When Metaphors Attack!

Have a look at these metaphors. They're worth a chuckle, and some of them are actually quite good, in a perverse sort of way.

Kathy Stinson's writing course has been going well. I've been enjoying the exercises and the camraderie. I also had a chance to field test a new scene in Fathom Five replacing a scene early on that just didn't work. I'll upload it for you when I have a chance.

Not this week, but last week, we had a writing exercise where the first line we had to write was "There's something about a bus". This is what I wrote:

There's something about a bus that snores. It must sleepwalk as it drones down the street, snorting awake at stop after stop to pick up passengers. Even the rideres get droopy-eyed on the trip, lulled by the nasal growl. Businessmen who bullied through another day, teachers who wrestled with their chilren, milkmaids who rented videos; they're all asleep on the bus, passing through the moving traffic, past somnubulent pedestrians, the houses that have their curtained eyes shut and their concrete tongues lolling, as the sky darkens, and the stars begin to wake up.

Where the heck did *that* come from?


The most recent episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer was really special, I thought. It's a turning point for the season, and it bodes well for subsequent episodes. Cameron Dixon made an excellent point when he said that, good though season six was, it was surprisingly linear. He had been predicting that Warren and his crew would do something to push Willow off the deep end as early as episode ten. When did it happen in the season? Episode twenty. Contrast this with season two, which introduced us to Spike in episode three, swapped places as a threat between him and Drusilla in episode ten, and then added Angelus to the mix in episode sixteen -- three excellent twists that kept the audience guessing.

This episode (which received an on-screen title, for once: Conversations With Dead People) had a number of surprises. Please note that spoilers follow:

I was initially worried that this episode would bear a strong similarity to Neil Gaiman's Babylon 5 episode, The Day of the Dead, but I needn't have worried. For one thing, the premise's main purpose is to get creepy, and emotionally powerful conversations going, and it's what you do with those conversations that count.

Three of the four threads, Willow talking to Tara through the recently dead clairvoyant girl, Buffy talking to a vampire version of an old high school acquaintance, now a psychiatrist, and Dawn trying to talk to her mother, despite the intervention of a foul demon, were all well written and well played. Dawn's scenes were especially creepy; the scene with her mother's sudden appearance on the couch, as we last saw her, made Erin gasp. I had to rewind the tape as it had gone by so fast I had missed it. Nicely done. Willow's scenes were good and sad, and although Buffy's conversation with the vampire psychiatrist went on a little too long, the acting and the dialogue kept it fresh, and it helped Buffy work through some of the angst.

And let's not forget the return of Andrew, Jonathan, and the ghost of Warren. I guessed that Jonathan was toast early on (mostly by knowing that there's no way that these characters would end up joining Buffy's gang), but Andrew was still a question. Then I really knew that Jonathan was toast when his redemption scene came. Wondering how his old high school friends were doing, even while realizing that they probably wouldn't remember him, was touching and sad. Jonathan, a bit-part character going back all the way to the first season, was being given a tragic end. A fitting sendoff for this unsung hero, but one that left me quite sad when the knife plunged into him and he bled all over the Hellmouth.

Which brings me to the first turning point of the season. The clairvoyant turns out to be the Big Evil (tm). Buffy learns that Spike's chip is no longer working, and he's out siring new vampires. Dawn receives an ominous message from her mother. The season gets kicked forward, switching gears from sad to ominous in the span of seconds. We have a sense, now, that the big battle that was hinted at early this season is now almost upon us. As such, it was a turning point worthy of season two.

I wonder if we'll see Andrew or Warren again.

I'll be buying Cameron dinner if his prediction turns out to be correct. After the end of episode one, this season, he told me that he thought he knew who the Big Bad was this season. And he took me back to the season three Christmas episode. You might remember the one with the Christmas tree lot with a patch of ground where no Christmas tree would grow? Here, a force appears to Angel, taunts him with images of people he's killed (especially Miss Calendar) and tries to get him to either go over to the dark side, or kill himself. Angel decides to kill himself. When Buffy tries to fight this force (which still appears as Miss Calendar), it basically laughs her off, saying that it's too big, too bad and too old for Buffy to have any effect on it; the suggestion being that it was the top baddie of the Hellmouth.

Cameron says that this would be consistent with the season's theme of "back to the beginning", and the apparitions taunting Spike were similar to the apparitions taunting Angel. After Conversations with Dead People, it looks like Cameron's going to get his dinner, since the Big Evil in this episode tried to do the same thing to Willow as it did to Angel.

We'll see how this bears out.

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