Forget Christian Grey, hot (lol) sex scenes, control freaks, naive girls and stories that go nowhere. Fan fiction is not supposed to be like that. It’s supposed to be funny, respectful and very absurd at the same time, based loosely on facts, magnifying small traits & habits, inventing others and letting your imagination go to places you never knew it could reach.
The Tokyo Story, a murder mystery in ten parts
The story was written in 2000, during the world tour (London, New York and Tokyo) of the Gainsborough Plays, with Ralph Fiennes and Linus Roache leading a company of great actors. Droopsy is a teddy bear that appeared in a previous ff and he is apparently alive and loved like a son by Fiennes. Fiennes’s siblings also play a crucial part in this story, which was written collectively by a group of people who met and became friends at the notorious «Fiennes Forum». It starts with Ralph writing a letter to his forum fans. If you weren’t Ralph’s fan back then, you’ll never get the jokes about the clothes. One of the collaborators was -apparently- a Yankees fan. I have no idea how Britney Spears weaved her way into this. And also I have not written a word of it. Kindly disregard a couple of discrepancies & be a little patient, since non of this was planned ahead and it took its form after the first few posts.
part One – in which we get to know the characters
(ahem. Argh. Erm…)
A cheery HALLO to my fans worldwide!
Just wanted to pop this note in the post before Act II. This is the intermission of a really smashing Kabuki theatre presentation. And tonight, a Japanese puppet show! I love puppets. Linus tells me now (now that it is too late, that is: the bugger!) that Lion King is an absolutely wizard Broadway show with smashing puppets. I had thought it was the story of the tragic life of Louis XIV, but Droopsy tells me that Louis XIV was not the Lion King, but the Sun king. He further informs me that the tragic French king was not Louis XIV. I wish these Frogs would get their history straight.
The lights are dimming to signal Act II, and I haven’t yet mentioned my point, let alone sealed it. So I’ll jolly well get on it. Recently I have been so laden with mail for Droopsy that I can barely stagger from the P.O. back to my elaborate suit of rooms. Actually, to be entirely truthful, I am staying in a cardboard box with a friendly Japanese couple who make my meals and do my laundry, so my digs feels elegant indeed compared to the matchbox Roache is sequestered in. The meals are fab. Tonight, for example, I look forward to a main course of plangton, followed by a smooth swing of Glenlivet. The laundry scenario is plain sailing all the way, as I wear nothing but my green shirt, blue denim jacket, and khaki pants, so there is nothing to launder. I have foregone both socks and shoes this trip as I felt obliged to honor the traditions of my host country. Imagine my surprise to see Japanese men and women bounding about Tokyo streets in full business suits regalia, down to the Florshien footwear.
Ah! The second act has started, and I have forgotten my point entirely. Let me see… Ah ha! I was telling you about the chiropractic nightmare I have recently experienced, tramping about under Droopsy’s mail sack. I note this medical alert not to dissuade you fabulous Forumers from writing, rather to ask you to urge my son to do his homework BEFORE tackling his daily correspondence. I am keen to get him into Oxford. At the moment, he is failing every subject, from Trigs to tassel braiding. It will be a rim do if my eldest does not fulfill his old dad’s life’s dream for him: to be the first four-legged P.M. in the history of the UK. Realistically speaking, we COULD do worse. We could have a reptile for P.M. Imagine a croc or a boa constrictor emerging from that famous Downing Street residence. I, for one, shudder at the thought.
As I have clearly stated, you may continue to write the boy to ask for answers to any of life’s puzzles. After all, it gives him a chance to practice his pennmanship rather than draw those rude pictures throughout his notebooks. But please help a parent out, and tell Droopsy to do his lessons first.
Kindly disregard any brown stains on this notepaper. I’m afraid more saki split on it than trickled down my gullet.
Tally ho to all my Forum fans!
Ralph N. Fiennes X
Dear Mr. Fiennes
(and possible fellow forum contributor)
Re: correspondence with Droopsy
I appreciate your ambitions for your son and acknowledge that like all parents, you are naturally concerned for his future. Therefore, I in future correspondence, shall be mindful of Droopsy’s obligations in regard to his studies.
On the same subject, a word of warning seems opportune; keep your son away from Geisha houses, as I don’t believe that’s the kind of education you have in mind for one so young and impressionable.
Oh, and one more word of advice to a traveler in Japan; don’t mention «Australia» and «whales» in the same sentence whilst in Tokyo or you may get sharp fishbones in your sushi or something equally unpleasant.
All the best for your tour, so go «break-a-leg» in the land of the Rising Sun
-a devoted fan
(Cough. Splutter. Gurgle. Phwegh!)
Pip, pip, Forum fans!
