Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #13

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Tati as TATI

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Tony as TONY

 

ACT 99 SCENE 5
TWO AND TWO MAKE FOUR

 

TONY: 23,770… 23,771… 23,772… and… 23,773! Whew!

Tony wipes the sweat from his brow. He’s sitting cross-legged on the lounge room floor, peering intently at a laptop screen. He seems to be quite chuffed about something.

Tati comes into the room chewing bubble gum. She notices Tony at his laptop, and approaches with no small amount of curiosity. She leans over his shoulder, popping a whopping big bubble right next to his ear.

TONY: Jumping Jehoshaphat! Tati, what the hell?!

TATI: Well, pardon me! I thought you had your hearing aid turned off.

TONY: Why would I do that? I need to hear when you’re creeping up on me!

TATI: It looks like it isn’t coping with that task, otherwise you wouldn’t have jumped out of your pants!

TONY: Ha bloody ha. How very droll.

TATI: Anyway, what are you counting? Or do you just enjoy the fact that you can count?

TONY: I didn’t graduate kindergarten only yesterday! Give me some credit.

He indicates the laptop screen.

TONY: I’ve been counting our blog comments.

TATI: Really? And the point of this is…?

TONY: It’s nice to see how far we’ve come. I remember the days when we were hardly getting any comments at all. Don’t you?

TATI: I do, but what’s the point of counting them?

TONY: It reminds me to be grateful for all the attention we’ve been getting.

TATI: I get it, Tony. I’m not dense! But still I ask, what’s the point?

TONY: Well, these high numbers are getting me kinda giddy with excitement. I think I wanna go set off firecrackers in some letterboxes now… you know, to celebrate.

Tony offers a self-conscious smile.

Tati pushes past Tony and grabs the laptop. She starts to poke her finger around the touchscreen.

TONY: Hey! You’re getting your greasy mitts all over my lovely, pristine laptop!

TATI: What?! They’re as clean a newborn’s ass!

Tati licks her hand and shoves it under Tony’s nose—palm up—as proof of her claim.

TATI: See?

Tony wrinkles his nose in disgust, visibly squirming where he sits.

TONY: Erm, okay.

Tati lets rip a snort of victory, and continues to fidget her finger over the touchscreen.

TONY: Okay, seriously, what are you doing?

Tati opens the admin panel on their site, and pokes at the section ‘Comments’.

TATI: Got it?

TONY: Nope. I’m not at all convinced that I’ve ‘got it’.

Tati rolls her eyes.

TATI: Look!

She jabs at a particular point on the screen.

TATI: There’s the exact number of comments in parentheses!

TONY: I can see that! It’s at 23,781 now!

TATI: Well… 23,784 actually… but I’m trying to figure out why you’re counting them manually? Are you some kind of pervert? Do you have a number fetish?

Tony’s face turns redder than a stop sign on Mars.

TONY: Erm… no. I just didn’t see the little number in brackets…

Tati looks genuinely shocked.

TATI: Really?!

Suddenly realising the magnitude of his mistake, Tony looks at her with heartbreakingly wretched hangdog eyes. He says in a tiny squeak…

TONY: I know. I’m not a man.

TATI: And how long have you been counting for?

Tony’s voice is now a pathetic whisper.

TONY: Three hours…

Tati suddenly remembers that there’s bubble gum in her mouth. She resumes her chewing, her face taking on a musing look.

TONY: Why are you looking at me like that?

His voice has risen above a whisper again. Tati pops another bubble.

TATI: Honestly? I’m torn between contempt and respect.

TONY: Okay, just gonna go hide in a cupboard now…

TATI: No no no! You really are a lovely idiot, Tony. You’ve valiantly spent three hours on this fruitless task.

Tati ruffles his hair.

TATI: Let’s finish it together, yes? After all, we have a lot of readers to be thankful for.

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Dear Readers,

We at Unbolt Me have a special message for you.

WE LOVE YOU!

Seriously, we could not have lasted these five years without your unflagging support. The fact that you keep coming back to read our silly little offerings means more than we can adequately say. In fact, we’re not particularly adept at conveying gratitude at all, and now neither of us is able to think of an elegant way to conclude this thank you message.

So… let’s just stop there, shall we?

(At this point, Tati is whispering to Tony in a menacing tone. She hopes he hasn’t actually been counting followers too. Tony’s tapping his hearing aid, pretending that it doesn’t work.)

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #8

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Tati as TATI

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Tony as TONY

 

ACT 11 SCENE 7
MONEY BURNING A HOLE IN MY POCKET

 

Tati is reading an advertising booklet.

TATI: (calling out) Is $22 worth much in today’s economy?

TONY: (from another room) I have no idea. Depends on which economy!

