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HeyA! Back to that Astronaut?

A Dialogue of the Shadow Brothers, proudly promoting their imaginary friend, Chloe Fitzwater

By Rob AngeliPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 6 min read
Photo by permission of Chloe Fitzwater

[I introduce you to the Shadow brothers: Red, Chris, and Blake. They had a rough life as shadow kids, having been raised in a lab solely for militaristic purposes. They are said to be the imaginary friends or literary creations of a certain Chloe Fitzwater, young Vocal member and mastermind of tales and free verse. Red is the leader, the Tallest: the critical voice, voice of power and victory. Chris is the nerd who knows everything and will never hesitate to rattle off his string of facts and figures. Blake, well...Blake is all over the place but finds his inner center in Pizza. At least that's how they introduced themselves to me, begging me to showcase the writing of their Imaginary Creator: Astronaut Girl. Let's see what the Shadow Bros have to say.]

Photo by permission of Chloe Fitzwater

RED: Sometimes it's hard to see that person standing almost a whole head below you. Goes to show how rotten humans are, every last one of them. Especially kids. Especially Kloey. What did she expect? Did she think it was enough to be a brilliant writer, a teen prodigy, coming here on this platform with thousands of adults and robots trying to jump up and down raising her hand saying here here here, I AM HERE. Nothing. Coulda heard a pin drop as soon as she stepped into the room. Why, I wonder? Because humans are rotten through and through. At least a few people saw her introduction to herself:

BLAKE: Whoa whoa whoa, I can brag about bein' a kid too honest honest I can 'cuz once you go big, you gotta go small, and once you go small, you gotta go big, pizza and game night strikes the perfect balance between shadow and light. I'm the smallest I'm the littlest lookit lookit me. No one wants to talk to me 'cuz I just interrupt their stream of thought and trample over every sentence. Now Kloey, she knows how to express herself. Think she wants to be a pizza review-host or something. See how good she talks!

CHRIS: Idiot! Don't you think it's about more than just that? Literature transcends all boundaries of age. She may be in the ninth grade, but she is an artist with words. What Kloey so deservedly wants recognition for is the fact that she writes. And she writes well. At least she thinks she does. But trust me: I've seen some juvenile scribblings. Why, those magisterial letters Elizabeth Tudor wrote to her stepmother Catherine Parr when she was 11 should astonish anyone. She wrote these letters in perfect Italian, just to show she could. She was a Queen and known as an accomplished writer. People should be equally astonished by Kloey! Tween prodigies are all the same, take Mary Queen of Scots when she was 12, writing secret letters in cipher and spying into European affairs for her mother, wowing all the dignitaries with her polished words. The dignitaries, presidents, reporters, and all their kittens and puppies should be wowed by Kloey too.

RED: You call that a poem? I thought all poems were supposed to rhyme. I thought a song couldn't be a song if it didn't have rhyming endings. But she flat-out refuses. Is it because she's above rhyme? No, she's just making up for her own inadequacies in lining-up her ABBA ABBA CDC DCD. She even admits it in this piece. Wow, Top Story! It does make me proud of her. Kloey has gotten four Top Stories to this date.

CHRIS: Well, rhyming is literally a medieval convention; it wasn't done in the famous poetry of Ancient Greece and Rome. Milton's Epic Paradise Lost is written in thousands of lines of blank verse. Then look at the modern age, the poetry of Walt Whitman, the beat poets, and all the poets on Vocal or in all modern writing who choose rhyme. Not that rhyme doesn't have it's place--but Kloey is perfectly justified in choosing to free herself from the "Modern Bondage of Rhyming" as Milton called it. A habit from the Dark Ages that deserves to be broken! But then look what she went and did, wrote a rhyming poem about Aliens for a Challenge:

BLAKE: Rhyme's no crime if you find yourself walking through slime eating a lime and then find a dime belonging to an old lady who played the chime who was so poor that I stole her front door which was guarded by a wild boar named Seymour who chased me down to the shore where I lay down and began to snore until I was no more. Look'ee Look'ee! Pizza!

RED: Don't be a moron. That's not Pizza, but maybe one of Kloey's best stories on Vocal. And it is a much sadder thing than your beloved Pizza. She tells the tale of two runaway girls and their urge for freedom, only to encounter the harsh realities of the world. It is her entry for the First Chapter Challenge. But I prefer when we Shadow brothers can bring out her dark side and make her obsess about death and oblivion! She's so morbid sometimes, honestly she makes me proud; see what I mean about how humans are all rotten, especially kids? Still I admire her for casting Me, the great Shadow RED, as Death himself:

CHRIS: Okay, this is the thing. There are already so many stories linked into this shamelessly promotional piece that no Vocal adult reader in their right minds will read all these (albeit) brilliant ramblings of a ninth-grader. It's just logistics, I know it's nothing personal. We all have busy lives, ninth-graders included. Sometimes, it feels like she's deliberately ignored because of her age, and that's just logistics too. An excuse for age-ism! Maybe they're just annoyed by the tone of adolescence. However look at statistics, she has gotten four Top Story badges, and has placed in the Reset Your Password Challenge. Maybe if just Someone among Them, would read one or two of these stories?

BLAKE: The whelp could use their help so she lets out a yelp an encouraging remark would be a walk in the park even talks when she gets quite dark so she can learn to grow and then to throw her words worldwide. Promote us Shadow Bros in the meantime, that'd be dream-time. Word Takeover=World Takeover. Then afterwards they can all go back to their PIZZA!!!

RED: To rhyme or not to rhyme, that is the question! In any case, I (Great Shadow RED) am the Lider Leader of the Shadow Bros, so I get the last word. I address all humans. Even though she's a rotten human (just like all of you) and a teenager (which makes her especially rotten): know now, that by your shoddy Human Standards of literature, she deserves to contend with the rest of you. We know she's not perfect and could even benefit from some nurturing and advice as to some of those (still shoddy) Human Standards of literature. She may hear you, somewhere in the vacuum of space where she dwells, floating about out there chasing Shadows. Isn't that what we all are, just shadow-puppets?


[This was written is response to Miss Chloe Fitzwater's Prompt:]


About the Creator

Rob Angeli

sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt

There are tears of things, and mortal objects touch the mind.

-Virgil Aeneid I.462

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (8)

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  • StoryholicFinds4 months ago

    great story ❤️

  • Donna Fox (HKB)5 months ago

    I love how much SOUL you out into this! You found a prompt you like and did so much more than run with it! You brought these characters to life and made them so much more than just a character sketch for the rest of us!!! This was such a great read! Nicely done!

  • Celia in Underland5 months ago

    Brilliantly done! You showcased Chloe's talent so perfectly -Humourous and supportive -Loved it!

  • Well that took me back to 9th grade ramblings with meaning... blake was great traditional fun... red a unique bird of a feather. Love how you let yourself free to craft a unique expression of rap and so much more

  • Alexander McEvoy5 months ago

    Very clever and very fun Rob! Your ability to weave a narrative into this list of recommendations is fascinating

  • Chloe5 months ago

    Woah! 😀😃 This was so awesome!! I loved the characterization on Blake’s part… He’s so cute with all his darned rhyming! Thank you so much for this, Mr. Angeli! (As a ninth grader, I am obligated to call you that.)

  • Sid Aaron Hirji5 months ago

    This was cleverly done

  • Alex H Mittelman 5 months ago

    Great story! I like the 3! Great job!

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