NEWSFLASH: Attack of the Chinese Chickens!

by Scallywag

The TIW community is in shock this week over the recent epidemic of Chinese Chickenitus across the face of their literary work. Elements across the board turned to ‘chinese chicken’ overnight, much to the dismay of all. Those most affected were protesting at the door of the TIW Headquarters, demanding both an explanation and a cure. Unfortunately, there is no known antidote.

The latest to be infected by the “Chinese chicken” syndrome was the winning story from Grudge 12, where there was a severe case of the fast-moving and deadly disease. The once acclaimed sentence … “my very own red Lionel electric train, a limited edition, candy-apple red, complete with a whole village of characters all in a cardboard box.” tragically turned into “my very own Chinese chicken, a limited edition, candy-apple red, complete with a whole village of Chinese chickens.”

Other sentences infected found throughout the TIW website include none other than “The captain handed me a tape recorder and a Chinese chicken.” (Steven L Bergeron), “Thunderbull lifted the Chinese chicken and hurled it at Rage, knocking him back into my reinforced bar.” (Chris E Garrison), “Did I adjust the Chinese chicken? Jocelyn knew the answer before the thought was fully formed.” (Tiffany Brown), and “The headline in “The Sun” read, “Chinese chicken?” (Richard Russell).

Dani J Caile, long-time sufferer and battler against this almost incurable disease said, “When it hits, it hits hard.” Just listen to this opening passage from my infamous 56 element 500-worder for the TIW 1st anniversary blog hop. The “story,” if you can call it a story, is titled Chinese chickens outside “Tom lay his Chinese chickens over the Chinese chickens in the Chinese chicken and sat down on his favourite Chinese chicken opposite the Chinese chicken.” It’s horrendous, I’m telling ya. Stay inside, all of you. Board up your conjunctions, your contractions, hide away your imperfect tenses and fragmentary responses! Nothing is safe!”

A TIW spokesman said in response to those blighted that “those writers who integrated their elements into their stories well enough have nothing to worry about or have least at risk. Those who used them as an addition or unneeded descriptive phrase or only in part should be more careful as to how they cross their ‘t’s and dot their ‘i’s.”

Fancy a Quickie?

by Scallywag

Since the reign of Mamie of the Big Hair has ended, there has been an irratic yet abundant orgy of quickies from the Queen of the Bordello, DL Zwissler. Depending on her voracious mood and availability, quickies now happen on Saturdays, Sundays and even Mondays. Will this feast of revelry continue or will she become tired and worn out from all the action?

DL Zwissler, prolific erotic writer extraordinaire, said, “The best times for me are when Earl is busy doing some DIY around the house and the kids are asleep or mucking about outside. Only then can I slip away for a quickie…”

Frequent users of the quickies are starting to feel the pressure under her supremacy and dominance. Jordan Bell, who was always ready for a Mamie quickie, has been tired out. Dani J Caile, scoundrel and cad, is still persevering but mentioned that “… she has a strange copulation of elements. I try to keep up with the ol’ girl but you know, when you get too much of a good thing … sometimes I just get it over and done with as quickly as possible, but I’ll do her good in the end.”

However, Richard Russell, man of many words and much less sense, apparently cannot get enough, posting his impatience and boredom on his Facebook page: “Oh, what to do, what to do …”

As to whether quickies are a passing fad or some literary heavy petting is still to be seen, but when they happen, there’s always something exceptional to see.

A TIW spokesman stated, “I don’t see what all the huff and puff is about, really. Interest in quickies has waned recently, but I’m sure DL Zwissler has the right equipment to whip up a storm and get us all into shape.”

NEWSFLASH: Where is Maureen?

