More Tyler stuff..

The twins could be into careless hacking, using computers to screw up peoples’ lives.  This sends Tyler into an absolute frenzy.  I’ve always wanted to see a story where mindless, vicious hackers get it badly in the chops.

The twins could be aliens sent over to take over souls and bodies.

The twins could have taken Nathan to a strip club, or worse.  Nathan is guilty, confesses to Tyler, but also admits they have pictures of him, drunk, doing things.  Tyler has to choose between covering for Nathan’s compromise and the Twins continued destructive presence.

I think a lot of storytelling depends on what you really want your stories to do for the world. (I know that sounds a little grand coming from someone telling a story to seven followers on Facebook, but I figure all writers should consider themselves as having, potentially, at least, an audience.)  Back to the point:  It seems to me that, say, if you turned this into a science fiction story, (the Twins are an otherworldly force for evil), then it really just becomes escapist pulp. The audience might be scared, if it’s done skillfully, but it doesn’t touch their souls in the way an artfully crafted realistic story might. You can also wander far outside the range of normal human experience.  The twins could be contracted to the mob, the intelligence wing of a credit fraud operation or something, but there’s something terribly “easy” about that. A real writer finds intense drama in very ordinary things.

It’s an odd balancing problem.  The more bizarre the world you create, the more entertaining/escapist it is, but also the more spiritually “light weight” as well.  Then again, I actually liked comic magic realism. Not sure what it is about that category that seems to work.  Maybe borrowing iconic characters so I don’t have to sketch my own? Hmmm…

Flannery O’Connor always picked fairly routine, rural people and settings, but someone always died at the end. I guess that works because death isn’t foreign to the human experience, but if someone dies in a short story you better well earn it.

The primary tools on this particular job site are Tyler, Nathan, the twins, and Julie.  The primary problem is a series of cruel gaslight tricks played on Tyler that get out of hand and may jeopardize his livelihood and his lifestyle. The primary problem, as in all stories, is human depravity — our willingness to answer the devil’s call — to take a peak at someone’s credit record on line, to fudge the performance record of a friend,  to refrain from recommending the one man in your company who can really do the job, out of sheer jealousy.  Life seems to serve up some truly ruthless, dead souls — from the ISIS thug who would brain your child for being Christian to the computer dweeb who quietly drains all of your bank accounts.  Life also serves up some incredibly angelic people who almost stun us with their charity. On this continuum the storyteller dances, taking time to observe something pointless along the way, just to make it real.

Nathan, giving himself over to jealousy and apathy, falls in with the twins.  He is compromised in some way and allows the gas lighting to continue and get worse.  Tyler lectures Nathan about what losers the twins are.  They will never be full time at the company.  The lectures only annoy Nathan and make it worse.  Julie makes it worse. The gaslighting threatens Tyler’s promotion and he’s on the verge of losing it, when..

Tune in for more later..