Tag Archives: romance novels

Fallen Arches Redux

Writing the romance_picture copy    Fallen Arches title copy      Fallen waldorf

 

I am on a short (several week) break.  In my absence, I direct your attention to Fallen Arches.

Fallen Arches is my silly effort at poking fun at romance novels.  Both Carrie Rubin and Diane Henders have been kind and big-hearted enough (and foolish enough) to allow me to take their novels and turn them into mincemeat with my perverted version of heart-throbbing and head-aching romance.  See The Minot Misery and Corned Beef on Spy, respectively.  Madame Weebles‘ post on Search Terms: WTF Edition and Alex Trebek inspired me to write a parody entitled Double Jeopardy.

[As an aside, I do note that no one has asked me to do this a second time.]

Other vain and misdirected efforts include an envious vampire, a lonely housewife, and a would-be gangster.  I have sought out every genre from dinner parties to detectives to outer space to mystical transformations. I have written them based upon search terms and multiple choice: No theme is beyond my ability to reduce it to crappy pulp.  They are all listed under “Romance Novel?” in the Types of Gripes.

But, as you know, I’m not original and I am always looking for material.  If any of you wish to have your novels, journals or articles reduced to mushy, illogical, sentimental rubbish, then please send me your ideas and I will ruin them post-haste (or whenever I feel like it).

When I return, I will give your comments the attention they deserve.  In the meantime, you can waste your time and waste away your brain perusing through the chapters of  Writing the romance_fallen copy.

Transformed

For those of you unfamiliar with this theme, Fallen Arches is a curmudgeon’s way of looking at romance, one broken heart at a time.

So here is yet another episode of:

Fallen Arches title copy

transformation

Darryl had only three desires in life – hunting, fishing and getting into girls’ panties.

Coming to Grandma’s cabin in the mountains let him do the hunting and fishing; girls’ panties would have to wait a bit longer.  He always liked coming to Grandma’s cabin.  Grandma was a little bit weird but she was pleasant and she always fed him good stuff like shrimp and grits and biscuits with gravy.  Besides, the hunting on her property today was fan-tastic!  He had already bagged himself two rabbits just a short ways from the cabin and was on his way back to show off his trophies.

His hope was that Grandma would be back and she would not have Uncle Fester and Aunt Lou Ellen in tow.  They were really weird! In fact, all three kept talkin’ shit about some trans-somethin’.  Aunt Lou Ellen was always gabbing about how the rocks and the stars mixed with your soul and brought out your inner being, blah, blah, blah.  It was all bullshit as far as Darryl could see.  He couldn’t figure it out and didn’t want to.  As long as they fed him and let him hunt, he was happy.

He also liked the thought of seeing cousin Daisy.  He always wanted to get into her knickers since he was a pup.  She must be all of fourteen now and ripe as could be, yeseree.  Darryl figured that one day he’d see Daisy, sneak up on her and let nature do the rest.  At least, that was how Darryl saw it.

As he approached the cabin, he saw that Grandma had returned.  The other pickup in the drive told him that Uncle Fester and Aunt Lou Ellen were there as well.  His downcast spirits were lifted a bit by the thought of seeing cousin Daisy, even if she came with that snot-nosed little brother of hers.  Just as long as Uncle Fester didn’t stare at him with those god-awful eyes.  Darryl was a big, strong young man and not afraid of much but something about Uncle Fester frightened him and made his skin crawl.

He bounded up the steps and prepared himself for the ritual greetings as he heard Grandma say to him “Oh, Darryl.  You just missed it.  It was the most wonderful transformation that your uncle has ever done.”

Darryl wondered what crap he had thankfully missed when his aunt chimed in.  “It was amazing.  Both children just hopped and bounded with joy.  You should have seen them leaping out the door and into the fields.”

“Both children?” said Darryl querulously.  “You mean Daisy and her little brother?”

“That’s right.” chirped Aunt Lou Ellen.  “Your uncle made them free animal spirits.  They get to enjoy the entire day as joyful creatures of the open air and fresh fields before they change back.  You may have passed them hopping about as you came in.”

“H-h-hopping” stammered Darryl.  “You mean l-l-like rabbits?”

