By Heywood Jablomi
Bad Writing Enthusiast
NEW BRUNSWICK — Deep in the dungeons of Murray Hall reside the creative writing students, most of them a couple commas short of a full sentence. They spend a lot of their time endlessly distracted by anything they can get their hands on or chugging energy drinks, but occasionally they focus for long enough to produce a mostly-complete short story.
Many of them are content to write whatever they can think of, maybe give it a proofread if they aren’t sleep-deprived to the point of being brain dead, then turn it in, but occasionally someone wants something more. Every once in a while, someone will think of something that they think hasn’t been done before. If they’re lucky, then they just don’t know who had the idea first, but some aren’t so fortunate. What the students don’t realize is that if something hasn’t been done in the hundreds of years that humans have been writing novels, it hasn’t been done for a reason.
Of those, some will have a rare moment of clarity and scrap the bad idea entirely. Some will even realize they’ve been trapped for weeks and search for an exit, only to realize that Murray Hall has been designed to keep them within indefinitely. Unfortunately, some will insist on seeing their project through to the bitter end, not realizing their mistake until it’s time for workshopping.
On workshop day, the student will be tied to a stick and held over a bonfire while their fellows will list of everything they hated about their story. The better the story, the higher their chance of getting out alive. Write something absolutely atrocious, however, and the student runs the risk of being roasted to death.
Such a fate befell a young freshman on a cold February morning, when he failed to realize that writing an avant-garde piece from the
perspective of a villain was an absolutely horrible idea, and spent a half-hour over open flames while his classmates gleefully tore his story to shreds, some of them literally, in front of him before finally succumbing.