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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: Captain Thesaurus and The Case of the Crystal Asterisk
By T. F. Chezum
10/14/08


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The citizens of Vocabula gathered in the town square after their annual spelling bee and potato peeling contest awaiting the ceremonial trimming of the Christmas tree unaware of the sinister plot about to be unleashed upon their tiny community.



Meanwhile, at the secret headquarters of the Grammar Allies Guild, Captain Thesaurus burst into Commissioner Conjunction’s office. “We just received a message, a communiqué, a memo.” He waved a piece of paper. “The Christmas tree is in peril, in danger, at risk.”

“And?” the commissioner queried.

“And we must stop this villain, this culprit, this fiend.”

“But?” Conjunction asked.

“But we don’t know the plan, the scheme, the agenda.”

The Librarian snatched the paper from the Captain’s hands as she strolled into the office. “Let me see this.” She paused as she peered through the spectacles perched on the tip of her nose. “It’s from the Terrier … oh this is terrible.”

The commissioner stood up. “Because?”

“Because of all the spelling errors,” The Librarian huffed. “He needs someone to proofread…”

A small commotion from the adjacent room interrupted her rant; the trio scrambled out of the office. The television across the guild’s teleconference and internet game center blared, “This is a V-C-A-B special report…”

Captain Thesaurus chimed in, “We seem to have breaking news, a bulletin, an announcement.”

“Shhhhhhhh.” The Librarian quieted the room.

“This is Ann Alogy reporting from the Vocabula town square.” The raven-haired reporter gestured to the plaza. “The crowd gathered near the giant tree like moths near a flame. Out of nowhere a giant airship swooped down, like a vulture gathering its carrion and scooped up all the Christmas decorations like a street sweeper after a ticker-tape parade … including the prized crystal asterisk which perches atop the tree like an eagle on a mountaintop.”

A buzz spread through the crowd.

“This is outrageous, loathsome, contemptible,” Thesaurus barked. “The Christmas tree decorations must be retrieved, salvaged, rescued …”

An alarm blared. A large screen videophone appeared from behind a hidden panel.

“Umm … Hello.” A small, freckled face wearing large horn-rimmed glasses appeared on the monitor. “Didn’t you get my note?”

Guild members stared in silent confusion.

“You know,” he continued. “The one about the Christmas stuff.”

The Librarian stepped forward. “Are you the Terrier?”

Laughter spread throughout the room.

“Not the terrier,” the nerdy scoundrel snapped. “The Terror.”

“That’s not what this says.” She held the note up.

“Man, I hate typos,” he grumbled. “Hey … Don’t try to sidetrack me. You better send me the money.”

“Or?” Commissioner Conjunction tugged on the Lapels of his yellow plaid leisure suit.

“Or … Well I hadn’t thought about that.” The Terror looked perplexed. “Maybe I’ll post your precious Christmas decorations on eBay, or something.”

“Give us the Crystal Asterisk you thief, you robber, you bandit.” Thesaurus pointed an accusing finger at the perpetrator. “We won’t stop until you’re apprehended, arrested, detained.”

The outlaw let loose a sniveling laugh. “You’ll never find my stealth blimp.”

“There’s a red dirigible flying low directly overhead,” the Modifier called from the nearby control-room. “The sloppy name is hardly legible … I think it’s the Crimson Tilde.”

“Crimson Tide, not tilde.” The Terror rolled his eyes

“Your shoddy decal doesn’t say that,” the Modifier chortled.

“Darn, another typo.” he whined. “If you won’t take me seriously, then you can have a dark and dismal tree. I’m out-a here.”

“Enough of this nonsense, poppycock, tomfoolery.” Captain Thesaurus stepped to the front of the room. “Ready the Capital Cannon, the big gun, the secret weapon.”

“Uh-oh.” The Terror’s eyes bulged with surprise.

A loud gust of air shook the building.

“I think his blimp just popped, burst, rapidly deflated.” The Captain ran to the window to survey the situation. “We must return the tree decorations to the good people, the townsfolk, the citizens.”



A throng of Vocabularians gathered as guild members parked a large rental truck in the midst of the town square.

“The Typo Terror is in custody, under arrest, in captivity.” Captain Thesaurus opened the doors of the truck revealing the stash of recovered ornaments. “You may begin the tree decorating festivities, revelry, celebration.”

“But where’s the Crystal Asterisk?” a voice called from the midst of the grateful crowd.

Captain Thesaurus pointed up. “Look into the sky, the heavens, the atmosphere.”

