It was the night before the 2013 667 Dark Avenue Darkies Official Awards Ceremony Best Writer Award Announcement, but by the time you read all that, it was the half-hour before the 2013 667 etc., and in a small, presumably digitally-generated VR or something waiting room just off the stage, thirteen 667ers were relaxing, laughing, and nervously counting the minutes before the announcement of which one of them had won the coveted prize. All except for one. One of them was not waiting for a prize. That person was waiting for a chance. A chance to kill, kill, kill. And possibly several more kills.
The collection of prospective winners was eclectic in the extreme, comprising new members, old members, somewhere-in-between members, 667fic writers, ASoUE fanfictioneers, and even someone who practiced actual realism (woah!). Tiago Squalor was bonding with Lemona Snicket and Tryina Denouement over having ASoUE surnames, which was the only thing they really had in common, whilst shutting out Mike Mountain, who didn’t count because he wasn’t called Mike Mountains; Shelly and Sophie were sharing pizza and coffee, whilst Bandit tried to steal some to live up to his username; Songbird was helping Mister M to organise the rota for the initials in his name, whilst Bryan was hiding behind Willis because he knew the score in these stories. Suddenly, a particularly loud burst of laughter erupted from Sixteen, who was looking at a note pinned to the wall.
“Oh, I was just looking at this note pinned to the wall,” he said, by way of explanation. “‘Between April 29th and May 29th’, it says,” he said, “‘this forum will be upgraded, bringing new features and functionality.’” He looked around at the uncomprehending faces who failed to see any entertainment in this mundane announcement. “Well, that’s right now, isn’t it?” he pointed out. “And I was just thinking, what if the upgrade happened right now and interrupted the awards show?”
Suddenly, all the lights went off, throwing the room into unnecessary and tedious confusion.
“Don’t panic, everyone,” the voice of Songbird called out. “It’s just the ProBoards v5 upgrade. Nothing to worry about.”
“Help! Help! Argh!” answered another voice, followed by lots of disgusting wet sounds.
“No need to get too excited,” Bandit said, who doubtless was wearing an expression of revulsion that nobody could see.
Just then the lights came back on. The forum suddenly looked a lot shinier than usual. This was partly because of the upgrade, and partly because of the huge quantities of blood that were splattered all over the walls and floor.
“Everyone, look!” exclaimed Mister M, pointing at something on the floor that nobody should have to look at. Thanks Mister M.
Spreadeagled on the floor, their limbs askew on account of having been brutally hacked off, were the mutilated forms of Tryina Denouement and Sophie. They were covered in stab wounds. They were bleeding out on the floor. Worst of all, they were also dead.
The terrified prospective Best Writers, each of whom were now calculating their increased chances of winning the award with two of their number out of the running, drew together in fear – before being cast apart by Bryan!
“Don’t get too close to each other!” he said. “As an expert on the subject, I must warn you that, this room being locked with only us inside it, the killer is undoubtedly – one of us!”
Each of the 667ers now drew close only to themselves, which was to say, they kind of curled up into an uncomfortable ball. This didn’t actually make them any safer, so they stopped quite soon.
“But why would anyone want to kill hahaha no they obviously just wanted the Best Writer award,” Lemona said.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” cried Songbird, flying to the door and jiggling the handle repeatedly. “Look, it’s not actually locked!” she said, as it swung open.
“Don’t go alone!” cried Tiago, but it was too late, for Songbird, followed by Bandit and Shelly, had all immediately darted through the open door. After Tiago had cried out, their heads poked back in, shortly followed by their bodies, although each was no longer connected.
“The killer must be out there!” cried Willis, who bravely kicked open the door once he had been flanked by Sixteen, Lemona, Tiago, and a reluctant Bryan, and they struggled to wriggle through the narrow opening all together. However, the darkened corridor was empty.
“Where did they go?” asked Tiago, looking wildly around.
“Hey look, the door just swung shut behind us,” Lemona said, indicating the door. “Also, it’s covered in bloody handprints, as if somebody was hiding behind it.”
They opened the door and looked back into the waiting room, to find that Mister M and Mike Mountain had both been butchered while their backs were turned, and also while the backs of the people who’d left the room were turned. It was a bad day to have names beginning with M. Willis made sure his name badge was turned the right way up.
The five survivors wandered back into the room, staring with horrified dismay upon the dismembered members.
“Okay, let’s be sensible about this,” Sixteen urged his friends slash acquaintances, although strictly speaking they were only slash acquaintances during Weird Ships Week. “If we all stand in a circle looking outwards, there’s no way we can be taken by surprise. Backs together, everyone.”
They stood in a tight circle, each facing one of the five I guess corners of the room – Sixteen clasping hands with Willis meeting palms with Tiago linking fingers with Bryan entangling digits with Lemona pinky swearing with Sixteen again.
“This seems pretty safe,” Bryan commented. “Does anyone see a murderer out there?”
“Yeah, I do,” Willis said. “What a surprise, it’s argleblargle.”
“I’ve been here a while, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that member,” Sixteen said. “Also, Willis, stop dragging me down to the floor, we have to stay focussed.”
Bryan was experiencing a similar phenomenon. He looked to his right and saw Lemona lying on the floor in a pool of blood, which would be okay, given that there was blood everywhere from the previous murders, but there was a large hole in her torso that looked unhealthy. He looked even farther to the right, straining his spine as he did so, and discovered that Willis was in a similar state of discomposure. “Yeah, they’re both dead, guys,” he said.
“I knew that, I just wanted to pretend,” Tiago sighed.
