Sunday, December 23, 2007

Writing Exercise Results

Evil Editor is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who helps him revisit the crucial event that led to his evilness.

"Wake up. Tis time. Tis time."

"You? You're just a boozy whore from the women's prison in Watchahanamee." EE pulled his nightshirt down over his body.

"I am the Ghost of your Christmas Past." She giggled, floating in a diaphanous green gown.

"A lascivious fugitive emission of my mind, you mean," EE said, standing up from the bed.

"Take my hand. Our journey begins on a dark and stormy night." The spirit stretched out its hand.

"Not without protection." EE yanked on a pair of latex gloves and wrapped an old wool coat over his shoulders. He took the spirit's hand. They floated through a mist into the night.

"First the specter of Miss Snark appears on my shower stall door and berates me. I swear her middle name is Giselle and my only saving grace is that I can't dance."

"But there was a time when you were good." The spirit pointed to a patch of light. Lightning bolts illuminated a group of lithe, virile men and women dressed in sleek, form-fitted paintball outfits. Fluorescent paintballs splattered against the obstacles. A chubby teen with a scraggly beard stood watching from under a fringed yellow umbrella decorated with pink flamingos.

"I got pneumonia and spent my formative years in a sickbed."

"You were a joyless teen."

"I embraced my inner self and found it superbly cold, pleasingly morose, and serenely Mephistophelean."

"She was your first love."

"She was my first social disease."

"Were you always this cheerful?" the Ghost asked. EE had succeeded in dispiriting a spirit.

--Dave F.

Hot sweat marauded over his skin like a slug plague attack and he kicked his arms and legs into the darkness for want of synapses better equipped for fucking off pronto, flicking the duvet from the systolic nightmare of his torso with the plip of a burst hive.

'Any minute now,' he thought, 'an evil sounding voice is sure to resonate round my bedroom, peeling my Bon Jovi posters from their generous Blu-tak fixings with a vorpal weapon swish and working wonders for my Dickensian English.'

But then, from deep between the fractal apostrophes of his convoluted brain matter, the sound of Edith Piaf humming lewd Gallic ditties warbled its way down the ladder of his vocal chords and wished him a Merry Christmas. So convincing a DIY phantom was she that he talked himself to sleep till he was wide awake as a madman.

In the morning, he burned the gifts he'd received from his friends, denouncing the third person singular as a two-faced charade best left well alone.

'From now on I prune by the light of la lune,' he cackled, sharpening every last knife he could find and hurling his hand-bitten Texas Chainsaw Massacre DVD at his bookcase like a shuriken until his neighbours in the adjoining apartment were dead....


The Ghost of Christmas Past had quite a time with Evil Editor, as Ed wasn’t eager to revisit the monastery where it had all started. But in the end, the story unfolded…as if in a dream. Yeah, that’s it. A dream.

As a member of the Monks of the Order of Maximus, Edward had grown used to self-flagellation as a means to cleanse himself, body and soul. He and the other young monks-in-training, why, they’d have weekly sessions with Brother Tony, and in these sessions, they’d traipse up and down in absolute silence along the gravelled paths inside the monastery walls, feeling all holy and tingly inside.

But this beating up on himself, this flailing himself over the shoulder onto his back with his… uh…flail…well, it got old after a few years.

And as Edward grew older, this flailing stuff got all mixed up in his mind with those wet and messy pubescent dreams he was having, (and you know, you can flail until hell freezes over, but puberty is gonna have its wet ole’ way with you,) until the pleasure of flailing around in his bunk bed most nights, and the pleasurable pain of flailing around on the gravelly path with Brother Tony and the other young apostolates, well, the combo plan, it drove him half crazy.

Then one day…(isn’t there always a ‘then one day’ in these stories?) Edward heard a voice on the other side of the garden wall. A female voice. Reading poetry. And the voice was so beatifically beautiful, it was like listening to a songbird singing.

Suddenly, all those crazy night dreams slid straight into focus. And Ed knew what he had to do. Leaving Big Tony and the boys behind, he climbed over the wall, arms outstretched, ready to, as they say, seize the day, or at least have his way with, the bird.

He saw her standing there, smiling at him. She looked him up and down, and then she said…

“Do monks store sausages down their robes or are you just happy to see me?” And she started laughing. Well, that did it.

Edward became Evil Editor in that moment, that day. He left the monastery, and, with his insidious intelligence (and other good stuff) in tow, he set up shop, and would-be authors from all over flocked to him for a flailing. (Especially those birds. He had a flock of those birds now, just hanging on his every word.)

And now he really feels all tingly inside, although that holy part, well, that’s all gone now. Yeah.

Happy Holidays, EE!

--Robin S.

The Ghost of Christmas past had Evilnoozer Scribe pinned to the window, looking in the now-defunct literary agency where he began his career.

"Here's your first rejection, sent the day after you joined the agency: I'm sorry, Mr. Clancy, you're a complete moron and will never be published."

"I . . ."

"Quiet! Here's the second: A is for Alibi? It's a mystery to me you know the alphabet, Ms. Grafton. REJECTED!"

"Seemed like a bad title--"

"Silence! King, Heinlein, Grisham, I need to mention the other eight you rejected?"

"Nope. I get it."

"What I don't get is why you felt that the night custodian needed to answer queries for the agents."

"They told me to empty the trash, so--"


--Bill Highsmith


Church Lady said...

Ha! Dave, weren't we all joyless teens! :-) Funny snapshot!

Robin is in the middle of scenic nowhere getting wasted at the local English pubs and probably withholding some luvin from her goatee-less hubby. I wonder what lengths will she go to in order to come back and post something borderline trashy? Will she even read this message? Hmm....

Good one, Bill!

Dave F. said...

This was the harder scenario to write. Like dude and dudette's we had to sneak EE and his own specialized, fictionalized ghost into a well known scene and make it funny.

I wasn't a joyless teen. Definitely not.

Rejecting a best seller - the quintessential editorial nightmare.

And I really don't want to be in "anonymous's" nightmares. YIKES!

Robin S. said...

Hi, CL. Yep- O'm online for a few minutes- checking out what's been going on sround here.

This was a fun one to do - and all of them were fun to read...

and now...back to another family day of fun and undercurrents and wacks and wonderful people and a pub night to wash it all away. Bye.

Dave F. said...

I was thinking (always a dangerous sport)... this:
"I swear her middle name is Giselle and my only saving grace is that I can't dance."

isn't as funny as
"The Mouse King was nothing but a Giant Rat from Sumatra caught like any other rodentia in a trap and the Nutcracker cracked his jaw while splitting pecans for pies."

ME said...

Dave F -- lots of cool lit refs in there! Nice!!
Enjoyed Robin's too. I couldn't pass up the monk's sausage.

And Bill, clever as usual.

I just could not summon the ghost of Evil Ed, no how. Maybe next year.