Deathmatch 2015 Quarterfinals Round 4


Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3

Deathmatch Moderator

danperryDaniel Perry
Daniel Perry is the author of Nobody Looks That Young Here, a short fiction collection forthcoming from Guernica Editions which includes Deathmatch 2011 entry “The Expiry Dates.” His stories have since been short-listed for the Carter V. Cooper Prize and appeared in more than 30 publications including The Dalhousie Review, Exile, Riddle Fence, Black Heart Magazine (U.S.), Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Little Fiction, The Prague Revue (Czech Rep.), and the Stone Skin Press anthology The Lion and the Aardvark (U.K.). He lives in Toronto, and on Twitter @danielperrysays.

Step One: Read the stories.
Step Two: Vote for your favourite. Repeatedly. You can vote once every hour.
Step Three: Sound off in the comments.
Step Four: Blog, tweet, tell all your friends – help your favourite author win!
Step Five: Repeat until an Ultimate Winner is declared and all others lie bleeding in the dust.

Click here for Deathmatch rules and regulations and for links to all the people and presses that have generously donated awesome prizes for our winner and runners-up. VOTE AND COMMENT BELOW! By commenting you agree to be signed up for Broken Pencil’s newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The Boogeyman

By Nikola Jajic


The Ushers

Two plumes of smoke poured out of his leathery nostrils, as he rubbed his cigarette out on the bar. The man ordered another Glenlivet, and continued to wait. He was always waiting on that asshole, but at least he got to pick the place. It was the nature of their relationship.

Read on...


By April Kelly

Patient zero was a seventeen-year-old high school junior, but she wasn’t identified as the first for several years, giving her time to have sex with two men who became immediate vectors of the worst scourge in history. Zoonotic transmission of deadly viruses was already known to medical science: monkeys to man in the case of AIDS, birds and swine in their respective flus. Even the most free-thinking scientists, though, had trouble believing a computer virus had made the leap to human being.

Read on...

197 Responses to “Deathmatch 2015 Quarterfinals Round 4”

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  2. Daniel Perry says:

    Congratulations, Nikola and April, on two great stories and a fight well fought, and thanks to all who got into the splatter zone on the comment board! Moderating was a pleasure–thanks for the fun, BP. Good luck in the next round, Nikola!

  3. April Kelly says:

    Nikola good luck in the next round. Amazon already got your book to me (so why does it take them so long to get the thorazine here?) and I look forward to eating it next week.

    To all the rest who have participated, both lovers and haters, so long and thanks for all the fish.

  4. Nikola Jajic says:

    Just ate a burger flight… yep, a burger flight. Apparently, it’s a real thing. And now my body is shutting down. Not sure how much longer I will be conscious, so I wanted to quickly get on here before this round finishes up.

    April, regardless of the outcome, I enjoyed the back and forth banter with you. I hope our paths will cross again one day.

    Daniel, it was a pleasure.

    Also, thanks to all of the voters and commenters for making this such an exciting and strange week!

  5. Harry B. Uts says:

    Boogeyman’s not bad, but Viris is better literature. The quality of the story, however, doesn’t seem to matter as much as how many friends you have in your network who will vote for your your story. It is a popularity contest, a beauty pageant and perhaps an electronic gauntlet. Next we will be picking Pulitzer winner by popular acclaim.

  6. Eric says:

    Kelly’s is just the superior story here: it’s got some real novelty and appeals to something besides the standard weird underworld blood-lust stuff, where as The Ushers are just another pair of demons in a rehash of a standard theme (i.e., that “stars” are actually evil-born plants of the other-world).

    • Marta says:

      Oh, puhhleaase. Love the attempts to crowbar in subtext to a story that’s just ho-hum. And yeah, it’s been done before too. Don’t kid yourself. You can’t explain away the goofy rhyming no matter how much you try to intellectualize it. Boogeyman is slick and even has better structure to boot. Both are comedies, but one makes you laugh and the other makes you recognize that it’s trying to be funny.

