The Musings of Terry Perry

[i]Author’s Note

I decided to start on some experimental writing. The plan is to write various articles, journal entries, letters, etc. and to trace story arcs through them.[/i] … erry-Perry

An article by a guest writer laid among the files of unpublished submissions to the “Campus Roar” Opinion page. Submitted three days after the Campus Roar publication of the “Cute-Ma-Kappa” front page article, the article attracted much of the staff members’ eyes, inspiring them to jeering snickers, uneasy chuckles, silent guilt, or just mere apathy.

A majority of the staff deemed it unsuitable for publication for reasons best left to private conjecture.

Opinion Page Entry: “On Competition”

[i]I caution readers of the pessimism ahead. I would ask you to forgive it, but I cannot, especially, when M.U. has constantly justified this pessimism.

The monster culture is defined by Scaring. What drives it? Competition. As a competitor of this year’s Scare Games myself, I have experienced its pros and cons of competition.

Competitive drives can be fun and handy. It teaches discipline and competency in situations of great pressure. Competition does encourage productive work. It is no coincidence that many veterans of the Scare Games, winners and losers alike, would attain successful careers in Scaring.

But there is an overlooked guideline. The Scare Games are designed “as a friendly competition,” as its founder, Dean Hardscrabble, puts it. And I doubt the definition of “friendly” would involve brutally hazing other competitors. The incident at the Roar Omega Roar (ROR) fraternity party is evidence of this. My team has unfortunately have subjected to an onslaught of ridicule from competitors, but the “Cute-Ma-Kappa” incident was the height of the insults. I have grown to expect ridicule, as Oozma Kappa is admittedly not known for its prestige and we are striving to earn respect from the school. After the incident, I cannot be silent if it means watching my brothers suffer for other monsters’ pettiness.

Even if the school board cared to investigate the circumstances of the prank, I have the feeling that it would not change the insensitive stance of campus students, who kept purchasing those photos for their amusement and passing them around as a fad. ROR masqueraded their bullying into a “benevolent” charity drive to pass the radar of school authorities, as if our shame was part of some higher cause and amusement of the monster culture. They escaped consequences simply because of the premeditated measures they took not be penalized. They have done this before and will do this again.

I will try my hand at understanding it. I speculate that it has something to do with competition. Could it be the fear of losing? Possibly, as every competitor, especially ROR, have positions to keep up. Their dignity is at stake. The fear of losing is natural (but also irrational if you take it too far).

But what I fail to comprehend is that ROR has reason to believe that they cannot lose. They have no reason to flaunt their sense of predetermined victory. They hold the record of most Scare Game wins, known for their lineage to legendary Scarers, and a majority of ROR members are A-Honor roll students. But do not let these particular compliments indicate that they are strong in character. These monsters belittle others because they believe it asserts their superiority. Winning or being close to winning was not enough for them so they make others, namely the “losers,” suffer for their petty dissatisfaction.

I cannot decide which is more appalling. To see fellow competitors take it out on the “losers” and treat them like jokes rather than offer legit constructive criticism. Or the fact that spectators and bystanders laugh with the “joke” instead of intervening, which would perpetuate more of this heinous behavior in future Games. If M.U. celebrates this bullying, then what are we? Is this the consequences of competition?

Competition serves as a useful exercise in competency and skills. But it should not be treated as an assertion of egoism, especially when it is at the expense of others. I do not ask for sympathy, but I would appreciate some sensitivity. If you are so invested in the faults and self-esteem of others, try helping them instead of bullying them? Who are you to decide who others’ “faults” are? Who are you to decide how others’ should react to their own faults? Want to criticize other competitors? Be constructive, not destructive. And “constructive” certainly does not involve relentless teasing and belittling. It involves a sincere concern for the work and efforts of others to enhance and improve the work and efforts of others, not to degrade it.

Privileges and victories are there to earn, not abuse.

Guest writer and proud Oozma Kappa brother,

Terry Perry.[/i]

Unlike other rejected guest articles, it laid among the “Campus Roar” archives, neither to be published nor disposed of.

Nice job! It was actually pretty good! version found here: … erry-Perry

Terry’s Poetry/Prose I

Journal Scrawling during Prof. Tom Tulley’s lecture in Poetry/Prose class.


-Steal from your own life.


Rough drafts of poetry submitted for completion grades. Some considered unfinished and unsatisfactory by its sleep-deprived author.


