[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.]
Hello, All! Melanie here.
NOW… WITH SOUND!
Can you help me figure this out?
This week’s emails feature TWO voice memos from Writer X in
I received six emails and each were more or less a day apart. Despite this, they all seem to have been written in quick sequence and I think that notion is supported by a time reference Writer X makes in her latter emails.
Do we have an alternate universe time issue here? Or is this something that a simple tech issue explains? (I’m admittedly an IT-twit.)
I understand that not everyone is able to listen to or hear the content of the audio. If this is the case for you, I’ve done my best to transcribe what is heard in the audio clips, identifying the individual speaker’s identities by what we can gather from the emails.
I’m including the transcripts beneath the emails the audio appears in.
Without further ado…
Subject: PINK BANDAGE EMERGENCY
Can you bring me my neon pink Bandaid™ brand bandages? They’re back in my closet and as of right now I can’t find my way back to my closet.
Shouldn’t take you more than a couple minutes to bring them. You’ll just have to crawl on your belly about twenty yards in the dark through a tunnel at the back right hand corner of my wardrobe. Then you’ll come to the part that feels like you’re wriggling through sand (also in the dark) and then you’ll feel wet, cold pine trees smushing into your face and then there’ll be a butt ton of snow and a few miles on the other side of that you’ll find me somewhere and you can give me the pink bandages. I scraped my knee in the tunnel and all I have for my boo boo are these ugly tan bandages that Tod Boadkins had in his wallet and I really can’t be vacationing here with an ugly tan bandage underneath my new snow pants!!!
Watch out for your knees in the tunnel!!! We don’t need two boo boos!!!!
I’m still VERY upset with Tod Boadkins about the whole outline mania he seems to have. You would think that now that we have been temporarily lost in the world inside my closet that he would give up on things like outlines but he HASN’T. He seems to think that an outline would have saved us from getting lost. Little does he know I got lost just to show him I DIDN’T NEED AN OUTLINE!!!!
OUTLINES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH GETTING LOST, GLADYS!!!!
…But don’t worry, you won’t get lost as long as you follow my instructions.
Anyhoo, please bring me my bandages and also my favorite pair of pink mittens. I’m currently standing near…a rock. I should be here for at least five minutes longer. Can’t miss me!!!
sent from my iPhone
There is also a cave. We thought it would have Mr. Tumnus in it but it was just full of snow pants. That’s how I got my snow pants.
Need those bandages, post haste!!!!
sent from my iPhone
We also forgot forks. Right now we’re all using my pink writing pencils as both chopsticks and kindling for the fire. Some forks would be nice. Also, some ingredients for s’mores. Why let a perfectly good fire go to waste????
sent from my iPhone
sent from my iPhone
TRANSCRIPT FROM WRITER X VOICE MEMO 1
[ghostly, atmospheric chaos can be heard in Writer X’s immediate background]
Writer X: Hello gladys, I’ve been standing here for at least two or three minutes by this rock and I still don’t see you. you should probably bring your snowmobile so that you don’t keep me waiting. You’ll have to push it through the tunnel but with some real elbow grease it could fit! You’ll have to kiss your new paint job goodbye though but friends are worth it Gladys! Anywiggle, I thought I should give you some more directions. We’re surrounded by noises. So if you find the noises, you’ll know you’re in the right place. These are the noises.
[creaking trees and strange, disembodied wailing sounds]
Writer X: …Yeah, still don’t know what they are.
Tod Boadkins (?) : X! Are you coming? We need a hand!
[footsteps crunching in snow]
Writer X: Sorry, Gladys, I’ve got to go. Silverfox and Tod Boadkins are urgently building a defensive wall with all the snow pants we found in that cave to keep whatever’s making the noises out and someone has to help color coordinate them.
Tod Boadkins (?) : X! Did you hear me?
X: Calm down! I’m coming. My bandaid is making me slow. Don’t forget the s’mores, Gladys!
[more footsteps crunching in snow]
Subject: Author Bio
FortunQtely I found a mitten trwee with a popair uv pink spaerkjly mittens groerwing
Ghang IOn gLadys!!!!
