by Elizabeth Kaye Cook
New America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 200:
Gog & Magog, Servants of the Destroyer!
The Official NANTM Casting Team has begun its search for Cycle 200: Gog & Magog, Servants of the Destroyer! We are casting women, men, and human-identifying embodied consciousnesses1. NANTM wants the whole package: striking face, immaculate sacrificial body, and ruthless passion! Winners will receive a $100,000,000 contract with Guess?, as well as immunity for all loved ones involved with the Miss J’s Indignant Ghost’s Army2 and/or The Pope’s Resistance.
How to Apply:
Stand in a dark room lit by a single candle. One must not let oneself be seen by anyone — not even the little orange cat curling its tail beneath the sofa. Stare into the mirror. One must only see the glint of one’s own eyes and the wet sheen of one’s own teeth. Cindy, we know that you left the light on, left the little orange cat curled in its corner, but we forgive you, Cindy. Accept our forgiveness. Smize into your reflection. Whisper three times: poT ledoM, poT ledom, poT ledoM. Cindy, do you behold Tyra’s majesty as she shimmers into sight? Note her glorious five-head, her liquid eyes. See the cunning flap of skin in the middle of her forehead that may, at any moment, spiral open to reveal a laser beam. Fierce! Kneel before the mirror and clutch your face-skin, screaming, PLEASE, I AM CINDY, NEW AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, PLEASE GOD—I MEAN SATAN—SAVE MY BROTHER. HE WAS JUST A FOOT SOLDIER IN THE ARMY OF MISS J’S INDIGNANT GHOST! I AM CINDY, NEW AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL!
Cindy, you may notice that Tyra’s skin curdles at its edges. Her eyes may leak dark matter. Do not be alarmed! This is high fashion in the outer realms! Congratulations, Cindy! You are now accepted for Cycle 200. Tyra’s skin-flap will open, and her laser beam shall burn you, but yea, ye shall not be as a pile of steaming ash; rather, Cindy, Tyra shall transport you unto the Models’ House. This could be the year you come out on Top!
TYRA MAIL: The Girl Whose Carcass Was Harvested By Ghosts
Smize with your eyes if you want this prize: sweet relief in the Suite of Forgetfulness! Stand at the multiverse’s edge where the Carcass-Seekers shriek. Hang onto your butts! How hot can you make disintegrating flesh? Only thirteen will return, shuddering as they step into the warmth of the Sun.
TYRA MAIL: The Models Who Were Ungrateful
If Tyra smolders your friend into oblivion with her forehead-laser, then give praise—she didn’t banish your soul to the Darker Lands. [Looking at you, Cindy.] Today’s challenge: glorify Tyra on set as she who Was, Is, and Is to come! Winners can bring a friend to the Suite of Forgetfulness AND serve as egg hosts for a bright future!
TYRA MAIL: The Girl Who Betrayed Our Master
You all promised loyalty to the Dark One, and swore to reveal secrets and seditious dreams . . . and Cycle 200 cannot exist without trust. Cindy, you signed in blood that your “beloved brother” was tricked into joining the Army of Miss J’s Indignant Ghost. We offered you mercy, Cindy, but wait — after a fabulously exotic photoshoot in the hidden realms, a shocking twist reveals that Cindy’s innocent brother is actually General Cindynattus, Right Hand of Miss J the Living, later known as Soul Transporter of Miss J’s Indignant Ghost? The contestant who revealed Cindy’s dark secret is rewarded with five minutes personal instruction in Neck Posing with Tyra Herself, and now Cindynnatus weeps in his far-off prison. Foolish Cindy! You thought you could hide your heart from Tyra’s all-seeing eyes! Did you really believe that we didn’t notice the little orange kitten who sleeps so gently in your dresser drawer? The letters that you tuck beneath your sleeping hollow? That we didn’t sense your doubts when you stood alone on the Catwalk of Truth?
Cindy, when Tyra’s laser beam focuses on you, and you collapse into warm dust, who will you blame? Will you think of Cindynnatus in those last moments? Sweet brother Cindynnatus, gnawing his feet free from their chains. Miss J’s Indignant Ghost, how could you believe we would not discover you? That we would not draw your followers out from darkness into light?
1. No orbs, pulsations, or sensory consciousnesses, please! Ghosts can apply, as long as they demonstrate themselves capable of possessing corporeal bodies.
2. A pathetic, failed resistance group. Miss J’s Indignant Ghost is doubly-dead and all citizens spreading rumors to the contrary are subject to the Inquisitorial Mercies.
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Elizabeth Kaye Cook has been published in Ruminate, Lilac City Fairytales, and elsewhere.