Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 6

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skull icecream colorized yellow pinkI’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“Don’t come any closer,” said Jane, snapping her hand and the cardboard in a sharp sideways royal wave.

The Grand Fermenter chortled. “What do you think you’re going to do with that, meat-based creature?”

Jane stood still, her cardboard blade hand falling to her side. “Meat-based crea– Nope, no, never mind, I don’t care.” She brandished the cardboard again. “Get any closer to me and you’ll find out.”

“If ice cream cones ate popcorn,” said Barry, now on the very edge of the bottom of its cone, trying to get the best view through the rip in the top of the box, “I would so be eating popcorn right now. Best show ever.”

“Shut up, Berry,” said Jane, trying to keep track of all of the Tofurati. But especially the one with the pimento eyes. That one just didn’t look right.

“BArry BAAArrrryyyy BAAAAARRRRYYY,” it bellowed, and with the momentum of the last one, Barry lost its precarious balance and tumbled head-first through the hole, landing on the bottom ice cream down with a soggy splat.

“Ouch,” said Barry.

“Serves you right,” said Jane. “If it wasn’t for you,I wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“Your mess has only just begun,” the Grand Fermenter said, his eyes gleaming in the now-brighter fluorescent light making its way through the top of the freezer and into the hole.

Barry struggled to right itself, its cone pointing straight up. “Help? Anyone?”

“I’m warning you,” Jane said, cutting air with the cardboard, “I’m not afraid to use this thing.” The Tofurati advanced, undeterred, as Barry tried to lurch its way free.

“You fool! What do you think we are, silken? We’re firm tofu, meat-based creature. Super-firm tofu. We’re the rubber bands of tofu. That thing will bounce right off of us!”

“Do you really want to find out?” Though her tone was confident, her heart pounded, and a hot fear kept the her from feeling the cold. They were close enough now to poke at her with the asparagus spears, which bent with every wet nudge.

The one with the pimento eyes was right on her, the red glowing softly in the shaft of light from above. Jane jabbed at the Tofurati with the tip of the cardboard. Her hand rebounded sharply back at her.

“I told you so.” The Grand Fermenter’s smile left her colder than the freezer did.

“Seriously? Just a push? One push?” Barry said.

“Seize her, Iris!” commanded the Grand Fermenter with a stately brandish of his spear.

And then Jane felt the jiggly stickness of malevolent tofu surround her.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 5

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“Vegania?” Barry said, a hint of moisture gathering along his sprinkles.

“Yes,” said the Grand Fermenter.

“But Vegania is far lower, under the Permafrostbitten Layer of Perpetual Freezerburn.” Barry’s voice quavered with more than the cold.

“Vegania has grown and conquered many lands, including The Space of High Turnover.”

“What the heck is a Vegania?” Trying to get the sauce off of her hands, Jane ran her hand along the cardboard below her. Until, like some kind of organic soy-based superglue, the thinned stickiness stopped her hand dead. She was stuck.

“Ignorance. Such shocking ignorance.” The Grand Fermenter wiggled his spear in Jane’s direction. “But little can be expected from one so reeking of…animal-based products.

Jane tried twisting her hand to loosen it, but it stayed put. She made a mental note to check out the box so she could use the sauce for her next glue-based emergency.

“Look here, Grand Fermenter. There hasn’t been any official notice about your kind encroaching–”

“Silence, dairy-based creature!” He blobbed his way closer. “Surround her! You will be taken to the Cruciferous Florets where you will be sentenced for having the audacity to wear those shoes.”

Jane put a little shoulder and arm into it, but still couldn’t pry her hand from the cardboard. “These are synthetic,” she said.

“I know,” said the Grand Fermenter. “They’re just awful.”

“Gotta agree there,” said Barry.

“Seriously, Barry, what is your problem?” Shifting all of her weight to the side, Jane tried to yank her palm away from the floor.

“That you were trying to eat me, maybe?” The ice cream topper on Barry’s cone cocked itself to the side as it raised a single cookie crumb eyebrow.

“You were going to eat him? EAT him?! A sentient dairy creature?” The Grand Fermenter’s olive eyes folded a fraction, giving the effect of them narrowing. He straightened his stovepipe hat with indignation, leaving it more askew.

“In my defense, I had no idea of that at the time.”

“Advance!” the Grand Fermenter jabbed the spear upward, as upward as possible as his semi-solid fingers tried to control it. The other Tofurati glopped their way to Jane, their spears more or less pointed at her, some more, some less.