Being a Coat Rack

sturdy in its inflexible, immobile spine of stiffness

suspended rack-arms

the spider of its legs

posed on hardwood

let them hang and shroud items on you

blinding you with a furry coat, a cashmere, a demi jacket

compacted sawdust of molecues so packed

that no one thinks of its agony,

its eternal arthritis.



Cursed by illogical anatomy

constricted limbs

How do they ever dance?

Their deadly toxicity

is nature’s way of compensating

for the restraint of their biology

Two eyes, two legs, one mouth, one head

a lungful of scream.


A Conjoined-Twins Pigeon

The elder and taller head, heavier than

the younger other, who was friskier than its brother

Other than body, blood, and heart,

they shared the wanting

to tear themselves into independent halves

and will themselves to defy their biological fate

and grow another wing each

to take flight on their separate ways.

against wind and over oceans.

They would keep in touch

by singing thousands of miles away from each other

as a reminder of each other’s existence.

But nature cursed and bounded them,

and they would never have the strength

to tear themselves apart.

[b]Chapter 3: The First Draft of “Champ Victor”

Prof. Tulley’s Prompt: Write third-person POV prose about a despicable, vile character. Not a cartoonish supervillain, but someone who can exist in real-life Explore him or her. Base him/her on anybody you know and make an attempt to understand this character and his/her deeds. This can be an exercise in writing unreliable narrators. This draft will be conceptual. It will take a few drafts to perfect a challenging premise.

Champ Victor

By Terry Perry[/b]

The party would be a disaster without the losers, thought the bullish fraternity President as he admired himself in the silver of the trophy’s reflection in the Hallway of Accomplishments.

Gazing before his impeccably polished trophy of last year’s victory, he flashed his trademark devilish grin that could produce a child’s scream worth five energy canisters. He was scarlet and broad-chested, accentuated by the dark-crimson sweater bearing the golden fraternity initials. He had two great horns protruding from the melon of his head. By goodness, he exercised his right to flaunt these qualities before the school.

His name was Champ Johnathan Victor the Third. His broadly brutish appearance was granted by biological birthright rather than effort. Other than his scarlet color, he perfectly resembled his father, who was immortalized by a grand painted illustration on the over-sized portrait on the wall next to the trophy, a grayish-dull purple, who bore his Scarer-frown the wall, a Scarer among the portraits of other Scarers, relatives and ancestors of his fraternity brothers.

“We totally got them!” came an excited cry from down the Hall. “As according to plan!” the voice squealed.

His girlfriend scurried down the hallway toward him and into his open arms. Jackie Nami, a slender blue humanoid monster with a cheerleader flare had searingly red eyes to get lost in. Although his parents were opposed to his relationship with one of the daintier-sized women (“Son, with her body type, how can she breed the best Fourth Victor?”), there was something in her feisty and girly temper that charmed him, the way a predator lured its prey to its venomous grip. She could sire the Fourth Victor indeed someday.

She had invited the loser fraternity to lure them into their trap. Logically, they traditionally pranked the rival group, the one most likely to snag 2nd Place. But the progress of the loser-frat won the intrigue of the school. It somehow drew their attention away from his frat accomplishments. Now this particular team had it in their heads that they will seize 1st Place and dethrone the five-times-in-a-row victories of Champ’s frat.

That had to be fixed. And a loser-frat that survived a few rounds of the Game? A once in a lifetime opportunity for them, a once in a lifetime opportunity for delusions of grandeur, a once in a lifetime opportunity to sternly remind the underdogs of their place in the monster world.

He finally tore his prideful grin from his trophy to swing his trophy girlfriend into the air.

“The prank is on, pass it on,” they whispered to Alec, his right-man hand and Vice President, a stout crab figure with pincers that shined like the medal and crawlers that thumped on the hardwood floor. So Alec gleefully passed it on to the rest of their brothers. To Juevo, the beetle, to Pat, to Jake, and the freshmen recruit, the violet chameleon, Rex, who had the ability to blend into his environment.

And they passed it on to the arriving party guests, who were gladly in on the joke.

The guests partied, laughed, and mused about their weekend plans as Champ and his brothers worked behind the scenes, arranging the props.

And as promised by Jackie, the loser fraternity, all six bodies of the members, did make their entrance and all eyes turned on them. The leader of the loser-frat was one small Cyclops, his shortness matched by a blob monster. One was an older member, the founder of the loser-frat. He must be a desperate, pathetic one perhaps undergoing a mid-life crisis. And there was a conjoined-twins with dopey expressions. Then there was a bizarrely arch shaped monster with an aloof grin. But most baffling to Champ was a larger furry fellow built for Scaring, who somehow made the misguided choice of joining the loser-frat.

