Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wordsmiths Challenge for January: Crystal Ball

Wordsmiths Unlimited is at it again, and this month we had this challenge: We are going to write in a comedic style: goofy, stupid, and completely un-serious. Think Saturday morning cartoons. Your protagonist is a superhero of your making... The twist is that his or her superpowers are as useless as a sack of wet leaves. They are completely ineffectual, but he or she doesn't know it.

I'll be the first to admit that I had a hard time with this one, and I probably skirted the rules a bit because it's really difficult to be funny on purpose, especially when you're writing. But here it is:

Crystal Ball

Honey sat under a sign that declared "Madame Zannza SEES all!!!!! and KNOWS all!!!!" in flaking gold sparkles and waited for her shift to end.

The turban that she had fashioned out of the sleeve of a bathrobe and a handful of her grandmother's clip-on pearl earrings was itchy, and the harem pants she secretly thought looked cute actually made her look like the illegitimate child of MC Hammer and Barbara Eden. She scratched at her head and wondered for the fourteenth time that day why whoever painted her sign had such a hard-on for exclamation points and poor grammar when a couple approached her booth.

The man stepped up and slid a ten-dollar bill next to her crystal ball, which up until a week ago had been a snow globe with its guts removed. "So, tell me, do you really see and know all?" he said, turning to wink at the woman he was with.

Honey made eye contact with the man, then focused on a point between his bushy eyebrows and let her mind float away:

His name was Harold, he was 39, a security guard at the local piñata factory, and subscribed to National Geographic every year because the pictures of the naked natives got him off like no amount of hard-core girl-on-girl porn ever could.

The woman Harold was with was named Geraldine. She was married and poor Harold didn't know it. While shoplifting fruit-flavored Chiclets and a bag of Funyuns at the local gas station two weeks ago, she had heard him talk to the cashier about his job, and she mistakenly thought that a 'security guard' was one of those guys who sat in armored trucks full of money. Suddenly Geraldine saw in Harold the bright, shining pathway to her life's biggest ambitions: to dump her one-eyed husband, get the biggest, fakest breast implants her spine could support and to live in a grass hut on a beach in Paraguay. Convincing Harold to be her boyfriend had been easy; she figured making him participate in a heist and run off to South America with her couldn't be much harder.

"Well, Madame Zannza?" Harold asked Honey, unaware that his future held for him a short stint in jail after robbing vending machines and a girlfriend who would use the change he stole to go to Tijuana, get a lop-sided boob job, convert to Zoroastrianism after seeing the face of God in the infected incision under her left breast, and write a best-selling book about her experience.

"One eighty-seven."

"Nope, the scale says 221 pounds. I win!" said Harold, and laughed but Honey had already turned to get the stuffed purple tiger that she knew Geraldine wanted.


Cravey said...

what fun!

turban of bathrobe sleeve, hard on for exclamation points (don't we all know someone like that) and a lop-sided boob job. Heh.
What else does a story need?

Biff Spiffy said...


I don't know who told you this was difficult, cuz you just REEK of funny. And clever. What a blast! You had me from the bathrobe sleeve to the very bitter end. Poor Harold. Poor one-eyed husband.

tiff said...

Ah, Sea Hag - well done.

The ping-pong insights and obscure future references made this a joy to read.

Also - hee!

rennratt said...

I didn't realize, until the end, that she was a 'circus attraction'.

I LOVE that, although she knew everything 'about' them, she STILL got the weight wrong!

KOM said...

I enjoyed that one. Halfway through, I thought it might take a Cassandra bent - your ending was much more amusing!

Hyperion said...

Fucking hilarious. That's all there is to it. Fucking hilarious.