“Yo! Banana Boy!”
“I’ve told you, I’m Botany Man. Botany. Man.”
“You throw exploding bananas. You’re Banana Boy. And that name strikes fear in no one’s heart.”
“This from Plastic Bucket Girl?”
This story was written for what, sadly, is one of the last Trifecta prompts. The challenge is closing forever at the end of this month. Thanks to Trifecta, I’ve met many wonderful bloggers and read many delightful stories, and it’s challenged my own writing as well. Without Trifecta, there would be no Volcano Rain, no Constance the Guardian Angel, no Prince Evinrude or Fillmore Streamlet, or many other characters. C’est tragique.
Constance had faced a lot of problems in her life, before she had become an angel. She had fought a velociraptor spirit in North Dakota while suffering from a vicious hangover. She had broken into more secret warehouses than she could count, battled her way past hundreds of hapless security guards employed by Top Men. But she had never, ever expected that she would have to fight her loathsome squid ex-boyfriend Ben, who had apparently managed to become the Antichrist. Her one consolation was that her father had been wrong. Walter Magenta had sworn (ironically, “on a stack of Bibles!”) that Ben would never amount to anything. “Shows what you know, Dad,” she muttered.
“Excuse me?” Ben snapped. “I didn’t become the freakin’ Antichrist to listen to your daddy issues.”
This insult focused Constance’s mind wonderfully on the problem. She tuned out the sirens and the monster stomping around in the background, and the military planes shrieking overhead, and tried to work out how she was going to defeat her ex-boyfriend. As no idea sprang to mind, she did the only thing she could do. Stall.
“So, what exactly did you become the Antichrist to do? I mean, what’s your evil plan here?”
“You’re serious?” Ben said. “Where were you in Sunday School?”
“I was reading stories about the Baby Jesus in the manger,” Constance answered primly. (In fact, she had been sitting in the back, doodling pirate ships on the church bulletin, but she wasn’t about to tell him that).
“Right, well…” Ben said. “I’m going to do what the Antichrist is supposed to do. Force a loyalty mark on everyone, decapitate some people, take over the United Nations….”
“The UN? And then what, you’re going to pass some strongly worded resolutions?”
“You know nothing about prophecy,” Ben snapped. “I’m the Antichrist! First the UN, then tomorrow, THE WORLD! It’s all been part of my plan from the beginning!”
Suddenly Constance had a wild idea. He was monologuing. He wasn’t paying attention behind him. If she could only keep him doing it a little longer….
“What do you mean, it’s all been part of your plan, exactly?”
Ben smiled. “All of it. Amy, and everything. I was behind it all.”
“You don’t mean…”
”Oh yes. I pushed Amy in front of that bus. She wasn’t actually supposed to die. I killed her off prematurely. Because I knew you. I said as much to my minions. It would be so easy. And I was right! I manipulated you into trying to resurrect her, and then making a mess of it, and then BOOM. End of the world.”
“You’re right,” Constance said. “you totally manipulated me. But you forgot about one little thing.”
“And what would that be?”
“You forgot to look behind you.”
“Ha!” Ben laughed. “You really are a naïve little-”
Ben froze, and slowly turned around. “What…is…”
“That?” Constance smiled. “That’s Amy. She’s a kaiju now, remember? I didn’t study my prophecy, yeah, but you know what? I’m pretty sure kaiju beats Antichrist.”
Ben didn’t have time to scream. There was a resounding *WHUMP*, and a squishing noise, and suddenly a white flash, and all at once the kaiju and the Antichrist and the devastation had vanished. It was a bright spring day in the city.
Constance looked wildly around. There Steven and Amy stood, blinking in confusion on the corner. Amy was no longer a kaiju; she back to her ordinary human self. Constance laughed in a sudden explosion of mirth. “They’re alive! THEY’RE ALIVE! I’m the best guardian angel EVER!”
