::The orchestra plays a slow Slavonic dance, and out comes Cassandra, the fortune-telling Gypsy moth from “Seer No Evil”. She flies to the podium, landing next to the mike, speaking in her mysterious silky voice::


Cassandra: Ah, it is so good to see you all once again. I, Cassandra, will be presenting the award for Best MiSTing tonight. In my profession, I travel quite a bit so it is enjoyable to me to read something fraught with humor to take away the edge of the day. MiSTings are perfect for that, and the nominees represented here are among the best. They include:


Candidate Goof MiST-ing, by Matt Plotecher

Crossover -- MiST-ing, by Citizen Arth-R-DNT

MiST-ed: “Dial ‘O’ for Oddimals”, by Matt Plotecher

MiST-ed: Caretaker, by John Nowak & Matt Plotecher

MiST-ed: The Dark Savior Saga, by John Nowak & Matt Plotecher

The RR-Files (MiST-ed), by Robert Knaus


Cassandra: Of course, I already know the winner, but for ceremony’s sake…


::Cassandra tears open the envelope::


Cassandra: Your winner is the MiSTing of The Dark Savior Saga, by John Nowak & Matt Plotecher!


::Medium Shot of the Stage. Polite applause as Widget enters from Stage Left; Tham from Right. They reach the podium. Tham smiles at the audience and bows once; Widget glowers ominously::


Tham: Good evening, esteemed guests. I am An Tham Sun, founder and head of the Sun Clan, here to accept this Golden Acorn on behalf of Matt, for he is regrettably unable to attend.


Widget: I am Widget Hackwrench, winner of the Plato Award for “Gadget’s Coolest Sister”. John Nowak couldn’t be here because I locked him into his bedroom. I am here to accept the award for “Best MiSTing” on his behalf -- and to issue a warning.


Tham: Widget-san, I should note that the Plato you were awarded was actually for “Best Original Female Character”. (He pauses) Did you say something about a warning?


Widget: Don’t worry, it’s something you can get behind.


::Close on Widget while Tham regards her curiously.::


Widget: All our lives are finite, and the sands of time flow all too quickly. By giving John and Mart—


Tham: Matt.


Widget: Thank you. By giving John and Max an award for MiSTing, you are encouraging them to keep MiSTing. And what good can come out of that?


::Cut to Tham::


Tham: Well, John Nowak and Matt Plotecher have recently – December 2002, to be exact—achieved the honor of having two of their co-authorships placed in the top ten MiSTings listed at Web Site #9. In fact, those works have been ranked as #1 and #5.


::Pull back to show a scornful Widget::


Widget: Every second John and Mack spend poking fun at other writers is a second they aren’t writing about us.


::Widget pauses to let this sink in, then lunges for the mike, knocking Tham down. She harangues the audience::


Widget: Bad enough that they are pursuing their pathetic careers; bad enough that they write fiction with nary a talking mouse therein, but they further withdraw their attention from me—and you, Tham—by making fun of better writers than they are!


::Slow pan of terrified audience.::


Widget: And I accuse you, the people who voted them this award, of encouraging them to write about things that aren’t me!


::Cut to Widget, floating on a wave of rhetoric::


Widget: And to the Academy, to you I say—ow!


::Widget collapses behind the podium, and Tham rubs the edge of his hand.::


Tham: [musing] One would not think that a woman of soft hair would have such a hard head....


::Medium shot of stage. Juergen enters from the left::


Tham: Ah, Juergen-san. My apologies for knocking your beloved wife out, but when she said that Victor Appleton was a better writer than Mr. Nowak and Mr. Plotecher, honor dictated nothing less.


Juergen: That’s all right. I’ll take her home.


::Tham helps Juergen toss an unconscious Widget over the German mouse’s shoulder::


Juergen: Thanks. See you in ‘Tsunami for Two?’


 Tham: The ancestors willing, yes. (turns to the audience) Many thanks for this recognition. Good night!


::He exits the stage with the award, and Cassandra nods her head and flies off stage::