Snow and the Seven Defenders
Once upon a time, in the far away kingdom of TrinaLand, the king and his wife, the queen, did what people who are in love - or not - do and the queen found herself in the monarchy way. One day while heavily knocked-up, Queen Karyssa was out in the garden, when she pricked her finger, which dropped blood upon the snow-covered ground, thereby prompting her to wish for a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as a ruby, and raven-black hair.
Months later, a fair female child was born and true to the queen’s wishes, she had skin as white as snow, lips as red as a ruby, and raven-black hair. She was thus named Snow White. Sadly, when Snow was but a tot, Queen Karyssa was killed when she ate some tainted shrimp that the royal taster had forgotten to test. In due time, King Marshall remarried, thereby making Queen Lyndora Snow’s stepmother. Even though Snow missed her birth mother, she accepted the new queen and for a time, all was well. Then, the teen years hit.
When Snow turned 15, she saw a tattoo on one of her handmaidens and got it in her head that she wanted one, too. Her parents thought otherwise:
“You are too young for a body marking, Snow! Who ever put such an idea in your head?” asked the king.
“I agree, dear. Why ever would you want to mar such perfect skin?” the queen chimed in. “I do believe that your dear birth mother, may she rest well, had even wished for you to have such a flawless covering.”
“They’re cool!” Snow asserted, stomping one dainty foot. “I can have our crest engraved on my upper arm and show it off forevermore.”
“No, and that is final...Now be a good dear and go tend to your garden. The crabgrass is looking a little too crabby,” the king dismissed his daughter.
Undaunted, Snow hatched a plan and that very night, she had one of the stable boys, who was hankering for some Snowcone, kill her father in his sleep and drag her stepmother into a dungeon, after drugging the guards.
The next morning, Snow tearfully shared the news of her parents’ death with the court and was crowned Queen Snow White. She got her first tattoo that night.
Within the year, Queen Snow White had turned goth and changed her name to Q. Snow Dark. She sported nine inch nails, blackened lips, and a crown made of black thistles which sat atop long, ruby-tipped locs. She also demanded that her song - created by the Royal D.J. - be played when she entered a room after the Royal Announcer announced her name. She giggled that it sounded like, “Cue Snow Dark” just before she pranced in.
As time went on, Q.Snow Dark’s demeanor grew darker and darker, and the peasants suffered. She gave scant attention to their needs and requests, preferring to spend her time further decorating her skin.
Finally, her council-people felt like they had to take matters into their own hands, and a secret meeting was called.
Sir Gresham took the pipe out of his puckered mouth and called the room to order. “Countrymen - and women - I fear things have gotten a bit out of hand. Queen Snow Dark has put our realm into a precarious predicament. If she is not dethroned, we will surely all perish.”
The room applauded, and Sir McCoy spoke up, strumming on his lyre the whole while. “I suggest that rather than us getting our own hands dirty, we hire someone to complete the job. Queen Snow does have her supporters still, so it won’t be an easy task.”
Sir Matthews cleared his voice and stood halfway up, supported by his wooden leg, before addressing the room. “I know some...er...small men...erm...who may be able to do the job. What they lack in stature, they make up for in ingenuity.”
After a bit more discussion, it was agreed upon that the court would call for the “small men” and bid them to accomplish this task.
One week later, Hammer, Claw, Tooth, Nail, Dust, Torch, and Wrecker met with the council in their next clandestine meeting.
“Why have you brought us here?!” Hammer demanded. He was, indeed, quite short, but he was also stocky with prominent veins running through his arms. His pinched face was nearly hidden by his long brown locks, which he carelessly pushed back from his forehead.
Sir Matthews spoke up. “I ASKED you to come because we have a job for you. Pays in carbon.” He struck a match on his leg, lit a blunt, and started smoking.
That got the shorsters’ attention. After a moment, blonde-headed Wrecker spoke. “And just what IS this job?”
Sir McCoy didn’t beat around the bush. “We need you to dethrone the queen.” He plucked a note on his lyre then pointed at them.
“Uh...depose Queen Snow?!” redheaded twins Tooth and Nail exclaimed, their overbites on display.
“Yes. I know you’re not aware of it in your little hovel,” Sir Gresham ignored Hammer’s twin Claw’s withering glare and continued, “but the sweet little girl the realm once admired is long gone, replaced by a conceited and uncaring harridan.”
Another uncomfortable silence followed before Dust asked, “And when the dust...ha-ha! Dust! Get it?” He looked around. “Pfffft. No humor-loving guffs, here!... As I was saying, when the DUST clears, then what?” He sat back down, and a puff of dust arose from his dirty pants.
“It makes no difference to us. Just see to it that she never returns to the throne.”
Torch nodded thoughtfully, rubbed one blue eye, and the meeting continued.
Weeks passed and Q. Snow grew worse. Just as the court was planning to request the defenders’ presence again, they made their move.
The queen was at her favorite tattoo cavern, impatiently waiting for the artist, Squid. She looked at the small man who entered. “You’re not Squid!”
