The Grant of Malice
Mr. Donald Furrows, Human Resources Assistant Manager, shifted in his plush leather chair, shuffled the papers in his hand a bit, put them down on the mahogany desk, and put his right index finger into his tight white shirt collar, pulling slightly, then pulling it out. He glanced up, then down, cleared his throat three times, turned two pages over, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, folded his hands, fingers intertwined.
cough “So, Ms. Swathorn…you’re applying for the…the…”
“Evil Genius Grant. Yes, I am.” Cynthia Swathorn crossed her legs. She noticed Furrows look at them: she had worn her favorite short black dress and back seamed stockings, knowing the effect her long legs had on most men, and a number of women.
He looked up, and then she continued. “Only men keep getting the grant and title. It’s discriminatory. You hear about Lex, Dr. Moreau, The Brain, Rick, Boris…on and on, but…Mr. Furrows, I am a genius. And I am most definitely evil.”
She leaned towards the desk. The low cut top of her dress caused Mr. Furrows another uncomfortable moment of leering. The feeling was extended much further when he raised his eyes slowly and saw the malevolent smile on her face, and the glint in her eyes.
cough “Feminine wiles do not an Evil Genius make, Ms. Swathorn.”
“Cyn. Call me Cyn. I like the cheesiness of it, and it does evoke so much. Wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Furrows?” She sat back in her chair and recrossed her legs. “Another cookie? I had time to kill this morning, so I baked. A little bribery?” She coughed a small laugh.
“No thank you, Ms. Swathorn…Cyn,” he quickly amended. “I have looked over your grant proposal, your Villainous Vitae is extremely impressive-excellent schools, each and every one. Recommendations from many of our past recipients…but, it’s just never been done, Ms. Swathorn. Discriminatory, maybe, but we’ve had problems in the past. No one seems to take a female evil genius seriously.”
“Notice the red hair?”
“Serious. Deadly serious. I was blond. No one takes blonds seriously. I know you noticed my figure. All deceptive maneuvers. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? I do…I certainly do. I also know that you’re protected from actual physical threats, and I was thoroughly searched before I entered this room. I gave the two guards a cookie each for a job well done.
“What you don’t know is that my grant proposal, while really well thought out, was just a lark. I knew it was good enough to get me in here. I’m that smart. It’s just a bit…much. Tunneling systems; fault lines; untold death and destruction: the good ol’ North America split into two…easy-peasy.
“So, the cookies?” Cyn leaned in close to the desk, resting her elbows on the glossy wooden top and cupping her chin in her hands. “You’ve heard the adage that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?’ Well, it’s also a great way to introduce something special.”
Furrows’ eyes bulged.
“No, no poison…that would be old hat, and unworthy of the grant monies. You’ve probably noticed your stomach doing little gurgling noises, yes?”
“I call it Gorp. Sounds like Gorp, so…” she smiled. “Here’s the deal: Gorp plays havoc with your body, once it ruins your digestive track. The bathroom will be your buddy. Then, if not appeased, Gorp goes bonkers. Aches and pains like you can believe. Right now it’s tummy time.”
“We’ll find an antidote. We have the best evil minds at our call.” Gorp.
“Well, yeah…you do, but…they all got a package of cookies yesterday. Special trial offer, ‘CynFully Good Bakes’. I would say most, if not all, the top evil doers (and some of the “good guys”) are ensconced on their porcelain goddess right now.
Now, here’s the thing: I put in a genetic ‘blender’ that keeps Gorp morphing, changing as it goes along. No set pattern after the first bout, no repeat loops, nothing lasting long enough to devise a fix. The subjects I tried it on: five days, six days max. Then…bye bye. Sign the grant paper, Mr. Furrows. Sign it.
Cyn leaned back, adjusting her dress, top and bottom, and recrossed her legs.
Gorp “…and if I do…you have a fix for this?” Gorp
She nodded. He signed both copies and stamped them with the official seal.
Dropping a small red tablet onto the desk (having retrieved it from the hem of her dress, one place the guards were not very through with checking), Cyn got up, took her copy, and smiled as she folded it up and put it in her suitcase.
“Oh, Mr. Furrows,” she said, as she had reached and opened his office door, turning back towards him: “You’ll need a new pill in five days. Sorry, but the antidote doesn’t seem to last very long. Gorp likes to hang around. If you’d like another one, and ones after that, you might want to consider putting me up for the Lifetime Achievement Award. All that money coming in, year after year…and a plaque too. I’ve always wanted a commemorative plaque. Hear from you soon?”
She blew him a kiss. Laughing a very righteous sinister laugh (the guards and Furrows thought to themselves), Cyn walked out with deadly precision.
The Evil Genius Blogfest is the brainchild of a young lady who only goes by the handle The Golden Eagle. Her blog, The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective is celebrating it’s Two Year Anniversary today (February 27, 2012). Quite an accomplishment, and a blog well worth connecting to. There are others who are participating in this very fun blogfest: click HERE to visit the linky list of other Evil Genius stories.
Happy Anniversary, GE!
