Spotted in the Birmingham Want Ads:
Successful musician looking for girlfriend. Must be pleasant looking with good sense of humor (it will be needed). Experience not required, in fact it would be best if you had no previous relationships. Extra points if you just left the convent. Should be a career woman, but preferably a job that is out of the public eye. (see convent reference). Must be willing to have various body parts chopped all over the internet. Applicants should have a high tolerance for criticism and the ability to cope well with pressure. Should have an unlisted address, unlisted telephone number, and the ability to relocate due to stalking. Martial arts training with an emphasis on self defense is a plus. Call XXX-XXX-XXXX.
I wonder how many applicants they’re going to get?
Switzerland is famous for many things. However, the common myth that Switzerland is neutral has been proven to be just that, a myth. Study the history of World War II, and you will discover that Switzerland, though presenting itself a neutral party, was anything but that. Switzerland profited greatly during the war behind the facade.
I’m not neutral, never claimed to be neutral. I’m still wondering to myself how in the hell I got to this place. I don’t belong to fan boards, I don’t track anyone’s career, I’m not a thudder. But something pissed me off and I wanted to respond to it. Then, when denied over and over again the chance to speak, I started this blog. I figured, hey, it’s just a chance to have my say, speak my mind. Who the hell knew that my mind had so much crap in it?
I grew up in a world where I learned all about hate. I was taught very early on, that the only way to deal with the cruelty that you see around you is to speak out. That remaining silent and standing by made you an accessory to the act itself. Amazing the things that you bring forward with you in life.
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
This is the first runner-up in The Best Ending Competition, written by Sunny. A well written piece , but she and I definitely had different ideas of where the plot line should go.
The Angel crossed the room and opened the door of the cage holding the MFOYAs. They looked around quizzically. Sad MFOYA immediately assumed it was a trap. Certainly the cigar smoking Angel and his gaffawing troops would not mean to allow them to leave?
The troops were outfitted in matching whites, covered head to toe, faces masked from recognition. The Angel turned to them and said, “Uncover you faces to let the MFOYA’s see who you truly are…” There was a pause, Sybil MFOYA, ever the talkative one, replied, “Certainly that to be only the fair thing to do since you’ve already seen our faces. It is only fair.”
The first to remove their mask stepped forward into the light. As she approached she said, you’ve known me as TIF, as mfoyasucks. She was a hearty woman, older than most of the MFOYA had thought. Brunette hair streaked with strands of gray. She looked average and non-threatening with the mask removed. Second to come into the overhead light, slowly took off her helmet and mask. She was a thick-bodied woman, with blue eye-shadow and painted on eyebrows, false eyelashes. Hair bleached to a high yellow blonde.
“Let me guess,” spoke Turnip MFOYA, “None other than CelebrityBlondeBabe. Still running around in your Southern Belle pajamas underneath your white combat gear? How’s that ‘stumped’ toe”
CBB as she is known, spat, “Let me tell YOU!!! I am THE Biggest Taylor Hicks’ fan in existants (sic) I will always love him…I will allways (sic) worship him, never mind about mah (my) pajamas! You should be deemed Not Worthy to live and breathe the same air as Taylor Hicks! And another thang (sic) mah foot is just fine. Stumped toes won’t stop me from marching in line to the beat drummed out by our leader! It is mah mission to spread the word in the world of the Soul Patrol!” She paused for a moment to gather her breath, then continued, “I represent the True Fans of Taylor Hicks! We live! We breath! AND we will DIE carrying on the blessed name of the SOOOUULLL PATROL!” CBB pumped her chubby arm vigorously to show her Fangurl power and conviction. The other troopers in line gave a salute to her words.
The Angel, returned to his chair, elbows resting on his knees, he leaned toward the jail that housed the MFOYAs still not trusting that open gate. He turned and looked at the row of troops still not revealed. They stood at attention waiting his next words. He said, “Next in line, please show yourself.”
The trooper stepped up. This one was shorter than CBB, removing her helmet and mask revealed an old woman than any of the others. She pulled open her uniform shirt to reveal a T-shirt underneath with a photo of Taylor Hicks in a heart shape on the front. Sybil MFOYA said, “Hi Cee, or would you rather be JAT, henry8, or perhaps karoray today?”
