Fan fiction: The plots thicken...

Ever got tired of waiting for a sequel to your favourite book? Why not take matters into your own hands? Ed Caesar delves into the world of fan fiction

There's something for everyone with fan fiction. At the high-culture end, we have subjects as various as Juliet's imagined response to Romeo after their first meeting, or a previously unseen letter from Daisy to Jay Gatsby.

And there's plenty at the lower end, too - do you want to know what Sky from Neighbours was really thinking when she broke up with Boyd? Delve into the world of fanfiction.net, and you will find thousands upon thousands of these wonderfully pointless pastiches, often in multiple chapters, all devoted to the imaginative afterlife of a work of fiction, however obscure.

AFTER F SCOTT FITZGERALD

'LETTER TO GATSBY' BY HIKARIZ

In an effort to explain the psychology of Daisy's decision to marry Tom Buchanan in Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz-era masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, the author composes this tear-sodden epistle from Daisy to Jay.

My dearest Jay,

I weep as I write this letter to you. I know I promised I'd wait for you, but I couldn't wait any longer, I need to feel loved. You have been gone for so long that I have married Tom Buchanan; he is a fine, wealthy and powerful young man who will take care of me. After you left I became depressed, I stopped talking with my family. I was waiting for you to return to me.

The following autumn after you left, I had a début after the Armistice, and I was happy; happy once again. I do not blame you, I know it is your duty to serve our country, but by February I had met Tom and was engaged to him. We married by June.

You see, I had lost hope of your return and had to move on, you must understand that.

It's funny really; the letter you sent me arrived the day of my bridal dinner. I happily dressed as lovely as the dawn in my flowered dress, but then one of my mother's maids told me a letter had arrived for me, a letter by Jay Gatsby. I took your letter with a trembling hand, fearful of what you would say to me. As I took it from her hand I knew I was making the biggest mistake in my life! Marrying Tom was a mistake because I was still in love with you... I still am, but I must learn to forget. As I read your letter I wept more that ever, I asked the maid to bring me a bottle of sauterne, so that the drink may help me calm down. I'd never had a drink before and as my friend Jordan says "I was drunk as a monkey". It was my friend Jordan who found me, when I saw her I gave her the pearls Tom had given me and told her... told her to return them to him! Told her I had changed my mind! I cried and cried. Oh God, had you seen me you would have started crying with me. Then suddenly I felt cold rushing water, yet I wouldn't stop crying, unable to let go of your letter. I squeezed it against me as if trying to push it into my heart. I barely let go of it as I saw that it was coming to pieces like snow, and maybe that was when I realized that I had to forget you. You had come to pieces along with your letter and I had to move on. As I was treated by my bridesmaid I remember why I was marrying Tom. Half an hour later I walked out of the room, the pearls around my neck, and the incident was over. Next day at five o' clock I married Tom Buchanan, with my heart in my throat, but happy.

Now here I am, writing to you, because I believe I owe you an explanation. Tom has given me what he promised... and some other things. Please understand that I do love you, Jay Gatsby. You'll be in my heart always; but now I must turn the page and try not to look back. I'm still weeping, and I know you may never come to read this letter but never the less I had to write it. Please try to forgive me.

With the greatest love,

Daisy

AFTER 'MONTY PYTHON'

'MONTY PYTHON'

BY MEDEVALMAIDEN

An amalgam of various Monty Python sketches from their Flying Circus years.

Knocks on door.

ARTHUR: Er, is this the office for complaints?

MR RIGGLY: Why yes. Please sit down. How may I help you?

ARTHUR: [Sits down] Well, I have a complaint.

MR RIGGLY: Terrible stuff, that. Do go on.

ARTHUR: It was in the china department.

MR RIGGLY: Really? [Looks more interested] What happened?

ARTHUR: Erm, OK. I was asking the saleslady to help me find a good set of plates for my auntie's birthday, and she threw a vase at me...

MR RIGGLY: Dear old Emily, that's the third one this week.

ARTHUR: [A bit nervous at that remark] So...anyway, that's my complaint.

MR RIGGLY: That's it?

ARTHUR: Uh, yes.

MR RIGGLY: That's all?

ARTHUR: Why yes, then I turned around and came up here to complain.

MR RIGGLY: No slipping on a patch of grease?

ARTHUR: Ah, no...

MR RIGGLY: No being whacked on the head with a steel pipe?

ARTHUR: Not really.

MR RIGGLY: [Takes out a paper and a red pen, and ticks off something] You're slipping, Emily. I shall have to take marks off.

ARTHUR: What's going on?

