Monsters & Mormons at LTUE this Friday (Feb. 10)

A panel of Monsters & Mormons contributors will be discussing the anthology at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11, 2012, at the Life, the Universe, and Everything conference held this year at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT.

The panel will be moderated by Dan Wells and feature Nathan Shumate, Eric James Stone, Jaleta Clegg, EC Buck and Steven Peck. They’ll talk about how their stories came about, the delights and dangers of mixing Mormonism with genre fiction, and more. It’s gonna be great.

Click here for conference registration details. Note that it uses UVU’s enrollment process so you will need to register for an account.

Peculiar Pages at Sunstone West

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This Saturday at Claremont Graduate University, Sunstone West, a small tidier Sunstone Symposium, will feature panels about two Peculiar Pages book. (Note that times and participants are subject to clarification.)

PP_2011

The first, Monsters & Mormons, accomplished with the help of A Motley Vision and the most fun currently available in print. Participating authors Erik Peterson (“Bichos”) and Brian Gibson (“The Eye Opener”) will be talking about their works as well as reading their own and others’ stories. Responding to their presentation will be Patrick Q. Mason, the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and Associate Professor of North American Religion at Claremont, and the author of The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Also featured are several poets from Fire in the Pasture. Featuring editor, poet, and AMV-contributor Tyler Chadwick discussing a Javen Tanner poem, and, in a separate session, readings from Tyler, Neil Aitkin, Karen Kelsay, Elisa Pulido, Laura Stott, Holly Welker, and, we hope, more.

Sunstone West is always great fun and you’ll want to catch other panels and presentations while you’re there.

Come to L.A.!

Register today!

NEIL AITKIN, TYLER
CHADWICK, THERIC
JEPSON, KAREN KELSAY,
ELISA PULIDO, LAURA
STOTT, and HOLLY WELKER

Get Monsters & Mormons on your new ereader, tablet or smartphone

How to buy Monsters & Mormons and load it on to almost any ereading device: ereader, smartphone, tablet, latptop, netbook or desktop.

So you could go ahead and now that it is available. But chances are a few of you received a new device this Christmas that will work as an ereader. Here’s how you get Monsters & Mormons on to your device (please note that all links will open up in a new window so that you can continue to reference this post). Note that laptops, netbooks and desktops can also serve as ereaders so there is a section for that below titled “Mac, PC or Linux laptop/netbook/desktop”. In that section, I also point you to Calibre, which can help you load ebooks on all of the devices listed below so if you are serious about getting into ebooks or have a range of different devices in the family, check that out.

iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch (iOS devices)

Edit to add: the Dropbox + Bluefire method in the comments below also works quite well. I’ve used it myself.

iBookstore is difficult to work with for small publishers, so you won’t find it there and Apple doesn’t let other apps buy directly in-app so you’ll need both your computer and your iOS device. So fire up your laptop or desktop and directly from B10 Mediaworx and download it to someplace where you easily find it (desktop, your documents folder, an ebooks folder). Your best bet is to buy the epub version (click on the “epub” button). The only exception is if you are already using the Kindle app on your iOS device, in which case, click on the “kindle” button.

Next, you need to install an ereader app on your device.

1. If you went the Kindle route, use the Amazon Kindle App.

2. If you went the epub route, use Bluefire Reader.

Open up iTunes on your computer and connect your iOS device to your computer. When your device shows up on the left nav in iTunes, click on it. You should see a new navigation show up in the main section of iTunes. Find the “Apps” button and click on it. Scroll down to the bottom to the section that says “File Sharing”. Click on the Kindle or Bluefire icon. You should now see the list of files in that app (or none if there aren’t files in it yet). At the bottom of that section (which will either say “Kindle Documents” or “Bluefire Documents”, you’ll see a button that says “Add”. Click on that button, navigate to where you downloaded your .epub or .prc (Kindle) file, select the file and click “open”. The file should now show up in the Documents list on iTunes. Sync your device, eject it and it should show up on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch your Kindle or Bluefire app.

Kindle/Kindle Fire

There are two ways to go here:

1. and have it automatically sent to your device via Whispernet. This is easier, but we (the publisher, editors and contributors) get less money. But hey, it’s easier so we don’t mind if that’s way you gotta go.