TATI: (to herself) We should drink away our first income.

TONY: I heard that! And, no, we shouldn’t!

Tony enters the room, a disapproving look on his face. Tati holds up the booklet for him to see.

TATI: Look. Hennessy VS 0.5l, Gift Pack for $22!

TONY: NO! What the hell is wrong with you? Are you some kinda lush?

Tati pouts, then her face lights up as something else comes to mind.

TATI : We should spend it on something nice like… HATS! We can buy hats for doves in the park.

Tony does a massive facepalm.

TATI: (a little less convincingly) For the sake of their heads… So the sun doesn’t cook them?

TONY: Jesus. What is the difference between drinking away this money and buying headwear for birds?

Tati pouts again.

TONY: (ruefully) Well, I guess the birds would benefit more than your liver…

TATI: Fine. What do you reckon we should do with the first income from our Patreon page?

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Hey, Dear Readers, would you like to read more? Would you like to know how wisely Tati and Tony disposed of their $22? Then why not pop on over here? We’d love for you to see the hard work we’ve done on our new Patreon page. There’s no entrance fee, we promise!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

Eugene (P.S.)

Hullo, dearest Writers and Readers,

It’s Tati. (Yeah, I’m still here and can speak too. Shocking news, isn’t it?)

Usually I prefer to stay backstage at Unbolt Me, hiding in my cozy, dark corner and letting Tony shine onstage to bask in the warmness of your love. But please, don’t think I’m indifferent to what happens here. I do care.

You can be sure that every day I open WP Admin with bated breath and fingers crossed. I bite my nails, in a state, wondering if you’ll love our newest post or hate it. I read every single comment. Do you still read and support us? Do you still want us here?

Well… Honestly, when I was writing Eugene I didn’t expect such great feedback. I thought it was just another story, just the next post on Unbolt Me. I was wrong.

Let me wholeheartedly thank all of you for every like, comment, and reblog. I felt your emotions and was truly moved by your sincere concern. That’s why I decided to write this post. I thought it would be churlish of me to keep you in the dark about this story. I decided to lift the curtain over Eugene and answer some of the questions that were brought up in the comments section.

Okay, so here we are…

Q: What I want to say to you I’m not sure you’d take well so I’m not saying it.

A: Hmmm… Why not, Crystal? Please, don’t hold it inside. I promise not to bite you.

Q: Great story, true, or not, or ‘based on’…

A: Dear Alli, this is a real story. I adorned it with some artistic details, but you can be sure that all characters and events are entirely true.

Q: You can’t leave us hanging like that! Did you meet him again?

A: Yes, Tanushka. I saw Eugene a couple of times after this. Once I saw how he walks. It really drags at the heartstrings. He’s so stripped to the bone, so weak. I doubt he can even stand without his crutches, not to mention walk.

Q: Did you ever speak to the man again?

A: Unfortunately no, Cher. I wanted to stop, but something prevented me every time. In the last few weeks Eugene hasn’t been sitting in his usual place—I think because it’s getting colder. I hope to meet him again.

Q: I hope Eugene keeps doing his embroidery for a long time.

A: Dear Kat and Ellie, I sincerely hope he will! He has a splendid talent.

Q: I’m sure Eugene is an inspiration for many people.

A: Katharine, I’m with you on this. At the very least, he inspired me to write this story. And it looks like it has inspired many people who have read this story. It makes me so happy!

Q: Maybe Eugene is a supernatural geezer as well.

A: I can bet, Artie, that he is!

P.S. The photo of Eugene in the original post was my own. I was a bit too shy to take it openly, even after we’d had a conversation. I stepped aside, pretended to look for something in my phone, and took some sneaky shots like a coward. Sorry, Eugene.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017

Thank You!

It’s happiness and pride for every writer to get grateful and skilled readers, to inspire them, to encourage them for their own oeuvre. Honestly, when we started our trilogy, we didn’t expect such amazing feedback.

We were overwhelmed when we got such a brilliant spin-off of the first installment Bastet, a heartwarming and intimate story called Triune-Heartby Madam Marmoset. The second part Sekhmet was awarded with a colorful and daring dilogy In the Corner with Maftet in Bubastisby Jonathan Noble.

There are mixed feelings when you watch how your characters move out of your control; it’s a delightful mix of envy and pride. You try to guess their next step, and fail gladly. You want to predict the next twist, but you want even more than that to be surprised. It’s like laying an egg again. You never know what’s going to be inside. Bliss!

We always publish our guest posts with special feelings. We celebrate every new ‘like’ and every warm comment. We’re both very proud and happy.

Thank you, dear community, dear Writers and Readers, friends! Thank you!

 

Yours ever,
Tati & Tony

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2015