She was in the mood to celebrate, and vaguely recalled from Sunday School that there were verses about angels dancing and singing. Constance couldn’t remember what was on the angelic song list, and she didn’t speak Latin anyway, so she decided to go old school. She snapped her fingers, and in a display of angelic power, a disco ball materialized over the street. A heavenly choir rushed into position. “Everybody!” Constance said happily. “Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, ah ah ah ah stayin’ aliiiiii-iiiii-iiiii-ve….”
This story was my response to the Speakeasy writing prompt, in which I haven’t participated before. So this should be an interesting experience! The prompt was to use the sentence, ““It would be so easy,” somewhere in the piece, and also to include a reference to the Bee Gees song, “Staying Alive.” Also, this is not the first story involving Constance. It’s part of a serial, “Constance’s Story“, which explains how Constance became an angel, where Amy came from, and who Ben is. I figured this would be an appropriate conclusion. You can’t go wrong with the Bee Gees.
This story was written for Trifecta’s weekly prompt. Enjoy!
Charlotte ran screaming. She should never have tried to worm the swamp’s location from the secret priesthood by playing Katy Perry at them till they relented. Cthulhu, it seemed, just hated modern pop.
Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine and her royal consort Perry found themselves facing off against Cthulhu yet again. Fortunately, Perry still had a magical Atlantean wand (actually a duplicate of a magic Atlantean wand, if one wants to get technical about it). With the wand, he conjured up a squad of military otters, who immediately set out to fight the dread menace….
“They’re going to be slaughtered!” Catrina said, watching in horror as the otter squad marched briskly towards the towering Cthulhu.
“I don’t know about that,” Perry said, trying to sound hopeful and not doing well at it. “The wand wouldn’t have summoned them if they couldn’t help. I’m sure they’ll do a real yeoman’s work at it…”
Catrina didn’t know how to respond to that; the wand was itself a clone of another wand, and maybe the cloning had gone all pear-shaped somehow. But she couldn’t tell Perry that, not without revealing that he was himself a clone of an Atlantean prince. She really didn’t want to go through all that again, especially since Perry’s magically suppressed Atlantean alter ego wasn’t in love with her at all. She wanted to have a nice, quiet, stable marriage, and Perry being his clone identity again was sure to put a damper on their relationship. Then she decided that she had a few more pressing concerns than the state of her marriage. Cthulhu had noticed the otters.
The slimy Lovecraftian horror gurgled in something that sounded almost, but not quite like laughter. The otter squadron kept bravely on, marching down onto the beach in full view of Cthulhu, not even bothering about taking cover. Catrina had a soft spot for animals; one generally does when one has been transmogrified into a newt, and pals around with sentient space hamsters. She couldn’t bear to think of what Cthulhu would do to them. “Right,” she said, “I’m not standing around here watching those otters get smashed. You with me or not?”
“But…” said Perry. “Shouldn’t we wait a bit for-”
It was too late. Catrina’s question had been rhetorical. She was already charging off towards Cthulhu, yelling at the top of her lungs. She ran right past the startled otters. “‘Oi!” said their leader, the redoubtable Sir Lionel Webbington. “We’ve got ‘im well in ‘and, missie, y’ can’t just-”
But the princess was in an interrupting mood. She splashed into the water, waving frenetically in an attempt to draw Cthulhu’s attention. “Hey! Down here! Down here, you blasted slimeball!”
But Cthulhu was so intent on the otters that he simply didn’t give a thought to the yelling princess. He had fought the otters before, and believed they were the greater peril than a single mad young woman. He hadn’t even recognized her yet. Desperate to get his attention, Catrina did the first thing that came to mind. Actually, she did the second thing; the first thing that sprang to mind was waving a hat at him, but she didn’t have a one about her, not even so much as a yarmulke. So she did the next best thing. She yodeled.
“High on a hill was a lonely goatherd, lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo…”
Still the hulking menace didn’t notice her. She realized she had to switch songs. There had to be a song that would draw Cthulhu’s attention. Even now he was raising his tentacles high above the otters, ready to bring them down and squoosh the poor animals flat. Catrina had to stop it. It was like watching a lion run down a poor wounded gazelle….and then she knew.
