Saturday, June 04, 2005

"Courtney!" Mother Jamie called out, much like Aunt Em in The Wizard of Oz, imploring Dorothy to come inside during the cyclone, with the difference that Courtney usually was the cyclone.

It had been a quiet evening at home, the family in the living room, Daughter Courtney in her bedroom showing her screenplay to a producer she'd picked up somewhere, when a sudden hush magnified the silence. Knowing the ways of slimy, male producers, or at least, suspecting them, Mother Jamie barged into the bedroom to offer marzipan donuts, which Grandma had just made. Grandma had been trying for years to get rid of her attic full of almonds, an E-Bay acquisition that had puzzled them all. "They're worth money!" she'd insisted.

"Courtney's gone! Her monkey, too!" Jamie shouted, expecting the entire company to erupt into a spontaneous posse. Everyone except Grandpa fell asleep.

"Let her go," the elder Quincy offered, looking up from his Illustrated History of Erotic Art, "It was gettin' mighty crowded here, anyways. And please stop hollerin' while I'm a tryin' to concentrate!"

Jamie organized hubby and son into a search party using the horsewhip she carried for disciplinary emergencies. The three of them took off in the family jeep faster than you could say "Autobahn." After cruising up and down the entire state of California Son Taylor wondered why they didn't just call Courtney on her cell phone to find out where she was.

Courtney's recorded voice greeted them: "I'm at the Grand Canyon with a Hollywood producer and can't be disturbed." Jamie's eyes flashed a bright red, the kind in photos without red eye reduction. They lightninged across Death Valley faster than you could shoot a porno film, and careened over to Arizona, braking just in time to prevent the motor from melting.

Once arrived, they glanced about in some confusion before their calls of "Courtney!" were met. They heard a moan. "That was passion!" screamed Jamie. They charged forward and found Courtney, in a lotus position, near the edge, typing away contently on her laptop. "Oh hi," she said, Zen look on her face, serene in the eye of her storm, "I was just adding some scenes to my screenplay." Another moan drew them to the traumatized producer, hanging from the brink of the four thousand foot drop, by one hand, Courtney's pet monkey dancing from side to side, tormenting him with a stick.

Courtney explained with a devious smile: When the producer offered to work out some new bedroom scenes with her, she had decided instead to bring the cliffhanger aspect into her story. The producer's fear was inspiring. It added just the edge she needed to assure an Academy Award for best screenplay.

Story #233

Disclaimer: Any similarity between actual persons, living or dead, is their own fault for sending me the photo.

Announcement: The May prizewinner for story contributions is ........ Alix! I'll be in touch with you Alix, about the prize (a black and white print of one of my photos). All the stories have now been reposted at


The Mushroom said...

The trip down the waterfall wasn't that harsh, it just seemed frightening at the time. But speaking of time, they had landed in another one. The landscape was rugged and beautiful, in a way that no Homo sapiens sapiens had ever witnessed before because that species hadn't yet been born. This was a lost land that they could call their own.

As prehistoric as it seemed, they didn't have to worry about dinosaurs here, but they did have invisible cats. Huge invisible cats. Or they seemed like cats (they're invisible so it was difficult to say what sort of beast they really were), because they were soft and furry and when stroked they'd purr. Will and Holly had brought their cameras on the trip, and tried to get pictures of their party with the beasts up on the basalt columns they called the Sleestacks, which overlooked what they named rather ironically Dinky Valley. They realized the cats were invisible but at least people could see in the photos that something was there being petted. This didn't convince anyone back home.

Will, Holly, and Marshall made it out of the there by following the river back upstream. The fourth member of the party, Courtney, decided she liked the giant strawberries that grew there and wanted to stay, which lead to her demise -- one of the giant invisible herbivorous cats mistook her (in her favorite red-and-white shirt) for a picnic blanket and had her for lunch. While it was a tragic loss, the photos Will & Holly took of the cat after lunch, engorged with very much visible Courtney chunks and bits of her favorite shirt, did change the minds of their friends and family.

Anonymous said...

These guys were the first Earth visitors to our planet of Shiznit. They had just recently seen a movie called Star Wars and wanted to come up here. But that female Earthling sure fussed a lot! That's why the guy carried the lunch -- he knew that she wouldn't push him off the precipice because they wouldn't have anything to eat later. The younger Earthling wanted to leap and traverse the crevasse to the other rock and get to the berry bush. Those young humans are obsessed with eating! The female in the foreground kept making that hand gesture, or maybe I should say she gesticulated with her hand as if it was a remote control that could tether the others to her will! I was sure glad to see that bunch of sight-seers go!

Jamie Dawn said...

Somehow, those people look vaguely familiar. That's sure an unflattering picture of the woman. God! What a nightmare!
Keith and Taylor knew that if they didn't obey Jamie Dawn, the powerful Queen over all that moves and breathes, that she would make them become slaves in the mines.
She had commanded them to climb down the steep rocks and pick her some succulent berries. If they succeeded and made it back by sundown, they could serve as foot washers and back massagers in her palace.
They began to plan as to how they could successfully complete the task as she taunted them mercilessly. "No one has ever succeeded, you wretched, worthless mules! You will die like all the others."
For a brief moment, her body guards were distracted by a mountain lion and moved to deal with it. Keith and Taylor grabbed Queen Jamie Dawn and threw her off the edge to her death.
Shocked, the guards did nothing. Then, after a brief moment, they began to celebrate, for they knew now that the kind and lovely Princess Courtney would take the throne.

