With the assistance of my new sidekick (more to come on her later!) I have come up with a new idea for my publicity stunt! Not only will this spur some creativity in you guys (I hope), but if successful, it will prove to be HIGHLY entertaining for me AND my readers! So, without further ado, I bring you MEGA MEME MONDAY!
Here’s how it will work:
Every Monday, starting today, you will see a post with two photos… The top one will be the inspiration for the accompanying Mega Meme and the bottom one will serve as the inspiration for the following week’s Mega Meme. I’m kicking it off this week with this lovely story about bad luck, bad decisions and bad rodeo clowns (see below)…
YOUR job is to make it through my story to the photo at the bottom of the post and let your fingers do the rest! All you have to do is write me a short story (between 500 and 1500 words) describing the events that lead up to the moment the photo was taken! Simple, right? You will then submit these short stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org for review. Should my evil henchman and I (potentially more members as this takes off) decide that your submission is the best, it will be posted the following Monday as the featured Mega Meme! Naturally, this means you will want to submit your name, a blurb and links to your blog, book store, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace (WHA?!) or any other site you may or may not have so that I can include it in the post and get you some traffic (I’ll do up to 5 links per post)!
If you have any questions, comments or outbursts, PLEASE feel free to comment and/or email us and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible! Aaaaaaand GO!
As always, Happy Writing!
With the mother of all hangovers river-dancing its way through my head, I painstakingly cracked open one bleary eye. As expected, a searing pain shot through my skull and turned the dancers into flaming elves with hammers. Alas, nature was calling and refused to quit.
I slammed my lids down over my dry, sticky eyes and tried to prepare myself for the perilous trip to the bathroom. When I kicked at the tangled blankets to release the lower half of my body, that’s when I realized something just wasn’t right. The flaming elves—along with their mean little hammers—had relocated to a place between my ankle and my toes.
I forced my eyes open one last time and with a sense of sheer terror coursing through my being, searched for the source of the searing, throbbing pain.
At the sight of my blood-stained sheets, my stomach did a neat little flip-flop trick that kinda made me want to heave.
“Deep breath!” I said to myself as I gulped in air and held it for a few moments, “Now, wiggle your big toe.“
Worst idea ever.
“Holy mother of God!”
Clearly, all of my digits were still attached and functional so ever-so-slowly moved myself into an upright position. I grabbed the already-defiled sheet and started to gently wipe the sticky almost-dried blood off of the top of my foot.
As the swollen black lines began to peek through the smeared, gelatinous mess, so did the memories. They poured in slowly at first, like I was watching them through a fog, but the more of the ink I uncovered, the more I remembered of the night before.
Groaning, I hobbled my way into the bathroom, trying not to bend or move my ankle. I kicked my leg up, turned on the faucet as cold as I could get it, and held my stinging stump of a foot under the stream. As the rust-colored blood started to loosen up and wash away, my curiosity piqued.
I couldn’t even tell what the damn thing was supposed to be.
Just then, my mobile started ringing from somewhere amongst the pile of clothes that I had somehow managed to remove before I fell into my bed.
Hoping that it was someone with answers, left the faucet running and limped my way back into the bedroom to begin the search.
I found it right before it went to voicemail.
“Yeah?” the voice that came out of me was barely a whisper.
“You mad dog! How’s the foot?”
“Christ, Alex! Tone it down, woman!” I held the phone away from my head a little so that her voice didn’t split my skull in two. “It’s killing me. Whose bright idea was it to let me get a tattoo while I was so pissed? I can’t even believe the guy did the work with me so belligerent! The damn thing is still bleeding!”
The high pitched laugh that came through the speaker told me that she had not had nearly as much as me.
“You ran out screaming bloody murder! Confused the hell out of the poor guy! You really should get back in there and let him finish it off.”
“I don’t even know what the hell it’s supposed to be!”
“Probably a butterfly.”
More maniacal laughter.
“Real cute.” I grumble.
“Look, I’ll be there in twenty and get you back in there. They can fix you up in a jiffy!” after a pregnant pause she added, “Well, the foot at least!” before the line went dead.
Thirty of the longest minutes of my life later, we were walking through the vaguely familiar front doors of the tattoo parlor. The satanic buzzing of the needles from the back of the shop seemed happy to keep time with the pounding in my skull and I felt the blood rush out of my head and pool in some useless extremity of my body. It was all I could do to keep upright and pray that nobody noticed me sway.
No such luck.
The face that I had convinced myself was a figment of my imagination appeared in the doorway and smiled a sardonic grin.
“Well, isn’t this a surprise? How’s the foot?”
Trying not to pass out and make a complete ass of myself, I laughed nervously, “I uh… Seem to have interrupted your work last night.”
“Yeah you did!” he laughed as he stepped into the lobby, “I think my ears are still ringing!” He glanced down at the bandage on my foot, “You’re not wanting me to finish that are you? If so,” he ran his hand over his short-cropped hair, “you’re shit out of luck. Can’t touch that again until it heals.”
The blood rushed back to my brain in a hurry as my temper flared. “Hell no I’m not getting it finished! You’re gonna take this shit out of my skin! I don’t care if you have to cut it out with a scalpel!”
“We actually let a laser do that part and it hurts like a son-of-a-bitch. You’re not all that good with pain if my memory serves me.” I could see him waging a battle with the mocking stare that kept trying to surface on his face. “Not to mention, you’re looking at at least six sessions before your ink is totally gone.”
“Just get it off me. This…” I pointed in the general direction of my foot, not sure what to call the piece of “art” that had begun to take shape.
“Midget rodeo clown?” he filled in.
Alex nearly dropped to the floor laughing and I stared at her in horror.
“Wait, that really happened? The little guy on the tricycle wasn’t a dream?”
Alex collapsed to the floor in a heap of bellowing laughter.
“Tattoo her. Now. I want it to say “enter at your own risk” just below her…”
She slammed her foot down on the top of my bandaged foot before I could finish my sentence.
As the obscenities flew from my mouth, I tried to stop myself from falling off of the foot that remained on the ground. I failed miserably.
My cart-wheeling fist met the tattoo guys nose with a sickening crunch and a spray of red and I crumpled to the floor at Alex’s feet.
The rest happened in slow motion.
As he stumbled backwards through the door, his hands came up to his face without him seeming to notice. He tripped over his own feet and went down like a felled tree.
A small device about the size of a tattoo gun tumbled off of the table next to him and I saw his eyes go wide when he saw it. The contraption hit the floor with a blinding flash before skittering into a storage closet and beginning its incarnation as a strobe light.
It didn’t take long for the smell of ammonia to reach my nose.
Moments later, a ball of flames shot out of the closet toward my face and time suddenly remembered that it had places to be.
Alex and I scrambled towards the door as the flames began to spread.
Once outside, we watch through the huge glass windows as everyone in the back room makes a mad dash for the rear exit.
After a minute or so of standing there in shock, the sirens in the distance pull us from our reverie. Alex looks over at me, back at the shop, then back at me, a smile slowly creeping into her eyes.
“There’s never a dull moment with you, is there?” she says, flashing her brilliant teeth in my face.
The only thing that seems to come to mind is the Chinese restaurant over her shoulder.
I grab her arm and drag her through the door, not caring if she was hungry.
“I’m starved. Dumplings?”