Welcome to the first Guess the Author contest. I am you host, Jason 'Zaratan' Jones, and I hope you enjoy this little treat we have for you. A number of writers have submitted stories to be placed under the GWA name, and it your job to guess who wrote each story. There are no names attached to the stories right now (though there will be afterwards) and no author's notes. It is up to you, the readers, to guess who wrote each story based on the style and so forth. Simply email me at zaratan4 at hotmail dot com with your responses. The one who was closest or most accurate will select the topic for the next round.
For this one, the theme was simply… Doing Laundry. Our contestants could do with that as they will, and boy have they ever.
And now, on to our contestants;
Zaratan – Host supreme, celebrating his first year here, and hoping to become as productive again as in the past, with an on-going series and many other stories under his belt.
Blackbird – A newer player to the Kim Possible scene, with a deft touch with both one-shots and a popular Kigo series in the works.
Spectre666 – An amazing talent with a broad range, moving from angst to comedy to smuff. Made spankings an interesting thing here.
Yuri Sisteble – His interesting glimpse into the future of KP and crew continue to dazzle one and all.
Jim Vincible – With several stories under his belt, this talented writer has started a major epic in the making. Considering he has only just started here recently, he is quickly making his way up to the big leagues here.
Whitem – Comedy, action, drama, smuff, he does it all with style and flair.
Yvj – A master at the art of the one-shot, and with several major stories, this artist is looking to claim a spot at the top.
And there are your writers for this one folks. Check out all 7 stories, and make your picks for Guess the Author before July 31st. Oh, and none of these characters belong to us, we're just using them. Have fun!
Hey folks, thanks all for reading and enjoying. Now, folks, for the big moment… the following story was written by… Zaratan! Yup, wrote this one myself, hope you liked it, and stay tuned for the next Guess the Author!
That's Life - By Zaratan
Ron felt on top of the world! He was married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and best friend throughout his life, Kim. He had a great job at Beuno Nacho, in the research and development department, and Kim had just told him they had a baby on the way. Nothing could bring him down.
Ron pushed open the door to the lobby, smiling at everyone he passed. He paused at the security station. He knew he didn't have to, they knew him on sight, but he liked to talk with them.
They liked talking with him as well, most people on their way up always just passed them by without a thought. Ron was the only one who really cared to listen to them, and took the time. Frank smiled as he looked up at Ron, noticing the young man's even broader smile than usual. "How are you today Mr. Stoppable?"
Ron just shook his head. "Dude, what did I tell you, just call me Ron."
"You know the big wigs don't like that. So what's got you so chipper today?"
Ron's smile got even bigger, if that was possible. "I'm gonna be a daddy!"
Frank rose quickly, and clapped Ron on the shoulder. "Congratulations. I remember when me and the missus first found out about little Bethany. I could have been bouncing down the street without a care."
"Well, we did celebrate."
Frank's smile took a curious twist. "Let me guess, you tried for twins?"
Ron's face reddened slightly. "Umm… something like that."
Frank quickly sat back down at the authoritative voice, and Ron jumped slightly. He turned, just in time to come face to face with the new president of the company, a Mr. Walters. Ron hadn't met the man yet, he had only started a week before, but he tried to smile, despite how nervous he felt suddenly. "Mr. Walters, I… umm… how are you today sir?"
"I'd be better if someone wasn't blocking the entrance."
Ron paled, moving quickly out of the way. Frank scanned his card, and the president hurried off without glancing back.
Frank swallowed, glancing back at the pale young man beside him. "I heard he's a real hardcase, brought in special to cut costs or something like that."
Ron breathed out, starting to regain some color. "Man, that is not how I wanted to make a first impression on him."
"Don't worry about it." Frank patted him on the shoulder. "Besides, once he sees your work, he'll be impressed enough."
Ron smiled slightly, nodding slowly. "Yeah, I hope so."
"Don't give it another thought. Besides, you have plenty to keep you happy, what with a kid on the way."
Ron's face brightened once more. "You know, you're right. So I had a bit of bad luck, meeting him like that. That shouldn't get me down. Besides, I never make a good first impression. Thanks Frank, I'll catch you on the way back out tonight."
