I've heard some pretty strange things from people before. Brilliant people, mind you, so I might consider myself lucky to have them share their eccentricities with me. One girl specifically had many interesting things to say, none of which I could relate to.

For one thing, music has a physical texture for her. She can feel music as if it were brushing up against her. For some songs I can imagine that to be quite jarring…

But then she said that numbers had personalities and colors and shapes. She didn't see the numbers in her head – she saw pictures. In my desperate attempts to break through my perma-block of writing I stumbled across this memory and thought, 'Hey, I could do something really silly with that.'

And so, ladies and gentleman, may I present to you my Number Crunch. Here I shall explain to you the personalities of the numbers One through Nine as I might see them (were I not pulling this out of my arse, I mean).

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Number One (#1)

Yes, the number One. You'd think he was arrogant and lonely, always on top and always solitary. He isn't. Do you want to know what he really is? I'll tell you: He is attention-seeking and a brilliant actor to boot. Being the smallest of the integers, One actually feels incompetent and has an Adlerian inferiority complex. He overcompensates for everything because he feels adequate with nothing. Ironically One is quite talented and his dedication often does push him to the top tier of quality and performance.

He's also bitterly jealous of Seven. Why, you might ask? For starters, they look very similar but One believes he isn't quite as "well-developed" as Seven. Not to mention Seven is hanging out with all the Vegas showgirls in the casinos and he's left hanging with the piles of abandoned copper and brass in that one kid's piggy-bank. Furthermore Seven has the honor of being the greatest single-digit prime number. What an achievement!

Number Two (#2)

Second down the list is the number Two. She's pretty chill, if you know what I mean. She isn't very serious about her academic studies despite being an integral factor in many calculations. Her hobbies include surfing and cloud watching. To be honest I think that two is something of a slacker. Others may claim that Two is bipolar but there are quite a few arguments against such a claim. First of all, have you ever seen an angry Two? I know I haven't. And the flip-side would be that whole depression bit. Two is pretty mellow and low-key but definitely not depressed.

Strangely enough she's my second-favorite number. Just don't let her know I said that – I don't want her to get the wrong idea. She's great and everything but she really just isn't my type. And it would probably sound insulting if to hear that you were almost the favorite, but just couldn't quite get there. I'm thinking she's got a crush on Six but I can't be too sure.

Number Three (#3)

Three is… well, you know those impossibly cute girls that don't date because they are so devoted to their religion? Yeah, that's Three. Paramount in symbols everywhere, she has modeled for everything from the Holy Trinity to the Ohm symbol. Really, go check it out – she's got endorsements from just about every faith under the sun. The Wiccan concept of 3-fold payback? Yeah, guess who.

That said, Three was actually a major party-girl and not too long ago broke free of some really nasty habits. A certain someone coughNINEcough has been a very bad influence on her, getting the poor girl into binge drinking and chain smoking, among other things. Now Three regularly struggles with an inner hypocrisy, the dilemma that comes from choosing between faithful worship and basically all things fun.

Number Four (#4)

This guy is something of an enigma to me. Really, I just don't know what to say about him. Brainchild of the lower digits, this poor fellow has pitifully underdeveloped social skills and few see him in broad daylight. Sure, he'll go hang at the park on weekends but only long after the sun has set and the sane people have settled in for bed. He was ridiculed terribly by a certain number coughNINEcough when he was younger and the trauma has left him scarred for life.

A genius of pattern-making, Four assisted Pope Gregory XIII in the development of the Gregorian Calendar, among other innovations. Ironically, Four is far and away the most proficient mathematician of the single-digit integers. He's just a bit odd like that.

Number Five (#5)

Sort of like the antithesis of Two. Five is loud, flamboyant and a bit manic. Having something of an attention deficit, he never likes to sit still for long. He'd probably run around in circles just because he could… except he can't. He doesn't have any legs, you know? Five thinks he is more important than he really is in the public eye and fancies himself as something of a big-shot.