The other MFOYAs couldn’t help to let out a giggle. Ms ManyNames had once been a part of their group, and one of the most vicious when it came to meting out insults about other people’s looks.
“I prefer henry8 when I’m standing with the Fanatics, thank you very much!” She drew a deep breath and exclaimed, “Did you see Taylor Hicks on Regis & Kelly this week? He looked amazing. His song, ‘The Right Place’ is one of my favorites, but the man can sing anything. I thought he looked so handsome, nothing wrong with admiring a well put together man!” Before she could continue The Angel leapt from his seat and put a hand over her mouth. She squirmed in protest because she wasn’t finished yet with talking about Taylor Hicks, even if that was perhaps not the time or the place. The Angel spoke quietly to her, and she returned to her former stance.
Once again the MFOYAs had to laugh, remembering how she used to carry on in the days of the Giraffe – the hours she had expended posting about how much she disapproved of the lady newscaster and her rumored fake relationship with Taylor Hicks. The hours in chat in a time she posted as JAT, how she wavered between love of Taylor Hicks and sadness of things not to pass.
Hollywood MFOYA finally stepped outside the bars. The troops let out an “Ahh!” The Angel quickly looked at them and gave the stand down signal. Then out came Sad MFOYA, out stepped Sybil MFOYA, Dancing and Bug too came out. Soul-less MFOYA, who had previously asked who and why The Angel had appeared, stepped out. Soul-less said, “Well, so what, you’re unmasking everyone. We already knew what they looked like, we already knew some of them from the past on boards where we all once posted and sometimes even got along, but that was a long time ago, we were going under different names and it was in different places. Tell us who you really are and why you are here!”
Suddenly one of the troops ran at Soul-less, shrieking, “But I had evidence! I had the first experts to completely show that behind all of this was Aaron Ruffcorn! I sent scans to the FBI!!! My team of experts proved beyond a shadow of a doubt who it was until you pesky MFOYAs and those we like to call that with your pesky blahgs came along and messed up my plans’ (sic) to be the Hero in all of this and to solve the mystery!!! I was doing it for Taylor Hicks, the man, the true Southern gentleman that he is to show him my wholesome Southern Belle love and adoration!” More words were coming out of her mouth but there wasn’t any sense to be found among the gibberish, so the MFOYAs turned to block the trooper from assaulting Soul-less, but the mad glint in her deranged eyes was indeed frightening. Too her fingernails were supernaturally long and strong, fortified with red Sally Hansen polish, menacing to say the least.
The Angel barked, “Jeanni!”
The crazy trooper grabbed Soul-less through the other MFOYAs arms snatching at her hair, foam spittle slinging from her mouth.
The Angel bellowed, “Missy Scarlett! ATTENTION!”
The crazed trooper turned, face flushed, but reality began to seep back into her pale blue eyes. She looked around for a moment as sanity returned. She straightened her hair and smoothed her uniform, and flounced back in line.
The next one removed her helmet and mask with a flourish. “I am the BrightLite! I have been sent to educate the masses and speak the True Words. My words coming from my lips and mind inspired by Taylor Hicks. Before Taylor Hicks I was but a silent and repressed person but now I am walking the beaches near my New Jersey home daily with my children, tossing Starfish into the waves. I hope my words inspired by Taylor Hicks to help, to heal to also inspire, to let others see the light as I have done. Taylor Hicks has helped me to write the story of inspiration of all time, The Starfish Story. You see, one day while my children and I were walking on that New Jersey beach, my son picked up a starfish. He said ‘Mommy may I take it home’? I replied, ‘No son, if you take it home it will die’. I had him take the starfish out into those frigid Autumn sea waves out as far as he could without becoming hyperthermic and set that fish free. You see starfish are just a fish but they deserve to live just like everyhting else (excuse my typseos I’m in a hurry) and that is what Taylor Hicks has giving (sic) me and for that I am …”
The Angel swiftly kicked the chair in her direction. “Shut the fuck up!”