"Mind if I let the boys know your good news? I'm sure it would brighten up their day a bit too."
"Don't mind at all my man, don't mind at all." Ron was humming the whole way to the elevator, his good mood restored.
Ron smiled at his desk as he glanced over at the picture of Kim sitting beside him. It had to have been the fortieth time in the last two hours he had done so, but that didn't stop the almost stupid grin he got on his face just seeing her.
"I heard the big news, congrats."
Ron looked up at his friend Jacob, watching as he draped his arms over the cubicle wall. "Thanks man. So when are you gonna settle down and start a family?"
Jacob just chuckled softly. "Man, not every guy finds the girl of their dreams in kindergarten. Besides, I'm only twenty-three, plenty of time for me to play the field before settling on just one."
Now it was Ron's turn to laugh. "I'll remind you you said that when you're losing your hair and you've played the field too long."
Jacob ran his fingers through his hair, no longer smiling as broadly. "Don't even joke about something like that. Anyways, the other reason I came over, seems the big boss is looking for you."
Ron's eyes widened. "Me? What for?"
Jacob leaned forward conspiratorially. "Well, I'm guessing, you're up for a promotion."
"You really think so?" Ron's eyes seemed to sparkle at that thought.
"Most definitely! I mean, this place would be lost without you. Oh, here comes Travis now."
Travis was the floor's manager, the one who kept a tight rein on everything. He also wasn't above mixing with the rest of his staff, and had almost a boisterous manner, one that made him easy to like. "Stoppable, you're wanted in the main office. Mr. Walters wants to see you."
Jacob patted Ron on the back, as Ron slowly rose. "Go get him man. And don't forget you're friends on the way up, I wouldn't mind a promotion too sometime in the future."
Ron just grinned, and swiftly headed for the elevator.
Ron slowly opened the large, double doors, peeking his head through. "You wanted to see me Mr. Walters?"
Ron slowly approached the large desk, noting that Mr. Walters didn't seem happy. He hoped that was just the way he always looked. The older man motioned for him to sit, and Ron sank, slightly uncomfortable, into the very much oversized chair.
Mr. Walters cleared his throat, and rose imposingly over the desk. "Mr. Stoppable, do you know why I was brought in here? I was brought here to save this company money. And you, you cost this company considerable funds."
Ron blinked in surprise. "Wha… but sir, I was told…"
"Do you know that we had to take out additional insurance since you came to work here? The insurance companies feel that your presence is a liability, and I tend to agree. Your little… adventures… can bring potentially deadly consequences down on this company, like it has in the past."
"But… but sir… that was before…"
"I don't care. Your presence is a danger to everyone working here. Therefore, I am terminating your contract."
Ron leapt to his feet, stammering. "You can't do that!"
"I can and I have. As well, I have already consulted our legal department. You will be receiving no more royalty checks for any of your creations. As an employee of this company, we are entitled to full ownership of everything you have created. That includes the naco, which was created while you were briefly employed with us years ago." Mr. Walters went to his desk, pushing a button on the intercom. "As of this moment, you are banned from this building, as well as all Beuno Nacho locations. All associations you have with this company are terminated. Security, escort Mr. Stoppable from the building."
Ron could only stare dumbfounded, as his world seemed to crash down around him. Frank gently placed a hand on his arm, and lead him from the room. When they were clear of the doors, Frank gave his shoulder a squeeze. "Man, that was beyond harsh. But you can fight it!"
Ron only shook his head slightly, still not believing it. "Banned… gone… how…"
Frank fought back the small tear he felt trying to break free as he could only stare into Ron's abject face. "Come on man, let's get you home."
Kim was practically skipping as she came through the door. She had several bags in her arms, fruitful efforts from her lunch with Monique. When she had heard about the coming baby, she had insisted on doing some shopping, which seemed like Monique's answer for everything. However, in this case, that was most definitely the right thing.
Work had just flown by, and now she was looking forward to another night of 'celebrating' with Ron. Dinner, dancing, before she could only waddle, and then back to the house for some Ron-shine. Considering it was Friday, she planned on making sure she had several good doses.