“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight….in the jungle, the quiet jungle the lion sleeps tonight….a-weeeeeeeeeee oooo eeeee oooo a pumbaa wum a waaaaay….”
It was the best yodeling she had ever done. She held that last note to such perfection and length that everyone, the otters, Perry, even Katrina stared at her in awe and wonder. Perry was even about to applaud. But as much as Catrina appreciated his support, she had something else to worry about. Cthulhu had, at long last, noticed her. His great tentacled head swerved towards her, and his luminous eyes fixed straight on her. It was then that Cthulhu recognized the yodeling princess. He had once tried to devour her outside the gates of Character Hell. He had been cheated of that by an interfering fleet of battle cruisers; now here was his chance come again.
The otherworldly monster gurgled something at her in horrific syllables. Catrina didn’t have her R’lyehian-to-English dictionary to hand, and she never had been good with languages; she had flunked right out of Beginning Quenya. She was beginning to wonder if her author would ever live that down. “It’s not like I interact with Elves on a daily basis or anything…” she complained, as Cthulhu lumbered towards her. The closer he got, the more she realized, straining her neck to look at him, just how very, very big he was. And he didn’t look quite right either, as if he were looming at an angle from the ground, but even that didn’t make sense… “Oh yowza,” Catrina breathed as the ponderous green mountain lurched for her.
Her one chance lay in Mlrning, the Shovel of Thor. She raised it high above her head like a spear, and willed every last ounce of its wintry power at Cthulhu. A beam of intense white-cold light shot from the shovel and stabbed into the mountainous green mass. Cthulhu let out an incomprehensible sound of pain. Bits of him flew everywhere. A large sticky splotch landed right on Catrina. “Oh, ew!” she exclaimed. “That is uncalled for. You don’t have to splatter that green sticky stuff on me, y’know!”
She kept tight hold of the Shovel, though, as its blinding light swelled, and more ice-beams blasted into the monster. Cthulhu surged together, attempted to recombine, but the Shovel hammered icy blasts at him, freezing him into immobility. Catrina waved the Shovel in triumph, and felt inspired to a sudden surge of oratory. “Listen up, you foul beastie you, I promised Susan to help track you down and send you back to Character Hell, and that’s just what I’ll do! You are a green and sticky menace, and I cast you out! Yowza!”
The Shovel flashed, and the great bulk of Cthulhu hurtled into the waves with an enormous splash. In another moment it was gone, descending into the watery depths from whence it had come. The world was saved once again.
‘Er, ma’am,” Sir Lionel said, “Not that I don’t appreciate the assist, but we really did have the situation well in ‘and. Or paw, as the case may be. I don’t see why we ‘ad to be brought ‘ere if you could’ve ‘andled it y’rself.”
“Story of my life,” Catrina sighed. “Story of my life.”
This has been another exciting episode of the Catrina Chronicles. For previous episodes, go here. To visit my Amazon page where you can find more stories about Catrina, go here. I’m also on Goodreads as well; wonderful site, that is. And, as always, thanks for reading.
Constance gaped. “Ben. This is insane. You can’t be the Antichrist! You’re just my ex-boyfriend!”
“It’s not my fault. Remember last Christmas? Our big airport fight? You told me exactly where to go.”
“That wasn’t what I meant!”
The Malevolent Med-Student looked gloomily around his lair. “Candystriper, I’m beginning to wonder what the point is.”
“Point, sir?” his loyal minion said from the corner, where she had been sorting out her Death Kazoos.
“Yes, the point! The two of us have been working for three years now. We’ve launched more villainous schemes than anyone, We even took over the bloody moon last Tuesday. What do we get? Nothing!”
“You did get that lovely moon rock….” Candystriper noted.
“A rock. Swell. I wanted my doctorate, blast it! All the great villains have a doctorate! Doctor Doom! Doctor Horrible! I’ve applied to the Committee of Calamity a hundred times, but they still won’t accept me into their program!”
