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  • Locked thread
Aug 2, 2003

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

QuoProQuid posted:

I'll elect to do that.

Now, tell me about the SPY that wants to win a COUNTY FAIR BAKING COMPETITION

I'll take this one.

I want someone to tell me the story of a WAITER who wants to JOIN THE CIRCUS


Aug 2, 2003

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.


Aug 2, 2003

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

From Cold War to Hot Pie
Flash rule: Now, tell me about the SPY that wants to win a COUNTY FAIR BAKING COMPETITION
(1,043 words)

The Weston County Fair was the sort of event where you could run into people you hadn't seen in years. Amid face-painted children, rigged carnival games, and generic folk music, chances were you'd see familiar faces. I wasn't concerned with any old friends that day. Mainly, I was concerned with boysenberries.

The pie-baking contest wasn't the most glamorous thing I'd ever done, not by far. I was proud of my pies, though. I had decided this would be my year. My boysenberry pie, with its recipe passed down a hundred years through my family, had been honed to perfection. I had been one of the first contestants judged, and I hoped I saw a hint of a smile on the crankiest of the judges. It was while waiting for them to judge the other entries that I heard a familiar voice saying my name.

"Declan Kaine?"

An old chill ran up my spine. I'd not heard that pretentious Euro-trash voice in decades, but it was unmistakable. The Weston County Fair was the sort of event where you could run into people you never wanted to see again. I turned to the man who had once been my enemy.

"Doctor Kiloton," I said. "What are you doing here?"

"Come, come, now Declan," he said. "Is that any way to greet an old friend?" He was stroking a fluffy white cat while he spoke. His bald head glinted in the sunlight as if it were plastic. Time had not been kind to him.

"If you're here to kill me," I said, "You shouldn't bother. I'm retired."

"Oh, as am I," said the Doctor. "Yes, my plans certainly took a hit when you destroyed my Volcano Fortress."

"Give it a rest, it was thirty years ago," I said. "Besides, I'm sure you found some underwater lair to move into."

"Who told you about--- Never mind," he said, "I'm not here to kill you. I simply approached you hoping to exchange pleasantries." A slight smirk crossed his lips. That same smirk I'd seen a hundred times in a whole different lifetime.

"I guess you find it easier to be pleasant when you're not dangling a guy over an electrified shark tank?" I asked, recalling an encounter from long ago.

"Now who's bringing up old news?" he asked. "And besides, you managed to destroy my Doomsday Device that day. I don't think you have any room to complain."

"Whatever happened to those sharks, anyway?"

"Dead," he replied. "As it turns out, sharks don't much like electricity either."

"That certainly make sense," I said, nodding. "So, What are you really doing here? This isn't really the kind of place for a guy like you."

"Fine. If you must know, I want to win the contest."

I laughed. "How the mighty have fallen," I said. "From trying to conquer the world to pie-baking contests?"

"Like you have any room to talk, Mr. Kaine of S.A.B.R.E.," he replied through clenched teeth. "Foiling my plans, saving the world, and all for what? Just so you can compete against soccer moms and Suzie Homemakers?"

"This is what I want to do with my retirement," I said. And if you're trying to win, why aren't you standing next to your pie?"

"I'm not allowed to enter a pie, actually," he said, looking down. "I've been banned for life. Turns out the Weston County council doesn't look kindly upon attacking the other contestants with plutonium-powered robot arms."

"I would imagine not," I said. "So how do you plan on winning?"

"By proxy, of course," he said. "If you'll look down the row, I'm sure you'll remember my old employees, Boris the Mad and Karlotta Kleavage?"

I had ignored the other contestants up to this point, but upon looking I recognized his former henchmen. Both had let themselves go since the glory days of the Cold War. Boris' beard was about two feet longer and his waist about a foot wider. Karlotta looked very much like a typical mid-western grandmother. Both of them waved when I looked. I didn't wave back.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said the voice over the loudspeaker. "The judges are now ready to announce the winners of the Weston County Pie Baking Contest." The small audience that had gathered applauded politely.

"Third prize," continued the announcer, "goes to Boris the Mad, for his cheni... chernik... uh... Russian blueberry tarts!" Boris the Mad jumped up and down.

"He seems awful happy to win fifty dollars," I said.

"Listen, he's not a smart man," said Doctor Kiloton, "work isn't easy to find for a guy like him."

"Second prize," said the announcer, "goes to Karlotta Kleavage and her blueberry pie!" Karlotta bowed gracefully. She winked and blew a kiss at one of the judges. The judge blushed, then smiled back.

"Really?" I said.

"Oh, it's not what you think," said Doctor Kiloton. "It's not like she slept with him. For a blueberry pie contest? Even she has her standards."

I shook my head. At least now I was sure to win. The anticipation was building, I'd waited all year for this moment. My boysenberries were fresh. My crust had been flaky and buttery. This contest was mine.

"And first place goes to... drum roll please," said the announcer. "Marjorie Pennypacker for her Triple Vanilla Apple Surprise!" An overweight red-headed housewife ran to the stage to claim her ribbon and prize money. "This makes three years in a row for Ms. Pennypacker..."

I tuned out the announcer. I looked down at my failure of a pie. A hundred years to perfect this recipe and I'd lost to a housewife, a crazy Russian, and a failed porn star. I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"Tough break," said Doctor Kiloton. "Listen... Boris, Karlotta, and I are going to the bar after this to blow their prize money. You're welcome to come if you'd like. We can catch up on old times."

I hesitated. On the one hand, the idea of sharing a beer with a man I'd stopped from blowing up the moon didn't appeal to me. On the other hand, I could really use a drink after losing so handily.

"Yeah," I said. "What the hell, let's hit the bar. Boris can buy the first round."

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