Category Archives: Flash Fiction

A story composed entirely of one-syllable words

One of my most read posts ever is this one, a piece on why inflated, pretentious writing sucks. Part of what shaped that view was an essay I read in college that only used single-syllable words to demonstrate the beauty of simplicity. The title and author of that essay has long since left my memory, but the idea remains an important one to me.

I don’t know what made me think of it, but I decided tonight to try something similar with a work of flash fiction. Normally I revise the hell out of my stories and agonize over every line, but this is a raw experiment. That’s the fun of blogging, I suppose, not worrying about perfection or publication or adding to your body “legitimate” work. Tell me what you think, or try one like it on your own blog and post a link in the comments.

car

Barb Meant It

I know she saw me. I heard the noise, turned, and our eyes locked. Her teeth were bared, like a dog’s.

She meant to hit me.

In court, Barb tells the judge I “ran out.” She says she could not stop in time. Blah blah blah. It was pure chance she hit me, of all the scum on Earth, she says. Or, she tells the judge, it was guilt. That is, I ran out in the street to snuff it on a car hood from guilt for what I did to Gail, and by pure luck it was her car hood. A death wish, she calls it, which is a bunch of shit. I have no guilt, and, trust me, no death wish. I like it here. Well, I liked it back when I had yet to be mashed by a car.

Be straight, Barb. Own it. You meant to hit me. You meant to bounce me off your hood. You meant for my bones to break, my flesh to tear, my life to bleed out. I don’t blame you. You knew what I did to Gail. Worse, you knew I had fun with what I did to Gail. Poor Gail, still not found.

In court, I want to shout, “I know where she is, Barb. No one knows but me.” I want to taunt her with, “I played with her for days, Barb. She was lots of fun, first warm then cold.”

What would you do? Barb just lied! She said she did not see me, and they buy it for God’s sake. I want to hurt her soul with talk of Gail and all the bad things I did.

But Barb can’t hear me or see me. No one can. Not since I heard that car noise, saw Barb’s teeth and mad eyes, and felt that big, hard slam. A man turned to a bag of blood and bones, in a flash. A bag of bones deep in the cold ground now, just like Gail.

A ghost, doomed to walk that space not light or dark, up or down, in or out (or some crap like that… it’s not like they tell you), I go to court to hear Barb lie. She lies real good, and I guess she thinks court oaths are a joke too.

I mean, how could I have known Gail had a twin? A twin who is a stone cold bitch, natch.

************

My inspiration for this subject matter came indirectly from a “literary suspense” novel I just finished in which the killer, a mutilator of women, escapes at the end. I don’t mind dark or violent content (duh, I write horror stories), but I do find this conclusion distasteful and unsatisfying. Many good books have forced us to identify with a bad person or a criminal. However, this particular work left me feeling that the writer had two agendas: to set up a sequel and to screw with reader expectations, the latter of which is fine in some circumstances, but not in this one. Either that, or the writer truly thinks we like this repugnant character. I hope not. Anyway, the killer in the above story gets no such mercy from me.

Update: A two-syllable word found it’s way in thanks to a last-second tweak before I posted. Example # 753 why you can’t edit your own material.

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Worst 100-Word Story… My Version

So apparently there’s this newfangled concept I just found out about called “being ethical.” Basically it means I cannot enter a Worst Story contest I am judging because I will be “biased.” Can you believe that malarkey? Think of the time and effort I’d save by winning a prize that’s already in my possession!

Anyway, now that my worst story contest is over and the winner announced, I might as well show you what I would have submitted (title not included in the word count). I hope you think it sucks:

Brock and Gwendolyne

Love Reflected is Love Unaccepted

By Eric J Baker

“Gwendolyne!” Brock proffered feelingly.

“Don’t,” Gwendolyne chirped in response, feelingly. She turned away.

“But… I don’t love you,” he announced, somewhat less feelingly.

She turned. “What?” She was surprised.

“I am in love with Robotman,” he declared with finality. He turned. “It’s true.”

She turned. “But I love Robotman. What shall we do?”

“I don’t know.” They turned.