      • james says:

        Like beauty, reading & understanding is in the eye of the beholder. Or better put, to each his/her own. Some like Boogeyman, while others like myself say kudos to Ms Kelly’s Viris.

  7. sara ( User Karma: 416 ) says:

    I haven’t had any problems voting, but I was just thinking about the way that some people made the jump from the computer glitch to accusations of rigging – fits nicely with the themes in VIRIS, no? In both cases, there seem to be questions surrounding human control and agency in relation to the technology that we have created. Is it out of our hands or do we have a continued responsibility to it even as it works against us (now I have Frankenstein in mind as well)? Suddenly these deep moral issues emerge in what we thought was the realm of the empirical.

    VIRIS brings this out further with the blurring of the boundaries between our bodies and our machines – exemplified in the way in which the virus spreads either through the machine or through sex. Again, there is a biological view of sex as a basic human drive, but sex is also tangled up in questions of morality, ethics, etc.

        • April Kelly says:

          Sara, I took your comments as compliment. That’s probably because I read the whole thing. A lot of ding-dongs probably stopped at the word rigging and pissed and moaned again, privately or on this comment board that I was the one making accusations. Thank you for reading my story, thank you for carefully thinking about it and thank you for voting for it.

  8. james says:

    Crap, voting was foiled once again. Voted at 7:25 this am, now 2hrs later tells me I’ve already voted for this hour? Excuse me? Sort of hard to do that when I’ve been busy making whoopee with my wife!

  9. Nikola Jajic says:

    NOTE: My deathmatch diary was stolen, and it was replaced with the biography of Kim Jong Un. I’ve also been getting a very large number of emails from Nigerian royalty (How many Princes can one country have?). Not sure if these two things are connected.


  10. penny jones says:

    Hey starfall, why are you ragging on Ms Kelly? Comments on voting ability, or lack thereof, have been made by readers, not the writer and I’ve had my own issues trying to vote for Viris. Since this voting issue seems to have been raised in the past, perhaps the site developers should check out the problem.

    By the way, glad to hear you are a longtime fan of Ms Kelly, especially since this is only her 2nd submission to the Deathmatch contests. Her offbeat sense of humor makes Viris a good fit for this weirdo round and I’ll keep voting for VIRIS, if the site lets me in.

  11. starfall says:

    Wow! I have to speak up. I have supported the boogeyman story since I read it.

    Give the readers more credit.

    These comments seem to suggest that the 200+ votes that are for boogeyman can not be from anything other than a problem? Give me a break. Put on your big girl panties! You are talented. No doubt about that, April! But, to say the system must be the reason, is to rob this new author his own win. Not cool. Not cool. Kind of a surprise from you, I will say. Longtime fan of April, but I think the boogeyman is better in this competition.

    • April Kelly says:

      SF are you READING these comments? I’m not the one making that suggestion, and in fact, I have put comments and even a limerick up to try to get that across. Alsion, Nikola and I all seem to be in agreement that it’s going on but no one thinks it’s going to favor or hurt one story or another.

    • April Kelly says:

      People! Listen! It ain’t just happening to VIRIS. There is no fix. The indie audience just isn’t lovin’ it. The problem is across the board. Relax, I’m not being hounded out of Dodge and haven’t put my head in the oven (electric, don’tcha know).

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  12. James says:

    What’s going on here?!?!?! I’m trying to vote for Nikola, but it’s not letting me! Saying something like I have to wait an hour. I waited an hour! This is crap!

  13. Anne says:

    What the hell is going on with this website. I voted for VIRIS at 9:10 am today and each time I’ve tried since then I’ve gotten the message telling me I could only vote once an hour. I set my alarm for 65 minutes later to make sure my vote would be correct. April is getting screwed if this has been happening to others who have tried to vote for VIRIS.
    Based on the ultra wide discrepancy, I’m thinking this thing is rigged in favor of the other guy..

    • Alison Lang (Moderator) ( User Karma: 12 ) says:

      Heya there – if you guys are having difficulty voting, it might be due to an overwhelming number of votes overloading the system. So while it may not appear the vote is being registered immediately onscreen, it is still being noted and counted (hence the votes going up after the fact.) Please keep voting!

