Monthly Archives: November 2009
Tonight while watching TV:
E.S.: Team Jacob and Team Edward? What’s that about?
FAUSTUS: It’s New Moon, honey.
E.S.: What’s that?
FAUSTUS: How can you live in this country and not know?
E.S.: I don’t know, I just don’t.
FAUSTUS (sighing longsufferingly): New Moon is the second movie in the Twilight series, sweetheart. Edward is the heartthrob of the vampires and Jacob is the heartthrob of the werewolves.
E.S.: Hey, that’s not a bad idea.
FAUSTUS: Jesus Christ.
E.S.: It is a bad idea?
FAUSTUS: I don’t believe this.
E.S.: I’m so old.
Last night, in a writing workshop I’m taking, we did a flash fiction exercise. We were given three essentially random prompts and ten minutes in which to complete a story. My prompts were: “Laurie, the famous actress” (protagonist), “to be king of the heap” (goal), and “the bartender from Seattle” (obstacle). Here’s what I came up with.
Some small part of her, somewhere, knew it was wrong. A very small part of her, pulsing out messages of Don’t, but they went unheard in the roar of her hunger.
She hadn’t chosen this, after all. It could hardly be said to be her fault. Given the option, of course, she’d rather this than the alternative, but still she was not the primary agent here.
Her eyes flitted from body to body, wondering when he would make his move. She fingered the tip of the machete; still sharp enough.
Don’t, don’t! cried the small part of her, and this time she heard it, and considered. The more fool she.
He was upon her before she realized he had moved, the butcher knife stabbing into her leg, the one he’d already wounded.
She rolled over, pretending to weep. He came at her. She decapitated him.
Yes, she cried. Yes!
Don’t, the small part of her said.
She turned on it, that small part of her, and killed it.
She stood up and began to walk toward the city.
I just found out that the gang that hangs out at the bodega on the corner across the street and the gang that hangs out at the bodega two blocks north aren’t just your run-of-the-mill everyday gangs.
They’re the Crips and the Bloods.
Nobody’s been shot in my neighborhood for several weeks, but next time it happens at least I’ll know that the victim was killed by the cream of the crop.
Just overheard at the grocery store.
CUTE LESBIAN BOI GROCERY BAGGER: People just want to integredate you.
CUTE CASHIER: They don’t understand the suffition of pride.
A friend e-mailed me the other day asking, among other things, whether I’d read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I replied that I hadn’t and that, in fact, I doubted I would, because I am furious that I didn’t think of the idea myself. I mean, come on; it’s been staring us all in the face this whole time, and Seth Grahame-Smith comes along and whips something up, and there it is.
Shortly after the release of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, once I’d recovered from the slavering fit of rage into which I had been thrown, I thought, okay, I really ought to try to capitalize on the recent popularity of vampire books and zombie books. After thinking for a few days I decided to try adding zombies to classic fairy tales. This resulted in passages like the following.
At last the happy day arrived. The two proud sisters set off in high spirits. Cinderella followed them with her eyes until the coach was out of sight. She then began to cry bitterly. While she was sobbing, her godmother, who was a zombie, appeared before her.
“Uuuurrrggh,” said the zombie, and again, “Uuuurrrggh.” Cinderella was startled, but not afraid; she knew somehow that this creature meant her no harm. “BRAINSSSSSS,” said her godmother, ripping off the head of a passerby, scooping out the selfsame organ she had named, and swallowing it in one gulp. She then dropped the head to the ground, whereupon it was changed into a beautiful coach. “Ggggggmmmlkkkkke,” she said, and the headless corpse was transformed into a glorious horse, and Cinderella rejoiced that the poor man, though cut down before his time, was still able to offer succor to those in need. And then came, from the road, from the field, eight zombies, shambling toward Cinderella and her zombie godmother. Two took their places as coachman and postilion, as the other six surrounded the coach as footmen.
When all these things had been done, the kind godmother, touching her with her wand, changed her worn-out clothes into what had once been a beautiful ball-gown, now fetchingly torn and tattered. She then gave her a pair of glass slippers; that is, they were woven of the most delicate spun-glass, fine as the web of a spider.
When Cinderella was thus attired, her godmother made her get into her splendid coach, told her, “Ddddrrrnnnggggggg,” which Cinderella understood to be a caution to leave the ball before the clock struck twelve, and shambled off, tearing the head off another unfortunate passerby and eating his brains as she went. She was not so satisfied with these brains as with those of the previous passerby, but no matter; her next feast could not be in any wise far off.
I sent this (and the rest of the story surrounding it) to my agent, who loved it, but then everybody else in her office pointed out that fairy tales already have monsters and supernatural beings in them, so with zombies there wasn’t really all that much value added.
I’ve been racking my brains since then but the best thing I’ve been able to come up with is Michelle Obama, Vampire Slayer, and really I just don’t think that’s going to hold up well as the years go by.