“And you’re not queen anymore!” the brunette declared and threw a bag over Snow’s head. She managed to let out a shriek, and her guards and henchmaidens came running. A fight that the narrator was too lazy to detail ensued, and Snow found herself gagged and tied up in a wagon going through the woods.
Finally arriving at their quaint little home, the men carried her in and laid her on a bed of straw. Taking the gag from her mouth, Hammer warned her not to speak, lest he cut out her tongue.
Glaring, she bit her bottom lip and impatiently listened to the little man.
“My name is Hammer, and these are my broskies, Claw - he’s my actual bro - Tooth and Nail, Dust, Torch, and Wrecker.” Each man bowed as his name was called. Dust also gave a little wave before Torch glared at him.
Claw picked up where his lookalike left off. “And we’re your new owners. You will do as we say and if you behave, in due time, we will allow you to own your very own home in these here woods.”
Incredulous, Snow yelled, “Do you KNOW who-”
“Someone who’s gonna be without a tongue, if you keep that up!”
Snow snapped her mouth closed and allowed Claw to finish.
“As I was saying, you will do as we say. You will make our meals, wash our clothes, and clean our home. If you try to escape, you will be caught and ravaged.” He licked his lips lasciviously. “Understand?”
Snow nodded, but of course she didn’t mean it.
A week or so later, while she was outside washing the clothes and plotting her escape, a handsome young man came along. He was taken away by Snow’s black hair and lips, so he introduced himself. She advised that she was Queen Snow and that she’d been kidnapped and forced to perform hard labor.
“Aaaaaah. Yes, I did hear about that. I do believe Queen Lyndora has retaken her throne. But, I am Prince Cillian, and I can take you to my home one realm over, where you can be my queen. Agreed?”
Snow readily agreed and after the young man paid off the defenders, they did, too.
Unfortunately for Snow, the “Prince” was actually an escapee from the loony bin, so shortly after the couple had crossed over to BernieLand, he was recaptured. When Snow protested that she was really the queen of the realm next door, she too was locked up and diagnosed with delusions, and there she still lives.
And what became of the defenders? They got their weights in carbon and are living
Happily Ever After.
My Twelve Friends and Frenemies
Well, hello! My name is Calendar, and I'll tell you a little bit about my friends - though some are more like frenemies - since you asked...
January's a frigid bitch who teases you with promises of things to come, then won't show a bit of warmth, no matter how you beg or ply her with liquor. She's always swathed in silver and blue.
February, on the other hand, is a straight-up nymphomaniac; give her something stuffed and some candy, and you're good for the whole month. Siren red is her color.
March carries a pair of drums, like he marches to the beat of his own or something. He's also bi-polar, blowing hot then cold. But he never veers from his love of the color green.
April cries. Like, a lot. Every time you turn around, she's weeping and half the time, it really isn't about anything. As you can imagine, she's always seen in blue, and she carries a lovely blue parasol to match.
May loves to say, "Maaaybe I will, maaaybe I won't" and no one can figure out why. At least she tends to wear many colors at once, so she's interesting to look at.
June just lights up the world with her sunny personality; never is she seen with anything other than a giant smile. No wonder she wears yellow all the time.
July is a playa, getting at all the ladies, running his fingers down their arms and over their legs. He can also be quite explosive, though, so watch out! He wears red or white or blue or a combination thereof.
August is a cute little Boston Terrier, always running around in his tan doggie shirt, pushing people around as if he's a herding dog. But he's so adorable that humans always play along.
September is rather haughty, always showing off what he knows, like he's a genius or something. He even wears glasses to look as smart as he acts like he is. He also tends to wear green and blue plaid a lot.
October likes to think he or she (nobody knows!) is a jack of all trades, but they really just can't make up their mind as to what they want to be! This is the reason they wear a different uniform or costume every day.
November loves fall colors, so he's always seen in tan or orange or yellow. He also loves to stuff himself, so he's "hefty", as he would say. But he's always so grateful for everything and everyone that you just have to love him.
December is actually a pair of twins, always wearing matching red and white, her in a dress and him in a suit. Their noses are always red, too, but they're so jolly that they make everyone smile wherever they go. They're also generous to a fault, and will give you the clothes right off their own backs! It's a good thing they have their own factory!
What a ragtag bunch, huh? They may not always be very lovable - or even sane! - but I honestly don't know what I'd be without them!
So, you’ve got the VD,
or is it the STD?
Is your pee-pee crying?
Do you feel like you’re dying?
Are you itchy and sore,
don’t think you can take anymore?
Have you got puss-filled wounds,
making you feel like you’re gonna swoon?
I’m sorry, my friend.
I hope it’s near the end,
so you can stop feeling crappy,
and go back to being happy.
But I’ve got one piece of advice,
then you can go back to the ice --
Next time, leave your stuff in your pants,
so your privates don’t feel covered in ants.
The Good, The Bad, and...Uh, That’s It
** I’ve been writing book reviews for pay for nearly two years, so there are far FAR too many books in both categories - especially if I count all the ones I’ve ever read for fun - so I’ll pick both books from the last 24 months, and post excerpts of the reviews I did for them... **
MY AUTHOR IS DEAD:
What if our characters knew they were characters? What if they were held to a bunch of “Rules”, hoping to be “good characters” who would one day get to meet their Author? What if one of them rebelled, declaring there is no Author? Michael Bruneau explores just these questions in his delightful tale, My Author is Dead.