The MFOYAs and Troops were startled and surprised. “Fuck” not hardly the word to come out of an Angel’s mouth. As they turned the glow surrounding the man began to intensify. It grew so bright it even snuffed out the Brightlite. Then darkness fell – the room dark and blank. A moment later, there was a shimmer, suddenly a loud “beep” was heard. Sounds rather like those of a computer restarting began…. beep. beep, purrr, sounds of programs rebooting, the light in the enclosure getting brighter, the MFOYAs and the Troops once again could see one another. Their eyes blinked to adjust for the increasing light. In the middle of the room stood a man. One man. Sybil and Turnip looked at each other. Across the room ‘Asses stood, she without uniform. They recognized each other. ‘Asses gave a nod toward the man.
One of the Troops who had not unveiled yet let out a scream. She ripped off her helmet and mask revealing a chilling countenance, but instead of glaring accusingly at the MFOYAs she dropped to her knees and bent over, hands clasped like in prayer.
It was unbelievable. He said he would never return. He said he was through. He said he’d have to stop to spend more time with family. He wasn’t cut out for that role, being an office drone more his speed. He could hang out and watch bands like Grace Potter and Govt. Mule to his heart’s content without having to mind that computer and its damnable moderation demands. Hell, besides The Man, Taylor Hicks did not have him on payroll anymore.
Both sides, the Troops and the MFOYAs looked on – in the center of the room none other than the man who had really been the backbone of It All. All mouths fell silent.
He stood there looking from face to face, “It should be all about the music, baby”.
(Hell it was fun. Just messing around a little today.)
I had to take a few days off….PTSD!
I promised that I would post the alternative endings that were sent to me for my “novel”.
Seeing as there were only 2 submissions, it was pretty easy to pick the winner. I actually had decided the basic ending for my story at this point. However, when I read the winner’s ending, I thought maybe my brain had been picked, because it was very close to what I had envisioned.
The winning entry came from CelebrityBlondeBabe.
The angel knew that he was not the one with the final decision of MFOYA’s fate. He knew that God had a plan but it was not revealed to him yet. Curious yet calm, he waited for God’s decision. He knew that the finality of MF could not extend to the end of an era for all mankind. He also knew that what God had done in the past, to those that had crossed the line of hatred and sacrilege. However, this time, it was different. This time, God was dealing with the Devil. Cunning and clever, the Devil on his best day could not begin to know the master plan…no matter how hard he tried…he was awaiting his blind fate. With MF’s fate in God’s hands and MF still consumed in his false pride, he would never admit that he was worried nor was he worried for the other MFs as he had just used them and hoped for their torturous deaths.
The Angel sat with head in hands contemplating the dilemma and felt the end near as God must carry out the final punishment. He raised his head to see MF in front of him. A light shown down on his tethered clothing while strapped to a steel chair with chains. On the table appeared a box with a card attached. The Angel reached for the box and as he was just about to open it…God spoke. “Take what is inside and cast it to the sea of silence”, God said in a strong voice as of many waters. The angel trembled at the sound of his voice, but determined to carry out God’s orders, preceded to open the box without hesitation. MF was starting to try to move the chair toward the table in earnest to get closer to the box. His hands were bound but his eyes were with sight. He was unable to move at last.
The box was opened by the Angel and the sound of trumpets filled the air. MF passed out from fear. The angel reached into the box and placed in his hand the one thing that would suffice in cutting off MF’s vengeful plot. The angel carried it to the doorway, where the other MF’s were and cast it’s dust over their heads. They fell into a deep sleep without knowledge of their dreaded fate. The angel metamorphosed into a brilliant light and was beamed to the gates of hell. There he saw the Sea of Silence. Casting the contents of the box into the Sea, the Angel felt a release of evil and encumbrance. In a flash, the Angel was back sitting at the table in front of MF with an empty box in hand.
The Angel’s voice was powerful and deep as he spoke his final words to MF. MF, cowardly looked up and began to tremble and thrash as the angel said…”Listen, MF…you can hear…but, you can never speak again…nor can you communicate in any way with anyone ever again. This is your punishment, so be it, says God”!
MF was no longer bound by chains and immediately stood to his feet. No matter how hard he tried, he could not speak. No matter how much he wanted to use his fingers in gesture, he could not. His days were over for his insulting and degrading anyone. He would never be heard again.