    • SECoop says:

      1. Read both stories.
      4. Opened box of wine before voting.
      2. Became drunk.
      5. Reread VIRIS again. Really “got” even more sub-text, nuances, brilliant crap.
      3. Toasted Nikola on a great tale. Still want to sleep with Kelly.
      9. I think smarmy is sexy, Rexy.
      2. Note to self: Find my girlfriend’s computer and try to vote again. “HOUR” my ass WTF??????

  14. Daniel Perry says:

    This moderator’s favourite sentences from each story:

    “The Boogeyman”: “Now, it may or may not be common knowledge (but it’s true nonetheless) that, if you are over the age of 24 (Jim was 28) and you fall down in front of a group of strangers, it will haunt you for the rest of your life.”

    “VIRIS”: “Soldiers forget their countries are not at war with anyone and open fire at random.”

    • Nikola Jajic says:

      Thanks, Daniel.

      Funny story: About ten years ago, I went for a run. On my way back to my building, I tripped on the sidewalk, fell, rolled down said sidewalk, and came to rest in a ditch next to my building. Teenagers watching from the balcony of a building across from mine, began to laugh and hysterically cheer (those bastards). I got up, yelled a few choice words at them, and I actually shook my fist while doing so… like an 80 yr old man. #NeverForget

  15. Mike Samman says:

    Yeah, happened here. And I was definitely voting for Boogeyman. Getting back to the moderators question, Viris definitely needs to get rid of the smarmy dryness for starters. It was brutal. Hey April, are you going to bitch and moan about your votes, totes?

  16. Dot ( User Karma: 416 ) says:

    Yeah, but have you noticed that it sometimes tells you that you have already voted but that counter still goes up? I assume that’s my vote counting but something screwy happening with the message. Anyway, it’s happening on both sides because CBQ and I are both voting for Nikola, if I remember correctly.

    • ie01d6f9ef says:


      • Alison Lang (Moderator) ( User Karma: 12 ) says:

        Heya there – if you guys are having difficultly voting, it might be due to an overwhelming number of votes overloading the system. So while it may not appear the vote is being registered immediately onscreen, it is still being noted and counted (hence the votes going up after the fact.) Please keep voting!

  17. Carol B says:

    I’m not Amish and my computer works fine – but I have not been able to vote every hour (for VIRIS) several times it has told me that I had already voted and that I can only vote once an hour. Thing is it’s already more than an hour since I voted. And I know coz I set a timer t remind me to vote 🙂

    • Shannon Lyons says:

      I set a timer too so that I would remember to vote for Virus every hour but it is saying that I have already voted (a statement I am resenting more with each attempt). I’ve tried to refresh, restart, and even added a new internet browser all to no avail. HELP!

  18. Nikola Jajic says:

    Aw jeez, I was hoping to get out of this round mostly unscathed. I liked April’s story, but if I had to put my editor hat on (yes, it’s made of foil), I would say she could’ve cut all the “Stan making a plan” wordplay. It was a bit too distracting without much in the way of comedic payoff. If that is what she was going for.

  19. Dot ( User Karma: 416 ) says:

    I think that April Kelly could have tried harder to sound like a millennial. “Nads” and “worm’s fart” sound more like the Wayne’s World generation. “Snake eats its own tale, Dale” sounds like baby boomer.

    • April Kelly says:

      Note to self: Make all hippies say “Groovy,” all cowboys “Dagnabbit!” and all Jewish characters “Oy, vey.” Coloring outside cartoon lines might accidentally imply familial influence broad societal exposure or personal preference. Must rewrite my pirate novel. Some how left out parrot, peg leg and “Ar-r-rgh!” Worm=virus.

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  20. Daniel Perry says:

    Hey! Where’d everyone go? It’s been awesome to see such a lively board over the first half of the round, but are we already easing into the steady chug of dedicated voters just doing their hourly duty? It’s only Thursday! What would your families–or in the U.S., your Presidents–think of you honoring their special weekend this way? For shame!

