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

"Fit the Seventy-Ninth: BUY THIS AND ALL YOUR WRITING DREAMS CAN COME TRUE.” In the background a dark starry night is silhouetted by trees. Creepy black slime drips down the top of the photo over the scenery.

[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 Wipe your feet before entering.]


Hello All! Melanie here.

Are you familiar with the theory of relativity? More specifically, the Writer X theory of relativity? If not, here’s a summary: everything in the universe conspires to keep Writer X from writing her epic fantasy saga.

To be fair, X had a lot of things on her plate last week that were only partially writing-related. First, her writer boyfriend appears to have dumped her—or at the very least, ghosted her, which has thrown a wrench in X’s plans as she finds that having him around puts her in the mood to write more.

But it would seem that X’s hare-brained take on a universal conspiracy holds some water. When X abducted the gnome that abducted Tod Boadkins’ mobile phone, X discovered that her boyfriend had been brainwashed by a unique brainwashing device used by a Gnome Crime Ring that goes around pimping people’s houses in Cradensburg and furnishing those houses with stolen goods.

Although, I’m confident they consider themselves a legitimate Multilevel Marketing Operation.

I’m sure that Writer X would have gotten to the bottom of this all and gone out to dinner with Tod if it hadn’t been that she’s also been abducted. We also learned that nothing breaks the soul like chicken marsala Lean Cuisine!

Meanwhile, in Cradensburg, we’re starting to get a firsthand peek into that Mysterious Complex. I wonder if it’s a cult.

Without further ado…

Subject: Special Offer from Pimp My House Sales Associate #3472Xxxxxx

Dear Gladys,

Do your shutters have enough bling to blind your neighborhood three streets deep? Does your fireplace also double as a subwoofer? If not, have I got an offer for you!

(Never mind the scripted pitch Gladys. It’s obligatory, they screen my emails! Psss, it’s X! 

Hang on, Gladys, my supervisor is making his rounds. BRB!!! (That means “be right back”!))

Perhaps you’re content with the creaky cabinet doors in your kitchen. When were those installed? In 1962? Do you suffer from 15 layers of yellowed, sticky contact paper lining the bottom of your silverware drawer? Who put this stuff in, anyway? Surely not you! You’re stylish!

Which is why you should be the first on your block to sport our cutaway, fish tank cabinet doors complete with real fish tanks, tropical-themed aquatic decorations, and goldfish with Jamaican accents!

(I would have sent you an email without the pitch, but things have gotten especially harried here in the House Pimping call center, what with them catching those Herbalife spies last night!!!!!)

You work hard. Why soak your sore dogs in a run-of-the-mill, ceramic lined tub when you get home? You deserve the creature comforts of a deluxe jacuzzi completely with 42 heated jets, a champagne dispenser, and three submersible fondue pots!

(Anyhoo, I’m sure you’re dying to know how my writing is going. Right now I am on the verge of one of the biggest writing opportunities of my ENTIRE life!!!! It’s all about to happen, Gladys!!! The mansion in Scotland, vacationing in hobbit homes in New Zealand, the cheetos dipped in caviar!! I am about to be a HOUSEHOLD NAME!!!!

Just as soon as I break free of this gnome prison call center, grab that brainwashing device, and meet with my exboyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins!

Whoops! Here comes the supervisor again.)

You’ve heard of spinning rims, but have you ever heard of spinning gutters? Don’t sleep on the latest trend in pimped-out home improvement. Your state-of-the-art spinning gutters will be the envy of all the houses in your neighborhood. Plus, they clean themselves by hurling leaf debris into your neighbor’s backyard! Imagine the savings, not just on your wallet, but in back-breaking labor! What will you do with all your free time?

I’ll tell you what you can do with your newfound free time! You can enjoy it in your exclusive home car theater.

(Sorry Gladys, took me a little longer to get back to this!!! I had to step out and attend an energy-filled Name & Claim session!! It’s a little team-building exercise we do every few hours to make customer care specialists more focused on our goals.

This afternoon, I’m more pumped than ever!!! It’s not every day you break into FILM WRITING!!!! That’s what I “named and claimed” my life as a famous writer of blockbuster fantasy films!!! I inspired my whole team, too! All the gnomes are really excited. They can’t wait to sell house pimping to the Hollywood Moguls my career will bring them into contact with!!!!

Let me catch you up. As you know, when last we spoke I was gathering my jar of nickels and spelunking equipment to hunt down the brainwashing device those gnomes used on my exboyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins. This of course led me to go caverning through that great big hole that runs under the gates of the Mysterious Complex.

That great big hole led me up and into a darkened warehouse. At first I wandered around aimlessly shaking my jar of nickels to lure out any hiding gnomes. But then I found myself outside of a strange door with a strange, and hauntingly familiar sign.

The sign read:


Was it a clue??? I couldn’t know, so I shook my jar of nickels and went inside.

The prop department was also dark and sparsely stocked. Not a very impressive prop department if you ask me!!! The least they could have is a water fountain with a statue of Lil’ Nas X, or even a basic interrogation lamp!!! However, it had a cat walk that ran along the top of one wall. Voices came from the direction of the catwalk.

