Intros for Angel Buddies
|This section was written by Arakun the Twisted Raccoon |
Acme settled himself in his computer chair and moved closer to the screen. "Awk!" he coughed as he felt something tighten around his throat. No! It couldn't be. One of his enemies had managed to locate his carefully hidden island lair, found his inner sanctum, and was now choking the life out of him. Just when his meticulous planning was about to pay off, just when he was about to realize his dream of world domination. It was so ironic, so unfair...
A henchman heard the commotion and rushed into the room. Instead of coming to his employer's aid, he stopped and burst out laughing. "Uh, Boss," he said. "You've run the chair wheels over your cape again."
"Oh, a-hem, thanks," Acme sputtered, making a mental note to feed that henchman to his pet alligator, Snappy, as soon as he could find a replacement. Good help was so hard to come by these days. He freed himself from the cape, pushed his mask up out of his eyes, and turned back to the computer screen. Ahh, another review.
Review of "Invalid Item" from Arakun the Twisted Raccoon
This is absolutely hilarious. I just love your megalomaniac character. I almost believe you really are an evil genius who is plotting to take over the world. Please write more! Thank you,
100 gift points were included with this review
"Muhuhahahaha! If you only knew," Acme said to the adorable raccoon picture that accompanied the review. This Writing.com alias was his most brilliant idea yet. To the WDC world, he was a young British mother of two daughters who worked as a parish administrator and wrote comedy in her spare time. He congratulated himself on creating such a wonderful alter ego. Who would connect a nice lady who worked for the Church of England and wrote funny stories to the perfect plan for world domination?
Acme looked down at the black satin sash across his chest which was covered with Writing.com merit badges. If community recognition and gift points were gold he would have enough to buy the world five times over, but he reminded himself that his writing had a deeper purpose. He looked at his watch. It was time. He punched the email address of his most trusted henchman, Blinky, into the keyboard and typed:
3, 12, 17, 26, 51, 72, 88, 104, 121
The top number was no ordinary seven digit number, although it would seem so to the uninitiated. It was a WDC item number, a unique identifier that would lead Blinky to one of Acme's stories. The list of numbers down below stood for words in the story. When the words were read in sequence they would say, Steal all the jewels from Jewel Cave National Monument, the next step in Acme's diabolical plan. A few minutes later, Blinky emailed back, On my way, Boss
Acme leaned back in his chair, mindful of his cape, and put his feet up on the computer table. This was too perfect. He could direct operations from his computer without leaving the comfort of his lair. If he had known about Writing.com sooner, he'd already be master of the planet.
A few hours later, the telephone rang and Blinky's cell phone number appeared on the caller ID. Acme picked up the phone and said, "Did you finish the job?"
"Well, I'm doing what you asked, but someone called the cops. I don't think I can slip past them. And it's freezing up here."
"What do you mean, up here? You're supposed to be in a cave. What item number did you use?"
"Uh--1685729 just like you said, Boss."
"You idiot! It was 1685792."
"Sorry, Boss. I wasn't wearing my glasses. If I get arrested you'll have to bail me out."
"No, I won't bail you out. I don't even know who you are." Acme slammed down the phone. Blinky had some nerve, demanding to be bailed out without even saying please. Afraid of what he would find, Acme went to item number 1685729 and picked out the sequence of words he had given Blinky. They said, Dance naked on roof of North Dakota capitol building.
Acme sighed and beat his head against the computer monitor several times. What good was the perfect plan when you depended on rude imbeciles to carry it out? He needed a different kind of henchman, a polite Midwesterner who knew how to say please and thank you. A nocturnal creature with good eyesight, who wouldn't get lost in the North Dakota Badlands or the plot of the most twisted story. A master of disguise who could blend in anywhere as a scientist, a grandmother, or a frontiersman's headgear.
Acme turned back to the review from Arakun the Twisted Raccoon and hit reply. Dear Raccoon, he typed. How would you like a job?
Later that night, Arakun sat at the computer in her hollow tree picking out the code words in item 1685792. When she finished, she showed it to her daughter, Bubba & Scooter's Mom
"Don't you think you'd better tell him?" BSM asked.
"Well, the barrel of trash Acme promised me for my first month's wages is already on its way,"Arakun said. "I guess it's safe to let him know there are no real jewels in Jewel Cave." *
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This section was written by Acme
It wasn't until a few weeks later that they met, not over coffee, but at a WDCAA meeting (Writing Dot Com Anonymous Anonymous). She was a raccoon, he was a megalomaniac. Love wasn't in the air, but friendship was.
"Hi. I'm a raccoon, but live a secret virtual life on Writing.Com as a lover of flash fiction with a twist in the tale." If furry bandit mask markings could blush, those in attendance would have seen their first pink raccoon.