From a distance, Robotman watched with unnecessarily luminous eyes, unbothered by the sunlight glinting off his chrome. He did not love either of them. He lacked human feeling. He wasn’t even sad about it. Then he activated “Giant Mode” and flew away.

**************


Worst Short Story Contest… We Have a Winner!

Captain Kirk

Or should I say “Winner?”

Many fine entries were submitted. The depths of badness (in 100 words or less) were plumbed. New types of terrible were discovered.

It came down to two finalists for me. Like all those who entered, both are terrific writers in “real life.” It takes that kind of talent to pull off creative awfulness. But there can only be one winner. And that winner is:

Tuesday, the force behind the WordPress blog From Tuesday With Love (no links, because pingbacks ruin the surprise). What set her story apart was not only its badness but that she wrote it in the voice of the air-headed characters who appear in the text. It also made me laugh the most, which is pretty much my only real criterion here. Tuesday is soon to be the proud owner of William Shatner’s Transformed Man CD. It is the first prize in the history of contests that actually nets the winner a tax refund, given it’s undesirability and negative value. Ain’t she lucky?

The runner up, in very close second, is the one and only Roger Colby, author and provider of in-depth writing talk on his blog Writing is Hard Work. His entry was a masterwork of circular storytelling, pointless conflict, and lifeless conclusion.  Tuesday’s and Roger’s stories appear below.

Tuesday’s winner:

There were girls by this lake where a monster was living it like a loch ness monster or something but then other people didn’t believe there was a monster and they just thought it was fog or something. Anyway there were these two girls and they were talking and texting on their phones and it made the monster mad so he went Grrr. The one girl asked the other girl what’s that and the other girl said what’s what and then the first girl said I asked you first. Then the girls got ate by the monster because they’re annoying.

Roger’s runner-up:

“Harold.”
“Yes, Grant.”
“What is in that brown bag?”
“Cancer.”
The two men stared at each other.  Harold was sad and Grant was also sad.
“You have cancer in that bag?”
Harold and Grant turned around and looked towards the sun.
“Yes, I have cancer in that bag.”
Sure thing he had some cancer in his bag and the bag was all crumpled and not able  to handle the cancer.
“I’m just kidding about the cancer, Grant.”
“Why would you kid about that, Harold?”
“‘Cause I’m a kidder, Grant.”
The two men walked towards the sun, still really sad.

*******

Thanks so much to all of you who entered. You really all did a wonderful job. If you submitted and would like me to run your story for the enjoyment of everyone, please say so in the comments and I will in the weeks ahead!

*******

 If you haven’t gotten enough of my shenanigans, check out Kris Keppler’s podcast of a recent blog post of mine right here. Thanks Kris! You should be on NPR.


Mole People Fan Fiction

I never knew until my last post how much you loved Mole People, so I’ve decided to dip my toes in the fan-fiction pool for the first time ever. Thanks for the inspiration! My apologies to Universal Pictures for the copyright infringement, but they shouldn’t have made their mole people so damned sexy.

And now, without further b.s., the greatest work of Mole People Fan Fiction ever created:

Levity is the Mole of Wit

By Cire Nhoj Rekab

mole manBella Swan and Darth Vader sat back to back, their hands bound with tree roots, as the Mole People brought forth armfuls of sticks. Here, deep within the Earth’s crust, a breeze issued from an ancient lava tube, chilling Bella’s arm and shoulder exposed by the tear in her dress.

They were about to die, burned alive in sacrifice to the insect god Garfoobel.

The raven-haired Bella showed no fear (a childhood injury had paralyzed her face muscles, which often led people to wonder if she could act feel emotion at all). Yet she was fearless not from bravery. Being this close to Vader, feeling the firm muscles of his black-caped back press against her flawless, porcelain skin, hearing the masculine hiss of his breathing apparatus… made her feel so alive. “Let them bring fire,” she thought. The burning she felt for Vader was hotter than the torches of a thousand Mole People.

