Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Ninth

Melanie Stormm

[Introduction: Melanie Stormm continues her humorous series of posts about the misdirected emails she’s been getting. Stormm is a multiracial writer who writes fiction, poetry, and audio theatre. Her novella, Last Poet of Wyrld’s End is available through Candlemark & Gleam. She served as guest editor for issue 43.4 of Star*Line, an issue focused entirely on Black voices in the speculative arts. Find her in her virtual home at Wipe your feet before entering.]


Helloooo. Melanie here. Things have gotten even more interesting. Writer X has given us unexpected access to The Society. Read on to find out more. (Warning: Whatever you do, don’t look it in the eyes!)

I’m also going to leave this here without further explanation.

Subject: Werewolves, Vampires, and Malls

Dear Gladys,

I’m going to cut to the chase. I have tried and failed to write my book starting from the end. Whomever came up with that idea should be shot. How am I supposed to write a meaningful ending for NINE WHOLE BOOKS with lots of little quaint references to special moments and how it feels to have fulfilled the prophecy when I don’t have any idea what happened that made it meaningful?? The people who write these how-to-books on writing have no idea what they’re talking about. Chekov’s gun, my eye!!

And my return ke
y keeps jamming.

Anyway, I have temporarily put a pin in my page count requirements so that I can work on doing some light worldbuilding. After this, I will need to write 198.66 pages a day to catch up, but if I can write 149 pages a day then theoretically another 49.66 is a small stretch.

I spent some time developing the ChaalChaal mall because, as of now, I only have known about the Arktel Slavers All You Can Eat Buffet. By the way, one thing I didn’t share with you was that I was having some trouble coming up with how to commute the Arktel Slavers to a Modern City Fantasy setting. I had to ask myself Where would they be in a modern city? In my previous setting I had them at the edge of the Knutt Tukr forest (pronounced kuh-nutt. I’m bringing back the non-silent ‘K’) but I think if I had a bunch of Arktel Slavers at a forest they might be arrested or something by park rangers so the only other place I could think of them congregating is at a mall. Maybe in the food court. That’s when it hit me that they have a hot food buffet there!!!

I think I’m going to give Fenchin a peanut allergy. That way she has a reason for not knowing that the Arktel Slavers are at the mall.

The mall is important because this is where Fenchin is going to go to buy her emerald gown and silken faery wings for the special ball that she and Musradi (BUT NOT PUHJYNA) go to and when Musradi realizes that Fenchin is the child of the prophecy. I’ve even looked up some music for the ballroom scene that readers can listen to so they can know exactly how it sounds when it inevitably heads for the silver screen.

Meanwhile, I also have decided that my modern city fantasy is going to be very different. Instead of elves and dwarves and orcs, I’m going to add some magical creatures like Vampires and Werewolves. Won’t that be amazing??? Anyway, the way I have it worked out is that the Vampires live on one half of the city and the Werewolves live on the wrong side of the tracks or something. Every month at the full moon, the Vampires and the Werewolves all stalk down in the silence of night to the town green to

get together and do clog-dancing. But here’s the clincher. One night, someone comes along and steals all the Vampires and Werewolves clogs and they need Fenchin to help them and this is why they come to realize that she is the child of the prophecy. It’s very important for them to recognize this, Gladys!! The Vampires and Werewolves are the only ones who can really hold off the Arktel Slavers!!! (I think it’s her uncle that steals the clogs, but I haven’t ironed this out yet.) It’ll be very clever. The only problem is that I can’t
have my main character fulfilling an important part of her quest just running around looking for missing shoes!!! What kind of writer would be so uncreative as to stoop to something like that???

Anyway, my other major concern this week has been with getting back my right croc that I hurled at that trespasser in the backyard two weeks ago. C___ had those made for me. I have come across an unexpected lead. First, you know how I have a problem with left

turns? Anyway, I got all turned around in the Seventh Hill neighborhood since they have all those one ways with left turns only. I took a couple right
turns and ended up driving by the Cradensburg Appliance Center. I usually NEVER go around there because that where that jerk BRIAN from The Society works! Anyway, as I passed by, I noticed Brian sitting there among the refrigerators at a desk and I noticed something funny. He didn’t have a hat!!! Brian ALWAYS has a hat!!! He likes to draw attention to himself.

The only thing was, I couldn’t remember what kind of hat Brian likes to wear. So I looked him up online and found The Society’s website. I clicked “investigators” and LOOK AT THE HAT GLADYS!!!! I FOUND MY TRESPASSER!!! And it looks like Brian isn’t even a real warrior. He’s the secretary. Here he was warning me about all hell breaking loose. Things are just fine. Grrr stealing my shoe!

I immediately called the appliance center and Brian picked up. I knew it was him because his voice is so low. I said: “Give me back my custom croc, now!”

And he said, “Hello Xxxxssss—Unidentified Customer. Um, what—what could you mean? We don’t sell footwear here at Cradensburg Appliance Center.”

And I said, “I know it’s you Brian, I know you were in my backyard. Give me back my croc or the bowler hat gets it. I’ve got a gun and I’m not afraid to use it.” (He doesn’t know that the only gun I have is Chekov’s but I’m playing this to my advantage.)

And he said, “No need to do anything rash!…Could you perhaps describe your croc to me?”

“You know which one it is!!”

Then he said, “I don’t know what you’re—I can’t give you a deal. That coupon doesn’t apply. We only sell appliances. Pleasure to serve. You should thank me now that C___’s not looking after you. I just saved your skin. It’s a small sacrifice on your part. Thank you for calling Cradensburg Appliance Center on Ambling Road. Hanging up now.” And then he wouldn’t pick up the phone when I called him back 42 times.

I know he has my croc, Gladys. Just wait until he sees what I’m going to do. I’ve had it with him and The Society.

But there’s no way I can take them on
alone. Gladys do you still have that black belt in anbo-jyutsu?