Hey, how about those Yankees, what? Good show, eh? I met a ripping chap at a Bronx block party last month (as you know, I am a sucker for parties, and «the bigger, the better» is my creed) who is keeping me up to date on that splendid baseball team. I see Subway Series ahead! Absolutely thrilling stuff.
Gad, Mariel, thanks ever for the timely alert! As a matter of fact, Droopsy has indeed been frequenting Geisha’s, but the little bugger told me that «Geisha’s» was Japanese for «McDonald’s». He told me he particularly enjoyed the fishburgers. Now I suspect an alternative meaning to that phrase.
Truth Teller, I have not yet read «Njalslugrenssonbjorne’s Saga», but I assure you the text is on my bedside table. (I use it as a coaster so that my glass of Glenlivet does not leave rings on the wood.) Sacred scripture or no, it makes a damn fine coaster.
Now that I have drawn my forum fans (and dare I say: Friends!!!) into my career plan for my first-born (he was at least the first of my sons to be manufactured), I poise a fretful toe above what could be the warm water of your good advice or the frigid pool of harsh disdain as I toss out (much like the first ball of a World Series baseball game, but I fear I am mixing my sports metaphors) this scheme of Droopsy’s marital future: Are any of you Forumers, in reality, Britney Spears? For, if you are, I have one question for you: Will you take my son, Droopsy, in marriage? And secondly, are your breasts cosmetically augmented? Well, that is, I confess, two questions, and none of my business besides. (But are they?) I see a dazzling future ahead for Droopsy as he weds the woman who could have been England’s queen, but chose my son instead of that young, blond, blue-eyed, square-jawed giant of a prince, who shall remain, in this post, nameless. (I do not wish to the block for treason.) If any of you dear Forumers are Britney Spears, please email me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please attach pix, naked preffered.
Ralph N. Fiennes X
Dear Mr. Fiennes,
No there is no one by the name of Britney on this forum, and even if there were I fear she would be unable to understand the extreme Britishness of your turn of phrase, which took even me -er, US- quite a while to get used to (not that I -er, WE- minded the listening of course…)
Miss Spears confessed to the slavering press pack at Heathrow earlier in the week that the language barrier was her major concern during her UK tour. No marmite for *Britney’s* toast, then. Or at least that’s what I heard – I, um, wasn’t in London at the time, myself.
As for Droopsworth (I do wish you wouldn’t abbreviate his name -we’d agreed that you – oops, I mean his full name is so much more cachet) I do not think this is either the time or the place to be trying to marry him off when there are lines to learn and confused Japanese fans to enswoon. Time enough for that when we -er, YOU- get back to London, by which time Britney will, of course, have vanished into the mists with her Danielle Steele novel, stuffed toys and contingent of burly minders. Might we -er, YOU- consider some burly-minders next time? They seem to be the «in» thing at the present, and it wouldn’t do to have people thinking that we -er, YOU- are not as important as Britney, even if you have yet to fill Wembley Stadium with 100,00 screaming fans.
Yours ever etc etc etc ( and please don’t eat all the room service tempura)
Franc -er, Francina. Yes Francina. Ahem.
Might a chap have a few moments peace, then? One would think you were, in fact, my dear help-meet, Francesca, with your repeated suggestions that I hire burly minders instead of the fine young striplings who shield me now from the odd Japanese fan.
As an American, you clearly know nothing of the strain these Japanese tour exacts on my fragile British senses. Yet you eco my my darling life partner in your insistence that I postpone certain necessary life plans for my boy, plans that console me and refresh me during a protracted stint among a savege race. Why, these audiences have not yet flung a single rose my way at the curtain call, and when I poured my spittle forth last night, anointing a lucky lady in the front row, she actually stood up and pitched her handbag at me. In these dark days, I need the consolation and refreshment that only Britney Spears can offer. (I mean, of course, that only the assurance of Britney Spears’s engagement to Droopsy can offer.)
How did you know that his mother and I named him Droopsworth? You women seem to operate on a single global wave length. Perhaps, then, you also know that it was my wish to name him Fred. Fred, apparently, is not a refined enough name for the women in my life: Martha, Alex and Francesca. Life is not hell enough being named «Ralph»; I must also be scion to a Droopsworth.
I think perhaps you are not a Forumer, but a FLAMER. So I re-submit my desperate query to my Fans: Are you BRITNEY SPEARS? And if you are, where are those photos? Did you receive my shipment of Glenlivet? And the Baby of Macon video? There’s more where that came from, baby! It’s presently boxed up in a pair of canary yellow leotards, but we can rectify that situation ex post facto, luv! For Droopsy, I mean. Bugger, I wish I’d been a man and christened him Fred!
Excuse me, but I must sign off. Francesca wishes me to shampoo her hair.
Ralph N. Fiennes.
