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July 22, 2024


By Sand Pilarski

Character names, character names -- what was it they said to do to find names? Oh, yes, random name generator.

Robert Tallyheusen, Caroline Zendt, Theodore Simiapoulous, and Alicia Moresby found the body in the dumpster in the parking lot of Angelini's restaurant. Alicia clutched at her stomach, Caroline covered her mouth, Robert said, "Sure glad we had Italian and not a pork roast," and Theodore threw up on his shoes.

No, wait, that was really gross. Why does writing fiction always bring out my seamier side? Maybe I'll start with background. I'll throw a dart and wherever it sticks in my map of the United States, that's where I'll locate my story.

Dammit, it hit Des Moines again. Fine, I'll throw one of my knitting needles.

I can't believe it embedded itself in the feathers of the dart.

No, I am not using Des Moines as a location again. Here, stupid map! See what you can do with a shoe!

Well, looks like we took Iowa right off the map. It's the only part still sticking to the wall.

They made Robert call the police, as none of them could finish a sentence without gagging. They made Robert talk to the police when they arrived, for he was the only one who could point out where the body lay, its limbs spread stiffly in the light of the setting sun.


Wait, punch up that random name generator again --

Officer Wayne gingerly removed a wallet from the bloated pants of the corpse. "Looks like our dead pal here is Omar Adibi, age 48, male, and lives by the Art Museum in the Hobart Condominium Complex. Hey," said the cop, didn't you say your name was Robert Tallyheusen?"

Caroline and Theodore and Alicia had eased their way nearer and could see that the policeman's expression had changed to one of suspicion.

"You know this guy?" asked the cop.

"Never saw him until after dessert," said Robert, causing Theodore to begin gagging again.

"Then why does he have one of your business cards in his suit pocket?"

That's good, a surprising plot twist. Those are supposed to lead to lots more words. All I have to do is figure out what the hell it means.

It's been three hours and I don't know what the hell it means. You know, they say when you get stuck, you can do flashbacks -- that ought to jump start this story again.

The four of them had been visiting a tiny island off Barbados the summer before, and there was more curiosity than passion that led them to experiment with various combinations of the foursome in the long nights without television or board games.

Forget this crap. Delete, delete, delete. Wait, I should have saved the names. Crap. There's got to be a method to this. I need to knit.

I wonder why all my sweaters begin, "It was a dark and stormy night ... ?"

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-10-09
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