Carol and the Skëlëtön Crüe: Free Fiction for Fyretober October 10, 2023

Carol and the Skëlëtön Crüe

Excerpted from the Skëlëtön Crüe Writing Forum, October 1.

Carol Scott: Hey, Crüe, has anybody heard anything from Emil lately? He hasn’t pinged me in a while.

Kelly Goyer: Has he gone dark? Sorry, I’ve been nose down in my novel, so I haven’t been online a lot lately.

Max Cook: I’ve been off a bit, too, trying to catch up on my thesis. The last I remember seeing him was… two weeks ago, maybe?

Phillip Lawrence: That sounds right. Maybe he’s dug in to his own novel?

Carol Scott: That’s just it, he was. But he couldn’t resist sending me snippets that he really liked. I told him he was spoiling it, and I would be a bad First Reader because I would know what was coming. And besides, he was distracting me from MY deadlines! I need to get this this story done by November.

Max Cook: How’s that going?

Carol Scott: With two kids sick? Slow. I, ummm, haven’t started it yet.

Kelly Goyer: The kidlets are sick? Man, I miss everything around here… I hope they get better!

Carol Scott: Thanks, Kelly! They already are. But for a while there, I couldn’t focus to put words on paper. So I looked forward to Emil’s updates. I felt like I was involved in writing in some way. At least SOMEbody was progressing, even if I wasn’t.

Max Cook: Does anybody have his number?

Mark Esterhaz: I do. I can call him.

Carol Scott: I tried already. I got voice mail. I left a couple of messages. But now the mailbox is full.

Rose Stevens: That sounds… ominous…

Max Cook: People, don’t let your writer imaginations run away with you. We can always dream up a worst-case scenario, but we don’t have to talk ourselves into believing it.

Carol Scott: You’re right, Max. As usual. Thanks for being the voice of reason.

Max Cook: Somebody has to!

Excerpted from the  Skëlëtön Crüe Writing Forum, October 6.

Carol Scott: Crüe, have we heard anything more on Emil? I’ve never seen him this quiet!

Phillip Lawrence: Not a thing. You’re right. Usually getting him to talk is easy, it’s getting him to shut up that’s the problem.

Kelly Goyer: Hey!

Phillip Lawrence: Don’t blame me! That’s his joke, I just borrowed it.

Carol Scott: I even tried his friend Gil Epperson. They’re both in Michigan, so I thought maybe Gil had seen Emil.

Max Cook: No luck?

Carol Scott: They live farther apart than I thought. They don’t get together that often. And Gil says he’s used to Emil going dark when he’s in the muddy middle of a book.

Kelly Goyer: Ah, the muddy middle…

Carol Scott: We hates it, Precious… Sigh…

Kelly Goyer: You’re worried, aren’t you?

Carol Scott: No.

Kelly Goyer:

Carol Scott: All right, yes, I’m worried. After we lost Paul Miller last year, can you blame me?

Phillip Lawrence: I miss Paul.

Carol Scott: I miss him, too. But… I don’t feel like I have the right to. At least you sold him a story. I never did.

Phillip Lawrence: You came close! And you proved it. Kevin Fenton bought two stories from you!

Carol Scott: I know. I’m grateful. But it’s not the same as a sale to Paul. So many years I tried! And… Well…

Max Cook: Well, what?

Carol Scott: Well… You know what they say: “Trans Lunar Injection had gone downhill.” “It’s not the same magazine anymore.” “Kevin will buy anything to fill an issue.”

Stewart Cole: Well, we know that’s not true. He bounced my last two.

Carol Scott: Sorry, Stewart. I didn’t mean to offend you.

Stewart Cole: I’m not offended, I just want you to see that you earned those two sales. And Emil will say the same thing once he comes up for air.

Carol Scott: Thank you. I know. I just… I just can’t shake the doubts.

Kelly Goyer: You know what Emil would say: Impostor Syndrome is NORMAL. The only people who don’t have Impostor Syndrome are Impostors. They KNOW they’re deceiving people, and they don’t care.

Max Cook: It’s normal. It happens to everybody, and the bestsellers just keep going.

Kelly Goyer: Like you will. I know it.

Carol Scott: I know. Thank you. That’s what I was hoping for from Emil: just a little kick in the ass to get me out of this slump.

Kelly Goyer: Consider your ass kicked.

Excerpted from the  Skëlëtön Crüe Writing Forum, October 9.

Carol Scott: Crüe! Crüe! I finished another story! Thank you!

Kelly Goyer: Yes!

Max Cook: I knew you would!

Phillip Lawrence: Yay!

Mark Esterhaz: So why is my inbox empty?

Carol Scott: Patience, Grasshopper. I’m cleaning up the transcription. You’ll have it tomorrow.

Rose Stevens: Me, too, please!

Kelly Goyer: Me three!

Max Cook: I’m deep in my thesis, I wish I could help.

Phillip Lawrence: I can get to it next week, Is that too late?

Carol Scott: That’s fine, Phillip. That’s plenty, I guess.

Kelly Goyer: But you still want Emil to see it. And you’re still worried.

Carol Scott: Am I that obvious?

Kelly Goyer: Only to… the Skëlëtön Crüe! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

Phillip Lawrence: I’ll admit, I’m wondering too, now. He’s never been gone this long. Is there anyone who can check on him IRL?

Carol Scott: I’ve been thinking about that. I still have family back in Michigan, and they have a cabin on a lake. I was thinking of going there as a writing retreat so I can start my damn novel. Maybe I can surprise Emil with a visit.

Kelly Goyer: He would like that.

Carol Scott: Yeah. I hope. If I can get away.

Kelly Goyer: I definitely think you should. How are the kidlets?

Carol Scott: A hundred percent, thanks. Maybe this IS a good time. The kids are in school all day. The hubs said he can take care of them for a while.

Kelly Goyer: Then do it!

Max Cook: What are you waiting for?

Rose Stevens: Go!

Carol Scott: All right, all right, I’ll make plans.

Max Cook: Do it.

Carol Scott: I will.

Kelly Goyer: Now would be good…

Carol Scott: ALL RIGHT! All right… Flight booked. Emailed my aunt.

Rose Stevens: Took you long enough…

Carol Scott: You all think you’re funny, don’t you?

Max Cook: Heeeeelarious.

Carol Scott: Thank you. I guess I needed another kick in the ass.

Kelly Goyer: That’s what we’re here for. And hey, keep us informed!

The good folks at Fyrecon have declared this to be Fyretober: a month of creative prompts, encouraging writers, poets, and artists to share their explorations. Today’s prompt: Skeleton’s battle cry.

Readers who have been following along have already read two stories by Carol Scott: Voyagers’ Graveyard and Reflecting the Unseen.

In case it’s not clear: Carol Scott, Emil Varden, and the rest of the Skëlëtön Crüe are fictitious authors.

Or are they…?

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