Master Plotto Week Three Winner: Mark Neznansky

Mark Neznansky


This week’s winner is Mark Neznansky, a Russian Israeli recovering heavy tea drinker. He is  attending Bard College on Hudson. 

Last Week’s Prompt: {A}, unable to explain events of a seemingly supernatural nature, has a feeling that a ghostly visitor is at work. 


Lance was thoroughly scrupulous while looking through craigslist for an apartment, but as his superstitiousness was concerned about estate location, its alignment with psychic flows, the history of the building, time of moving-in and such, it easily failed to bring out matters such as Tim’s – the eventual housemate – paranoiac kleptomania. Moreover, despite Lance’s diligence, the ultimate verdict was his pocket’s, which was rather shallow, and the house where he joined residency with Tim was an old converted monastery at the end of a woody cul-de-sac with noisy radiators and sonorous cavities through which the wind bellowed.

In a short period it became clear that the relationship between the two men is that of mind-one’s-own-business-ness. Lance rarely saw Tim who was either chambered in his room or away outdoors, and eventually ceased attributing the beating on the roof to restless dead monks and switched to suspect that Tim was coming in and out of the house by climbing out his window. Tim became mostly an auditory phenomenon to Lance rather than a fellow human being.

Lance wasn’t a delusional lunatic and reached conclusions like any other person, aggregating facts until reaching an “a-ha” moment. The disappearance of the first two pens he attributed to casual disorder and the next eleven to growing indiscipline. He became wary when after his leave of salad making to answer a phone call he returned to find the knife missing. When he had to venture out to work on a winter morning with inappropriate footwear due to the absence of his boots he was upset enough to go and knock on Tim’s door to inquire whether he “had seen” his boots, to which the latter replied—after a short hesitation—that he thinks they were in the backyard, where Lance soon found them sprawling scatterly. The turn was when Lance’s laptop disappeared and Tim came to him before he himself responded, telling him that he found the laptop in his room. Naturally Lance was suspicious but after extensive checking concluded there is no evidence of fiddling or usage and ascribed the agency behind the event —as well as behind the previous misplacements—to an upset spirit.

Consulting google’s best results Lance began preparations to invoke the spirit and bring it to appeasement. While he recited prayers to Saint Michael the Archangel, Tim in the next room thought Lance finally lost it. He phoned the police and whispered about a maniac that was out to get him.

There was a shout downstairs and an intruder entered the house without knocking. Lance propped-up and his heart palpitated: his invocation had worked. He rushed down geared-up in talismans, crosses, rosaries, wreaths of garlic. In his right hand he held an esoteric prayer book. The coveted boots hung astride his shoulder stuffed with twelve packfulls of bic pens, his left hand held the knife, the arm pressed the laptop to his ribcage.

“Drop your weapon,” shouted the armed not-so-monkish apparition.

Despite his strong resolution, Lance dropped the book.