Arushiangelica, here is my MST3000-style parody. I want to clear it with you before I post it within my own book.
The following is a satirical review of the Tapas novel “Not with a Bang.” At least, this satire reviews the first episode, the Prologue Chapter, of Not with a Bang. I asked if any of my fellow Tapas novelists were interested in receiving a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type of treatment, and Arushi Raj generously but foolishly volunteered some of her text. Reading any parody before the original text ruins it, so I strongly recommend going to Not with a Bang first and reading the prologue there. It's actually quite fantastic.
I knew I was dreaming but that didn't make it any less real.
Shiva: What's this?
Isis: Hush, we're critiquing somebody else's story.
Odin: It was Zaboem's terrible idea.
I was going to die and all I could do was gawk like an idiot. “Run”, I screamed at myself but my dream-self couldn't even move an inch.
Odin: That's not what gawking sounds like.
Shiva: It sounds like this: gawk, gawk, GAWK!
Isis: We've got an entire chapter to get through boys. We're only three sentences deep. If you're going to act like this, I'll get comfortable and somebody can bring me popcorn.
Isis: Tut, tut, popcorn. Corn of pop.
Shiva: Yes ma'am.
I was too late. The hot searing brightness engulfed my vision. It moved through my outstretched fingers and I knew, I knew, this was the end.
Odin: I don't like stories which begin with a dream sequence.
Isis: I like em. They're dreamy.
Shiva: I've got the popcorn.
I woke up with a start. I could hear my heart banging against my chest. My head felt woozy. My mind was awake but my body hasn't caught up yet.
Odin: I don't care for the word, woozy either.
Shiva: I like it. It's fun to say. Woozy. Woozy gawk.
Isis: nom, nom, nom.
More than anything I just wanted to open my eyes so I could escape this metallic aftertaste of my dream. I dragged myself away from the lingering emptiness and opened my eyes to the darkness.
Odin: “Metallic aftertaste of my dream”? Did he bite his tongue in his sleep?
Isis: You're too literal.
Shiva: My dreams taste like hobanero peppers and plasma fire.
Sweat simmered on my body. It disgusted me. It terrified me. It reeked of fear. I sucked in a cold gush of air and quickly wiped out the evidence from the back of my neck. Twelve was too old to be having nightmares. Just too old to be so scared. Especially when your seven-year-old sister was sleeping peacefully beside you.
Shiva: The narrator has a sister. Maybe he bit her tongue.
Isis: How old is twelve in human years?
Odin: It's too old to be having nightmares.
I focused on her tiny face. Traced her straight narrow nose. Hovered over her slightly opened lips. Her breath tickled my palm. Cooling it, calming me, hauling me back to the present. But there was something much more insidious clutching my heart as I realized that my nightmare could have been so much worse.
Shiva: We're three paragraphs in, and I haven't seen an explosion yet.
Odin: It happened while you were getting popcorn.
She could have been there. She could have felt that pain. She could have experience that fear.
Odin: Better wake her up and make sure.
Shiva: Nightmares are cool.
Isis: You're thinking of the Night Mare, the chaotic evil version of a pegasus from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
Shiva: No – but that too.
The quiet night wasn't so quiet anymore. I could hear the static air, the echoes of my scream, the blinding light. And then I heard the TV. Dad was still awake.
Odin: Hold up, did he just hear a blinding light?
Isis: so literal
Shiva: I'm going to grow an eyeball in my ear so I can hear light.
Isis: That's how you see noises, dear.
Shiva: Dang it, I don't wanna see stupid noises.
I stumbled out of my bed, feeling my way through the walls, until there was light again. Not the searing light of my nightmare but an electric one. I quietly sat down next to him on the floor, resting my back on the couch.
Isis: Notice that he doesn't feel his way along the walls. He feels through the walls. That's talent.
Shiva: That's strength.
Odin: Backbones seem uncomfortable. Humans are always resting them against stuff. That why I never had one.
Shiva: Wait, you're actually spineless? I've been calling you that all this time, but I never knew I was right.
“What happened?” He asked coolly.
Isis: Dads are so cool.
I dreamt that the world is going to end. We were all going to be eaten by the sun. And the worst part was that even if that happened millions or billions of years later, I will still be there. Because that's just what we get. No heaven and no hell. Just an unending cycle of rebirths. I can of course avoid it all if I achieve moksha but the way my life is going; I am not very optimistic about that. Probably in next life. I just have to make sure that the world does not end before that.
Shiva: Now we're getting somewhere. We're talking about a planet getting eaten by a star.
Odin: The narrator is a having a deep conversation with his father about futility of all things within an eternity and existential crisis, and your takeaway is fire awesome?
How was I supposed to tell him all that?
So I said the only thing that came in my head, “Nothing”.
Isis: He's adorable when he lies.
Because that's all it was. Nothing, Big ol' Nothing.
Isis: Look at how he capitalized Nothing.
Odin: It's a proper noun. Nothing, name brand nothingness.
Shiva: Now available in Big ol' size.
He knew I was lying.
Odin: I knew you were lying, and I'm just reading the story. I'm not even there.
I knew he wouldn't call me out on it. That's why I came to him. He knows when not to ask questions.
Shiva: When do you not ask questions?
Shiva: Dang it! I just asked one.
So we quietly sat there looking at the TV. After a while I went back to bed.
Shiva: What's on the TV? I can't see.
Isis: It's GamerCat on the Tapas channel.
Shiva: I love that guy.
Odin: Well, the narrator is going back to bed. Should we get back to our own book now?
Isis: Are you going to replace that fourth wall after abusing it like that?
Odin: I don't know what you're talking about?
Shiva: Wow, he did it. He really replaced the fourth wall.
Odin: Are we going to talk about how dark this is? It's so emo and deep. I feel like it's setting us up for a difficult read.
Isis: I liked it. The descriptions were rich and evocative. It even held Shiva's attention.
Shiva: The author isn't afraid to show us that some deep topics will be covered. I actually know what moksha means. She demonstrates a respect for the audience.
Odin: Well, she couldn't know that you would be reading.
Shiva: So long as a planet falls into a star at some point, I'm down.
Odin: Well, it is in the Sci-Fi section.
Isis: There could be laser fights.
Shiva: Really? I'm going to go make a laser shiv.
Odin: Do you want to read another chapter, Isis?
Isis: Shouldn't we get back to our own adventure first?
Odin: Nobody reads that. Have you seen our subscriber stat?
Isis: Patch that hole in the fourth wall, now, buster.
Odin: Yes, ma'am.