Sunday, October 05, 2008


Today tastes like lemons. A whole raft of lemons on the open sea at midnight. Lemons, salt, and wood.

See, I have this reputation as a writer in our little group. If you want something written that defies logic and sense, you ask Spike to handle it. And you give her a deadline because, in that, the Duke1 and I see eye to eye.

So, one pal is a professional (makes her living at it) costumer with a handful of pals who simply like to make stuff. They go an an annual hajib to a conference that focuses on making costumes--how to do stuff, how much to charge for your labor, and this conference culminates in a contest. Needless to say, they're all entered in Very Big Dog level as a group.

And they need a script . . . Spike?

Of course I'm flattered, and happy to draw up a three-five minute short short for them. At dinner I wrote up a handful of notes, and on the way home I got to pondering. I sat down and started typing in my notes . . . an hour later I shut down to GO TO BED ALREADY . . . and fifteen minutes after laying my whirling head on the pillow I was back up at it with the final touches.

So here's the first draft:

Cast: Narrator
Evil Genius
Earth Elemental
Fire Elemental
Air Elemental
Water Elemental

Narrator: And so, with the Elementals subdued in her subterranean lair at the top of the world, the time had come for the evil genius to give her mandatory exposition disguised as a monologue.

Evil Genius: Aha! The voice in my head tells me to begin the expository monologue! And so . . .

Narrator: It's the usual. Explains how she’s going to use the power source in her plans for Total World Domination. Details the long, drawn out, horrible, messy, elaborate death she plans for our heroes. And then she’ll leave for a cup of green tea, with milk and lemon.

Air: Don’t bother with the details. It’ll just be an explanation how you’re going to use Widget to power your rocket chair . . .

Water: . . . kill us all slowly and messily . . .

Earth: . . . in a highly elaborate fashion, mind . . .

Fire: . . . and then you’ll go off for a cup of green tea. How can you drink that stuff?

Air. With milk.

Water: And lemon. Both of them? TOGETHER?? (shudders bonelessly)

EG: How . . . how did you know?

Heroes (as one): The voice in my head told me so.

Narrator: Our heroes looked at each other . . .

Fire: You hear him, too?

Water. I thought I was the only one.

Air: Well, no wonder we keep showing up at the same time and place together.

Earth: What did you think it was? That we were following you?

(Air rolls eyes, shoots Earth a “well, duh!” look)

EG: Hello! Evil genius, world domination, master plan? Widget?

Narrator: Our heroes quickly recalled their task. To make the world safe once more by rescuing Widget from the Evil Genius’s clutches.

Fire: That’s not important right now. Right now . . .

Air: . . . we need to make the world safe once more . . .

Water: . . . by rescuing Widget . . .

Earth: . . . . from the Evil Genius’s clutches. Guys, this is kind of creepy.

Narrator: Like mind control.

Earth: Like mind control . . . HEY! STOP THAT!

Air: If we all take a deep cleansing breath . . .

Water: . . . swallow hard . . .

Earth: . . . ground ourselves . . .

Fire: . . . and feel the fire in our hearts . . .

Air: . . . we can save Widget!

(Heroes focus, hands in mudras, bodies and faces clenched. Somewhere between enlightened bliss and terminal constipation.)

(Narrator walks across stage, takes Widget from the Evil Genius.)

Narrator: I’ll take that now, if you please.

All (as one): You’re . . . you’re the voice in my head!

Narrator: I’m more than that. I’m the Narrator. The most powerful being there is. I control all of you through the Cranial Capacitator. The Cranial Capacitator electrostatically amplifies the alpha waves, transmitting them through the phlogiston etherosphere . . .

Widget: HAT!!!



1. I don't need time, what I need is a deadline. -- Duke Ellington

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