A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Valdemar

or, Write Your Own Mercedes Lackey Novel

Mark Heiman and John Burridge

Copyright 1995 by Mark Heiman and John Burridge

TTTO: your favorite Mercedes Lackey song with similar scansion (the A section of Kerowyn's Ride works nicely)

This is for all of us who've enjoyed the same book again and again...

I am a young maiden, I live in the sticks,
My parents are absent or murdered or hicks.
Unloved and unwanted, a victim from birth,
I spend my days dreaming of proving my worth.

For though I'm enslaved in work brain-dead and boring,
I've got special talents they all keep ignoring.
But when I pursue them my free time's co-opted,
It's perfectly clear that I must be adopted.

Now the plot mustn't hazard a moment's stagnation,
So I'm soon on the road to some vague destination.
Led out of the nest by some unlikely fate,
By the time that they notice I'm gone -- it's too late!

Alone on the road, I survive by my skill,
And against all odds manage to live pretty well;
Except when I'm captured, robbed, tortured or beaten --
Descriptions you'll always read when you've just eaten.

But nevertheless I still reach some great city
And try there to follow my dreams -- and you'll pity
My foolishness, denseness, and naivete,
And that's all before I've yet been there a day!

And perhaps I might fall in with people quite nice
Who really intend some nefarious vice
And only exploit me, betray or abuse;
They value me only as something to use.

But of course I am rescued from those who I've trusted
By people just like me but better adjusted.
They're friendly, affirming, they think I'm OK,
It's quite reminiscent of -- oh... SCA?

There's the weathered old battleaxe, tender and caring;
There's the young thief who swears that he's ceased his wayfaring;
The two warrior women -- are they sisters or lovers?
And our leader who fusses, advises, and hovers.

And then there's the one my best friend keeps suggesting:
His features are dark and his glance is arresting.
But I'm too busy taming my barely leashed magic.
I'd sure hate to toast him -- now that would be tragic.

You see I was right about my special talents.
In fact I'm the fulcrum where light and dark balance;
And those who befriend me most often just perish
In magic attacks convoluted and garish.

After months in the wilderness sitting though lectures
In ethics and magic and multiple fractures,
I'm so grounded and centered you'd think I was dead
But that guy -- you remember? -- he's now in my bed!

But there's no time for passion -- well, a sex scene or three --
For there's evil encroaching and it's all up to me
Of course I defeat it, but not without cost:
For I'm raped, maimed, and tortured, abandoned and lost.

But that's in the past now, I'm back in my bodice,
With help from some horses or maybe the Goddess.
The monarchy's rescued, they gave me a castle,
It's guarding the border -- but that's not a hassle.

I married my honey -- he's still good in bed.
Our friends come to visit -- the ones that aren't dead.
You'd think that's the story, that I'm off the hook;
But evil's still lurking -- and that's the next book.

Additional verses are always welcome...