“Well, this didn’t turn out the way I expected,” said Barry, making sure it could see the goings on without the danger of being in asparagus’ reach.

As they got near enough for her to smell the hint of chili in their sauce sheen, Jane, with one final, massive pull, heard a slow rip. Her hand was up, yes, but now attached to a jagged blade of cardboard.

She looked at the approaching Tofurati, looked at her hand, and smiled.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 4

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“The what?” Jane said, trying to gather her haphazard limbs into some semblance of decency. With her palm, she rubbed at the gloppy coating on the right side of her face, smearing it more than anything else.

“We ask the questions,” said the one who appeared to be the leader, as his hat — a stovepipe made of macaroni noodles, a wholewheat spaghetti ribbon and a carrot brim — had a fancy red pepper flourish.

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” taunted the cone, whose name we recently learned was Barry. “Wait, what? What’s going on down there? I can’t quite see.” It shifted over the hole, blocking the light, narrowing the light, blocking the light, and narrowing it again.

“I said we ask the questions,” said the leader, jabbing his spear up in a wobbling arc as his hands were rather jiggly. “And will you stop doing that, because it’s kind of annoying.” His head landed back into a neutral position with a squelch, and he fixed his olive-slice eyes on Jane. “I will not ask you again. As the Grand Fermenter of the Tufurati, I demand you explain yourself.”

Jane flipped herself over and sat up, her hands behind her, the left one now in the puddle, the sauce oozing over to the back sides of her fingers. The leader’s lackeys loomed above her, appraising her coolly with their own olive slices. Except for the one in the in the corner. Jane got a glimpse of those pimento pupils and shivered.

“Hey,” said Barry, trying to maintain a tricky angle for a pointed cone, “I shrank her, so technically she’s mine.”

“Your what?” said Jane.

The leader straightened his non-shoulders and tightened his black bean lips. The growing rage floated from him, along with the tang of tamarind. “Pardon me, sir–”

“Uh, I would like to point out that I, like all ice cream cones, do not have a gender.”

“Fine,” said the leader, a flush of red pepper rising to his tofu cheeks, “Pardon me, Cone–”

“That’s better. But you can just call me Barry.”

“Berry?” said the Grand Fermenter of the Tufurati.

“BA-rry. Sheesh, why is this so hard?”

“Uh, hello?” said Jane. “Remember me? I just want to get out of this freezer.”

“That will not be possible,” said the Grand Fermenter. “As you have illegally crossed the border into Vegania, and from here there is no return.”

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil: The Complete Stories, Part 1

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016. Hope you enjoy!

NOTE: This series started as an A to Z Blogging Challenge post (V for Villain) last year, and morphed into an entire saga! During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom.

Couldn’t resist bringing Jane to you for J!

You can’t have a story without conflict. I mean, I guess you could, but I’m not sure how far it would go or how interesting it would be. Let’s try it:

Jane went to the store. Jane dug an ice cream cone out of the deepest corner of the chest freezer, loosening the ice around it to pry it out. Jane paid for the ice cream cone, got in her car, and drove home.

Whew. I don’t know about you, but that had me on the edge of my seat. So how do you get conflict?

Add a villain:

Jane went to the store. Jane dug an ice cream cone out of the deepest corner of the freezer, loosening the ice around it to pry it out.

“How dare you disturb my frozen rest!” the ice cream cone bellowed, shooting a barrage of sprinkles at Jane. She felt herself growing cold. “I curse you, I curse you, Jane Storegoer, and all of your descendants. My expiration date, long since past, earned me eternal freezitude, and you have defrosted it.”

Jane tried to loosen her grip on the cone, but like a tongue on a cold fence pole, her hand stayed put. The shelves around her wavered and dissolved into a crystal white, extending far beyond her sight and high above her. The ice cream cone grew and grew until it towered, glaring down at her with its peanut eyes. Walled in on all sides, ice clumped like boulders along the vertical expanse, she felt a smooth surface beneath her feet. It gave slightly.

“Where are we?” she said. She bent, brushing the fallen ice beneath her shoes. Was that…an Amy’s frozen Breakfast Scramble box? “Is this the freezer? Am I in the freezer?”

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” laughed the ice cream cone evilly.