But Vader pondered not love or fire. He thought of what he had witnessed just hours before aboard the Enterprise, a scene that shook him to his very respirator: Captain Kirk and Spock, lying in passionate embrace beneath satin sheets, violating Starfleet regulations nine ways to Sunday. Despite all his power, Vader could not Force the image from his mind.

“I see you’ve resigned yourselves to your fates,” said Ian, the Mole Person in charge of gathering flammable materials for sacrifice. “That’s good. Your little wizard friend, with the funny glasses and the yellow and maroon scarf… he thought he could defeat the great god Garfoobel, but he was wrong.”

Bella thought that skull stuck in the dirt over yonder had looked familiar. If she weren’t so busy brooding, the realization would have made her scream, “Haaaarrryyyy! Noooo!”

Vader mustered all the menace he had in him and turned his helmeted face toward the Mole Person. “Ian. I am your father.”

Ian tossed another branch on the pile. “No you’re not.”

“Search your feelings,” Vader said, impressing himself with his soulful delivery.

“One,” Ian said, “Mole People don’t have feelings. And two, that’s my dad right over there making Garfoobel’s tea. His name’s Archibald but, of course, we call him Stan.”

Damn, Vader thought. That worked so well last time. If only he could shoot finger lightning like the Emperor, this would all be over in a jiffy.

Garfoobel!

Garfoobel!

“Come on, then,” Ian said. “Over to the stake with you. And no funny business.” He hoisted the entwined couple to their feet and shoved them toward the iron post at the center of the Circle of Sacrifice. “You’re actually doing the topsiders a favor, you know. Without human sacrifices, Garfoobel would be up there smashing up the place. So think about that when the fire starts to lick your toes.”

The voice came from behind them. “Stop right there! They’ll be no sacrifice tonight!”

The Mole People, Bella, and Vader whirled around (which should have been a physical impossibility, given that the lovely waif and her planet-destroying love interest were tied together). Standing before them was Dr. Who, pointing his weird little screwdriver thing. His travelling companion, Clara, clung to his arm.

“And why not?” the Mole Person asked.

“Because,” said the natty Time Lord, “You cannot kill trademarked characters like Bella Swan, Darth Vader, and Harry Potter without the expressed written consent of Lionsgate, Disney, and Warner Brothers!”

An epic battle was about to break out when the exceptionally beautiful Clara turned from the page and gazed directly into the eyes of the guy writing this story, which startled him, to say the least. “So why are you wasting your time writing this bollocks? Especially when I’m standing right here, waiting for you to notice me.”

“Well,” the writer said, finding the attention she gave him rather implausible given the severe attractiveness mismatch. “I’ve got this Mole People thing going, and I really ought to–”

With that, Clara stepped through the writer’s laptop screen, into the room, and put her arms around his neck. “You’re new at fan fiction, so I should tell you that you can make it end however… you…want.” She tapped his nose with her index finger for punctuation.

And they lived happily ever after.

Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman),  formerly Dr. Who's time-travelling companion.

Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman), formerly Dr. Who’s time-travelling companion.


The Stupid Sword

At the end of my “Writing Motivated Characters” post the other day (the one most of you discovered on Freshly Pressed – thanks WordPress!), I advised people against writing stories about stupid swords because no one wanted to read such a thing.  Several people disagreed in the comments, saying that, in fact, they did want to read a story about a stupid sword. So I wrote one.

In all its one-and-a-half draft, 900-word glory…

♦ ♦ ♦

The Stupid Sword

© 1352

by Elrick J. Bakirke

Bernie and Carlos stood over the object, hands on hips.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Bernie said. “What do you make of it?”

SwordCarlos shook his head slowly. “I don’t know what to make of it, man.” He wished everything would just go back the way it had been three minutes earlier, before they found the thing. Carlos and mystery went together like muskrats and cobras. Or like Doritos and chocolate chip mint ice cream. Both of which Carlos liked, by the way, but not at the same time.

“That’s got to be the stupidest damn sword I’ve ever seen,” Bernie said.

“Sword?” Carlos said, confused. He studied Bernie’s face. Bernie was 20 years older and had been working here a long time. He knew a lot of stuff.

