They met crowded into a dimly-lit office, the place where Dick Bigger gravitated to write and think. There was music playing rather loudly in the background, and it was Elvis Costello's "Angels Want to Wear My Red Shoes". His favorite line from the tune was "I used to be disgusted / now I try to be amused". He was sitting behind a large wooden desk with a computer in front of him, and he was typing his latest effort on the keyboard when they started streaming in, all of them fashionably late.
He had got in touch with many authors about a week or so earlier, told them of his concerns, and asked them to meet him at his office so they could rationally discuss the problem. Apparently, only a few of them made their presence known.
They were discussing the problem of after getting nine or ten straight 9s and 10s, someone would suddenly come along and give them a 1. Or an "ace", as Buster Hymen referred to them. They hated it. It really pissed them off. They all figured that it was some malicious immature sub-talented "author", to use the term loosely. They were discussing ways to alleviate the problem.
"I say let's string 'em up by their figurative balls!" exclaimed the skinny guy who went by the name of Dick Weed, one of the affected authors in the room. "Not their literal balls, not even their conceptual nuts, but merely their figurative ones. Although, for some reason, I kind of think that the culprit is a woman," he reasoned, to himself as much as anyone. He looked around the room to see the others with somewhat puzzled looks on their faces.
"Wait a minute, Weed. I've gotten sniped a bit myself. That's one of the dangers of staying in Top Stories for so long, I guess," Shattered Mirror related, with more than a little bit of pride. "But what can we do?"
"Well, here's an idea -- we all could go methodically though the author list, and give each one of them a 1. Sure, we might hit quite a few innocent victims, but this is war. There are always innocent victims in wartime," Bigger offered. "And you can be damn sure we'd get the offending party."
"No, I'm not for that at all," Madison chirped in. "Who's to say that the offending party is an author at all?"
"Seeing that you asked -- I do," Weed asserted. "But I think you're right; nothing much we can do. Fuck it -- I'm going back to writing fiction."
"Nothing much at all we can do, I'm afraid... but screw it. I say we keep writing. We can't let the actions of a few ill-advised assholes shut us down," Ms. Love offered.
"Hey! What about me? I post a darling of a story, a cute little account of a British girl/woman and an American man. I was getting good scores until that loser came along and gave me a 1 -- makes me want to cry," Madison D'Angelica told the group, her voice trembling with emotion. Madison was a very fetching young woman, standing around 5'6" with an attractive face, pert breasts and a delightful derriere.
"I know! Let's give 'em a steamy sex scene so we can hold the good readers' interest," Dick Weed suggested. "Think we can piece one together?" The other authors seemed to concur, and looked at each other in agreement. "Madison, you get it started."
"Why me?" she complained, cortorting her face in obvious pain, then thought about it and relented. "Okay, how about this? It seemed to be pretty well received until that cad laid a 1 on me:"
.... There is more of this story ...