    I’m left with no choice but to bait the deathflame-spitting trolls that kept DM writers (well, one of them) sleeping with one eye open (not sleeping at all) way back in the day (2011), by asking a moderator question at midnight then going to sleep the sound sleep of self-satisfied moderators the world over:

    What’s one thing in each story that could be done better?

    Nikola, April, let’s hear you critique your opponent’s story; neutrals (“Bueller…?”), tell us how you’d “fix” both stories; and trolls, you know, do your thing… this IS the Deathmatch–home of the unbalanced!

  21. Jana says:

    Nikola Jajic hitting your reply button isn’t working so going direct. Never got your letter … Perhaps my cat shredded it thinking it contained catnip? BTW, have started showing VIRIS symptoms yet?

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  22. Isle B. Bach says:

    Viris is not only well written, but literary. The author uses words which are not dumbed down for the below average reader, but are still eminently understandable, even if not understood from the context. What well educated reader wouldn’t love zoonotic transmission and prescience? The story is even more interesting when the erudite is juxtaposed with Stan making a plan, or Dale eating her tail or that of a snake? (Where does the snake end and the tail start?) I plan to vote and vote often for Virus, just like the deceased voters in Chicago do for Democratic politicians.

  23. April Kelly says:

    Reply to Kevin McPherson Eckhoff (no way to click reply button above):

    I would happily get you an “in” to Mork & Mindy, but I don’t know where Robin is buried.

  24. April Kelly says:

    Sharks. Hammerheads, bulls, sands, nurses, GWs. Can’t abide a shark. Not keen on Chihuahuas, either, but they are less likely to drag you under water and eat your head.

    Trailing by more than 200 points; rethinking my decision to befriend only Amish people. Good cheese, though.

  25. Nikola Jajic says:

    DEATHMATCH DIARY DAY 4: I’m learning. I’m adapting. Cutting the fat, so to speak. I cannot allow distractions. My mind must be focused.

    No time to bathe. The hand sanitizer will have to do. To burn is to purify.

    Bowel movements were taking up entirely too much time. Leave the room, enter another, all for the sake of modern convenience. No more. A Spartan existence is key. The jars. So many jars.

    I must know the secret history, and learn from it.

    The Colosseum begat the Kumite, the Kumite begat the Deathmatch.
    Christians vs. Lions, Frank Dux vs. The Asian Man with the giant pecs (Note: find out what his name is).

    It’s all coming into focus now.

    Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana. Jana.
    What to do about Jana? The power of the dog will protect me. But for how long? Did she get my letter made of nail clippings?

    My opponent said her side has had technical difficulties. They don’t about our foil hats. They don’t have our technology.

    My supply of corn nuts is dwindling. Is shoe leather actually edible? (Note: Investigate further).

  26. Eskala says:

    I have tried several times to vote for Viris. The number of votes for this story did not change. WHY???
    PS. no I did not vote in the same hour, as a matter of fact I tried to vote several hours apart!

    • Jole says:

      Alternatively, I would download a different internet browser like Google Chrome if you haven’t done so already. It only takes a few seconds to download, but it’s like a Swiss Army Knife for the internet (compact, yet highly functional).

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      • April Kelly says:

        Jeez, how much screw-around time do you think potential voters have? They can’t ALL be sitting around their father’s basement in their underwear taking time out from Minecraft to vote in this contest.

        Of course, this could be the fault of Mercury, which finally went out of retrograde (planetary PMS) last night.

        • SECoop says:

          Oh sweet jesus (the gardener, not the lord) – please tell me Mercury is becoming sane again. I shall then buy a bottle of Jack, a few cigars, and try all over again to vote. Thankfully, church has been cancelled tomorrow, football is yesterday’s news, and I have zero surgical procedures scheduled. And btw Kelly, VIRIS rocks.

  27. Nikola Jajic says:

    I’m reading a lot of comments with the mention of ‘TV’ and ‘movie’ in them. Just a heads up, I’m in talks with Busey’s people. Well, not people exactly, it’s this damn dog that keep following me everywhere, but nevertheless, I’m confident that he’s going to want in on this.

