Okay Sports Fans! Time to play "Shred Your Entry"!

No, honestly, I aimed for all four, and fell halfway through. I know it's late, but I'll chalk that up to the Board's Database Problems and my being on travel for business reasons. (Don't ask. If da Boss wanted yiz to know, he woulda told yiz.)

Anyway, two for your dining and dancing pleasure, as weak as they are.

Seven Years After
Duncan J Macdonald

Queen Snow White stalked down the hallways of her familial castle, fuming over King Charming's latest slight. Wise servitors rapidly found other places to be, while those of lesser wit were left to step quickly out of her way or be rudely knocked aside. The older ones shook their heads sadly after the Queen had passed, remembering the quieter, calmer days just after the wedding and the dancing death of the Queen's Mother.

Reaching her chambers, the Queen stormed inside and slammed the door behind her. "God damned lecherous, pig-ugly, drooling, rat-faced, brainless arsehole of a man!" She picked up a rare lead-crystal vase and hurled it across the room. The tinkling sound of shattering crystal as the bits of the once expensive vase struck the floor was somehow soothing to her nerves, and more items of delicate beauty followed in the vase's wake to end as ugly heaps of broken glass and china.

The destruction of the more easily thrown items satiated her anger enough for her to control it. She turned next to the Magic Mirror, waiting in its ornate stand near the window embrasure.

"Mirror, mirror, untouched and fine,

Where's that lying, cheating, man of mine?"

"He, my queen, doth cheat 'tis true,

I will not lie, at least, to you.

Your older husband, the present King,

With a prepubescent wench doth fling."

Snow White's eyes narrowed, and her rage grew again. It had been seven years since their grand wedding -- seven years of constantly lessening attention, paralleling in reverse her development as a woman. She had been seven years old when she'd woken up in that crystal coffin, and his desire had been a hot thing, wild and abandoned. She'd married him willingly, partially, it was true, to see vengeance done, but in the main she'd responded to the fire of his love.

She'd listened carefully to the chatter of her Ladies in Waiting when they thought she couldn't hear, and to the more forward chambermaids. They hadn't talked about anything that she hadn't already experienced, or done herself -- from persuading the Huntsman to let her go, to living with seven horny dwarfs, to being bedded by Prince Charming since before the wedding. It was the other things that she wanted eagerly to hear. The romance, the bringing of flowers, the growth of love. It was those things that her marriage to Charming had deprived her of. She had kept hoping that as she grew toward womanhood that he would love her more. But no! He had turned further from her instead. Today was just the icing on the cake. It was their seventh Wedding Anniversary, and she'd gotten up before dawn to let the hairdressers get an early start. Later, the dressmakers had arrived to almost literally pour her into her gown -- a gown designed to accentuate her bosom, her hips, the swell of her Mons Venus, her every feminine weapon. She had spent hours perfecting her skills as a coquette. She had gone into the banquet radiantly assured that this, this, would catch and hold her husband's flagging interest.

She started cursing. That ignorant swine of a King Charming had ignored her completely and spent his time making moon-eyes at the cook's youngest daughter, just turned eight, and serving at the high table for the first time.
"I'll show that god damned puking pedophile. Ignore me, will he? This is my Mother's castle, and I'm my Mother's daughter! Then she went into her most secret room -- no one else was allowed inside -- and she made a two poisoned, apples. From the outside they were red and beautiful, and anyone who saw them would want them. Then she disguised herself as a palace servant, went to the King's Chambers and knocked on the door.

The Cook's daughter peeped out and said, "I'm not allowed to let anyone in. The King has forbidden it most severely."

"I am just delivering these two apples," said the peasant woman. "One for you and one for the King."

"No, I can't accept anything. The King doesn't want me to." But her desire for it grew stronger, so she finally let the servant hand her the two apples. She went skipping gaily toward the King, and the servant entered the chambers quietly behind her. The little girl gave one apple to the King, lying nude in his bed, and kept the other for herself. They bit into them together, but they barely had the bite in their mouths when they fell dead.

Remembering how she had been woken from the spell, the Queen opened their mouths and shoved the apple bites further down their throats, beyond the chance that jostling the bodies could dislodge them. Then she returned to her chambers, smiling and happy.

After the Royal funeral, Queen Snow White reigned for many years, ably assisted by her Prince Consorts, and she lived Happily Ever After.

A Conversation in Time
Duncan J Macdonald

"So, now that you're here, lets get down to cases." I waved the gentleman standing on the threshold of my office to the chair waiting on the other side of my desk. "Please, sir, take a seat."

I watched carefully as he entered and sat as I had invited him to. He moved confidently, without any overt display of aggression, yet with an inner sense of assurance that was incredibly sexy. Careful now, I thought, it won't do to let those kinds of feelings influence me -- at least not until after dinner and a movie.

"Have y ou been well treated?"

"Yes," he replied, "Your staff have been the very souls of courtesy. I want for nothing."
That was strange. I had reports on my desk that showed that he'd tried several times to leave the University campus. Once during siesta, and twice in the middle of the night. I really wasn't shocked -- after all, this was the author of "The Prince".

Niccolò Machiavelli had been born in the year 1469 AD Old Style, in Florence, Italy -- or what is now Curciograd in the Southern Administrative District of the Soviet European Democratic Union. The fact that he was now sitting in my office at the University of Bogotá was due to a series of experiments conducted by the Applied Physics Department. They had been trying to see into the future -- to help the Army in their fight against the Cartels -- and had ended up reaching physically into the past. Luckily, one of the laboratory janitors was a refugee from the Consolidation of Europe, and could haltingly understand the archaic Florentine dialect. Verifying his bona fides had fallen to the Department of Comparative Literature, specifically to the Director of Antiquity, and practically, to me.

"Dottore Machiavelli, we have been able to satisfy ourselves that you are, in fact, who you say you are."

He nodded, a king accepting his due.

"Before I allow you free reign of the campus and the city, I would ask you to clear up a minor mystery, one which has kept scholars of Rennaissance Italian at loggerheads for centuries. One group claims that you wrote 'The Prince' as a true expression of your political philosophy. The other claims that you wrote it as an artifice to gain you credit with the Medici family and restore to you your eminence in politics. Which of them are correct?"

"Bella Dottora, I am distraught. I must answer that both sides are wrong and correct at the same time. While it is true that I wished to be reinstated to my diplomatic position in the city, I did not write the treatise as a mere bribe. I also did not write it as an expression of my political thoughts." He leaned forward and his face took on a thoughtful expression. "No, what I wrote was, what do you call them, a 'Techno-thriller'. Yes, that is the word. I wished to become like your historic Signore Clancey."