still wrote well – very well, actually – but he wasn’t the same. He was still The Famous Author, but he has lost the original audience, the original feeling (or even feelings), the same respect, as he once held.
Maybe it was because his family that was one of the last families to be religious. Maybe it was because he used to be a Cancer before he became an Aries. His career, his lifestyle and his surroundings had changed. He moved to the City of Libras despite of his big arrogant views and his actions of an Aries. He was different before.
As he sank deeper and deeper into his thoughts, the superb lights, ear-splitting music and surprisingly blissful people, he knew the emotions weren’t real. He didn’t know how, but he knew that people’s feelings were once far beyond what people gave out now.
Suddenly, a strange and an out of place noise came from a different part of the house. He heard his bodyguards argue with someone. Soon, he saw who it was. A man, approximately of the same age as The Famous Author, barged into the room, searching. The two bodyguards finally caught up. They clearly weren’t as fast as the stranger.
“Shut that music down!” The Famous Author demanded, waving his hand above. The music stopped, everybody around stood still, seemingly without a single clue of what was about to happen. The stranger proceeded to move towards The Famous Author, and the bodyguards moved in. “It’s all right!” The Famous Author said. “Bring him over here.” And so they did. They let the stranger go, and the stranger bellicosely brushed them off his shoulders. He wasn't dressed well. Old black and white shirt, dirty brown trousers, unshaven and with black nails, but his livid face really stood out. You could definitely tell by his appearance that he was either a Cancer or a Capricorn (I guess you could also think of him as a Pisces, but those are a very rare kind who show any signs of anger, unless it’s really choler.)
“Now,” said The Famous Author, smiling. “you better make this entertaining.”
The stranger was not pleased with the answer.
“You!” The Stranger furiously pointed. “The Famous Author, aren’t you?”
The Famous Author looked puzzled. “Yes?” he replied.
“Well, then. Explain something to me, Connor Viney. How did you end up here? Whom did you become? You’re just a useless famous bastard, like any other writer in now-days.”
“All right, enough!” said one of the bodyguards, stepping forward. “Sir, we’ll take him ou-”
“Are you deaf? I said: he is with me! Now get lost, both of you, and don’t come back until this man has said everything he wants straight to my face!”
The bodyguards froze for a moment, looked at each other, and soon faded away, standing somewhere in the doorway. People had begun to gather, murmuring, saying something. Some took out their phones and began to film, some silently stood and drank their drinks, watching.
“I remember,” The Stranger said, sounding out of breath. “I remember the first time I found out about you!” He was, the Famous Author now thought, without any doubt, a Sagittarius, judging by his accent (those types always had a funny way of pronouncing words, especially the ‘i’s). “You are a true star now, but back in those days, you were a nobody! You were born, brought up and raised in a completely different world, different country even, not too far away from The City of Sagittarius. Remember? You left your own hometown, with no money, no hope, no goals. But you wrote, remember? I was… I was…” he stuttered, not knowing what to say next. The Famous Author was patient. The Stranger continued.
“I was fascinated, rapt and… charmed by your intellect and knowledge of your previous life and the rest of the Zodiacs. Ever since that first book, that first chapter, that first phrase even that I read, it almost felt like I was inside you. It felt like I was… trapped inside this world I would’ve never imagined on my own…” he fell silent. The Famous Author still waited patiently for The Stranger to proceed.
“Success was on your side, I knew it! I knew that you were different! Different from all those dull, monotonous, humdrum writers who only waste paper in this world, who betrayed their readers, shamed the art of literature. But you – oh, I knew you were going to show everyone what a boy from the poor City of Cancer was capable of! You even had the same thoughts, didn't you? Your goal was never the money, I know it, you said it yourself once. And even when you did receive money you still lived just like any other average person.”
The Stranger darkened. His face turned into an angry, tired grimace. “Now you are back to being no one. Your flame disappeared! You blew it out yourself! Now look around – ” The Stranger made a turn. “What is this? Your eyes are empty now. Drinking, smoking, wasting money. Is this what you were climbing the City of Libras for? You were full of courage, you went against stereotypes, making fun by comparing this world to the back-in-the-days, remember? You left your people, your friends, your family for something you didn’t even want! You betrayed us. Whom did you become, Connor Viney?” The Stranger was now calm with disappointment. “You are on the same level as The Guru now. Whom did you become, The Famous Author? You were everything to me – to us.”
Another silence. No one said a single word, no one interrupted. No one even coughed, until The Stranger added: “What would your poor mother say?”
“Don’t!” The Famous Author snapped suddenly, then cleared his throat to correct his voice. He didn’t want to say this, in fact, he didn’t want to say anything at all.
“Listen, dear previous and disappointed fan of mine.” The Famous Author began. “I understand you, and I was rather patient listening to all of this. Now I ask you to be patient and not to interrupt. Do not cut in, do not make any sound while I speak, please.” He turned around to sit down again, and took his drink back into his hands. The Stranger slowly approached him and stood facing The Famous Author, just like everyone else.
“You see, dear fan of mine,” he started. “this City and this world, it turns out, doesn’t care about anything. They don’t care what people read, they don’t care what people listen to, they don’t care where we come from. I stopped caring about you, did I? Now, that is a lie. You said that I betrayed you? Now, that is also a lie. I never stopped caring about you, never betrayed you. Ever. Many years have passed, and this world can change anybody. I am not The Guru. You see, my head is full of mist and fog, my duty is to write and create, care only about myself and nobody else. I grew up in the first ever City, which was also the first ever City to remember the faith of God.” The Famous Author suddenly burst into a laugh. “You said I was your leader, but that is also a lie! Who am I going to lead and where to if I myself am lost? As if you, the people of Sagittarius, never opened that cheap bottle of spirit you keep in your filthy houses? As if I’ve never seen you junkies come into the City of Libras and embarrass your own culture?”
The Stranger was about to protest, but stopped. He truly was as patient as a Pisces – most unlikely for a Sagittarius.
The Famous Author took a sip of his drink. “I’m not your hero to fight against evil. The problems that people have are their problems, and I have nothing to with them.” He stood up angrily, finally looking down at The Stranger, who was much shorter than him.
“And don’t you ever get my mother involved in this,” he hissed through his teeth, so that anybody else would barely hear what he had said.
Suddenly, The Stranger grabbed the The Famous Author’s drink and threw it in his face. Everybody gasped, covered their mouths, whispered, murmured to each other, while The Famous Author was motionless, starring at his expensive suit, which was now wet.
“How dare you insult me like that!” The Stranger bawled. “And you who say that you haven’t betrayed us, that you haven’t left us? A wolf who turned into a sheep, surrounded by a bunch of other stupid sheep just like him! From the City of Libras, a place of balance, beauty and creativity, that has dared to let in an Aries like you!” The Stranger came closer, while the bodyguards quietly filled the room again. “You are no Cancer, and no Libra – you are an Aries, and you know this! You have taken the position of the worst sign.”
The two bodyguards grabbed The Stranger and began to drag him away. The ear-splitting music began again, but The Famous Author still heard The Stranger’s voice calling out, becoming more distant with each beat.
“You are nothing, you are nothing, you are nothing! All you are is an Aries; you only care about yourself and nothing more! You were nothing, you are nothing, and you will stay nothing, no matter how much you try to change yourself in the City of Libras!”