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 3

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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!

How deep is this box? thought Jane, bracing herself for the impact. And then there it was, but before she could prepare for certain smashing, the damp cardboard stretched downward as effortlessly as a trapeze net. She sprang up again, back toward the hole in the box, now filled with the ice cream cone’s face.

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” the ice cream cone said, little bits of ice cream showering down, along with a sprinkle or two.

Jane hit her rebounding peak and went down again, this time more relaxed. She’d always loved a good trampoline.

“I don’t think you’re using that laugh right,” she said, striking a pose as she bounced again. She wondered if she could get a little higher, maybe, if she jumped. All the activity was warming her up, at least.

She connected with the cardboard, this time bending as far as she could, and shot up, fast. The ice cream cone’s peanut eyes widened as she came at it, and it tilted back on its waffle apex just as her head and right shoulder made it through the ragged opening in the box top.

“You better move, Ice Cream Cone!” said Jane, compacting herself for her next recoil. That Trampolinercize was really paying off.

“My name is Barry!” it said, hopping back on its cone tip as this time, she nearly got her elbows through.

“Berry?” she said, her hair the last thing to go through the hole on the way back down.

“No, Barry. BA-rry.”

“Still hearing Berry.” She smiled as she descended. She knew what it said, but she couldn’t resist that growing annoyance. This time should get her back up and out.

Thunk.

“Holy ouch,” she yelled, when she managed to get her breath back. She lay sprawled on the suddenly ungiving bottom of the box, her cheek resting in a puddle of…something. It smelled vinegary and a little spicy. Tall, lumpy white creatures surrounded her, each carrying a long, green weapon resting where their shoulders would be.

“We are the Tofurati,” said one of the creatures. “Explain yourself.”

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 2

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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!

“I really wish you’d stop doing that,” Jane said, crisscrossing her forearms to rub her goose-pimpled flesh with her numbing fingers. She shouldn’t have left her jacket in the car. But it was a warm day, and she was only running in for an ice cream cone.

“I’ve been practicing my laugh for centuries,” the cone said, one sprinkled eyebrow arched high, “and I’m going to make the most of it.”

“You’ve been in this freezer?” Jane leaned against the freezer wall, but as the ice bit into her back, thought better of it.

“Yep.” The ice cream cone nodded, which looked mainly like the ice cream trying to wobble its way off the soggy waffle base.

Eyes narrowed, Jane angled her head. “For centuries?”

“Yah-huh.” With scrunched frosty lips, the ice cream cone leaned menacingly toward Jane. “Got a problem with that?”

“Yeah. Freezers have only been around for like, a hundred years or something.”

“I’ll have you know the first ice-making machine was invented in 1854!” the cone roared, close enough to Jane to cast her in a cloud of his chilly vanilla-scented breath.

She stepped a tad closer to the cone to get another whiff of a delicious exhale, the box under her bowing a little more. “But that’s not a freezer. And it’s not even enough to say ‘centuries.’ One-and-a-half, tops.”

“It’s called hyperbole!” Like a simmering volcano of frozen confection, a flow of chocolate fudge started at the top of his swirly peak and ran slowly down, gliding lumpily over the sprinkles. Jane couldn’t take her eyes off it. “Do not underestimate powers of my creamy magic!”

Without even thinking, Jane took another step nearer, reaching out with curved fingers for a swipe of that enticing chocolate rivulet.

“Do you have to yell everything? We’re in a closed freezer, I can totally hear–” is as far she got, as the frozen breakfast box buckled beneath her. Down, down she plunged. She clawed at the remains of the box, trying desperately to slow her descent, the soggy cardboard tearing away in her hands.

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.

Mellow Tuesday? Ha!

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sliced of citrus lemons

Does this have anything to do with post? Who cares, it’s a great photo. Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com 

 

Am I less frazzled than yesterday?

Eh.

Still trying to get a bunch of stuff done. And still trying to do it all at once. And this may be where all that yoga can prove helpful.

To slow down. To be in this exact moment when all I need to focus on, all I need to do is this blog post. Only the other part of my brain is doing that banging on the fish tank thing: “Uh, HELLO? What about the software you have downloading on another device right now? Don’t you need to see about it? And how about the laundry, huh? THE LAUNDRY. Forget your pesky words. LAUNDRY.”

That glass tapper sure loves to think about laundry.

If the meditations have taught me anything, it’s that I’m supposed to be able to recognize those thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them go.

But the letting them go is so much harder than it should be, when I could just, you know, get them done. Well, not the laundry, the laundry is a process, but you get the idea.

I will take a moment to breathe, yoga taught me that, too. And ah, that’s better.

Part of the problem of life is this desire to make the stress go away, to tame it, to control it. But we can’t do any of that; stress is a wild beast that always finds a way in.

Always.

The only thing we can change is how respond it it. Huh, maybe I’ve learned something from that yoga after all. Now, about that laundry…

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.