More Than a Mastermind

Wow, I actually wrote a short story that isn’t a Chronicle of Plerp! I feel so proud of myself.

To make a long story short, Sylvestrus is currently on the time out chair.

(I kid you not, I had to read that sentence three times to realize I’d accidentally made the world’s stupidest pun.)

Anyway, the story you are about to read was originally an idea from the brain of my dear sister Anna, so… yay for Anna. Without further ado…


More Than a Mastermind

As evil plans go, it wasn’t too shabby. Not that Crowley would ever brag about his diabolical knack for diabolical plans. But really, as plans go…

It was brilliant.

After two years, six days, three hours (and counting) of waiting, the time finally drew near. He was going to do it. At only fifteen years of age, he was going to set in motion the dominoes that would eventually topple the world.

It was genius.

“Poor fools,” he muttered, bending down to study the pile of notebooks, scrap paper, sticky notes, and ancient runes—carved into extremely authentic stone tablets—that adorned the floor of his evil lair. “They have no idea what’s coming. For I am the dreaded Dread Pen, and all shall fear me in the end.”

He had to squint to see the writings. As lairs go, his was particularly dark—though that was mostly because the curtains were drawn. It wouldn’t do to have some stupid peasant or bumbling hero-wannabe spying on his dastardly plans. This papery mess of a floor was his entire existence. These were his notes, carefully recorded for such a time as this, ranging from detailed reports to several words scrawled messily on a sticky note. He picked one up.

5 try to defeet idiot—maybe blast out inner tube with ehfthd…

The last word was unintelligible. Crowley wrinkled his nose. He’d obviously written this one in the middle of the night.

“But it doesn’t matter!” he cried, crumpling the note and tossing it across his lair. It bounced off the wall with an epic thwip. “Soon I will be unstoppable, and the world will be mine!”

“The what will be whose?”

Crowley whirled. Leaning against the door frame stood a girl. A very short girl in a pink polka-dotted sweater. Wild hair fell over her forehead like streaks of mud, and freckles splattered her nose. Even her eyes were muddy brown. Crowley rolled his eyes. He’d known that someone was going to try and stop his villainous plan, but really? A nine year old girl? These aspiring heroes got younger and younger every time. Everyone knew that if you wanted to save the world, you had to be between the ages of twelve and sixteen. It’s how things work.

“My old nemesis,” he scoffed, though he couldn’t remember ever fighting the girl before—at least, not in the traditional sense. Certainly, they’d had their squabbles, but it had never come down to annihilation before. “I didn’t think you would be so foolish as to challenge me.”

She cocked both eyebrows. “Yeah, whatever.”

“But it is no matter,” he continued, glorying in the brilliant brilliantness of his genius plan. “Soon, I will be unstoppable.”

“You just said that.”

Crowley glowered at her. “Who are you supposed to be, anyway?”

“The name’s Hoos Foos, you big ding-dong,” she snorted, ambling in.

Crowley shrieked. “Don’t look!” He waved his arms over his papers, trying to herd her away. “Get back, fool! You can’t see my master plan! There are spoilers in here.”

Hoos Foos—if that was her name—picked up one of his notebooks. “Ooh, what’s in here?”

He snatched it away. “Private.”

“Oh, riiight.” She began poking at Crowley’s binders, her freckle-splattered face bright with curiosity.

Crowley grabbed the nearest weapon he could find (it was a slipper) and fended her off from the binders. “How did you get in here, anyway?”

“The door. You should try it some time.”

“Could have sworn I locked it,” he muttered under his breath. “Look here, Hoos Foos. Swear allegience to me, and I may consider sparing your life.”

“Aren’t you just a sweetheart.”


She gave him the most judgmental look he’d ever seen a girl of her age wield. It might have hurt his feelings, if he’d actually had any. Which he didn’t.

“I don’t swear,” she said plainly.

“It’s another word for promise.”

“Oh.” She studied him, wrinkling her little pug of a nose. “I can’t swear because I’m probably going to go get something to eat in a few minutes.”

“Not so fast,” he said, grabbing her arm. “Unfortunately, mademoiselle, I can never let you leave. You’ve seen too much already.”

“It’s like, for five minutes.”

“Oh.” He considered this briefly. “Bring me back something?” She nodded, beaming. “Okay. You can go.”