Along with One, Five is quite jealous of Seven who actually is a big-shot. The two often conspire together to bring Seven down but typically only manage to pester him with juvenile pranks. One of One's few true friends. When he isn't being a pest, Five's narcissistic tendencies offer comic relief to the group.

Number Six (#6)

Six is unique in that she is the only number who was adopted. Nine gives Six a lot of grief for this, constantly reminding her and putting her down, saying things like, "Oh, well at least my parents love me." She has a bit of a gender identity issue and is unsure of her sexual orientation. Very much a tomboy, she admires Two and Seven for their laid-back, even-headed personalities. She is known to have a crush on Seven but also seems to be attracted to Three.

Six is basically the opposite of Nine; Six is kind, caring and self-sacrificing. Despite her own insecurities she will almost always be the first to offer assistance to a number in need. In her spare time she'll usually be building sand castles at the beach while Two surfs or practicing yoga with Three.

Number Seven (#7)

Seven is one cool cat. Like two he is very laid-back but is also much more energetic. A bit of a goof, really. He has an insatiable, voracious hunger fueled by an extremely high metabolism. Despite the massive quantities of food he eats, Seven is still pretty scrawny. His posture could use some work, too. He is probably the most popular of the single-digit integers at the moment.

Seven is my favorite number. I liken him to myself more than any of the others. I'm not very popular, mind you, but the rest fits me pretty nicely. Also, despite his wide-spread fame he is extremely modest and is an all-around good number. He often acts as a mediator when disputes break out between the other numbers.

Number Eight (#8)

Like Seven, Eight loves food. Sadly, Eight is possessed of rather average thyroid activity. The result? Eight is a fat-ass and a glutton. He knows it, too, but he just doesn't care. He looooooves his food. It didn't help that he was brought up on a substandard diet. Here's an equation for you, taken straight from the Obesity Theorem:

# f(j) F#,

Where "#" is a baby number, "f(j)" has some value between twinkies and donuts. "F#" equals an obscenely large number. Sadly, I don't have a mathematical proof to back it up but I'm pretty sure the theorem holds for most general cases; there are other formulas for the more specific scenarios. What, you don't believe me? Fine then, you do the math.

As a side note I feel it is worth mentioning that Eight is an aspiring writer and is already quite an accomplished painter. He specializes in watercolor but can work wonders with an oil-based paint set.

Number Nine (#9)

Ah yes, Nine. She's… umm… really tall. And snooty. She likes to look down on people and is really condescending. Plain and simple, Nine is a bitch. I don't know how else to put it to you. She takes pleasure in corrupting the youth (with her most recent project being Three) and tormenting those she feels to be inferior (just about everyone but most specifically Six). Nine is especially irked by One, who constantly outdoes her despite his lack of self-confidence and self-recognition. Nine certainly doesn't help him there.

There is another reason I love Seven so much. You know, he gets really hungry sometimes. And Nine is just really incorrigible sometimes. So you wanna know what Seven did? You wanna know? Seven ate Nine. Yeah. Sadly, Nine managed to get out of him alive, but trust me here – to this very day Nine is haunted by the memory. Of all the numbers she knows, he is the only one she wouldn't dare mess with.

Number Zero (#0)

Oh, Zero, may she rest in peace. She was such a sweet girl, let me tell you. Zero was quiet and well-behaved. She first taught Eight how to paint when he was younger and less massive. She also loved to sing and play the flute. Alas, she was struck and killed by a car many years ago. Thirteen was driving drunken-assed and didn't even notice her in front of him as he sped along his merry way.

Thanks to his snake-tongued lawyer he got off with his fourth DUI and a slap on the wrist. But Zero, poor Zero, was left with nothing but a plot in the cemetery and a plaque to mark her grave.

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My sister thought this was hilarious and my brothers could hardly stomach the first few lines. One of them read all the way through out of respect for writing in general and the other gave up within seconds. Hopefully at least one of you will like this. While this first chapter is nothing more than an introduction to the characters I do plan on following it up with at least a few short stories using the numbers as characters.