The Association of Entities that Never Did Exist
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"This meeting of TAENDE will now come to order!" Frederick Starbuck, the protagonist of a sci-fi novel that had had all copies destroyed, banged a not-gavel on a non-existent podium. "The Unnamed Child will read off the minutes of the last meeting."

The Unnamed Child, a character from a children's book that never existed, stood up. "First order of business at the last meeting was celebrating the passage of Cecil DeMuth into the realm of fiction; he was featured as an incidental character in a short story written by a college student." There was some polite applause. "Next, we discussed the matter of actively attempting to enter narratives, much in the same way Young Frederick did so many years ago. After that, the Tentacled Mass and President Starbuck debated the merits of cannibalism amongst Neverweres, and whether it should be banned entirely, or encouraged to get rid of threats to the non-existent community. Finally, we voted on whether or not the newest initiate in our group, Teleos, should be made a full member. The ayes had it. Welcome Teleos, Son of Hermes, God of Television!"

The Tentacled Mass screeched xer approval about finally having another deity on the Association. For some reason, despite never speaking, everyone understood it. Teleos, a young man with hair fashioned into a style reminiscent of an old rabbit ear antenna, simply blushed. "I'm humbled to be in such an association, really. I'd not heard of TAENDE before I stumbled into the not-room last week."

"We're glad to have you here on the Association of Entities that Never Did Exist, Teleos." Ivory Ebony smiled at him, flashing teeth that were half-white, half-black. "Tell us a little about yourself; the meeting ended before you got a proper introduction."

"Well, like the Unnamed Child said, I'm meant to be the son of Hermes, God of Communication. I was going to be worshiped by a group of Hermetic Revivalists in New York City, but the leader of the cult died before he could write up anything about me. I've been one of our kind for about… seven Earth years, now." Teleos sighed, and sniffed a bit. "I never existed, and I probably never will exist."

"And how does that make you feel, Teleos?" Starbuck asked.

"Honestly? Pretty damn bitter. It's not fair that my creator died before he got a chance to write a single word about me. Now, I'm condemned to wander the Ways for the rest of eternity, unless someone somehow inserts me into a narrative."

The Tentacled Mass screeched. "How did I find this place? I just stumbled into here one day, and found the meeting in session. It's quite nice here, really, compared to some other parts of the Ways."

"Well, I'm glad you like it!" Sokarth Haaar, King of the Solar City of M'gwa and treasurer of TAENDE, smiled at Teleos. "How do you like the Concepts of Beverages?"

"They go quite well with the non-existent doughnuts, I must say." Everyone in the room chuckled; there were only 10 Neverwere in the association, some of them humanoid, but most of them were… something else. Sokarth Haaar was a being made entirely out of plasma, and the aforementioned Tentacled Mass was just that: a Tentacled Mass dreamed up by either Lovecraft or one of his contemporaries (there was debate over which it was) that had not been committed to paper before the author had died.

"Anyway. The cult I was meant to be worshiped by," Teleos continued, "Was lead by a man named Trevor Sonatina. He'd become obsessed with Greek mythology, particularly the myths involving the god Hermes. He was convinced that Hermes was the only Olympian that had survived into the modern day because, as god of messengers, he was able to thrive on all the communications technology in the modern world."

"I nearly met Hermes, once." Everyone in the not-room but Teleos groaned; Ivory Ebony loved to brag about mythological beings and famous figures she "almost met." "I saw the back of his head as he came out of the Library, once." The ball of tentacles screeched in response. "It's true! I did!" More screeching from the writhing mass. "Moving on… shall we recite the oath?"

"Indeed!" Starbuck lead the other Neverweres in the oath of TAENDE. "We are ideas without form. We are not much better than chaos. We Never Were, and Never Will Be. We will govern this chaos, even if we are not heard. We are the Association of Entities that Never Did Exist, and we are order amongst the Neverwere."

"The first item on the agenda," said the Unnamed Child, "Is the fact that an increasingly large amount of members from the group that the Library calls the Bookburners are using the ways, and attempting to destroy Neverweres. What shall our course of action be?"

