[A lacuna (plural lacunae) is a gap. When you're reading an ancient text and you hit a [...] that missing section is a lacuna. Anyway, the things in bold italics are from the original text of Nicolae: Rise of the Antichrist.]
“This reminds me of when we were first married,” Buck said as Chloe snuggled close to him.
“What do you mean ‘when we were first married’? We’re still newlyweds!”
"I mean the very moment we married. Remember? You, me, your father, Amanda, Bruce, and 43 words to describe the whole thing*. You looked at me and said-"
"I wish we had an author who wasn't Jerry Jenkins."
"Doesn't this feel exactly like that?"
"Yeah, I guess it does."
"So, what do you want to do?"
"I was thinking of maybe seeing if we could head down to NORAD, boot up the WOPR and avert World War III."
"That sounds like a good plan, but I feel Jenkins turning back this way."
"Please, no more misogyny. Please, no more misogyny."
“Shh!” Buck said quickly. “What’re they saying about New York City?”
Chloe turned up the radio. “… devastating carnage everywhere here in the heart of Manhattan. Bombed-out buildings, emergency vehicles picking their way through debris, Civil Defense workers pleading with people over loudspeakers to stay underground.”
Buck was waved at, pointed at, and hollered at by traffic cops, and he was honked at and obscenely gestured at by other motorists.
Suddenly one of them got out of her car and stood in front of the Lincoln. Buck slammed on the breaks and the car came to a stop a few feet in front of her.
"Hi, I'm obscenely gesturing motorist number 23."
"Hi, Obscenely 23," Chloe said warmly.
"I know I'm not supposed to matter, but the thing is... I'd rather live and it seems like yours is the only car that's allowed to get through traffic."
"Hop in," Buck said.
He could feel the pressure of the narrative saying that he shouldn't be helping people. He could feel the story crying out that he wasn't supposed to care. He knew that Jerry Jenkins would be shocked and outraged if he knew about this act of basic human decency.
He was not deterred.
“So what’re you gonna do, buy a tank?”
“If it wasn’t so conspicuous, I just might.”
Buck corrected himself, "Weren't. If it weren't so conspicuous. I went to school for a long damn time so that I could properly use the subjunctive, but no, I'm written by some idiot who doesn't understand a simple contrary to fact conditional."
"I feel your pain." Chloe said. "When was the last time I got to use my education?"
"You know, if it's all the same to you, I think I would like a tank," Obscenely 23 said.
"Really?" Chloe asked, "Because the gas mileage is kinda crap."
"I don't think this is the kind of story where those details matter, so if you could drop me off at the tank store I'll pick one up," Obscenely 23 said.
"No problem," Buck said.
* As a sort of bookkeeping note, in response to the 43 word wedding I wrote five short pieces of my own. The first was written when I misread it as 47 words and can be found here. The next four were of the correct length. They are here.
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