Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sophie From Shinola, Part 17

For those of you who have been following along, here's Part 17 of our round robin writing game, Sophie From Shinola. To pick it up from the beginning, go here. Thanks to Michelle for putting this part of the story into my head, even though I haven't got the slightest idea why her comment made me think of this.

Mona woke with a start. She was momentarily disoriented and knew that the sun was higher than it should be. “Oh crap,” she thought, “I’ve overslept.” The last thing she could remember was that she’d had one more fortified cup of coffee than was really good for her. But she felt so good.

Reaching languorously across the bed, she picked up the manuscript for Sophie from Shinola from the bedside table and began to read again. She couldn’t place quite what it was, but there was something positively addictive about this story. But she couldn’t help feeling like something had changed. The first sentence seemed to follow what she’d been reading well enough, but from there on, things got really weird.

“Blink/Sophie pushed away from the alien body that used to be Sophie's, but now was truly and forevermore, not-Sophie”, was the first sentence she read, diving back into the story she felt she knew so well. “Blink/Sophie had been aiming her/their consciousness at the alien fleet, meaning to infiltrate themselves and save Chenolla VI from the invaders. But an odd thing happened. When Blink/Sophie opened her/their eyes, she/they didn’t see the smooth surfaces of an alien starship’s interior. She/They, saw palm trees…and sand…and pelicans. Before she/they had a chance to really contemplate this situation, she/they heard a voice. ‘What’s up little buddy?’, the voice said. Blink/Sophie looked up and saw a rather tubby man with a cap and a blue shirt. The man looked concerned and said, ‘You don’t look so good.’”

Mona didn’t understand what was going on any more than Blink/Sophie did. “A woman in a gown made entirely of sequence was standing behind the tubby man”, the story continued. “ ‘What’s wrong with Gilligan?’, she asked. The tubby man turned and said, ‘I don’t know. One minute he was peddling the generator-bike and then he started babbling something about Zelda and Dobie and then he just collapsed here. He hasn’t said a word since.’”

“Blink/Sophie saw another man and woman emerge from the jungle. The man, in the strangest accent Blink/Sophie had ever heard said, ‘We’ll get him the finest care money can buy.’ This was followed by the sound of really odd and fake sounding laughter. The woman, who appeared to be the man’s mother said, ‘It’s really a shame we didn’t bring any of the servants.’ Blink/Sophie was completely confused now and wisely kept her/their mouth shut.”

“Yet another pair emerged from the jungle. The man said, ‘I think I can help. Skipper, help me attach these coconut shells to Gilligan’s forehead. His brain waves will be transmitted to this reader and we’ll be able to identify the anomaly.’ The woman said, ‘Ginger, you bitch, back off! Gilligan’s mine! You always think you’re so fucking hot, but all the boys want me. My fresh-scrubbed wholesomeness is what all the boys really want, not you, you whore!”, Mona read.

Mona was at a loss to figure out what had happened to the story she’d been enjoying so much. She usually liked challenging plot twists, but she really wasn’t sure what to make of all this. She picked up the manuscript again to see if the next line might force the story back to making sense to her. Reading the next line, she found herself even more confused. Mona blinked.

There was a knock at the door, followed immediately by Mowat entering the room. He carried a tray with a silver coffee service emanating an aroma that made Mona’s mouth water. Mona was surprised to realize that even more than the smell of fresh coffee, the presence of Mowat was having a strangely calming effect on her. “What the hell is that all about?” she thought.


kimby said...

Great! Now I have the theme form Gilligan's Isle in my head. I love the fact that Mona has not only survived but thrived...and the fact that Mowat is now also in her personal life....WOOT!

Nathan said...

Well, I told you, I love Mona. I thought she was a great invention/addition to the story.

Thinking about that, since we're now in the homestretch, I'm going to make a few new rules regarding the end of the story.

1. The story cannot end with anyone being eaten by or sat on by a dinosaur. In fact, dinosaurs are right out for involvement with the ending.

2 The story cannot end with Suzanne Pleshette and Bob Newhart waking up together and wondering what just happened.

3. The story cannot end with anyone finding themselves alone in the world with nothing but time to read and breaking their glasses.

So let it not be written; So let it not be done!

Anonymous said...

holy crap, i've just realized i'm gonna the closer. ulp. well not to worry, i can follow those rules, nathan (but does that leave room for victoria principal --drool! -- and patrick duffy? i keed. mostly).

btw, please don't leave the climax to me, folks. fwiw, i'm more of an epilogue man.

Shawn Powers said...

Well, depending how it goes, my last bit *might* have set the stage to even explain the random plot changes. Of course, all that groundwork might end up being a dream an ant had about a woodchuck. There's still a lot of story yet to go. :)

I thought Nathan at one point planned to wrap the story up in a bow at the end, taking an extra turn (the bass turd). I could be wrong though...

Anonymous said...

Notice, all and sundry, that while Nathan banned those elements from the ending - he said nothing about subplots and tangents in the middle of the story. :)

My teens have trained me to always look for the loophole! It's too bad neither of them is interested in law as a profession.

Random Michelle K said...

How on EARTH is Gilligan's Island *my* fault!

And more importantly, how'd you get that from vibrators and dinosaur sodomy?

Nathan said...


taking these in order. Charles, we'll figure out a way to rescue you...maybe.

Shawn, I don't recall volunteering to end the thing. I see nothing wrong with the folks at the end of the line wrapping things up...and leaving Charles an epilogue to write.

Jeri, unfortunately you're right; I didn't prohibit them in the body of the story, but I hope we can do better.

and Michelle, I'll admit I have no idea what part of your comment made me think of that but it sprung up fully formed while I was reading your comment. Ergo, you gave me the idea. It might have been psychic and subconscious, but you still bear some responsibility.

And everybody else, how about a little respect for our dino-forefathers? What'd they do to deserve our abuse?

Shawn Powers said...

Hmm... for some reason, comment notification from blogger hasn't been working for me.

Cool. No pressure, Charles. It's just the wrap up of the most farcical tale in UCF history. It's second only to the, "we shall not speak of it again" event hosted by Nathan earlier in the year. I'm not sure that really had an end...

I'm loving Saturday, BTW. 60 degrees and sunny. :)

Nathan said...


Glad your Saturday is an improvement over your Friday.

And technically, that of which you speak was designed for its incoherence and it just ended (thankfully) when the clock ran out.

Charles, If you care about what he's talking about, use the search window and look for Hijack™ Day. And good luck making any sense of it without finding the matching threads in everybody else's blogs. Or for that matter even if you do find their threads.

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that it may be premature of us to think about the end, given that we've just started the middle. It's entirely possible that by the time it gets around to Charles we'll all be so full of new ideas that we'll want to do a third round.

As for the dinosaurs, I think they're a great addition; if I hadn't destroyed it in my last part, I'd have one go on a rampage in Redmond.

Nathan said...

Justin, I'll agree that we may want to go around a third time. It's also just as likely that some of you might want to track me down and do me bodily harm by then. Things get pretty unpredictable around here.

Random Michelle K said...

Who's unpredictable?

Anonymous said...

We have to wait until the end of this round to track you down and inflict bodily harm? Damn... patience was never my strong suit.