    Buddy Holly can suck it. We’re talking a feature, multiple sequels, action figures, A Broadway musical. Hell, maybe even a made-for-TV movie with Gary Busey’s son taking up the role of his father at the moment in Gary’s life when he accepted this role. #Meta

    Once he’s on board, the Nic(k)s will follow.

    I think I’m going to shave this dog.

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    • April Kelly says:

      Not surprised about movie and TV refs. Last year the loudest haters seem to be people who had seen 1000 movies and read only 10 books. BTW, are you getting calls and emails about people having trouble voting? Some classmate I haven’t seen in (mumble, mumble) years emailed me that it took 18 hours for her to vote a second time as every time she clicked it came up with the disclaimer that you can only vote once an hour. Reported a lot of that to the mag last year, but they said it was normal glitches but would be cleared up by this year. Oh, well.

      • Nikola Jajic says:

        I did receive a couple emails and texts about it. I chalked most of that up to bad directions on my part, as well as some of my less tech savvy peeps trying to get here, read, and vote, on their phones. Personally, I haven’t run into any snags on my end, though.

  28. Nikola Jajic says:

    Love me some mentions of Vonnegut. It’s funny, I actually thought of a short story of his from his collection Welcome to the Monkey House, after I read Viris.

    The story was called Euphoria Effect or something like that. There were similar themes in both stories, but that’s about it. Now, lets leave V-diddy outta this.

    It’s time to Boogey.

    • April Kelly says:

      Re: Casa de Los Simians

      Flattered to have any work of mine put in KV’s granfalloon, but I’m scratching my head (could be crabs) as The Euphio Question was originally published in Collier’s magazine circa 1950, when, if my grizzled old pappy’s tales were true, a computer could fill a whole room at a university, chillin’ hard to keep all those vacuum tubes from popping like weasels in a microwave.

      Still, if you substitute intergalactic radio waves for computer virus, giddy pleasure for desolate blankness, and enthusiastic commercialization for unwitting submission, then, yeah, I can see the resemblance.

      NOW we’re done with Vonnegut.

      • Nikola Jajic says:

        Eh, we’re not done yet. You’re right it was Euphio Question. And yeah, I’m not sure where it was first published, but I originally read the story in a beat up copy of Welcome to the Monkey House, this was awhile ago, but I still remember it fondly.

        And when I said I thought I might’ve recognized thematic similarities between the works, I was speaking to how his story touched on the shackling of the mind due to a popular technology of the times and some very unforeseen consequences.

        In his tale, the hissing sound from space was amplified through their radios, and the whole town was zombified (for lack of a better word) by it. They go nutty due to some strange euphoria, and it’s a bit apocalyptic for a brief span. A lot of his work deals with free will and the dangers that shackling ones mind can cause. The townsfolk weren’t shitting on rugs though, but it was something like that.

        • Nikola Jajic says:

          All that being said, I used the words “similarity” and “reminded me of” I don’t think it was on the nose in any way.

          If anything, this gives me a reason to dig out that old book, and give that story and perhaps a couple of others, another read.

          It’s probably been over ten years since I read it last.

  29. Jon Foras says:

    I thought Viris attempt at dry humor were yawn inducing. ^Vonnegut she surely ain’t.
    It also didn’t feel like a short story. More like a missing chunk of an unfinished longer work. Boogeyman was original and laugh out loud funny. The Halloween party sealed it for me. Not even close.

  30. Zillah says:

    Praise Vonnegut, I love me some satirical sci-fi! I’m voting for VIRIS as this round’s winner for being funny and substantial, yet succinct. I’d totally watch the TV series based on it.The other story might find itself more at home over at

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  31. Nikola Jajic says:

    DEATHMATCH DIARY DAY 3: The contest is getting pretty intense. I’m trying to keep it together, but I see danger everywhere. I’ve started watching fox news more. I’m almost certain I’m at threat level red.

    Yesterday, when a barista handed me my coffee, I screamed at him. I went on an accusatory rant, tying him to third world poverty and ISIL. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about, but I knew he was working for her.