Okay. I had to take off my mittens. They were getting in the way of typing.
As I was saying. Fortunately I found a mitten tree with a pair of pink sparkly mittens growing all the way at the top and, after Tod Boadkins shimmied up there and GOT STUCK, I finally have some mittens although we still haven’t figured out how to get Tod Boadkins down from the tree.
For the record, I am STILL ignoring Tod Boadkins but I have temporarily paused ignoration until I’m done not ignoring him. I can start ignoring him again AT ANY SECOND. ESPECIALLY IF HE STARTS TALKING ABOUT OUTLINES!!!!!!
REAL EPIC FANTASY WRITERS DON’T USE OUTLINES!!!!!
ACTUALLY I HAVE found a way to get Tod Boadkins down from the tree and that’s by using one of my PROPRIETARY PATENTED PEP TALKS!!! However, my patented pep talks don’t work if you don’t WANT them to work and Tod Boadkins simply has no FAITH. I keep telling him that if he thinks he can fly, then he can and all he has to do is TAKE THE LEEP but will he listen????
All he does is yell at me about “gravity” and “blah blah blah neck would break” and tell me that I should just fly up there and help him down if it works like that BUT I’M NOT THE ONE WHO LACKS FAITH, GLADYS!!!!
At some point he’ll freeze and he’ll have to come down or he’ll fall down and maybe then he’ll appreciate the power of positive thinkig!!!!!
With the exception of Tod Boadkins’ lack of faith and getting lost and some other dangerous things which I shall put off mentioning for no reason, this is shaping up to be a pretty nice vacation so far even though we have no idea how long we’ve been lost and were expecting something much more tropical.
Tryxy has set up his demonic yurt near the cave and it has wall outlets (the yurt not the cave. A cave with wall outlets? That would be silly!!) Anyways, we all can plug in our phones and laptops and scroll through our instagrams for the entire vacation WITHOUT having to worry about low batteries or seeing anything new or having pictures that we don’t have attractive filters for!!!! Except that instagram doesn’t seem to be working and neither does the rest of the internet so now we’re stuck ACTUALLY BEING HERE.
But at least I can still send you these emails.
These creepy noises are the only thing that is harshing my mellow. It sounds like giants yawning all the time.
Tryxy would say hi right now but he’s down in the basement of the yurt rummaging around looking for a ladder to help Mr. NO FAITH.
Anyways I’m sure what you’re dying to know is how my writing is going. Well, it’s shaping up pretty nicely, too!!!
Whoops, sorry! Font went kinda crazy there.
After we built the pants fort, I sat down and opened up my story and re-read all of the stuff that I wrote so far and I asked myself “Is this story everything to all people?” and the answer is YES!!!!!! It just needs some more things in it. Like, a plot, and a setting, and enough stuff to actually finish the book and eight more after it. If only I could figure out what happens next!!!! Good thing we’re here to talk to the manager!!!!
Writing is not supposed to be this hard, GladysQ!!!!! I should know!!!! I’m a WRTIER!!!!
In the meanwhile, what you may not know is that there are other things that a VERY IMPORTANT to writing one of the greatest epic fantasy sagas of all time that doesn’t have to do with ACTUALLY WRITING THE SAGA. I’ve decided to save time and work on those things now. Forf example, I’m currently writing my AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY and am taking a small break to email you.
I would share what I have so far but I can’t really understnd any of it since I was still wearing my mittens.
To be honest, it’s not my best quality work but it’s the best I could do since I have to write while wearing this awful TAN bandaid on my knee!!! It doesn’t match my snow pants!!!! I can’t write if I’m not color coordinatedQ!!!!!
While I have you, I need to talk to you about Silverfox. As you know, Silverfox is a furry and is one of the best fiction writers I know. Well he was also under the impression that we were going to be on a beach vacation but when he got here and we hit all this snow I think his hopes really got up that we were actually in Narnia and not Writeria. It’s a good thing he brought his full fur suit!!!!