2. Buy directly from us and sideload the Kindle file onto your Kindle device. Here’s how you do that: from your laptop or desktop, click here. Click on the “kindle” button and go through the check out process. When you get to the point where you can download the file, save it somewhere where you will be able to easily find it.

Next, click here for information from Amazon on how to transfer content via usb. Because you’ve already downloaded the content to your computer, you can skip the first section in the guide and following directions for “Connecting your Kindle device to your computer” and “Transferring Kindle content”.

Nook (or Kobo or Sony Reader)

For non-Kindle ereaders, you should directly from B10 Mediaworx and download it someplace where you can find it.

To load the file onto your Nook, click here and follow the instructions. Note that you can also manage this via Adobe Editions if you already use it to load books on to your Nook that you don’t purchase directly form B&N.

To load the file onto your Kobo, connect it to your computer using the USB cable that came with it. Tap “Connect” on your Kobo eReader’s screen. Your Kobo should now show up as a connected device on your computer. Open it up and you should see the contents of the eReader. Open up another explore window (PC) or finder window (Mac) on your computer and navigate to where your Monsters & Mormons epub file is. Drag it to the eReader window and drop it in. Eject your Kobo and you should be good to go.

For the Sony Reader, connect it to your computer using the USB cable. If you have a Sony Reader, chances are you already have Sony’s eBook Library installed on your computer and know how to use it. Do that. There are other ways to go but they aren’t as easy to explain.

Mac, PC or Linux laptop/netbook/desktop

There are quite a few ereader software options. The best, imo, is Calibre. Download Calibre here. Install it. and download it someplace where you can find it. Open up Calibre, click on “Add Books”, navigate to where you downloaded the file and select it. Calibre can also help you load books to almost other devices you might have, including Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony Reader, Android smartphone/tablet and Kobo.

Android Smartphone or Tablet

Edit to add: the Dropbox + Bluefire method in the comments below also works quite well for those who are (or are willing to be) Dropbox users.

I don’t know the Android world very well. If you already use the Kindle app on Android, it’s probably easiest to . But if you really want to have the epub version and not be tied into Kindle (a sentiment I fully understand and support), then it looks to me like your best bets are either the Kobo app or the Aldiko app. Click here for details on how to load books using the Aldiko app. For the Kobo app on an Android table the best bet is to load the epub file onto the SD card for your tablet and then follow these linked instructions.

MORE OPTIONS

If none of the above work for you, you can always and use your favorite PDF reader or browser/html renderer.

I hope this helps. If you have questions, leave a comment below or email monsters AT motleyvision DAWT org, and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Monsters & Mormons: the print run has shipped!

Edit to add (11:55 am): Good news! Less than an hour after this post went live, Elizabeth got word that the print run of Monsters & Mormons has shipped. As soon as it arrives, she will start fulfilling orders. Thanks for patience!

I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting the print version of Monsters & Mormons. We are too. Unfortunately, the vendor that Peculiar Pages/B10 Mediaworx is getting the trade pub editions from isn’t moving as quickly as they have in the past. See, we knew the schedule would be tight. But the order went in 10 days ago and Lightning Source, a print on demand company that works with small publishers,  hasn’t printed and shipped the print run yet to Elizabeth so that she can fulfill your orders. This delay is unusual. We don’t know yet when it might arrive. We very much hope that it can happen in advance of Christmas.

B10 does have your orders on file if you’ve already ordered the print version. And, of course, the ebook version is available to download now. Or you can get it directly for the Kindle here. As soon as the shipment comes in, we will let you know.

Monsters & Mormons virtual launch this Friday: the details

Because our contributors are from all over the country, we decided to do a virtual launch party this Friday (10-midnight, EST; 9-11 pm, CST; 8-10 pm, MST; 7-9 pm, PST). We hope that you will join is. Here is what it will consist of:

Facebook Page first line contest
Theric and I will each choose our favorite Monsters & Mormons-themed first line from those posted to the Facebook page. The two winners will each receive a free e-edition of the anthology. We’ll also announce the other activities as they happen to the page so it’ll be a virtual launch central where you can be entertained by the first lines and see what’s going on elsewhere.

How to Participate: like our Facebook page and check in between 9:00 and 10:10 pm (central) and post your entry/entries to the wall.

Twitter frivolity
Theric will be posting stuff to Twitter. He’ll share a load of links to excerpts and illustrations from the anthology that you may have missed. He will also reprise the game that started the anthology (monster-izing Mormon fiction titles). And whatever madcap-ness we can come up with.

