Death By EL James

When I threatened to kill a bunny by reading it EL James’ Grey until it ran headlong and arse-ways into traffic, some thought me callous. Some thought me justified, because the furry little gits give them nightmares. Someone else coined the phrase “Death by EL James”, which immediately sounded to me like a great story title.

So without further ado, here are not one, but five – count ’em! – five different versions, in five different genres, of Death By EL James. (I have yet to take action on the bunny – it all depends on whether you’ll vote for me in the 2015 Irish Blog Awards here and here before September 21st. Just sayin’)

Death By EL James

1. Literal

Oh, my! she thought, as he came with the knife. Was he going to stab her? She’d never been stabbed before. But she was sure it would be delicious. It was a very large and magnificent knife. She was sure none of the other billionaires she knew had knives that big. And certainly not so beautifully sheathed.

He unsheathed it. It was even more beautiful for reasons she couldn’t quite explain, given her limited vocabulary and emotional range. She somehow knew that the very moment it touched her she would explode into inexplicable, unearned pleasure. She couldn’t wait to be defiled. She literally couldn’t wait to be killed until she was dead. Oh, my!


2. Chick-Lit

Sadie gasped, her face flushing scarlet. The contents of her purse pooled onto the boardroom table. Her first ever presentation as Junior Vice President Of Marketing Stuff, and she had to go and drop her brand-new Hermès tote (which cost her two month’s pre-promotion salary) upside down on the table, its polished walnut surface perfectly reflecting the horrified expressions of all sixteen board members, including Hornelius Hardon, the sinfully gorgeous Head of Everything.

Now everyone could see that she’d been reading all four parts of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy on the train. She would simply die of embarrassment. She gathered up the offending titles, stuffing them back into the Hermès along with the cucumbers and pots of petroleum jelly, fighting the urge to turn on her four-hundred dollar Manolos and run like hell. As she looked up again, she caught Horn’s eye. His mouth was open in shock, just like everyone else’s. But there was something else in his eyes. Was it… lust?

Embed from Getty Images


3. Crime/Noir

Gingerly, Susan lifted the false panel at the back of the headboard. Countless well-thumbed copies of Fifty Shades of Grey looked back at her from a shelf in the hollow wall. She extracted one from the middle of a pile and flicked through its pages. There were notes in every margin. Some underlined. Bloody ridiculous, read one note. He pulled out WHAT??? read another. She flicked quickly through to the end. Air fanned out from between the leaves, startling her fringe into a nervous dance in the otherwise still room.

She checked behind her before selecting another book, her ears straining to hear Jeremy’s razor-sharp shears clipping a rhythmic beat in the garden below. She pulled another, and then another. Each copy was the same. Festooned with angry notes in that familiar, chicken-scratching hand she thought she knew so well. Just when had Jeremy got the time to do this? What else didn’t she know about her husband? And what did it have to do with the corpses of erotica authors strewn all across London?

Embed from Getty Images


4. Young Adult

Suki prised the book from the dead boy’s grip and somersaulted over the ravine. She mentally thanked her dead father for five years of rigorous circus training. Along with a preternatural talent for martial arts and mathematics, acrobatic abilities had saved her skin more than once since the book burning had started.

Now fifteen-year-old Suki was the only one left: the only hope for mankind. Who could have guessed that the conservative backlash against humdrum erotica could have led to this ravaged landscape, this bookless polluted hell where sex was forbidden and children were illegal? The book – her explosive contraband – burned in her arms. But she would die for it if she had to. Suki was cool like that.

Death By EL James


5. Literary Fiction

What was death? At one time it had been a euphemism for an orgasm; was it still? Or was it just this – this wasting, this existence in unwavering shades of greyness, each darkening and each lighting of the day signifying the inexorable struggle for belonging which would never reach its climax?

Jim felt he would never know. All Jim knew was the book in his hands, which was empty of meaning for him, even though everyone else seemed to get it. The choice was stark. Jim could end it all now, knowing he was utterly alone. Or he could write his own book.


Right, so. That’s just about enough of that. Normal silliness will resume in due course.

