Tagged: parent

“Don’t Say a Goddamn Word, Darlene”

  • by jenbounced his face on the pavement
  • when he visits Bermuda to golf
  • Jack’s a doughnut
  • couldn’t understand why Darlene
  • refused to return to his bed

Tune in next time part 233                           Click Here for Earlier Installments

“Don’t say a goddamn word, Darlene,” Cleopatra snapped.

The Asian woman squeaked and hid her face behind the curtains, disappearing completely. My father leapt to his feet, slipped, and bounced his face on the pavement. But since the pavement in this room was black velvet, just like everything else, he just wound up with a rug burn. It reminded me of how sunburnt he gets when he visits Bermuda to golf and forgets to apply sunscreen.

“Darlene!” Dad yelled. “C’mon back, baby. We’ll kick these interlopers out and lock the door.”

Esmerelda said disgustedly, “Jack’s a doughnut, and he doesn’t care who’s cup of coffee he gets dunked in.”

“Too true,” Cleopatra said.

“Neither of you minded when it was your coffee I was dunking in,” Dad snarked as he made his way to the wall where Darlene disappeared. He started patting it down, searching for her and calling her name.

I knew this was all a ruse, a show put on to distract me from my pointed questions.

I stood with my arms crossed over my chest, watching Dad pretend that he couldn’t understand why Darlene refused to return to his bed, thinking about Esmerelda and Cleopatra. It was true that Cleopatra had lost her accent, but they were sisters, so that meant they were both Svenborgian. And since Esmerelda was an Underduchess, Cleopatra probably was, too. Maybe an Underduchess-once-removed. It was hard to remember all the rules for Svenborgian royal lineage. No matter her title, though, she had to know Viscount Arlo. They both did. They were most likely related to him somehow. And Dad didn’t care.

It was imperative that I figure out what was going on. Without raising their suspicions.

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Write Like Your Parents Will Never Read It

… But, um, they probably will.

It all depends on your subject matter, and on your parents. In our case, with books featuring so much vivid sex, profanity, violence, drug use, and trashing of religion, we felt pretty confident encouraging our moms not to read our stuff. (That didn’t work. It probably never does.)

Despite all our subtle warnings, our moms still wanted to read the books. So, we had to hand them over. Jen told her mom, “Kent wrote all the yucky parts,” and Kent told his mom to blame those sections on Jen.

The weirdest thing happened. Our moms liked the books.

Sure, they sort of have to. It’s in the mom job description. Of course they’re proud of us as writers. But we knew — or thought we knew — that our content wouldn’t be to their tastes. First of all, they don’t read much science fiction. And as mentioned above, it’s all stuff we’d never bring up in front of them. And we surely wouldn’t use such caustic language with them. They’re our moms!

We just don’t quite know how to process all this, and we probably never will. Happy to have happy readers? Absolutely. Glad not to have upset our moms? You bet! Wondering how well we really know these women? Little bit.

Having a writing partner means being able to disavow the parts your mom doesn’t like.

Looking at the Scalpel

  • by jennot in any way compromise your sister
  • three sons and two daughters
  • rural lava fields
  • asked Henri how his vacation was going
  • now that I’ve read it

Tune in next time part 213                           Click Here for Earlier Installments

Looking at the scalpel I remembered my father’s last words to me, Jason, Jim, Jemma, and Jemima: “I would not in any way compromise your sister against her wishes. You know how Freya is. She’s game for anything! I can’t believe that of all my children I have three sons and two daughters who are so uptight and inhibited. You five should try to be more openminded like your other siblings. Why, when I was a youth in the rural lava fields of Iceland, it was anything goes! Our little village was a popular holiday destination for broad-minded Frenchmen, and they taught me much. It was always educational when I ‘asked Henri how his vacation was going‘– if you know what I mean. But you handed me this petition, and now that I’ve read it I think that you don’t, in fact, know what I mean.”

He shook his head and expelled the lot of us from the Oval Office. I don’t know about my siblings, but I never saw my father again.

Until today.

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As Soon As I Regained Consciousness, I Wished I Hadn’t

  • by jena fully clothed woman
  • the world is a terrifying place
  • extensive waist of their corpulent host
  • pay $200 for sex in a Manhattan hotel
  • before you compelled her to marry me

Tune in next time part 181                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

As soon as I regained consciousness, I wished I hadn’t. A fully clothed woman was standing over me, and I recognized her immediately.


She looked down at me, smiling that cold smile of hers. “When you are a parent, the world is a terrifying place,” she said. “You are always worried that your child will commit some unforgivable faux pas, such as attending an embassy soiree and mocking the extensive waist of their corpulent host, thus creating an international incident.”

