This post is all Melissa’s fault.  She dared us to write a short story made out of random plot elements given by a friend.  (Click here to see Melissa’s post)

It just so happens that some friends recently did that to me.  I was challenged to write a teen romance involving vampires in a paranormal world, taking place in a subterranean environment, and including as characters a drug-addicted scientist, Biff from “Back to the Future,” and a gangster with Attention Deficit Disorder.  This was the result.  As I said, you can blame Melissa’s dare for the fact that you are reading it now.  Muahahahahahah!



Dramatis Personae (in order of appearance):

Muffy the Twilight fan

Dr. House (drug-influenced and sadistic physician)

Biff from Back to the Future (the Meathead)

Mugsy (gangster with OCD and ADHD)

Robin Goodfellow (Puck)

For once in her life, Muffy decided not to curse the darkness.  After all, it was hiding the fact that she was having a bad hair day.

On the way back from their mission trip to Appalachia, the youth group had stopped to tour Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.  As was her custom, Muffy had lost interest after about five minutes.  But she hadn’t gotten lost from the group—at least not at first.  Then they had come to that moment when the guide turns off the light so the group can experience real darkness.  Yeah, that was cool.  But then the light had not come back on, and all the screaming and crying in the world had not elicited any response from the group—well, that wasn’t cool at all.  Running around feeling for them had only caused her to crash into various stalactites, probably adding bruises to the face she was glad could not be seen.  How had she managed to wander off into an unexplored side cavern, while they were all ooh-ing and ah-ing and holding their hands in front of their faces and opening and closing their eyes and noticing no difference, without even realizing she was doing it?  Sometimes not paying attention could prove downright icky.  Still, it was not all bad.  She would rather die than have people see her the way she probably looked now.  No worries on that score!  If only death did not have to be so prolonged and involve so much hunger and thirst.  Various words that she was normally too dainty to use began forming in the even darker cavern that was Muffy’s mind.  No, no cursing the darkness.  Lack of a Starbucks?  That was another issue entirely.

House woke up in total darkness.  It was cold and damp and hard.  But there was a piece of paper in his hand.  How had that gotten there?  He carefully reached into his pocket and used his last match to read the note from the interns.  They had finally cracked under his maniacal rule and had drugged him and deposited him in the midst of a vast underground cavern.  Let him use his diagnostic skills to find the way out if he could!  “Bwahahahahah!”  The sarcastic sound of his reading that last word echoed forlornly in the empty spaces as the match went out.  Well, he might as well move in some direction, carefully feeling his way.  He could only hope that the upward slope he could barely discern in the floor might lead toward the surface.  Drat!  They had left him here without his cane.

Biff was only glad he was not spitting manure out of his mouth.  How could that stupid, nerdy McFly get him every time?  Usually, just when Biff had him in his grasp, some weird Rube-Goldberg twist of events would manage to land him under a truck load of cow poop.  This time he had woken up blind instead.  That was a bummer, but anything was better than manure.  Biff was too dim to understand it, but a wave of energy from the flux capacitor in the passing DeLorean had flung him through space as well as time, which was how he now found himself in this strange place full of darkness and random rocks.  If he ever got his hands on that runty McFly kid . . .

Mugsy did curse the darkness—and anything else that came into his mind.  Most especially he cursed da Boss, who had responded to his failure to nail his last victim by absent-mindedly saying, “Go ‘trow dis bum in a cave or somepin,” and da Boys, who had taken him literally.  Whatever happened to “sleep wit’ da fishes” or “concrete galoshes”?  The Mob just wasn’t like it used to be in the old days.  For the thirty-seventh time, Mugsy checked to make sure da Boys had missed his hidden piece, tucked away in the secret pocket in the lining of his zoot suit.  Yeah, it was there all right.  Much good would it do him—a derringer with only one shot.  At least he could use it on himself if the hunger and thirst became unbearable before he found his way out.  Wait—had da Boys missed his hidden piece?

Robin Goodfellow’s elvish eyes had no trouble piercing the darkness in the depths of the cave.  Oberon had sent him to fetch some rare fungus that only grew in the bowels of the earth in this one spot in the new world.  Swifter than Tartar’s bow he had come from England, and the mushroom was safely tucked away in his pouch.  He was on the point of starting back when his sharp ears caught the other sounds that should not have been echoing in this cavern.  Whining from human female . . . intelligent imprecations muttered by human male . . . inarticulate grunts produced by male of species human or possibly simian . . . repetitive curses shouted in bad Italian accent by human male . . . all in this same cave, but separated by distances rendering them inaudible to other mortal ears.  A mischievous smile formed on the invisible face of the Puck.  Oberon could wait.  There was trouble afoot!

“Oh, those things do best please me

That turn out preposterously . . .

Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

All Puck had to do was lure the four mortals together into one common location and then let human nature take over, and he was guaranteed more amusement than he had had since Theseus’s wedding.  He rubbed his hands together in wicked glee.  And then off he darted, appearing at opportune places as a will-o-the-wisp light that hinted at a far-off opening to the world of the sun but never turned out to be one.  He was guiding all of his victims deeper into the darkness and away from any part of the cave frequented by rangers or visitors.  Phase one of his plan was going very well indeed.