The runner-up ending will be posted tomorrow.
The troops marched silently towards the door of the cell. One of them reached down and opened the lock, swinging the door open with a clang. The soldier gestured the MFOYA out of the cell. The MFOYA slowly walked out, looking at the faces of the soldiers, as if searching for some clue in their eyes that would signal their fate.
The soldiers gestured the MFOYA into a lineup along the wall of the cell. All of this was done in complete silence, almost reverence. It sent chills through me.
Once this had been accomplished, the troops stepped back into a line about 2 feet opposite the MFOYA. It frightened me…I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t.
A moment passed. Finally, the Angel came through the space created by the two groups. He walked all the way to the end of the line of MFOYAs, then turned and walked back again. Still no sound from anyone.
He walked halfway once again, stopping midpoint.
He issued a quiet command. “It is time.”
As soon as he said that, the troops quickly dispersed, and split up into different groups. Some were busy bricking up windows, others were on a search and destroy mission, shredding any document or paper that they could find. Another group was pulling cables out of the walls, another destroying every piece of technology in sight. The organized chaos was too much for some of the MFOYA, who hung their heads and began to sob.
Within 30 minutes, the troops had completed their mission. There was no longer any light coming into the room from any source, other than the opening in the wall behind us, making it difficult to see.
The Angel turned to the MFOYA. “You are very lucky that we have souls. We have decided to let you live. Unfortunately, you may find your new lives very different than what you’re used to. No longer will you be able to inflict your hate on the rest of the world. No longer will anyone ever have to listen to you, or read your blatherings. You have been judged to be unfit to live amongst us. In fact, the only people that should have to put up with you….is you.”
“I’m sure you’ve heard of a leper colony? Well, you are now living in your own, created by you. You will have no contact with the outside world, you will have no computers, no phones, no way to reach out to anyone outside of this room. Here, you will live the rest of your natural lives, with the people you have chosen to align with. There will never be any attention paid to you, in fact, your fate will never be mentioned to the outside world. It will be as if you just disappeared. There will be no tears, no memorials, it will be as if you never existed. You will be fed, clothed and tended to by the troops, but as you have already seen, they will never communicate with you.”
“There’s an old saying, you are known by the company that you keep. Well, enjoy each other’s company, because that is all you will ever have. Of course, I’m sure in a short period of time, since you will have no one else to direct your hate to, you’ll start turning on each other. Such a shame.”
With that last statement, the Angel walked over to me. “If you’re ready to leave, I’ll be happy to escort you out.”
I looked over at the MFOYA. They were looking at each other, as if they were dogs sizing each other up to fight. It had begun already.
I had seen enough. I took the Angel’s extended arm, and we walked through the opening in the wall. As we walked away, I could hear the troops begin to board up the entrance. I didn’t look back.
We left the same way that I had come in, stepping over the destruction that was all around us. We hurried towards the grate, and stepped up and out of the hell that we had been in. I felt the sun on my body, I felt my lungs sucking in the good clean air. I felt alive.
I turned to the Angel. “Thank you for coming, and thank you for saving me. I got myself in way too deep, and I didn’t think I was ever going to make it out. But I’ll have one hell of a story for my editor.”
Visions of the Pulitzer Price were running through my head, which quickly evaporated when the Angel next spoke.
“You won’t write this story. I meant what I said, the MFOYA’s fate will never be shared with anyone.”
I realized that the Angel had meted out the perfect punishment for the MFOYA. What kept them alive was the attention. They needed it, the way that ordinary people need food and water.
I was being entrusted with this secret. I turned to the Angel and vowed that I would never reveal the story.
“Thank you again for what you have done.”
“You’re welcome. It’s time for you and I to leave. Travel safe.”
I started to walk away, then turned back. “You never did tell me your name.”
He smiled at me. “You can just call me Gabe.”
Then he walked away, mingling with the crowd, until I could no longer see him.
The thought occurred to me a few hours later, after I had been home, and cleaned the MFOYA residue off of me. The Angel had told me that I could never report this story. All journalists that I know, however, always think they have a best-seller deep inside them, just waiting to get out. So, maybe mine would just have to be classified as “Fiction”. I sat down and began to write.
