Shelby puts his hands on his stomach, and with a satisfied smirk says ‘Unicorns. Bitches love unicorns.’
All around the planning meeting table, the guys sit up and take notice. I unbotton my jacket and lean forward, making notes on my iPad.
‘And these are not just your regular fancypants pure-lily-white horsies. These unicorns turn into hot guys. Hot shirtless leg-openers with waxed chests and perfect sideburns and pouty fucking lips.
‘And they sparkle.’
At which point the collective brains-trust pretty much creams their jeans as one.
Although someone has to pipe up with inconvenient facts. This time it’s Harris from Accounts. ‘Sir, we can’t have them sparkle, it’d be a IP infringement –
‘Shut the fuck up! You asswhore! You dickslut! You pussy vagina girlparts little bitch!’ Shelby always insults men by implying they’re women. To be fair, he also insults women the same way. ‘I’m not fucking being literal here, pissflaps! I don’t care if they sparkle or glow or shine searchlights out of their dickholes! But they’re perfect, and hot, and they stand out in a crowd and make every chick around them wetter than Venice. Maybe their horns appear and they’re made of solid chocolate and smell like cum. Fuck if I know! You geeks can work that out. Screw details, this is The Idea Business!’
You can hear the caps when he says that phrase. It’s trademarked that way.
‘They’re white stallions and unattainable boyfriends in one. This is going to be the new Twilight, the new True Blood, the new… shit, I dunno, whatever bimbos like now. Unicorns are gonna be the new vampires and werewolves and sex machines, the shit the virgins hump their pillows and cut themselves for, and we are going to the ones standing under the money fountain jerking off onto hundred dollar bills. This is a window of opportunity for this studio, and we are gonna bust right through it!’
All of us guys start laughing and high-fiving each other. Shelby’s knocked it out of the park again, come up with something that we all know women will fall over themselves to reach for.
He starts assigning roles, pretty much at random – he’s in The Idea Business, not The Checking Position Descriptions Business.
To Feinberg on my right: ‘You! I want novels! Three to start with, with room for a fourth. No word with more than two syllables, no sentence with more than six words, no personality for the teenage female protagonist. The unicorn boy completes her and she has to give up everything before he finally prongs her with his horn. Lots of making out, no sex until the end, and a villain that’s hotter than the hero. Five percent royalty and a gender-neutral author name. GO!’
To O’Cassidy on my left: ‘You! Movie! Same plot as the book, different writer. Get a chick to direct it. Lots of skin, lots of blood, lots of hot gazing out of the screen. No fatties, no old people, no ethnics. Need at least six major bands for the soundtrack, so sign ’em up before shooting starts. Get the scandal in early! And make sure the girl’s hot but weird, but in a bland way. No freaks!’
He looks at me and says ‘Now, you… wait, who the fuck are you again?’
I clear my throat. ‘Tom Volcheck, sir. I joined last month. Hired from Paramount.’
He shrugs, already bored. ‘Whatever. You’re on transmedia and merchandising! I want webisodes! ARCs! Apps! I want… I dunno, action figures and sexy Halloween costumes and happy meals! Tie-ins and spin-offs! Robots that turn into unicorns and give cars a deep dicking! All that kind of shit!’
Shelby rubs his hands together in anticipation of fat third-quarter profits. ‘Hot fucking unicorn boys. It’s a license to print money that stinks like poontang. Am I right, guys? I’m right!’
We all nod and laugh and congratulate him on his vision, and agree that women will be gagging to dive into stories of unattainable men with deep souls and hard stomachs who are so much better than the lumpy, fallible, human jerks they have to put up with in real life.
I keep taking notes as the meeting continues, and after it wraps we go off to brainstorm ideas. After-work beers are mandatory, and we tell each other how great this is, and we avoid eye contact. And I give as good as I get, and I agree that the bitches will love it, and I wait.
Wait until I get home, when I finally pull this itchy false moustache off, unbind my chest, unstrap the strap-on from my thigh and shower the misogyny off me yet again. Then I dump the contents of the iPad onto the Sisterhood’s secret servers and start disseminating the news to our discussion forums so we can start making plans to stop this before it starts.
The shit of it is, they’re right. I like unicorns. Lots of us do. And part of me would really like to see that movie or read that book, if it was good, if it didn’t just exist to harvest our money while making us feel like shit.
Ah well. Maybe the next company and Ideas Business I infiltrate won’t be such a pile of shitheads. Maybe it’ll be run by women and men with vision and heart who want to share that with an audience that wants something worth caring about.
Or maybe everyone in that scenario is mythical. Like a unicorn.
Still won’t stop me wanting to believe in them, though.
But that’s a thought for another night. Now it’s time for smashing the Patriarchy. Maybe with gin and comic books for dessert.
Not subtle, I know, but flash fiction is not the place for subtlety. Not my flash fiction, anyway.
This is another Chuck Wendig flash challenge response. He called for stories involving unicorns, which reminded me of Gail Simone’s comments on Twitter this month about female comics readers being seen as myths, like unicorns, despite being a real and growing market. Add to that a lot of recent RPG forum talk about sexism, and this kind of came into my head this afternoon.
It’s not big or clever, but it gave me a chance to say dickslut and make a little fun of Twilight, so there’s good and bad.
Now, I know there was supposed to be a post on character on Sunday night, but it wasn’t coming together, and I didn’t want to make a half-arsed post. Well, an even more half-arsed post – I’d be down to a sixteenth of a buttock and three pubes. So I was going to post that tonight, but then this idea came up, and I thought I’d get it down first.
Now that that’s there, character on Sunday. With digressions about Batman and feline frottage.