“But, sir, you did drop out of medical school….and there was that incident with Intern Tally.”
“Psh,” the Malevolent Med-Student said dismissively. “If people can’t adjust to having their minds melded with small lizards than I have no patience for them. I could have achieved great things there, but no, Intern Tally had to complain!” He sighed. “Ah, Candystriper, I really do wonder if we shouldn’t just give the whole thing up. The Committee of Calamity will never accept me. Perhaps I should just let it go.”
“I know that song!” Candystriper said. “I’ve seen the movie, like, three times.”
The Malevolent Med-Student was about to berate his minion; after all, minions were not traditionally known for watching Disney movies with affirming life messages. But then he wondered what the point of that would be. If the Committee of Calamity wouldn’t accept him into the program, if he’d never be a full-fledged doctor of villainy, what did it matter if his minion didn’t measure up? He might as well drop the whole thing and see if he could get back into medical school. After all, if taking over the moon didn’t change the Committee’s mind, then nothing would.
Then a new thought entered his mind. “Candystriper…” he said. “Perhaps I just haven’t been applying the right way.”
Candystriper blinked. “You followed the process. Personal statements, letters of rec..”
The Malevolent Med-Student smiled. “I followed the process exactly. Maybe that’s the problem.” He grabbed for his lab coat. “Quickly! To the Malpracticycle!”
Later that evening the Committee of Calamity met in Room 216 of the Sauron Building. They had snacks prepared, and each committee member was ready for the long haul. The Rogue Jaywalker would be presenting tonight. His success was far from assured.
Lady Wagnerian looked grimly about the room, tallying votes in her head. She wasn’t going to approve the Rogue Jaywalker, whatever the circumstances. The man had no powers. Complete amateur. He couldn’t even sing.
But she was only one of five. She was the chair, to be sure, and that counted for something. Commander Cockroach would absolutely vote how she wanted. But Screaming Banshee Woman absolutely would not, and Admiral Zombie went right alongside. The deciding vote, as always, would be left to Professor Cthulhu. He never indicated how he voted, or even asked any questions during the candidate’s presentation; he mostly just lurked in the back and cast an air of unfathomable horror over the proceedings.
“Well, then, let’s get started,” she said, calling the committee to order. “Jaywalker, you may begin when ready.”
The Rogue Jaywalker rose, coughing nervously. Before he could say one word, however, the lights in the conference room went out. Professor Cthulhu gurgled unhappily from his corner. Lady Wagnerian rolled her eyes. “Can someone call maintenance, please?”
Then one of the windows smashed and a plastic cylinder flew in. There was another flash, and a bang, and a flurry of energy beams. Commander Cockroach and Admiral Zombie went down before they knew what was happening. Screaming Banshee Woman leaped to her feet, ready to unleash a shriek of destructive sonic power, but she couldn’t see anyone to scream at. Then a sonic wave that sounded like a hundred kazoos burst in, knocking her smack against the far wall.
In strode the Malevolent Med Student, Candystriper and her Death Kazoos at his side. “Sorry to interrupt, esteemed committee members,” he declaimed. “But I really think you should reconsider my application!”
“This is highly irregular!” Lady Wagnerian protested. “We rejected you before and we aren’t in the habit of-”
Candystriper produced a small barrel from her knapsack and, with a flourish, handed it over to the Malevolent Med-Student. “This,” he said, “is the Sugar Plum Bomb. I set it off, and everyone within a hundred mile radius other than myself and my assistant will be transformed into a sugar plum. And I’ll do it, I swear, unless you grant me my doctorate this very instant!”
Lady Wagnerian looked at Professor Cthulhu in the moonlight streaming in from the shattered window. He squelched horribly at her. “Very well,” she said, quite calm again, “you win. Congratulations. The Committee applauds your resolve.”
