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Lemony Snicket Wrote A New Story For #TwitterFiction

A Series of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket, AKA Daniel Handler, participated in the second annual #TwitterFiction Festival this week.

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Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images

On Thursday, Lemony Snicket, otherwise known as author Daniel Handler, participated in Twitter's second annual #TwitterFiction Festival. He was one of over 20 authors who participated in the festival by writing stories composed of 140 character tweets for their followers. Some authors, like Snicket, also incorporated their followers' suggestions and answers into their Twitter tales.

Snicket's story takes place within the context of his series All the Wrong Questions , which is considered a prequel to his wildly popular A Series of Unfortunate Events. You can read the full story below and follow Lemony Snicket here.

I’m standing in the shade of a tree full of noisy birds. Perhaps their tweets will help me find out what is going on.#TwitterFiction

I know I’m Lemony Snicket and I know I’m almost 13. But the rest is a vague blur in my brain and a throbbing bump on my head.#TwitterFiction

Amnesia is like a pen without ink, or a toaster without bread - I have no idea why I am carrying it around. #TwitterFiction

“How did I get here?” I ask the birds, silently but not rhetorically. “What mode of transportation?” #TwitterFiction

But I feel no talon marks in my shoulders. https://t.co/saqFv9iMRh

@lemonysnicket hot air mobile home

I scan the sky and see nothing but clouds, one of which is shaped like the wrong answer. https://t.co/EQtSuTJV7W

@lemonysnicket "Caw-r" they answer

I silently berate myself for studying Esperanto and Braille and not Aviary. Some educations are nothing but waste. https://t.co/TMH4kHCwGx

Yes! A taxi! It comes back to me now! I even remember the drivers - my associates the Bellerophon Brothers. https://t.co/UDSk6AzOzr

Bouvard & Pecuchet Bellerophon,aka Pip & Squeak,have driven me in and out of suspicious locations and frantic states.

They're too loyal to leave me dazed and alone. The question is, did I (a) jump out of the taxi of my own accord, or (b) was I pushed?

@lemonysnicket you must have jumped. no one competent would push you from a taxi and I doubt you rode with Stew Mitchum.

It's coming back to me now - I jumped, so that even the Bellerophons would not know my secret destination. https://t.co/fwWa54T0JR

I quickly search my pockets for clues as to my blurry plans, and find 3 objects. One is a scrap of paper, and the other two, hmm...

Not knowing what happens next in life can feel lonely and shaky, like a maraca when the mariachi band has gone home.

Is it possible? No, I'm just remembering a long-ago weekend in Sardinia with certain oft-surnburnt associates. https://t.co/e5WhYTlYDb

I look at the key and the matches, and the key and matches look back at me as if they are very busy but will get back to me later.

I uncrumple the paper and read the note written in familar but elusive handwriting.

"I have crucial information about a family member. Bring this key and box of matches and meet me..." Root beer and/or tears blurs the rest.

My noggin sore and my mind addled, I look around to get my bearings. My moral compass is intact but otherwise I can hardly see where I am.

To the South is a lonely-looking street full of boarded-up storefronts.

To the East is a building that was clearly impressive once, but now little more than crumbling minarets and sad stained glass windows.

To the North and Northwest are some train tracks leading far into a flat, rural landscape. What do do, what to do?

@lemonysnicket Have a look inside of the minaret, please.

@Pevalwen is so polite. A courteous voice in a noisy flock is appreciated during amnesia and birthday parties alike. https://t.co/8ixqTqrko9

I walk toward the shabby building, staring again at the note's familiar handwriting. Who would have me meet them here?

My associates appear like drawn images on an electronic screen. Could it be Moxie Mallahan, the intrepid journalist?

I am half-remembering a curious headline I saw in one of Moxie's recent articles...what was it, again?

@lemonysnicket "Man Goes Missing in Casino" -Simon, my associate

Yes, the case of Ricardo Roulette, last seen, oddly, playing baccarat at Stain'd-By-the-Sea's last gambling house. https://t.co/Bz6l3x5ONs

But what could a vanishing gambler have to do with this desolate house of worship and/or construction site? I look at one of the windows.

The cracked stained glass reveals a scene from a book I've never liked, although the title escapes me at the moment.

@lemonysnicket As I recall, you've never liked The Little Prince. So maybe there was a snake involved, because snakes are usually involved.

Precisely: this rendering of the self-righteous chapter on drunkenness is as insipid as de Saint-Exupéry's original. https://t.co/a799E4iSYx

But is it a clue? Drunkards and gamblers can occasionally go hand in hand, like gourmet chocolate and snobbery.

