Last week Jules Wilkinson, fellow Whose Doctor? author (responsible for the hilarious “Certificate IV in Allied Time Lord Support” essay), posted a Facebook callout on behalf of some friends for authors to help out with an online scavenger hunt called GISHWHES (it stands for “the Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen”, of course).
GISHWHES is an annual event where people team up over the internet and try to find and do bizarre and funny things (a couple years back Jules helped to make a Tyrannosaurus Rex out of sanitary pads, for example) to earn points and raise money for the US-based Random Acts charity, which is all about random acts of kindness and stuff.
Item 78 on the 2014 list was to get a previously published science fiction author to write a 140-word short story that featured:
- Misha Collins (founder of Random Acts & GISHWHES/actor from the Supernatural TV series)
- An elopus (an octopus with an elephant head/mascot of GISHWHES 2014)
- Queen Elizabeth II (Hereditary and currently reigning Monarch of Britain)
Value: 59 points.
It was a bit tricky to get all three elements into the story in such a short wordcount, but after wiki-ing Mr. Collins I came up with some ideas and had a crack. So here’s my contribution to the GISHWHES 2014 hunt for Jules’s mates, aka Team Storm Queen.
[UNTITLED 140-WORD STORY FOR GISHWHES 2014.]
“For service to the field of Mathematics, I dub thee Sir Misha Collins.”
Misha felt the sword tap his shoulder. He raised his head to thank Her Majesty and noticed a flap of loose skin under her chin. Everything clicked into place. The “Elibazeth” typo on the telegram. The plastic sword. The fact he wasn’t English.
“You’re not the Queen!” Misha reached up and tugged at the skin. There was a series of soft pops as a row of tentacles plopped out from behind the mask.
One more yank and a creature with an elephant’s head and an octopus’s body was revealed, sitting on a small platform. Two tentacles were wrapped around levers mounted on the platform. The “Queen’s” body shuffled its feet to retain its balance.
“Hi,” said the elepus, holding out a sharpie and a glossy black-and-white of Misha with its tentacles. “Big fan.”
There’s an excellent storify that gathers together tweets for heaps of the participating authors and links to their blog posts about the hunt and some of the stories they wrote too. It’s a fun read. You should also check out the Team Storm Queens tumblr, which collects all of their scavenged items in one place.
Good luck to anyone who participated this year – I look forward to helping out again in some way next year.