Friday, September 23, 2011

A Quick & Angry Cafe Rant

The second Campaign Challenge called for "a quick, angry cafe rant" in which we were asked to do the following:
Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!
I wasn't able to squeeze in a mirror reference, but I did manage to bring it in at exactly two hundred words (harder than it sounds). And so, for your reading pleasure I give you:


Imago and the Rain of Steel

Imago was there when I walked in. He was always there.

After the nearby “luxury lofts” opened up, he’d invaded our cafĂ© with his laptop and his smartphone and his loudness, turning it from a writer’s Shangri-La into a miasma of literary despair.

Looking around, I saw the place was filled with regulars, all struggling authors. We’d earned our chairs by ordering a cup, then shutting up and writing. Imago, named after the word printed on his “personal” mug, was killing the vibe. He’d shattered our creative mojo with his nonstop blathering.

I ordered then sat down next to Benny.

“Imago’s wearing a Lacuna Coil t-shirt. Bet he’s never even heard their music,” he whispered. “And the douche used ‘oscitate’ in a sentence before you came in. I looked it up. It means, ‘to yawn’. I hate him.”

“Good. That’ll help.”

Barista Meg brought my coffee and waited. They were all waiting.

“Yeah, let’s do this.”

With clumsy synchronicity, we rose from our seats while Meg locked the door. Imago found himself surrounded by authors—with hammers.


I snorted, clueless as always.

“I’ll tell you what,” I said, fingering the handle of a shortened sledge. “SHUT THE F**K UP!”

Personally, I like the visual of a bunch of angry authors with hammers, but maybe that's just me. ;c)

UPDATE: Here's a link to the list. My story's #72 (just in case you're looking for something to "like").


see comments


K.T. Hanna said...

I now have a goal - to one day be in an angry group of authors with hammers.
This was entertaining and the words were woven in so well, I barely noticed them.

Well done!

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, K.T.!

Sonia Lal said...

That was pretty good! I like. Good use of the words.

Jen said...

LOVE it! Hilarious! If I'm ever involved in a murder, it will be because of a guy like that!
Mine is #3.

@ KT, I'll join your group!

Mel Corbett said...

OMG! Awesome! man, i so had no idea what to do with this one, glad i waited to read until AFTER i wrote mine. I never would have posted anything after seeing this. It's great.

Unknown said...

We have a coffee shop here in Pensacola just like that. I envisioned the characters and felt the heat of the moment. Great job!

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks Sonia, Jen, Mel and KS. You're all too kind!

MyTricksterGod said...

Lol, I know it isn't a coincidence. I did a angry cafe rant too. But the hatred of hipsters and yuppies and buppies and wannabes of the sort with their inconsiderate, narcissistic, self-important loudness is, indeed, a universal thing for all of us born half-human, half-coffee/cookie.

It is an absolute universal!
This is an awesome, awesome, close-to-the-heart, real-time real-life post and in swells up vindictive justice within me to hush up all those alien entities that would dare use their laptops and iPhones for the forces of evil and make me drop my cookie in my tea while I wait for them to acknowledge my eyes of writhing horror.

It would make my day if I got your real thoughts on my angry cafe rant.

And God save the cafe.

Cortney Pearson said...

How funny, I love the way they "earned their chairs." Very entertaining!

Heather said...

Nice job! This was a tough one!

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks Trickster (may I call you that?), Cortney, and Heather. This was a fun one!

F.E. Sewell said...

“And the douche used ‘oscitate’ in a sentence"

I love the way everyone is dealing with this bizarre word. Your version made me laugh aloud. :)

Steph Schmidt said...

Omgosh yes! I've been in that situation before but I wish there'd be an author mob to shut them up.

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, F.E. I'm particularly fond of that one myself. ;c)

Steph, Yes! Few things in life could top the sheer terror inspired by an unruly mob of book nerds!

Joanna said...

Yo, bring it on. A bunch of hammer-crazy writers and one jerk. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I dislike loud talkers. I feel the group's anger. The hammers were unexpected, and I was intrigued by their weapon of choice. Great piece. :)

Tara Tyler said...

that was hilarious!
who brought the annoying muse!
great job!

J said...

"...a miasma of literary despair." Perfect phrasing! :D Great work!

Roger Eschbacher said...

Wow. Everyone's being so kind. Thanks Joanna, Medeia, Tara, and J!