MR RIGGLY: Sorry about that, I'm so glad you complained. I'd be angry too, if I wasn't led to the trapdoor elevator, or set on fire. Good job, man! Now, if you'll just go to the office on the left, you'll be treated to a lovely French subtitled movie while being chopped up into bits, but not after you've been served some wonderful red wine, topped off with poison. [Hits intercom] Mr Livingston, Mr. Wentworth, you've got another one!

[Two burly, hairy men tramp into the room, wearing medieval executioner-style clothes, and drag off a shocked ARTHUR]

MR RIGGLY: [Yells after him] I hope you enjoyed your stay here at our store, do come again!

AFTER 'ROCKY'

'THE GLOVES MY FATHER WORE - PROLOGUE', BY BILLIEJEANBABY.

The author imagines Rocky Balboa taking up boxing in a narrative pitched somewhere between Rocky 7 and Million Dollar Baby.

Being his daughter, how could she NOT get involved with boxing? This is the tale of Trinity Balboa, daughter of the Italian Stallion. The story is better than the summary, I SWEAR!

Trinity Balboa punched the pad taped to the wall in the deserted gym. Her uncle Mick had trained her father Rocky here before he had become famous. Her dad had seemed to forget his roots. Trinity wasn't about to let it happen to her. She was 15, a west Philly girl if you ever saw one. This would always be her home.

Her wavy black hair was tied into a messy knot at the back of her neck. Her dark olive skin was beaded with sweat from the exercise. The dust that had accumulated on the punching pad rose with her blows. Everyone knew who she belonged to. You could take one look at her and recognize her heritage. Sometimes, when she walked down the street, people would yell out: "Hey, it's the Philly filly," mimicking Rocky's nickname, The Italian Stallion.

AFTER WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

'TITANIA AND OBERON'S HONEYMOON' BY SMILEYFACEPERSON.

What would have happened if Titania and Oberon had gone on honeymoon at the end of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

"O sweet, dear Oberon who holds my heart

"How lovely it is now that we are wed

"My fairies danced through that most happy..."

Titania stopped as her husband, Oberon, interrupted, looking over at her from his deck chair on the Atlantis Cruise ship.

"We don't have to speak in Iambic Pentameter, we are on our honeymoon. This isn't even in the play, it's our vacation. Oh, look, our Pina Coladas have arrived along with the complimentary lobster." Oberon got up and took his drink and lobster bib.

"Would you like the tail? It's the best part."

"Oh no, I'm allergic to seafood. You should know that! We've been married on and off for centuries now. I'll bet you don't even know what my middle name is."

"I know what your middle name is; you asked me that question after we got our last divorce. It's Elizabeth. Ha," Oberon said smugly.

"I have two middle names! I'm Elizabeth Rita. My parents couldn't decide. You have never listened to me!"

"Well, you never tell me things, like your second middle name. You should talk to me more." Oberon floundered for a grip in this argument.

"Oh, well now this is my fault, isn't it? You know what; I should have known this wasn't going to work out when you booked a trip to Atlantis. Last time I went there the mosquito netting was too holey and I got over 300 bug bites. I am leaving!" Titania stood up, glowering and snapped her fingers, zapping herself back to the woods.

Oberon sat on the deck chair, stunned for a moment, then shrugged and lay back down. He had paid good money for this honeymoon, even if he didn't have his 'honey'.

AFTER 'BLACKADDER'

'BLACKADDER GOES ON QUESTION TIME' BY SAHARADRAGON

A bizarre conflation of the third series of the classic British sitcom, Blackadder, and modern BBC political coverage.

Prince George is going to be struck off the civil list by the new PM and Blackadder goes into politics to try and save the prince but the only question is who to choose as MP. What we need is an utter unknown, yet someone over whom we have complete power. A man with no ideas of his own. One might almost say a man with no brain. Are you thinking what we're thinking? (No, vote Labour- ed)

[The Question Time theme music finishes]

Poor unsuspecting David Dimbleby: "Hullo and welcome to Question Time, this week coming to you from Dunny-on-the-Wold. With us today are Mr Ivor Biggun from the Standing at the back Dressed Stupidly party, Mr Pitt the even Younger the Whig candidate, Mr S Baldrick of the Adder Party, top columnist Glenda Slagg and Mr E Blackadder, Acting Returning Officer and Chairman of the Adder Party. Right, let's have our first question for the panel."

Audience member: "Mister Baldrick, what are your policies?"

Baldrick: "Er..."

Blackadder: "I wouldn't answer that if I were you Baldrick."

Baldrick: "Free turnips for all!"