How idiotic they were to accept the invitation (although he was both offended and understanding that they fell for Jackie’s smile). Not even one of their teammates had any courtesy to prevent them from going. They couldn’t resist the opportunity to taste popularity. They were the desperate bunch, seeking anyone, even the unskilled to add to their circle of mediocrity.

They looked as if they were about to bolt out, perhaps overwhelmed by the staring eyes. At first, Champ fancied the amusement of watching them flee. But no no, all their hard work will go to waste if they left.

So Champ extended his hand in a grand welcoming gesture. On cue, the room applauded their entrance. Alec heartily winked at him as he clapped his claws.

So the loser frat danced, partied, got dared to sip from red cups of booze, which they refused, because they were goody-two-shoes that way. For a while, it appeared that they were part of the community.

And finally, the revelry ended. It was time for Champ to formally present and congratulate those who made it far in the Games. Champ saved the best for last, praising the loser-frat, pretending in those few seconds that he respected them.

He raised his congratulatory hand to them. That was the signal. And from the ceiling, everything was dumped upon the six members. Pink goop of various colors, glitter, and even stuffed animals. So ridiculous that no school administration would take it seriously to reprimand or investigate. Champ’s brothers came down from their positions to join in with the laughter.

The jeering echoed as they watched them frozen in their fear, trying not to slip on the goop. The sudden wailing of smallest one, obviously the baby of the group, provoked more violent laughter. That large furry guy had to catch the small blob guy to prevent him from slipping. The losers had that hilariously astonished shame plastered over their faces. It was like they were playing along with the joke too. Not even Alec’s snapshot could immortalize the preciousness of this moment! It was glorious to see it for real.

Champ’s pompous laughter reverberated throughout the walls of the house, bellowing along with Jackie’s shrill giggles, triumphant in the brutality.


The losers were naturally the first to leave, trudging out under the weight of the prank items.

His brothers were getting ready for bed. Alec was amusing about the priceless snapshots, preparing to pass them around campus for their amusement.

Champ took one ritualistic gaze at his trophy in the Hall of Achievements. It was still there, proud on its chestnut pedestal.

He rubbed his chin, satisfied. His reflection may have been curved on the roundness of the trophy. But he still got it. He could still see himself clearly. The disarming grin that scared up a storm. The grin that won Jackie over.

But what was that? A smudge on the polished silver. A flimsy fingerprint or two, right on the center, like a mild blemish on his cheek.

Damn it! What damn monster would touch his stuff? He knew he should have tacked on that DO NOT TOUCH sign. But honestly, with regal architecture that radiated a do-not-touch sophistication, you would think his admirers would have the courtesy to lay off their grubby paws, hand, tentacles. The only right wannabes had to his prizes was to look, not touch.


[i]Critique: Terry, forgive me for being personal, but I have a hunch. I know what incident this is based on, having remembered a particular Campus Roar article. I offer condolences to you and the team. And that’s good, you’re stealing from your own life to make stories.

But to offer an objective review, your protagonist needs more substance as he is a caricature. In the context of your story, Champ is one-dimensional. He comes off as a classic 80s pop villain (with mild traces of depth in his relationship with his parents). That’s not to say these sorts of monsters don’t exist, but they are more compelling when they are believable, whether its an accurate or even fictional representation. Don’t get rid of the brutish traits, but throw in moments that make him more relatable.

Even bad guys are not without dimensions. Usually, these dimensions come in the form of pity, sympathy, and maybe even likability. Note that I’m not saying that they should be an excuse for their actions, but rather offer an understanding. Where can you start? Perhaps with the side-characters as I noticed you skimp over their qualities. Have their interaction serve a character. Give a sense of history between these characters. Let those traces of depth subtly take some precedence over the story.

I also feel this story lacks heavy tension. It builds up to the inevitable prank and that’s it. What does Champ have at stake?

If you ever return to this draft, I look forward to seeing what you have next.

Wishing you luck on the upcoming Hide-and-Sneak,

Prof. Tulley.[/i]

After an outdoor workout, they would rest in an empty classroom.

“Ok, we got about a week until the next competition and then that Final competition, so I now that we’re rest up.” Mike had a mischievous grin. “I’ve got a little surprise drill for you guys.”

They leaned forward from their desks, ready to react to his barrage of homemade flashcards, expecting him to shout out hypothetical situations.

He whipped out some notebook paper. “A timed essay.”

Sulley, Squishy, and Terri simultaneously threw out an immediate “Aw,” as disgruntled students do when ambushed with a pop quiz. Don and Terry exchanged glances. Art went, “Aw yeah.”

