The Idea Mill #22

It's been a while since we visited the old idea mill, and to be honest with you, it's because there haven't been that many interesting articles coming through.

I finally have three, and let's see if we can spark your imaginations.

This first one involves a bunch of old Egyptian papyrus scrolls that were discovered over a hundred years ago. Someone finally got around to looking at them, and found out they contained spells. They are written in Greek, so it must have been after some transportation entered the world.

One instructs the caster to burn some offerings in a bathhouse, and write on the bathhouse walls the desire for the Gods to “burn the heart” of a woman who scorned the caster. Men have been writing on bathroom walls ever since. Ladies, you've been warned.

The other spell tells the caster to scratch out some magical words onto a small piece of copper. Then a fix the plate to the clothing of the target victim. The victim will be forced to obey the commands of the caster. This article is silent as to what the words are, but I'm betting the word is “Imperio.”

I used a kind of Roman curse/prayer in Panama. This one involved turning a grinding stone while praying. I am aware of scratching out curses in lead, but copper is a new one.

How about it authors? Do you have any characters that need cursing? Maybe a woman scorned your character and he needs to get even. This could be even more fun because they are written in Greek. This means fraternities and sororities to me. I get an idea of a magical version of Animal House, where the locker room substitutes as the bathhouse, and Needermyer has to obey Bluto's bidding. Here is the link if you want a tiny bit more info: Curses.

The second article involves stalagmites and Neanderthals. Stalagmites are the ones that grow up from the floors of caves. Somewhere around 170,000 years ago, Mr. Neanderthal decided to kick down a bunch of these and build some stone walls. This may not seem like much, but 170,000 year old human construction is kind of impressive. They look kind of like nests to me. Check them out here: Neanderthal Construction.

Maybe these guys were so primitive they competed to actually build the best structure to impress the ladies. This is similar to nesting behaviour in other creatures. As a fiction writer, they could be anything though, including what remains of an ancient portal to another time or world. Some science cadet might figure it all out and recreate it, or predict some looming disaster. What would you do with this?

Finally we have what's being called a brain-to-brain interface. This involves wearing a fancy hat, while your friend wears another fancy hat. The lead researcher is able to control the other guy's movements by thinking about the motion. There is some interesting result with animals as well. Read a better, but longer, description here: Megamind.

I've kind of been in science fiction mode and this one gets me going. I remember a cuteish old movie called The Doberman Gang, (and one sequel) where the main character trained dogs to pull off a bank heist. This would be so much easier if I could skip the training and control them via brain-to-brain interface.

I have to admit, controlling my enemy via a curse scrawled on copper sounds a lot easier. Although, I dig a good hat, so I'm torn.

What would you do with this one? Here is your chance to mix in a little of The Fly, in an experiment that exchanges part of the mind when it goes wrong. Now you have your very own Gorilla Grod. Maybe you want to split out the good character and the bad character. The good one winds up in a Chimp who can't talk and tell someone what's wrong. The bad one goes on a rampage.

Part of this shtick is that I rough out a story using all of these elements. This is going to be a tough one, because the items are so far apart. Here goes nothing…

A sorority girl scorns a fraternity boy. He uses the whiz-bang fancy hat from the science lab to make her pay. There would certainly be towel snapping shenanigans in the girl's locker room, as verified by the geekiest of fraternity brothers and some kind of pervy spy hole.

Our heroine is mortified, and isn't participating in the dig inside the cave. She's spent most of her college career working on Neanderthal studies, and is blowing the biggest chance of her life. Fortunately, the Sorority sisters catch on.

They make her scrawl a curse onto a copper disk and slip in into the guy's underwear. Now under their total control, they make him don the fancy hat once more, and force the instructor to change her grades to something more acceptable. Maybe they also force him to streak the alumni banquet, because it is a college story. Ultimately, they force him to fall for the wallflower sorority sister that he wouldn't have spoken to otherwise.

I never said these were good stories, but I think I hit all three elements. What would you do with these?


Filed under The Idea Mill

31 responses to “The Idea Mill #22

  1. You’re good. I remember the Doberman gang. I recently saw an artificial leaf of FB that produces oxygen. It’s made with some sort of algae cells and silk. They expect it to be used in space travel. Anyways, I thought of you and the idea mill when I saw it.

    Let’s see. Bernie casts a spell in copper that makes Hillary and Trump friends. Trump gets elected. They don the hats. She spies an opportunity for war and makes him push the buttons. After the apocalypse, Bernie’s grandchildren makes a fortune rebuilding the world with the help of zillions of sparrows that rebuild the infrastructure.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, this is a fantastic collection! The brain brain interface is most fascinating….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have to admit that working with curses and telepathy so much in my stories makes it hard to do much with #1 and #3. The device is an interesting take, but a little scary when you consider the more malicious uses that can be thought up. Controlling world leaders, eliminating enemies with no evidence you were behind it, etc.

    As for the second one, the walls were inside a cave, right? Maybe the neanderthals were defending themselves against some type of subterranean threat.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Alexander the Great had conquered Egypt and installed a governor, Ptolemy, who was a fellow Greek. When Alexander’s empire fell apart, Ptolemy became Pharaoh but all official business was still written in Greek. Thus we have Egyptian scrolls written in Greek. And, Cleopatra was descended of Ptolemy’s line.

    Wouldn’t it be cool to find Cleopatra’s diary full of curses and such?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well done!!! I’m not even going to attempt it. I’ve been trying to write a 200 word story, with a clear hook, midpoint change, and twist ending for days. It’s so frustrating!!! The rules are it must be exactly 200 words, not 199 or 201, including the title. It’s for the Golden Donut Award at the Writers’ Police Academy. With everything else I’ve got going on it might be more aggravation than I need, but I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t at least try. Any pointers?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re really good at this stuff. I love anything with Egyptian stuff. Just anything. I also like the spells and curses business. I love to read authors who slip some of that in, not so much when the entire story centers around it, but some nice witchy details always intrigue me.
    That mind control stuff is scary af.
    I don’t even have an idea mill. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the paranormal stuff too. It’s nice when it relates to something real though. A copper curse fits better than something made up, because there is a basis for it. I agree the mind control is frightening.


  7. All fun topics. I can see a whole business in copper sheets for curses.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m interested in how Greek writing got in the Egyptian pyramids. Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. HA! I love your story to crown this one. Sounds like it would make a goofy fun movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 5…6/27/16 – Where Worlds Collide

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