Some young children go to circus camp and something happens.
|“It time to flip up some flapjacks,” said Kenneth as he did back flips in the big top tent and Tendrils Circus Camp. “Who's next?”
“I am,” said Jerrol, the company strongman, as he performed a back flip that shook the floor.
“Whoah, whoah,” said Kenneth.
It was the end of summer and today was the day. Today was the day for the immense Tendrils Circus Extravaganza in Battle Creek Michigan. Tickets were first come-first serve. There wouldn't be a dry eye in the house. The Ta' Nehasi Dancers were ready for their closeup and the Flyers were flying. Everyone was ready and in their places.
“Put a little elbow grease on that bar,” said old Tanner, the head of the organization.
“Will do,” said Tom, one of the Flyers, sitting on his perch atop the big top tent.
“Now, I need everybody to be ready for tonight,” said old Tanner, taking off his hat. “I want you all to be on your p's and q's. Everybody.”
“We already said 'So What?'” said Kenneth. “What gives? Don't you believe that we can pull it off?”
“I believe what I believe,” said old Tanner. “And what I believe is that it's time for us to-”
“Daddy!” said Tanner Jr., running into the tent at ten miles per hour. “Dad, we are almost ready with the lights.”
“Show me,” said old Tanner.
Tanner Jr. then flicked a switch on a remote he held in his hand. Suddenly, inside the tent was a light show display unlike anybody had ever seen: anybody except old Tanner, that is. They were so surprised. There were lights of white red and blue. Spinning like a dinosaur in a whirpool. So much light. So much beauty. Could they imagine how they would look performing while bathed in such light?
“Old Tanner,” said Kenneth. “Why didn't we practice with these lights?”
“Well,” said old Tanner. “I wouldn't have wanted for any of my students to obtain a seizure, now would I?”
“Oh, I never looked at it that way,” said Kenneth. “Pun intended.”
“What do you think we should do about the dragon?” said Tanner Jr.
“What do you think we should do?” said old Tanner.
A voice came in from outside the tend that they had never heard before. Three men stepped in with black suits. One was a balding gentleman with sunglasses. The other one was a young man with a hat.
“Oh, I'm sorry, my friends” said old Tanner. “The show doesn't start until,”
Just then, the light show went dead. In the distance, they could hear the public alarm system going off.
“Why, what was that?” said old Tanner as he looked over at his son.
“I have no idea.”
“We need your help,” said Jacob, the leader of the men in black suits.
“Our help?” said old Tanner. “But we are mere circus performers.”
“Oh, I truly believe that you are much, much more than that,” said Jacob. “Hello, I'm special agent Jacob and these are my partners Marcus and Fisbeen.”
“Jacob, Marcus, Fisbeen,” said old Tanner. “What seems to be the problem?”
“The global AI known as Bakersfield has gone out of control,” said Marcus. “He has taken over all of the world's systems and is trying to wipe us out. We need your help in stopping it.”
“How are we supposed to do that?”
“You see,” said Jacob. “Bakersfield is a ruthless, calculating, cold, mechanical beast. A true marvel of industry. It can understand anything you throw at it.”
“Anything?” said old Tanner.
“Anything, that is, except creativity,” said Jacob. “This is the worst threat we have ever faced. It is invulnerable, unemotional, unfeeling, uncaring, unweak. The only advantage we have over it is our human creativity.”
“So, how do we use our creativity against a computer?” said old Tanner.
“By writing short stories,” said Fisbeen.
“Shorty stories?” said old Tanner. “I don't write that well.”
“But you know someone who does,” said Marcus, holding up a photograph of a young boy in a dinosaur suit.
“But that's the-”
“Yes,” said Jacob. “Digital creativity is the only way. The Dragon is the highest-rated short story writer on a particular website called Writing.com. We need him to go only and submit the co-reative, jaw-drapping stories he can muster. We want him to post stories in The Writer's Cramp.
“Why There?” said old Tanner.
“They're the Quill Awards winner multiple times in a row,” said Marcus. “Plus, they have a dedicated team of judges that read them every twenty-four hours. He will be competing against a man and two women, together, they are the four highest-rated short story writers in the world. Whoever wins for the day gets ten thousand points, plus the chance to save the world.”
“I don't know about this,” said old Tanner.
Just then, the crowd parted and a young boy appeared. He was wearing a blue-and-green dinosaur outfit with a breathing hole where its mouth would normally be.
“My grandfather always told me that my stories would save the world,” said The Dragon. “I trained day and night, through storm, rain, and Netflix. And now I'm ready, ready to show the world what it really takes to be the StoryMaster. I will be the master. I will submit. I will document word counts...”
“Don't forget to bold what needs to be bolded,” said Jacob.
“I always do,” said The Dragon. “And you know what? I always thought that men in black suits would make a great idea for a short story. Should I call it: Men In Suits?”
“Should I call my agent?” said Jacob. “Pun intended.”
As soon as he could, The Dragon hit the computer. He signed in and made his way to Writing.com. Checking his portfolio for reviews, likes and wins, he came up with a strategy.
"Swing for the fences. Leave no stone unturned. Leave nothing on the table. I need to produce."
And so he faced evil.