How to Participate: follow Peculiar Pages on Twitter and if you post something use the hashtag #MonstersandMormons

WriteChat.net Contributor Panel Discussion (via group IM)
A year or two ago Elizabeth Beeton, our publisher, created an online chat system specifically for writers called WriteChat. It’s like doing a group Instant Message, and writers hang out there to challenge each other to writing sprints, talk shop, etc. We’re going to use it as a platform to do interviews/panel discussions with our contributors. If there is interest and time, we’ll also take questions from you.

How to Participate: Go to WriteChat.net and sign up for an account (it simply requires a username, email and password and it’s only to be able to log in and chat — you won’t receive emails or anything like that). Please note that it is a Java applet so you may need to install a fresher version of Java and/or approve the running of the applet that runs the chat rooms. If your browser auto-blocks pop ups or certain scripts, you’ll want to look for that and turn that off specifically for that site. I should add that I have tested this, and it’s very cool. And the current denizens are very welcoming and they have been warned of Friday night’s invasion.

If you run into issues: |

Google+ Hangout Author Reading/Storytelling
A Google+ Hangout allows for up to 10 people to do a video chat together. Throughout the launch, I will be hosting various contributors and inviting you to join the Hangout. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t yet let us stream the proceedings, so we’ll be limited to 8 of you per Hangout. I will have the contributor read an excerpt from his or her story. We’ll do an interview, maybe take some questions, and then if there’s time, we’ll tell scary/creepy/humorous mission/family/pioneer/folk tales. You know, campfire kind of stuff. This will require a Google+ account, a computer with a webcam, and a decent high speed internet connection. I’m sorry we have the limits. We’ll do as many as we can and get as many of you in as we can.

How to Participate: Circle Monsters & Mormons on Google+. I will circle you back so that you can be notified of and invited to the Hangouts as they occur. If you need to sign up for a Google+ account, you can do that here. Don’t tell Google I said this, but you could sign up just for this event and then not use it otherwise.

Finally, I’m sorry to report that the print version has been delayed. Our publisher Elizabeth Beeton and her family all came down with that evil sickness that’s been going around (or at least one like it has been going around here in Minnesota) and she is down for the count. Now, we are still taking preorders for the trade paperback and this shouldn’t be a huge delay, but it won’t be ready in time for Friday. If you pre-ordered the print version you will definitely receive it soon — we just won’t be able to send them out this weekend like we had hoped.

Thanks again to all of you who have bought the ebook or pre-ordered the trade paperback. I hope you’re enjoying the stories. Please do join us for our virtual launch — it’ll be so much more fun if you participate. See you Friday evening!

Monsters & Mormons is here: details, virtual launch, etc.

Monsters & Mormons has arrived. Buy the ebook or pre-order the trade paperback. Click through for more details on a virtual launch party, Utah book signing, merchandise, etc.

A scant 22 months after a Twitter joke led to the idea for Monsters & Mormons, the anthology has arrived. You can download it in the major ebook formats — Kindle, Epub, and HTML — right now for $4.99.  You can also , which will be out in less than two weeks and costs $23.99 (it’s ~600 pages). Buying the ebook directly via the Kindle should be available within the next day. Although, of course, if you buy directly from Peculiar Pages, we get a larger cut of the pie (and by we I mean our more than 30 contributors, illustrators and editors as well as B10 Mediaworx which is the publisher for Peculiar Pages).

But just because Monsters & Mormons is now available for sale, it doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Here’s what else we have on tap:

Virtual Launch Party on Friday, Nov. 11

We wanted this to launch on Halloween like we promised, but we also realized that, well, some of you may be doing that whole trick or treating thing. So we’re going to have an official virtual launch party on Friday, Nov. 11. If you’d like to participate (and there will be games with prizes and other frivolity), the best thing to do is connect with us on Facebook or Twitter:

Monsters & Mormons Facebook page

@motleyvision (Wm Morris)

@peculiarpages

@thmazing (Theric Jepson)

The party will take place:

  • 10 pm – midnight, eastern
  • 9-11 pm, central
  • 8-10, mountain
  • 7-9, pacific

Activities will take place across Facebook, Twitter, our blogs and other parts of the Web.

