Sean Williams


posted on 10 Aug 2014 at 11:49 pm

The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen has just wrapped for another year. You may have heard rumblings from writers about how they were pressured to contribute, either in the form of a very short story with very tight constraints or through a dramatic reading of some very boring text. I was one of those asked, and I was happy to chip in as best I could, given the man-flu.

The most fun was the short story. The task was this: Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England, and an Elopus. Misha being the actor Misha Collins from Supernatural (founder of GISHWES) and an elopus being a cross between an elephant and an octopus (see right). To complete this task I went immediately to Misha’s page on Wikipedia, found a bunch of interestingly titled one-off episodes for shows other than Supernatural, plus a few facts about the man himself, and remixed it all together, thus:

Secret service agent Dmitri Krushnic adjusts the earpiece with the tip of his right finger.

“Can you hear me now?”

The tinny voice squawks on about the captain’s marriage.

“Yes, there’s something about Martha, isn’t there? Whores don’t make that much. Being born in the USSR doesn’t explain why she was singled out . . . wait.”

Something has caught Krushnic’s eagle eye. It’s a hideous creature that looks like nothing so much as an elephant’s head with eight writhing legs. As he watches it bursts open and releases a smaller one, which in turn bursts open.

“Nesting dolls,” he whispers. “They’re everywhere!”

At that moment a limo screeches to a halt at his side. He leans down and with one shaking hand opens the door.

“Welcome to New York, Your Majesty. Run!”

So that was that task. The second was to convince NYT best-selling author or Tony-award winning actor or actress to do a dramatic reading of a section of the right of way guidelines for Californian DMV, which is exactly as boring as it sounds. I did it twice, once as a remixed text, not realizing that only a few seconds were needed, total:

Calif. Driver Handbook Take One

The second was a darker, more sinister attempt for team Shatner. I was enlisted by the mighty Sam Witwer (of The Force Unleashed fame, plus, you know, other excellent stuff):

Calif. Driver Handbook Take Two

So that was that. I had fun. Hopefully all the teams did too, and much was made for charity all round!