The Angel slowly walked away from the cell, over to where the troops were standing. At this point, reality must have begun to settle in with the MFOYA. (It took a while, since reality was such an unknown concept to them.) Panic began to fill the atmosphere, both in actions and sounds. A few of them assumed the fetal position, with rhythmic rocking and small whimpers. Others threw their hands skyward, as if seeking divine intervention. No lightning bolt came down.
The troops circled around the Angel, making it impossible to see what was going on. Finally, they parted, and he emerged, carrying two leather bound portfolios. He walked back to the cell, pulled up the chair and sat down. He showed the first portfolio to the MFOYA and then opened it. It was filled with papers, almost bursting at the seams.
“These are only some of the complaints that we have received regarding your merry little band. There have been thousands, more than we could possibly bring with us today. They charge you with many things. Some talk about the lying, the trickery, the gossiping. But there is one common theme that runs through all of the letters. They are tired of the hate. Though you profess that it’s all about the love, let’s be honest with each other. There is no love in what you have done. People who know how to love do not act this way. People who are loved do not feel the need to lash out at those who have not wronged them.”
I looked at the MFOYA to see their reaction, but there seemed to be none. It was if the MFOYA was speaking in a language foreign to them.
The Angel continued. “There have been many suggestions in these letters on what should be done with you. They run the gamut, from blowing you to smithereens, to just ignoring your ranting and your gibberish.”
The Angel then pulled out the second portfolio. He opened it up and single sheet lay there. He lifted the paper out and held it towards the MFOYA.
“This portfolio contains the one letter we received asking for leniency in your punishment. Though it acknowledges that you have caused harm, it asks that we forgive and move on from this. It only wishes for all of this to stop and people start investing their time in their own lives, and quit trying to manage others.”
“So, where does this leave us? Do we bow to the masses and do as they ask? Do we rid ourselves of you permanently or do we show forgiveness?”
He looked at the MFOYA, waiting for a response. The silence hung heavy in the air. The MFOYA blankly stared back at him. I cannot say what was going through their minds. I wanted to go shake them. Did they not see that he was offering them one last chance?
Finally, he stood up and walked over the cell. “Well, then, I see we have your answer.”
He walked back to the troops and silently nodded to them. They began to move towards the cell.
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he
And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”
To My Readers…there are only 2 chapters left, and because I’m a perfectionist (haha and also sometimes a procrastinor), they’re not quite ready to post…so for today, I must leave you hanging.
I will be posting one chapter tomorrow, with the final chapter on Friday.
I apologize for the delay, hopefully you won’t be disappointed.
The MFOYA ran back into a huddle and whispered amongst themselves. I think they were trying to come up with a plan to save themselves, but it was clear from the shrillness and hysteria of their voices, that they couldn’t agree on anything.
The Angel came back to the cell, and cleared his throat, as if ready to make an announcement. The MFOYA looked up, the fear evident over their faces.
“One more small matter of business, before we proceed,” he said. “As I stated before, you are not all as committed as you believe. There is one of you that is actually working for us. It’s time for this MFOYA to reveal their identity, and and join us.”
The MFOYA all looked at each other, both with curiousity and suspicion. For what seemed like a very long time, but was probably only a minute of two, there was complete silence. Then one of the MFOYA stepped forward and walked up to the bars, extending it’s hand through to shake hands with the Angel. “Thank you for coming. I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could take. The hatred within this group was starting to suffocate me.”
The other MFOYA gasped and turned to each other, seemingly unable to believe that someone that they had given so much trust to, would turn on them. Luckily for the safety of their traitor, they seemed frozen in place, unable to move.
The Angel opened the door, and the MFOYA spy stepped out. The door clanged shut, the entrace then locked again.
The freed MFOYA turned to it’s former allies in the cell. “Yes, it was me. I’m not who you thought I was, I’ve never been. Sure, when this group was small and private, it was fun to make snide comments and pretend that there was a scam. It was something to do for laughs, a way to spend my free time. But once it was decided to go public, I knew I wanted nothing to do with this. What was the point? Of course, you all tried to tell me it was harmless fun, that we were just going to do it as a lark, and see what happened. But once I saw the hate starting to build, I knew I wanted out.”