“Pardon me, Michael,” Don remarked. “I appreciate the drill. Wouldn’t it be more productive to rehearse our knowledge rather than… scribble it down?”

Mike seemed prepared for this sort of feedback. “The idea is that I read them aloud. And based on your knowledge and content, I toss out miscellaneous tips, based on what I assess from your display of knowledge.” Mike especially gave Sulley a look. “Can’t write a decent essay on Scaring, less chance of doing a perfect Scare.”

Sulley resisted the urge to chomp on his pencil.

“The prompt is Scare Semantics.”

Sulley shot his hand up. “Wait, what does-”

“Just write what you know!”

Terry was the most amply prepared, the lead of his pencil already on the first line of the notebook paper.

[i][b]Terry Perry

The Scarer’s Semantics[/b]

Semantics in Scaring is like improvised choreography, according to the interchangeable environments of various children’s bedroom as well as the children’s preferences, meant to entertain (not in a comedic connotation) the insecurities of the child to maximize the acquisition of Scream energy. Any miscalculation in the choreography could downplay the effectiveness of the Scare by sending underwhelming messages to the child. The execution of the three main stages of contact - Entrance/Initiation, Confrontation, and Departure - are critical to the message the Scarer must convey to the child.

Entrance/Initiation involves atmosphere building, evoking suspicion in the child and stirring up fear. Shadows can be applied in building the atmosphere. Sometimes a small nightlight can be an advantage for the Scarer to play with shadows. Minor noises, like a scratch or a creep, can set the mood. A noise like hissing noise may offer the impression that the monster can strangle it in its coils. Optionally, a Scarer can wake the child early on and let the child absorb the atmosphere before the Scarer reveals himself. Sudden Scares are optional too, but developing the atmosphere increases the chance of potent Scare energy. Atmosphere building stirs the fear in the child and warms up the Scaring effectiveness of the Scarer.

In the Confrontation stage, the Scare has to be direct. The roar, or fearsome pose, must have a paralyzing effect so the child does not think to dash out the door and alert the parents. The roar must convey “fleeing is useless.” They have to be too busy wasting their energy on their fears to act rationally. Making the child cry has to be avoided as technology has yet to progress to dampen out cryings or wailings. An immediate cry suggests that the Scare wasn’t direct enough. No physical contact, that has to be avoided due to toxicity. But proximity matters in sending Scary vibes. The distance between Scarer and child must be risky but safe, preferably two inches ahead of the child’s average arm’s length from the child’s. Eye contact is often a must to assert a threatening image.

Departure must be swift, so an exit plan must be thought out during Initiation, based on the arrangement of the hazardous playthings, as the Scarer previously assessed in Initiation. Although door technology can temporary deaden the noise of the child scream to delay the arrival of the parents, the exit has to be theatrically and inconspicuously quick so the child can barely process that something was in its room all along.

The tricky part is that the Scarer must overall have the child believe in the existence of the Scarer without knowing the Scarcer’s clearly tangible existence. We have to appear tangible without giving away that we are tangible all along. To minimize the danger of discovery, the Scarer must act accordingly to the human’s perception that the world and idea of monsters is a myth - a figment of imagination - to the children. It involves a deftness of misdirection and tricks to play of the young human’s paranoia. Semantics in the Scaring is distinctive from causal semantics between mons. Scaring semantics rarely involve verbal communication - though a concise verbal threat can be an optional Scare - and are more auditory and visual driven. Verbal words take too much time, though a concise verbal threat can be applied to certain children depending on their fear preference. The ideal Scarer makes a fleeting, but monstrous impression on the child. The Scarer must maintain that myth that children have to fear the mons, not the other way-[/i]

“Time’s up! Terry, drop that pencil!”

After tossing aside Art’s elaborate sketch of a child’s room, Mike read Terry’s paper aloud. He read everything but the final paragraph, for as pleasantly lengthy and detailed as it was, it seemed that last paragraph was trailing off to slightly irrelevant tangents. Although he needed to jump ahead to the physical practices, he did not forget to throw out a compliment.

“Well fellas, looks like someone has been closely studying those advanced books I recommended.”

And he switched off the classroom light. Without being asked, everyone scrambled the positions of the desks to create a training ground. The blinds were yanked down to limit the sunlight.

“Terry. Oh, and Terri. You first.” Mike’s voice emulated the sternness of Prof. Knight, ready to toss out a hypothetical situation.

And Mike especially looked forward to what Terry and Terri could do with shadows.