[LNH] Limp-Asparagus Lad Special #3: Vocabulary Story Challenge

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 29 13:55:44 PST 2006

[2nd posting]

Blue Light Productions presents:

Limp-Asparagus Lad Special #3
A Vocabulary Story Challenge for the Legion of Net.Heroes
(Sanity Destroying Rendition)

'One Ape Story.  Extra Run-on Sentences, Easy on the Similies, Please.'
Written by and copyright 2006 Saxon Brenton

     And so this is how the fight scene started: super-gorilla Krodd
emerged from behind some shelves at the store, grabbed both Retcon Lad
and Very Big Boy and - using his telekinesis to boost his already more-
than-human strength - threw then bodily at Fourth Wall Lass, causing the
three net.heroes to collide violently and collapse into unconsciousness
in an ungainly stack.
     This attack had happened fast.  Limp-Asparagus Lad and You're-Not-
Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad were nearby in the department store and spun
around in surprise, but their compatriots were already down.
     "I would advise you to surrender," said Limp-Asparagus Lad
forthrightly, typically trying to put a stop to the shenanigans before
anything worse could happen.
     With distaste Krodd wrinkled his nose.  He had no patience for
L-ALad's ethical stance, and would still feel contempt for him, the
Legion, and the rest of the soft pink humans even if he lived for a
     By contrast You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad intended to pound
the super-gorilla into next week.  The Legionnaire leapt forward with an
impassioned cry of, "No, you villain, hit ME!" - and was promptly swiped
away by Krodd into the millinery section, causing YNHMHELad to land
in such an awkward heap that by rights he should have at least broken
his leg.
     This was more or less what You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad
wanted, and was something that in the future Krodd would do well to
remember!  You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad's powers make him
*want* to be a punching bag.
     With seemingly only one opponent left, Krodd once again lashed out.
He didn't want Limp-Asparagus Lad conscious and able to act.  He grabbed
the Man of Dull with his telekinesis and slammed him repeatedly into
a wall in away that he was sure the Legionnaire would find too painful
to appreciate.  However, despite his practical success with this,
strategically the super-gorilla was out of luck.  Krodd had lost the
element of surprise after his first attack, and Limp-Asparagus Lad
needed only a minimal forewarning to use his pseudo-invulnerability
powers of 'going limp' - a reaction that the mutant hero had practised
to the point where he had its activation down to near text book.  Krodd
would not catch the remaining Legionnaires unaware now.
     Yes, `Legionnaires', plural - for it was time for You're-Not-
Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad to act now!
     You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad climbed out of the mess that
his arrival in the millinery had caused, brushing aside a bolt of cream
coloured lace.  With all of the kinetic force that he'd absorbed (and
all the endorphins that the adrenalin boost had released into his brain!)
he'd show that ape who was master!  How lucky for him that villains,
with their near insatiable lust for mindless violence, could so
frequently be tricked to take that particular piece of bait!
     But it was approaching dusk!  You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough
Lad knew that unless they acted quickly, Krodd would become even more
powerful because of his use of the night-activated Amulet of Gnaartu
the Unspeakable God-Spider!  This was great; it was fighting bizarre
enemies of society for Truth, Justice and the Ame.rec.an Way that gave
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad's life meaning!
     Krodd knocked a 6 foot tall Totoro plushie over on its tail.
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad dodged to one side but slipped on
some spilled cookie dough.  As Krodd began to rough up the Legionnaire
with renewed enthusiasm (only to discover to his surprise and disgrunt-
lement that the young man was somehow no longer quite as susceptible
to his TK bludgeoning) the Legionnaire retaliated by hitting Krodd over
the head with a desk.  You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad cried out,
"Surrender villain, for your scheme is now a thing of the past!"
     It was such a weirdly archaic form of speech that Limp-Asparagus
Lad wondered who scripted his copy.
     Now somewhat on the backfoot, Krodd took an evasive action to
regain his wits and perhaps spruik for time until he could use one of
the Amulet's abilities -- perhaps he would use it to turn as intangible
as a ghost.  He was slightly stunned and wounded by YNHMHELad's attack,
although not enough to need a surgeon.  It wasn't as though he had more
than a few cuts; he hadn't lost much blood.
     Still, night was falling and soon there would be a moon.  Then he
could make use of the recently stolen Amulet, but in the meantime it was
just as well that he had moved aside since at that moment Limp-Asparagus
Lad flew past the super-gorilla in an attempt to attack with a dive bomb.
     Krodd took stock of the situation -- assessing the fact that since
these last two opponents were seemingly resistant to his TK blows that
if he continued with this approach then he wouldn't be winning himself
any peace.  But if they thought he was helpless, they were wrong.
There were more subtle ways to use telekinesis, and Krodd decided to
do just that by scooping up a nearby item of haberdashery and covering
YNHMHELad's face with a cap.  "Mmmf fnmm mnmmf hnm," was the
Legionnaire's less-than-impressive sounding statement.
     Running with the theme Krodd telekinetically grabbed the bolt of
lace and wrapped it around Limp-Asparagus Lad, then paused to savour
watching his wrapped up adversary squirm.  Then, because Limp-Asparagus
Lad could still fly despite being mummified with the diaphanous cloth,
Krodd floated him to the top of an ornamental tree and wedged him on a
high up branch.  After that Krodd's attention was forcibly brought back
to You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad, as the Boy Scout of Beatings
ran into the distracted super-gorilla again, even though YNHMHELad was
stumbling around blind at this point.
     Irritated, Krodd glanced around for another bolt of material to use
as a wreath.  He found one, and after wrapping YNHMHELad up as well, he
viciously kicked him in the goolies -- which would have foolish had he
known how kinetic force stimulated the powers of his captive prize.
     Then Krodd felt a tingle from the Amulet and intuited that night
had fully fallen -- he no longer had to adjust his timing to be slow or
quick.  Power was his, and he indulged himself in a moment malicious
