Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Face-Lift 587


Guess the Plot

At Play on the Isle of Song

1. Lenore has a figurine carved in the likeness of a musician her father once heard. She thinks if she finds the musician and brings him back, her dying father will finally love her. Her search takes her to the Isle of Song, where she resolves to bring the musician back, even if she has to kill him first.

2. Song's Tropical Island Getaway has been called educational, relaxing, and culturally enlightening... but never fun. Will Song be able to pull off the "Woodstock of the 21st Century" and turn her resort's reputation around? Or will Jack, handsome owner of the Carnation Garden Resort on the other side of the island, foil her plans? Also, a bum with a concertina.

3. Unicorns frolic with purple ponies on the Isle of Song, where all the flowers are happy all the time, and all the faeries are princesses. Also, a dragon.

4. A theatrical production of “Oklahoma” at a Nudist Colony’s Island resort goes awry when too many of the actors want to play horseys. Also a Sea Creature turns their weekend frolic into a fight to survive.

5. Kassie longs to be a singer, but unfortunately she's mute. One night a strange bird leads her to a boat which takes her to an island where she finds her voice and sings. When she leaves, will her voice be left behind?

6. The Isle of Song is the biggest music-themed amusement park on the planet. After hours, though, it becomes a Mecca for the spirits of deceased musicians. Anna Holenk has snuck into the park hoping to catch a glimpse of Elvis only to find herself in the middle of a ghostly war between Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, and new arrival Frank Sinatra. To survive, she'll have to either join forces with one of the leaders, or be forever relegated to a netherworld populated by soulless groupies.


Original Version

Dear Evil Editor:

Lenore's adoptive father is dying. Since she was five, he has protected her, treated her kindly, but never once shown her that he loves her as he loves his biological children. When he was Lenore's age, [Which is...?] he overheard a mysterious musician playing a song of heartache on the edge of a forest. The song has haunted him ever since. Lenore believes that if she finds this musician and brings him back to play for her father, she will win her father's love before he dies. She leaves home with a figurine carved in the musician's likeness and a resolve not to return until she has found him.

[Lenore: Excuse me, I'm looking for a musician my father overheard twelve years ago.

Stranger: What's he look like?

Lenore: Twelve years ago he looked a little like this figurine: ]



In the north, Lenore finds a distant branch of her remaining family and the school where the musician was trained, a place called the Isle of Song. She learns that the man she seeks committed adultery with the wife of another man at the music school. Lenore suspects that this man knows where the musician is and what happened to him, but he is just as intent on silencing her. In the face of prejudice against her nationality [Which is...?] and the nature of her quest, Lenore must use cunning and lies, and endanger a member of her newfound family and put her own life at risk to discover what happened to the musician. The fact that no sane man can tell her where he is, [What does that mean? Did an insane man tell her where he is?] the fact that he may be dead won't stop Lenore from bringing him back.

[Lenore: Dad, I brought you something to help you get through your last days.

Father: What is it? And make it quick, I want to see my biological children.

Lenore: It's a rotting corpse. Bring it in boys.]

My short stories have appeared in Realms of Fantasy [Yes, but have any of them appeared in magazines of reality?] and Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2007 (Wildside, 2007).

AT PLAY ON THE ISLE OF SONG is a 60,000-word Young Adult fantasy novel. The complete manuscript is available for your review.

Thank-you for considering my query.


Notes

I don't see why lives are in danger. I can guess that maybe the musician was killed by the guy whose wife he slept with, but if there's a conspiracy to protect this guy, why not say so? The more we know, the more likely that we'll feel the danger.

I don't see the point of bringing the guy back if he's dead.

This didn't feel like young adult until you said so. Partly because we don't get Lenore's age, so she could be thirty, and partly because the adultery semed more like an adult topic.

Also, there's no indication of why this is fantasy. Is there magic? Are there musical gnomes? Give us a hint at the fantastical aspect.

The title is kinda blah.

Cartoon 289

Caption: Writtenwyrdd

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Face-Lift Awards

Here are the results from the vote for 2008's Best Face-Lift.

3rd Place: Slow Burn

2nd Place: The Academy

1st Place: Plaguewind

Cartoon 288

Caption: anon.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 New Beginning Awards


The votes are in. Turns out the top two vote-getters have been made into Evil Editor Films. Coincidence?


5th Place
564

4th Place
587

3rd Place
518

2nd Place
510

1st Place
465

Q & A 160

I'm preparing to submit (to a magazine) a short story whose dialogue includes brief quotations from 3 poems;: 4 lines from a long poem by Ezra Pound, 1 8-line stanza apiece from 4-stanza poems by W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice. The poets and poems are identified in the dialogue. The original poems are widely available in anthologies, on websites etc. Any thoughts about whether I should be able to use these excerpts without applying for permission? Should I expect that any magazine that considers the story would (a assume that I have gotten permission, (b let me know if they think the quotes violate fair-use law, (c automatically reject the story because it contains quotations without a statement of permission?


You forgot the most likely outcome: (d automatically reject the story because it contains poetry.

Lemme guess. The scene from your story goes:



Shirley said, "What're you doing?"

"I'm reading a poem by W. H. Auden," Babs replied.

"Read it out loud."

[8-line stanza of poetry.]

"Enough," Shirley cried out. "Christ, no wonder poetry is a dead art form."

I went to the web to see how long Ezra Pound had been dead. My first stop was this site, where I clicked on the first poem which is called "A Girl." But instead of the poem I got a bitter rant from the site owner complaining that the Ezra Pound estate had asked him to remove the poem. I clicked on the second poem and got the same thing. Apparently this guy set up a site devoted to Ezra Pound's poems, and the site now has no poems. I predict he busts into the law offices of the Ezra Pound estate's lawyers any day now and blows everyone away with a sawed-off shotgun.

I then went to another site and found another list of Pound's poems. I clicked on "A Girl" and the poem appeared (here), along with three incredibly insightful comments. So apparently, either the Pound people are selective about which sites print their guy's poems, or they haven't found this site yet.

The poem, by the way, is about a girl turning into a tree. I think fair use rules allow me to print one line of it:

The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Heavy stuff. Maybe you should go with Edgar Allen Poe.
I think his stuff is in the public domain, and his stuff is for adults. Think about it.

You might also try what I recommend to people who want to use song lyrics:
write your own. For instance, here's a line of poetry you can use:

The chimney grows out of me, like a zit on my scalp.

That's from a poem I just wrote about a guy turning into a house.

You'll want to ascribe it to a poet. I recommend making up a name.
It should have three syllables, as the best American poets
(Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Ogden Nash, Ezra Pound) do.


Go with Prig Williams.

Another strategy is to worry about this after someone expresses

interest in buying the story.

Cartoon 287

Caption: Writtenwyrdd

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fable 8

Evil Editor was sitting in his office when a cow walked in, clutching a manuscript in her mouth. "Not interested," EE said.

"But it's right up your alley. Zombies, sharks, and a eunuch."

"A brutal eunuch?"

"No, but--"

"Sorry, no sale."

The manuscript later sold to Random House with a three million dollar advance.

Moral: Fifteen percent of three million isn't bad, but a month with nothing to edit is priceless.

--Evil Editor

Fable 7

Evil Editor, while on vacation, strolled down a country lane. In a field he came across a gander doing something odd. The gander would gaze at a group of cattle then write something down in his notebook. Curious, EE asked what he was doing.

The gander boasted, “I’m going to be a great poet, the fox, who sold me these longhorns, told me if I stare at the spots long enough I would see words and these words would inspire me to write beautiful poetry.”

EE asked to see the notebook. A quick look and it was painful obvious that the writing was gibberish. He tossed the notebook back to the gander.

