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written content ©2016, by Jennifer Fales  | All Rights Reserved

 

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Image used w/ permissions ©Ominodicarta|Dreamstime.com

 

Lucinda Melinda Malvolia-Jones picked up a leggy red licorice stick from the fingerprint smudged crystal jar on her desk. She stuck the hollow candy between her teeth and gnawed on it like a rabid dog would on an old lady in gravy-flavored support hose.

The rewrite just didn’t make sense, and there was no way in Hell or on Earth she could force it to.

“For God’s sake, Narb…”

“Don’t bring Him into this unless you want to make me angry!” Narblaugh The Highly Invocable boomed back at her, crossing tree trunk shaped arms in front of a smoking hot (literally) red tie. He leaned more heavily against the boxy windowsill overlooking her busy street. A car horn blared at the tail end of his statement, followed by the screeching of brakes, crunching fiberglass, and the angry whump of an airbag deploying. Someone screamed about a broken nose. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m a…”

“That’s Bruce Banner, you idiot. From the Incredible Hulk? You’re quoting Bill Bixby at me, aren’t you, you talentless hack?”

“Well,” Narblaugh said—at least, Lucinda thought to herself, he had the decency to look sheepish about it for once—before continuing, “you’re putting me on the spot here, Luce. This is all your fault, you ungrateful sack of bones and humanity! Look around! This shithole of an apartment you call home is doing nothing for my creative mojo!”

Lucinda picked up the coffee cup with a vaguly humorous quote about pissing off a writer if you wanted your death written into a screenplay. She looked down into a mixture of quasi-curdled milk and tin can coffee, then held it up to her nose and sniffed. The vague scent that greeted her was reminiscent of three-day-old cigarette ashes on a urine soaked street.

Lucinda took a sip anyway.

“Listen, Oh Demonic Diva,” she might have responded with a teensy bit more sarcasm than the situation required, “the only reason I summoned you was for help with this damned script. I sacrificed a perfectly good animal to get you here and I expect…”

“Oh, come on! That was a cold turducken! The damn thing wasn’t even alive when you bought it off your neighbor, and you only did it because I said something about the  stupid tofurkey last time! You’ve got a paperweight on your desk that says cruelty-free vegan and proud of it so get off you high horse, Little Ms. Writer’s Block!”

Lucinda sighed, drumming excessively chewed fingernails on the desk for an entire minute which, for the record, was the longest sixty seconds of her life. The deadline she’d been given was written in stone and she knew it. So did Narblaugh, and he was the only one coming up with any ideas today.

She cleared her throat, staring at the gigantic demon in his sharkskin suit—manufactured from actual sharks, of course. He blocked out every last beam of the sunlight on the opposite side of a double-paned  window, and it was heating  up the fabric on his broad back. Eau de SeaQuest DSV.

Disgusting.

“Goddammit,” Lucinda finally said, “I just don’t know if anyone is going to buy The Flying Nun secretly moonlighting as a ninety-pound dominatrix stripper who mandates all her clients use Gidget as a safeword. Hell, I don’t even know if anyone remembers who The Flying Nun was anymore.”

Narblaugh looked at his nails and shrugged.

“I don’t hear you coming up with any ideas for the studio, Loose Ends-uh. Call it Fifty Shades of Blasphemy, toss in a little sadomasochistic romance to buffer all the sex, slap a happy ending on that puppy, and let’s call it a day.”

“I can’t believe I’m listening to you,” Lucinda muttered as she shook her head and started typing again.

“Oh, and Lucinda?”

What?

“I want a screenplay credit this time—so you have to tell them I did more than 33% of something here.”

“Oh, my freaking … fine.”