OH…if you’ve gotten this far down, I’ll also be involved in The AtoZ Blogfest that runs every April. Last year was my first foray and it also really set me on the road that Tale Spinning has led me. They are looking to get 1,000 people to sign up; I was in the 1100’s last year. It was an amazing month, and I got to “meet” some great writers.
I also met my (now) sweetie, the woman I adore and love, through it, and I couldn’t be happier.
Give it a shot. If you have a writer hiding deep down inside you, this will help set it free. Sign up by clicking HERE
The Morning Star closed the Obsidian Journal that Lilith had given to him after their last tryst. She had announced it with the O and J in a very capitalized way, and now he could not think of it otherwise. Lily was off doing what she did wickedly well, being the Mother of Demons, and he was glad she was gone. “Great in the sack (well, we did it everywhere but in the sack; but who’s counting?), she was also a primal headache, second only to YOU KNOW WHO,” he thought.
Lucifer let out a great heavy sigh, a sigh that was burthen down with the weight of the world upon his winged shoulders. He touched the corners of the journal, the volcanic glass from Hell’s Half Acre rhyolitic lava field, letting the high viscosity and polymerization crystal play underneath his talons. If he would ever to admit to such a thing, the Lord of the Underworld was…happy.
The Obsidian Journal was the first one that he was able to write his thoughts in private, and keep them there. Yes, he had tried other bound annals: moleskin, calf skin, human skin. They all burst into hell’s cinders, and once aflame words would find their ways into the ears of demons (if they had had ears), and oh…what terrible pleasure they had in quoting the Lord of Flies. The petty gossips, jealousies and fears he so relished from others was poison to him when it was about him, and his wrath only grew, but it did not stop the quips.
“Did you hear the one about Lucifer and…” was often heard around the nine levels, with a different subject matter about who or what the “and” was depending on the level.
Ahh, but the Obsidian Journal, this was different. His reflections of the days’ damned deeds burned obscenely into the dark glass, the letters of flame dancing from the pain and shame of those he enticed. Lucifer chuckled, which caused many lesser demons to flee for their essence, as life is not what you would say they had.
“Time well spent at NYU,” he thought.” So many there, to be easily swayed my way. So many mine already before they entered.”
The dark glass echoed the Lord of Lie’s black smile. “It’s…ugh… good…to be a reflective practitioner!”
His laughter caused a moaning across Hell, and an exodus for the gates.
Heaven did not wait.
This is for Tom, for making an obsidian out of a moleskin.
SPECIAL NOTE: A Guest Blog Story by Yours Truly!
I was asked by Damyanti of Daily (W)rite for a guest blog story for her while she undertook a long trip during August. It’s one thing to write a guest blog, and it’s another to have someone ask you to write a guest blog STORY for them. I was doubly honored this way by a writer I respect.
She gave me a photo prompt, two words I must use (hourglass; pencil), and a 250 word limit. I did it, and called it “Under Pig and Duck.” Leave a comment on her blog. I’ll respond there.
Also, just to keep you on tether hooks, the details for The Rule of Three Fiction Writers Blogfest is coming soon. If you write fiction and write a blog, I hope you’ll join us on this very exciting journey. My first “teaser” story can be found here: Renaissance: Prissy’s Story
When I wrote the first part of Birdsongs: The Walkabout Man, I found I had a lot of stories that I wanted to tell in this world. I left paths in the story for me to travel on another time: Why is Serenite away with others from the Mukel, and why is Otium so concerned?; What was the Honey Bee Dreaming?; What is the music of language?; Why should we Never Avert Our Eyes?; and Why is The Walkabout Man coming?
One of the things that puzzled me was “where did the Walkabout Man get the layers and layer of virtues”? Virtues play a role in these tales. I pretty much know where I’m taking this, utilizing the abstracts of virtues.
Birdsongs: The Virtuous War, answers part of the question I posed to myself. The reason it’s not here? I entered a contest on Figment: to write a fable, keeping it under 1,200 words, where the setting of the story is in an imaginary land on the day before a final battle. Oh…and Paulo Coelho, modern fablist author of “The Alchemist,” would be reading the top ten finalists and choosing the winner of the bunch. I would like that chance, to be read and hopefully critiqued by an author I admire. There is a top prize of money, but in all honesty: I would love the chance to get professional feedback more right now.
So, here is what I’m asking you to do: click on the link to Birdsongs: The Virtuous War. Read it, and ONLY IF you like it, please “heart” it (and leave a comment if you’d be so kind). Now, the only snag: you have to join Figment (no cost). I have had others join to read, writers have created new pages, and a few others logged on, voted, and then deleted their joining. I WILL be writing and posting more on that site ( I entered a lyrics contest for the fun of it), so…if you join, and you like my work, just let it sit. You’ll also find a wide range of reading on the site. I’ve enjoyed a number of tales already.
REMEMBER: if you read it and like it, great. If you do not like it, or decide not to read it: PLEASE DO NOT HEART IT. I am serious. I want to get this on merit, not trolling for votes. The only way I’m stomaching my asking you this: I’d like you to read my work. Plain and simple. I want honest feedback. I want to be a better writer.
Thank you one and all. More Birdsongs will be on their way.