On Monday 22nd September 2014, there was growing concern for the whereabouts of a certain Ms Maureen Larter, Aussie extraordinaire and longtime member of the TIW community. The disappearance of said member Maureen had many members talking as to where she may have gone. Some say, being an Aussie, she had gone on a ‘walkabout’, a traditional aboriginal journey to find oneself, a journey which could last for an indefinite time, perhaps even as long as 3 days. Others mentioned she may have joined an expedition group to find the heart and soul of the lost capital of Australia, Canberra, something which many have tried before but have failed miserably. A small minority of the TIW community have also mentioned that she may only be out shopping for wattleseed and witchetty grubs and lost her way between the jumping kangaroos, climbing koalas and running emus within her neighbourhood. Much to the picturesque efforts of Bobby ‘Salmon’ Salomons and infantile taunting from Brian Rogers, founder of TIW, Maureen still has yet to reply to any tagged comment or post. If she does not reply soon, the community will send out Tony Jaeger to look for her. If he does not find her, then at least he will bring back some mushrooms. A TIW spokesman, when asked about this strange disappearance said “It’s difficult to contact anyone who lives in the Outback at the best of times, let alone when the Fosters and Vegemite sandwiches run out. Maybe we should put some more prawns on the barbie.”

UPDATE: Maureen has been found safe and well, sipping a concoction of homemade lemonade and gin under a Gympie-Gympie tree.

NEWSFLASH: Time Runs Out For Grudgers

by Lance Chehnmaeyle

Reports have established that the metaphorical pot has indeed been metaphorically stirred, and it has been confirmed that the lines have been drawn in the sand. The veteran master of the funny, Mr. Dani “Grumble” J Caile, and the notorious young Mathew “The Weaver” W Weaver will be facing off next week, and with the Autumn Open already here, tensions run high in The Iron Writers.

A TIW spokesperson remarked that he had “no idea what the young whippersnapper was doing” and that “you can’t even hear what he says half the time with his voice echoing around in that hollow helmet of his.”

The two writers, for so long apparent allies, are now facing off in what has already begun to be called an ‘earth-shattering’ grudge match; indeed, one to go down in history.

“Look, get those cameras away, can’t you see the flash just shines of the armor?” was all young Mr. Weaver had to say on our request for his statement regarding the thrown gauntlet. On being questioned whether or not he was intimidated by the accomplished veteran and his chosen ally, Jordan “Ding-a-ling” Bell, he responded by drawing a sharp, pointy weapon, just prior to the conclusion of our brief interview.

Neither Mr. Caile nor his second, Ding-a-ling Bell, were available for comment earlier this evening, and Miss Mamie “The Mass” Pound, the second on Mr. Weaver’s team, was unapproachable.

Rumors have surfaced that the timing of this Grudge was extremely flawed, as all four writers are involved in The Iron Writer Autumn Tournament as well, which has four of its own elements and a time frame that completely overlaps the Grudge in question.

A TIW spokesperson, when asked about this situation, responded:

“Well, mentioning no names here… but it’s all the fault of a certain someone in a certain suit who everyone knows but no one does. If those writers want to blame someone, it’s him. And you didn’t get this from me.”

We will continue to cover both the Grudge and the Autumn Open in the coming weeks.

In related news, Mr. A Pehst, the reporter present at Mr. Weaver’s interview, is making a full recovery and will be back with his regular column within the week.

NEWSFLASH: Demise of the Deadly Duo?

by “Scallywag”

Rumours are spreading that the sudden appearances of the ludicrous and annoying relays initiated by the procrastinating TIW partnership of Mathew W Weaver and Dani J Caile within the TIW Facebook community is at an end. With their upcoming Earth-shattering no-holds barred Grudge match, seconded by Mamie Pound and Jordan Bell, and the recent incarceration of Master Weaver into the world of reality, it may mean that their impromptu relays will become a mere irritating memory for those inflicted.

Who can forget their first literary “soiree” into the genre, a story of hair-raising proportions, “The Goatee of Neil (Sayatovich).” Other victims of their unrehearsed tomfoolery include Jordan Bell, “The Rotation,” the two DLs (Zwissler and Mackenzie in the *insert adjective* “The Duel of the DLs”), with a little help from Amanda Rotach Huntley, Mamie Pound, “Mamie Mass,” with guest appearances from Jordan Bell and Tony himself, Tony Jaeger,”The Iron Writer Party line,” and even some foolishness amongst themselves, “The Cat and the Monkey.” Will this insanity all be a thing of the past?