EE shook his head, “Silly goose, you can’t make a slick verse out of a cow herd.”

--CEB

Fable 6

EVIL EDITOR AND THE THREE LITTLE MOLES

Once upon a time there were three little moles who were very much afraid of a certain Evil Editor. You see, he had read their manuscripts and criticized them so harshly that they ran away and hid in a burrow and cried and cried and cried. When the other moles found out about this, they vowed to attack Evil Editor every time he stepped outdoors; and indeed they did so.
Evil Editor was furious and vowed to blow their houses down and tear them limb from limb.

They knew that they’d need a safe place to hide, but they couldn’t agree on what would give them the most security. The first little mole was called Parse, and she knew that punctuation was essential to the structure of a piece of writing, so she built her house out of punctuation marks:
But when Evil Editor came along he said, “Pah! Any fool can learn to punctuate!” And he huffed and he puffed and he blew the house down.

But Parse managed to escape, and she ran to take shelter with her sister Prose. Now Prose knew that words were the building blocks of writing, so she had built her house of words:

But Evil Editor took one look, snarled “Faugh! Your spelling leaves a lot to be desired!” and huffed and puffed and blew the house down. Parse and Prose, terrified, fled to the house of their sister Purpose. Now Purpose, who thought of her work in terms of the whole, had built an ordinary house of bricks and mortar, with a pretty white porch and a nice slate roof. As her sisters huddled behind the furniture, Purpose calmly made tea and baked cookies.

Evil Editor stopped and stared. “Pfui! This looks too easy—there must be a trick to it.” He walked around the house a few times, then chortled. “Ha! I’ll fool ‘em yet! I’m going in through the chimney!”

He climbed up the side of the pretty white porch and onto the nice slate roof, and wriggled into the chimney. And down he dropped—right into the jaws of Purpose’s pet weredingo, Plot, who gobbled him up.

MORAL: It’s nice to be good at punctuation and vocabulary, and you really need a purpose—but you’d better have a Plot in reserve.

--Tal

Fable 5

Evil and the Duck

Once long ago in the town of Wordalot, in a villa by a duck pond, lived a family named Editor. The ducks from the pond seemed ordinary and were eaten with gusto. Duck a la Orange, duck a la blue, and duck of no particular color graced the Editor table at every meal.

One evening Kinevil Proofright Editor the 3rd was ruminating by the pond when a duck swam up and said to him, “Oh strangely whiskered but wise child, I have been sent by the ducks of the world to tell you that we are magic creatures that should not be eaten. A red pencil waved over us will cause each bird to speak the Kings English and charm people with tales so riveting, that no one will resist snapping us up for a mere $29.95 per duck. Let us come to live with you.”

Evil’s convinced his parents to breed the ducks -- hopefully to produce both the loquacious hardback and dulcet toned canvas-back varieties. Once inside the ducks ate everything in sight, even, unbeknownst to the family, busy cleaning up duck accidents, -- every- single- red pencil. Soon the house was full to bursting with duck breath -- and the other unfortunate and slimy consequences of waterfowl metabolism. Nowhere in all the squirming feathers and odorous offal could be found a single duck that spoke.

Evil’s disgusted parents tossed him into the yard. As he rolled towards the pond a lone duck lifted to the sky, and sailing overhead said something he remembered for the rest his life.

“Oh ho ho ho, Editors is the cwaziest people. Ha,ha,ha,ha, HA!”


Moral:
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.

--Anon.

Fable 4

This might be a bit long, but...here goes...

The sun beat down on the dusty pathways between the fairground tents. Sweat trickled down Dougald's back, and further, thanks to the plastic chair he was sitting on outside Madame Viva's Fortune Telling Palace.

The air might have smelt of cotton candy, but the stench from the farting warthog in the chair on his left drowned it out. To Dougald's right, and next in line for entry through the faded tent flap, sat an ostrich, his beak wrinkled in displeasure. Madame Viva was taking her time.

'Did you know that researchers have never seen an ostrich stick its head in the sand?' said Dougald conversationally.

The ostrich looked down its beak at him. 'I should not imagine that researchers have seen every ostrich, with or without sand.'

'True,' said Dougald. 'There's sand here. And an ostrich.'

The ostrich sighed and uncoiled his legs. 'If I must,' he said and shoved his head in the cigarette-butt strewn sand outside the tent.

Dougald darted past him and into the Palace, where Madame Viva, swathed in sparkly scarves, slumped over a crystal ball, with nobody in the seat opposite. Madam Viva snapped upright at Dougald's entry. 'What are you… Oh. It's you.'

'Hey, Evil. Mom sent me. She wanted to know why you didn't foresee her birthday.'

'I've been busy.'

'Sitting in here while customers wait outside?'

'No…with this.' Evil turned the crystal ball around and Dougald saw a computer screen. 'I call them my minions. Look, this one's a koala, isn't she cute?'

'What about that one?' Dougald caught a glimpse of a blonde in a hot tub with a glass of wine, just as Evil turned the computer back around.

'Never mind her. Look take this to Mom.' Evil reached into a cardboard box behind him.

'Novel Deviations…by Evil Editor. Wow. You actually got something published.'

'Who'll be the favourite son now?' cackled Evil. 'Fortune comes to he who waits.'

Dougald left the tent just as the ostrich pulled his head out of the sand. 'Man, you were lucky,' said Dougald. 'That warthog just let rip. Let him go in first. He looks like he's cooking up another one.'

The ostrich waved the warthog through the tent flap, past the sign reading: 'Twenty minute readings guaranteed!'

'Oh, yes, dear Evil,' thought Dougald, tossing the book in the bin. 'Farting comes to he who waits.'

--McKoala

Fable 3

Darling sweetie-pie,

The dig into the affairs of the third planet is productive. The inhabitants called this orb Earth. They are obsessed with writing. Writing is god and a person named Evil Editor headed their cult. They worshipped fables and fantasies and practiced co-authorship between beginnings and endings.

The last entry asked the "age-old" blue-collar question we found last week. You will remember it as: "You Can't Fix Stupid." It seems that a guest at a holiday dinner decided to be helpful when a water main broke. Yes, dear Grggyx, plinik of my eyes, they deliver water through pipes to hovels called houses, eat scorched animal meat and boiled plants. Disgusting, isn't it? Anyway, this guest tied the washing machine drainage hose to faucets above the laundry tub. We don't why or what this is but it was done to mitigate the loss of water. She never told Granny hostess about it. Subsequently, when Granny washed linens (Possibly the woven fiber of a flax bush made for wearing with cashmere sweaters), not knowing the hose was out-of-place, the water spilled all over the floor; an action born of mis-underestimatings and miscommunications, a boo-boo.

We think her name is Goofy-Ass-Dipshit but some of us think Goofy-Ass-Dipshit is pejorative. Some believe it an endearment. Only future translations will tell. Half the translating team is believes "hasn't the brains God gave a turnip" isn't endearing. This isn't the Elle effect I told you about in last week's message. McPherson's cultists hold that bimbos have brains beyond pink undies, boobs and Chihuahuas. As the Earth philosophers say "from clods to clods in 3-generations."

And so dear Grggyx, love-child of my mid-penile-lump, I return to a computer chip from space. We hope to restore a world now dead a million years old and thousands of light-years distant.

All my klorpnak,

Skrinkie

--Dave F.

Fable 2

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a kindly chicken named Ralph who survived the bibliographical plagues of modern style, stream-of-thought, and second person. That's like locusts, boils and fleas. It had already survived the bugaboo of electric spelling, the hysterical blindness of punctuation czars and evisceration of friends and family critiques. Then he found EE and everything began to look up. Minions commented. Minions giggled and chortled. Queries improved. Chapters clarified. EE gave an approval.