    Just the other day my opponent was attacked. Better her than me, I thought. But is that how it happens? Do they pick us off one by one? Do we hide and wish them on others? Am I next? Who are “they”?

    Our Moderator, Daniel, wrote “So far…” in a really ominous way. I’ve consulted my room of newspaper clippings and that dog that comes over sometimes. Maybe they are all against me. Maybe the dog is right.

    Who is Jana? WHO IS JANA?! That’s what I need to find out.

    Why are my fingernails growing so fast?

    • April Kelly says:

      Hacking at my wrists with a plastic spork, the only utensil “they” let me have in here but the damn things keep breaking and this could take me till Sunday night. To the best of my knowledge I have never met anyone named Jana, unless it’s a pseudonym for the homeless woman to whom I gave all my earthly possessions before embarking on my path to endarkenment.

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    • Jana says:

      Jana here and conspiracy theories abound! Think about it… where are computers assembled? Who designs the memory chips used in them? What is lodged deep within that chip? Have you leaned too close to your computer lately? We’ll soon find out…

  32. Cagey Beast Queen says:

    Both stories were great. But Boogeyman felt more like well written indie. Smart, funny, and out there. Viris is sort of mainstream scifi, bordering on generic (no offense). Boogeyman is going all the way. My votes at leat

  33. April Kelly says:

    Moderator Dan: I saw you have a book of short stories forthcoming. Exactly when will it come forth? I figure our paths will never cross again after this week and I’d like to order a copy. Can you tell me where it will be available?

    Oh, by the way, I live in South Canada (ie. USA)so if I have to pay in like otter pelts or Euros I might not be able to do it.

    I already ordered Nikola’s graphic novel The Big Bad Book from Amazon, as I always assume a sale is better than a compliment.

    • Daniel Perry says:

      April, thanks for joining me in meeting a tall order: staying alive until 2018! (Is it therefore odd that we’re meeting through a Deathmatch…? Nah… writers, amiright?) And don’t stockpile too many pelts… the Canadian dollar should be worth about 0.4 greenbacks by then, the way we’re going. In the meantime, I’ll take a look at Winged… and The Big Bad Book, too. (Hey, Nikola… buy my book?)

      And now, with all that Cult of Amazon-like friendliness out of the way–OK, I admit to totally bro-hugging my DM opponent when we finally met a year afterward–let’s please get back to the death! Camps are emerging, and Nikola’s lead seems to be growing proportionately to the pace at which it started out, but only April seems to have encountered an antagonist so far…

      So far…

    • Nikola Jajic says:

      Well, thanks for the purchase, April. Those old royalties have dwindled these last few years. My sandwich and sports gambling habits have suffered.

      I think I’ll return the favor. I’m a sucker for a detective novel.

  34. April Kelly says:

    Nikola replying to your 4:54 pm posting, although the reply button seems to be out of order for the moment. I am gobsmacked by this whole guilty-until-proven-innocent vibe, (see the post from Not a TV 2/10 8:56 am)but I guess it’s better than last year when one guy accused me of plagiarism and then, after checking my credits, asked me to read his screen play and help him sell it. Ron Osborn is correct, we never met.

    • Nikola Jajic says:

      Yep, read that comment. And I don’t blame you for being miffed. It was the shittiest one I’ve seen. Fuck him or her.

      Btw, there was a typo in my previous reply. My brain thought “had heard” my fingers typed “had he heard”. I blame the sandwich I was eating. It was all-synapse-misfire kind a good.

  35. Nikola Jajic says:

    Fact: Frank Dux had the fastest recorded kick in a kumite. It clocked in at 78 mph. Don’t believe me? Watch Bloodsport. Just watch Bloodsport. Do it. Bloodsport.

  36. Jonathan Valelly ( User Karma: 81 ) says:

    VIRIS makes me think of Black Hole, the super creepy graphic novel about a bizarre STD that haunts the highschoolers in a town in the Northwest.