House was the first to notice that the cave was no longer silent—probably because he was making the least noise himself.  He had also been the first to notice that the lights were not the glimmer of an exit.  They were probably a hallucination; but the sounds were not.  They were human, and they were getting closer.  He stopped walking and fell silent to listen more closely.  This saved him from being part of the collision when Muffy, Biff, and Mugsy simultaneously walked into each other, cracked heads, and smacked into the floor of the cave with their posteriors, making a dull thump just a few feet in front of where he was standing.  Each thought that the other was one more stalactite at first.  But Puck chose that moment to cause a diffuse light to emanate from the walls of the cavern.  It was really quite soft, but it seemed blinding after the impenetrable darkness they had grown used to.  They stared at each other stupidly for a few seconds, trying to take in what they were suddenly seeing.  Then stupid grins broke out on their faces, because any company was surely better than being buried alone.  (House just smirked.)  Then they all started talking at once.  (House just raised a quizzical eyebrow and remained silent.)  “What the . . . Who are you? . . . How did you get here? . . . Where are we? . . . Anybody have anything to eat? . . . Does anybody know the way out?”

“AHEM!”  House’s guttural cough restored silence.  “I suppose you all thought you were headed toward an exit?”  Nods.  “Yet, coming from opposite directions, we all ended up here.”  More nods.  “So we’re all further from the exit than when we started, and we were already lost then?”  Stupid stares, as the reality of their situation began to sink in.  “Crap.”  There didn’t seem to be anything more to say.

Muffy was disheveled and blubbery, but she was also well proportioned and anatomically complete.  This fact was not lost on any of the males in the company; it had managed to get through to them in spite of their preoccupation with their plight.  The common realization produced different reactions, though.  Biff drooled and stared at her with unmitigated lust.  “Wow, what a babe,” said Mugsy to himself, and pretended to look at everything else in the chamber while keeping her firmly fixed in the corner of his eye.  House only rolled his eyes and thought what a terrible distraction she would be to the other students before she flunked out if her rich Daddy pulled strings and got her into med school.   Then his eyes narrowed.  She might actually be useful as a blood donor.

Muffy was quite used to being the object of male attention; indeed, she expected it as a kind of inalienable right.  Males had obviously been created by the universe to be the playthings of creatures like her.  Each of the specimens in front of her right now had certain advantages.  Mugsy exuded wealth and power.  “Hey, doll,” he said, while apparently looking past her, “What say when we get outta here I show you what a good time is?”  She gave him an impish grin that was intended to be encouraging without making any commitments.  Biff would be the easiest to manipulate; hey, he would even make her look intelligent.  But he also had a one-track mind (well, all men did, but some at least disguised it better), and he would present no challenge.  Bor-ring.  She winked at him just to enjoy his reaction, and then turned her attention to House.  He was old, but in a strangely sexy way.  His worldly-wise air was intriguing and his deadpan gaze was hard to read.  She had the strange feeling that she had seen him somewhere before—that he was famous.  And then when she gave him her patented irresistible “come-on” look, all he said, rather sardonically, was, “You don’t happen to know your blood type, do you?”  Of course, she didn’t.  He hadn’t thought so.

Muffy’s head hit the stalactite next to her in sheer disorientation.  About three things she was absolutely positive. First, House was a man. Second, there was part of him—and she didn’t know how potent that part might be—that thirsted for her blood. And third, she was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Puck’s head jerked out from behind the stalagmite where he was hiding.  “Noooooohhhh!” he shouted.  His beautiful plan was going awry.  Somehow, he had wandered into a Twilight episode.  This had to end.  Now.  He waved his hand, and suddenly the cavern was cleared.  House was sitting in his office in the hospital plotting revenge against the interns.  Mugsy was standing on a street corner downtown wondering which of da Boys should get the single round from his hidden piece.  Muffy was standing by her locker in the high school hallway, trying to remember which boy she was supposed to be in love with at the moment.  And Biff was lying on his back on the ground, watching the truck load of manure sliding toward his face.

Onalday Illiamsway, PhD

For writing that displays actual talent and ability, check out Dr. Williams’ books at the Lantern Hollow Press store,


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on July 12, 2012, in Lantern Hollow Press Authors. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Nice. Your use of House was very effective and entertaining ( though I doubt House has ever used the word drat outside of extreme sarcasm).

  2. Thank you for the subtle accreditation, Onalday…

    I found it very funny, and I had no idea where it was going until the end, which is always fun. Is it a good thing that I didn’t quite recognize the Twilight quote until Puck said something about it after? I think I’ve blocked most of Twilight from my brain.

    My only suggestion is that it would have been funny if you’d played up Mugsy’s OCD/ADD a bit more in the group scene. Especially with House there to do some caustic diagnosing.

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