Monday, March 1, 2010

The Telegram is Coming From Inside the Log Cabin

Dear Friends,

The Hard Taco song for March is called, "The Old Tongue." If you listen to it right now, you can stop reading, which will free up your eyes for four minutes of seductive fluttering. 

If you prefer to read, and there is no one between you and the computer screen you want to seduce, this is your lucky email. This month's literary offering is the synopsis of a terrifying new chiller/thriller I am writing/optioning. This story follows the sexy lives and gruesome deaths of four smoking-hot former First Ladies. The title (and I'm prouder of this than anything else I've ever done) will be, "Body Count Gushmore." At first, it reminds you of Mount Rushmore, but this title has layers of meaning, and the second layer makes you think about grisly murder.

Body Count Gushmore*
by Zach London

Chapter 1:
(The Mount Vernon library.)
Martha Dandridge Custin Washington trips over a loose floorboard and lands on all fours. She lifts up the floorboard to reveal an ancient book, bound in peculiar pale leather that has nipples and a rash. The book is called the "Lexicon Asmocropolai", and it contains incantations for summoning demons. Martha decides to undress slowly, and read the book aloud while taking a hot, steamy bath. Suddenly, the bathwater starts to boil, and a swarm of winged hellbeasts pours out of the fireplace and into her screaming mouth. Special effects occur, and she dies.

Chapter 2:
(The streets of Richmond, Virginia.)
Martha Wales Skelton Jefferson turns up her nose at a haggard street augur. The jilted fortune teller vows to get revenge. Martha laughs dismissively, and returns home with the intention of undressing slowly and enjoying a hot, steamy bath. While she is rubbing lotion on her arms, the street augur sneaks into her parlor and replaces her husband's bottle of wig powder with a different bottle; one that is shaped like a claw and glows a little. That evening, Thomas Jefferson applies the cursed powder to his wig, and gradually develops an unquenchable craving for brain-based cuisine. He chases Martha around the oval office, trying to puncture her skull with a quill. Eventually, she loses him, and leans against a wall to catch her breath. Ah! His arms burst through the wall and grab her. Somewhere, the augur is laughing violently. 

Chapter 3:
(A log cabin, somewhere in a scary as hell forest.)
Mary Todd Lincoln is babysitting. The "little twerps" are misbehaving, so she puts them to bed early. As she is undressing slowly to take a hot, steamy bath, she receives a telegram that reads, "are you alone? -(STOP)-" At first she shrugs it off, but 10 minutes later, she receives another telegram, this one reading, "mary tod lincoln is gong to be stabbed at  -(STOP)-"

Now terrified, she writes a two-page letter explaining her situation, and dispatches a pony express rider to the nearest police outpost, 20 miles downriver. When the police receive her letter, they send a courier by steamship to the Telegraph and Cable Office. As Mary Todd Lincoln anxiously waits for assurances from them, the windows keep blowing open. Finally, a dispatcher arrives with an urgent communiqué from the Telegraph and Cable Office. It reads, "Dear valued customer: Get out now, the telegram is coming from inside the log cabin!" She tries to escape, but it is too late.

Chapter 4:
(The executive mansion, Washington, D.C.)
Ignoring the pleas of everyone, Edith Kermit Cardow Roosevelt makes arrangements for a new East Wing of the White House to be built on an Indian burial mound. To expedite construction, she digs up all the graves herself, displacing the bones of Chief Otaktay ("Killer Among Killers") and pocketing an amulet that she pries out of his skeletonized hand.

Since it is midnight and she is alone, she decides to strip down to her underwear and use the light of the full moon to complete the final calculations for her unholy cloning research. While slowly undressing, she inadvertently knocks an old blind man into the grave. In his dying breath, the blind man asks her if she was aware that people in their neighborhood have been disappearing mysteriously. He also mentions that he hears a surge of poisonous beetles on the horizon. 

Mrs. Roosevelt ignores these warnings and hides the man's body under her porch. Proceeding inside, she sees her children hovering eerily in the hallway, their eyes rolled back, babbling an octave too low in an ancient language. Just to make sure they are okay, she hugs and kisses each of them. Then she remembers that she left something important under the porch with the dead blind man. As she squeezes into the dark crawlspace, she finds an artifact that can only be described as "a puzzle to unlock a portal to Hell," and she solves it.

Then she goes inside and takes a hot, steamy bath.

With warmest regards,

* Alternate title: Mount Much-Gore