[Much cheering]

David Dimbleby: "Excellent. Sensible policies for a happier Britain."

Glenda Slagg: "Hats off to the Adder Party? It isn't every day you meet an MP with his mind on only one thing. I'm talking about the free turnips for all policy! I'll turn-ip at your place any day, big boy!"

Pitt: "I would just like to point out to the audience that that was an empty promise from the leader of the opposition that clearly cannot be carried out on any budget ..."

'FLAMING MALLOWS AND THE GIRL OF MY DREAMS', BY JAMIE MCFLY

The author imagines how, before the first film in the Back to the Future series, Marty McFly meets his girlfriend Lorraine, and his eccentric scientist friend, Doc.

Her name was Jennifer Parker and she was the most beautiful girl in the 8th grade. It took me 3 months of stuttered conversations before I got up the courage to ask her out. She said yes. I decided on a picnic and bonfire and we chose a nice spot on the hill where an old mansion stood. The sun went down and she laughed

as I spent 20 minutes crouched over a small piece of steel wool and sticks, but eventually my hard work paid off. I ripped open a bag of marshmallows.

And then that's when the trouble started... I like my marshmallows charred - only the flames weren't going out. I continued to wave the stick up and down hoping the slight breeze might take out the flames. Well... the marshmallow flew right off my stick and the slight breeze turned into a big wind. The flaming mallow flew 20 feet before I could blink, landing on the roof of the mansion. Jennifer screamed. We stood there for a few minutes, gawking at the site and then we heard a scream from inside the building. There was someone in there!

My adrenalin caught up with me and I found myself stupidly running through the door. The entire building was on fire now and there I was, helping an elderly man out of the building. Jennifer was bawling. Blazing sirens sounded from down the street. The elderly man whom I'd so graciously rescued was screaming something about his experiments.

So that's how it happened. The man introduced himself as Doc Brown, we've been friends ever since. And hey, Jennifer was so impressed she asked me out again and we've been dating ever since.

'GOODNIGHT KISS' BY SCRIBBLEDIBBLE

The author delves into the steamy history between Stifler's nemesis, Finch, and Stifler's Mom, for this oedipally charged scene inspired by the American Pie teen-flicks.

Steven Stifler tipped his chair back, resting it on it's back legs. One week until he went back to East Lansing for college. His bedroom was becoming crowded with boxes. He coasted back further on his chair, thinking of how he would kill the rest of the night.

He could pack some of his things. He could have a beer or two. He could climb through Paul Finch's window and strangle him until he went to hell.

The guy had been a thorn in his side since they met. Always trying to make him look stupid with his "sophisticated" wit and his Tantric lifestyle. But he had pushed it too far the night he had slept with Stifler's mother.

The fight went down in history. While they both got fairly hurt, Stifler was the one who had had to go to hospital. Three days ago, history had repeated itself. Only Finch was nowhere to be found and Stifler wasn't able to impale him on a flagpole.

Stifler should have known his pampered, perfect life would come to this. His parents, both single, spoiled him rotten. Stifler himself was a God, with parties, with ladies, and looked up to by all the guys at school.

Even his former friend, Chris "Oz" Ostreicher had gone monogamous on him, not even seeing the humour in him having a sneak preview of Oz's phone sex with his girlfriend, Heather.

AFTER JM BARRIE

'IN HIS ARMS, A PETER PAN FICTION' BY METAPHORICAL

The author imagines this poignant scene, which would have happened long after the story of Peter Pan finishes.

Wendy dies, and confesses a secret to Peter. Takes place in the 1950s.

"I'm here, Wendy," he whispered. "Oh, Peter, I am dying; my last wish was to see you." She looked up at his eyes, and felt hot tears streaming down her face... there was so much to tell him... and not a lot of time. The cancer that coursed through her body like venom was quickly doing its final job in killing her.

"Tinkerbell told me," he whispered, brushing grey hair out of Wendy's eyes.

"I've been alone for so long, Peter. And now that I'm almost gone from this world, I've realized that you were the only man I ever loved." She struggled to laugh, and when she could not, gave up. But she was safe now... in the arms of the boy she had always loved. He, who had had many adventures... he who had saved her from many perils. This was simply an extension of that; she wiped the tears away from her face, and smiled, bitterly.

Peter held back tears as he watched his old friend struggle to breathe, "Wendy, you can't die... I love you too. I always have... ever since I watched you telling the stories, I always knew--"

He stopped, and held her close. Her breathing became scarcer and scarcer, until she uttered her final words, "Take me back to Neverland."

"Just close your eyes," he whispered. "Close your eyes and you'll be there."

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