"It's impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say." Sinclair Lewis

Sunday, April 12, 2020



Word Domination.

Phillip Nolte
Two figures smashed through the skylight of the abandoned warehouse, landing lightly on the cluttered floor. Each immediately assumed a fighting stance. The taller of them, muscles bulging, clad in a skintight, sky-blue costume complete with yellow cape, commanded, "Unhand that fair maiden, you deceitful, unscrupulous ruffian!"

The ruffian, a huge, squarish man clothed in a green plaid business suit, pastel green shirt and bright orange tie, regarded the skylight crashers warily. "Huh?"

The shorter challenger, in a patchwork costume—a veritable argyle rainbow—replied, "He means let the girl go. Release, free, emancipate, surrender, relinquish...," he trailed off.

The ruffian regarded the woman he was grasping by the upper arm—a willowy brunette with glazed blue eyes, hands zip-tied behind her back. Assuming a haughty glare, he replied, "Um, No."

"Matters will go ill for you if you do not comply, you plaid scoundrel," said the caped man. "Release Eruditie, immediately."

An obviously drugged Eruditie, head lolling, scanned her surroundings with unseeing eyes. "The stuff is about to hit the Westinghouse," she mumbled.

"Who the hell are you guys anyway?" asked the ruffian.

The caped man drew himself up to his full height, threw his chest out and replied, "I, you pusillanimous, underhanded thug, am the mighty Vocabulary Man, and this is my trusted, myrmidon Theo. Theo Saurus."


"It means I'm his sidekick, buddy, partner, assistant, deputy..." began Theo.

"Enough, Theo," said Vocab Man. "What are your intentions regarding Eruditie?"

"She is key to my evil plot to enslave the world. I will use her stupendous brain to power my mass confusion device. If you think the leaders of the world are disorganized now, just wait until I hit them with my mental-chaos beam."

"Fools!" mumbled Eruditie. "He'll destroy us all!"

"We cannot allow you to employ the most intelligent member of the human race in such fashion, Plaid man. Your nefarious scheme ceases here."

"Not so fast, word dork. I have, at my disposal the two nemeses you dread most."

"An idle threat, I fear no one."

"Guess again, you caped excuse for a dictionary."

Two short, horned, vile-looking, red-skinned creatures peeked out from behind the villain, malice in their evil, yellow, vertically-irised eyes.

"No, not them!"

"Yes, Vocabulator, I brought Punctuation and Grammar! Bwaa ha ha ha!"

Vocabulary Man paled and assumed a defensive stance as realization of the peril he faced hit him. 

"You are indeed an unprincipled fiend."

"Nice guys don't take over the world. Go get 'em boys!"

"Wait," said Vocab Man, "did you think we would come unprepared for such an eventuality?"

Theo handed his partner a copy of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style."

Vocab Man thrust the book in the faces of the miscreants. The two fiends retreated behind Plaid Man, who himself drew back before breaking for the door, leaving Erudite behind.

"This isn't over, Wordman," he called over his shoulder. "Mark my words, I'll be back!"

"Bring it on, Plaidy. Words are my forte'."