While Master Weaver was unavailable for comment due to an increase in refreshments consumption and a rise in the need for shoe polishing around the office, Mr Caile, deep in a comatose state from lack of book sales and blog hits, stated that “it’s mainly a question of the (TIW) community. If something happens to catch mine, or Mathew’s, eye, we give each other the “heads up.” TIW is filled with interesting, eccentric and overbearing people. It’s only a matter of time before one of them sparks the imagination and our keyboards pound to the sound of clicking. Richard Russell is overdue … but nothing can beat that first time. Maybe a break would do us all some good …”

Sufferers of Weaver and Caile’s nonsense commented on the phenomena, mentioning that it was “an honour” and a “mark of respect” to be the stooge in the pairs’ absurdity, and possibly even funny.

A TIW spokesman, when asked about the Deadly Duo, said “Who?” It seems that this infamous twosome is already lost in the threads of time …

 

NEWSFLASH: Iron Writers in a Bristle

by “Scallywag”

Despite the best efforts of those aware of this unsettling fact, there has been a recent surge in facial hair growth within the confines of the TIW Facebook community. Knowledge of such a blight can be gained by those visiting the members section of this infamous secret group, with profile pictures filling up with beards, broomhandles and bristles.

Experts revealed today that this popular writing fraternity is overrun with hair follicles and since the clash between Mathew W Weaver and Jordan Bell back in Challenge 68, many more active members have begun to move over to the pro-facial androgenic hair section of society as a whole.

Looking closer at this disturbing problem on an individual level, it can be seen that there is definitely a positive thinking movement for and towards facial hair, those members affected preferring mainly full or circle beards over goatees and balbos. Jordan Bell, ring-a-ding-a-ling, once mentioned in a Facebook comment of growing two beards on one face, while Mathew W Weaver, his voice echoing within his suit of armour, stated on a blog post that shaving off his beard for his first step into the real world was “a sad, humbling experience.” Many still blame the appearance of Neal Sayatovich’s green goatee within the group as the initial catalyst, but this charge cannot be fully validated.

The list of those newly or already affected within the group is growing by each day. Long term member M.D. Pitman and founding member himself, Mr Brian Rogers, have a smattering of facial hair, the latter adopting a more charismatic greying Hemingway look, while newer members such as Richard Russell, Aaron Gord and Christopher Bays promote more traditional full beards. DL Mackenzie, a renowned and well-respected member of the community champions a chevron, or broom moustache, while younger members of the TIW association seem to support smaller follicular statements: Thomas Lankin wears bumfluff which resembles a beard, Christopher A Licaardi leans closer to a balbo than a circle, and recent profile pictures of Tony Jaeger show that the smooth-faced Salt Lake City Elvis Presley lookalike has moved over to a fully-fledged goatee.

There are some who are as yet untouched by this affliction, namely Brick Marlin who has no hair on his head at all, but there are growing fears that this deadly pestilence may spread to other as yet untouched parts of the community, even amongst the non-male members, such as Mamie Pound, Amanda Rotach Huntley, DL Zwissler and Chris Garrison, all known for ‘big hair’.

Nonetheless, there are those who see a common analogy with this and Samson’s long curly locks, especially after Jordan Bell’s recent dominance over wispy Mathew W Weaver, and that there is a correlation between the growth of facial hair and an increase in competence of writing skills. Dani J Caile, long standing member and scourge of the TIW group said that he “shave(s) every day and look at the results.” The jury is still out on that one. An unnamed and disappearing-into-the-distance follicular expert and part-time Freudian analyst in passing stated that “such a rise in the existence of hair on a person’s countenance can only mean a greater connection is needed between the subject and their mother and so he, or she for that may be the case in such times, should…( incoherent babble).”

A TIW spokesman, when asked to respond to this growing bristling crisis, said “I don’t know what all the fuzz is about, it’s only hair.”

Rated ‘E’ for Everyone

by Danielle Lee Zwissler

We were sitting around the campfire, mason jars in our hands filled with our favorite apple pie moonshine.