Bernie nodded. “Yeah. I’d go as far as to say it’s deformed, but I don’t know if a sword can be deformed. I think they use that word for animals. You know, like a two-headed turtle or a goat with six legs.”

Carlos made the sign of the cross and looked toward the heavens. He noticed a water stain on the ceiling tile. “What do we do?”

Bernie shrugged. “We call Fabermann, I guess.”

Carlos was careful not to show a reaction, but he was thinking, “Why did I open my big mouth?” The last thing Carlos wanted was Fabermann poking around. Fabermann had gigantic lips but a tiny nose and even tinier eyes. He looked like a pink toad who needed a shave. Now that’s deformed, Carlos thought, chuckling a bit, despite the gravity of the situation.

Bernie, who was technically Carlos’s supervisor even though it was just the two of them, said, “Wait here,” and then pulled up a chair at the computer terminal. He made a Skype connection with Fabermann.

Carlos guarded the sword. “That’s one stupid sword,” he said, though he really had no idea what made it stupid. He just wanted Bernie to like him.

“Fabermann,” Bernie said. “We got a… concern here.”

Fabermann’s big head filled the monitor screen. “A concern? You’re wasting my time for a ‘concern’? Whattya got a water leak in 3H? Fix it!”

Bernie’s face scrunched up, which it did whenever he had something serious to say. “Well, it’s more like a problem. I think you should advise.”

“Spit it out, Bernie.”

Bernie shot a nervous glance at Carlos. Carlos shot a nervous glance at the sword. He had gotten so caught up with Fabermann that he forgot to watch the sword. Damn it!

Bernie said, “Carlos and I… we found something here in the break room. I’m not sure, but I think it’s a sword.”

“A sword?” said Fabermann.

“Yeah. A stupid sword.” Bernie sat back and sighed.

Carlos shuddered. Bernie hadn’t sighed since 2010. That was the last time Max Fabermann had gotten involved in their affairs. Events were more dire than Carlos had imagined.

Fabermann looked this way and that, contemplating. “You guys say you’re in the break room, eh? Sit tight.”

The door to Fabermann’s office swung open and Fabermann strutted through. “Show me!”

Bernie ran to meet him, hobbling like a chimpanzee with no knees. Carlos hated to see Bernie get pushed around. “Uh, right here, Mr. Fabermann.”

Carlos was scared, but mostly out of solidarity with Bernie. He pointed at the stupid sword, in case Fabermann was unsure.

Fabermann chomped his cigar and took a closer look. “Hmmm. This right here? This is the sword?”

Bernie and Carlos nodded.

Fabermann circled it, mumbling, then stood straight. “This sword. This stupid sword right here is why you called me?”

Bernie said, “Yes, sir.”

Fabermann whapped Bernie and Carlos in the head with his beret. “That’s my nephew, George, you idiotic baboons!”

George Fabermann peeked up from the magazine he was reading, People’s 50 Best Episodes of Cupcake Wars. “Hey, Uncle Max.”

Carlos’s pain was acute. Not from being struck by Fabermann’s hat, but from his sudden realization that Bernie Shempstein, his hero, mentor, and ersatz father was, in fact, a blithering moron. Carlos knew it wasn’t a sword! He knew it looked like a person reading a magazine, but he’d trusted Bernie!

“I trusted you,” he said. The words fell from his lips like they were made of liquid nitrogen, which must be heavier than air, if you think about it logically. It’s a liquid.

Bernie hung his head. “But… I thought… I mean, George didn’t say anything, so I just figured… Uh, am I fired?”

Max Fabermann laughed. “No, Bernie. You aren’t fired. You are forged!”

Carlos and Bernie said, “What!”

With that, a ball of flame burst from the ground, and Max and George Fabermann unfurled their wizard capes. The room crackled with sinister magic. Max pointed his staff at Bernie. “This is a fantasy story, you fool! Never mind that its author has no clue how to write one. He promised a story with a sword, and his readers are getting a sword.”

