[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 is currently the editor at the SPECk, a monthly publication on speculative poetry by the SFPA. Find her in her virtual home at coldwildeyes.com. Wipe your feet before entering.]
DEMON SCHOOL DROPOUT
Hello All, Melanie here!
I didn’t get much writing done this week in my own life, but for good reason. I had a very important birthday party to attend out of state. It’s not every day your grandmother turns ninety. Sometimes people are more important than pages.
Without further ado…
Subject: Road TRIP
It all started when we returned home from picking up Ursula Le Guin in the spacetime machine we borrowed from the library. We had moved Ursula Le Guin into her new Mysterious Apartment. Tryxy and I were just beginning to discuss our future plans to visit her and discover why Ursula Le Guin is living—well, not really living but present—in our library. That’s when Tryxy received an email from his academic advisor informing him that he had missed two weeks of school in our spacetime jump and had been DROPPED FROM EVERY SINGLE CLASS.
And that wasn’t all!!!!! Soon after that, Tryxy got another email from his scholarship fund stating that because he had been dropped, they were retroactively retracting the scholarship and he would be responsible for ALL CHARGES incurred this semester.
This of course made it necessary for us to lay siege to Miskatonic University. This is usually the best way to get a student reinstated in their classes and impress the scholarship decision makers.
Anyways, I’m sure you’re dying to know how my writing is going BUT NOW ISN’T THE TIME FOR WRITING, GLADYS!!!! As I told you before, Writers are instinctual and tuned into the harmonic forces of NATURE, and i looked out my window today and spotted red tips on the birch branches. Red tips on birch branches clearly indicates that if I were to write now, all my sentences would have dangling participles.
For in the Book of Writer’s Excuses is it not written:
When red tips be
on birch and yew,
write not, but find
bloody anything else
Also when we were at the library, I borrowed a book called “Numerology for Writers” and according to my calculations, I’m the numerological number 7242.36 which warns against concentrating on plot because it causes chafing.
Anyways, anyways, I’m sure you’re also dying to know where your car is. I will explain in just a moment.
After Tryxy read the emails, I asked him what he wanted to do and he said, “I don’t know.” I asked him if he wanted any help and he said, “No, that’s okay. I did this to myself.”
I was afraid he would break into tears, but instead Tryxy became subdued. He quietly refused my offers of emergency support chocolate and drifted downstairs into his abyss. I thought he would play some Lil Nas X or even play his drums now that he had lots of time to be creative the way he wanted, but to my surprise all I could hear were the soothing New Hampshire sounds of the coy wolves howling and the fishers summoning Beelzebub with their gentle screams.
Between you and me, Gladys, despite my misgivings, I did try to write a little but mostly it was a letter to the Cradensburg Flash Fiction Contest letting them know I was withdrawing my story submission because they were taking too long to announce me as the winner!!!!!
Rereading the sixty or so pages I wrote to them, I thought maybe there was a little more I could say to get my point across. But I also began to feel the winds of story inspiration move within me so I set aside the letter to work on another time and opened a completely new and fresh document to start a BRAND NEW story on. As I stared at the blank, white screen, I was serenaded by the overwhelming sound of mental crickets.
That’s when it really hit me and I did the research about why it’s a bad idea to write at this time and I thought “How could I sit here listening to mental crickets when Tryxy needs me?????” And next thing you know, I’m drawing up seige plans and converting my car into a small tank.
Then, I ran downstairs into Tryxy’s abyss and when I found him laying in his hammock petting #bestkitten and looking forlorn I said, “That’s it, Tryxy!!! You’re my BFF and I can’t just let you sit here accepting the consequences of your decisions!!!! We’re going to get in my car, go on a road trip, AND LAY SEIGE!!!!”
Tryxy’s eyes lit up with flames of fiery, demonic delight and he leapt from his hammock and cried, “Yay!!!!”
And then I finished my sentence and said, “—TO MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY!!!!”
Tryxy looked uncertain.
I know I said I would explain the whole thing about your car and I’m getting there, JUST BE PATIENT GLADYS!!!!
We threw our tents, seige weapons, potatoes, and some beef jerky in our car and were off to Arkham, Mass within the hour. One day later, we arrived under the eery towers of Miskatonic U.
We would have gotten there earlier, but the entire city of Boston broke out into a fight at a Red Sox spring training game and traffic was rerouted north to Essex county. There was a twenty-three hour traffic standstill. Fortunately, Tryxy and I brought all that beef jerky. We lit a small campfire, set up our tents on the roadside, and listened to the dulcet melodies of miles of Massholes pounding their horns, shrieking profanities, and waving around their middle fingers like each person was a conductor of their own invisible orchestra.
Having arrived at our seige destination, I began to study the area and form our mission objectives. The first thing we’d have to do is LET MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY KNOW THEY WEFRE UNDER SEIGE!!!! I knew those eery towers with the long windows and the silhouettes of pensive professors would be perfect for sending the message that we sought parlay. Nothing says “You’re under seige” like a potato plunging through your window and landing in your lap, gladys. It’s a message as old as time itslef!!
Just as I was loading potatoes into our potato guns to take out an especially attractive mahogany-lined, stained glass, Tryxy clutched my arm and looked on me with desperate eyes.
He said, “Wait. Are you sure we should be doing this? What if I’m not meant to be a college student? What if I’m just not good at this? What if I picked the wrong major?”
Loading a 1lb solid chunk of yukon gold into my potato gun, I fixed Tryxy with an unwavering eye and said, “Tryxy, a major can be fixed. After all, college isn’t about being good or bad at it, it’s about learning how to finish hard things. You’re an awesome demon and you deserve to know that you can finish hard things.”
Tryxy’s eyes flooded with grateful tears and I could see an invisible burden that he’s been carrying around for weeks just lifted off his shoulders. Then he said, “Does that mean you’ll finish writing your epic fantasy novel?”
Of course I completely ignored that remark and promptly sent a spud spinning through the window of the bursar’s office. “Focus on the present, Tryxy!!!!” I shouted. The potato gun went, “Poonk!”
Tryxy whooped, “Waaaaaaaaahooooooooooo!!!!” Then he shot a .75 lb Idaho red right through the window of the cafeteria. Poonk! We were then rewarded with a bewildered, “What the hell?” from within the depths of the college.
We managed to take out eleven or twelve more windows before someone inside the college finally came out to see what was going on and we were able to give them our list of demands which was that Tryxy:
1.) Be immediately reinstated back into all his classes provided he make up his missed work by the end of the semester and
2.) That his demonic scholarship be granted again seeings that this really wasn’t his fault but was the fault of our spacetime machine returning us two weeks into the future.
After they heard the whole spacetime machine thing, Tryxy’s academic advisor came out and said, “Why didn’t you tell us you had a spacetime machine accident, Tryxy? I could have had you fill out a concession form straightaway!”
And of course, Tryxy explained that he didn’t know that there was a special concession for spacetime machine accidents and that was pretty much that. Tryxy was reinstated, the scholarship committee was notified of the mistake, and Tryxy and I spent the next four days washing dishes in the cafeteria to pay for the windows.
Anyhoo, getting back to the whereabouts of your car, I have no idea where it could have gone. As you can see I’ve been away all week. Why do you ask?
Pages next week, Gladys!!!!!
And here I was thinking a potato gun was a hunting weapon. Live and learn…
You know what they say, Jim. Necessity is the mother of mashed potatoes!