Quarter Final: Stephen King vs Mary Shelley

Stephen King

Special attack: Killer clown. That turns out to be an alien.
Advantages

  • Has sold over 350 million books worldwide
  • Father of a million childhood nightmares

Disadvantages

  • Probably has enough money to build a space station but hasn’t yet built a space station
  • Has probably written more books than he’s read

Mary Shelley

Special attack: A mysterious, nameless protector
Advantages

  • Celebrated author of Frankenstein
  • Influential figure of Romantic literature

Disadvantages

  • May be overshadowed by her more fame-hungry husband

 

How we think it’d play out…

Although shaken by some ghastly business with a sandworm, it didn’t take Stephen King long to track down his next opponent, Mary Shelley. Shelley’s own victory against H. P. Lovecraft had resulted in her creature growing in size and strength (it now boasted Lovecraft’s knees among its sundry body parts) and local villagers had been whispering in fearful tones about the reclusive writer who lived in the woods with her monstrous companion.

Undaunted, King arrived at the woodland shack and banged upon the door. “Shelley – so you defeated Lovecraft? That pleasure should have been mine. Stop hiding behind your monster and face me!”

There was no response, although the shack door creaked slowly open, seemingly of its own accord.

“Gothic horror tropes, eh?” sniffed King. “How very 19th-century.” He secretly filed the creaky door away for use in his next book.

Inside, the shack was revealed to be a grand laboratory: flasks of bubbling liquids, wires leading to complicated-looking machinery and books on human anatomy were strewn all around. In the centre of it all was a great stone slab, but the monster and its creator were nowhere to be seen.

Casting his eyes about the room, King finally spotted an open trapdoor, presumably leading down to some dark and forbidding basement. “Aha! Monsters in the basement – that’s a bit more like it.” He rubbed his hands together and began his descent. Perhaps it would turn out to be a metaphorical basement of repressed desire.

To King’s disappointment, it was a very real basement containing a very real Mary Shelley. She was hunched over the body of the creature, which was now fully 12 feet tall – or would have been, if it weren’t lying on the floor, lifeless and still.

“Shelley? I tried knocking…” King fell silent as Shelley turned around, her face streaked with tears.

“It’s dead!” she wailed. “I don’t understand it! Ever since it absorbed Lovecraft’s knees it’s been getting bigger and stronger by the day. Then, this morning, I came downstairs and found – this!”

Though he’d been ready for battle, King found himself touched by Shelley’s plight, and crouched down beside her over the huge creature’s corpse. “They must have been eldritch knees indeed,” he said solemnly. “Perhaps too much for this poor monster.”

Shelley sat back and sighed. “I suppose I should forfeit this round; I’m in no mood to fight.”

“Not so fast,” said King. “I have in my car Frank Herbert’s marvellous beard; I took it as a trophy after defeating him last week. That’s just how I roll,” he added defensively.

Shelley turned to him, hope dawning on her face. “You think – ?”

“It’s worth a try,” said King. Before long the monster was prepared on the slab, Herbert’s whiskers affixed to its face. Shelley’s hand hesitated on the great switch that would transfer a thousand volts to its head.

“Wait a second,” she said. “If this works, who gets the monster?”

King chuckled. “We’ll let it decide.”

PREDICTED WINNER: ?????

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