The Five Monstrous Obstructions: An Introduction

By Joe Blevins

The untimely demise of the late, lamented "Project: Fear Itself" left a hole in my heart which I felt would remain forever unrepaired. In my grief and anguish, I asked the Good Lord: "Where shall I go? What shall I do?" I received no response, which I interpreted as His way of saying, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

But, lo! In His wisdom, He sent to me an angel named Lars von Trier. Specifically, the Archangel von Trier manifested itself unto me through a fascinating documentary entitled De Fem benspænd (distributed domestically as The Five Obstructions), in which the caustic Danish director challenges mentor Jørgen Leth to remake Det perfekte menneske five different times, with a unique "obstruction" each time. For instance, Leth might have to remake Menneske using only sock puppets or while standing on one foot in a pile of creamed corn. Actually, I haven't gotten around to watching The Five Obstructions yet, so I'm a little vague about the specific obstructions, but I have read the back of the DVD sleeve and decided that this film could be the springboard for a Hallowe'en themed project for myself and Mr. Clark.

Here, at last, is the premise: Each Thursday in October (and there are five of them), Mr. Clark and I will post a new monster story based on a particular theme. A new type of monster will be covered each week. However, Mr. Clark and I have agreed to consent to a particular "obstruction" each week to further sharpen our narrative skills and add an additional layer of challenge to the project. Here is a schedule of The Five Monstrous Obstructions:

October 2 - Vampires (Obstruction: Vampire cannot drink anyone's blood.)
October 9 - Werewolves (Obstruction: Story must be written in the second person.)
October 16 - Zombies (Obstruction: Story must be about voodoo zombies.)
October 23 - Evil Robots [theme chosen by our gracious host, Chris Leavens] (Obstruction: Robot can have moving parts but cannot move from place to place.)
October 30 - Wild Card (Obstruction: Each of us will write about a type of monster chosen by the other writer. We will have only a week to write these stories once we learn the theme.)

A fair warning in advance of this project, dearest readers: these will be full-tilt tales of unadulterated horror guaranteed to curdle the very blood within your veins. Approach them with caution, and do not send us the bills for psychiatric visits or the removal of stains from your bedsheets and nightclothes.

I do so hope you will join us.


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Look for our first two stories tomorrow. And if you like reading them half as much as we liked writing them, then we will have liked them twice as much as you.

Vampires often cruise for men at Toronto Maple Leafs' games.

Hi fellas

Cool contest - can everyone enter?

Joe - I really liked your writing style but the ending confused me. I thought you were going to get into Waiting For Godot territory.

Craig - You sound really down on women, man! But doesn't your ending imply she does drink the blood?

Actually, I thought my story implied that she bathed in her victim's blood, as the title character does in the film "Countess Dracula," which was one of many based on the real-life figure Countess Elizabeth Bathory.



Thanks for reading the stories! Sure, you can join in if you want. The more, the scarier.

As for the ending of "Fix City," I will try to clarify. It is true that Devin, like Godot, never shows up. The narrator is a vampire, and being caught out at sunrise will be fatal to him. At the end of the story, the narrator has a run-in with a police officer and sees that he will not be able to get home in time. The sunrise will be his sunset (death). The idea of "sunrise, sunset" referring to the circle of life comes from "Fiddler on the Roof." But the narrator is calm and at peace and does not mind the idea of dying; being a vampire is a hassle, and this will come as a relief to him.

Oh! Vampyres! I guess I should have read this one first! LAWL!! I'm glad you're writing about monsters, though. They're neat.

Yeah, I commented on both stories, really enjoyed them, and just now I have gotten around to reading this article regarding your October theme. That's OK, though, because I am claiming October as my "bizzaro" month, where I will read and do everything out of order.

I think you already know I like this idea, but since I've MIA for a while, I thought I'd chime in. I'm looking forward to the robot stories.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Blevins published on October 1, 2008 1:11 PM.

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