My Author is Dead is the story of a boy living in a “village of morons” inhabited by Authorists, who are held to a strict set of silly Rules. One day, while hiding out from a Perfectionist named Cassandra, he meets a little girl and is quickly taken with her. Unbeknownst to him, June is actually a Kafkaist, and therefore a member of a group who are mortal enemies to Authorists. This meeting is the first domino in a series of events which soon see Adam facing legal charges, which could result in his erasure.
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It appealed to my love of the unusual and gives meaning to the phrase “outside the box”, as it takes many rules of storytelling and throws them right out of the box. While the story doesn’t completely break the fourth wall, the tale does have ample talk of the Author (always capitalized), erasure, being of good character, and other literary terms. The story is also full of cynicism, inside jokes, and tongue-in-cheek humor, which add to the fun. One outrageous example of the latter is “Fornication Under Consent of the Kritikillar” (hint: look at the first letter of each word). The chapter titles were cleverly named, as well.
PROFESSOR CURIOUS AND HIS MIRACLE MACHINE:
There are many scientists, including “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and Beakman, who have narrated children’s shows, and now we have “Professor Curious” (Randall Lechner), the author of Professor Curious and His Miracle Machine: The Mystery of the Glowing Rock.
Even though the title of this book is Professor Curious and His Miracle Machine, the tale focuses mainly on his four young friends, John, Julie, Jack, and Jill, who find themselves “not in Kansas anymore” when they’re accidentally sent to another era in the professor’s time machine (the “Miracle Machine”). It takes the children a while to figure it out, but they have actually arrived in Jerusalem on Good Friday, the day that Yeshua - “Jesus” in Hebrew - is crucified. After witnessing the events that transpire through and including Sunday, when Yeshua rises, they realize that they still have to get home. Rather than finishing the tale, the author invites his young readers to send in essays that they’ve written on how to get the quartet home, with the winner becoming a character in the next book.
When I first saw the title and read the plot for this book, I became quite curious. Well, you know what they say: “Curiosity killed the cat.” This book was a mess from the beginning. In addition to groaning at the book’s flat jokes, I also had a major problem with the way the children spoke, as it was very unrealistic. When one character said, “Guys, gaze at this,” I actually threw my tablet down and contemplated reading no more. Additionally, the characters were all boring...Worst of all, the actual writing was atrocious; as early as the Acknowledgements, it seemed like there had been no professional editing done. It was as if the author had just thrown his story together and published it. Yet, I was somehow unable to look away, much like people watching a train wreck.The most egregious errors were the author’s tendency to change verb tenses, often two or more times in the same sentence, and his failure to stick to one point of view. One minute, the story would be written in first person, then it would suddenly switch to third person and then back. I also often wondered how Jack, the main narrator, knew what the others were doing and thinking, as if he was omnipotent. It was strange how he knew characters’ names without them being introduced as well. All of these writing faux pas greatly took away from the story, and I had trouble seeing the forest for the trees.
If you’re curious - I promise it won’t kill you! - the rest of my reviews can be found at:
Flying By the Seat!...
If I had to have the full path of a story in my head and an outline written, I'd never write anything beyond songs and Prose entries. My brain just doesn't work that way, putting it all together first. No, I generally get an idea first. Like, I may be on the bus and then a passenger causes me to think, "You know what would be a great idea for a story? A book about a bus passenger going ballistic and killing everyone on the bus." Then I'll have the title in about 3-4 mins, and shortly after that, maybe the main character's name, gender, description, and perhaps even a scene or two that I want to make sure to have. All of this gets written down in a notebad app on my phone. By the time I actually sit down to write, I've figured out the first scene, but little else. I just kind of wing it from the first word onward.
~~ I think you can guess what it’s to the tune of ~~
You need you some mace,
you need you a knife;
get’im in the face
or he’ll make you his wife -
Stalkerman is followin’ you ’round!
He’s got him some plans,
he thinks they’re real nice;
it’s just you and him,
he’s rollin’ the dice.
Stalkerman is followin’ you ’round!
He knows when you are at home,
he knows when you are out,
he knows everything that you do;
girl, what’s this dude about?
You need you some mace,
you need you a knife;
get’im in the face
or he’ll make you his wife -
Stalkerman is followin’ you ’round!
Faster Than A Speeding..!
I have something to tell you...You might wanna sit down for this...Why? So you don't pass out from astonishment!...Okay. Ready now? Now, you can't tell anybody else, okay?
So...what I can do, see...is... *looks around, whispers*:
When I pay cash for something at the store- Yes, they still take cash!...So, when I pay in cash, I can ACCURATELY PREDICT THE AMOUNT OF CHANGE I'LL GET BACK! And, I can do it FASTER THAN THE CASH REGISTER!...I know, right? How crazy is THAT?...For real, for real... Now, you won't tell anyone, will you?