“Yes,” said Aunt Lou Ellen “that’s exactly right.  Your uncle transformed them into two darling rabbits to sense freedom and experience their other being.”

“So what did you do while we were gone?” asked Grandma.  “Was your hunting successful?”

“Oh, yes” said Darryl, without thinking.  “I managed to bag two – ah – two – ah r-r-rab-rabbits.”

“Two rabbits” said Uncle Fester in a low, even but menacing voice.  “Two rabbits out in the front field, by any chance?”

“Y-e-s” said Darryl slowly as a dreadful thought started to enter his skull.

“The front field!” shrieked Aunt Lou Ellen, “Isn’t that where the children went when you changed them?”

Uncle Fester’s eyes – always scary as two coal-black centers – now began to change to an intense, fiery red glow as he stared with increasing animosity at Darryl.

Darryl realized with growing alarm that he was going to find out about being transformed.  And he wasn’t going to like it one bit!

Double Jeopardy

I am indebted to Madame Weebles and her post Search Terms: WTF Edition for this chapter of Fallen Arches.

Personally, I have nothing against Alex Trebek or his wife but the idea was too good to pass up.  All the phrases in italics are taken from Weebles’ search terms.

————————————————————————–

Alex Trebek sat tidily erect at the dining room table reviewing the latest topics for his game show Jeopardy.  Despite the early morning hour, he was already dressed nattily in a double-breasted summer-weight wool suit, whose creases were squarely aligned without wrinkles, his azure-blue Countess Mara tie squarely formed in a Windsor knot and a carefully folded monogrammed handkerchief peering delicately and precisely from his suit jacket.  His signature silver hair crowned his head and was as full now as it was decades ago when he first started as the host of his eponymous variety show.

Sipping elegantly from his cup of freshly seeped Oolong tea, he was momentarily distracted from his morning chore as he stared across the table to a plate of half-eaten spaghetti with weebles.  Next to it sat a food-stained edition of Weeblerotica magazine opened to an article entitled Picturesque Vagina.  Alex instinctively wrinkled his nose at the messy intrusion into his otherwise neatly arranged world.  As he returned to his list, he suddenly noticed that someone, annoyingly and surreptitiously, had penciled through the list of topics and entered another, and more vulgar, set.  In place of Towns Starting with ‘B,’ Presidents’ Day and Wild West were scratched in Barricading the Cheese, Precocious Tits and Dead Marshmallow.

Drawing in his breath, his brows furrowed, he knew who was responsible when the culprit, his wife, lurched into the room.   Wearing a shocking pink nightgown, her hair in curlers and the butt of a cigarette dangling from her lips, she staggered to the liquor cabinet and helped herself to a morning bourbon.  Looking at Trebek, she spat out the words: “Well if it isn’t Subway Penis.”

Alex, unfazed, put down the altered list and said smugly: “You need to phrase that as a question, dear.”

She snorted: “Here’s a question for you Alex, when are you going to stop wearing pantyhose, you butt-plug?”

Alex, unsmiling, replied: “I wore pantyhose for Halloween, now I can’t stop.”

Undaunted, his wife continued:  “Here’s some more questions for you.  Can I touch up my hair and raid it the same day?  Why is Alex Trebek such an insufferable prick?  Can cats carry demons?  Why does Alex Trebek think he’s hot shit? “

Bolting upright from his chair as though shocked by a cattle prod, Trebek stomped firmly out of the breakfast room but not before his wife shouted one last question to his back.  “Will Mr. Pantyhose Ascendant have a nice day?”  She let out a guffaw followed by a series of chortles, gasps, snorts and wheezes, the result of many years of chain-smoking and binge drinking.  Alex marched stiffly forward, slowly and determinedly, as though walking to the gallows.

Romancing the [Search Term]

This chapter of Fallen Arches is based upon an idea from Rutabaga, the Mercenary Researcher, who wrote a post about search terms.  It is astonishing when reviewing your site stats to see the words and phrases used as search terms.

Using only search terms from your own blog, fill in the blanks in the story below.  You must use only the unaltered search terms.

I will supply the first set of fill-ins.