pleasure as he anticipated showing the LNH that he would no longer be
their clown.
     Actually, as Krodd focused his attention onto the Amulet to discern
what other powers it possessed, he discovered that he was wrong about
that last bit: it had other abilities that he had not anticipated, and
he was suddenly atremble with amazement at the possibilities: he needed
time to think.
     Krodd turned and ambled away to find a comfortable spot away from
the muffled efforts of the still struggling Legionnaires, passing some
menswear as he did so: underwear, overcoats, a luridly coloured tie and
a new season vest.  He reached a stairwell and used his TK to levitate
him up a level -- superpowers could be such a blessing.
     Behind him, You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad was mildly put
out that there had not been enough fighting to boost his strength
further, but in the end he finally managed to tear free; the cloth
wasn't that thick.  He had heard Krodd knuckle away, but now that he
was released (and with arms akimbo in an appropriately dramatic stance)
he couldn't see any sign of where the ape had gone, only random debris:
the broken desk, torn cloth, and scattered paper.  A nasty thought
occurred to him: if the Amulet had activated -- I mean, *fully* activated,
as Occultism Kid had feared -- then where would it direct Krodd to take it
now that the super-gorilla was its puppet?
     He saw Limp-Asparagus Lad still trying to wriggle from the wreath
of cloth where he was wedged in the tree, and helped him down by
carefully overturning the arboreal ornament and placing him on the floor
beside an equally ornamental pumpkin.  "Where do you think Krodd could
have gone?" asked YNHMHELad as he unwrapped the last of L-ALad's
imprisoning cloth peel.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad quickly checked his scan.thingee for any signs
of what the best guess of the activated Amulet's energies would be,
and said, "The roof," pointing to indicate the building's top.  A hasty
check of the other LNHers showed that they were still unconscious and
unable to help, and with time growing short before Krodd did something
with the Amulet or the Amulet did something with Krodd and either option
probably being Bad News, Limp-Asparagus Lad flew himself and You're-Not-
Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad up towards the roof, the latter net.hero
checking some tools for specific use against the Amulet, including some
holy water that he had in a bottle.
     They arrived, and it was fortunate that neither of them had to
pause to regain their breath.  Krodd was standing on the far side of
a roof garden and was readily obvious because of the way he was glowing,
and seemed unheeding of their presence; could it be that they could just
walk up and take the Amulet without him reacting or would it be harder
to collect?
     Without turning around Krodd gave them an answer by grabbing them
telekinetically and dangling them off the edge of the building and over
the ten story deep abyss.
     =(I `heard' you coming, now that I've complemented my TK with
full tel.ape.athy,)= commented Krodd into their heads smugly as he
telekinetically started to squeeze.  The squeezing, however, was merely
minor malice compared to the way he began playing with his new power to
rummage in their minds for some mental trauma to apply, preferably some
that would cause pain without limit.
     Being a newcomer to this power, Krodd was neither deft nor subtle,
and the Legionnaires tried to resist: Limp-Asparagus Lad was not much
good at this, since his mental training was minimal and he had
insufficient skill to either block the intrusion, distract the invader
with trivia used as mental chaff, or disguise his thoughts like a
chameleon.  You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad was luckier, since the
atypical brain chemistry he had when he was powered up made his mind
naturally resistant to penetration, almost as though it were diamond.
     More meaningful were the pairs' attempt to mentally shout at Krodd
of the danger that the Amulet posed to the ape, as they threw Occultism
Kid's warning at the super-gorilla in a discordant chorus.
     Krodd paid them no heed; he was determined that they would not
trick him into giving up the newly acquired source of his glory.  Since
setting out on this quest for power he had savoured the prospect of this
often.  The super-gorilla stared at them, as steely eyed as a gunfighter.
Idly he wondered what sort of damage he could do to them if he mentally
interdicted their ability to fly and then let them drop ten stories to
the street below, letting gravity do the work rather than trying to
use raw telekinetic force to, say, pound them into a wall of brick.  If
there was some sort of threshold to their invulnerability (and let's
face it, there was for Limp-Asparagus Lad) then such a tactic might have
more chance of mashing them into the consistency of boiled oats.
     The villain dismissed the notion, deciding instead to continue to
experiment with his new tel.ape.athy; he saw no reason to quit.  But
then he felt a quiver of something horrible as he stood there on the
roof top pavers of faux stone.  Something was invading his mind,
something inhuman and cold.
     Seeing Krodd shudder and go pale (impressive under all that fur)
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad guessed that the anticipated Bad
Things were finally catching up with the super-gorilla and yelled, "Get
rid of the Amulet, before you end up dead!"
     Still Krodd did not listen to the warnings, although... he was
starting to see spots in blue and pink.  There was an unpleasant pressure
building in his head despite his best efforts to use the new mental
powers to dispel it, and then when the truth hit him Krodd could have
roared with frustration at having been so close to a victory so sweet.
     The pain was growing unbearable, and Krodd could feel the Amulet
working to slip into his mind and wear it like a glove.  Common sense
dictated that since he had already used it to bootstrap some psychic
surgery and permanently empower himself with tel.ape.athy he should
get rid of it *now*, but he was so loath to pass up the opportunity to
hurt or kill the LNHers that he instinctively risked splitting his
concentration and throwing them down into the ten story deep chasm.
     In his haste Krodd forgot to mentally coerce them into being unable
to fly, and even as Limp-Asparagus Lad caught You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-
Enough Lad and flew back to the roof the two net.heroes could see that
Krodd was lying prone on the roof - his inexperience, sloppiness and
inability to give up power before inflicting pain having created the
situation where his mind was crushed by the power of the Amulet,
seemingly reducing him to the level of a vegetable.