It was his idea to look for Mr. Tumnus and, when we found this little cave full of snow pants, I think something in him changed. On one hand, I think he’s pretending not to be disappointed, and on the other hand, I think the reason he’s spent all this time out there in the forest listening to all the yawning giants and lashing a ladder for Tod BOadkins together from saplings is because he’s hoping he’ll find the one thing that any furry in their write mind would hope to find.
The talking animals!!!!!!
Please don’t tell him I said this, Gladys, but I kind of hope that they’re not here. Because, if they are, I’m not sure Silverfox would ever want to go back.
It’s just a feeling I have.
You know I told him earlier???? I told him you know that it’s not Narnia because, if it were Narnia, wouldn’t there be a lampost??? That seemed to make sense to him.
Anywoot, I should probably go. Tod Boadkins is screaming himself hoarse and #bestkitten has suggested that he may be ready to come down now so I’m off to give him another one of my proprietary patented pep talks!!!!!!
By the way, do you know when we should be expecting you? We might move on from the cave with the rock and all the trees and snow to another cave with a different rock and slightly different trees but the same snow. Also, do you know what day it is? My iPhone keeps saying that it’s Friday, June 3rd, but that can’t be right because we’ve only been here a day. We haven’t even gone to bed yet!!!!!!
I don’t know how I’m going to sleep through these noises!!!!!
Oh! That sounds like Tod Boadkins’ branch has finally snapped!!!!
Yep. He’s screaming.
Oh look!!!! He’s flying!!!!
See, Gladys!!!!! I told you that my pep talks work!!!!!
Subject: I FORGOT TO WARN YOU!!!!!!!
TRANSCRIPT FROM WRITER X VOICE MEMO 2
[same disembodied noises, fire crackling?]
Writer X: Hi gladys, I’m sending you another voice memo so I don’t have to take off my mittens there was something I forgot to warn you about—
Tod Boadkins: (from somewhere far away) Woohoo! I’m flying! I’m really flying!
Writer X: Slow down!
Tod Boadkins: …I can’t! …How do I slow down?
Writer X: I DON’T HAVE ANY MASHED POTATOES!
Tod Boadkins: WHAT?
Writer X: I SAID I DON’T HAVE ANY MASHED POTATOES!
Tod Boadkins: (absolutely bewildered) …WHAT?!
Writer X: See! You’re slowing down!
Tod Boadkins: WHAT????
Writer X: Anywomp, Gladys, I don’t know if you’ve headed out yet, but I have to warn you that, when you get through the tunnel and the sand and into the trees, there’s about three hundred Neil Gaimans gathered there waiting to destroy you. So you’ll want to look out for that. Okay!
[footsteps moving quickly over snow]
Silverfox: (out of breath) X! Come here!
[footsteps running through snow]
Writer X: What is it?
Silverfox: Look! In the snow there.
Writer X: Where? By that person shaped rock?
Silverfox: I…I hadn’t thought of it as person shaped. But look! A lamp post!
[far in background Tod Boadkins is shouting “Wheeeeeee!” “Woooooohooooooo!”]
Silverfox: O-Inari, bless us! It’s a lamp post!
Writer X: …But why’s it on the ground?
Silverfox: Because— [Sound of something falling from high above, crashes in trees. Metal clanking.] Whoa! Watch out! It’s another lamp post!
[more deafening crashes]
Writer X: They keep coming!
Tod Boadkins: IS IT RAINING LAMP POSTS?
[more clanging, crashing trees, Silverfox shouts]
Writer X: Gotta Go Gladys! Watch out for the Neil Gaimans and the falling lamp posts!
Tod Boadkins: I’M ARTHUR FREAKING DENT!
[another deafening crash. audio is cut]
I hope #bestkitten is safe and NOT in Writeria. Writeria doesn’t sound like a good environment for smol cats.
I agree, Cassy! Although I suspect she might be there with them because usually X mentions kitten-sitting and she hasn’t said anything about whom they might have left her with. Maybe Marjorie is watching her?
Oh! And I nearly forgot. I found this:
The titles are out of synch. Thirty-fourth is correct; this is the second Fit the Thirty-third.
Stuart Hall: Thanks for pointing that out! Corrected now.