That was something Thor, Freya, Jim, and Jason had done, each on separate occasions. Did she think I was my twin?

She went on, staring down at me. “Or perhaps your child will grow up to be the sort to pay $200 for sex in a Manhattan hotel with an undercover cop.”

Ah shit, she knew I wasn’t Jason.

“You’re still pissed off about that, Mom?” I asked. “It’s been years.” I wanted to ask her how long she’d been employing ninjas, but had to work up to it.

“Of course I’m still pissed off about it! Your recklessness nearly ruined things with the Contrarians!”

“That’s bullshit, Mom. Fleur and I came to an agreement before you compelled her to marry me. She didn’t care who I slept with.”

“Of course not, but her father was horrified that your budget was so low! He was sure it meant I was bluffing about how much money the US had on hand for our weapons deal.” She sighed and shook her head. “And now you’re at it again, embarrassing me on an international level. What on Earth are you wearing?”

I realized I was still in the lace jumpsuit.

“You’d better change,” she said. “There will be tons of photographers at the airport.”

“Where are you taking me, Mother?”

Her cold, cold smile was her only reply.

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Dramatis Personae

r-avatarFaithful blog readers have no doubt lost hours of their lives reading our chain story, cleverly titled Tune In Next Time. Since it’s been going on for more than a year and the cast has grown by leaps and bounds, we decided it was time to develop something of a cheat sheet. And here it is, without further ado.

Our Protagonist: Though we have yet to learn this man’s name, we have learned many interesting facts about him. His mother was a two-term US president before several scandals forced her to retire. Now his younger brother Thor holds that office. His father died in some sort of sex scandal that is related to both the president leaving office and a cataclysm that merged the Great Lakes into one and obliterated several states. Our hero is part-Indian, immune to jellyfish stings, and spent at least part of his childhood in a cult. He is a graduate of the Hopscotch Academy who wound up in a career involving both crime and espionage. He sometimes uses the codename Ludovico. He has the layout of at least one Hall of Mirrors memorized, and can imitate any kind of bird or beast. He has a twin brother, a wife, and many former lovers, all dangerous.

His family: Our protagonist has a large family, and luckily most of them have names.

  • Mother: But not his mother. Former US President, now pulls the strings and rules from the shadows. Was removed from office following the infamous White House Sex Scandal that resulted in her husband’s death, and a scheme to bomb Contraria’s enemies and make it look like an accident. She is the current Ambassador to South Dakota.
  • Aunt Züg: Mom’s twin sister. Last seen impersonating Mom and plotting to exploit the Pirate-Ninja alliance in naval action against North Dakota.
  • Thor: Our protagonist’s younger brother, and current president of the United States. Often utilizes his twin sister as a body double. He is married, but we don’t know to whom, and thinks he is the father of Svetlana’s child by the protagonist. Made enemies of the militant vegans through meat-based legislation. Was last seen in their clutches aboard the presidential zeppelin above the Contrarian city Pittsburghistan.
  • Freya: Thor’s twin, our protagonist’s younger sister. Despite being different genders, they are nearly impossible to tell apart when dressed. Seems to have played a part in the sex scandal that killed her father and got her mother thrown out of office. Last seen at the White House, acting as Thor’s body double.
  • Jason: Our protagonist’s identical twin brother, and America’s #1 wedding rapper. He has a lisp, which is a good way to tell the brothers apart. Last seen pretending to be a priest at a small church in Rhode Island.
  • Jinx Damocles: Great-Uncle to our hero, Jason, Thor, and Freya. Is missing his left arm and only has one good eye. Was thought dead following a plane crash in South America. Last seen in a church basement in Rhode Island, getting a hand job from Lyudmila.
  • Fleur: Our hero’s blue-eyed wife. It was an arranged marriage, designed to tighten bonds between the US and Contraria, and neither of them are particularly happy with the match. That didn’t stop Fleur from insisting that her husband take part in many elaborate fertility rituals, and she is now pregnant with twins. This pleases her warlord father immensely. Last seen in a leather goods shoppe in Pittsburghistan, Contraria, presumably unconscious.
  • Isolde: Fleur’s sister, our hero’s sister-in-law. He has a crush on her and tried to talk her into taking part in the fertility rites. But Isolde is infatuated with Harry, a Contrarian noble whom she expects to marry as soon as Fleur delivers. Also last seen in the Contrarian leather store.