An arc of purple lighting – the only kind of arc in this story – issued from the staff and struck Bernie, turning him to a sword. A stupid one, by Carlos’s estimation, now that he’d had some experience with them. George the Wizard took hold of the sword and flew from the room with his uncle, their chilling laughter echoing through the halls of the maintenance department, which was in the basement of building 4.

Carlos fell to his knees in slow motion and screamed “Noooooooo,” because that happened in Lord of the Rings and it seemed like the right thing to do.

   ♦ ♦ ♦    ♦ ♦ ♦    ♦ ♦ ♦    ♦ ♦ ♦   ♦ ♦ ♦

The only sword song I could think of, Strike of the Sword, by Japan’s premier metal band of the 1980s, Loudness. Akira Takasaki shredding on guitar.

 


The Worst Christmas Story Ever Written

Happy Holidays! As my gift to you, I have composed The Worst Christmas Story Ever, full of stupid plot points, embarrassing constructions, impossible dialog, tonal inconsistency, and implausible characters. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to read. Dig in!

 *****************

SANTApocalypse

Chapter 1 – The Beginning

Deep within the bowels of The Ice Caves of Crendor, that most secret of places hidden deep within the larger bowels of Mount Kringle (the mightiest volcano of the North Pole), Santa’s retinas accepted light reflected from the naughty-or-nice list (and its accompanying gradations of color and shade) with not inconsiderable trepidation and alarm.

He called out to Clorex the Elf. “Clorex! Appear before me as I speak.”

hunky santa2Clorex arrived at Santa’s side in due course, the green color of his elf costume uniting with the red color of Santa’s red suit to stir Christmas passion in all those who observed, had anyone been observing. Had the pair not been inside but, rather, outside, where the likelihood of being observed was greater, they would have appeared as living holiday vignette that belied the true tension of the situation.

“Yes, Santa,” Clorex chimed.

“Clorex,” Santa repeated with some loudness. “What’s all this about flesh-eating?”

“Santa, I beg your pardon sir, but what flesh-eating?” Clorex inquired with a questioning air.

Santa held aloft the list. “Clorex, the flesh-eating on this naughty list,” he edified.

Clorex’s elfin gaze fell upon the still-held page. His pupils dilated ever so slightly so as to permit more light to fall upon his retinas. Only then was he able to see the words by the firelight being cast from that which burned inside the kerosene lamp, largely being wick.

“Ah, that,” Clorex offered. “Yes. I remember now, Santa. There has been a zombie apocalypse. Those children have become zombies.”

Santa pondered upon this most grave of news scenarios with a face of woeful seriousness and far-off wondering. “Zombies. Zombies,” he uttered in a repetitious manner. “Yes, that is very naughty. Very naughty indeed! Why hath you not spoken of this before, Clorex, my trusty elf supervisor and confidante?”

Clorex looked away sheepishly, though with more sheepishness than can be anthropomorphized by such a small ungulate, thus rendering his look-away rather more bisonish. “You seemed busy with all the toy making, my lord, so-”

Santa cut him off, interrupting him. “By the gods, Clorex! What to do with all these toys I’ve made!”

Clorex piped up with, “There are two named on the nice list.”

“By the gods, Clorex. You’re right! I know what to do!”

With that, Mrs. Claus burst into the room. “Don’t Kris, don’t go! I beg you!” she pleaded, throwing her arms around the legendary present maker and sleigh flyer. Her copious bosom smashed against his muscular, well-oiled chest.

“I have to, Greta!”

“No!”

“Yes.”

“No!” She held aloft her hand. “I won’t let you.”

He held aloft the list in one hand and held aloft his sword in the other as he gripped her by the arms and pontificated. “Gwen, all my life I’ve been searching, always searching for a purpose in life, aimless and adrift and lost for a reason to go forth in life and choose my path. But now I know what I must do. Nay, what I was born to do. I must stop the zombies!”

Her warm, limpid eyes filled with tears. “I know. By the gods, I know!” She pressed her full, throbbing lips to his, kissing him. “Will you be back?” she said worriedly.

He broke away from the kiss. “You’ll have to find out.”

