CAPTAIN AMERICA: I couldn't believe it. Iron Man. Stark. THE Tony Stark just shrugged and made the expression that meant he was impressed with the master of mischief. I was sure I was dreaming.
"Loki actually wrote a hook?" I ask. Stark didn't respond. Typical. Can't expect him to offer half-praise to someone a second time.
"My brother does have a brain inside his head, Captain." Thor responds with a proud smile. Loki frowns.
"What did you think, nitwit?" He spits at me.
I raise my eyebrows and turn to Stark. "So he's got a hook. Now he needs to explain it. Condense the plot and introduce his characters."
"Really, America? I didn't know that." He crosses his arms and leans back. "Please, do go on telling me how a query should be written because I don't know."
I know sarcasm when I hear it but I've never had it hurt as much as it does now.
Loki snickers and Thor looks confused, as always. "Stark may know how a query should be written, wise guy, but you don't."
"I'm a god, I know everything." Loki says haughtily.
"Oh yeah? Should I remind you of the one hundred and one rejections you've gotten from agents?"
He makes a face.
I sigh. "Can we just move on? Why don't you write the next bit. Tell us more about... Isaac and his plans for world domination."
LOKI: I glare at the computer. It stares back blankly.
"I don't know what happens next," I say. "I haven't gotten that far yet."
Captain America frowns. "But I thought you already sent out queries?"
"Then what did you write, brother, if you did not write about your book?" Thor asks.
I groan and pull up my email inbox (dictatorofearth13 at gmail dot com). I open up one of the queries that I sent and turn the laptop around on the table so the three imbeciles can look at it.
"Dear Human Agent," Captain America reads. He looks at me. "Not exactly personal."
Stark snorts. "This is gold." He leans forward and reads the entire email aloud. "I am writing to you because you are the means to achieving my first step of world domination. I have bestowed you a great honor by writing this query. I would not just choose merely any human to represent me on my path to glory.
"My book will be of the little adult genre, about a boy who, after several wonderfully horrific events, realizes that good does not always triumph over evil. In order to strike a balance, humanity and its pathetic whims needs to be ruled.
"I am Loki of Asgard, future ruler of this planet. When not writing little adult books, I blog and plot world domination.
"You are welcome for the honor of my consideration. If you do not reply immediately and positively, I will be forced to destroy you. Note that this is a multiple submission."
Stark, Captain America, and Thor exchange glances and simultaneously burst out laughing.
"Should we name the things wrong with this chronologically or just list our favorites?" Stark asks.
"Perhaps this is one of those things you post to the Tube of You," Thor says.
Captain America frowns. "I thought YouTube only accepted 140 characters. Or was that Twitter?"
"Nevermind the modern world," Stark says. "Let's focus on this query." Then, in a lower voice, he adds, as if I cannot hear, "We can discuss worldwide exposure later."
THOR: "First of all, brother, the genre is known as 'young adult,' not 'little adult,'" I tell Loki.
He shoots me daggers with his eyes. "Only you would focus on a petty detail like that."
"Do you want agents to take you as a fool?" I thunder.
"Cool it, hermanos," Stark says, pushing me aside so he can see the computer screen. "Yes, that's Spanish for 'brothers.' I know fifty languages. And I know you wish you were me. Moving on - Loki, the number one problem with this whole situation is that you haven't written the book yet."
"I assumed I could sell it based on the topic alone," Loki says.
"Yeah, good luck with that," Captain America says. "Almost never happens."
"Are you a celebrity?" Stark asks. "No. Are you a guy with a major evil complex? Yes. But that's not a lot going for you in the world of publishing. You need to sit down, write the whole book, revise it until it's no longer a mess, and then query it."
Loki sighs. "Is this really necessary?"
"It is, brother," I say. "It is difficult to become a published writer, that is what makes it so special when it happens."
Loki stares at his computer screen, his face flitting between rage and calm. I grip my hammer, waiting for him to explode. Instead, he pushes his chair back and stands.
"Well, then," he says. "Come back tomorrow. The book will be ready."
I can't help laughing. "Loki, it will take more than a night."
Loki lifts the computer off the desk and smashes it on the ground. I stumble back as pieces of metal and wire fly everywhere. So that is what a computer is made of. "I DO NOT HAVE MORE THAN A NIGHT."
Stark steps forward, rolling his eyes. He looks... bored.
"Loki is a hopeless case," I say. "Can't we go back to insulting him instead of offering help? Or better yet, why don't we just force an agent to represent him so we can get this over with?"
"Yeah!" Loki says from the corner. "I like this plan."
"SILENCE, brother," Thor snaps, running his finger along his hammer. “We are going to make you earn an agent.”
“Agreed,” Captain America says.
I sigh. They are all idiots here. We could so easily get rid of Loki by forcing an agent to represent him, but no. Apparently he has to “work for it.” They’re all so ignorant of both logic and my drop-dead good looks, I am not even sure why I still talk to them. "Loki," I say, "do you even know how to write a Young Adult book?"
"Of course. I've read plenty of them. All you do is give your book a vampire and it's destined to sell billions. That's why I'm adding myself into the book in teenage vampire form and calling the character 'Loki Cullen.'"
I roll my eyes and go back to checking my gorgeous hair in the mirror. "First of all, Loki, if anyone here could pass as a hot teenage vampire, it would be me and certainly not you. Secondly, not every YA book needs to be like Twilight."
"No problem. I'll just combine The Hungry Games or whatever that other Little Adult book is called and have the vampires fight each other to the death. That way it’ll be unique and a bestseller."
I run my hand through my perfect hair, shaking my head. How is it that I'm the only one with some sense here? "You know you need themes in your book, too, right?"
"I know, and I have several overriding themes," Loki responds. "One is that humans are idiots. Another is that I am the most wonderful creation on the planet. And last but not least, my most important theme is a message to those gullible young people that world domination by yours truly is the only solution to our problems."
“Loki, you moron, I thought I just had to teach you how to write a query. Now I have to show you how to write a novel, too?”
Captain America looks up. “Apparently so,” he says gravely.
Then, Thor, Captain, and I all turn to Loki.
“Here goes nothing,” we all say at once.