His friends and enemies:

  • John: Our protagonist’s former partner in crime and/or espionage. He’s described as an intimidating guy who sucks at ciphers. Is possibly Russian. He spent his childhood in a Tibetan monastery, an experience that left him with a deathly fear of the Himalayan Snowcock. He seems to be passingly good at roller derby, and is mixed up somehow with the warlords of Contraria. Has at least two sisters and is engaged to Tessa. Last seen participating in a Contrarian pregnancy test ritual, playing the part of the rabbit.
  • Tessa: Tessa is very tricky. A former partner of John and our protagonist in several illegal schemes, she has double crossed them both several times. She has auburn hair, an impressive bosom, and gets hiccups when she’s horny. Her formidable ninja skills take our hero by surprise and suggest chapters of her backstory as yet unexplored. She was involved romantically with our protagonist in the past, and is currently engaged to John. She has at least one sister and at least one robot duplicate. It’s hard to say when she was last seen, or if she really exists at all. Perhaps she has always been someone else in disguise.
  • Lyudmila: John’s sister Lyudmila (not to be confused with his one-time date by the same name) is a former sushi chef and current contortionist and helicopter pilot. Owns miniature Pinschers named Trouble and Time. She is one of our hero’s many former lovers, and is, of late, aligned with Tessa in some unknown scheme. Last seen drugging our protagonist and delivering him into the hands of Aphrodite and Heinrich Hunter.
  • Svetlana: John’s other sister. Svetlana is also a contortionist. She and her sister Lyudmila once had a sideshow act, but now hate each other “with good reason.” Has narrow hips, a scratchy voice, and a predilection for blowguns. She is the subject of an international manhunt which she eluded for years by using her contortionist skills and a harness to secret herself under the clothing of Heinrich Hunter, masquerading as his rotund belly (Heinrich was in on it). This former lover of our hero claims to be pregnant with his child.
  • Tallulah: Tessa’s sister, the most dangerous person our hero has ever met. Has unusual blue-black eyes and a tendency to impersonate her sister. Or perhaps has always been her sister. Is married, but we don’t know to whom. Last seen underneath our protagonist’s jacket, disguised as his stomach, at a bistro in Pittsburghistan.
  • Michiko: The rebellious daughter of the leader of NinjaVision. She enjoys Harajuku clothing, and drives a Hello Kitty themed Lincoln. She owns a self storage place. Last seen behind the counter at her self storage operation.
  • Aphrodite Hunter: A pirate with surgically enhanced breasts, and a glass eye. She is married to Heinrich and sleeping with Captain Jorgensen. Is involved in the Pirate-Ninja Alliance. Knows that her husband carts Svetlana around under his clothes. Last seen in a warehouse in the hinterlands being treated for inhaling a jellyfish.
  • Heinrich Hunter: Another pirate, with possible ninja connections. Has a floppy red mustache and carries a katana and an uzi. Smuggled Svetlana under his clothes for many years, which made him appear fat. Last seen in a warehouse in the hinterlands, peeing in his wife’s mouth to neutralize the jellyfish toxin.
  • Captain Jorgensen: A pirate captain involved in the Pirate-Ninja Alliance. Sometime lover of Aphrodite Hunter. Last seen aboard his ship.
  • Mitzy: Has access to a helicopter, but does not pilot it. Kidnaps people for the president, or people pretending to be the president. Last seen at the White House.
  • Kelly: The love of Jason’s life. Unseen so far, possibly because she was convicted of a crime in place of our protagonist, a fact that Jason is unwilling to forgive and forget.
  • Oscar: Head of the Sanitation Workers Union. Last seen in Rhode Island being dragged into a barber shop.
  • Alonzo and Enzo: Milanese sanitation workers in the employ of Dr Minka Stiletto. Last seen dragging Oscar into a Rhode Island barber shop.
  • Dr Minka Stiletto: A hypnotist in Ipswitch, Massachusetts. Has control over both the town and the Sanitation Workers Union. Wears, but does not need, an eyepatch. Sometimes hypnotizes our protagonist and uses him as a sex toy. Last seen being decapitated by Tessa in her jungle-themed hypnotism office.
  • Ulrike: A dangerous German woman with at least one sister. She hunts by smell, but tells our hero apart from his twin by feeling his corneas. Is a former lover of both our hero and John. Last seen corrupting minors outside a hall of mirrors on the boardwalk.
  • Myxolemia: Our hero’s prom date, arranged by his mother of course. It didn’t go well. She is now the American Ambassador to Contraria, and has metal studs where her eyelashes should be. Last seen unconscious in a Pittburghistan leather goods shoppe.

If somehow you have not read the entire saga, this page will make it easy to catch up.