I climbed the stairs to get closer to them and that’s when I got the WRITING BREAK OF A LIFETIME. I truly am destined to be the next big epic fantasy writer of all time!!!!!

Let me tell you what I heard right after this message from my captors.)

What’s a “home car theater,” you ask? Let’s paint the picture for you.

When you’re seated in your home theater getting a tan from your HD LED widescreen cineplex television, what’s missing from the theater experience? You’ve got it! SEATS THAT TRAP YOU WHEN YOU GET UP FOR A POPCORN RUN.

But who would want to install those gum ridden clam shell seats when you can have an equally ensnaring experience clambering up and out of a BUCKET SEAT installed three inches above the floor?

Right now, for a limited time, we’re offering you a special: pimp your house today and our gnomes will install a full complement of AUTHENTIC bucket seats ripped out of Chryslers we found laying around.

But that’s not all!

(Okay, I’m back, Gladys. And I think I’m one step closer to stealing that brainwashing device and breaking out of here!!!! While I was pasting in my sales script, I overheard two gnomes in the next cubicle whispering about a POTENTIAL INVASION BY BEACHBODY!!!!! Apparently with the delicate balance of the gnome MLM juggling world being disrupted, all of the biggest Multilevel Marketing Corporations are anxious to sink their teeth into fresh meat. 

I even spotted a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant wandering around here offering complementary facials!!! You know it’s getting real when someone whips out the moisturizer!!!

Combine that with Herbalife associates infiltrating the premises last night and cyphoning off house pimping gnomes to join them as “distributors” and it’s going to be pandemonium any minute!!!!

Anyhoo, where was I? I was hearing voices!!! And you know what it was???

Gladys… it was the owner of the Mysterious Complex meeting with her marketing and business managers. They were talking about the giant hole someone had dug under their gates and into their prop department. Apparently these burglars ran off with several hundred thousand dollars worth of movie props!!!

I wonder what they did with them.

Apparently, the higher ups of the Mysterious Complex believe that the reason for the theft is retaliation for when the Mysterious Complex’s scaffolding blocked the most scenic view of the Cradensburg clock tower. They’re all shaken to their core and looking for a way to earn the trust of Cradensburg residents so that they can “fulfill their core mission.”

That’s when I stopped shaking my jar of nickels and pressed my ear to the door…)

Perhaps you’ve heard about the bidet craze sweeping the nation? Maybe your neighbor has whisked down to Home Depot to install a bidet attachment on her toilet. Why keep up with the Jones’s when you can out clAss them altogether?

Tell  [SALES ASSOCIATE #3472XXXXXXX]  that you’re ready to PIMP YOUR HOUSE now and we’ll throw in a free chrome plated bidet. For a limited time, we’re also offering a seltzer attachment. Sure, your neighbor’s toilet offers a cleansing stream of water with each use, but yours will offer a cleansing stream of BUBBLY water, ensuring the most awakening, surprising experience you can get before your 6 o’clock commute to Boston every morning. And we guarantee that, or your seltzer’s on us!

(Gladys, what I’m about to tell you has changed EVERYTHING!!!

The board at the Mysterious Complex agreed that they had to take an aggressive approach to winning the hearts and minds of Cradensburg so that they can “fulfill their core mission.”

They’re going to host a local film festival and launch a short film WRITTEN BY A LOCAL CRADENSBURG WRITER!!!!!


All I need to do is sell 56 more house pimping packages and I’ll be promoted to double ruby. From there, I’ll be invited to a special inspiration brunch in the C-Suite of the operation where I’ll pass by the office of “the Big Guy.” If my information from Lil’ gnomey is right, the brainwashing device is in an old KFC bucket in that office!!!

And while I’ve never written a film script in my entire life, I’m sure my first attempt will be worthy of PETER JACKSON!!!!

Things are all working according to plan!!!! Except for the bit where the gnomes all popped out of holes they’d dug in the ground and threw me and my jar of nickels in a burlap sack and dragged me to Orientation. Small hiccup. But I make LEMONADE!!!!

Speaking of plans, this is where you come in Gladys. I’ve NAMED AND CLAIMED my sales goals and I’m more driven than ever. This is why I’m writing to you to invite you to take up this amazing opportunity!!!!)

With a simple reply of “I’m in,” your sales associate [SALES ASSOCIATE #3472XXXXXXX] will get you connected to a highly skilled team of gnomes who will expand your house beyond your wildest dreams.

We’re going to offer this package to you at a fraction of the price that it’s worth. But if you’d like savings with a side of dream career, you can save even more by joining our sales associate team. That way you can connect people to their blinged out chimney flashing today, and your financial freedom tomorrow!

Don’t wait to act on this. After all, tomorrow’s just a dream away.



P.S. Can you email my exboyfriend for me please and let him know I may be late to our dinner date at Fish! Fish! Fish!? Also, can you ask him if he’s satisfied with his current kitchen cabinets? He could be your first downline, Galdys!!!

































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