Utah signing(s)

We are looking at a Utah book signing for late November/early December with as many of the contributors as possible (and many of them do live in Utah). It’s quite likely that we’ll do two: one in Utah valley and one in the Salt Lake City area. Stay tuned to AMV, but even better connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to stay apprised of the plans.

Killer merchandise

Love the cover? Thrilled by the illustrations? Enraptured by the killer concepts in the stories? We’ll be rolling out a series of Monsters & Mormons-related merchandise over the next six-eight months. Yes, t-shirts and posters. But we also have some cool ideas for other items as well. The whole point of this endeavor is to reclaim and re-envision Mormon tropes in pulp fiction. Some merch we can display to the world is definitely in order, I think.

Convention Appearances

Whether official or not, we hope to have Monsters & Mormons presences over the next year at all the major Utah cons (LDStorymakers, CONduit, LTUE, World Horror, etc.) as well as Comic Con (San Diego) and WorldCon (which is in Chicago this year) and others. We will announce those as they get closer.

So that’s the plan. Thanks for all of your support. This continues to be a blast.

Happy reading!

Monsters & Mormons: September update

Things are happening here at Monsters & Mormons headquarters. A quick update:

1. The manuscript is complete, is being copyedited and will soon be ready for layout. Our authors did an excellent job on the rewrites. Th. and I are very pleased with the final results. Also: the graphic novels look great.

2. Terryl Givens, the James A. Bostwick Chair in English at the University of Richmond, has written a fantastic foreword to the anthology. As you probably know, Dr. Givens is the pre-eminent scholar of Mormon studies and, as mentioned in our call for submissions, his work has informed this project from the very beginning. We’re delighted by his participation.

3. Anneke Majors is working on the cover. We can’t share it just yet, but should be able to in October. It’s gonna be awesome.

4. We’re still on track for an Oct. 31 launch. We’ve been rather quiet lately just trying to get stuff done and make sure that we’re going to be able to pull this off. You’ll hear much more from us next month as we build up to the launch.

That’s all for now. See you in October!

Bedlamites contest entries from Adam and Tony

Wm says: I’m proud to bring you two more excellent entries from the Bedlamites contest.

Adam Greenwood’s entry:

Jibr Archaelogic Catalogue
Fragment XVIII, Menninger Expedition

Wo unto the mites of Bedla
And unto Ylum’s ass.
For in Bedla [there] is no people
And in Ylum no corn.
The mosquitos mourn that once sucked blood
in Bedla,
and in Ylum,
the locust hungers.
Wo also unto those who dwell in Sane,
For the Mighty One is angry,
Yea, He is mad, He rageth,
And their idols Sup and Erego, their Apy and their Putic,
He will smash, yeah, He will smash.
He is done with counselings,
let the men of Sane be afreud.

Comment: A post-exilic composition, perhaps originating in the Bin Luny cultic complex. The association with the god Talt, as suggested by the Vienna School, must now be dismissed as a guess.

Tony Allen’s entry:

From the diary of Glorfinda L. Jackson, Martian Mormon

18 Kumbha 2524 (Darian Calendar): Brother Keane and the elders came over today to clean up the mess left by the bedlamites last night. The ion capacitator was in a shambles, which left the air in the house all purple-tinged and tasting like burnt licorice. They’d somehow gotten into the ration pantry and ate nearly a month’s worth of lime gelatin compound, and what they didn’t eat, they spilled all over the kitchen. It looks like the snows of Olympus Mons in here.

* * *

15 Pisces 2524 (DC): The discovery of life on Mars was a big deal, so I’m told, but no one really figured the kind of nuissance [sic] the bedlamites would turn out to be. Everyone was expecting either some form of advanced “little green men” or some stupid germs stuck to some ice somewhere. Turns out, bedlamites are somewhere in between–little red men that are just smart enough to get into all sorts of things they shouldn’t, but stupid enough to make us settlers rue their very existence!!

* * *

4 Mina 2524 (DC): Brother Keane says this is the worst bedlamite infestation he’s ever seen, and he’s seen a few. Turns out they’ve built a colony in the basement–bored right through the cement foundation. I can’t even get down there without them throwing things at me and trying to trip me when I walk down the stairs. He said that if we don’t take care of them now, they’ll get into the life support. Not good.

