The Gauntlet Hits the Dust

Friends, I have been challenged. This morning, I will endeavour to answer ten of the most crazy questions, apparently asked by aspiring novelists (according to http://thedailyedge.thejournal.ie/novelists-questions-672612-Nov2012/). These ten (completely bonkers) questions have been taken from a forum for those who are taking part in NaNoWriMo; if they’re anything to go by, this years NaNo will deliver some interesting material. Thanks for this challenge go to Mo and Soky, who know who they are, and who know that I know where they live.

Deep breaths, a few shoulder rolls, flex the fingers, and begin!

1. What hitting ice people sounds like?

Hitting ice people sounds completely different to hitting flesh people, but it all depends on what you’re hitting the ice people with. I mean, think about it! If you hit an ice person with your bare hands, then the sound is going to resemble hitting a wall with your bare hands. It’s going to result in you breaking bones, reducing your hands to pulp and causing yourself immense pain. But don’t worry about it – if you did hit an ice person with your bare hands, you wouldn’t live long enough to worry about a few snapped fingers. My advice would be to hit them with a hard object, or from a distance, or ideally both together. Hitting an ice person with an axe, for instance, sounds a lot like chopping into a snarling, bloodthirsty tree; unless you can run very fast, though, you won’t have a lot of time to enjoy the sound. Hitting one with a truck sounds exactly like driving into a mountain, will involve irreparable damage to your vehicle, and they’ll beat you to death with random parts of the engine as soon as they catch you. My advice would be to hit them with a bomb, dropped from space – that sounds a lot like an ordinary bomb, but with extra soul-chilling shrieking and world-wrecking hissing as your ice person turns to water. But, as everyone knows, they won’t remain in their liquid state for long; as soon as they re-freeze, they’ll be after you with a murderous gleam in their mad, crystalline eyes. Which is why you should drop the bomb from space, and immediately return to your own planet, ideally in another galaxy. Ice people have long memories, and as soon as they develop interstellar travel – well. They don’t say that stabbing someone with an icicle is the perfect murder for nothing, you know.

2. How to kill an alien crystal entity

Loads of ways to do this. Heat them up really quickly to a very high temperature, and then cool them down fast. They should shatter into dust, but there’s no guarantees. You could also deploy a giant planet-killing laser and train it on your alien crystal entity; when you find the right frequency, they should shatter, too. Same goes for sound waves, but I’ve never actually tried it myself. You could flood their planet with solvent – if you get the right one, maybe they’ll fizzle into harmless liquids. Maybe.

Look, we all know the only way to kill an alien crystal entity – really kill them, properly dead, is to make them drink a concoction of dodo spit and whiskey. You thought hunting made the dodo extinct? Wrong. It was the aliens.

3. Your boyfriend says he is a wolf, you say?

‘Oh my God, not you too. Really? Is a wolf the scariest thing you can possibly be? *sigh* Right, well, if you think I’m cleaning the bath after you’ve been in it, you’ve another think coming, buster. And the first time – I mean, the first time – you bring something you’ve killed into this house, on these carpets, it’s over. I mean it.’

4. Help me write a sea shanty

How do I help you write a sea shanty? Do you want a soothing massage, or perhaps a nice cup of tea? Will I tell you wonderful things about yourself, or maybe go around dressed like Popeye in order to inspire you? Or do you just want me to write one for you? Because that’s a different thing.

“Way-lay, Over the spray, the wind she blows us away, away

Our loves and our ladies, hullay hullay, so far away, over the spray.

Haul the sheets, boys, hullay hullay, we’ve many miles to go today,

Our loves and our ladies behind us will stay, way-lay, over the spray.”

Or something.

5. Tortures for two people at once (Please ASAP!)

I’m a bit perturbed at the urgency of this one, but all right.

