Could be my overactive imagination or the fact that I had just snooze-watched Gladiator for the…
Michelle Stone

The Grammar Games, Part 1

(with apologies to Morgan Rock Loehr)

Shortly before entering the Colosseum, Morgan Rock Loehr just got off the phone with Russell Crowe, who promised to teach him everything he needed to know about Gladiatoring (i.e. how to hide an Australian accent and to marry up).
However, after some quiet self-reflection in the JCPenney’s dressing room mirror (our Colosseum has sponsorship opportunities for every part of the stadium), Morgan decided not to enter Syntax Stadium, feeling he did not possess the mental fortitude necessary for battle against his fellow literary leviathans. That, and his computer was almost out of battery.
Instead, he dreamt of retiring from writing to focus on his music career, teaming up with Russell Crowe to start a didgeridoo jam band called “Let Cry The Dogs of Warble.”

The clarion sounded. Emperor E signaled one of his minions (was it Neil Patel?) who shouted to the throngs of bloodthirsty writers:

Let the colloquies be grammatically correct and bloody!

Tragically, and without his consent, Morgan was transported to the digital dirt floor of the stadium. Without power for his laptop, and still immersed in his dreams of becoming a music legend, he stood naked and defenseless in the arena and was the first to fall, struck down by a tear rolling down Jon Westenberg’s cheek in response to Morgan’s immortal “10 Amazing Quotes” parody.

As he slumped to the ground, dissolving in a pool of acid tears (if they can make up that sh*it in The Hunger Games, why can’t we?), Morgan lifted his outstretched middle fingers to the crowd and croaked “I got 500,001 stats on Medium in 29 days and don’t you forget it, bitches…”

The stadium shook — literally — due to the close proximity of fracking operations that were draining the life’s blood out of journalism in every corner of the internet. The crowd was split down the usual lines, with the one percenters happy to see one of their tormentors erased from the field of battle, and the other 98% grieving the loss of one of their heroes. And there are still no sightings of the remaining 1%.

A lonely image was projected in the night sky, bidding farewell to the beloved MRL…

To be continued…

(Look for part 2 whenever someone else posts a 200 word contribution. The challenge continues. To read the compiled story up to date, please go here.)

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