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In Plain Sight

It’s Friday Fictioneers time again, and I hear that it’s Rochelle’s second year anniversary as fearless leader of our little group. Congratulations, Rochelle, and thank you!

For the second week in a row I had trouble thinking of a story and I eventually ended up with this. I hope you enjoy it! The photo this week was contributed by The Reclining Gentleman.

Don’t forget to click on the little blue froggie to see all this week’s other contributions.


Copyright The Reclining Gentleman

Maximillian Zerrissen gazed mournfully across the lake. Behind him were plaques which, when depressed in the correct order, would cause the water to drain away to reveal a huge dish capable of focussing his patented death ray.

When he had started building his secret evil lair all this had been woodland. Due to a combination of recession and labour shortages, it had taken so long to complete that a whole community had sprung up around the site. Somebody would be bound to notice his evil-doing.

The waste of money smarted less than his subsequent demotion within the evil-doers community from “Evil Genius” to “Second Henchman”. Read, “Cannon Fodder“.

  1. October 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    “Cannon Fodder.” So sad. But all good things must come to an end. Even evil geniuses. 🙂 As usual, an entertaining read, thanks!


    • October 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      One little mistake and it all comes crashing down 😦
      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  2. NotAPunkRocker
    October 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I am guessing “Cannon Fodder” is the same as forced retirement. Either way, poor guy.

    Now, does he go through with it to see his dream fulfilled, or does he go fishing instead?


    • October 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      “Cannon fodder” is a bit of a “Star Trek red shirt” scenario, poor chap 😦
      Maybe he could go fishing while he’s waiting for the inevitable. Or I suppose he could push those plaques and fire off his death ray just the once for old time’s sake!


  3. October 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    So sad when a career track goes awry. And he worked so hard!


    • October 23, 2014 at 7:02 am

      He was a victim of circumstance 😦


  4. October 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Ali, Poor man. When he applies for unemployment compensation, or the dole as I guess they call it in the UK, I can just see him writing Evil Genius as his former employment. 🙂 — Susan


  5. October 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    You never cease to entertain me.


  6. October 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    No-one’s immune to market forces, it seems. And how can he go on in the face such a blow from his community? This is a very entertaining story. Lots of fun.


    • October 23, 2014 at 7:05 am

      He’ll probably sink into a slump for a while but I’m sure he’ll eventually pull his socks up and get back in the game.
      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. October 23, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for the laugh.



  8. October 23, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Ali, Poor man – Great story with its details!


    • October 23, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!


  9. October 23, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Such an imaginative take on the prompt, with an ending that really made me laugh.


    • October 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

      How the mighty have fallen. Glad you enjoyed it!


  10. October 23, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Hah! Loved this idea, and writing.


    • October 23, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Thanks, took me a while to think of this story! I knew I wanted to do something with those little plaques…


  11. Lyn
    October 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Ooh, worthy of George Orwell. It seems to me that the evil-doers community needs to watch out–they might suddenly find themselves short of a few members 😉


    • October 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

      I was thinking Austin Powers 🙂
      I doubt Maximillian is going to take this lying down!


      • Lyn
        October 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        Oh so true. The writing style is very George Orwell though 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  12. October 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Dear Ali,

    It’s inevitable. We all get put out to pasture sometime. Humorous and a little tragic at the same time.

    Thank you for the Anniversary wishes. Twas a far far better thing I did…




    • October 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      A bit of dark humour this week. Maybe he’ll be able to work his way back up the ladder.


  13. October 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I have always wanted to be a henchman… it sounds more dastardly than the evil genius title!


    • October 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      I agree, evil geniuses have to plan stuff and stand around looking evil and whatnot. Henchmen get to do all the cool stuff.


  14. October 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    That darned old recession hit everybody pretty hard! Who knew that even the evil-doers would lose out. Lovely little tale.


  15. October 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Oops.. the slippery slope of decline among the super-villains…


    • October 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

      The further down you go, the closer to the front you get pushed when the bullets start to fly…


  16. October 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Funny. I would like a secret evil lair.


  17. October 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Inventive story, Alistair. For having trouble, you came up something very original. Even evil-doers have their day. Cannon fodder! Good one!


    • October 26, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Hopefully he can survive long enough to work his way up again! Glad you liked it.


  18. October 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Love it. Bet he really sweats over his CV.


    • October 26, 2014 at 4:53 am

      Yes, it’s not going to be easy to make “evil genius” sound positive.


  19. October 25, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Another fine story. Like the way you used everything in the picture prompt.



    • October 26, 2014 at 4:54 am

      Thanks, I really wanted to get those little plaque things into my story.


  20. October 26, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Second Henchman – what a wonderful new title for the evil doer. You are such a good story teller! Love your writing! Nan 🙂


    • October 26, 2014 at 4:55 am

      He’s so far down the pecking order now he wouldn’t even get a proper credit in a film. I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  21. Sarah Ann
    October 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I wish I could come up with this sort of thing when I struggle with the prompt! It’s hard to feel sorry for an evil genius, but you managed it. Isn’t it always the way that it’s the loss of face that hurts more than the loss of money. Really enjoyed this.


    • October 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      While writing I was reminded about the henchmen in Austin Powers and how we saw little glimpses into their family lives when they were killed 🙂
      It is true that for some people loss of face can affect them more than the money.
      I’m glad you liked my story 🙂


  22. October 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    You had me at “secret evil lair”. Brilliant!


  23. October 28, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Dear Draliman,

    The perils of being an evil-doer in a recession. “Fire the laser!”

    Very well done.




    • October 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Dear Doug,
      It hit everyone hard! Of course, he does always have that laser to fall back on!


  24. October 29, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Your imagination knows no end!
    It’s terrible to be demoted from genius to second anything 😦


    • October 29, 2014 at 8:16 am

      It was quite a blow to his ego! Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂


  25. October 30, 2014 at 7:01 am

    You had me at evil secret lair – awesome story!
    How depressing would that be? Your evil secret lair being encroached upon by an entire community of onlookers!!
    ~ Andrea ❤


    • October 30, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Maybe he could conduct tours and claw some of the money back that way!


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