January 16, 2013


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: Tomes of Eldritch Lore

“You’ve looked at it a thousand times,” said Mnar Al Massri, leaning over the glass case. “Besides, this is a reproduction.”

Abbas Farhan shook his head without taking his eyes off the tablet. “My sources say that this one is the real one.”

“Why would they send a zillion year old Egyptian tablet to Moorhead, Minnesota?”

This time he looked up at her, still leaning over the exhibit. “Because they’re hoping someone like me will see it.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re still insisting you’re some sort of reincarnation of Ptah hotep?” She snorted. “Aside from that being violently against everything we believe in, aside from the fact that when you claim that you sound like more of an idiot than you usually do, and if you exclude the fact that statistically speaking, this can’t possibly be the real – you have got to be totally delusional that something of this historical magnitude would happen to someone like you!”

This time he stood up. “Wha’dyou mean, ‘someone like me’?”

She shook her head. “Listen Abbas, we’ve known each other since our freshman year. We’re both in the second year of our masters degrees – that mean we’ve been friends for over six years. We’ve seen each other through who knows how many romances and break ups, an uncounted number of study sessions. We’ve gotten to know each other so well that my parents don’t even count you as a possible husband for me anymore! Dad thinks of you as his foster son.”

He snorted and muttered, “Thanks a lot for that.”

She shook her head, smiled and said, “You are a much, much better friend than a husband.”

Angry, he pulled away from her, eyes flashing and said, “When I have enough wealth to claim your hand, you’ll never say that and your father won’t pretend I’m just a good friend anymore!” He glanced down at the tablet and tapped the glass above a peculiar symbol and said, “This is what will make all of MY dreams come true!” He made a fist and slammed it down on the ultrahard glass case, shattering it in an explosion of shards. His face distorted as the alarm bells went off and security guards came running and he bent over the tablet and began to read in a voice so deep, Mnar couldn’t actually hear it but rather felt the ground around them shudder. But it didn’t matter any longer. When the guards reached the room...

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