The extermination of bedlamites is banned by law, unfortunately. Luckily, Brother Keane says there’s a non-violent means of getting rid of them: you can use loud music to flush them out. He says that something from the 1980s–a kind of music called a “hair band,” whatever that means–will usually get rid of them. I’ll see what I can drum up in the library archives.

* * *

26 Mina 2524 (DC): Well, it’s been three weeks, and this so-called “hair band” music has just about driven ME out of the house, not to mention the bedlamites. I don’t know how the old-timers could stand to listen to that stuff–it’s just noise! And the silly costumes “¦ good grief!

But it seems to have worked. I went down into the basement this morning and only saw one of the nasty boogers. It ran into a hole in the wall which I blocked up with Insta-crete. Hopefully that was the last of them.

Brother Keane told me how the music works. Bedlamites, it turns out, are terrified of earthquakes. They don’t actually hear the music–since they don’t have ears, not in the human sense, anyway–they feel it. The vibrations of this “hair band” music feel like an impending earthquake, and that sends them scurrying away like so many vermin. All I can say is GOOD RIDDANCE!

More Bedlamites entries: two from TV Mc Arthur

Wm says: and now more entries from the Bedlamites contest — today, two from Terrance V. Mc Arthur.

Entry 1:

“SONG OF THE BEDLAMITES

(tune: Men of Harlech)

Men of Bedlam[1] rise and holler[2]

Roll around in mud and waller[3]

Frighten off the unsought caller

Make them think you’re mad[4]

Men of Bedlam graze on grasses

Horrify the Gentile masses

Caw like crows and bray like asses

Make them go away.

If they think we’re crazy,

Making chains of daisy

They won’t attack,

They will stay back

Until their memories of us are hazy.

If they think that we are barmy,

They won’t attack us with their army

Act the fool, and they won’t harm ye![5]

Bedlamites, be daft![6]

________________________________________

[1] The Bedlamites, more formally known as the Men of Bedlam, was a group formed in 1838 in Missouri to protect the Saints (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as Mormons) from mob violence. They were founded by Demetrius Jones, a Welsh convert, who adapted an old Welsh tune as their anthem. Unlike the Danites, who sought to fight their enemies with violence, the Bedlamites feigned insanity to protect their settlements.

[2] One of the techniques of the Bedlamites was to enter the camps of the opposing militias, screaming and shouting nonsensical gibberish, to frighten the mobocrats into confusion, a variation of the methods used by Gideon in chapter 7 of the book of Judges.

[3] Some Bedlamites coated their bodies in mud and refuse, hoping that the repulsive sight would drive off their attackers.

[4] The Bedlamite tactics were rooted in the legend of England’s Wise Fools of Gotham, who, to dissuade King John from seizing their lands for a castle site, pretended madness when royal surveyors arrived. Convinced that something in the air or water caused insanity, the party returned to the King and convinced him to build elsewhere.

[5] Unfortunately, the Bedlamites were all killed by Missourians who used the unarmed Saints for target practice. They were wiped out. All that remained was their song.

[6] They were.

Entry 2:

BEDLAMITES: a proto-punk heavy-metal group formed in Missouri in 1837. The founding members were Joseph Smith Jr. on lead guitar, Hyrum Smith on rhythm guitar, Brigham Young on stand-up bass, and Orrin Porter Rockwell on percussion. Joseph played a cast-iron guitar, as steel was not readily available. Hyrum played rhythm, as he was used to supporting and backing his younger brother. Brigham, known for his carpentry and woodworking skills, built his own instrument, the only known bass equipped with three drawers. Rockwell was always armed with multiple firearms and could shoot off up to 71 rounds without reloading, enough shots to keep the beat for most songs.

The group was named during a practice session in Joseph’s carriage house, so they were the equivalent of a modern garage band. Hearing the loud music, Emma Smith confronted Joseph, telling him, “It sounds like Bedlam out here,” to which her husband replied, “Then we must be The Bedlamites.” The name stuck.

One lyric fragment of a Bedlamites song has been found in the History of Joseph Smith, the source material for the Documentary History of the Church, which was drawn upon by B. H. Roberts for his seven-volume history:

“Taking back Zion,

Throw the rascals out.

Taking back Zion

Even if they shout.

Taking back Zion,

Get rid of the pukes” (a name used in other states for Missourians)….

The lyric was unfinished, possibly because a suitable rhyme for “pukes” could not be found.