"We shall now take a short recess." Starbuck banged the not-gavel, and everyone got up. Ivory started talking to the Tentacled Mass, who had some less-than-nice things to say about Ivory; they had started a bit of a shouting match when the topic of Eldritch Deities came up.

"Shove it up… do you even have an ass? If so, shove it up there, Hentai-Brain!" Ivory slapped the Mass across what she thought was the face.

The Unnamed Child looked at Ivory. "What's 'hentai'?"

Ivory blinked, and cursed to herself. Turning around, she said in a sweet tone, "You're too young to know that, sweetie." She smiled innocently, and patted her on the head.

"I'm older than you! I've been around since the 1950's; I've just never been published. Don't be patronizing, you bi-colored hag!"

"If you're so old, why don't you-"

"Calm down!" Starbuck aimed a laser pistol up into the air (if directions such as "up" could apply here) "We're all non-existent here, we're all on equal terms…" The bickering continued. Starbuck fired off a couple of shots to no effect, and then tried to separate the two bickering not-entities.

Teleos sat in his chair and sighed, drumming his fingers against the not-table. Why were Neverwere so petty? He looked around the not-room and- hello, was that a wall? It was… and it had a gigantic number "4" on it. "What on Earth?" Walking around the commotion, he went up to the wall and tapped on it. A brick came loose, and on the other side, he saw-

"Son of a bitch! Everyone, shut up for a second!" The bickering continued. "I said shut up!" It went on; Ivory threw a punch at Sokarth, who had gotten involved due to Starbuck saying something nasty about plasmoid beings, and Teleos had to duck under a flying concept of a chair. Finally, at the top of his lungs, Teleos bellowed,"I MAY NOT EXIST, BUT I AM STILL A GOD, AND I COMMAND YOU ALL TO STOP!" Everyone stopped dead in their tracks and stared at Teleos.

"What is the meaning of this?" asked the Unnamed Child.

"Someone's writing about us. Or has written about us," the Tentacled Mass screeched at the Not-God. "I can feel it. And… since someone's writing about us…"

Ivory stared, her jaw dropping. "…my god. We… we exist!"

"Maybe you do," said an incidental character in the corner who had not yet been mentioned in the narrative. "I haven't even gotten a name yet."

"Well, you were just mentioned, so there's that!" Teleos smiled. "Hold on. There are 10 of us here. How many of us have been named?"

"Um…" Starbuck counted on his fingers. "There's me, Ivory, Sokarth, you, the Unnamed Child, the character in the corner… oh, and Cthulhu's hairball." The tentacled mass screeched. "What? It's a name, isn't it? That leaves three that still haven't been mentioned in the narrative…"

"Well, it's not like they can do anything," reasoned the Unnamed Child. "If they attack us, they'll be mentioned in the narrative, and therefore, will exist."

…ow. The metafiction levels of this story are making my brain hurt. Dial it back a bit, guys? "Screw you, narrator!" shouted an eighth character, plucked from a fanfiction that would never be written, and with good reason; it was quite horrible. "It could've been quality if it hadn't been based off of Doctor Who!"

"That just leaves me," expounded a stout gentleman with a boiler hat, "and whoever this tenth fellow is."

"ME?" said the tenth individual. "I AM NO ONE. I AM A NEVERWERE." Everyone stared at the 10th individual, who was, quite simply… I can't say he was indescribable, because that would mean he had a description. "YOU ARE ALL NEVERWERE."

"Hold it, though." Teleos pointed up to the previous line of dialog. "How can you be a Neverwere if you were mentioned in the story? That just makes you a "Were"."

The Neverwere gave a cry, and disappeared in a poof of logic. Starbuck frowned. "Well, that settles that, I guess. Now what?"

"Now, I say we get some actual beverages instead of just concepts of them. And doughnuts." The incidental character smiled. "I've always wanted to try an actual doughnut."

The nine remaining walked out of the now-actualized room, through the Ways, and towards the Library.

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