They turned around, with difficulty as the dead hands were still grasping them with the rigidity of someone who didn’t want to die but just had, and kicked at the corpse arms until they yielded their living friends. Sixteen looked at the numerous bodies with an expression of resolve, and determination. A single tear rolled from Tiago’s eye – his left, in case you were wondering. Bryan looked at the relics of mortality and sighed.
“Well, I had a good run,” he said. “But I guess we all know who’s next.”
“It was nice knowing you, Bryan,” Tiago replied.
“Better luck next time,” Sixteen nodded.
Bryan then slumped to the floor with a knife in his back, adding to the heap.
And then there were two. Sixteen looked at Tiago. Tiago looked at Sixteen. They circled around one another like boxers, tense as lithe tigers, each braced for the deadly move they were certain would come.
“You monster!” cried Tiago. “Why did you do it?”
“What do you mean, why did I do it?” Sixteen yelled. “I didn’t do it, so you must have done it!”
Tiago paused. “Wait, this is stupid,” he said. “Half the murders happened whilst we had each other as alibis. It can’t be either of us.”
“Plus, the narration at the beginning said that there were thirteen 667ers in here,” Sixteen realised, “and when you take the two of us plus the –” Here he paused to rearrange the bodies into a nice orderly line, even fitting the three rolling heads to neck stumps so they’d count properly, although they weren’t necessarily their original neck stumps. “ – the ten of these bodies,” he continued, brushing his bloody hands together, “it makes only twelve. Therefore, the murderer is the mysterious thirteenth candidate who didn’t get nominated.”
“Curses, you guessed,” grumbled a voice, which probably belonged to the person in a long black robe who emerged from behind a sofa.
“I should have guessed!” exclaimed Sixteen. “It’s – Dante!”
“Well, that figures,” Tiago commented. “He is the person writing this story, after all.”
“It’s meant to be an award-giving speech,” I said, “but I figured I’d do something more creative, and kill you in democratic order.”
“Democratic order?” Sixteen asked.
“Poll loser order,” I clarified. “But now, only two remain – and yet, there can only be one. I’m going to kill you both, and then, I will be the Best Writer.”
“That’s dumb and makes no sense,” Tiago argued. “You weren’t even on the poll. You’re giving the awards speech. The two are mutually-exclusive. Otherwise anyone could be Best Writer if all of us were dead.”
“This story is terrible,” Sixteen added.
“What do you expect? It’s the Best Writer award, not the Best Story,” I replied. “Well, I’ll just kill whoever’s in second-place and set myself up to be nominated and win next year. I have the name of the true winner of the poll on this piece of paper,” I said, drawing a folded piece of paper out of the pocket of his bloodstained tunic. “I wonder who it will be,” I cackled. “Enjoy your horrendously drawn-out last moments as I slowly unfold the –”
The glares of both Sixteen and Tiago told me to get on with it.
I fixed the evil eye upon them, which had no effect, so instead I unfolded the paper, and gasped, as the critical scrap revealed that the true winner of the vaguely racist-sounding Best Writer Darkie was in fact none other than…
“‘Congratulations to Tiago Squalor and Sixteen, joint winners of the Best Writer award,’” I read, squinting at the paper. I flung it down upon the floor with a scowl. “What an anticlimax. I guess there can be more than one after all.”
“Wow, thanks Dante,” said Sixteen, trying not to look as flattered as he felt and failing miserably.
“Oh, do we get banners? I love banners,” Tiago enthused.
“Don’t ask him that!” hissed Sixteen. “This self-indulgent speech has already gone on way too long!”
“You said it,” I replied. “Do you have any idea how much I’ve had to cut to make it short eno
CONGRATULATIONS TO TIAGO SQUALOR AND SIXTEEN, JOINT WINNERS OF THE BEST WRITER AWARD!
Well hey hey hey errybody it's ya boi here. I'm sitting in a dress store waiting for my friend to finish trying to buy her dress for prom, so it's only fitting that I present this next award. Just as people at proms try to decorate their bodies better than everyone else and hope to win an award that will later on in their life be meaningless but that will for the current moment fill them with the feeling of not-hatedness, people here at 667 Dark Avenue try to decorate their profiles better than everyone else and hope to win an award that will later on in their life be meaningless but that will for the current moment fill them with the feeling of not-hatedness.
Just like a prom, someone's night will be made by this announcement. Just like a prom, someone will be left crying once this is all said and done. And just like a prom, someone here was only nominated as a joke and is being secretly laughed at by everyone else. Just kidding that didn't happen I love all of you. The nominations for "Best Profile Decoration" are... (Btw I gave all of the profile decorations names)
Bandit with "Pole Dances with Cats" Bee with "Nice Nice Nice" Bryan with "Meowstache and Pride" Dante with "INSERT CLEVER NAME HERE" Fancy with "I don't answer PMs to explain what my signature is so oh well" Hermes with "Minimalist" Lady Grantham with... "Complimentary Colors" (sorry that sounds so lame) Lemona Snicket with "Alice in Self Promotion Land" Linda Rhaldeen with "Mouse of the Rising Sun" Lucas Denouement with "CatFrog" (like CatDog but not) Pen with "Metro(polis) Records" Rellim with "The Wild Mutatis Mutandis" Sherry Ann with "All the Burrong Questions" Terry Craig with "All the Wrong Feels"* and Tryina Denouement with "VFD-Very Foreign Dolls"
*I feel like this deserves an explanation. His avatar is from ATWQ and he has a link to his tumblr in his sig. On tumblr people sometimes say "feels" instead of feelings, and when they have a lot of feels they may say "all the feels". It took a while but at least we got there.
I'll explain any of the other profile decoration names if you want.