Thanks ever so for the jaffa cakes care package, luv.
Big buv is going to ‘ave a bit of a giggle with the Fiennes Forum. I plan to visit the site incognito (wearing the fright wig and nose glasses I use to stroll about Tesco back home.) They will never know it’s me!!!
Ralph N. Fiennes
Screen name: BronxBomber2436742
Dear Fellow Forum Fans,
Please welcome me to your Forum. I am an anonymous man, no… a woman! Yes, a woman who is a fan of the splendid blockbuster action pics that Ralph Fiennes makes along with, erm… Arnold and Sty. As you can tell from my screen name, I am also a rabid baseball fan, what you Yanks might call an ordinary Joe… er… Josie. Blimey, can that Roger Clemens ever pitch! And Mariano Rivera… fuggetaboutit!
I am the proud possessor of a genuine baseball autographed by Chuck Knoblauch. I love this fellow because of the absolutely filthy surname.
I think that Mr. Fiennes should make a baseball picture! After all, look at the success baseball pictures have brought to that American actor, Kevin Klostmer. Baseball! Ripping stuff, what?
Oh yes… as a woman, I should probably add that my favourite colour is marmite and my fav RF pic is my latest venture, whichever that is. Truly, it has been so long since I stepped in front of a camera that I wouldn’t remember how to deliver my patented sneer, or grimace, which makes you all ladies swoon.
I’m coming Francesca! Blast! Now that woman wants me to paint her toenails!
Please send Interflora roses urgently. Otherwise, curtain call could = pieces of sushi.
Also spit guard.
Also 3 X hard Candy nail polishes («Icon», «Girlfriend» and «Square Meal»)
Seems to think it grows on trees.
Everything else OK, but watch for a pair of yellow leotards through post, and shred before the children see them. Put Glenlivet to one side and I shall collect upon return.
Droopsy send his love (oh God, I’m losing my mind).
Tempure v nice, but missing Wotsits and Hob Nobs. Must pack multiple Hob Nobs next time, although cannot really see OFB doing «abroad» again for a while. Currently surviving on numerous cups of Earl Grey.
South America, October, 20–
You seem to be nursing some foolish illusions of grandeur. Are we allowed to remind you, Mr. Fiennes, that you are not King of this realm? You may think the crown of King Dickie makes you God’s anointed – Ha! We are no longer in the Middle Ages, mate! The Plantagenets are OUT. Look out of the window, if you please; the landscape doesn’t look very English, does it? One word comes to mind: exile! You seem to be forgetting that some of us are backed by whole NATO, while some of others have but a few piteous horsemen in more or less shining armours.
The reason of our indignant outpouring is this: we have lately heard some very disquieting reports concerning you and our fiance. We sincerely hope there is no truth in this, because in case of such – such – an outrage, yes outrage, we would have no other option but to challenge you into a duel. And in this case, as you know, the duel would be between you and the axe. May the fates of Anne Boleyn and other royal adulterers be your warning. Or that of King Dick himself, if you can relate to this better.
A Man Who Will Be King
P.S. I don’t object to your trying your luck as Hamlet of Denmark, though. I’ve heard there’s one devilishly handsome young princess in Sweden.
(RNF’s response to the Royal Warning: curling up into a fetal ball in the corner of his hotel room. Understudy has to go on tonight in his place. Francesca tries to take R’s mind off impending catastrophe in form of Royal Axe by offering to dye his hair cranberry (F’s method of dealing with problems being a fashion makeover). Droopsworth reads aloud to dad from the «The Clouds» by Aristophanes. When this classic comedy fails to uncurl Dad, Droops tries «The Birds» and then «The Frogs», similarly by Aristophanes. Perhaps the reason Ralph does not respond to these rib ticklers is that Droopsy intones them in their original Greek. Meanwhile, a letter arrives from Martha.
Dear Ralph and Fran,
Really! You two are the most high-maintenance people I know. I must neglect my farm and my career to trudge back and forth to the P.O. with your goodies. Well, here they are! If you don’t like them, don’t mark them «Return to Sender» as you did last time. I have no need for rancid grass juice in my fridge, thank you very much.
Roses are too expensive. If I were reimbursed for my expenditures, it would be another matter. Here are some day lilies. They may be black by the time they arrive. I understand they don’t travel well. Tough luck.
Spit guard? You’ve got to be joking.
Here’s a new brand of nail colour. Jiffy-Quick, much less costly than your brand. Only colour they had was marmite. So sorry!
Shampoo and conditioner? Doesn’t the Japanese wash their hair? I suggest you trot down to the corner supermarket. Really!!!
No, I will not send you copies of the Daily Mail. I have a reputation to uphold, and I will not shatter it by purchasing this rag.
Ditto News of the World.