But, my children as we all know, the kindly chicken was doomed to fail, fail every time. Oh think of the heartbreak of the novel unpublished, the novel unfinished, the novel unwritten, and the novel unconceived. None of these could be as harsh as the heartbreak of psoriasis. Ooops, I digress.

None of these great tragedies can compare to that of our kindly chicken Ralph who had big dreams of being an author. A chicken doomed to fail, doomed never to be published, doomed, doomed, doomed. I say! DOOMED!

The final blow, the great right-hook from the void, the massive fall from grace came one fine summer day in a plain white envelope. It enclosed a simple letter. All it took was eleven words: "Dear Kindly Chicken, it's nothing but fowl droppings and chicken scratch." And so Ralph stood on the edge of the void vis-à-vis nothing. Ralph, the kindly chicken was so depressed that he never heard the farmer's approach. The massive cleaver of fate landed with a thud.

And the moral of the story is, if you're a kindly chicken, stick to laying eggs and don't try to get famous by making chicken scratches on paper or the farmer might make you into a chicken pot pie or maybe a succulent fricassee.

--Dave F.

Fable 1

A Minion's Tale

The query was dead. Of that he was certain. He had put it in the shredder himself. He watched it tear and bleed the author's hopes and dreams. The pail beneath the shredder captured the author’s life’s blood, to be wickedly used as ink upon the form rejection notice.

He relaxed in his favorite overstuffed chair, imbibing his favorite Mogan David to settle his overstuffed stomach. The twelve-speaker sound system played his favorite music. “What’s a matter you? Hey! Gotta no respect…”

He woke to a sheep’s bleat. Opening bleary eyes he saw it. It was before his chair, staring at him.

“A ewe?” he said.

“That’s right. Me."

“No, not ‘you’. I said, ‘ewe’."

“Would you prefer a ram?"

He considered. “Ah, no. So, what is this about?"

“I am the Minion of Christmas Past."

Comprehension engulfed him and he stared in horror. The sheep smiled. It’s a frightening thing to see a sheep smile. If you never have, I don’t recommend it."

“That’s right, Evil Editor. It’s me: your most compliant minion. The one who supported you at every turn. The one who helped trample dreams for you. The one who’s query you just sent through the f**king shredder! I’m here for revenge. The sheep has turned."

“Isn’t that ‘the worm has turned’?"

“Would you prefer a worm?"

“Ah, no. So. How do you intend to exact this revenge?"

The smile again. Resigned to his fate, he led the way to the bed. Fortunately, it didn’t last long. He never did. Unfortunately, when it ended his entire bedchamber was filled with sheep – including a ram!

“What is this?” he cried in horror.

The smile.

“Never f**k with a Minion, EE, or they’ll all descend on you."

--BBJD

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Film Series

Man, it's hard to think of new ways of using the phrase "in Evil Editor's Shorts." Thus I'm accepting suggestions for future lead-ins.


video

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 Guess the Plot Awards

2nd Place

The Taj Mahal Romance Repair Agency

1. From the outside it is looking like ordinary Indian restaurant. But those couples being strangely attracted to its most exotic menu are finding its warming food and most philosophical waiters are exceedingly putting the spices back into their troubled relationships. Also, a chapati.

2. Three clueless Indian virgins are starting running an agency specializing in the fixing of the ailing romances for some other Indians lacking the clues, but are quickly getting sucked into some most amusing misadventures.

3. Arranged marriages can be most great for the families, but for the couple thrusting together without the spark of the romance, getting to know each other can be most traumatic. Jaswinder and Anjul have a plan to fix that with their newest business idea. But when they are setting their call center up in Lexington, KY, the miscommunications lead to hilarity on two sides of the world.


4. Sanjiv has made his fortune as Kama Sutra instructor, and his mother is after him to seek the wife. Hilarity is ensuing when he meets his future in-laws. Can he be convincing Mr. Gupta that he is computer repairman before Mrs. Gupta is recalling "The Reverse Cowgirl"?

5. Bishakha's husband has died twenty years before, but she isn't seeing why death should be a barrier to the romance. With help of Taj Mahal Romance Repair Agency, she plans to hunting down her husband's reincarnation, and marry him once more. Also, a sacred elephant.

6. Going to work for top literary agent right out of Brown is Sissy Lions' dream. But no one is telling her she will be slogging through endless piles of romance novels rather than literary fiction. And now they are wishing her to be editing this tripe? Is there any escaping...The Taj Mahal Romance Repair Agency?



1st Place

The Tea Master

1. After tea master Warren Pax saves the Xapa tribe from pirates, Mira Manchu makes a film of his exploits, starring jailbait pop tart Hamadryad Botticelli. Warren, who had once been married to Mira, but lost her to his nemesis Victor Fishfire, then marries Hamadryad. Hilarity ensues. Also, unicorns and a sea monster.

2. Foo, a young martial artist, is apprenticed to the old Master, whose Lapsang Souchong style is legendary. But when the Earl Grey Ninja attacks, terrorizing the school and the countryside, the old man is killed. Does Foo have what it takes to become the new . . . Tea Master?

3. Another Starbucks? Li Po Chuang can stand it no longer. He gathers all the other Tea Masters in the dead of night, and they dress as business executives, board a container ship, and dump all the coffee beans into the harbor. Also, a haiku-reciting vampire.

4. This urbo-pop comic thriller culminates in a battle scene as spectacular as the clash of gods when the Tea Master fights the Coffee Demon and the Vodka King for the heart of Tiffany Johnson, freshman at Kansas State University.

5. Early in her career, Jane Cartwright was nothing but a scandalous latte-&-muffin stripper. Now she's the Tea Master of London and she doesn't have to put up with any guff from Guido, the brainless pizza junky from Chicago. He'll satisfy her hunger or the mash-and-banger crew will waste him.

6. The fate of Samoa hangs by a thread as a faceless fiend known as The Tea Master finishes brewing his most diabolical Cup of Doom. But all is not lost--a team of superspies are headed for the beach, disguised as ten burly surfer dudes and their amazing swimsuit photographer chick, Mae Wong.




The actual plots:


TMRRA: 2

TM: 1

2008 Cartoon Caption Awards

The Evil Editor Awards provide those who contribute to the blog an opportunity for recognition from your fellow minions. Of course, if you contribute anonymously, your fellow minions don't get to praise you voluminously, so if you'd now like to take credit for a caption below, feel free.


2008 Cartoon Caption Awards


4th Place

Caption: ril



2nd Place (tie)


Caption: Anon.


Caption: Anon.


1st Place

Caption: BuffySquirrel

Cartoon 286

Caption: Anon.

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Film

video

Cartoon 285

Caption: Anon.

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Beginning 590


Death was reborn in the slender man who stalked the shadows. A thin bead of sweat trickled into the corner of his eye, stinging and making him blink. He blotted his face with a handkerchief, but it didn't help much. It was midnight, and still more than a hundred degrees outside.

In the desert, lightening burst, bloomed and withered. Death watched, face lit in planes and shadows. Lightening was the power that surged within him; he could feel it firing the rage inside. The glorious incandescent moment when his true nature emerged, filling him with purpose, his victims unaware, until they balanced on the razor's edge, that they were dancing with Death himself. Then the flash back into nothingness when he was finished, gone with no trace until he was ready to strike again.

The killing time was almost upon him, and he chafed at this last, small wait, even while the anticipation tortured him with thoughts of the pleasure to come. Then, a distant sound - his discomfort was forgotten; he leaned forward to listen, until the meaningless noise resolved itself into the quavering voice of his prey, an old man singing softly as he shuffled down pavement still sizzling three hours after the sun had set.

The old man's voice got closer. "...O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way... Ho, ho, ho..."