Chapter 2 – The Middle

Circling overhead, Santa saw the zombie horde surrounding the house. “Son of a bitch.”

“Sir,” said Rudolph. “I think I can set us down on that roof. It won’t be easy, but-“

“Do it, soldier!” Santa ordered.

With his steely glare, the young pilot aimed for the shingles.

“You’re coming in too hot!” screamed Cupid.

The sleigh’s runners bounced twice as the nine reindeer fought to keep from plummeting into the throng of flesh eaters below. Rudolph ordered a hard turn, sending the sleigh spinning toward the edge. The deer dug their hooves down and held fast.

Once still, Rudolph glanced back toward Cupid, his steely eyes in close-up. “You were saying?”

Chapter 3 – The End

“You mean all the kids are zombies but you two?” Santa said to Terry and Terry, the Johnson twins. Santa had climbed down the chimney and down to the main floor and found five survivors holed up in the boarded up house, six upstairs and six downstairs, though they were all in the basement.

Their neighbor, Ira Feinstein, stepped forward to communicate his thoughts verbally. “It’s very mrs claussad, but it is true, there once were many Johnsons and now there’s only two.”

“Bloody hell, man, what’s with the rhyming?” Santa interrogated.

Terry, a year older than the younger twin, verbalized, “Ever since Mr. Feinstein found out you’re real, he’s been rhyming. The doctors say there’s no cure.”

“With reindeer for fauna and holly for flora,” pronounced Mr. Feinstein, “I fear I no longer can use my menorah.”

“Bloody Hell, man!” Santa murmured. “Everything about me is borrowed from Norse pagan mythology. In other words, there’s room for everyone’s beliefs in this crazy world, as long as we can learn to tolerate our differences and welcome diversity!”

Sensing a story theme, rousing music welled around them. Feinstein smiled. “Damn it you’re right! I am going to fire up that menorah after all! And you, McGillicuddy, in the corner. I am going to celebrate Ramadan with you! And Mrs. Swanson, sitting at the kitchen table; I shall go to your Kwanza party! And Spagnetti, lying on the couch; I will cut off chicken heads and do a voodoo dance with you!”

Everyone smiled.

“Now,” Santa enunciated. “Let’s go kill some zombies! Right?”

Feinstein, McGillicuddy, Swanson, Spagnetti, and the Johnson twins said, in unison, “Right!”

They burst outside, swords held aloft, ready to do battle with the zombie hordes, when they were suddenly attacked by thousands of zombies. Elgard the Dwarf king fell to his knees, shouting, “Nooooooooooooooooooooo” in slow motion. When all hope was lost, Santa heard a familiar voice.

“Santa!”

The jolly, fat toy maker looked up to see his old friend Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer throwing down the sack of toys, which landed in the snow with a sack-thumping-on-the snowy-ground noise. Just as the zombies were .5 seconds away from biting them all, Rudolph dove across and tossed something to Santa. “Here!” he promised.

The activator button landed in Santa’s aloft hand. He knew just what to do: Press it.

The toy boxes burst open as the gifts inside transformed into robot warriors, who then cut down the zombies with their mighty swords of fire and laser guns, which they held aloft.

Everyone cheered. “Yay!”

“Not so fast,” said Satan as he leapt up and planted his feet on the ground, holding his pitchfork aloft. “Have you forgotten about me?”

Santa dropped his sword to his side, no longer holding it aloft. “Well, well, well. If it’s not my twin brother, Satan. I should have known you were behind this!”

Terry and Terry, the twins, said to each other and everyone else, with knowing smiles, “Twins? We know a little something about twins, don’t we?” Then they put on their magic rings, which, only when worn by twins, can create an evil-destroying shock wave that destroys all evil in the universe.

The ground split, Satan screaming loudly, and swallowed him back to Hell.

Santa ruminated, “Well kids, since you are the only survivors of the zombie apocalypse, I guess this robot army is yours.”

Simultaneously and in unison, both twins at the same time said, together, “Awesome!”

“Yes it is,” said a feminine voice. They all turned.