The Mushroom said...

Jamie: The female members of your family keep getting eaten by felines in these stories. How does that bode? :)

fluff said...

not only did Paul teach history in the local high school, he was a fan of the antiquity. the nation achieved his absolute and exclusive respect was the Spartans. every five year his family gathered the children Anna gave birth to, and went to their own Taygetos in the Grand Canyon to throw the small ones that were bad, ate the ice cream of their siblings, never went to bed in a proper time, stole the lipstick of their mom to draw ugly cats on the hall's clean wall, still pissed in bed or cried too much down with the help of the bigger children. they took sandwiches and cameras and they usually usually had a good time.

Unknown said...

"I think I can see the carkeys!"
"That can't be them, mom almost caught them and when they bounced off her hand they went this way"
"Honey, jump now and I'll wait a year before remarrying"

OldHorsetailSnake said...

"Margaret, is this where he went down?", Alicia asked.

"Yes, right over there," Margaret said. "He said it was an

"Well," Alicia said, "why doesn't Charles throw him the toilet paper?"

Jamie Dawn said...

Mush: The trend is rather disturbing. We aren't planning any safaris any time soon.

All these are so funny. Ariel's really cracked me up. Woe to naughty children!!

Quincy said...

caption: Bring me the rest of those bags of garbage...theres a good place to throw them over the side here...

arthur decko said...

it is still in the larvae stage, but that is where the new spot will be.

Tom & Icy said...

Your story was really great, Indie. I like the action and visuals.

Jamie Dawn said...

The details were impeccable.
I particularly like the marzipan donuts reference.
That producer had it coming! Hope the monkey wins.

Indeterminacy said...

Mushroom: I almost expected the cave girls to make a cameo appearance.

Alien Guy: Your new blog looks cool. Kind of fills a niche. It's about time aliens reported on us Earthlings. I think I'll add a link. Thanks for stopping by and contributing. I've collected a few alien stories here as well.

Jamie: What a mom you are! Looks like you always have to be vigilent. Kind of like in the parallel opposite universe of Star Trek, where everyone is evil and promotion is by assassination.

Ariel: Thanks for your first contribution here. Are you available as a nanny?

Doug: My first thought when I saw the pictures was they can't remember where they parked the car. Wicked ending. Ambrose would be proud.

OldHorsetailSnake: I've come to enjoy your wit over at your blog, and I'm happy you're sharing it over here. This was mean but funny.

Quincy: I wonder if there's truth to this. You might have been there. Anyhow it's a completely human feeling you captured. Throwing things away in Germany is sometimes very difficult because of rules against what you can throw away. Cars have to be specially taken away, and you have to pay them to do it too. I wanted to write a story about someone take a car apart piece by piece and throwing the piecs away in the public trash cans all over town. Or leaving wrapped bundles in the train, or whatever.

Retarius! You're back! This is great. I'll add a link to the new blog! This makes my day!

Tom&Icy&Jamie: I did a lot of polishing on this story, had to because there was more to polish. I think this is the longest one yet. Glad you all liked it. And Jamie, if Grandma ever does figure out how to make marzipan donuts, I'd like to order the first batch. The nice thing for me about this story was not having to work out names for all the characters. It's so hard thinking up names I haven't used already.

Michael said...

I know I am late but the picture gave me such a vivid storyline...

This would be their biggest endeavor yet.
Jessie and Cindy were in charge of the game board.
Pete was here to record the official decisions. Each space on the game board needed to be photographed and all the dimensions described with the appropriate landmarks.

Space A4 would be this particular rock outclave. The crevice would be a boundary mark.
All the information would be plugged into the computer. That way both teams and spectators could watch a computer simulation of the actual game movements.

This larger than life Stratego board would make an interesting contest. Players would have to take in account normal game strategy and would also have to consider the actual terrain. Once a player committed to a move, the game clock was turned on and the game piece had a specific amount of time to physically make the move. Failure to get there on time forfeited your move.

Jessie was proud of finding exactly the right places to make this the best game ever…

Indeterminacy said...

Michael: It's never too late to write a story! Stratego was one of my favorite games. I had this trick of putting 7's around the flag, and then bombs around the 7's. It save my neck on several occasions. But life sized Stratego. What a concept! (Sorry I havent posted a story for your Friday picture yet. But there's still this week).

Wilena said...

My heart went agasped when I saw my son and grandson standing so close to the edge of the rocks. My darling daughter-in-law was saying, "Courtney get over here right now", as she was going off on one of her movie taking adventures. Try as she might Jamie could not get her eldest child to obey her and come back. Keith and Taylor with cameras in hand were getting closer and closer to the edge of the rocks on one side of her and Courtney was going further over the edge to capture yet another photo no one had ever been able to take. Jamie runs to the right trying to save Keith and Taylor, than she runs to the left after her precious daughter. As time passes and Jamie is losing her voice calling out to them she turns around to the right and seeing Courtney coming up a path by where her beloved husband and adventurous son is standing. Keith and Taylor were watching Courtney all along on the path below but poor Jamie was in the middle trying to save all of her family not knowing what was going on. Jamie vowed never to go to Grand Canyon again.

Indeterminacy said...

Wilena, thanks for your story. I'll post it at the indeterminacies site where I collect all the contributions. I'm glad everyone made it back from that Grand Canyon vacation in one piece.