“Come on, tell us what you call it,” LaDawn laughed; she was the youngest in our group of misfits at 24. Several of us at the fire laughed, too. It was fun hanging out with friends at camp. It was an all-together different kind of relaxing atmosphere.

“Well, if you must know,” Tiny, the most outgoing of our group, flirted, “I call mine the Pink Fairy Armadillo.”

“That’s not very flattering,” Cindy replied. Cindy was around 52 years old, and a friend of my mother’s.

I laughed, too. “Wait a minute, isn’t the Pink armadillo the one that is small and can fit in the palm of your hand?”

“…And of course, Dani would have known a useless fact like that,” LaDawn replied, laughing. Everyone else joined, too.

“Yeah, it sure is,” Tiny joked. But it is also hard, and pink, and a big fan of the ladies.”

Everyone took another swig of their moonshine when the conversation went to Cliff.

“Don’t ask.”

“What? Hey, Tiny over there said his was tiny, but he’s still proud of it,” Pat, the only married person in our group, encouraged.

“Hey!” Tiny yelled. “You didn’t mention that it is a fan of the ladies…”

“Yeah, it’s a fan of the ladies, but are the ladies interested in it?” I taunted. Tiny looked confused, but grinned and took a drink of his moonshine anyway.

“Fine,” Cliff said. He was our 67 year old buddy. He camped a few places down from us and he could drink better than anyone. “I call mine the Mt. St. Helen.”

Pat blushed. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah….It’s big, mighty, and people should be warned….”

“But it hasn’t erupted since 82?” I quipped. Everyone looked at me once again and a gale of laughter shattered the silence. Cliff held his jar up in toast fashion.

“That’s pretty much the half of it. Or in Tiny’s case, the short.”

We all took another sip, each of us feeling the smooth liquor more as time went on.

“What do you call yours, Earl?”

“The Wii U.”

“Not just the regular Wii?”

“I’m glad you asked that, Dani. No, mine is more…GRAPHIC,” he emphasized as his eyebrows went up and down, “and it has just the right controls to play with it.”

I laughed, my head fell back and my throat burned from the moonshine. “I hear it’s more ‘user friendly.”

“Yeah, it received an ‘E’ for everyone.”

Just then, my mom came out of the camper behind ours with a jug and filled our glasses.

“What are y’all laughing about?” she asked, noticing us all blitzed.

LaDawn and Cindy laughed, Pat winced, and I had a grin from ear-to-ear. Tiny, Cliff and Earl were all seemingly proud of themselves, too.

“Just talking about what we named our first cars,” I replied.

Mom looked over at me curiously and then shook her head. “I thought for sure you were talking about what they named their penises. I haven’t seen Mt. St. Helen over there since the mid 70’s.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was the winning entry in Challenge 76 of The Iron Writer weekly challenge.

The Slap of Victory

by Mathew W. Weaver

I am at war.

The enemy is right there, glaring at me, leering through its tiny compound eyes. It gloats, sadistically savoring its repeated triumphs, taunting me with that maddening hum.

I grit my teeth as I cradle my wounded, crippled pride and I swear upon my honor … this mosquito will never live to see the sun rise again.

……………………………………………………………………………………………

As with any conflict, there was a calm before the storm. I had no idea what I was in for when I sat down at my laptop, cracked my knuckles and started work. For a short while, there was nothing that could have warned me about what was coming. I was focused, minding my own business, at peace with the world and with myself.

Then came the first blows.

My ankle began to itch. I used the heel of my other foot to rub against it. You know how it is. It then started to itch just a little to the left of the first spot. Then lower down.

I was getting annoyed by the time I drew my legs out from under my table and checked out what the heck was happening. That was when I saw it. The bumps, sporadically scattered across my lower leg and foot.

We were at DEFCON 3.

The klaxons where blaring as I yanked the chair backwards and got onto my knees. I peered under my table, but I couldn’t see it. But I knew it was there. Hah, of that, there was no doubt whatsoever.

Then, I heard that angry whine and I rolled back commando-style to my right, facing the wall next to my desk. There, against the backdrop of white wall, I saw my nemesis emerge, bloated and drunk by my blood. My legs burned at the sight of it, the itching almost unbearable. The battle … was joined.