The young, fool-hardy heroine skipped off, barely leaving time for him to yell after her, “You even think about escaping, and I’ll chop out your liver and feed it to the giraffes.”

“You can’t chop out my liver if I’m escaped,” she yelled back.

Crowley rolled his eyes. What a brat. She would see what a fool she had been when his plan came to completion. He heaved a long, luxurious sigh, settling back down to contemplate the finishing touches of his master plan: The murder.

“They’ll never see it coming,” Crowley whispered, holding up a clenched fist the way all professional super-villains do. “He’s not the kind you can kill, they’ll say. Godric is just too good and pure and wonderful and handsome to be killed! Plus, he’s got a really cool hat. But where was I?”

He couldn’t remember.

He ruffled through the scattered pages, looking for something interesting. A scribbled line caught his eye:

Research proper techniques of strangulation.

Ah, and here was the puzzle: How was he to going to kill Godric? A sword duel would be classic, but perhaps a little boring. Besides, heroes had a reputation for outmatching villains. He could shoot Godric in the back with an arrow, but that was so terribly unsatisfying. So what would it be? Knock a tree on Godric’s head? Push him down a well? Tie him to a railroad track and wait for him to be run over?


For a moment, Crowley thought he’d found it. But no, a tornado wouldn’t work. Super Villain he may be, but even natural disasters were beneath him. He’d leave those to Thor, or whoever it was that bashed people’s brains out with lighting bolts.

Crowley was contemplating how one would go about researching unique ways to kill a person (without seeming completely suspicious) when Hoos Foos returned, carrying several cookies in her chubby hands. She tossed one to Crowley.

“Thanks,” he said, before remembering that villains don’t thank heroines. To make up for the blunder, he shot her his most dastardly grin. “You’ll regret it later.” And ended with a long spell of maniacal cackling. Unfortunately, the effect was spoiled when he choked on his cookie.

Hoos Foos giggled as he hacked into his sleeve. “You’re such a drama king.”

“False!” he yelled, pointing an accusatory finger at her. “You wouldn’t say that if you knew my master plan.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t even want to.”

He frowned. Well that wasn’t right. She was supposed to ask. That’s what heroines did. Then he would refuse to tell, only to divulge everything later by waxing eloquent in a villainous monologue.

Except there would be no monologue. Not with this villain. He wasn’t that stupid.

“Will you join me?” he said at last, taking her disinterest in his evil plan as disinterest in all heroism in general. “Together, we could be unstoppable.”

She plopped down on the ground and crossed her legs. “I thought you said you said you already were unstoppable.”

A twinge of annoyance tugged at Crowley. “Would you please stop harping on that?”

You said it, not me.”

Anyway,” he continued, deciding to ignore her, “will you join me?”

Hoos Foos scratched her head. “Probably not. I’m supposed to help mom with a yard sale thingy this afternoon.”

Crowley gave her his most alluring, villainous gaze. “Are you sure? You and I, we’re more alike than you think.” He gazed introspectively into the distance, feeling the emotional weight of the moment pull upon his heart. “You want power. You want fame. You may try to deny it, but in the end, you will always be like me.”

“Um, yeah, duh. You’re my brother.”

Crowley had to consider this one. “True,” he finally admitted.

“So what exactly is this evil plan?” she asked.

At last! She’d asked! Crowley’s heart gave a thrill. Now, finally, he could share the genius of his plan with someone. Pity that of all people, it had to be her, but she would have to do.

“You see,” he began, “the dashing Godric of Fullbright is, at this very moment, rushing back to his home town of Saparnine—”


“Never mind where,” he said crossly, glowering at her and the interruption. “The point is, he’s determined to warn his people of an approaching battalion of armored trolls. Little does he know that I’ll be waiting for him, along with my henchman, Sir Jaxin, who will do all the work for me. Godric will be dead before the world can even do a double take. And then… Then! I will crush them, the pathetic creatures. Godric’s master, Aro (otherwise known as Our Last Hope), will be reduced to a crumbling emotional wreck after the death of his friend. Everyone will wonder: How can he save the day now, without Godric? How can anything ever go back to normal, when so much bad has happened? How can we survive without our sweet, loyal Godric?”