“Excuse me,” said a sudden heroic voice from outside, “but I think your Committee needs to be adjourned!” There was a blur of red and white, and a mighty fist slammed into the Malevolent Med-Student, sending him skidding back across the conference room. Captain Happily Married, cape blowing in the breeze, glared in righteous fury at the assembled villains. “Professor Cthulhu. I always wondered where your Committee of Calamity met!”
The professor gurgled and lashed out with a tentacle. Captain Happily Married seized hold of it and in a single burst of his matrimonially-powered muscles smashed the Lovecraftian horror right through the wall. The professor came roaring back, and Lady Wagnerian rushed to his aid, and a full-scale super-battle commenced. Candystriper quietly snuck away amidst the chaos. She’d had a feeling things would wind up like this. They usually did. On the bright side, her beloved Mal-Meddie had his doctorate now. Someday, maybe she would get a doctorate of evil as well. Then they two would make wonderful schemes together. “Ford’s in his flivver,” she quoted happily, “all’s right with the world.”
- 1000 word limit, all genres of creative writing are welcome.
- linky is open until Friday, February 21, at 11:55pm Pacific
- Use the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote “It takes two to make an accident.” as an opening/closing line or draw inspiration from it, your choice.
- Community voting opens 2/22 and closes 2/28 at 11:55pm Pacific.
- Community and editorial choice winners will be announced on Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books on Monday, March 3, 2014.
- All entries must be original work, only published on your personal blog/website, and by entering you give Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books permission to reprint your entry in Precipice, Volume III‘s print and digital formats, as well as permission to edit for grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.
So here it is. I went with the Malevolent Med-Student and Candystriper. I do like them.
This story was written for Trifecta’s weekly prompt, which was to use the word “funk”: slump, as in “the team went into a funk”. It’s also another entry in Constance’s Story. To recap, Constance is a former treasure-hunter, who became the guardian angel of newlyweds Amy and Steven after she accidentally caused them to meet each other on Christmas Eve. Shortly after their wedding, however, Amy was killed in a bus accident. Constance tried to resurrect her, but unfortunately Amy came back as a zombie. Steven was a bit upset by this, and told Constance he wished she had left them alone. Constance granted his wish, but in the alternate universe that resulted, Amy became a kaiju, a giant Godzilla-like monster. And things are about to get even worse…
Steven watched, open-mouthed, as giant robots fired torrents of plasma bolts at the kaiju that had once been his wife. How was he going to explain this to her parents. He had liked them, on the whole, but he wasn’t entirely sure if they approved of him yet. They certainly weren’t going to like him now, after he’d wished their daughter into becoming Godzilla.
“Look, angel,” he said to Constance, “I’m sorry, all right? I want to live again. I want Amy and me to meet up again. So you can reverse what you did, okay?”
Constance wrung her hands. This was a problem. She could undo the wish, sure. On the bright side, Amy wouldn’t be a kaiju anymore. On the other hand, she’d go back to being dead. If only there were a way to undo the wish and make Amy alive…
“You’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a funk, haven’t you?” a voice chortled from behind. Constance spun round. A shadowed figure stood on a nearby rubble pile. “Oh, yes,” it said, “all your angelic decisions have gone wrong. But then, all your decisions did. Remember when you got plastered and woke up the spirit of the Velociraptor? That wasn’t terribly fun at all.”
Constance peered closer. Plasma lightning crackled in the sky above her head. She gasped. “Ben?”
“That’s me,” he said, in a voice a full octave lower than she remembered. “Your loathsome squid ex-boyfriend. To use your words.”
“Oh. Yes. Well. Sorry about that.”
“It’s a bit too late for apologies.”
“How about introductions?” She turned to Steven, but suddenly he wasn’t there anymore. A small pile of clothes lay neatly folded on the ground, adorned with tiny dental fillings. “Oh heck no!” Constance swore.
“Oh heck yes,” Ben said. “I hate to tell you, Constance, but it seems I’ve gone and become the Antichrist. Steven apparently got raptured. And, you, my angelic ex-girlfriend, have been….” he paused dramatically. “Left behind.”