Death jumped out of the shadows and locked his empty, black stare on the old man's face.

"Oh my..." The old man said, startled. "What's this?"

"Do you not know me? You bring joy to millions and you don't recognize your antithesis? I am Death!"

"Death? Let me see; have you been naughty or nice?" The old man checked his list. "Says here, you tricked hundreds of people into giving up their souls this year."

"Well, yes, but--"

"And that you cast thousands of people into a lake of fire for nothing more than thinking impure thoughts."

"But--"

"And that you were solely responsible this year for the pain and suffering and anguish of billions. Billions?"

Death blushed with pride. "Guilty," he said. "But with an explanation."


Opening: Debhoag.....Continuation: anon.

Writing Exercise


Write a fable. It should have at least one character that's an animal, and one character that's Evil Editor. And a moral. Deadline Sunday, 10 AM eastern. 300 words max.

Cartoon 284

Caption: Whirlochre

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Beginning 589

Satan pouted.

Thousands of damned souls shuffled before him in a chained off queue. Every four meters, a sign flashed the estimated time remaining until one reached the torture devices. Anticipation fed the terror. So did bats. One swooped down to gouge a cheek. The Damned recoiled with yelps. What did they expect? Hell was hell. Satan used to love that line. Now, well...

He flicked a talon at the next soul in line, which bore the curved form of a human female. She cowered, head darting in search of escape. A first timer.

Satan inhaled her salty, warm aura. “If you can spell ‘Mephistopheles,’ I’ll give you a pass this round.” Tough luck if the language she’d spoken on outer-Earth had been character-based.

Hope flashed in her eyes. She straightened up. “M E P H I S T O P H E L E S.”

Satan summoned an oily assistant demon. “Escort her to the elbow-wrencher.”

Her knees faltered. “But I spelled it correctly.”

Satan rolled his head, working out a neck kink. He pointed to a small sign that hadn’t been there a moment earlier,

NO EXCEPTIONS, NO EXCUSES
(AND NO ONE LYKES A GOOD SPELLER.)

Right. No one likes a good speller. Damn, she should have got that one. Cursing herself for her mistake -- as though being cursed could make things any worse -- she followed the demon into a waiting room. With a sigh, she squeezed herself into an open space between Rod Blagojevich and Bernie Madoff.

As she scanned the room, she saw another demon off in the distance arguing with Simon Cowell. She shivered. When she'd filled out the application form, she'd never guessed that the auditions for Fox's America's Gone to Hell would be so tough.


Opening: Jeanne Ryan.....Continuation: Anon.

Cartoon 283

Caption: Chelsea

Your caption on the next cartoon! Link in sidebar.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Beginning 588

The boy with the butterfly on his nose sat on the path, his cotton-candy coated hands moving slowly towards his face. Quickly, without missing a step on her walk through the insect exhibit, Prunella reached out and tweaked his cap. The butterfly flew to the safety of the trees as the boy’s small mean eyes focused on Prunella’s name Tag--“P. Bird, Head Keeper.”

“You may not touch the butterflies!”, she barked. The boy made a noise of a piglet in distress, half squeal -- half grunt, and fled to the arms of his parents who looked daggers at Pru. Giving them a queen’s wave to the troops she continued her march to her office.

Twelve years of Zoo work had taught her it was useless stopping to discuss behavior modification with a family group that sported mismatched socks, plaid shorts and three different plastic animal noses from the gift shop. This was the type that would teeter their small children unattended on the edge of the savanna overlook rail while they were busy downloading ringtones for their cell phones. Oh well, as Walter the grumpiest man at the Zoo once told her, “ It’s no loss, better the Hippo Pool than the gene pool.”

Due in no small part to her brisk and purposeful stride, Prunella had exited the insect house, passed through the reptile house and reached the Savanna Plains compound before the family caught up with her.

"Ma'am," the objectionable, plaid father accosted her. "Listen here, we're customers at this here zoo and you ain't got no business talking to customers like that."

"Really?" Miss P. looked the "customers" up and down and sniffed. "Well customers should look and not touch"-- she fixed her gaze on the boy -- "so if you'd be so kind as to return the monkey to its enclosure..."

"Well I never!" the mother exclaimed, letting out a grunt not unlike a rhino in heat--which was somewhat unfortunate as the gate to the compound was not secured and the bull rhino was feeling particularly frisky.

Needless to say, this was a vacation the "Plaid" family would remember for years, not least because Mrs. Plaid had to stand the whole way home.


Opening: RW Glover.....Continuation: Anon.

Cartoon 282


Caption: Anon.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Surprise Package 3

Evil threw the package onto the desk, gnashing his teeth till they squeaked so badly he woke the weredingoes in the basement.

'A bomb. It's gotta be a bomb. Or poisoned. Or radiocative. Or worse.' His pince-nez catapulted from his face. 'It's one of those freakin' minions, out to get me. I know it. Or what if it's all of them? Like Murder on the Orient Express?'

With an uncanny haste belying his years/girth (just), he dashed into the Shredding Suite and retrieved his most ferocious devourer of manuscripts: the Katana 750 Gore Maw Deluxe — complete with flailing whip attachment.

'See how you like this, you cabal of the damned,' he screamed, feeding the package whole to his mechanical pet.

Strips of wrapping paper burst from the shredder like confetti, quickly followed by guillotined cardboard and bubblewrap, but before Evil could savour his usual climax, tiny slivers of metal began hurtling from the blades, forcing him to pull the plug.

Gasping for breath, he noticed a handwritten letter, dangling uneaten from the jaws of the still purring shredder. He read it.

To Our Dearest EE

In recognition of everything you've done for us in 2008, please accept, with our heartfelt thanks, this gold plated fountain pen, inlaid with diamonds and filled with your favourite blue ink.

Your Ever Loving Minions

Evil collapsed onto his Grisham bean bag. As he stared down the swirling tunnel of anguish threatening to consume him, his eyes fell quite by chance on the spine of an old paperback, nudged an inch out from its neighbours on the bookcase as if by some unseen force.

'A Christmas Carol,' he muttered, permitting himself a smile that pricked up his muttonchops like pine tree boughs. 'Wordy, yeah — but I get the message.'

--Whirlochre

Surprise Package 2

What could this be? Evil Editor thought. Too heavy to be a manuscript, thank God, and not quite heavy enough to be a severed head. It can't be from one of my minions. They don't know my address. Hell, they don't even suspect that I live in Botswana. Maybe it's a Chia pet. I should look into manufacturing Chia Evil Editor severed heads. My minions would probably shell out twenty bucks for one. Those idiots will buy anything. Maybe it's a big piece of meat, like a rump roast or a pork loin. Screw it, I'll donate it to the poor. Can't be anything I'd want.


Thus it was that an elderly gentleman, down on his luck and living in a homeless shelter, received his only Christmas gift: a Batman costume.

--Evil Editor

Surprise Package 1

"Surprise!"

She sneaks up behind him in the hall, the hall with that very attractive circular inlay pattern in the hardwood, and she hugs him from behind, her fingers holding him right above his belt line, her little fingers resting on the leather of his belt.

"What the hell… is this? A toy car? Is it a wind-up or something? And who…who's sitting in the car? Who's that, uh, who's that little woman?"

"Ooooh, my baby, it's an exact replica of me, and the car is my car, miniaturized for you.
It's the introduction of my gift to you, you see. Read the card, honey. Read the card."

Sparky leans down and takes the card off the top of the car that's sitting in the big unwrapped box, and he reads…

My Darling Sparky,

I know we come from different cultures, you with your hoo-hah upbringing and me from a place where conniptions are common. And you, well, you don't connipt.

And I love that about you, you know I do, all that culture and that charm, and that starting your sentences with words like "Possibly…" and "I note…" and things.

