Welcome to My Existential Crisis, Episode 4

In which our Reporter self gets her revenge against our Writer and Editor selves.

Don’t remember what happened when we last left our alter egos? Don’t worry, it’s not important. But if you insist, here’s Part 3. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Writer: (walks into room, followed by Editor) I’m telling you, I think we hurt her feelings. We need to apologize.

Editor: And I keep telling you, she’s a grown woman. I’m sure she’s long gotten over it by now. Besides, it’s not like we did anything too terrible.

chair with ropeWriter: No, of course not. We only bound her and gagged her and stole her cake.

Editor: Well, sure. If you put it like that.

Writer: It’s so weird having her gone this long. Usually it’s only a day or two, like when she’s researching a lead or tracking down facts for me. We must have really pissed her off.

Editor: Pshaw. She’s fine. Don’t worry about it.

Writer: I can’t help it. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat… I’m becoming a nervous wreck.

Editor: You should do what I do. Suppress your emotions and pretend everything is fine.

Writer: Really? You think so?

Jump to Recipe

Editor: Absolutely. Total denial of all feelings – that’s the secret to happiness.

Writer: I don’t know…

Editor: Have I ever steered you wrong? Hey, let’s hear that note you found again. Maybe it’ll give us a clue.

Writer: (unfolds piece of paper)

First there was three
Then came the lie
Now she is free
Eating chocolate cream pie.

             Do you really think it’s from her?

Editor: Of course it’s from her. She’s taunting us with pie. Last time it was cake, now it’s pie.

Writer: Yeah, but it rhymes. She hates rhymes. She thinks they’re cheesy.

Editor: You’re thinking of me, and yes, it’s definitely cheesy. I’d ignore it, but it mentioned pie.

Writer: Do you think she misses me? I mean, really misses me? Tell the truth.

Editor: What? Seriously?

Writer: I wonder if she thinks of me at night. Like, around the time she’d read to me from a chapter book.

Editor: A chapter book? Good lord woman, how old are you?

Writer: Physically or emotionally?

Editor: Okay, listen. You want to find her, I want to find the pie. Let’s start with this room. Isn’t this where we last saw her?

Writer: You mean where we bound her and gagged her and stole her cake?

Editor: I bet if we look around, we’ll find some clues that’ll lead us to the pie.

Writer: And her?

Editor: Yeah, yeah, her too. You check that side of the room, I’ll look over here.

Writer: Don’t leave me! I don’t want to be alone!

Editor: Ugh, fine! You can follow me, but not too close. And no touching! Geez woman, get a grip!

Writer: What’s that you’re standing on? It looks like netting. Oh, careful about that wire.

Editor: What wir– (Whoosh! The net springs up and lifts her from the floor) AAUUUGH! Get me out of this!

Writer: Oh, wow! That looks like a trap!

Editor: YA THINK?!

Reporter: (steps out from behind a curtain) Well, well. Look who dropped in. And here I was beginning to lose hope.

Writer: Oh my gosh, it’s Reporter! Look Editor! It’s Reporter!

Editor: Of course it is. You’ve been very clever, Reporter. Very clever indeed. Now let me down.

Writer: I’ve missed you so much, Reporter! I thought I was going crazy!

Editor: Seriously. Let me down.

Reporter: What’s the rush?

Writer: I’m so sorry for what happened, really I am!

Editor: I’M NOT!

Reporter: I don’t blame you for what happened, Writer. I know you don’t have the brains for something like that.

Writer: Oh, that’s so sweet! Thank you for forgiving me. Does that mean we can continue reading together?

Reporter: Yes, only instead of a novel, I thought we’d read some poetry while we eat the chocolate pie I made.

Writer: Oh boy, that sounds fun!

Editor: Okay, this little joke has gone on long enough. You’ve made your point.

old book of poetryReporter: (hands Writer a thick book and they sit down) We’ll take turns reading out loud. I’ll cut the pie. Extra big slices, right? And whipped cream?

Writer: Yes, please. Which one should I read?

Reporter: It doesn’t matter. Just make sure it rhymes.

Editor: Dammit woman! Let me down!

Writer: How about this one? “The Diverting History of John Gilpin,” by William Gowper.

Reporter: Sounds lovely. Here’s your slice of pie, and here’s a cup of Earl Grey, too. Just the thing for chocolate pie.

Writer: Mmm, that looks good. And you dusted cocoa on top! Exactly how Editor likes it.

Editor: Let me down now and we’ll forget this whole thing ever happened.

Reporter: Carry on, Writer.

Writer: Okay, let’s see…

John Gilpin was a citizen,
Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he
Of famous London town.

             Do you want me to read the whole thing? It goes on for five pages.

Reporter: Absolutely. Don’t leave out a single word.

Editor: GODDAMMIT WOMAN, LET ME DOWN!

Reporter: Careful, Editor. You nearly expressed an emotion there. Read on, dear Writer. Read on…

Chocolate Cream Pie

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Print

You can use any kind of crust you like. I like a regular pastry, but a cookie crust is extra decadent. Click here for an Oreo cookie crust. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Chocolate pie1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 + 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8″ or 9″ pie crust, baked

In medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt; blend in milk and eggs. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add butter and baking chocolate; stir until completely melted and incorporated. Remove from heat; add vanilla and stir well.

Pour hot pudding into pie crust, press plastic wrap onto surface and refrigerate. Chill before serving.

Serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa or chocolate shavings.

 

 

Author: C. J. Hartwell

Christi lives in Phoenix with Husband, Son, Daughter, and Dog. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, but as she doesn't live anywhere near a beach, she's usually in bed by 9:30.

8 thoughts on “Welcome to My Existential Crisis, Episode 4”

  1. Great new chapter in this saga with which I have a slight obsession. Banter and netting and pie, oh my! Possible best line, still considering: “Suppress your emotions and pretend everything is fine.” This is something I was forced to learn at a young age, breach-birthed as I was into an Italian-German-Bunch of Other Stuff extended family banging out an existence in northeastern Oklahoma. And now I’m learning wonderful new tactics to use with my editor in order to obtain my life dreams. I don’t actually have an editor… or an agent… or a local reporter with baking skills that wants to be in the same room with me, but still, I am better prepared for that future day when a literary professional of any kind briefly notices that I know how to type. (P.S. Whilst I do love a good piece of cake, pie is more my passion, especially cream pies. Just thought I should mention this, in case you were already working on your Christmas list…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, see, I come from Norwegian-German stock. We are professional emotion suppressors. I’m considering supplementing my income by giving lessons. You know, until a literary professional of any kind takes notice of me.
      And yeah, pie! What’s not to love about pie? My favorite is peach, but not just any peach. I’m talking freshly picked, ripe and juicy peaches, lovingly baked in a homemade crust with a lattice top, made by an apron-wearing grandma with a speck of flour on her nose.
      So. Yeah. Kinda hard to find.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The conversations in your head are making me thinks I should be thinking more deeply. But then the pie totally distracted me. I love chocolate cream pie and this looks amazing! Hell is definitely not other people, if those people bake pies!

    Liked by 1 person

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