COUP Chapter 2

Part one

Panel 1: Brandan scowling, reading book labeled “Magic.” piles of books next to him with titles such as "How to Raise Your Snail" and "All About Beans"
Panel 2: Brandan tossed the book aside
Panel 3: Brandan opens a new book called “Cliched Fantasy”. Question mark over head
Panel 4: close up of book being held open. On the pages is a drawing of B.S.Roberts in the typical Nat 1 art style, staring back at Brandan with his eyebrow raised. Brandan “What the—”

Part two

With a slam, the white-robed figure that B.S.Roberts had dubbed “Mr. Dark and Scary Agent Man” exited the room, leaving behind a stack of books on the desk. The few with titles adorning the spines had names such as So You’re Dead—Now What?, Practical Magic, The Occult Omnipotence of Opposoms, and Jeepers: A Fieldguide to the Spectral Undead

“What an ass,” Poe croaked, imitating the many times the ghostwriter had expressed the sentiment. 

“Tell me about it.” 

“What an ass!” 

B.S.Roberts pawed through the books, only mildly interested, occasionally opening a book to read the title page. It really was fortunate that when Macy Blush and her nameless agent had summoned him to Faewalk that everything was in the English language (or the common-tongue as they called it). Whether it actually was English or perhaps part of the summoning bounds that trapped the ghostwriter to the world hadn’t been determined, but to tell the truth, he didn’t really care. 

“What’s this one?” he asked, picking up a book that looked like it could have come straight from a bookstore on Earth. Opening it revealed the title Multiple Cliched Realties by Kay Oss written in Comic Sans. Interest piqued, B.S.Roberts flipped it open to a random page. 

—ck? Uh, hi? 

The ghostwriter dropped the book, muffling the end of the sentence. “What the hell was that?” he managed to ask once his heart had slowed. Cautiously, he opened the book again and looked at the page—though it was more like watching a cartoon on an eReader. 

Hi, again.

said the bearded man that looked oddly familiar staring back at him.  

“This is new,” the ghostwriter muttered as he examined the man who was examining him back. 

It is for me too. I have no idea what the hell is happening but… why is it so colorful over there? 

“It’s… not. This room is dreary as heck.” 

“Damn it! Damn it!” 

“Shut up, Poe.” 

Taking a closer look, however, it was pretty obvious why the stranger in the book would call the room colorful—apart from the lines making up his body, everything was white. “If you don’t mind me asking… Do you live in the book, or…” 

Live in the book? That’s what I was about to ask you. No, I live on Earth. Where are you? 

“Earth,” B.S.Roberts nearly shouted before catching himself. Mr. Dark and Scary Agent Man was probably still in the building, after all. In a much quieter voice he said, “I’m from Earth too, Macy Blush summoned me here to write for her and I have no way of getting home and I just want to get out of here and see my wife and daughter and my tortoise Tiff again but there’s no way for me to break the circle and Poe is no help whatsoever and—” 

Woah there!

The drawn guy said, halting B.S.Roberts’s rapid explanations.

Did you say, ‘Your tortoise, Tiff?’ That’s crazy! I have a tortoise named Tiff, too! 

With that, he lifted a tortoise, and things clicked for the ghostwriter. With a groan, he asked, “You’re B.S.Roberts, aren’t you?” 

Almost? I just go by Brandan. Why would I want to call myself Bullshit Roberts? 

“Damn it—” (“Damn it! Damn it!”)“—That’s the wrong Earth. I can’t get home from this, can I?” 

No way you would fit through these pages without dropping a few pounds anyway, buddy. 

“Rude. I just want to find a way out of here,” he groaned. “Why did I have to make the multiverse canon?”  

This is turning right into Quantum Leap for ya, isn’t it? 


Well, since you’re there…. Would you happen to have anything that could improve my powers to keep all of the Nat 1 crew in line? 

“Powers?! Yeah, that world’s definitely not the right—wait, did you say Nat 1?!”  

Yes… why?  

“Ugh, so I keep making the same mistakes in every world! What’s wrong with me?!” 

Seriously, stop it with the interrobangs! They’re so annoying.

“You can see my dialogue?”  B.S.Roberts asked, mildly surprised. At that point in residing in Faewalks things didn’t shock him too much anymore.  

Can’t you? 

B.S.Roberts shook his head, dropping the subject. “Never mind that. You said you needed something to keep them in line? If magic works there, you might be able to use this for… I don’t know. Stuff?” He picked up the golden quill from the desk and displayed it to his drawn counterpart. “Macy Blush said something along the lines that it will increase my natural talents to be more efficient. But I really couldn’t tell you what that means.” 

Huh, Interesting… I’m listening. 

“That’s it. There’s nothing more to tell you. Do you want it or not?” 

Without hesitation, Brandan reached through the book and took the pen from BSRoberts.


“Good luck.” 

A satisfied grin spread across Brandan’s drawn features.

Those hooligans are the ones that are going to need it, not me! 

Once you know How to Raise Your Snail, you’ll want to know All About _____.

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