    I wonder about the ethics of writing a story that frames sexually transmitted diseases as irreparably dehumanizing — of course the HIV/AIDS crisis rages on today and has been horrifying, but so much of today’s conversation in that movement is about undoing stigma and violence against people who live healthy lives with, say, HIV or Hep C. And the theory of a promiscuous, heartless “patient zero” is a part of that cruel narrative that criminalizes people with HIV…

    Of course, that’s hardly what the story’s about and I actually find VIRIS hilarious and prescient and it’s getting my vote. So ‘tevs (yeah I just shortened whatevs)

    Boogeyman made me gag at the end, though!

    • April Kelly says:

      So relieved you caught the fact that no one was actually having sex with a computer, although that particular joke played pretty well on a show called Community in 2013.

  37. April Kelly says:

    I fear I may have inadvertently given the impression yesterday that I’m not a serious person. To clarify (and to toot my own philanthropic horn a wee bit) I spend 2 months every year working full-time with a wonderful organization called Baristas Without Borders. What could possibly light up the eyes of a seven-year-old sex slave in Mali or an Afghani rape victim more than a tall, refreshing caramel macchiato? And, for those extra sprinkles, kids, ladies…you’re welcome.

    Too rough? Or does it hurt so good you don’t want me to stop?

  38. Jana says:

    April’s story is great…. I find the idea of computer to human virus transition fascinating. Weird enough to have conspiracy theorists contemplating the possibilities this may have already occurred. More stories like this would make for a great book for them.

  39. Mikey R says:

    Sorry, but Viris was pretty boring and kind of redundant. Boogeyman was well written and way more entertaining. Just my opinion, but seemed like an easy decision to make.

  40. Cathy says:

    Are you people reading these stories or just friends voting? At the end of Boogeyman I was like, what? I’m not even sure what that story was about. Think Virus was way better. No offense intended!

    • Nikola Jajic says:

      Cathy, clearly Boogeyman is about innocence lost and transcendence.

      It might even be surrealism from the perspective of a man who escapes the obstacles of his life (falling down for instance) by retreating into fantasy.

      Thematically speaking, it could be about humanity’s mortality pitted against an unforgiving cosmos.

      It’s also probably a metaphor for something, and a meditation on something else.

      Fun fact: If you read it backwards Nicolas Cage will appear in your mirror.

        • Nikola Jajic says:

          Yeah, I double majored in failed attempts at sarcasm and pseudo-intellectualism.

          It was a weird school.

          On an unrelated but coincidental note, I briefly worked on a project with Ron Osborn, who also happened to write for Mork & Mindy, but he was there after you. I dropped him a line when I saw your bio, and he said he didn’t think he crossed paths with you, but had he heard you were very funny in the writers room. Thought you might like to hear that.

          Now back to deathmatching. Grrrrr.

        • Kevin McPherson Eckhoff says:

          April, I covet your bio. Is there any way you could get me an “in” at Mork and Mindy? I’d die to be part of that writing team! Also, you are sass. Yep, not just the adjective, but the noun incarnate.

  41. Dave says:

    If this is a contest to determine which story is the better of the two, IMHO, Ms. Kelly’s “VIRIS” is the clear winner. But if it’s merely a competition to see which writer can get their friends to click on their story the most times, then it should be called a clicking contest, not a writing contest.

  42. April Kelly says:

    Desperate message from Cellblock 721G46 (Death row adjacent): The screws are trying to kill me. I’ve got to file my way out of this place. And why doesn’t Michael Bublé answer my emails?

  43. Micayla Chad says:

    The clear winner is April Kelly!( in my opinion ). I hope people are really reading these stories and picking a winner based on the story. Not because he’s your brother ( ha! Crack myself up.) got you back, Jack.

      • Chad says:

        Wow, didn’t realize the writers would be scolding us for our opinions… Nikola, I can’t believe you say I have bad taste in comedy, you have a guy vomiting up Nicolas Cage.. Huh???

        • Nikola Jajic says:

          Aw, come on. It’s a deathmatch.

          Did Frank Dux scold that Asian dude with the big pecs at the kumite? Probably. But I wouldn’t say I was scolding you, just having a bit of fun.

