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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Trapped in Dallas (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Trapped in Dallas
Warrior Poet
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You guys crack me up!

Then Glenda, the corpulent Good Witch of the North floated down in a miasmic, chrome trimed crystal bubble; she was wearing a scintilating, bussled, rhinestone party dress with ruby red, alligator, cowboy boots, a massive, canary, buffont pompodore dew on her head. On her right shoulder, sat a white jack rabbit in a rainbow tie-dye Grateful Dead t-shirt, and cut off Levi shorts who was writing furiously on a ThinkPad. On her left shoulder was the Cheshire Cat, sporting a gold lame, zoot suit, fedora, and wingtips will picking his sharp teeth with a knitting needle, and watching Jerry Springer on his Dick Tracy wrist TV. The wand in Glenda's right hand was a TV antenna with a little satellite dish attached to the tip. I her other hand was a giant hogie dripping copious amounts of barbeque sause, which pooled in the bottom of the orb, forming a sticky, reddish, tangy, little lake.

Mary Robinette gawked at the trio. She suddenly realized that Glenda looked a lot like Sally Struthers. Mary Robinette expeienced an odd shiver at the epiphany.

Waving her wand about erratically, and speaking laboredly through a huge mouthful of food, while spitting bits of sandwich and sause against the inside of her bubble, Glenda intoned in a sickly sweet voice.

"Don't listen to this purveyor of noxious programing. There is an easier way to escape this realm. Just bang your head against the closest wall, and say 'There's no place like home', until you knock yourself out, and you won't have to worry about it anymore. But first...did you you know that there are children around the world that desperately need your help!"

Mary Robinette slowly back away as the Witch babbled on incescantly, and...


[This message has been edited by Warrior Poet (edited August 05, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by Warrior Poet (edited August 05, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by Warrior Poet (edited August 05, 2004).]


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Robyn_Hood
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as the hopelessness of her situation donned on her, MaryRobinette reached for the pouch on the back of her Hatrack utility belt. She pulled out a glass tube about four inches long and an inch in diameter; it was marked "EMERGENCY USE ONLY".

Did she dare break it? Did she dare to use the dreaded Deus ex Machina?


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goatboy
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Realizing she had no other hope, she smashed the vial against the floor. In a flash of smoke and blinding light a tall, dark form appeared. MaryRobinette squinted her dazzled eyes– Donnie Osmond!. As he flashed a huge toothy grin, the stage lights reflecting off his teeth temporarily blinded Glenda and Aaron Spelling.

Sweeping MaryRobinette off her feet, Donnie carried her from the set.

“Thank you, Donnie!” MaryRobintte cried.

“Donny? Who’s Donnie? My name’s Ozzie!”

“You’re not Donnie Osmond! MaryRobinette cried, rubbing her hazy eyes. “Your’re Ozzie Osbourne!”

“Your, bleep, bleep, bleepedy, bleep right!” Ozzie muttered incoherently. “Here, hop on my new Quad runner and we’ll haul bleep.”

MaryRobinette prepared to jump on the back, but something was bothering her. Something about Ozzie and a Quad runner and she couldn’t quite remember what it was...


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HSO
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[I was going to stop, but...]

Just then, MaryRobinette's mobile phone rang. She answered it.

"Hello?"

"Hello, MaryRobinette. Do you know who this is?"

"Morpheus?"

"Yes. I don't know if you're ready to see what I want to show you, but unfortunately you and I have run out of time. They're coming for you, MaryRobinette, and I don't know what they're going to do."

"Who's coming for me?"

"Look behind you and see for yourself."

She did. Three men in business suits and dark glasses were approaching on 4-wheelers.

"What do they want with me?"

"I don't know, but if you don't want to find out I suggest you get out of there."

"How?"

"I can guide you but you must do exactly as I say."

"Okay."



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RFLong
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[As an aside, though vaguely related - I just read most of this listening to Michael Buble singing "For once in My Life" - a great swing classic - It makes the perfect soundtrack!]

R

[This message has been edited by RFLong (edited August 06, 2004).]


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J. Alfred Prufrock
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MaryRobinette snapped the phone shut as they rounded the Obligatory Corner of Suspense. Ozzie slammed on the brakes just in time to avoid crashing into the inevitable barrier that now stood before them: A monstrous, green leg attached to an equally monstrous, green being.

"STOP CUZ U SUK," its voice boomed downward, raking MaryRobinette's ears with a painful butchery of the English language.