MyTricksterGod said...

Deeply appreciate the kindred hatred that we share. I wouldn't mind building a movement dedicated to wiping away these loud-mouth species from our coffee tables.
Call me whatever is convenient, thx for the visit.
Now let us build this revolution!

David P. King said...

Interesting. This is the second cafe entry I read. And you're right. A bunch of angry authors wielding hammers. That's just hilarious.

Great job, Roger! :)

Roger Eschbacher said...

Embarrassing Update: Reposting here to make sure everyone sees it.

Okay, I'm an idiot. For some reason (most likely that I'm an idiot) I thought they all were supposed to be little short rants set in a cafe. I'm serious. I picked up the details for the second challenge from MyTricksterGod's blog (see link in original post) and, seeing that example (notice the similar/identical post titles), assumed they were all to be in that setting.

Right now, you're probably saying, "Oh surely, he can't be that clueless." Oh yes, I can. Trust me. Nevermind that as I read and voted for other peoples stories I only had a vague notion that "Hmm, this one (and this one and this one...) isn't particularly rant-y and didn't have anything to do with a cafe -- the challenge was to write a cafe rant, dammit! Nevermind that MyTricksterGod had mentioned early on in my comments section that we had both written a cafe rant (what a coincidence!). Only just now (when David Powers King mentioned that this was the *second* cafe rant he'd seen) did it dawn on me what I'd done.

I'm very sorry about this (MyTricksterGod must've thought it was way beyond weird). I don't make this kind of mistake very often, but when I do, it tends to be a doozy.

With a contrite heart,

p.s. I'm an idiot.

MyTricksterGod said...

That is actually a wonderful idea-- the next writer's campaign challenge should have a specific topic in mind next time.

But I don't see why you have to apologize...

do you not want to use a hammer to smash in the faces of those otherWorldly loud-mouths that are too narcissistically inconsiderate of your valuable, society-changing works to give you the concentration you need?

I was serious about starting this coffee revolution, it should be done!

Roger Eschbacher said...

MyTricksterGod -- Thank you for being so understanding. And I have to say that your "prompt" was a lot of fun!

As far as the coffee revolution goes, I'm in!

Catherine Stine said...

Okay, this is really hilarious! I love the name Lacuna Coil for a band too. Following you now. I'm over from the campaign, #142 in the lineup. Cheers!

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, Catherine! I'm on my way to check out your blog.

Anonymous said...

LOL, this is great. I love your use of the words.

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, Raelyn. I enjoyed yours, too!

Christine Rains said...

Ha! That was great. It was a good laugh for a Friday night. :)

Doreen McGettigan said...

Wow; that was a lot of emotion for me and thank goodness I was trying so hard to figure out if you and Trickster were the same person [which would have been cool and scary] that the image of an angry mob with hammers[how my brother was murdered] Getting that image out of my head I saw the humor. Nice job...
I have been making a bunch of mistakes lately's the release thing:)

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, Christine, I'm glad you enjoyed it. On my way to check out yours.

Doreen, Holy crap! I'm so sorry to hear that your brother was murdered. I can't imagine how horrible that would be (for him and his loved ones). Thanks for seeing the humor in the piece. Again, I think it might be difficult for you to think of hammers as a "funny" weapon.

And yeah, when I make mistakes, I make'em big. Thankfully MyTricksterGod was cool about it.

Zan Marie said...

LOL! Remind me not to threaten your writing mojo! That's good. ; )

I'm following you now. I'm #33 in the list.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Very entertaining! Well done :)

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, Zan Marie and Susanna!

Scott Bury said...

I'm jealous. I couldn't get started with this challenge. I just kept coming up with a scene of a writer looking at a list of words like "miasma" and "lacuna."

Great job, and the way you worked in "authors with hammers" should get you extra points!

Roger Eschbacher said...

Thanks, Scott!

I hear you. The degree of difficulty was high on this one which is why I had one of the characters admit he had to look up "oscitate." ;c)

the wild magnolia said...

Real down to earth, where the normal people live, believable, readable, great usage of word. Brilliant micro story.

Made me smile! Fun to read too.


Karen deBlieck said...

Well then! Some one is getting his come uppance! I think it's awesome that a bunch of writers are weilding hammers. :) Great job!


MC Rogerson said...

Excellent piece of writing. Really got a sense of the group dynamics here!

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