Breakfast at Karmuck's Interdimensional Cafe

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Episode 4

The Universe of a Romantic Comedy Part 3:

Laura stumbled into her luxury apartment, which she and Alicia had obtained via an unexplained plothole. Drunk as a clam yet still groomed and conditioned well enough to appear on Miss America, she managed to stay upright just long enough to stumble to the couch. Alicia materialized in front of her at the perfectly convenient time to discuss her latest nighttime escapades.

“I won’t expect you to be very enthusiastic but at least pretend to be somewhat passionate. Our freedom hinges on it,” Alicia said.

“Yeah funny thing about that, I tried the whole approach the guy first thing but the second I actually tried being that, I swear a big giant ‘slut’ sign showed up over my head,” Laura said. “So then I tried that whole ‘play hard to get’ shit that you see on all those other Rom Coms and all I got were pretentious dipshits. I tried punching one in the face but...” Laura raised her stick thin arms. “The universe kinda took away all my muscle mass and conditioning. He said it was cute. That’s a good start right?”

“I suppose this lead has potential. Do you remember his name?” Laura blinked several times and frowned in despair.

“Um... no?” Alicia sighed in relief.

“Good, because Rule 21 Subsection A5 states that the desperation and commitment of the man is directly proportional to the woman’s apathy. At this rate, we might be out of here before this chapter is over.”

“You think?”

“We’re right on track according to the standardized formula.” Sure enough, Laura’s cell phone began ringing.

“The hell? Who’s calling me? And when did I get a cell phone?”

“It’s your man,” Alicia said.

“How can you tell?”

“Because I’m dissipating from existence again.” Laura took her phone out of her pockets, an absurdly pink, outdated flip phone.

“Oh come on! At least give me something I’d actually use!” She picked it up and answered. Sure enough, it was the voice of a man Laura barely recognized suddenly spouting a thinly veiled declaration of true love. “Yeah sure I felt something special too. Yada yada ya. Hey, why don’t you just stay where you are, I’ll go there to meet you, have a stupidly pointless conversation about flowers or something, then we can have our obligatory sex, and call it a day? Okay? Okay. See ya.” Without another word, Laura hung up and jumped onto her feet with all the agility of a cat, her earlier drunkenness apparently too inconvenient for the plot. “Shit...”

“What?” Alicia said behind her. Laura jumped and squealed like a terrified kitten. Alicia had to muster all her self discipline to avoid smirking.

“Geez, you gotta warn me next time you materialize like that..”

“I can’t. I materialized with the words in my mouth. The Author wants us to hurry up.” Laura’s eyebrows twitched and she glared in no direction in particular.

“Look here buddy boy! Nobody bosses around Laura Mason!” Laura promptly got shoved flat onto her back for no apparent reason. “Real mature buddy, real mature.” Just shut up and get to the sex scene, the sooner you girls finish the formula the sooner I can get you out of there. “Whatever. Just beam us in already.”

Laura leaned back in the bed and pulled the sheet over her breasts to avoid offending any Moral Guardians in the audience. Her lover, imaginatively named John, was allowed to keep his top half exposed.

“Alright, Author boy can we get out of here already?” she said. Unfortunately, she and her friend could not, as the contrived misunderstanding that typically passes itself off as a story ‘climax’ had not yet occurred and thus she was still stuck inside. “Fan-fucking-tastic.”

“What?” John muttered.

“Nothing,” Laura replied. She climbed out of bed, carefully concealing her body while getting dressed for the sake of the Guardians and then began pacing out of the room. “I’ll get a coffee. BRB.” She stepped out into the kitchen yet the man felt perfectly comfortable lying naked alone in his bed while a near stranger walked around.

“Laura, why aren’t we back at Karmuck’s?” Alicia whispered irritably. Creepily enough, Alicia seemingly gained the ability to materialize in Laura’s presence at will.

“We still need a contrived misunderstanding that’ll be a visible enough excuse for us to break up and for him to grovel like a moron so we can have our actual happy ending,” Laura said.

“Well, that should be easy enough.”

“Whattya mean?” Before Laura could ask more questions, Alicia removed her blouse and pants, stripping down to just her lingerie. “Contrived and illogical beyond reason but... I guess it could work."

"I was our home universe’s designated seductress after all. Give me about five minutes and then walk in. Remember to at least pretend to be upset,” Alicia instructed before sauntering into the bedroom. Laura leaned back and continued drinking her coffee. Once the sound of a bouncing bed began echoing through the apartment, Laura casually stepped inside. Sure enough, in spite of John’s supposed commitment it was child’s play for Alicia to get in bed with him due to plot and rule of drama.

“You said you loved me!” Blatant lies to be sure, but if it got Laura out of this universe faster...

“Baby wait...”

“Boo hoo hoo, you broke my heart. Goddamn it you cheating something something I’m outta here.”

Later, as Laura sat in her own dining room to get something to eat, she suddenly broke down into uncontrollable sobs.

“What... the hell... is going on?!” she gasped between her incessant sobbing and weeping.

“Rule 47 Subsection D5: no matter how tough a woman is established to be, very often they will spontaneously burst into uncontrollable crying to emphasize their pain,” Alicia said.

“You know... what? I’m so... fucking sick of this,” Laura said. In spite of her best efforts, she kept crying for no real reason. “When does it end?” There was a knock at the door. Instantly, the sobs subsided.

“I think now would be a good time,” Alicia said.

“Wait, before you disappear again; could I ask where exactly you go when you cease to exist here?” Laura asked.

“No, now hurry up.” Laura grumbled and walked towards the door. She wiped her face clean several times, only to have the tears reappear on her cheeks. “Figures...” Directly in the hall outside, John was kneeling on the floor, soaking wet. “The hell?”

“It started raining right as I ran okay?” he said.

“Right...”

“Laura, I...”

“Love you and am sincerely sorry. I promise to do whatever it is you’ll ask to take me back and want to grow old and... yada yada okay, let’s skip to the end cutscene. Is it still raining?” John blinked and looked to the window at the end of the hall.

“Yes.”

“Perfect.” One deplorably water drenched make out scene later, Alicia appeared on the sidelines, sheltered by a black umbrella and holding a comically large clipboard.

“One make out scene in the pouring rain... Check and check,” she said. “Good news Laura, we’re finished! The credits should start rolling... now!”

Karmuck’s:

Laura looked at the mirror, flexing her arms repeatedly to confirm the truth.

“Ha ha! My biceps! I can see them again!” She declared. Alicia smiled contentedly and took another sip of hot tea.

“I never thought I’d be so happy to be at Karmuck’s again,” she said. In front of them, the Author’s Tome remained open to the same page from where they came. “Though to be honest, I actually had quite a bit of fun.”

“Says you. All you had to do was play sidekick. You wanna really have fun?” Laura snatched the book and turned the pages. “I double dare you to try living through this.” She pushed the book back in Alicia’s direction.

“You’re on.”
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