And I'm sorry I embarrass you with my redneck driving. I just can't seem to help myself, driving like a bat out of hell as I do, well, it's just a part of my genetic code, the calling people idiot fucking morons and the hollering out the window at fools, like the time when I was following you home and that dumbass in the car ahead of you took too long to get through the light and I honked at him and you weren't all that happy about that, me taking care of us from my car behind your car and all. But I promise you, from now on, I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm pouring all my driving anger into this little mini me here, and out on the real road, I'm gonna be a good girl, just for you.

So you see, Sparky, this is the gift that keeps on giving.

Well, one of the
two gifts that keep on giving, actually, as I'm behind you once again, and stripped buck nekkid.

Love…

--Robin S.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Film Series


Hang the fire code. This time of year you can always count on finding the Yule log in Evil Editor's Shorts.

video

Friday, December 19, 2008

Face-Lift 586


Guess the Plot

Out of the Ice

1. Everything's hopping as Uvik and Druge inspire their fellow Greenlanders to play steel drums and reggae dance. The glaciers are melting and these citizens of the north must prepare to trade their dog sleds for surf boards. But will Rimba look as good in a bikini as she does in her seal parka? And what to do with all that mud?

2. In the late sixties, South African diamond mines produced millions of dollars of jewelry-grade stones. Ikthe N'kumbi, destitute, black and little more than a slave to the Rockwell Mining Company has a plan to escape his condition and cross the border into Mozambique a wealthy man. The only thing standing in his way is Rockwell's obsessive security, including an X-Ray machine and a team of inspectors with rubber gloves.

3. St. Angel, Quebec. Marc Bedard and his cousin Abel find a wooden box painted with strange writing in the pond ice where they play hockey. What will they unleash when it is opened?

4. When Chad Davies, lead singer of boy band, The Ice, breaks away in search of a solo career and commences his debut with the single "Girl, Just You" he doesn't expect success or people to hail him as a musical genius. Oddly, he gets both. And also a new horde of fans that breathe new life into the term "fanatical," including the conductor of an acclaimed symphony orchestra who begins to stalk Chad and make threats should Chad refuse a joint recording venture.

5. Dr. Norvitch & his colleague, Dr Gannen, have finally done the impossible: they've resurrected a baby wooly mammoth frozen in Siberia. Now they must protect their find from the government. Also, an autistic boy who speaks mammoth.

6. Anthropologist Dana West must become a detective when she finds herself at odds with the U.S. Navy and the government of Iceland. What is the deadly secret they don't want Dana to discover? Also, a police psychic.



Original Version

I hope you will consider my literary mystery set in Iceland, Out of the Ice, for publication. The novel emanates from my three years of anthropological fieldwork in Iceland [When it dawns on you that you've just blown three years digging up Iceland and have nothing to show for it but a few bones, you have no choice but to write a novel.] and experience as a journalist and science writer. It is about 87,000 words.

What anthropologists do is unravel secrets, but for Dana West in Iceland, the mystery surrounding a human body found by a reindeer hunting guide in the melting ice of the great glacier, Vatnajokull, is most impenetrable. [I seem to recall reindeer being declared an endangered species in Iceland, so I hope your character is a reindeer who's also a hunting guide.]

It may provide a definitive clue why the medieval Greenlanders disappeared, colleague Richard Eakin, lichenologist, tells her. But that doesn't explain why the Icelandic government and the US Navy are hiding the frozen corpse. Or why a notorious medical anthropological sleuth has approached Dana for Iceland information. [Editorial tip: When you've got a character who's a notorious medical anthropological sleuth, don't bury him in paragraph 3.] [In fact, dump Dana West from the book and make the notorious medical anthropological sleuth the main character. Why? Because when this book hits it big and you decide to write another anthropological mystery, this one set on a dig in Turkey, you're not going to want a main character whose only experience is as a field worker in Iceland. You're going to want a notorious medical anthropological sleuth.] But it may be her ticket for a journey into the heart of Icelandic society.

Eakin warns her that a larger storm is coming and then he vanishes. Dana follows Eakin's path in Iceland with help from his research assistant, Ragnar, [If that was supposed to be a palindrome, you screwed up.] and a police psychic, Asta. [Another carelessly constructed palindrome.] [Lichenologist, notorious medical anthropological sleuth, police psychic . . . does anyone in Iceland have a normal occupation?] Finally, a death on board an Icelandic fishing boat points her toward Eakin's location in Iceland. [Iceland? Did you mean to say Ireland? Because I had just formulated a theory that Eakin had gone to Ireland.]

[Ship captain: One of my crew members died.

Dana: That can mean only one thing: The lichenologist is in Seyðisfjörður.]

There she learns the significance of the body from the ice and why Eakin wanted her to have a role is in finding that out.

Dana is a naïve, but well-intended person—acting at the insistent demand of a respected scholarly figure—who discovers (along with why Eakin disappeared) realities under the realities (such as why the romantic heart never replaced the intellectual liver in Iceland). [Get rid of that sentence before you're accused of causing editors' heads to explode.] As a detective, she is led around Hrobin's barn [You say that as if we know what you're talking about. There's been no mention of Hrobin.] by Asta, Ragnar, and Yngvar, the Reykjavik police chief. [If you can't walk around a barn without three people to guide you, I suggest investing in a good GPS.] Nothing is ever what it seems in the actions that take place in the darkest days of winter, December 1-25 in this northern corner of the planet. [I've never read the line "Nothing is ever what it seems" in a query and found myself unable to easily prove the author wrong.]

As she gradually discovers the deadly secret they are concealing (the body is infectious with a fifteenth century smallpox virus for which there is no vaccine), Dana becomes more and more of an insider there, something she achieves as a detective rather than as an anthropologist. [She's gradually morphing into a notorious medical anthropological sleuth.] This work tries to do for Iceland what Susanna Kaysen's Far Afield did for the Faroe Islands in presenting a picture of the present day country. [Am I showing my ignorance if I admit that not only have I never heard of that book, I've never heard of the Faroe Islands?] I note that you have published one novel on medieval Iceland, Saga, by Jeff Janoda and I am hoping you will also be interested in a novel on the country today (Some people claim nothing has changed, but I would not go that far...) I think Out of the Ice would be popular with suspense/mystery fans who like exotic settings, book club readers, and the ever-growing number of Icelandophiles. [The number is now up to 23.]

I am an anthropologist who has published articles on my work in Iceland ________. My work there was supported by a Fulbright-Hays research grant and the Arctic Institute of North America. I have a doctorate in anthropology from SUNY, Stony Brook and I also have a graduate degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. I have done public health research at Brown University, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of the Health Sciences of the Uniformed Services in Bethesda, Maryland.

I worked as a science writer for The American Museum of Natural History and Scholastic Magazines (New York, New York) and Science Service (Washington, DC). I was a newspaper reporter for The Record in Bergen County, New Jersey.

I have a short story, "Hibernal Onding" in the online journal, A Long Story Short, August 2008. It will be print published in The Taj Mahal Review, December 2008 (with slight revision).

I thank you your attention and look forward to hearing from you.


Notes

This is too long; it needs to fit on one page. Most of your credits can go. You've worked as an anthropologist in Iceland, and have a graduate degree in public health. Those are your credentials. If you're also a notorious sleuth, you can add that.

Get rid of the psychic and the police chief and Hrobin's barn. Dana is the first scientist to examine the frozen guy. The government and the navy take him away before she's done with him, and she wants to know why. Teaming up with Eakin, she discovers that the body had smallpox.

Is that the mystery? Is there a murder? Who are the bad guys? We need bad guys and danger. Is the navy risking the release of the smallpox? Is it up to Dana to prevent this? What are these things that aren't as they seem?