What makes you think I can obtain nude photos of Britney Spears?
Or a video of Miss America pageant’s changing room activities?
And where in London do you expect me to find Yankee baseball paraphernalia? Who is El Duque? Is he a medieval Spanish painter? What does he have to do with the Yankees? And why do you care?
Love and kisses,
Martha can be so bothersome! I have showered her with Japanese souvenirs… uh… wait… I mean, yours are on the way, dear: I hadn’t enough stamps to send packages, so I sent to Martha, being the elder, and likely to die sooner… As I say, I have showered her with goodies -extra napkins from our flight, a crate of rice balls, an Anime cartoon video, a postcard of Mount Fuji, and a plastic comb furnished by the hotel- and she has refused to send me any British goodies in return.
Here is what I require. Be so good as to FedEx them ASAP:
Neutrogena Face Cream
Pringles (or any brand crisps)
Cadbury’s chocolate bars
Hob Nobs and Wotsits (Do NOT, repeat NOT, let Francesca know you are sending these)
Boddingtons… enough… for… let’s see…
[Here Ralph crosses his fingers behind his back. Hard to do while writing, when done with writing hand]
The whole cast! Yes. enough for the whole cast… AND CREW!… to get sloshed.
Got that, Sophie? Good girl!
BTW, I am having such fun visiting the Fiennes Forum incognito! I am pretending (quite successfully, I might add) to be an American –well, really a New Yorker– and nobody is the wiser! Especially me! (Now why did I say that? I am an enigma, Sophie. Don’t try to figure me out. Genius is so hard to put one’s finger on.)
Love from your big bruv,
Ralph N. Fiennes
Screen Name: BronxBomb2436742
Dear Fellow Friends,
Here I am again, that anonymous American man… I mean, woman… who has just joined your fab Forum.
Mareska, thanks ever so for the warm welcome. And, oh yes, I can relate to your recent injuries. I mean, I recently about an actor… actress… who fell through an unfastened trap door on stage, and may I say, his
[Ralph doesn’t catch ALL inconsistencies]
bum resembled that of an orangatan’s in heat. Now that I saw it in the mirror. And, yes, those inflatable life preserves one uses to sit on do add a few precious inches to one’s height. Then one stands up and the illusion’s shattered. Much like ones tailbone in the first instance. Or so I read.
Shiza, is the rumour true that you are really Britney Spears? Wait, forget I said anything; I see the shadow of the Royal Axe above my head. To press on: it appears, Shiza, that you are wise as well as w… I am trying to think of a word beginning with «w» that means «warm»… Oh! «Warm» does begin with «w»! My phrasing is now exquisite as well as e… I am trying to think of a word beginning with «e» that means «exact»… Ah! Jolly good! But I forget my point. Oh! Perhaps you might advise me in how to set my wayward son straight. Recently, he has come back to the hotel after late nights with a young Japanese wanton named Aisu Kuriimu. Droopsy has actually lied to me by telling me that «Aisu Kuriimu» means «ice cream» in Japanese, but I was not born yesterday, nor the day before. (Hmm. Going backwards actually weakens the arguement.) I KNOW he is consorting with… Oops! Forget everything I’ve said in this paragraph! What I mean is: how about those Yankees, what? Derek Jeter is the MAN!
Coming Francesca! Blimey! Now she wants me to wax her moustache! Can’t a man… I mean, a woman… get a moment’s peace around here?
Ta for now,
Somewhere in a d-jungle, October, 20–
Dear Mr. Fiennes,
I am afraid there has been a horrid misunderstanding. I was told of your dealings with my lady-love, and apparently some people are fond of cruel jokes. I was not aware that they were speaking of Miss Spears; I was under the impression that -ah, well; let the indescribable remain so.
I am sure your family will be most pleased with Miss Spears. It is a fine thing, to match entertainers with other entertainers; singing actors is just what the world needs. (Ermm.) Excellent choice when it comes to the looks department (if you like snubby noses) and wealthy enough to keep up an army of servants. There’s always the language barrier, but I suppose she’s not the sort of gal made for talking-to, if you know what I mean. All in all a brilliant match, if the husband-to-be can keep her tongue tied and clothes on in public.
Send my best wishes to your son Droopsworth. I say, is he one of the Droopsworths of Surrey? Small, strange-looking, hairy fellows, but uncommon good at polo. Feel free to stop by at Papa’s place anytime for a game of that fine sport.
Papa says it’s supposed to be «are» with «singing actors». I didn’t notice it myself, but Papa says I must correct it. Public image and that sort of thing. Apparently the English doesn’t like crown princes who don’t know their grammar, or at least that’s what Papa says.
Oh well, cheerio then,
to be continued…
part Two: http://wp.me/pTiK1-6PI