The fake MFOYA turned to the Angel. “I was planning on just disappearing, to quit posting. But this man convinced me that it would be better if I stayed where I was, and passed along information to their side. So I did what was asked. I stayed, I played the part. It wasn’t easy. Watching the hate build, seeing the lengths that you would go to drag names through the mud made me sick, both mentally and physically. There were many times I wanted to stop, to leave. But I’m glad that I did it, because in the end, I was able to contribute to your end.”
The Angel then took the renegade MFOYA’s hand and shook it. “Thank you for your help, but you’re free to go now. One of the guards will escort you out.”
“It will be so good to smell fresh air again, to see the sun shining again. Believe me, months of being trapped down here makes you realize how much you miss things like that,” the MFOYA answered.
The former MFOYA walked across the room, and disappeared through the opening in the wall. As it left, screams of “traitor” and “rat” came from inside the cell, but seemed to fall on deaf ears, because she never flinched and never looked back.
The Angel then turned its’ full attention back to the MFOYA in the cell. “Now that we have taken care of that little matter, it’s time for our decision.”
Sad MFOYA gave the Angel a very pitiful look. “Really, I have nothing against him, I really care about him. I only want him…” The Angel quickly cut off the rest of the statement. “I don’t want to hear the same old sorry song, over and over again. I don’t want to hear your lame excuses of why you did it, your nobel intents. I want to hear why you deserve leniency, why we shouldn’t just dispose of this problem once and for all.”
Sad MFOYA seemed shocked by his statement. Maybe it assumed that it could persuade the Angel over by it’s declarations of love and lust. It had worked before on many men. Sad MFOYA stepped back, hanging it’s head, tears falling down it’s cheeks. Soft sobs could be heard.
Hollywood MFOYA walked up to the bars. “What do you want us to do, beg for mercy, like sniveling dogs? You say that you know us, but evidently you don’t. If you really knew us, you’d know how strong we are. Look at how much we’ve accomplished. We are fucking celebrities now. Our name is spoke by many.”
The Angel reared back his head and laughed. “You’re right, people do talk of you. Evidently, it does not matter to you what they say, or maybe you’ve just not been listening. And your accomplishments? Being called crazy and ridiculed on the back page of an internet rag isn’t exactly winning a Pulitzer Prize, now is it?”
Sybil MFOYA’s snapped back “We put the truth out. We talked about the elephant in the room when no one else would.”
“The only problem is” said the Angel, “it wasn’t really an elephant, was it? You can glue some tusks and a long trunk on a rat and call it Dumbo and that doesn’t make it an elephant. It’s still just a plain old rat.”
Turnip MFOYA shouted “You’ll never understand us, you’re just stupid. STUPID, STUPID FOOL!”
The Angel walked over to and put his face up against the bars, nose to nose with the Turnip. “You’re right, we’re stupid. You’re the smart ones. You’re so smart, you never saw us coming after you, did you? You’re so wise, that you never dreamed that people might want to see you get what’s coming to you? You’re so intelligent, I’m sure you’ve planned your escape from all of this, haven’t you?”
The Turnip backed away, crossing it’s arms and assuming the position of a bratty child who can’t get its’ way. The Angel circled the cell once again, looking at each MFOYA as he passed it. Dancing MFOYA was continuing to spin in place. The Bug MFOYA looked as if it wanted to bore itself into the ground. Half Devil MFOYA’s face had added a third expression, one of great fear. Beavis and Butthead MFOYAs seemed to have retreated to their own little world, nudging each other and laughing, as if they were watching a cartoon. The others just stared at the Angel.
“Well, I see this conversation is going nowhere,” said the Angel. “Instead of using this time to ask for leniency, you continue to try to hold onto your fantasy. Oh well, that was your decision, but sadly, your time has run out.”
He turned and walked over to the troops.
To Be Continued
The next installment will be up Monday…Hey, even”top notch” investigative journalists get a day off here or there 🙂 There is still time to submit your “endings” to the story, just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on Sunday.