"Ron hon, I'm home. You won't believe the most adorable outfits Monique and I picked out on our lunch break. I know, I know, we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet, but when you see what… Ron?"
The bags dropped from her hands as she saw the abject look of misery on his face as he sat forlornly at the dining room table. She rushed to his side quickly, taking his hand in hers. "Ron, what's wrong? Did someone… I mean…"
"I… I got fired… three years, and they… they just dropped me like that… how… banned…"
Kim wrapped her arms around her husband, holding him tight. She could feel him shaking, could feel he was about to break down at any moment. "Ron, it will be all right. You'll find something else, we'll be fine."
"But with the baby… we put all the royalties into the house… no more royalties…"
Now Kim was completely surprised. "But they can't do that, there was a written agreement. Your father even set it up after the first check."
Ron just shook his head. "All gone… lawyers…"
She held him close, could feel how tense his muscles were. "Ron, it will be fine. I'm still working for now, we've got more than enough. You'll find something else, something better. It will work out."
Ron didn't respond, it was obvious he was in shock. Helping him up, she took him to the bedroom. She stripped him down, and then did the same for herself, and climbed into bed beside him. Kim knew how important that job had been to him, it had been his dream. From the sounds of it, there had been no warning, no chance to give him a chance to accept it, they had just tossed him out and been done with it. She couldn't believe how mad she was at them. Not for the firing itself, but for how they had torn Ron apart like this. They would find someway to get back at them. For now though, Ron needed her, so she pressed herself closer to him, gently kissing him as he finally found release and cried.
Three months. Three months of trudging and searching and pleading. The fight with Beuno Nacho was proving fruitless, as the company did everything they could to thwart everything they did. It also seemed that they had blacklisted him, as work was impossible to find. Ron scoffed as he tried scrubbing at the cheese stain on his best dress shirt. Overqualified was what he often heard, what exactly did that mean? You'd think they'd want someone who knew what they were doing. But no, three months of silence, of waking up wondering if there was even a point to getting up that morning and going out.
And now, Kim was showing. Soon, she wouldn't be able to work, and that meant no money coming in at all. They'd already had to get help from their parents to make the mortgage. If neither of them had any income coming in, they could very well lose the house.
He looked down at his hands, his anger bubbling to the surface. His hands started shaking as he stared at the cheese stain, the one that refused to come out after two washes and constant scrubbing. His hands clenched into fists around the shirt, then ripped. The collar tore, a sleeve ripped free, and a button flew into his face.
"Stupid… STUPID… stupid hunk of junk!" He turned his attention to the washing machine and without realizing it, began kicking it wildly. "Can't even wash one stupid shirt… useless… just… useless…"
He didn't notice the tears in his eyes, not until he realized he couldn't see anything anymore. All his attention had been on the washing machine, watching as the lid bent when he drove his fists down. It was a couple minutes before the energy drained from him, and he slumped against the machine, slowly sliding down and cradling his head in his hands. "Stupid… useless…"
"You know I don't appreciate people dissing my husband."
Ron didn't have to glance up to know Kim was standing in the doorway to the laundry room. "How long have you been standing there?"
"Long enough to know that washing machine will never menace anyone ever again."
Ron sank deeper into himself, not bothering to hide the tears. "I'm sorry KP. I… I should be doing more… should be helping more somehow. But I'm just so…"
"You call yourself that one more time, and I might just have to knock some sense back into your head."
"But KP, I can't even find another job. How am I supposed to take care of you, and the baby, and…"
"Ronald Dean Stoppable, you stop that right now." Kim sank down beside him, moving a little more gingerly than she used to. "Ron, I'm not with you because of your money or your job or anything like that. I'm with you, I married you, because I love you. Sure, the sitch seems bleak right now, but we'll pull through, just like we always do." She kissed him softly on the forehead, pulling him close. "Ron, you are the nicest person on the planet, and despite what you think, one of the smartest. It won't be long until they realize that, and you'll have them beating down the door to offer you a job."