I look again at the key,wondering if I should head back to the storefronts, a more likely source for a keyhole, or stay here.A bird answers.

@lemonysnicket The bird alights on a strangely shaped box at the front of the room.

How could I have missed this box before? Amnesia is trouble enought without hyperopia. https://t.co/j3J1cUzxEz

A locked box is like a frowning friend who tells you nothing's wrong, although one is more likely to open up with a root beer float.

The box is small but very heavy, like the poetry of Basho, and its hinges creak like the noise you tell yourself, in bed, you did not hear.

Inside is a small musical instrument, the name of which is on the tip of my tongue.

I lift the kalimba out of the box and thumb its tines, listening to the plunky sounds reverberate. https://t.co/OSz7jjVXTB

I stare at the key and the kalimba, wondering how they are connected, aside from alliteration.

A note mentions "crucial information about a family member." A key unlocks a box in this abandoned building. Plunk, plunk. Think, Snicket.

I think of my associates again. Who else would want to meet me here? The esteemed chemist Cleo Knight, perhaps?

I do recall that Cleo had paused her work with invisible ink to test a new formula, consisting of letters, numbers and mathematical signs.

I close my eyes and, with twittery effort, conjure up the formula:

@lemonysnicket The chemical formula for fire? C3H8 + 5O2 --> 3CO2 + 4H20

Yes, as part of Cleo's work on fireproof cufflinks, for firefighters to wear on formal occasions. https://t.co/B34TuxV0vG

The same formula is printed on the side of the box of matches, above the words THESE ARE NOT TO PLAY WITH! and a picture of a child crying,

presumably because the warning ends with a preposition. Focus, Snicket. Do not digress on grammar.

But I was hungry. It is difficult to focus on an empty stomach, because you are busy focussing on an empty stomach.

This made me think of Jake Hix,Cleo's beau and a chef who spelled "DELICIOUS" as Deviled Eggs,Liquorice Ice Cream, Ikura Or Umbrian Salami."

I remembered when Jake made a dish from three random items suggested by passers-by.

@lemonysnicket Snicket the more you think about food, the more time it will take you to solve this mystery!

The voice in my head,despite its dubious name, is right. So many suggestions from passers-by are disgusting, anyway. https://t.co/actMJlRuOJ

The grey sky was getting darker, as if slowly giving up on the idea of daytime. I examined my clues once more.

Was there information about my sister, who had gotten herself in trouble more or less on my account?

Or was it my brother, whose whereabouts are even more shadowy?

I turned the kalimba over with a small plunk. There was a small sketch on the back, drawn by a child or perhaps a late Expressionist.

The sketch depicts an animal, Snicket. What do you call that fearsome creatures, again?

Heavens no. My evening is disturbing enough. https://t.co/QtFO7hrZpP

My second favorite animal - but this is smaller. https://t.co/AYFn6K6Zd5

The various guesses ricocheted in my head, as if composed by various strangers in some elaborate and occasionally frustrating network.

It was a wildcat, and this jogged my memory. It was the only sort of jogging of which I approve.

There is a girl who is afraid of wildcats, Snicket. A girl with eyes bright enough to make you lose your memory all over again.

You might not call her an associate. In fact, all the names for her feel wrong, except the one her parents gave her.

But it's too late. She's already right behind you.

And as soon as you turn to see her face, Snicket, you realize that the handwriting on the note is yours.

The Bellerophons wouldn't have given you a ride to see her, but you knew you had something you needed to tell her,

as soon as you retrieved the kalimba with the wildcat scrawled on the back.

By now it's almost dark, so I light a match so Ellington can approach without stumbling on all the rubble.

"Good evening," she says. "Not so far," I reply. She gives me a frown and a tiny shrug.

"I didn't think I'd see you here," she says, but then her eyes move to the kalimba. "I always try to stay one step ahead of you," I say.

Ellington looks at the instrument, and then at the note in my hand. I give it to her. The note is for her, anyway.

"You wanted to tell me something tonight?" she asks. "Yes," I tell her, and light another match so I can see the curiousity in her eyes.

"You know where my father is?" she asks me. "I think so," I say. "This kalimba clinches it. At last the mystery may well be solved."

"Well, it's getting late," she says. "You might as well tell me now. I don't like to be around here at night."

I shake my head. "The window is closed," I say. She glances at the stained glass. "I've never liked The Little Prince."

"That's not what I'm talking about," I say. "I mean, my #TwitterFiction window is closed," and I blow out the match.

(With that, Mr. Snicket withdraws, with a salute of thanks to his associates on Twitter and elsewhere.)

You can read other stories from the #TwitterFiction Festival here.

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