Of course you did call it a "literary" mystery, but if you can get us unsophisticated mystery fans to want to read the book (which means you need to convince us there's an exciting mystery) you'll sell more copies than if your audience is just Icelandophiles.

Cartoon 281

Caption: Whirlochre

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cartoon 280

Caption: Writtenwyrdd

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Face-Lift 585


Guess the Plot

Lucifer's Porsche

1. Sherry Turner owns a ski lodge on Mt. Ames, home of the treacherous run known as Lucifer's Porsche. When handsome Olympic skier Ross Hardman is nearly killed on the slopes, she must choose--her man or her manor?

2. T-Dawg had stole some fine hoopties before, but nothing like this black Porsche. Tha peeps down at tha Park gonna love his mad skillz! Little does he know he's stolen Lucifer's car, and he's gonna really be ghostrifing this whip.

3. When Satan finds himself having a mid-life crisis, he has two choices: He'll either have to fall in love and start performing acts of kindness . . . or buy a Porsche.

4. Tom Stop figured he'd boosted the sweetest ride on the streets. But, as he pulled out of the parking lot at Club 666 and the painted flames along the sides burst into real flames, he began to think he'd made a mistake. Now he's got 24 hours to find the car's owner or he'll discover that "highway to hell" isn't just a figure of speech.

5. When the devil offers to trade in his 2008 Porsche for a 2004 Prius--and the salesman's soul--Honest Bob doesn't think twice about closing the deal. After all, has any car salesman ever made it to the Pearly Gates anyway?

6. Amy Jackson lost control of Todd's new Porsche convertible on her way to the veterinary clinic with Mad Felix, the injured cat. As the car plunged into Lake Wintucktim and disappeared, Amy could barely swim ashore and save herself. Felix, alas, died of his injuries. Good thing the car wasn't totaled!! Too bad it's now haunted by the glowing-eyed ghost of Mad Felix, who sits in the backseat and flies the vehicle on his evil missions from Hell, using mental telepathy.

7. As the Devil attempts to make his stylish reentry into modern society, his cloven hooves slip off the pedals of his Porsche speedster, which crashes into a tree, sending this churlish Demon head-over-hooves into the garden of spinster Madge Gatwick as she fails to prune the mistletoe from her plum tree. It's love at first sight for this odd couple, but how will the ladies' charity club react? And what will Father Murphy say?


Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Satan's having a mid-life crisis. Mutilation, asphyxiation, blah, blah, blah. [Don't you mean yadda, yadda, yadda?] Nothing's delivering that old, delicious zing. And his minions are threatening mutiny. Can he help it that the pristine souls needed to power the underworld are becoming harder to locate and almost impossible to seduce?

Gazing at an endless line of the Damned, Satan feels the weight of eternity pulling on his leathery wings. He sets off to outer-Earth on a soul-acquisition journey. Per the Elysium-Hades treaty, he and God are each allotted one soul-deal per decade. Satan targets Eden Grace, a Seattle landscaper who possesses a soul pure enough to fuel ten new disembowelment chambers. His plan is simple: hire Eden for a big-budget job, fog her mind with romance, and offer to save her sickly daughter. Problem is, he experiences more of a thrill from helping Eden than from hurting her. What kind of King of Darkness gets a buzz from doing good? And why does he feel such deranged exhilaration whenever he's with her? His celestial powers are waning, his assistant demons are conspiring, and Eden's invading his psyche. Ultimately, he must choose between an eternity of crushing despair and a love that could destroy him...Damn.

LUCIFER'S PORSCHE is a 70,000 word urban fantasy which placed third in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's literary contest this year. [I'll try not to hold it against you that you couldn't even win your category of this obscure contest; there's no accounting for the taste of contest judges.] I've completed the advanced fiction writers program at the University of Washington. Although I do not have direct experience with hell, I spent five years in Detroit.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Title note (not part of query): The Porsche is a reference to Satan's 'mid-life crisis'. Obviously, immortal beings don't have a mid-life; however, he needs something to combat his crushing ennui. The only thing that provides the sizzle he misses is performing good deeds, i.e., his version of engaging in dangerous behavior.]


Notes

I like this, though not necessarily as an urban fantasy. As I understand it, urban fantasy has come to mean a contemporary fantasy with a kick-ass female protagonist who has a lot of attitude. Humor is common, but the humor tends to be in the heroine's 'tude, not the plot, which is fairly dark. This query makes the book sound like a comedy (which I assume it is), and Satan seems to be your main character. So unless the minions say otherwise, you might want to call this a fantastical comedy or a humorous fantasy.

Mutilation, asphyxiation, blah, blah, blah, makes Satan sound like a run-of-the-mill serial killer. The biggest serial killer ever does things on a grander scale. Try something like "Lake of fire, pit of despair, arena of tortures . . . Nothing's delivering that old, delicious zing."

You might turn that long paragraph into two, breaking after "decade" or "chambers."

Cartoon 279

Caption: Khazar-khum

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Beginning 587

July 14

A fleck of blue gleamed in the sunlight on a patch of white snow and gray sand.

"A flower on a glacier?" Einar asked himself as he scrambled up the slope. "A single forget-me-not?" The sight of it brought to mind what he had been trying to remember all morning: today was Bryndis's birthday.

Einar was not a plant man. He was a birdman, especially when it came to the savory ptarmigan. And hreindyr—reindeer hunters were his thing now. He was on hreindyr surveillance now, checking the trails and the herds before the utlendingar came in August. He knew no bird would fly this high and hreindyr were also rare: there were no plants. Nothing more than the wind and lichens usually made it to this elevation. But somehow a seed had found the spot and a blue gleym-mer-ei had sprouted.

The flower was just outside the shadow of a boulder. Rivulets of water spilled from a pool of ice and snow at the base of the rock. A ragged piece of cloth poked through the water and the debris. Einar stepped into the pool to pull up the rag, thinking it was probably a burlap picnic sack dropped by some hiker. But when he touched the rough material and tried to tug it from the ice, he could feel the ribbed threads of woven cloth. The material was not burlap sacking and it was frozen to a hard leathery surface which he could glimpse where the stringy cords had rotted. He suspected the piece of burlap was clothing, a cloak or a hood unlike any he had ever seen before, a garment from a human body in the ice. And he was certain this find was not anyone who had gone missing recently.

A sound behind him made Einar freeze. He was not alone. A voice rumbled and boomed across the icy wasteland.

"Dammit, Roxie -- I thought I told you to clean out the ice box? There are freaking roaches in here!"

Einar scuttled away.

"And one of 'em's still alive! Gross. I'm gonna order Pizza."

Fearing for his life, Einar hid himself behind a tall Hrar-gen Dass and considered his past sins as the world went dark.

Karma. It was indeed a bitch.


Opening: Ann Cassin.....Continuation: Anon.

Cartoon 278

Caption: Raymond Terry

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Crappy Day


For those who were wondering what EE looks like, here are some shots taken today during my colonoscopy. I wish I could tell you all about it, but while I remember watching some of it on a TV monitor, and making such comments as, "What the . . . ? Is that a squid?!" and "This scene reminds me of the batcave, only cooler," I have no idea if I forgot most of what happened or if I slept through it. The crappy day, by the way, was yesterday, when I couldn't eat.

Zombies!


The 3rd Annual Zombie Guess the Plot Quiz


As they so often do, zombies have made it into several Guess the Plot sets in the past year. But three of the plots below turned out to be the actual plots of books. Which ones? Correct answers are at the bottom of the post.


1. On a dare, Ted crossed the line, but now he's dead and an army of zombies is determined to make him their newest recruit. Can Bella LaBod rescue her lover from a fate worse than death? And will she be able to come back to the land of the living after she's ventured beyond the . . . Dead Line?