It was interesting timing that they heard a knock at the door at that very moment. Ron wiped his cheek, chuckling softly. "Let me guess, you've added psychic abilities to your skills without telling me."
Kim laughed softly as well. "Don't worry about it Ron."
Ron sniffled slightly, rising slowly. "Nahh, we should get that. Who knows, maybe it is destiny calling, you never know."
With an arm around his wife, Ron walked to the door. He paused briefly, trying to compose himself, before opening it. To say he was surprised would be an understatement.
"Mr. Nakasumi? Ms… Ms. Yoko? Wha… I mean… umm…" Standing there in the doorway, he suddenly realized his severe state of undress, wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, very glad that Kim was dressed. He leaned over quickly, whispering in Kim's ear. "You could have told me I wasn't dressed for company."
Kim was a bit red in the face as well. "Sorry, I didn't even think about it."
Ron turned back sheepishly to Mr. Nakasumi. "Umm… sorry about this. I… I was just doing some laundry."
Mr. Nakasumi leaned over to whisper in his assistant's ear. She just smiled broadly and nodded. "Do not worry about your state of undress Stoppable-san. Mr. Nakasumi has concluded many business deals wearing far less."
Ron rubbed the back of his neck. "So… what can I do for you?"
Mr. Nakasumi whispered again. "Mr. Nakasumi heard of the most dishonorable way that you were treated by your former employer, and we wish to make amends."
Ron was a bit shocked, but nodded thoughtfully. "Really, that's nice, but I…" a sharp elbow from Kim gave him a moment to ponder what he was about to say, "what I mean is, I am very honored you came personally to offer this to me. I mean, if you want me to start in the mail room or something, I don't mind…"
"Mr. Nakasumi has just recently purchased Beuno Nacho in a hostile takeover, and he wishes for you to run operations as president."
"Well that's great, and I… umm… what?"
Kim was wide-eyed as well, her voice barely a whisper. "Pr… president?"
"Did she just say… president?"
Kim's arms wrapped around Ron, and she bounced into his arms as he could only gape stupidly. She was practically squealing with joy, but Ron could barely comprehend. "Really? I don't know what to say."
Mr. Nakasumi just smiled. "Perhaps you might invite me in for tea, and we can discuss it further."
Ron was instantly mortified. "Oh man, I'm so sorry, leaving you standing in the door like that. Come in, come in. Just… just let me get some pants on. Kim, can you get the tea started? Oh man… this is…"
Ms. Yoko was blushing slightly, and Kim quickly realized it as well. "Umm, Ron, you might want to go put some pants on quickly. After all, you don't have Rufus in your pocket right now if you know what I mean."
Ron glanced down quickly, and his hands shot down quickly to cover himself. "Umm… yeah, pants first. Good idea."
Monday morning. Ron had never looked forward to a Monday morning as he did now. He was excited, scared, nervous, petrified and overjoyed all at once. Slowly, he pushed open the front door to the lobby. He could feel every eye on the place watching them, but he could also feel the smiles behind them.
Frank rose quickly when he saw Ron, and shared a bright smile with the young man. "How are you this morning Mr. President?"
Ron chuckled softly. "Still not quite sure if this is real or not."
Frank chuckled heartily. "Believe it Ron, you should have seen Walters when we had to lead him out, he was spitting mad."
Ron smiled at that picture. "Man, what I wouldn't give to see… hey, you called me Ron."
"I told you, the big wigs don't like us using their names. Of course, you're now the big wig here, you set the rules. Oh, and if you really want to see his face," Frank leaned in conspiratorially, "we have the video saved. Figured you'd want a copy."
Now Ron was laughing quite boisterously. "Thanks Frank, I might take you up on that."
Ron felt an arm slide over his shoulders, and met the grinning face of Jacob. "Ronnie my man, good to see you back here. You know, with you in charge, you could probably use a good VP. You know, being VP of a company just drives the ladies wild."
"We'll talk about it Jacob." Ron was grinning right along with his friend.
"Come on, it doesn't even have to be real. Maybe just some business cards and a fancy title. What do you say? Help a guy out?"
Ron just laughed it whole way to the elevator. It was good to be back.