liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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I Have Two Requests (Story Search and Fic Request)

People looking for Part 16 of Water Hold Me Down click here.

1. Stealing an idea from hernewshoes: Story Search

When I was a sophomore in high school, this short story was in a pretty old collection we used for Lit class. (The following year we got all new books that linked British and American literature to historical and social movements which was...yum...but I'm getting off track).

What I remember:

I think it was called The Vanishing Act, but I've never found a short story matching the description below that matches that title.

It was something like a World War I society, but it was something of a backdrop. This society, possibly American, was fighting the "War to End All Wars" and that society had become industrialized and mechanized to such a point that the country was run by a general and the prevailing slogan was: "Everyone in his place and a place for everyone" or something similar.

(This backdrop prompted a class discussion of World War I and Woodrow Wilson's optimism for an international body to stop such a thing from happening again and how isolationists (read: Republicans) in the U.S. had torpedoed this country joining the League of Nations. Some things just never fucking change.)

Anyway, in this society, people (some veterans, some citizens) were "disappearing" into "history," or rather their idea of various historical periods and interacting with people in that time. At first the general thinks they're actually going back in time, which means they're potentially lethal weapons in this war. The people they find who can do this are kept in a special ward. Ward T or Ward V? I'm not sure.

The general pulls a pacifist objector out of prison. This guy is a professor of either psychology or a social scientist and he objects to the "everyone in his place" philosophy. However, because the problem intrigues him, he agrees to help. This guy discovers that these people are not going back in time but instead are somehow physically escaping into their minds. The periods of these physical disappearances are getting longer and longer and some of them have disappeared completely. It turns out that these repressed individuals have imaginations that are so strong that they're essentially "escaping" present society for a "reality" that's more to their liking.

(Cue class discussion on how thought translates into action; social justice; and how to bring about a better reality...sometimes I wonder if I really went to Roman Catholic high school...ahhhhh the heady anti-Reaganism of wonder why I left Catholicism when I discovered my liberal Catholic oasis wasn't at all representative...)

The general, deciding that this escaping into your own mind business won't do, demands that the professor tells him how to stop it. The professor explains that he can't because he works on scientific evidence. What the general needs is a poet to be his guide.

The story ends with the general ordering his lackys to find him a poet. There is much description of much scrambling to find a poet. The general waits...presumably because there's no poet to be found.

I don't know if this helps, but the collection also included The Rocking-Horse Winner, It's a Good Life, An Occurance At Owl Creek Bridge, The Lottery, and The Minister's Black Veil. Interestingly enough, the first three stories on this list were adapted for The Twilight Zone and the last was my first exposure to Nathaniel Hawthorne. I've never seen The Lottery adapated anywhere, but it was a creepy story.

Now that I think about it, the whole collection used in that class had a lot of creepy stories and I loved everyone of them. Hell, I still remember them *mumblemumblemumble* years later.

Those nuns were twisted, man...

So, can anyone tell me the name of this story and where I can find it?

2. Daria meets BtVS (with a possible side-glance at bastardsnow but please someone, anyone take this one): Fiction Request.

As a general rule I don't like crossovers and I usually don't make requests, but man I so want to read this one so much it hurts.

1) Daria cannot be the Slayer in question, but Watcher recruitment (or at least an attempt, this is Daria after all) is definitely a must.

2) Actual Slayer would be either Quinn (just for the comedy of it) and/or Jane (Jane can run very fast in Daria canon).

3) Undercover work at Lawndale High (maybe a Career Day or one of the Scoobs pretending to be a student) just so Our Heroes can get an eyeful of the Fashion Club.

4) C'mon, how can you not have high-strung Jake and hard-driving Helen involved? Can you imagine the recruitment pitch for Daria as Watcher and/or Quinn as a Slayer to these two?

5) No vampires, but maybe Mystik Spiral (Trent's band) is performing a song that's causing some weird apocalypic problem (maybe music that's so bad that it's opening dimensional portals) that attracts the Scoobs to begin with and they accidently trip over Quinn and/or Jane as a Slayer.

6) Sarcasm. There must be much sarcasm because, you know, Daria.


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