by Teresa Cain
The tiny lizard sat atop the computer monitor, blinking little black eyes and flicking his tiny tongue at the frantically typing writer. He finally moved his head over the edge and looked at the words on the screen.
"This really sucks," he finally said.
With a disgusted glare, the writer plopped back in her chair, glaring at the skink. "And who asked you?"
"Nobody, but I just thought you ought to know."
"Well, what do you know? You're just a lizard."
"Excuse me! If lizards were bigger and had opposable thumbs, we'd be the ones ruling the world. We did it before, we can do it again."
The writer snorted, picking up a pack of cigarettes. As she tapped one out and stuck it in the corner of her mouth, she mumbled, "Right."
"I'm perfectly serious about this. This story reeks. It bites, it - "
"I get the picture." She lit the cigarette, inhaling sweet smoke and blowing it out into the skink's little face. "Just my luck. I have a little critic that never leaves me."
"Like I have a choice? Who was it that grabbed me out of the wild and stuck me in that damn glass cage, huh?"
"Trust me, I'll forever regret it."
"Then why don't you just let me go?"
The writer took another inch off her cigarette before she answered. "Because, in all the time I've had you, I've never had a story rejected."
"Oh, I get it. I may be annoying, but I'm lucky?"
"Something like that."
"Lovely. I could just bite you sometimes, you know that?"
"You have. Can't even feel it. Your mouth isn't as big as the tip of my pinky."
"Still, this story rots. Where do you get these ideas?"
"Don't know. They just come to me."
"This one is really, really bad."
"What's wrong with it?" she finally demanded.
"Well, for one, there's no clear definition of a protagonist or antagonist. Also, there's only the vaguest hint of a plot, setting, and the conflict is so weak as to be non-existent. What editor in his or her right mind would even consider this garbage?"
"It was just an idea," the writer mumbled gloomily.
"Right, an idea. One that should have been scrapped after you wrote the first sentence. I mean, whoever heard of an opening that went, 'The tiny lizard sat atop the computer monitor, blinking little black eyes and flicking his tiny tongue at the frantically typing writer'?"
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
Skink Critique ©2000 by Teresa Cain
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