Mom Dozes – Holiday Prompt

  • k-avatarshe didn’t see me creep
  • blink a bright red and green
  • I’ll be back again some day
  • we can hardly stand the wait
  • a bowl full of jelly

Mom dozes in her recliner, the television screen flooding her and the rest of the room with a greenish glow and whitish noise from the football game. She always falls asleep during halftime, which is why I waited until the third quarter to make my move, so she didn’t see me creep down the stairs and out the back door. In my backpack are all the supplies I think I will need, and on my way through the kitchen I grab the only food in the house, a bowl full of jelly beans. Although I’m desperate to start my new life far away from this place and that woman, I know with depressing certainty that I’ll be back again some day. Leaving the televised crowd noise behind, I hear tree frogs and night bugs. I see no one, but the chilly air amplifies the shivers I’ve been experiencing since I decided it was time to strike off on my own, and in my imagination eyes watch me from every shadow, feral slit-pupil eyes that blink a bright red and green. To distract myself, I slide the postcard out of my pocket and reread it in the hard beam of my flashlight: “We can hardly stand the wait!” The words of welcome dispel some of the shivers, and remind me that I’m doing the right thing, leaving the only home I have ever known. I flip the postcard over to see the university’s motto flying over an aerial shot of the campus. Yes, sophomore year was a good time to run away.

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Edwina Has a Tendency

  • k-avatarI want to kiss you but I can’t
  • with the books and the plants
  • to curse and get nasty
  • I lit her cigarette
  • hid myself therein for many, many months

Edwina has a tendency to curse and get nasty when she hasn’t had a fix, so I lit her cigarette as quickly as possible. She took a long drag before muttering around the tube of putrid death pinched squarely in the center of her lips, “I want to kiss you but I can’t take this coffin nail out of my mouth.” Another lengthy drag and half of the cigarette was drooping ashes. “So you’ll have to wait,” she added, her words emerging in a gray plume that scattered flakes of ash into my face. I forgave her. Poor thing hadn’t had a smoke in almost a year. Her father kept her locked away in the conservatory with the books and the plants. Meanwhile, I nearly got caught sneaking around the grounds. I dashed to the cabana and hid myself therein for many, many months until the seasons turned and Edwina’s parents stopped using the pool so much and I could finally join her indoors.


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Pembroke’s Parents

by jen

  • enter the full bloom of his awkward rebellious phase
  • half hidden in a heap of brown leaves
  • carry their lunches in clamshells
  • college campuses everywhere
  • annoyed at the tone taken by the anthropologists

Pembroke’s parents dragged him along on a very long and thorough tour of northeastern universities, convinced they would discover the perfect scholastic garden in which their darling son could enter the full bloom of his awkward rebellious phase under the watchful eye of learned professionals who would keep his intellect from going to seed.

College campuses everywhere look the same in the fall,” Pembroke grumbled. “They’re all just a bunch of brick buildings surrounding squares of grass half hidden in a heap of brown leaves.” He kicked at a crack in the sidewalk.

Pembroke’s mother did her best to distract him from his sullen mood. “Look Pemmy, the sorority girls here carry their lunches in clamshells! Isn’t that adorable?”

“You sound like a clueless anthropologist, Mom.”

Pembroke’s mother smiled indulgently, but inside she was annoyed at the tone taken by the anthropologists‘ teenage critic.

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This Trip to Europe

  • by jenthree bogus sailors
  • the “terrible danger of touching symbols”
  • likes to touch the rancid crust
  • the spectacle of the guillotine
  • in the crevices of history

This trip to Europe is not going well. Yolanda refuses to heed her parents’ lectures about the “terrible dangers of touching symbols” in foreign countries, and gleefully loses herself in the crevices of history museums and open air markets. Hours later they find her, marveling at the spectacle of the guillotine, or digging through the garbage bin beside the bakery stall. In both cases Yolanda declares that she likes to touch the rancid crust. The very next day they catch her in the company of three bogus sailors, heading into a pub called the Salty Dog. Yolanda’s parents vow never to take her on vacation again.

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Marguerite Entertained a Feeling

  • k-avatarclearly jacked around
  • a feeling of ennui
  • sitting passively while her mother combed her hair
  • Rabbis singing
  • a minor avalanche

Marguerite entertained a feeling of ennui, even sitting passively while her mother combed her hair. In the hallway she heard Rabbis singing, their stentorian chant releasing a minor avalanche of Gentile spiders fleeing the resounding Yiddish. The apartment in the synagogue had cheap rent, but the landlord clearly jacked around Marguerite’s impressionable mother.

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