“But if I’m in the freezer, how can you curse my descendants? I don’t have any, unless you count my parakeet. You wouldn’t count a parakeet, would you? I think there’s something wrong with this plan here.”

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” said the ice cream cone again, mainly for emphasis.

***

So I think we can all agree I’m having a weird morning ((Update: Still true. I must have a lot of weird mornings) Update to the update: YEP.) That aside, without an antagonist, your protagonist has nothing to do. Enter the villain. In this case, an ice cream cone. And here’s the thing about villains: they need to have their own agendas.

Villains need to be as complex as heroes. They need to have a why; that they’re just plain evil is as unsatisfying in fiction as it is in life. Our ice cream cone just wants to rest.

Or does it?

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

And somehow it’s Wednesday

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white and gray bird on the bag of brown and black pig swimming on the beach during daytime

I mean COME ON, it’s a pig giving a bird a ride. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve interrupted myself between the title and the body. That has to be a new record! I was making a list.

I have not yet checked it twice.

We’ve stumbled along into Wednesday, that day people call “hump day,” and yet I kind of see it like a well in the middle of the week, a depression. Not that kind of depression, though for a few people, no doubt it feels that way.

Some things have gotten done and others are falling by the wayside. Prioritizing. For example, I wanted a haircut this week, but it will have to wait, off in the distance of later. My stylist is in a small shop with her husband, and I haven’t been able to get hold of her. The rush is something entirely created by me, and thus can be dismissed just as easily.

Other things await on my list, some actually more fun than others, including picking out some books for my kindle. The Chicago Public Library has an amazing collection of ebooks you can check out from your couch. Feel free to leave suggestions!

Forward I go, perhaps into some serious consideration of reverting back to half-caff, and I wish you the power to dismiss the non-essentials from your list today too. It’s pretty fantastic.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

And we’re off to the metaphorical Monday races

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Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you tumbled into it out of a moving car and not even a to-do list can keep you on task?

Welcome to my Monday. And maybe your Monday too.

Example: I just interrupted myself writing this post to do two other tasks. Told you. It’s going to be that kind of a Monday. Still working on task number two. Who says you can’t do two things at once?

Basically everyone.

And now I’m ping-ponging back and forth, which isn’t great for the writing flow, but somewhat helpful for the feeling that I need to get things done. No doubt there’s a balance.

It probably requires coffee. So much more coffee.

Also I know I have a cell phone. I just couldn’t tell you exactly where it is at the moment. Ah, found it. Good thing my head doesn’t have a tendency to wander off. I mean, at least for now.

So much Monday.

I’m not sure if it’s being here in the apex of summer, knowing how quickly it all goes; I don’t know if it’s a break in the clouds of all that’s happening right now; but whatever it is, I want to do everything, and I want to get it done NOW.

Meanwhile MSN is offering a story on its scroll titled “Subtle signs you might have cancer.” Uh, no thank you please, I’ve got enough going through my mind right now.

I’m going to get going on it. Hope you have a marvelously productive week!

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

#ThursdayThoughts have me thinking. Um. Yeah. Sticking with it.

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So I was going to do a post about the painting of the nightstands (I know, extra exciting!) but this week is just too hot to get the second one going. Stay tuned for that scintillating future post!

I’m waiting for Cup 2 of coffee to finish brewing in an amount of time that could be studied by scientists for its unusual viscous quality, and thinking about doing things the “easy” way. I’ve always felt like I’m constantly off the path. I can see it, sometimes, and it looks so smooth, so casual, so breezy.

In the way that a path can be breezy.

And here I am as though I’m running an endless marathon with a pebble in my shoe. Or several pebbles in my shoes. Over unstable ground. With huge holes. And snakes. Probably snakes. Also wasps. I hate wasps.

Probably one of the biggest drawbacks to being a writer is having the ability to express how it feels to be a writer. Nothing is certain, not the ideas, not the words, not the audience.

Cup 2 is ready. Hope it works, because my brain is currently a tangle of damp cotton candy. But you could probably tell.

Often when people talk about “easy,” they say it like this: “taking the easy way out,” as if there’s an inherent wrongness to eschewing the hard way. Easy can refer to cheating (which always seems like more trouble than learning, but whatever) or crime, but if you ask me, which you didn’t, but you’re here, so let’s pretend you did, also seems like a lot of effort.

Is there an “easy” you’ve chosen over “hard?” And no egg jokes, come on, we’re above that.

Hope your Thursday is going well.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.