Crowley threw back his head and howled with laughter. “Oh, the poor, poor wretches! They have no idea what’s coming. They have no idea that soon, by his death, Godric will rip out their hearts and tear their souls into a thousand pieces, all of which will be scattered into the dying summer breeze and lost forever! They have no idea that they are binding themselves to a man who will linger in their hearts forever, not as a kiss, but a splinter. Every time they think of him, they won’t say, “Oh, Godric was a wonderful person,” but “Godrid died! How could Crowley do that to us?”

He beamed at Hoos Foos. “And I shall be there to watch it all. You and I, both. We shall bask in their demise, for I am the dreaded Dread Pen! Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!”

Hoos Foos stared blankly. “Was that a sci-fi reference? You just switched genres.”

Crowley sighed. “Basically, I’m gonna take over the world.”

“You really needed the monologue to tell me that?”

“Well…” He considered this. “I guess not.”

Hoos Foos sighed, climbing to her feet. “I really wish you would stop killing off your characters, Crowley. I mean, Cillan was one thing; she’s not really that important to the plot. But Godric? You’re gonna destroy your readers.”

Crowley blinked. Had she heard nothing he’d just said? “Rachel, that’s the point.”

“Whatever.” She opened the door. “I’m going to help mom now. Try not to make your story too tragic.”

But Crowley couldn’t guarantee anything. Tragic was the best way to write a book. He grabbed his pencil, pausing to inhale the faint piney scent of cedar wood and paint. It would be a tree that did the killing. Nice and easy. His manuscript lay open on the floor, adorned with stray sticky notes. He swiped them off and began to write.

Godric’s heart thrashed inside his chest. They were coming. They were coming. They were coming. Aro was counting on him, and he could not let his best friend down. He had to warn the village. Though he might die in the attempt, he had to warn the village.

Crowley dropped his pencil and sighed. There was nothing so satisfying as knowing he was going to emotionally destroy every person who ever read his book. At least, once he finished it, edited it, received feedback, edited it again, agonized, and finally published it.

Which would take a while.

But he was a patient author, and he would wait. Because as evil plans went, this wasn’t just ‘good’.

It was brilliant.


Anyway. I just realized that for non-writers, this may be slightly confusing. I’m sorry. Just trust me when I say that 99% of us authors are evil, and we all have, at some point in our lives, considered taking over the world.

Except I don’t just consider it. For me, it’s a life goal.


22 thoughts on “More Than a Mastermind

    1. HA! Ahahaha…. Yes, you should be afraid. Very afraid. *rubs hands gleefully and burst into never ending cackling* And thank you! For having written it the night before publishing, I thought it turned out pretty good myself. 🙂

      (PS. I don’t think I’ve seen you around here yet. Welcome to Insanity Corner!)


  1. I didn’t guess what was truly happening until the very end.
    In my defence, I am down with a really bad cold and am half out of it.
    And my brain is fried with journal entries. (Not the diary kind, but the Accounting kind.)
    Great work though, and hurrah for Anna and Sarah, the great Dread Pen and Inkwell!
    (Sarah is the Pen, and Anna is the Inkwell.)



    1. UGH. Colds. They’re the worst. But don’t worry, your brain wasn’t addled that much. I was kinda hoping no one would see it coming till the end, so you just proved a very successful test subject. Thank you for letting me experiment on you. 😉
      Hope ya feel better soon!


  2. I’m evil, so I both love this and am hurt that you shared the secrets with the world. (seriously though, this was great and very realistic). I think my favorite line (out of many) was “Um, yeah, duh. You’re my brother.”


  3. This is hilarious, Ethryndal! Great job!
    (I must mention, however, that I am part of the 1% of writers who are NOT completely evil. Just so ya know.)



    This is such a well rounded story, and I love how you ease your readers into what’s really going on.

    But oh, my word, I relate to that MC so much! You have spelled out my life. And my brothers never get it when I explain my books to them either. I told my mom that I was planning to kill one of my characters, and I was hoping for at least a little bit of Oh no, that’s so sad, how could you do that to your readers?!?, but all I got were logical questions on how I would pull it off. I mean, yes, it isn’t super realistic, and might take a lot of re plotting, but seriously, it makes the story so beautiful, and now I get a Christ figure . . . And the shards of all my reader’s broken hearts.

    Haha, thank you so much for this story! I will share it with all of my friends!!


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