2. Zombie alligators crawl from their swamps to the subways of New York, consuming everyone in their path. They're the minions of Dr. Hannah Wild. She's taking over the world. Meanwhile, a daring team of meteorologists and astronauts struggle to bring a great blizzard from Winnipeg that will turn the monsters to ice.

3. Literary Fiction author Bromeliad Fauntleroy has written the definitive novel of male ennui during the teen angst years. However, to do so, she had to invoke the ghost of King Tut. Now she's stuck with a dusty, moldy zombie with delusions of Godhood and immortality. Can she send Tut back or will the next Empire be governed by the boy-king . . . and his blushing new bride?

4. Tax collector Ryan Conner doesn't know why no one in Colmera Springs ever pays taxes, but he's going to put a stop to it, even if it means throwing the whole town into jail. Maybe Conner would have thought twice if he'd known the truth: that the residents of Colmera Springs are all . . . zombies!

5. An epidemic of terrible disease spreads across North America. For three days, patients seem to have influenza. On day four they become zombies. But everyone at the Happy Hills Organic Herb Farm and Goat Dairy collective commune in Tennessee stays healthy. President Hannah Jones reads the Top Secret report from the CDC and wonders: could it really be -- the garlic?

6. Memoirs of a career fireman, focusing on the numerous people who've died in his arms at the scenes of vehicle accidents and house fires. Also, a dead man opens his eyes: resurrection or zombie?

7. In the city of Necropolis, nothing is as it seems. Zombies roam the streets, vampires rule the night, and werewolves make travel dangerous. When the new head of the NRA is found in rigor clutching his rifle in his cold, dead hands, Detective Paul Fontane knows he's looking at a murder. Figuring out the suspect should be simple, since the victim is also missing his brains. But getting around the People for the Ethical Treatment of Zombies protesters to get a DNA sample won't be easy.

8. When evil scientist Ray Winegast accidentally infects himself with homemade zombie microbes and starts an epidemic, it's up to Thor Jones and Bongo Mugwump to save voluptuous Screaming Mimi from the roof of Virus Central before the US Air Force flattens Pittsburgh.

9. The instant longshoreman Joe Dentmore saw the dude and the dame in the white coats running toward his forklift, he figured -- mad scientists! And how right he was! They're attempting to take over the world with the aid of a woman whose outfits scandalously fall off at critical moments. Can Joe stop them, or must he call in Team X97Z -- the zombie axemen?

10. Sean and Brendan, a pair of exchange students, try to join Sigma Xi. Blackballed for being geeks, they seek revenge in a Guinness-fueled killing spree, only to find that Sigma Xi is home to a pack of zombies. Joined by fellow losers, they form their own fraternity, dedicated to destroying the zombies before the Physics Department becomes a brains buffet.

11. The love letters were anonymous, but the envelopes had return addresses. Lonely spinster Mildred Marshall decides to investigate, but when she discovers that the address is a local graveyard she must decide: was it was all a prank, or does she have a secret admirer who happens to be a zombie?

12. Queen Voula rules with an iron fist, especially when it comes to her servants. But that doesn't keep Linea, the zombie maid from shirking her duties to be with Leo. When Leo dies and becomes a zombie, can he and Linea kill Voula before she destroys their souls?

13. Morris the Cat meets the zombies in this action packed thriller of kitty redemption. Does Morris have enough lives left to defeat the zombie master?





Answers Below




Zombie fanatics may click on the "Zombie Guess the Plot Quizzes" label below to view the previous quizzes.




The plots that aren't fakes are #s 4, 6, and 12.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Space Quest 8

...and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woollen — whaaaaaaaaaaat?

"Parking Lot Full"?

Whaddya mean, "Parking Lot Full"? What is this? Some kinda fascist regime? Aintcha never heard of customer service, you bozos? As in, when EE condescends to visit your lousy store to fill your coffers with the three dollars friggin' fifty that might — just might — make the big deal fuckin' difference between you going to same wall as Lehmans or riding high on a cloud of shameless success like yours fuckin' truly, you make damn sure there's plenty of space for him to park his FUCKIN' CAR.

Whaddya expect me to do? Wait around for five fuckin' minutes till some dumbass fucks off outta here and you raise the fuckin' barrier? Listen up, you shits, if I don't get my sugar rush right this fuckin' minute, I'll go crazy, do you hear me? Crazy. You wanna thank your lucky stars it's nearly fuckin' Christmas or I'd whup your miserable fuckin' corporate ass. Jesus H. Fuckin' Bastard Chriiiiiiiiist! And what's the fuckin' problem with installing a fuckin' drive thru, huh? Yeah, a big fuckin' cinnamon bun fuckin' drive thru. Right fuckin' here. You ever thoughta that? Or whaddabout ANOTHER FUCKIN' PARKING SPACE? All you fuckin' need is a shitload of fuckin' thin air and I'm bettin'you got plenty of that between your lame ass fuckin' ears.

Jesus! Look what you made me do to my fuckin' horn, you bastards!

Awwwwwww — go fuck your fuckin' barrier. I'm totalling your "Parking Lot Full". Naw, I tellya what — I'm cranking this baby up to sixty M P fuckin' H and crashing the fucker right in through the front of your lousy fuckin' store you fuckin' fuckers. With my ass hangin' out the fuckin' window. And Whitney fuckin' Houston full fuckin' on...

--Whirlochre

Space Quest 7

It's late enough Saturday morning…you'd think the mommy and brat brigades would've already had their cinnamon buns and gone, but no, apparently not. Look at them. Look at them. They're everywhere….Lady…Lady, why don't ya watch it, idiot woman, you almost hit me with that baby-mobile SUV suck vehicle….dammit. Who buys a baby blue Escalade, anyway? Yeah, that's right. A card-carrying member of Mommyville…that's who…and what's with this guy, this old man walking toward his car…hurry up, old man, let's go, you've had yours, now I need mine…oh, yeah, he's got a good spot, wait, no no no no NO…you did NOT have your blinker on to take that old fart's spot. NO. Idiot moron. Possibly I missed something somewhere. Possibly you have to be a card-carrying member of Idiot Morons Anonymous to park in this place, to shop in this place…Oh, screw it, I'm outta here, no, wait, wait, I need my sweet buns…heh heh…yeah…sweet buns…none of these circling clowns would even get the joke…ahhhh, there's one there's one…no, buddy, I don't think so…not gonna back down…don't try it, asshole…I need my sweets..oh, screw it…I'm parking on the white stripes…yeah, yeah, idiot moron…I know I'm parking ON THE WHITE LINES…possibly you're not aware you're an idiot moron. I'm parking…I'm parking…why don't you wave and point down to the white lines again, self-righteous idiot moron? Yeah…that's right…point and gesticulate you wild-eyed do-gooder fool…while I steal inside for my sweet cinnamon buns…yeah, wave away at me…yeah, like I care…once I take a bite out of those sweet buns, I'm outta here and I'll never haveta see you circling clowns again…at least not until next weekend…

--Robin S.