A ripple of welcoming applause undulated around the room. A little old man of Yoda-ish proportions stood up. "Welcome to Anonymous Anonymous, Arakun. I'm Gossip Girl. It takes a lot to shake off our virtual identities and embrace the real us. You'd be surprised at the amount of influential Writing.Com members we get in here. Osama --" he pointed to the terrorist "--is actually one of America's foremost Country Music bloggers, and Acme -- " he poked his walking stick into the folds of a silk cape that concealed a snoozing mound of afro hair " -- is in charge of the entire planet, when not pretending to be a Church of England Parish Administrator."
The buoyant locks began to shake awake. Like a prematurely deployed parachute, Acme sat upright. the visual display was similar to a butterfly emerging from a cocoon -- only in reverse. The waking man wore a villain's mask held on with elastic bands around his ears.
"So you're the famous Acme?" the raccoon asked. "You're taller in your stories."
Acme grunted, "Are you real?"
"That's a tough one. Are any of us?" Arakun settled down on the plastic chair, licking a patch of fur that had somehow got matted between the short walk from the Thomsons' dustbins and the meeting hall. She coughed up a fur ball and continued, " 'erm, I thought folk would take my work seriously if I pretended to be a biologist and grandmother of two. It's part of my Plan."
"Oh, good gravy! What is it with you 'artistic' types that makes you vicious, malicious gossips with a penchant for manic laughter and 'fool proof' plans?" Arakun was surprised to see Hilary Clinton tear herself away from her laptop to interrupt.
"Now, now, Hilary," Gossip Girl admonished, wagging a gnarly, old nicotine stained finger for emphasis. "Introductions, please. And we check the political agendas at the door."
"Fine." Hilary flared her nostrils to the point where a romance novelist would compare her to an untamed filly, before regaining her trademark slap-on smile. "Hello. My name is Hilary, and by day I do legal stuff and hobnobbing. By night I am Shawn Fanning."
"I thought you were Napster?" Acme raised a loaded eyebrow.
"If you say so."
Arakun coughed politely. "Actually, in reality, I'm not a vicious, malicious gossip, megalomaniac or terrorist -- I'm an eco-warrior."
The room erupted into laughter, soon extinguished by the heated lava of Arakun's stare.
"I, for one, would love to hear your plan," Acme piped up. "I'm always banging on about recycling to Philip. He's a great henchman with an AK47, but a terror with his beer cans. I told him straight, 'Philip, if no one at the Lair recycled, how would I have ever managed to create that scale model I made of the Missile Silo.' It's amazing what you can do with an egg box, some bendy straws, and a washing-up liquid bottle."
"My plans go a little further than Thunderbirds set modeling," the raccoon said. "I'm currently turning North Dakota into a nature reserve."
"Oh! What part?" Hillary beamed. She owned a nice little getaway there.
"All of it."
The room sat there dumbfounded, just like its occupants.
"Hardly anyone takes the inhabitants seriously at planning meetings-- "
"Not so!" Hillary interrupted again. "I, for one, believe every voter's opinion is important."
"I don't mean human inhabitants. Let's be honest, if a cougar shows up at the town hall, his voice won't be heard over the screams and thuds of fleeing feet. The only inroad I've made so far is when I smuggle myself in on top of Bubba & Scooter's Mom 's head and make like a coonskin hat. Don't get me wrong, she's most accommodating, but folk think it funny when her lips move out of sync with her mouth. She fell asleep once and that prompted a series of embarrassing embellishments about snore-talking... Anyway, that was then. Now I have the Plan."
Acme steepled his finger tips together. It would have looked good, if his sleeves weren't longer than his arms. He looked more stumpy than steepley. Nonetheless, he continued, "How can a lone raccoon have a hope of maintaining and reclaiming North Dakota's natural beauty?"
"Simple -- I won't do it alone. I need a buddy. Someone who can shadow my efforts and use opposable thumbs in meetings. I thought I might find an ally here. Someone who loves this planet. Someone who places its good above personal gain --"
"Well, that counts me out," Hillary acquiesced.
"Someone who knows that there is more to life than the latest must have technological twaddle --"
"If you're including the new Blackberry in that twaddle, I'm afraid I can't help you," conceded Gossip Girl, as he scratched his beard.
"Someone who values all life --"
"Apart from the infidel?"
"No, Osama. Sorry. All life."
"Someone, preferably with a band of happy kidnapped Russian scientists to assist in the lab. Now, who's with me?"
All eyes fell on Acme. He smiled back. "'Cor! Good luck with that, my erstwhile, mammalian friend. I've been looking for a writing buddy on Writing.Com with similar tastes in responsible world domination... gold dust, mate... as rare as rocking horse manure. I googled, 'Where can I find a small voice of reason to back up my recycling scheme at the lair?', and up pops The Angel Army's Buddy System."
He sat back and tutted, his mind bankrupt -- the penny still refused to drop.
Arakun sighed. "Have you ever thought of taking a vacation, Acme? Lake Sakakawea is quite a sight this time of year. You could even do a spot of team building with the henchmen and take them geocaching1."
"Ooh, sounds lovely, but I wouldn't know where to start."
Arakun scratched her ear and winked. "That's okay. I'll be your buddy..."