"Bloody bleep," Ozzie murmured, "it's a troll."

[This message has been edited by J. Alfred Prufrock (edited August 06, 2004).]


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HSO
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[Well, that's interesting... so she got on the 4-wheeler, then? And then we're coming back into the story after the whole racing sequence? C'mon! Prufrock, please explain this omission.]
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Keeley
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(Sorry for the edit. Realized I'd screwed something up and fixed it.) </end>

"Oh, bleep," Ozzie muttered. "Where's bleepin' Randy Rhoades when I bleepin' need him now?"

MaryRobinette took no thought to the absurdity of that statement and got off the four-wheeler. She struggled through the Tangled Plot, frantically searching for that Perfect Ending. For a brief instant, she saw light, and the light was good. Shoving aside the Inconsistencies, Mary soon found herself near a river looking at a scarecrow thin man tuning an electric guitar.

The man looked up and smiled. "Hello."

"Do I know you?" Mary asked, hoping it was a fellow Hatracker. She'd already used her Deus ex Machina and she was hoping for another.

The smile faded and the man's hands dropped from his guitar. Luckily, the guitar strap kept the axe from falling to the ground.

"I'm Eric Johnson. I've won Grammys. I was on the cover of Guitar magazine. I'm the one who wrote 'Cliffs of Dover'. Haven't you ever heard 'Cliffs of Dover'?"

Mary had a vague recollection of an instrumental that was popular in the early nineties on some stations...somewhere. "Um, no."

Eric shook his head and went back to tuning.

A troll's roar shot through the air like a cannonball and Mary was just about to run when Eric said, "Would you like me to help you?"

"Sure, why not." Mary started to run with everything she had.

"You're lucky I just finished tuning," she heard Eric say from somewhere behing her. The sweetest tones she'd ever heard made her breath catch and, even with a monstrous troll behind her, she turned to see Eric and his amazing guitar.

The troll had stopped dead in its tracks. It was swaying peacefully, eyes closed in total bliss. And then, Eric paused and began to tune again.

"Oh, bleep!" Mary yelled and started running once more.

(Note: I have nothing against Eric Johnson. If there are any rabid fans here, please do not hurt me.)

[This message has been edited by Keeley (edited August 06, 2004).]


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HSO
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The troll resumed its course towards MaryRobinette.

She could not outrun it.

Finally, exhausted and weary of silly changes to the story, she stopped and faced her attacker.

The troll raised its leg and a smelly foot loomed over MaryRobinette's head.

She had nothing more to give -- nothing left to defend herself with. She resigned herself to her fate. Better this way, she thought. How much more can I take? I'm only a writer.

The foot came down with thunderous speed.

Mary awoke on the airplane; a child still wailed somewhere.

It was all just a dream. She breathed a sigh of relief.

"Bad dream, ma'am?" a voice next to her asked.

"Yeah. Really strange," she said, not looking at the man who spoke.

"I hate those. Happens to me all the time. I usually get them most often when I eat fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches right before bed."

The voice sounded strangely familiar. MaryRobinette looked up then, saw the man, and screamed.

"Elvis!"


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Keeley
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That sounds to me like the Perfect Ending.
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HSO
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well, it's certainly an ending...
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MaryRobinette
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Seeing Elvis made MaryRobinette realize, for the first time, what had happened to her. She was truly Trapped in Dallas, not the Dallas of Texas, or the Dallas of television, but an unending thread on Hatrack. Swallowing hard against the panic that assailed her, MaryRobinette felt surreptitiously at her Hatrack-Utility Belt. If Elvis saw what she was attempting, he would no doubt sound the alarm, causing another writer to plunge her headlong into another scenario. All she wanted was to get home.

MaryRobinette sighed to herself with, as she pulled out the ultimate weapon for a Hatracker caught in this dilemma--a small black lock. Without hesitation, she snapped the lock closed, catching the Trapped in Dallas thread in it. In a whiplash of prose, misplaced modifiers found their homes; split infinitives joined together; prepositions pulled away from the ends of sentences; semi-colons found their place, and POV asserted its hold.

I found myself seated in front of my computer in Portland. With a tremendous sigh, I lifted my hands from the keyboard. “Man.” I shook my head. “When the Demon of Procrastination catches you, he doesn’t let go.” For a moment, I was tempted to add a word of caution to the thread, but I recognized the impulse for the demon’s work that it was. So I cautiously reached forward, hit three simple keys and posted.

END


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babylonfreek
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Or... is it?
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