Space Quest 6

“That’s right, shit-for-brains, “R” is for reverse. Now back up already!” I have a bad habit of using vulgar language in the privacy of my car, and today I was indulging that particular peccadillo even more than usual. With a wallet full of cash, a full tank of gas and three hours to get all my Christmas shopping done before the Crimson Tide kick-off at 3 p.m., I was ambivalent-in-the-moment as I commenced the painful, yearly ritual. “Yeah Buddy, move it,” I said, noting that the vehicle exiting the parking space was a European looking 16.4 cylinder-torque-seeking Black and Blue Bugatti sporting an 8-liter engine with a quad-turbocharged delivery system smoothed out by 10 inter-coolers Sport Car-marvel-of-modern technology and capable of screaming toward a top speed of Mach 10. It had an acceleration rate of 0-60 in 1 point zero seconds, compared to my SmartCar fortwo 2-seater with an acceleration rate of 0-60 in 18.0 seconds, according to my Swatch. So what if the asshole had a cool car! I thought he was taking too long to remove it from my potential parking spot. I politely beeped my horn, watching as the Co2 exhaust puffed with gusto from the shiny chrome holes discretely emitting their fumes into the grey December day. Did I mention the car was dark blue? The last thing I remember (as I was wondering how the vehicle could possibly have .4 of a cylinder) was the sensation of my little car/world spinning at a fantastic rate of speed close to Mach 3: I was dead before the asphalt re-solidified above my 6-guage aluminum-alloy roof, which had smothered me after my SmartCar fortwo went into a tailspin digging a hole 5 feet deep.

“Damn-it-all to hell and back,” said Evil Editor as he exited the Bugatti. “God-damn-WTF-MF, I did it again!” he moaned, retrieving the crumpled air-foil (programmed to engage at speeds above 50 mph) that spanned the pit like a twisted St. Louis Arch.

--Meri

Space Quest 5

Got a craving for a cinnamon bun. Got a craving for a cinnamon bun. Hey, that's pretty catchy. I shoulda gone into advertising. I mean, what's more satisfying, editing some piece-of-crap book from the slush pile so some incompetent author can take credit for all my work while 10,000 people read it, or writing a jingle that'll get stuck in 20 million people's heads until they want to scream? Got a craving for a cinnamon bun.

WTF? There's no parking spaces? What if I had an emergency? What if I needed some medicine for my baby? What if I . . . got a craving for a cinnamon bun? I'm gonna run out of gas looking for a space. It's not right that people who shop here once a year take up the whole lot while regulars like me can't get in. Hell they got special spaces for the handicapped, why can't they have special spaces for people who just wanna run in and grab a cinnamon bun? Got a craving for a cinnamon bun. Shit, I can't get that jingle out of my head. Which proves it's effective. Maybe I'll auction it off to the cinnamon bun makers. It's gotta be worth millions. Why am I wasting my time? I've never enjoyed an entire cinnamon bun. They make 'em too sweet, you get icing on your hands. The first bite's okay. The second and you're thinking, I paid three bucks for this hunk of sugardough? You toss the rest on the floor of the car to keep the one you bought last year company.

I'm outta here. I need gas. I'll stop at a gas station with a grocery that even with it's ripoff prices still only charges a buck and a half for a packaged honey bun that's been on the shelf six months. Got a craving for a cinnamon bun. Got a . . .

--Evil Editor

Space Quest 4

What a fine thing to find the parking lot full to the edge slots and beyond! That means that 1) schools are closed as a snow day so all the Junior High kids are at the mall and 2) people are getting out of the stock market and into flat screen electronics and 3) gas prices are so low the SUV bumpers are lined up like hefty drill team members. Plus now I get the added thrill of trailing a person with arms full of bags to her car and waiting…waiting…waiting with my blinker on, inching just close enough that she can back out but clearly marking my territory. With a surly scowl, I dare any other car to cut in and take the place…which turns out to be a moot point because she is actually going back for more shopping. Or a cinnamon bun. My cinnamon bun.

--Anon.

Space Quest 3

I hate Christmas shopping.

Where the hell do all these idiots come from? And why are they never at my book signings?

Oh hey--a spot. I'll just go and--dammit! Motorcycles should have to park on the sidewalk or something. Stealing a good space like that. I oughta knock the damned thing over.

Hey, there's a spot--nope, not the way Mr. My Car Is New So I'll Just Take Two Spots parked. Take this, you SOB. If I didn't have fifty cars behind me full of witnesses, I'd fix that paint job right up.

Wait, wait, wait--is that car leaving? Yes? Yes??? No! Bastard just straightened it out. Shit.

Better go back down the lane. Never know when one of these jerks will--What? An empty spot? Oh, Yes! YES!! And no one else has seen it! I'd better get right there.

What the--what the hell is that white Poodle doing in MY spot? Get your damned dog into the truck, people! I want my spot! Dammit! Yeah, Merry Christmas to you too. Whatever. Just let me park.

Well, at least I've got a spot. I'll just head over to Sears and get going and--

What? WHAT? On my shoes! Damned Poodle!

Khazar-khum

Space Quest 2

The hood of the car hangs as it slowly turns left, row after row of the filled Death Valley Mall parking lot. A soft muttering accompanies the ubiquitous holiday song.

"Sleigh bell bling, will ya blister, to the plane, cows are flittin..." Again, that slow, wide turning, turning, turning, turning and maybe a backup because of hidden compacts and gargantuan SUVs.

"I'm never gettin' inside. Everybody and their Aunt Betty are here today. Even old Uncle Archie parked his buttocks on a bench without his donut. Dog, will that be a movement tonight. Whole factories organized against management goons easier."

And then IT appears, peeking just around the far end of a row. GET IT! A screeching approach, accelerator rammed forward, hood careening... But it's a cart station filled with busted buggies. A sighing murmur of despair: "That's not one. Nothing is so beautiful as spring."

Eastward, A door opens and a woman, waddling under packages, exits. "Maybe if I follow that woman. Follow, follow, follow. Don't look at me like that, lady. I'm not your husband." Car trunk feeding time. It devours the packages, leaves the woman for later. A belch is heard in the car to punctuate her officious buttockal sashay back into the mall.

"Bite me." The murmur whimpers. The flickering lights of the rent-a-cops go all blinky. "There they go... a vaingloriously frivolous attempt at order."

"Hey fellow, take our spot. We got go to the other side of the mall," the pimply-faced guard yells. Gears shift, tires spin, the transmission purrs through four gears and overdrive, a fine, smooth drift into place. True, no one has left and they are packed shoulder-to-shoulder inside, but parking achieved, he can shop. Christmas is saved. One more dawn. One more day. One year more. The Conquering Hero alights.

--Dave F.

Space Quest 1

Christmas time. Evil Editor sat large in the rusted hulk of his old Ford Power Wagon. Heater blasting at his crotch, EE belted out an appropriate song in his off-key voice. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”

The rumble of the big engine shook the vehicle, vibrating his butt cheeks like a bad masseuse. He liked the sensation. Probably good for the buns, he thought in a self-satisfied way. And speaking of buns…he was right next to the mall. “Cinnamon buns…mmmmm.” Sticking a beefy arm out the window to lead the way, he pulled left across two lanes of traffic, blew through a red light, and slid into the mall parking lot. “Driving in a winter wonderland,” he chortled happily, cutting off a mini van as he looked for a parking space.

He liked the Power Wagon – sitting up high, looking down on everyone else. The way life should be. EE saw drivers searching in vain for parking spaces. “Bunch of morons,” he muttered, rolling past them.

Just as he suspected, there was one last parking space right up front in the handicap zone. He reached under his seat, pulled out a fake handicap sign and hung it on his mirror, “Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la…hey, WHAT THE HELL!” A white beemer turned the corner and angled into his space. Enraged, EE slammed the steering wheel with both hands. “DAMN”, he snarled, shaking his head so furiously that spittle rained against the inside of his windshield. An elderly, white-haired man struggled to exit the beemer. “Freakin Q-tip! I hope Santa’s reindeer take a dump down your chimney!” he vituperated, driving past.

“Fuck the cinnamon buns!”

Leaving the mall, EE sideswiped a parked car. “Merry Christmas!” he bellowed, hitting the gas and roaring away.

--Mark Mosher

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Film Series


Tickets may now be purchased on the Internet, so if you haven't been getting into Evil Editor's Shorts lately, it's your own fault.



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