The group gazed skyward as the guild’s Syntax-copter hovered high over the giant evergreen lowering the prized Crystal Asterisk to its rightful spot atop the majestic Christmas tree.


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This article has been read 813 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 10/18/08
I love it! Very creative. And in my estimation, there is only one that could come up with this story. I can't wait to see if I'm right:)
Jan Ackerson 10/18/08
This is AWESOME! My favorite is Captain Conjunction, with his very limited vocabulary that nevertheless moves the plot along. Masterful, and I too suspect that I know who wrote this (I wish it was me...)
Yvonne Blake 10/19/08
oh...what fun! What writer doesn't love a story full of synonyms?
Joanne Sher 10/19/08
THIS is the stuff I missed when you were gone, Tim. I need to go back and read the first one - I have vague memories, but not clear ones. What a riot, and such fun to read (I'm sure it was as much so to write!). Are you gonna make a trilogy? Inquiring, questioning, curious minds want to know. (Oh, and have you ever watched "Word Girl" on PBS? This reminded me of it - and I think you'd love it)
Shelley Ledfors 10/19/08
This is wonderful! I absolutely love it. I'll have to find the other one you mentioned. This would also be fun adapted as a skit. VERY well done!
Chely Roach10/19/08
This was priceless...creative genius, if I may. Loved it!
Celeste Ammirata10/19/08
Wow. Gosh. Golly. This is wonderful, amazing, spectacular. I laughed out loud on this one. Thanks. Great job. Marvelous. Awesome.
Gregory Kane10/20/08
I don't think I have ever read anything quite like this before! Astounding, amazing, astonishing. What a lot of Christmas fun!
Karlene Jacobsen 10/20/08
I giggled, chuckled, laughed at this! I applaud, clap, your creativity, imagination.
Jason Swiney10/20/08
The opening was priceless. This was as creative as it gets, and probably needs to be used in a few Language Arts classes across the country. I was definitely a fan (a supporter, an admirer) of Captain Thesaurus. Great story, lots of fun.
Gerald Shuler 10/20/08
I need to borrow Captain Thesaurus... I just can't find enough words to use in praise of your magnificent use of imagination.
Lollie Hofer 10/20/08
What a hoot! That pretty much sums it up since there aren't enough superlatives in any known language under heaven to describe this story. Whoever you are, you've got the GIFT.
Celeste Ammirata10/20/08
Annual spelling bee and potato peeling contest? You're hysterical. I just re-read this and you still have me laughing out loud. God Bless!
Charla Diehl 10/21/08
Creatively funny, witty and I bet you had a blast pulling this all together. Bet this wins a high place this week.
Dee Yoder 10/22/08
This is so much fun to read, it should be illegal! I laughed my way all the through this, Tim. What an imagination...you're the Master this week!
LaNaye Perkins10/22/08
What a hoot! Your story had me chuckling all the way through it. I love your Captain Thesaurus. Too funny my FaithWriter friend!
Leah Nichols 10/22/08
This hysterically, uproariously, ridiculously witty. Excellent work - I'd be surprised if it didn't place in the top 10! Wow....wow....that's pretty much all I can say. :)
Scott Sheets10/22/08
Fun, creative take on the topic! I loved the grammatical typologies for the characters. Great Job!
Linda Watson Owen10/22/08
What a delightful and wittily wonderful story! I chuckled all the way through it too! Any English teacher would love to use this...new superheroes and villians on the English class bulletin board! haha! It's definitely creative, imaginative, ingenious!
Carole Robishaw 10/22/08
I loved this. It was so silly and yet I couldn't stop reading.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/23/08
Your humor is priceless in this one. I think I'm in love with Thesaurus! I hope it was as fun to write as it was to read.
Sheri Gordon10/23/08
Congratulations on your EC. I have to admit, I didn't really "get" all of it--but Jan told me it's because I'm not a word nerd, or maybe it was word junkie, or some such phrase. :)
Sharlyn Guthrie10/24/08
This is definitely out-of-the box creative. Love the thesaurus comments! Cngrats on your EC!
Maxx .11/11/08
oh, brother ....... ;-)
Seema Bagai 09/18/10
Amusing. Funny. Hilarious. Loved this piece. Thanks for the link.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/18/10
Oh Tim this is so wonderful! I loved it. It would make a wonderful children's series or even better as a comic book! I laughed everytime I read the name Terror! You're a genius my friend.
Barbara Lynn Culler09/19/10
This is great, Tim! Love Captain Thesauras's words!
Ivy Strader09/21/10
I love it. I. Love. It. This is so cute and clever! I definitely think you could make this into a series.

Since Terror has a character already, can I be the Librarian? :D