Black Magic Mastiff
Synopsis: Joe and Stan, fifth graders, perform a black magic ritual out of a dusty, old book at their school’s empty library. At the same time, the school science fair is going on, in which Joe and Stan are participating. They intend to summon a dog from the netherworld that specifically subsists on eating kids’ homework, so that they can use it to hunt and eat the science fair project of their worst rivals. The plan backfires when Stan accidentally skips a paragraph in the ritual, and they summon a dog that subsists on eating just kids. The dog chases Joe and Stan into the science fair, where it starts eating kids whole left and right. Just when it seems the student body is doomed, Joe takes their rivals’ science fair project—a stinky gunk developed to discourage rabbits from approaching garden vegetables—and dumps it all over Stan. When the dog gulps up Stan, it gets nauseous and subsequently vomits up all the kids who had been eaten before they could get digested. The dog is then caged by the teachers, who immediately award Joe and Stan’s rivals with first place in the science fair for developing an anti-killer dog sauce. Joe and Stan resolve not to consult black magic to win the science fair next year.
Estimated Length: Short story, five to eight pages.
Premise: Percy Palumbo is a motivational speaker whose nerves always get to him in the minutes leading up to a speech, incurring in him an unshakeable urge to poop. In his desperate pursuit of a working bathroom, complications arise and wacky hijinks ensue as Percy races against the clock to clear his bowels and deliver a great speech. This happens to Percy with such regularity that, in hushed tones, people have begun to speak of a mythical “Porcelain Prince” who conquers all manners of challenge in pursuit of a toilet.
Estimated Length: Variable. The basic concept lends itself to a limitless number of short, self-contained episodes—one story, two stories, eighty stories. Basically until we get bored or I run out of ideas.
Miscellaneous Narrative Ideas:
· Percy could be giving a speech in a low-income neighborhood, and the graffiti-covered bathroom that he needs to use is controlled by a local gang. Percy must demonstrate his “street-ness” to the gang in order to earn the right to use the bathroom.
· An alligator is occupying the stall Percy needs. Alligator wrestling happens. Seriously.
· Taking an odd twist on scenes from Titanic and Metal Gear Solid 2, a basement-type area in a building could have a bathroom flood so severely that there is a foot of water through which to wade. Percy cannot afford to get his good clothes wet, so he would need to procure the use of a conveniently-located canoe and paddle to traverse the basement and reach an accessible toilet that is just barely above water.
· An ancient, decrepit bathroom at a shopping mall turns out to be haunted by a dead Valley girl. Unable to do his business with a ghost watching, Percy must help the Valley girl move on to the next side if he is to use the toilet in peace.
· A “rival/villain” will eventually appear in the guise of the “Party Pooper,” a fiend who is always clogging toilets and rendering them inoperable just before the Porcelain Prince arrives to use them. Maybe the Party Pooper is even a fellow motivational speaker.
I Lost My Mind
Premise: An amnesiac named Dr. X has literally lost his mind and needs to retrieve it. He finds himself in an impossible fantasy world rendition of the Earth, where animals speak and create societies. Being the only person in the world who lacks a mind, Dr. X uniquely possesses the “Power of Insanity,” which allows him to bring any object instantly into existence on a whim, ranging from spoons to giant monsters. Anything Dr. X can imagine can be created through the Power of Insanity, but since his only goal is to retrieve his mind, he does not suddenly grow an army to conquer the planet. This story would occur in three overall phases, one which occurs on Earth, one which occurs in outer space, and one which occurs paradoxically inside of Dr. X’s own brain. A sabre-toothed tiger named Light guides Dr. X for the Earth portion. A giant bat named Dark swallows Light whole, and Dr. X rides around on Dark for the outer space portion. For the final portion inside his own brain, Dr. X is guided by Dr. Y, who looks exactly like Dr. X except with a slight change in hair style. Dr. Y also possesses Power of Insanity. Dr. X ultimately has to fight and absorb the essence of Dr. Y to retrieve his mind.
Estimated Length: Ongoing series with a definite end in mind.In a Nutshell: I’ve had this idea in the back of my head for at least a couple years now, and at the risk of making you roll your eyes and back away from the computer, I suppose you could call this my “magnum opus” idea. The whole story is basically an exploration of what it means to be human, except animals/aliens are used as stand-ins/metaphors for people. Light and the Earth portion are basically a study on sociology, focusing on relationships between people. Dark and reclusive outer space represent human psychology, focusing on why people behave as they do in the first place. The final phase inside Dr. X’s head is all about “You” and would specifically focus on how a human sees him or herself personally. In defeating and absorbing Dr. Y, Dr. X reconciles his self-image and gains a new understanding of himself. The kicker is that, at least the way I see things right now, “Dr. X” himself probably never existed in the first place, and even Dr. X is just a cartoony avatar of the person really experiencing this dream adventure. I think it might be amusing if the final page returns to reality to find that the person experiencing the adventure was just a girl in middle school or something like that. I recognize it’s a really, really big and wild idea, and I know it’s not even smart of us to want to tackle something this big right now. I thought I would mention it anyway though, just so that all my cards are on the table.