Of Plates and Plans

Instructions:  Write a story in 500 words or less utilizing the metaphor, “A plate of fear”    Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest contests. 

Of Plates and Plans

By Michael Atkinson

“Okay,” said the Malevolent Med-Student, desperation in his eyes, “This time, my plan is really going to work!”

“’Course it is,” Candystriper said loyally. She wasn’t entirely clear on what his plan was, but then, she was never entirely clear on anything. Candystriper was not the most mentally together of minions.

“Yes,” he monologued, “the city shall soon tremble before me! Particularly the attendees at this year’s annual Christmas Charity Auction! All I have to do is spray this chemical onto their plates, triggering certain neurochemicals in their brain, and they’ll be overcome by terror! All the important citizens of the city will be overcome! Then vengeance will be mine!”

“Question,” Candystriper said.  But the Malevolent Med-Student ignored her entirely. Supervillains never listened to their henchpersons; that just wasn’t the thing to do. “Quickly!” he shouted, “to the Malpracticycle!”

His minion shrugged, and followed after him. She assumed he would see the logical flaw in his plan soon enough.

Unfortunately, he didn’t. They roared out through the gates of his lair underneath an abandoned pharmacy, the Malevolent Med-Student gunning his cycle hard, and Candystriper yelling “Wheeeee!” in the sidecar. They reached the fancy hotel where the charity auction was being held without incident. The Malevolent Med-Student blazed into the garage, smashing right through the barrier without even taking a ticket from the automated dispenser. Then, once he’d parked (taking up more than one space, naturally; his villainy knew no bounds), he stormed off in search of the hotel kitchens. He had his chemical prepared, precisely calculated to interact with the china in the plates and produce a reaction of terror. His plan was foolproof! It couldn’t possibly go….the Malevolent Med-Student paused in the kitchen, ignoring the screams of the terrified chefs. “Candystriper…” he said, his voice almost too calm, “where are the plates?”

“Oh, like, apparently at the auction they’re doing a cash bar this year?” Candystriper said. “So it’s just drinks. No plates. I kinda thought you, like, knew.”

“No, I didn’t know. If I’d known, I wouldn’t have formulated the chemical specifically to interact with plates!” the Malevolent Med-Student shouted. Then he took a deep breath. “Okay. So maybe the plan won’t work this time. There’s no harm done. We’ll just go away and no one will ever-”

“Excuse me,” said a stirring, heroic voice from behind, “but I think it’s time your plate of fear got put in the dishwasher….of justice!”

“That doesn’t even make-” the Malevolent Med-Student never got the chance to finish his objection, as a white-gloved fist slammed into him and knocked him straight into the hotel’s walk-in freezer. Captain Happily Married made a heroic bow as the chefs applauded. Candystriper sighed and padded off to the freezer to recover her villain. Next time, she told herself, she’d make sure to point out the flaw in the evil plan before they went to do it. Next time.


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  1. “Malpracticycle” sounds mighty.

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