  51 comments for “Death By EL James

  1. September 17, 2015 at 7:54 am

    We’ve all wanted to kill a bunny sometime because of EL James.

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Or sometimes not even because of EL James, let’s admit it. I never knew the extent of Bunny Hate until last week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. KJ
    September 17, 2015 at 7:56 am

    My mind’s too far inside the gutter. You wouldn’t believe my interpretation of #1 unless you meant for me to interpret it that way in which case I’ll put on the largest hat i can find and take it off for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Of course I meant you to interpret it that way, KJ. I’m not that subtle. Ten gallons?

      Liked by 1 person

      • KJ
        September 17, 2015 at 10:02 am

        With a Texan accent for good measure. That should do it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. September 17, 2015 at 8:15 am

    El James woke up one morning and discovered all her books had changed to the same book. Not just her books, but all books everywhere. The volumes of Proust and Joyce she kept for light reading by the bed. The well-thumbed copies of Sappho and DeSade she kept for show around the house. The pile of Thomas The Tank Engine adventures lying beside the the toilet which was her only escape from the relentless chore of being EL James. Death by EL James they all read now, every one, and featured a silver-grey cover showing a silken cowl with a shadowed white face within.
    Too dazed to really register the phenomenon, she left her home and journeyed to her signing. Arriving in the bookshop, the throng already there, already excited, she observed with a curious detachment that all the books in the bookshop were now Death by EL James. Numbly, she approached the signing desk, where a robed figure was already sitting, thumbing through a copy of Death by EL James with skeletal hands. As she neared the figure, it shifted, and a bone white face regarded her through empty sockets. The eternal mocking grin had an odd, lascivious twist about it.
    MS JAMES said a voice like the chains being wrapped around a coffin. I’VE BEEN DYING TO MEET YOU. I”M YOU”RE BIGGEST FAN.

    Liked by 8 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Stupendous, Nige! I think you covered about another 3 genres there plus a Pratchett. I’d pay you, but the blog is in the red. It was in the burgundy once, but that was a long time ago.


      • September 17, 2015 at 11:22 am

        I will accept payment in exposure! Followed by hypothermia.

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm

          In that order, I hope, might be a bit pointless otherwise.


          • September 17, 2015 at 10:51 pm

            Dress for the job you want, I always say. Hence hypothermia, because staying in bed all day isn’t a job. Yet.

            Liked by 2 people

            • September 17, 2015 at 11:18 pm

              Well, everyone needs a goal. Mine is to rule the world through tyranny and fear. We’re not so different.


  4. Ali Isaac
    September 17, 2015 at 8:21 am

    You are a genius! I bow down to your superiorousness! You have captured each genre perfectly, and yet parodied it beautifully at the same time. Hilarious, just what I needed to start my day on this grim grey morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Ah g’wan now, you’ve ten minutes to stop that, Ali. No, really. I couldn’t possibly take any more than another six compliments. Glad I could do something for your morning 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. September 17, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Absolutely hilarious – well done! 😀

    I’m a bit miffed that I didn’t see my favorite genres, though: children’s books and SF/fantasy. So, I’m expecting a second post on this. Chop chop!

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:37 am

      I’m glad now I didn’t attempt fantasy because Nigel’s absolutely killed that one above! But even still, as I always say, if you don’t see what you want, why don’t you make it yourself…? G’wan, Nicholas. G’wan. You know you want to. Just one more comment is all we need from you…

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Well, yes, but it would be in poor form if I didn’t let you have a go first, wouldn’t it? So, fine, I’ll let you twist my arm:


        She twitched nervously, watching the tall, slim rocket hover before the rust-colored mountains. The twin moons highlighted its sleek surface. She cocked the whipejector in secondary and waded through the orange manda grass. Frightened Skreeks jumped under her feet, as her breath froze into pink sprinkled donuts.

        With a groan, the rocket slid into the dark hangar, safe under the shimmering force field shielding it. The doors must have jammed, for the spaceship’s smooth movement caught for a moment. It slipped out, then pushed forward again, prying the doors apart. Soon, its silver tail was all she could see. It jerked back and forth a couple of times before depositing an endless stream of passengers into the alien world.