Character credits:
     Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Created by Mystic Mongoose
(Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham (chaos and entropy incarnate)).
     You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad is Public Domain.  Created by
Arthur Spitzer in LNHv2 #14.  (And YOU though YNHMHELad was just an
abuse fetishist  :-)
     All other characters created by Saxon Brenton.

Add notes:
     Firstly, for the benefit of anyone stumbling across this in the
archives without already knowing the context: Tom Russell recently
announced a 'constrained style' vocabulary story challenge: write a
story consisting of 75 sentences, with each sentence ending in a
specific word from a pre-determined list.
     Secondly, writing without using similies turned out to be bloody
     My initial attempt was more or less straight dialogue/character
interaction and just Did Not Work on the 'witty banter' level; so I
scrapped it with the intent of trying again.
     In the meantime certain patterns were becoming apparent in the
format of other contributor's vocab-stories.  Tom had initially
identified that using run-on sentences conjoined with semicolons would
make the transition between difficult words easier, but additionally
the use of similies and scene breaks developed as coping mechanisms.
While I did not want to use all of these tools, I also didn't think I'd
have the skill or time to avoid using all of them.  So, since I tend
towards constructing lengthy sentences anyway (you should see the draft
versions of my stories before the editing process chops them up into
manageable pieces) I decided to further restrict the format of the story
by eschewing similies and scene breaks in favour of a simple fight scene
in an environment where there were lots of objects to satisfy the
required nouns (another coping tool).
     Or at least, I tried to.  Writing without using similies turned out
to be bloody difficult.
     The results are debatable.  The story is nowhere near as surreal as
some submissions, although there are still very awkward turns of phrase.
On the other hand, the wildly fluctuating lengths of the sentences tends
to have detrimental effects on the pacing.

Saxon Brenton     University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au     saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
The Librarian "liked people who loved and respected books. And the best
way to do that, in the Librarian's opinion, was to leave them on the
shelves where Nature intended them to be." Terry Pratchett, _Men At Arms_

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