——————————————————————————————-

Our scene is set in London in the times of Victorian England.  A licentious and bawdy earl returns to his home for an afternoon of entertainment with his lovely maid.

Lord Farthblank, Eighth Earl of Disturbia, strode boldly into his bed chambers where he found his young and alluring maid anxiously waiting his return.  “Quickly, Maria, disrobe.  I have been told of an entirely new sexual technique called__A__ and my loins ache to try it out forthwith.”

“My lord” said the maid breathlessly “what does it involve?”

“Well,” said the earl slyly “I won’t divulge all the particulars but I will tell you that it calls for riding whips, two bananas, several garters and a __B__.”

As the young maid obediently began to disrobe, she turned back towards the earl as he finished removing his trousers.  The maid began to giggle uncontrollably.

“Whatever is the matter with you?” cried the earl.

“Oh” said the maid, “it is your member.  It is shaped just like a __C__.”

The earl, blushing, said defiantly “It most certainly is not.  If you must be so impertinent, young Maria, your breasts look like two __D__.”

“Oh, sire” exclaimed the maid.  “I am most distressed and can only say to you __E__.”

 ——————————————————————————————-

A.            Frankenstein rising

B.            human trebuchet

C.            clownfish

D.            organs that have folds

E.            was man who was hit by ice cream truck while dancing in the street hurt

———————————————————————————————-

Now it is your turn.

———-

Broke-your-back Mountain

It was going to be a long, cold winter.

After the last of the sheep had entered the shed, Andy Stills pulled the door shut, fighting against the stern rush of wind and the ever accumulating drifts of snow that had marked the third day of unrelenting storm.  The ominous pewter and rust colored skies gave every indication that there would be no let up in the angry weather.

Andy Stills and Barney Coltart had started their relationship years ago, in these same wind-swept, high grasslands of Eastern Wyoming.  An accidental meeting between a hard-scrabble rancher and an itinerant cowboy had culminated in a deep closeted relationship.  Despite their separate ways and marriages, Andy had agreed – more and more reluctantly as time passed – to meet once each year here on Barney’s sheep farm.

Brushing the snow from his shoulders, Andy reminisced about how their affair had started over a decade ago in a situation similar to this one.  Two down-on-their-luck young men, trapped together for weeks during a bitterly cold winter roundup, had found that their mutual attraction was more than just respect and admiration; it was a bond of love that they both tried, at first, to deny, Andy more so than Barney.

Barney knew better than Andy that he always had affection for other men, despite the fact that he, like Andy, had used marriage to offset his deep-seated desires.  Barney shuffled carefully in the close quarters of the shed, pulled off his gloves, brushed off his hat and placed both down on the small wooden stand, next to the oil lamp.  He turned to Andy with a wistful look and said, “That’s the last of the herd, thank God.  Takes longer and longer each year to round ‘em up.”

Andy spoke slowly and softly to Barney.  “I don’t know when this weather will let up but soon as it does, I got to get on my way.  You know that, Barney.”

Barney sobbed “Andy, it’s hard.  I ain’t got no words to tell you what you goin’ away each time does to me.  I just wish you could make up your mind and stay.”

Moved by his words, Andy reached to embrace Barney but Barney pushed forcefully back.  “No, not here, not in front of my wife, Sheila.”

Andy jumped back with a start, swiveling his head from left to right and back again in sharp, jerky motions to see where, in the confines of the small sheep barn, Barney’s wife could have hidden herself.  He had never met Barney’s wife and now was not a good time to start.

“I don’t see your wife anywhere.”

“She’s right there in front of you, Andy.  The one with the bright red bow” proclaimed Barney with a note of pride.  Barney reached out, patting and caressing a large round sheep wearing an intricate and brightly colored red bow around her neck.  “We’ve been married for going on seven years.  I got her the bow for an anniversary present.  I’ve never told Sheila about me and you until now.  It’s been real hard to find the moment to break the news to her and I’m all worked up about it.”  Tears streamed down the front of Barney’s face.

Andy sighed and looked forlornly out the small, now frosted window of the sheep barn, the accumulating snow working its way up the bottom half of the outside window pane.

It was, indeed, going to be a long, cold winter.