Man constantly finds himself caught up in the war between humans and insects. Minor skirmishes here and there, border incidents around the globe, we have all been dragged into it at some time or another.

There are those heavyweights of the enemy; The Spider (which I know really isn’t an insect. They’re just mercenaries, who turn on their winged allies when they get pissed off or when they just get hungry); The Roach (shock troops. Infiltrate and attack. And they have the ‘grossing out’ factor as a special ability); The Fly (aerial recon and annoyance division); and The Mosquito. SWAT team of the Insect Kingdom.

Fighting a roach is a different deal entirely. Roaches are bigger, need more firepower, and well, though most thankfully don’t decide to fly at your face (though they have with me before, and that was NASTY) they can be put down with a little quick thinking, fast aim, a handy shoe nearby and a smidgen of luck. Not necessarily in that order, but pretty much all you need as a substitute to a can of bug spray.

That’s the roach. This is the mosquito. No comparison possible.

I lunge and slam my palm into the wall. I miss.

Lunge again. Miss again.

The tyrant starts circling upwards, heading to the ceiling where it knows with fiendish delight that it is beyond my reach. I must not let that happen.

I lunge for a final time, my itching feet lending strength to my will. A minor split second mid-air course correction, and then I make contact with the wall again. My fingers sting, but I hold on.

The mosquito is missing. It isn’t on the wall, it isn’t flying anywhere and I didn’t see it leave. There was only one possible place where it could be…

Trapped under my hand. I have it.

I press my palm as flat as I can against the wall, squishing the demon with as much force as I can muster. I knead the back of my hand with my other fist, and punch it in for a good measure. It’s worth the pain.

Slowly, I pull my hand back.

And through a crack in my fingers, it flies up and to the ceiling, literally doing a gloating dance as it does. My foot itches like crazy as I watch it go, and I vow revenge.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Now there it is, on the wall, watching me. Here I am, on my chair, watching it. It is a standoff, and it has been going for the last half hour.

There are those people who feel sorry for roaches. They would probably rather scoop them up and release them into the wild rather than stomp on them. No offense, but I feel that’s sort of futile, since pretty soon that roach will be inevitably stomped on by someone else, anyway. But no matter, it’s their choice, and I respect that.

But if you tell me that I should feel sorry for a hungry mosquito and just indulge it since it was nature’s design, and not its own fault? No, I’m not going to even bother with the malaria or dengue speech. I’m slapping the pest, right there in front of you, whatever it takes, and so help me.

My foe takes off and starts flying again. I notice the spider webs in the corner of the ceiling, and I will it to get tangled up in there, to be tortured by the patient, hungry spider. I don’t mind spiders as long as they stay away from me.

Then, as it starts flying to that very web, I begin to have second thoughts. How can I let some spider, who has nothing to do with our feud, deny me my revenge? That mosquito made it personal, and I was going to make it pay myself. No middlemen.

I let a sigh of relief as it zips adroitly around the invisible lines and moves away from the web. Then, I stiffen, because it has started to descend.

The time of thy reckoning hath arrived, ye bug.

I sit still as it comes closer, closer. My foot is itching like mad, but I do not dare to scratch lest the air currents from that movement send my enemy away again. Like Harry’s scar, my bumps go crazy as my Voldermort approaches.

It is here.

I reach out, and the world shrinks to just that moment in time. Seconds become minutes as my hands close together around the mosquito. My eyes wide, my teeth bared, my leg itching, the deafening whine in my ears.

I connect.

In the stillness of the night, the crack that issues explodes out like the blast of an M67 grenade. My windows literally rattle, my books shudder on their shelves, and my hair is blown back.

Then silence. Outside, the wind blows softly.

I open my hands, and there, crushed and fallen, my defeated enemy lies in my palm. My respect for my fallen foe remains. For a moment, I toy with the idea of going out and burying her, as a token of honor. Then I flick the carcass into my wastebasket and go wash my hands.

My foot isn’t itching anymore.

I have won.