A playlist has been found with the titles of songs in the group’s repertoire, including “Come Latter-Day Morning,” “Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Prophets,” “Joseph B. Goode,” “Rockwell Around the Clock,” and “The Igham Brigham Song.”

When Joseph and Hyrum were arrested with other leaders in 1838, the group broke up, although reports still exist of a second version of the Bedlamites and the legendary Liberty Jail sessions, with percussion provided by a small shovel Rockwell had smuggled in to Joseph. The shovel broke before the prisoners could dig through the last layer of the stone walls, but it may have been weakened by the energetic drumwork of Sidney Rigdon.

from Musical Mormons: a History by Alexander Q. Baird

The Ballad of the Bedlamites by Laura Craner

Wm says: the Bedlamites contest is over, but the fun continues as we reveal more of the submissions we received — starting with this gem from Laura.

The Ballad of the Bedlamites

by Laura Hilton Craner

The story’s told at family nite near e’ry twenty-fourth of July.

The Miller clan remembers them with ice cream and dried apple pie.

Not impressive like the seagulls or cherished like the lilies,

The Bedlamites are stranger things. Yep, give some folks the willies.

Once everyone is seated, pie and forks in hand,

Grampa LeRoy clears his throat then slowly comes to stand.

Cousins, kids and uncles, aunts and Granny too,

All can the chatter; they know what matters, what LeRoy has got to do.

“It wasn’t all that long ago our ancestors crossed those plains.

They scrimped and saved, they gave their lives, Zion to proclaim.

They loaded up their wagons, leaving cherished things behind.

Our freedoms and our God they trekked out west to find.

“Our pioneer kin was strong of heart; “˜twas with spiritual muscles rippling

They filled their cart with dried apples and Aunt Franny (who was crippling).

Now it ain’t no secret it was hard to walk and walk and walk

But Great-great-granny Bess sure was blessed when Trouble came to knock.

“It’d been more than one week since Great-great-grandpa Gene

Had kicked the bucket, sold the farm–you know what I mean.

They buried him right quick in dusty desert sand.

But all his seven kids were fussin’ yet, fit to beat the band.

“Bess, she shed just two tears then started to drive the wagon

Shoutin’ back to all her kids to quit their lollygaggin’.

The littlest one, Vidalia, just couldn’t stop her wailing.

So Aunt Franny , unbeknownst to Granny, left dried apples trailing.

“What the old bird was thinking no one’s sure at all.

Inspiration or insanity? You can make the call.

She dumped those chunks of has-been fruit completely overboard,

Piece by spongy piece Franny emptied all their hoard.

“Poor, hungry, tired Vidalia stuffed her face but couldn’t eat them all.

Her jaw got sore, her stomach hurt, and she “˜ventually took a fall.

When she woke back up “˜twas nearing dark, her family was nowhere.

She was lost, her cookies tossed, plus she thought she’d heard a bear.

“It was about this time that Bess had noticed her little sweet Vidalia

Was missing ; Oh! you should have heard her gasp and gulp and holla,

“˜Vidalia! Vidalia! Come to me! We can’t lose another!’

She fell to her knees and whispered, “˜It would kill your mother.’

“Again our Bess shed just two tears then got that shoulder to the wheel.

Right then and there she grabbed her kids and forced them all to kneel.

The biggest boy (Bess’ other Gene) was pegged to say the prayer.

He stumbled and he mumbled, then he shouted to the air,

“˜Vidalia is our baby and we do love her tight.

If you give her back to us we’ll always do what’s right!’

His words echoed strangely against the nighttime sky,

And in that moment Dear Aunt Franny knew just what to try.

” “˜The Bedlamites,’ she whispered in her crackling voice.

“˜You Bedlamites! You Bedlamites! We have made our choice!’

Triumphant now, she raised her arms straight above her head.

Then she howled and she growled fit to wake the dead.

“Lil’ Vidalia, all alone, was getting downright worried,

Imagining some crazy beast who’d eat her in a hurry.

And indeed, there was some rustling “˜neath the bits of scrub and sage

But no beady eyes were beaming, no jaws frothing in rage.

“What appeared right then was cute, except for its pig-like nose,

And more of them kept popping up, rows and rows and rows.

Little beasts like monkeys but also like pixies too,

They smiled and beguiled saying, “˜We know what to do!’