It was Mrs. Claus, smiling. Santa smiled too, and she ran into his arms, the top two buttons on her blouse popping off, unable to contain her ample bosom.  The pair embraced, the rippling muscles of Santa’s arms glistening in the moonlight.

“I shall never leave you again, Glenda,” he proffered feelingly.

Everyone cheered. “Yay!” The snow began to fall and, together, they sang secular holiday music.

The End.

**********************************

Every single sentence in that tale had something horrid about it. I quite enjoyed being awful.

But wait, there’s even more content today:

A few weeks ago I posted a humorous lament about missing Darlene Love’s performance at BB King’s in NYC. Well, I managed to catch her show in Newark this Saturday night. It was an amazing performance that included perhaps the most incredible and emotional moment I’ve ever witnessed at a live music event. You can read the full story and review here. It’s roughly the same length as my lovely masterwork above.

Cheers!


The Lord of the Rings trilogy… retold in exactly 500 words

The hotly anticipated first film in the new Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, is due to hit theater screens in a little over a month. If any movie was ever a sure bet, this one is it. I know I’ll be there.

Perhaps you’re excited to see it as well but, at the same time, you’re concerned because you haven’t experienced the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet – or it has been ages and you forgot everything – and you don’t have a spare 13 hours between now and then to catch up.

Suffer in anguish no more! We’ve conveniently recapped the whole shebang for you in exactly 500 words (not counting the title and byline). Read on:

The Lord of the Rings

By Frodo Baggins

Gandalf says, “You gotta throw this ring into a volcano or all kinds of bad shit will go down.”

I say, “I’m taking my friends.”

Gandalf gathers a fellowship of hobbits, humans, elves, and dwarves (he does that sometimes), and we’re off.

Bad shit goes down anyway. Everybody and their mother wants this stupid ring! Orcs, evil eyes, Christopher Lee, scary horses, fire monsters, and a giant octopus. Actually, the octopus doesn’t give two shits about the ring.

The dwarfs in the cavern are all dead, and we’re super sad, until my dumbass friend drops a skeleton down a well! I survive getting stabbed by a monster on account of my magic chainmail (why not?), but Gandalf dies. We’re all mopey, because we don’t have GPS.

A weird frog guy shows up who says, “My precioussssss,” which gets old fast. He knows the volcano, but – if you were there you’d know what I mean – he’s like an annoying houseguest. We’re outside, so I can’t exactly say, “Leave,” can I?

I don’t own the outside.

My friends get kidnapped by beast warriors who work for an anti-environmentalist wizard. Talking trees, a castle siege, yada yada. Frankly, I think they ate mushrooms and hallucinated the whole thing. My friends are wastoids.

So we’re walking and walking and walking. Meanwhile, Gandalf, who it turns out was just mostly dead, comes back and scares away a dragon with his magic staff. I’m like, “Yo. How about conjuring up a car?”

More battles and castles and orcs happen, plus super-sized elephants (as if normal ones weren’t big enough). I gotta be honest: I have no idea who’s fighting and why. If the bad guys had half a brain, they’d forget the castles and look for the damn ring, which I have in a pouch. Not exactly Fort Knox.

The spider bite was the worst. I didn’t know I was allergic to spider venom. Laugh if you want, but this spider was bigger than your uncle Ed’s Buick.

The dude shagging the elf chick ends the battle by getting a ghost army to kill the orcs in about four seconds. I’m like, “Well, thanks for waiting until now, dude,” but I guess he didn’t hear me. He doesn’t look it, but he’s 80.

I’m spent, so my chubby friend carries me up the volcano. I try to chuck the ring but the little frog guy grabs it. He falls into the lava anyway, and I’m not even going to pretend I’m sad.

The bad guy dies and we get rescued by giant eagles, who, just between you and me, would be 100X better at chucking rings into volcanos than I am.

Hey, the dude shagging the elf chick turns out to be the king! We’re like, “That reminds me of Episode I, when Natalie Portman reveals that she’s really queen whatsername, and the Jedi, who supposedly know everything, are totally gobsmacked.”

The end.

No, wait. The end. Nope, that’s not it.

The… The…

Ok. The end.