Trope or Choke: Episode 2

The challenge: write a complete story in 500 words or less sticking to these guidelines…

Setting: An asteroid

Genre: Fantasy + Fable

Trope: A nasty surprise

2 Characters: A dumb jock and Dracula

POV/tense: 3rd person/future tense

The result:

The Lady in the Rock

Not the frog, nor the witch, nor the ball catcher can know who will emerge victorious. That’s for the best. One’s fate should remain a mystery.

It will begin with Taylor.

“Don’t be a wuss,” Taylor will say as she peels off her dress.

“But the water’s so dark,” Jayden will answer. “What if there’s an alligator in it?”

“You’re so dumb. There are no alligators in Arizona. You promised you’d take me skinny dipping.”

“And you promised if I do…”

She’ll suck her finger. “Deal.”

He’ll pull off his clothes and they’ll dive beneath the black water, surfacing not under moonlight but in a cave.

Taylor will graze her lips along his neck. “What’s happening, Jayden? I’m so scared. Hold me.”

“Whoa, babe. Look at the moon. It’s not above us. It’s in front, like on some giant tv screen.”

While the two humans rise from the water in their alien environment, a green amphibian will emerge beside them, clearing its slimy throat before croaking its truth. “I may appear a lowly frog, ignored as I flop through the muck, but l possess the power of speech. Hear my words. Hear me roar. Listen to me! What I have to say is of the utmost value.”

A bellow rising from the depths of the chamber will cut him off. “Silence! I am Morgan Le Fay. Tremble at my name. My nemesis King Arthur banished me to this asteroid, but not before I stole his sword, the only weapon that could slay me.” She’ll point to a stone with a sword embedded in it.

“Wicked,” Jayden will say.

“Foolish witch,” the frog will croak. “Pride will be your downfall.”

The witch will approach the frog. “Are you are the magic holder? The one who followed my call through the lake?” She’ll lick his skin and grimace. “Perhaps not.” She’ll drop him and spike her heel through the heart of the only talking frog in Arizona, and that will end the tale of the frog who couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

She’ll turn to Jayden. “And you, my fine muscled one?”

“I’m just a tight end at Arizona state.”

The trapped witch will frown. “Hmm.” Then she’ll pause on the beautiful young Taylor. “You smell…old.”

“Me? No! I’m nubile and nineteen.”

The witch will wrap her hands around a shrieking Taylor’s throat, who will transform into a withered pustule-covered vampire. “Dracula!” The witch will laugh. “I sensed your power. Now I’ll claim it for my own.”

The vampire will lunge for Jayden. “No! He was mine to drink! You’ve ruined it.”

The witch will siphon Dracula’s power, leaving him a shriveled hulk before rising up with a victorious wail. “I can feel his strength inside me. Now I’ll return and conquer the world.”

But Jayden, who outlasted the talking frog and prince of darkness, will free the sword from the stone, and as he beheads the witch with one swift swing, he’ll prove that sometimes brawn is mightier than brains.

[Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash]

The Girl and The Boy: local paranormal thrills

I’m a fan of supporting my local community, and that doesn’t just mean going to the local bars. I’ve become involved in my writing community here in Jersey City, and one of the girlwriters I’ve met is Madhuri Blaylock, a woman with a penchant for fantastical stories of page-turning urban paranormal fiction.

Her first book, The Sanctum: The Girl, follows our teenage hero Dev, a demon-angel hybrid. She’s targeted for death by a shadowy organization called the Sanctum, a worldwide group of families that monitors all the paranormal activity in our world. Dev, however, proves difficult to kill. Not only that, but she falls for one of he Sanctum’s best killers, Wyatt.

This was a fun book, full of relatable characters that ranged from stalwart best friends to seductive vampires, as well as The_boy_finalmustache-twirling villains I loved to hate.

Now Madhuri has released the second book in the trilogy, aptly titled The Sanctum: The Boy. Check it out, help me support my local community, and have some fun in the process.

Playing the Game of Thrones

I love this TV show, and I’ve read book 3 (mainly because I’m a sucker for spoilers) but I game-of-thrones-iron-throne-1024x576hesitated writing about Game of Thrones for two big reasons.

1) It’s more in the realm of fantasy (though with strong supernatural elements). I’ve never been big into fantasy — I struggled with the Lord of the Rings series.

2) Game of Thrones, both the print and TV versions, are deep and intricate. I don’t think my analysis, on an episode-by-episode basis, could do it justice.

Nevertheless I’m a big fan of all things Game of Thrones. I think it’s brilliant storytelling. ned starkThe show hooked me late in the first season, when Ned Stark, played by Sean Bean (the biggest name in the cast), met his fate. I knew then I was in for a wild and unpredictable ride.

On TV, the production values are excellent, the pacing is consistently solid, and the actors are all pros. My favorite, and I’m not alone in this, is Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion as played by Dinklage is the complicated heart of a complicated show. Catelyn Stark, played by Michelle Fairley, a woman who is smart and tough and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her family, is/was a close second.

TyrionIn the books, writer George RR Martin alternates character viewpoints as he bounces around the fictional world of Westeros and beyond — Daenerys, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Catelyn Stark, Jaime Lannister, and Tyrion Lannister. Each of these viewpoints is utterly unique and fully formed.

But neither book nor TV show is perfect. The books are rambling. No, I don’t need listings of every Ser who fought in a certain battle twenty years earlier. And the TV show revels in gore and violence to the point of overkill. One blogger commented that the show uses rape as a set piece. Okay, I get it — this world is brutal.

These are minor points. Game of Thrones is great entertainment. Very few moments in recent TV history can top when Daenerys ordered her dragon to burn the evil Kraznys.

Game_Of_Thrones Daenerys

And then there’s the infamous Red Wedding episode, where Catelyn, Robb and his pregnant wife weren’t treated very well by their hosts (huge understatement). Check out this link for some great reaction videos.


Watch/read Game of Thrones if you’re up for some excitement. And for great postgame reading, the best I’ve found on the Internet comes from the A.V. Club. Their website has intelligent commentary, with articles geared toward those who haven’t read the books and those who have.