          “Nikola, I can’t believe you say I have bad taste in comedy, you have a guy vomiting up Nicolas Cage.. Huh???”

          Btw, can I use that as a future blurb?

    • April Kelly says:

      Could you have possibly picked up a flyer for Lola’s Bump ‘N’ Grind Lap Dance Parlor? They have really good wings and I get a commission on the champagne.

      • Not a TV says:

        Naw it was somewhere where I saw your photo and thought “she seems old for this” and then i saw you worked on tv and wondered if you were legit but still doubted every single one of your motives.

        • April Kelly says:

          Okay, since you obviously want to be a dick about this, you can check out my TV credits on the International Movie Database (IMDb), although I’m not sure they have much about my motives.

          As for the picture, it was recently all over the place when I did a multi-stop blog tour for my book WINGED. Since this contest is really only about my itty-bitty story VIRIS, I didn’t think I would need to clarify anything beyond the little bio accompanying this competition.

          I would have much preferred leaving it at a Lap Dance Parlor reference, but now you got something to occupy yourself for the rest of the day.

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  44. April Kelly says:

    Anyone out there willing to translate the binary to get the “second” ending? Consider it a cookie for readers familiar with the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. I’m not giving it away, and I hope you won’t either.

  45. Roxanna Bennett says:

    These are both hilarious. I have long been terrified of Gary Busey and ‘The Boogeyman’ confirms what I have long suspected; he’s supernaturally fucking weird. ‘Viris’ is clever and I’m a big spec-fic fan so I might actually have to vote for both which is essentially useless to both writers.

    • Nikola Jajic says:

      Huh, I thought I already replied to this. Well, thanks again Roxanna! And sure, Busey can be a bit rough around the edges… but don’t sleep on the ol’ Busedog charm. Just add a saxophone on the beach, and wallah… you have a poor man’s Gosling.

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    • April Kelly says:

      Thanks, sis.

      And I have now exhausted my family. Actually, I think I exhausted them several years ago. Now I live or die on the votes of the public.

      P.S. Don’t worry, I have no friends.

  46. April Kelly says:

    Good morning, lurkers. I have fed generously all night (note to cops: two drained corpses at 5th and Elm) and am ready to participate. The last round was a snooze of a 3-way conversation among moderator, writer 1 and writer 2, with occasional comments from the ever-popular Bart and Lisa, so I hope there’s someone out there other than family and friends reading the stories and willing to comment.

      • Not a Fan says:

        Funny how April can shit all over the last rounds and act queen superior but was no where to be found for them and doesn’t even have a sassy excuse to say where she was. For shame other writers.

        • April Kelly says:

          I shat? I’ll have you know I pay extra for the Depends with the elastic leg bands. Also, my comment had nothing to do with the quality of writing or the writers themselves but only that no one was aboard. I was hoping more people would jump on round 4.

          And how about this, dickwad, I actually wrote a story, submitted it, paid $25 for the privilege of being considered, and am taking time off work all this week to “play” with everyone, including people like you, who’s mother I apparently murdered in another lifetime.

          Call me a weirdo, but I don’t think the rules they sent me stated I had to take another 3 weeks out of my life to fight other people’s battles. I voted for the stories I liked best, but that’s all this cowgirl’s gonna do until they start paying ME the twenty-five bucks.

  47. Nikola Jajic says:

    Hello Daniel and April! April, that was a damn fine story! I look forward to deathmatching with you… and just in case anyone was wondering, I watched an excellent biopic last night (Bloodsport). So, yeah, I think I’m ready.

    *Attempts splits*

    *Tears groin*

  48. Daniel Perry says:

    Welcome all to Round Four of the Deathmatch: the one place on the vast, wide internet where you—yes, you!—can vote, hourly, on the merits of “010 0010 100 1111 110 1000 010 1100 010 0000 111 0011 110 1000 110 1001 111 0100 010 0001 010 0010” relative to those of “bloop blop bloop blop bloop.”

    Hi April! Hi Nikola! Admit it, you totally waited up till midnight for this—or 11pm, Central Time weirdos. Over to you! Let the weirdness begin!

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