Hypertext Fiction Project

Note on text:

This project is under construction and will be changed often.

When I sat down determined to write my hypertext, which was to be focused on a multi-leveled Search (physical, mental, metaphorical), I found that I was constricted by the idea of 'searching.' So, I just did what I know how to do, and I wrote a short (and so far incomplete) story.

Right now I have almost finished what I'd call the spine of the story. There are still some minor characters and an ending(?) to be added. Other voices, which will also serve as entrances into the text, will come into play from the characters mentioned, but they will not be as lengthy as the main character's. There will be links between the main character's voice and the others. I will also draw from other texts, including movies, music, short stories, etc.

Possible links: Clerks, SFW, Hackers, Reality Bites, Swingers, Smoke, Exotica, Diner, Suzanne Vega, "A&P"

The story takes place in a gas station mini-mart. A very strange world where people wander in and out. No one really wants to be there, especially the people who work there. There are regulars who visit every day, but some people will pass through on their way to someplace else (better or worse) and never return to the same station again. Though, they will visit a million similar stations in their life's span. And sometimes people just need to stop and take a break for awhile. For the most part, the food and the company are insubstantial, but there are hidden treasures (perhaps meaningless) within its confines.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on the story, its form, possible links, possible characters and endings. Do I even need an ending??? Write me at: Kirby.D.Hopkins@vanderbilt.edu

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In walks this huge girl with this scrawny guy attached to her side. What the hell are they doing - getting a midnight snack? At least I've got an excuse for being here. I need some kind of 'gainful employment' as dad says. And the gas station pays a little more than minimum.

These freaks though, what's their story? They probably just blew a couple hundred on video poker at Uncle Jesse's Truck Stop down the road. A week's paycheck down the drain. Now they need some slushies and cheetos to help them forget all their troubles. Pathetic.

I put down the latest edition of Penthouse Letters long enough to ring up these losers. Maybe they'll leave. I punch up their junk and try to avoid eye contact, but they plop down in a booth against the wall just to spite me.

Gainful employment, what a joke. Gainful is hardly the word I'd use to describe it, and employment is too dignified for the running the register, scrubbing the toilets, mopping the floor, and filling the cooler. 'All you do is sit around on yer ass all day,' he said. I didn't see any problem with it. But I guess now he's got what he wanted. I've already gone to work by the time he gets home, and I'm asleep when he leaves early in the morning. That way we never run into each other.

You get some strange characters in and out of this place when you work the night shift. Since we're right near the lake, in the summer the rich folks usually come by to gas up their boats and buy some beers before they embark on a nighttime cruise.

The two in the booth though, they're different - uncivilized. They must be from across the lake, in bayou country. This guy was gawky with mud-dried, crusty boots and filthy jeans. His shirt and cowboy hat were a grimy-textured black.

His friend wasn't much better. She must've weighed twice as much as Slim, and was half his height. She was chewing on a straw and sat with her back against the glass - fat legs pressed down on the bench. Her fried, blonde hair fell in her face, and she constantly had to brush it back with her sticky, cheeto-covered fingers. Now a new problem emerged - she had cheeto crumbs tangled in the wavy strands of her hair. Seemingly satisfied with the trade-off, she licked each finger till all the cheeto crumbs with gone. Disgusting.

"Hey Barry," I said. "We need to get us some women. This place is depressin' as hell." If it weren't for Barry, I'd fall asleep behind the counter and the E-Z Pump would be robbed blind.

"I know what ya mean, Jimmy," Barry said behind me. I know Barry is bored when he puts a magazine down and begins wiping off the counter and cleaning things up. "I'm getting tired of going through all these old porn mags."

"Did you see the two in the booth?" I ask. Barry nods. "How does Slim get a girl and we're stuck here reading dirty magazines?"

"I don't know Jimmy, but Porky over there isn't much of a catch."

"Yeah, but at least he's got somethin'."

"She's something alright. Some big piece of..."

"Point taken," I interrupt. "But you know what I mean. Don't you want someone to talk to, to really talk to?"

<- Take me home.