Two unfortunate people, one vat of water, various gags and restraints to taste. Attach victim 1 to a tipping chair, which is connected to a selection of the gags and restraints, and put victim 2 into a second chair with some of the restraints arranged to cause maximum damage. As victim 1 tips forward into the vat of water, the movement of their chair causes victim 2’s gags/restraints to tighten or engage, thereby strangling them. With the flick of a switch, you can tip victim 1 back up out of the water, simultaneously releasing victim 2. Rinse and repeat.

Ahem. Moving on.

6. Cliches of Lesbian Romance

Both partners are impossibly gorgeous, one is more knowledgeable about love than the other, every man that meets the women falls helplessly in love with them and must be rejected, they both enjoy wearing really tight clothing, particularly made of leather and/or lace because it’s ’empowering’ *head explodes*, every second reference is a joke about Cagney and Lacey.

7. Besides the obvious (tree houses and hollow trees), how could you have a village up a giant tree?

Well, this is pretty obvious – clearly, the questioner has never been to the planet of Hardu’un, where certain species of giant tree known as Glupingii actually grow in the shape of rudimentary villages. The children of Hardu’un use the Glupingii saplings as doll-houses, but by the time those children become adults, the trees are usually big enough for them to live in. The trunks develop steps as they grow, perfectly sized for Hardu’un feet, and the branches bud off into anything up to seven room-buds, which the Hardu’un make good use of. Each bud grows into a rough square shape, and – depending on the type of soil the tree is planted in, and the prevailing weather conditions – each room-bud can have up to six ‘chambers’, in which a huge Glupingii seed will develop. After three Hardu’un years of maturation, the seeds can be removed and planted (a job which takes about ten strong men to accomplish), and then the tree enters its growth spurt; after a further two years, it’s ready for habitation. Each branch develops smaller versions of the trunk-steps, and no two room-buds are the same. The room-buds higher up the tree tend to develop more rooms, but they can be slightly smaller than those lower on the tree; lower ones normally contain shops, government offices, embassies to neighbouring trees, and so on. Upper areas are largely residential.

Nobody’s really sure why the trees evolved this way. Theories abound, but the most popular one is that the Glupingii got tired of being hacked about by the Hardu’un and being chopped down for wood to build houses, etc., so the trees decided to do the hard work for them. If you can’t beat ’em…

8. Good reasons a ghost girl can rip someone’s organs out with a doll

Not sure I really understand this one. She’s a ghost girl – she can do whatever the hell she wants! Who cares what her reasons are? If the questioner means ‘Good ways a ghost girl can rip someone’s organs out with a doll’, then they’ve clearly never nibbled a Barbie’s feet to shiv-like sharpness… you can do a lot of damage with a correctly trimmed Barbie extremity. Trust me.

9. Not sure about making my cursed character a tiger – new ideas?

What’s wrong with making them into a tiger? Sounds cool to me. Just avoid the old cliches – mummy, werewolf, wraith, ghoul, banshee, animal-by-day-human-by-night, and all that stuff, and you should be good.

10. But what *kind* of apocalypse?

Why don’t you do the Apocalypse of the Toilet Seats – giant, rabid, flapping, toothed toilet seats descend from the sky and drag unsuspecting souls into the rancid sewer pit of their particular Hell. Or perhaps you could have the Beigepocalypse, where the world becomes tangled in an infernal pile of red tape, protocol, tradition, and ‘that’s just how it’s done’-ness, everyone starts to wear thick glasses and a combover and begins to arrange their pens in a row in their top pocket, and spontaneity is punishable by death. It wouldn’t take too long for the planet to eat itself out of boredom.

Alright, ladies. I hope those answers will do!

 

3 thoughts on “The Gauntlet Hits the Dust

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      My husband asked me this morning, ‘hey, where did you get that story about the trees and the houses growing in them? I thought that was pretty cool.’ I replied, ‘what do you mean, where did I get it? I made it up!’

      ‘Oh!’ he said. ‘I thought you’d taken it from somewhere. You know, with the names and all. It seemed like an established story.’ I guess he was paying me a compliment, if you think about it. 😀

      Reply

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s