” “˜We’re Bedlamites’ they snickered. “˜We’re here to help you out.

We’ve been summoned by a yell; someone gave The Primal Shout.’

Vidalia scrutinized those Bedlamites and was no longer tearful.

She gave them all dried apples (although their teeth she found quite fearful).

“The Bedlamites fingered the apples slowly, sniffing them with piggy noses.

“˜What is this new thing?’ they muttered and squished them with their toeses.

“˜You eat it,’ Vidalia prompted. The creatures took small bites.

Then sloshed and mashed , and noshed and gnashed, their eyes becoming bright.

“Aunt Franny, miles away, said, “˜Bedlamites, you Bedlamites, I know that you are greedy.

“˜Bring Vidalia back to us. We’ll make sure your stomachs’re never needy.’

At once the Bedlamites stood up and smooshed themselves together

Making a bigger creature that lifted Vidalia like a feather.

The Bedlamites chanted as they carried her through the night,

Their spindly legs and hairy chests hurtling with otherworldly might,

“˜The Bedlamites are running, running up to the old wagon floor.

“˜The Bedlamites are running, running , hung’ring for some more!’

“Before an hour was past Vidalia was with her mother.

The whole family rejoiced, each sister and each brother.

They covered her with kisses, not noticing the creatures

Who’d brought her back or their clever, cunning features.

“The Bedlamites scrambled up to Franny and prodded her ungently,

Rummaging through her bedding disturbingly intently.

“˜More,’ they murmured. “˜More and more. We do want some more.

“˜It’s time’ they twittered and they skittered “˜ to even up the score.’

“Aunt Franny, herself now scared, began to turn the barrels over,

And when they came up empty she got real sober.

“˜Bedlamites, um, Bedlamites, “˜ she stammered as they sneered

“˜Unfortunately, it would seem, um, your payment isn’t here.’

“They turned on her with teeth like daggers in the night

They jumped. She screamed. They covered her, completely out sight.

Now Bess and all her kids, each and every one,

Hurried to the wagon, their tender spirits flaggin’, to see what Fran had done.

“Instead of Franny’s funny face they saw instead a melee,

A million beasts and their crippled aunt were going at it freely.

This time it was Vidalia who shed just two tears.

She told them all to stop it and grabbed “˜em by the ears.

” “˜What do you think you’re doing to my dear Aunt Franny?’

The Bedlamites were still, their faces strange–uncanny–

As Bess stood up and with arms straight above her head,

She growled and she howled, fit to wake the dead.

“The Bedlamites shimmered and began to disappear.

Looking quite surprised, Franny let out a cheer.

The Bedlamites said one last thing before they snuffed right out,

“˜You haven’t gotten rid of us, even with that Primal Shout.’

“Bess did sigh and looked at Franny. “˜They’ll be back, you know.

I guess we’ll just have to reap whatever you did sow.'”

But Bess and Franny never saw another Bedlamite.

Not hide nor hair showed anywhere; it never seemed quite right.”

At this LeRoy sips some water and looks around the room,

The glinting in his eye a sure harbinger of doom.

“Those Bedlamites have not forgotten that we owe them one.

They don’t care how long it’s been. Their story isn’t done.

“Sometimes on Family Nights, when you moms and dads get lazy

Those Bedlamites, they infiltrate making little ones act crazy.

They climb all over furniture and refuse to say the prayer.

They kick with glee, they sing off-key–oh! it’s hard to bear.

“It isn’t until treat time that they sit themselves right down.

Their piggy noses sniffing, rooting all around,

For something sweet and puffy like Vidalia gave them,

Something that is yummy will stop their misbehavin’.

“How long those Bedlamites will keep returning no one can right say.

They’ll make mischief when they can, all along our way.

Yes, those Bedlamites are running, running for our door.

Those Bedlamites are coming, always hung’ring for some more.”

At this the family all stands up with arms above their heads–

The pie is gone, the story’s done, and they’re ready for their beds–

But before they go and say goodnight there’s one last thing to do

It starts like a howl, then grows to a growl, and ends in a great “Wahoo!”

The family gives the Primal Shout and dissolves into great laughter.

Looking just like Bedlamites, it’s what LeRoy was after.

Hugs and kisses all around and then it is, “Sleep tight.

Love you all and don’t forget to always choose what’s right.”