        She licked her lower lip. When she saw him, gorgeous, tentacled him, her inner goddess trembled with excitement. The memory of those telepathic appendages caused a fire to light up deep inside of her. Momentarily regretting having curry for breakfast, she burst through the doors separating her from her beloved.

        She spotted him as he emerged from the cockpit. As always, he had his cock in his hand – his constant, feathered avian companion. Are all billionaires as eccentric? she wondered, not for the first time. Or do all Sporklians travel around with birds?

        Still, none of this mattered. All she cared for was that to this handsome, purple, tusked beauty had traveled half the galaxy to be with her on the remote farming colony of Xwqdser-5. And that she was his. Forever. Or at least until she stepped on one of those tentacles again.”

        Liked by 3 people

        • September 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

          HAHAHHAHAA!!! Beautiful! So many double entendres I think I choked on my own sense of humour!! Lovely, Nicholas. Nailed it. Wish I could like this comment 7 times 😀 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  6. carousel1234
    September 17, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Trying to pick a favourite. Not possible. 10/10 for all five! Tarasparlingwrites does it again. Make my day!

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Can I have a gold star? Promise? (Or a glass of red. Either or. Your choice.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. September 17, 2015 at 9:28 am

    When will version no. 5 be published? In the great tradition of literary fiction I can see it swarming all over the Bestseller lists, Man Booker nomination, holds breath . . . Nobel Prize. The infinite sky’s the limit. Or, or, better still, set up your own literary fiction imprint (with a name like, say, Moribund) and off you go.

    Liked by 3 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Oh My Deity. Moribund Press. I fecking love it. I hope you’re not going to balk at its eventual unqualified success, Chris, and start suing for the name. It wouldn’t be a happy ending. Which would actually quite fit literary fiction… which means… Damn.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. September 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Reblogged this on Anita & Jaye Dawes and commented:
    profoundly funny…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. September 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    All of these are excellent! Thanks for a good laugh 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Most welcome, Helen. I’m glad you’re laughing, because the alternative is too terrible to contemplate 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sandra
    September 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Hornelius Hardon …. all those years of Mills & Boon finally paid off T! Classic!

    Liked by 3 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Hahaha!! That was especially for you, Sand! It was like I was in the back of the Old Kitchen writing it!!


  11. September 17, 2015 at 11:19 am

    🙂 Brilliant! I love it

    Liked by 2 people

  12. September 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I think I’m suffering from humour overload. My face has gone numb.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. September 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Reblogged this on After the Sucker Punch and commented:
    And now for a complete change of pace: some Fifty Shades of Grey silliness from one of my favorite bloggers, Tara Sparling. Enjoy the many interpretive excerpts of this iconic tome, pulled from the depths of Sparling’s stylistic playbook….

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Chuffed at the re-blog, Lorraine, thanks a million times. Nothing like iconic to get the finger of fun going.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. September 17, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    You could have taken Hornelius Hardon and catching his eye in an entirely different direction. Another spiffing good read(s).

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 17, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      I could have, Conor, but then where would that have left your imagination? It’s for your own sake. You can thank me later.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. September 20, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Loved it. Great fun…and so real!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 21, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      About as real as things get with genre fiction, I suppose. Which is pretty damn real in my book…


  16. September 21, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Ah no, don’t go back to normal silliness. Stay here awhile!


  17. September 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    The crime/noir wins simply because of the dance of the startled fringe. In spite of your considerable efforts, I’m still not tempted to read the original.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 27, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Aw, really? But then how would you know whether or not I hit the mark on the literal one?

      On second thoughts, I respect you too much even to joke you into reading it, Hilary… You’re better off.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. October 9, 2015 at 10:34 am

    It’s a matter of pride to me that I have known many insane people. I even decided that Venice Beach was a place I could happily live, simply because of the number of residents so obviously crazier than me. But you, Tara…you are in a class apart.

    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      I’m a bit choked up. I don’t think I’ve ever got so nice a compliment. *gulp

      You’ll have to excuse me, John. It may be some time before I collect myself. In the meantime, I thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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