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The Biggest Loser

How quickly the mighty have fallen.

Right on their toukiss.

You may recall that I won last year’s Bet. You may recall that I gloated with fervor as I handed the title of “Miss Candor Sends Her Regrets” to Andrew Smith so he could write a short story around it. You may recall a victory jig (well, maybe not, as I did it when no one was around; rest assured, there was a jig).

This year’s Derby? Didn’t work out as well for me.

I came in last. Well, last in our group of four. Not dead last, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Although my horse was uncomfortably close to that ignominious spot.

I’m not alone. Catherine lost. Kimberly lost. Andrew won (both our bet and the race; his horse actually came in first, something I didn’t even come close to with last year’s victory).  And now, as I do the Walk of Shame to my laptop, I must write a short story using a title provided by Catherine, whose horse came in ahead of mine: “All of Nature Abhors a Vacuum.”

It will not be a roman a clef using my cat as a protagonist.

I got off lucky. Last year, Catherine gave Kimberly the somewhat problematic title, “Uncle Mo’s Gastrointestinal Tract.”  Maybe Catherine regretted that, so she went easy on me. (If she didn’t regret it then, she must be regretting it now that Kimberly has given her the title, “Uncle Mo Holds a Grudge.” Why do I have the feeling that, if this Bet continues to be a regular thing, Uncle Mo will be making a perennial appearance…)

We have a deadline of June 1 to do our stories, whereupon the three losers will post their stories (Kimberly will be using Andrew’s supplied title, “The Flat Tire Man”) on our respective blogs for all to see.

(Pssst. Don’t tell my fellow writers but I’m done with my story. I couldn’t sleep Saturday night, I got an idea, and I ran with it. But don’t spread it around. I don’t want them to be jealous or anything. Besides, who knows, I may decide I hate it between now and June 1.)

So, stay tuned in a month for an original short story titled “All of Nature Abhors a Vacuum.” (You know, the one that’s already done. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.)

Published in: on May 7, 2012 at 8:32 am  Comments (1)  


Time: The far future

Place: The remains of Planet Earth

(Zoldar and Fraxwaven, two alien archaeologists newly arrived from the planet Blondark, try to make sense of the long extinct human race based on what they find in the rubble.)

Zoldar: Haven’t you got that thing booted yet?

Fraxwaven: It’s alien tech, you dwiblok. Clearly inferior, I might add. Not exactly compatible with the xenomatrix. I had it working yesterday. Just gimme a minute… There. The mainframe has degraded terribly but we can retrieve some of the data. This should give us an idea of what life was like for the inhabitants of this world.

Zoldar: (studies readout) What is a Twitter?

Fraxwaven: In what little I’ve been able to piece together, it was a foul and iniquitous god—one of a pantheon requiring followers to have unwavering loyalty– that only allowed for the transmission of banal subject matter.

Zoldar: Why do you believe that?

Fraxwaven: Look at all the discussions of meals. Most of which are addressed to an entity whose identity remains mysterious to me. I hope if we continue to dig, we might learn who “You guys” is. But for the most part, very little of actual importance is communicated.

Zoldar: Seems poor evidence to conclude that Lord Twitter was cruel.

Fraxwaven: On the surface, yes. But I’ve discovered over 300 billion messages where the users declare some variation of “I have news but cannot share.” It seems unlikely that the inhabitants would be so self-important as to withhold vital information solely for the purposes of self-gratification—I mean, only children do that, right?—so I can only conclude that these messages were discreet attempts by the residents of the world to ask for assistance from Twitter’s censorship.

Zoldar: I concur. Those poor people.

Fraxwaven: It gets worse. Have you seen their photographic abilities? Check this out.

Zoldar: (stares at screen) The colors are washed out…the edges are blurred… No one would willingly take a photo like that.

Fraxwaven: Exactly. I believe this is the work of a demi-god: Instagram. A trickster who ruins what might otherwise be a perfectly lovely photograph.

Zoldar: So these people were forced into silence, except on banal subject matters, AND they couldn’t take a decent photograph. How very, very sad for them.

Fraxwaven: I can only guess this oppression was what led them to make questionable decisions, such as in their elections. Did you know that their legislative body was comprised of bodily fluids?

Zoldar: You’re pulling my flagnar.

Fraxwaven: Nope. Check out the folder labeled ‘Google,’ then the subfolder marked ‘Santorum…’

Published in: on May 3, 2012 at 6:52 am  Comments Off on Legacy  

The Bet Part Deux

It’s that time of year: the Kentucky Derby!  Can you feel the excitement in the air?

No? Me neither. All it means to me is that the Bet is on again!Here They Come(c) Dave

Last year, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Kimberly Pauley,  Andrew Smith and I made a little wager on the ponies. We took our cue from an article where Stephen King revealed he’d once lost a bet to his son and had to write a short story based on a title his son provided.  So we set our own rules: Whoever’s horse came in closest to first got to supply the person whose horse came next with a title from which they had to write a short story. The person in second would supply a story title to the person who came in third. Third place gave a title to fourth and fourth didn’t get to give anyone a title.  All stories had to be posted online for free so all the world would know the ignominy of the losers. (OK, it was really just to entertain readers.) I won and didn’t have to write one (which was good, as I was on a tight deadline and didn’t have time to breathe, let alone write a short story). I’m sad to report I don’t even remember the name of the horse that saved me from this arduous task.

From Andrew, we got “Miss Candor Sends Her Regrets.” (Title supplied by me.)

From Catherine, we got “The Art of Being Stuck Here.” (Title supplied by Andrew.)

From Kimberly, we got “Uncle Mo’s Gastrointestinal  Tract.” (Title evilly supplied by Catherine, a reference to a horse that had to bow out of last year’s race due to…digestive issues.)

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend giving each of these stories a read. Too much awesome to be had.

We had so much fun that we’re doing it again this year. Lucky you!  Not long after the Derby, there will be three, fresh new short stories for your enjoyment. Once again, we’ve all chosen horses:

Catherine–Union Rags

Kimberly–Creative Cause

Andrew–I’ll Have Another

Brian–Done Talking

So saddle up, pardners. The stakes are high and the yields are amazing.  Stay tuned next week to see who won. (Pleaseletitbemepleaseletitbeme…)

Published in: on May 2, 2012 at 7:26 am  Comments Off on The Bet Part Deux