Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 New Beginning Award Winners

It was 10:30 and we were halfway through the quarterly meeting when my clothing combusted. Several people gasped, and Celine Carter started giggling. I just stood up, dumped my cup of water down the front of my pantsuit, grabbed my briefcase, and said, “Excuse me.” Jennings pinched the bridge of his nose with one hand and waved me out with the other. 

I fumed all the way to the bathroom, clothes sizzling and the whole office gawking. Maddening. Just maddening. I’d always heard menopause was painful for super heroines, but this? This was humiliating! This was my third pantsuit in a week to explode; the second in a month to explode during a meeting.

I shucked off the ashy pantsuit and pulled a skirt and blouse from my briefcase. As I struggled into the new outfit, I called my husband on my cell.

“Jeff? I need an asbestos wardrobe!”

Jeff sighed. “Oh, sweetie. The flame retardant didn’t help?”

“No! I had a hot flash, and my clothes blew up. Again! It’s just…it’s so frustrating.”

“Maybe we could get Edna to make something for you? She dresses all the hip you--hip superheroes, doesn’t she? Or, wait, maybe we can just pull your old suit out of the attic!”

I huffed into the phone. “Even if I could fit into it, which I seriously doubt, I’d like to remind you that when I wore that thing, I only shot fire from my hands. It won’t do anything against a full body hot flash!”

“You could always quit your job and just sit around the house naked.”

* * *

Enough!" Stan hollered. "I Know I said we needed a female superhero in our comics line, and that I wanted it written by a woman, but issue 1 was breast feeding in public, issue 2 was that time of the month, and now menopause?! Firebabe has yet to take on a single villain!"

"But Boss," Chatsworth replied, "it's outselling Spiderman and Superman. It's the hottest title in comics."

"I know, I know. It just feels . . . wrong."

"Not to worry, Boss. Next month Firebabe faces her toughest foe yet. The Misogynist!"

"Who's he?"

"The shoe salesman from hell!"


 Opening: Rachel Roy......Continuation: Evil Editor

Some months after my cousin took a bad fall down the grand staircase of his home, I called on him for an extended stay. I arrived but a short hour before the doctor was to arrive for one last examination, and he, having burned off any inherent bashfulness at boarding school and again in the army, invited me to stay and chat throughout the examination.

The doctor struck a match and passed it before my cousin's eyes to watch his pupils follow it; snapped his fingers at either ear to see if he started. My cousin's joints were flicked and found adequate. The doctor seemed pleased with his recovery."

"Has your appetite been well?" he asked, writing mysterious marks into a notebook.

"Strong as ever," said my cousin. "Stay for tea and I shall prove it."

"And your libido?"

"Positively libid."

"And how have you slept?"

I saw my cousin hesitate for a slip of a moment before saying, "Never deeper. Never deeper."

"Appetite and libido good?" The doctor's face wrinkled his concern. "And yet you're sleeping deep? Hmmm."

The omnipresent author slipped my cousin a note. His face lit up, and he spoke with a renewed vigour.

"Maybe I've discovered some fantasy dream world the rest of this story will be about, in which I'm some testosterone-fueled centaur laird taking a stand against the nouveau teen vampire chic with hooves a-blazing."

"Might work," said the doctor, tossing aside his stethoscope, "but you reckoned without the Snake Lords of the Preposterous!"

As serpents slid from beneath his Red Cross poncho, I sensed it was time to play my own hand. It roared from my wrist, half Addams Family appendage, half Fireball XL5 rocket propulsion blast, and stabbed a series of alien-looking sigils into my cousin's bare chest.


"Ha!" cried the doctor. "Your edict has fallen foul of the terminal navel. If you're gonna inscribe a call to arms on a torso, do it on a giant where there's more room to flow freely."

The omnipresent author slipped my cousin another note.

"Forget the horses and the snakes. Looks like we're going with romance."

No need for further words. The three of us embraced each other on the hospital bed. Then we kissed like harlots, ready to spawn some fantasy love child...

Opening: 150.....Continuation: Whirlochre

When the world came to, it came, not to its senses, but to its madness. Those who were left alive learned what their needs were—these of course, were the same as they ever had been, as the nature of the ones left behind was no different from the nature of the ones who had gone on—and from one’s nature come one’s needs. They learned what their true needs were, which was almost as important as learning how to get them met.

Air, of course, then water, then food. Those who were left alive were at the mercy of place, and some lingered long enough to learn how to get their needs met in the place where they were; others did not, and died. Still others began to travel the broken roads, to band together, to beat back or be beaten back, to become victims or victors. Eventually, life resumed its potent, inviolable rhythm. And eventually, the things that had been left behind began to become normal.

The crone’s name was Senga. That’s what everyone called her, anyway. She was not quite the eldest of their group, but if she wasn’t, no one knew anyone older.

Senga knew what life had been like in the old days, the days before the days of now and the days before the days of before the days of now and even the days before the days of before the days of before the days of now. She could teach us how to function again. We could emerge, blinking, into the light. Society could regain its structure.

Our future depended on Senga's memories, and on only one other thing: that she could finish imparting these memories to us before we could no longer resist eating her.

Opening: Helen O'Reilly.....Continuation: Anon.


Chelsea Pitcher said...

This was fun! It's got to be a tough job to sift through so many hilarious continuations.

(I voted by name, btw.)


Evil Editor said...

Actually, the hard part used to be narrowing it down to only five nominees. Now the hard part is finding any.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Blogging seems to be on the skids. I dunno why. What are people doing now? Texting? Twittering? Twerping? I can't figure it out.

Evil Editor said...

I'm thinking of bagging the blog and critiquing tweets.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

What keeps me off Twitter is never having anything to say that can be said in 140 characters or less.

I'd forgotten all about the ostensible crone ostensibly named Senga. Good times.

150 said...

*hi-fives Whirl* We're number two! We're number two!

I note, Alaska, that "What keeps me off Twitter is never having anything to say that can be said in 140 characters or less." only took 101 characters. :) You'd be surprised what you can get across in one tweet.

Jo Antareau said...

Great openings and continuations, EE. Thanks for the laugh. With that and the world not ending, life's looking good.