I'm in. First time, as you're all probably aware.
|# ¿ Nov 5, 2013 11:10|
|# ¿ Oct 17, 2021 23:19|
The judges won't hold you to this, Lazy Beggar, but it's a good rule. There would be a bonus point or two for you in following it.
Right-o. My idea has a character some folk might consider as someone flailing about in an unknown environment for part of the story. But it might not be enough.
|# ¿ Nov 5, 2013 17:22|
First draft done. Just shy of 1600 words. Will gut it over the weekend.
|# ¿ Nov 8, 2013 16:29|
I am hungover as poo poo still and I just want to sleep now.
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (1200 Words)
Jurek stood erect, waiting for the right moment to sit. He refused to seem in haste. He gazed through the glass which circled the Senate Hall and looked out on to the Gardens of Liberty. He appreciated the view of vibrant colours of Autumn illuminated by the afternoon Sun and was lost for a brief moment. As the applause for his words grew quieter, he once again became aware of his immediate surroundings and took his seat. He was situated in the middle rows, where he remained for some minutes, fidgeting with his hands, constantly looking around. He rose calmly and made his way out. After he had left the large, ornate, marble room and the colours of the garden behind, he began to hurry.
Rushing towards his office, he was stopped by a voice behind him, `Ah Monsieur Donat! Bravo, truly bravo!' The way he whistled when saying monsieur made Jurek wince. Having attempted to make his face appear less dour, he turned to face his pursuer and recognised him at once, `Good day, Professor Del Mulino. I suppose you are referring to my vain attempts to bring the plight of the people to the attention of our peers?'
`Certo, certo! Very eloquent, I must say.' Jurek twice had to suppress a wince. `But so many words, yet so little said. That is political rhetoric though, eh, Monsieur Donat?'
`I take great offense if you think that applies to me, Del Mulino!'
`Not at all! No offence was intended. Actually I should very much like to establish a friendship. I have need of you and you may need me!'
`Need is the cancer of friendship.' Jarek whipped sardonically.
`Yes, well, perhaps we ought to use a different word. How about `alliance', Monsieur Donat?'
Jurek no longer tried to hide his impatience, `What is it that you want of me?' The professor smiled warmly at Jurek. `Just to meet some like-minded friends of mine.'
A few days later as the sun was setting, Jurek found his nostrils filled with a stench he hardly thought could possibly have existed. It was the first time he had entered one of the ghettos. He would have never entered one had he not been convinced by the professor to meet him here in order 'to aid the people!' All he could see were shades of brown and grey expanding in every direction. The sea of people merged into its surroundings. No one seemed to be going anywhere. They merely stumbled in whatever direction they happened to be facing. Every time he was touched by this sickly sea, Jarek shuddered. A small, grimy child with supplicating hands came towards him, `Per favoure, signore! Ho molto fame.' Jurek shoved the child aside and growled to himself wondering where the professor was. Despite his anger at the professor's tardiness, he continued to wait. Even with the chill of the autumnal breeze, Jurek felt himself burning. He wanted to pace but the only possible movement was with the putrid tide so he stood watching the listless people trickle by.
`That is a frightful expression you have, my friend.' Jarek closed his eyes and took a deep breath, `You are late, Del Mulino. And it is disgusting here.'
`The ghettos don't make for a pleasant view. Or smell, eh?' Jarek sighed and while gazing at the ground he slowly shook his head, `I have a sneaky suspicion that meeting you here will prove to a be a grave mistake.' The professor grinned at Jarek, `We shall see soon enough, I suppose.'
`Can we please make haste so I can leave this damnable place? The longer we linger here the more likely the authorities will spot me and then my political career will be finished.'
They joined the stream and began to move. Jarek's face twitched, his left eye flickered, his mouth fought to form a sneer. The professor's eyes hinted at a smile. Eventually they came across a shabby building of rotting wood with no windows and a battered door. Over the door hung a sign which read The Jacobite's Tartan written above the almost indistinguishable colours of a man in tartan, headless thanks to time. `And here we are! Pretty, eh, my friend?' The professor knocked on the door.
It opened noisily and a man clad in rags peered through the opening, `Ah it be you Prof! An' dat friend o' yours!' He exposed his almost toothless mouth as he spoke. Behind the man was nothing but darkness. Jarek pursed his lips and found himself shaking his head again. The toothless derelict swung the door open and the two men entered into the darkness. He lit a torch and led the men with the flame. `A fire-torch?' enquired Jarek, `Really? In our time?'
`Needs must, eh, my friend?' They entered a small room where only one other torch danced as it fought back the dense blackness. It highlighted other men waiting, 'Eventually he comes! Del Mulino, punctuality is not your strong suit.' From whom the words came from, Jarek could not tell. `Yes, yes. We already knew that, Eberhardt.' The professor took the torch from the ragged man and made his way through the heart of the room and mounted the flame on the wall so as to illuminate himself, `Quirites! ... I jest! Today we welcome a new member into our little revolutionary club. The eminent Monsieur Jarek Donat of the Senate and of the Third Fraternal class, only four steps below the Premier Brotherhood and our beloved Leader of the Last Republic of Europe!'
`We know this. Hurry up and stop mocking him!' a new voice implored. `My apologies. To business then. Jarek, if I may be so intimate as to call you by your forename, we are here to organise the extinction of the Premier Brotherhood and all those who stand in the way of the common good of man. We are going to kill some rather unkind people, a rather lot actually.' After a short time Jarek responded in a quiet but firm voice, `This is why you brought me here? I refuse to resort to barbarism, Del Mulino.' Abruptly, the professor's normal jovial expression left his face. Jarek continued, `Outside these walls mankind has been brought its knees and crawls like some base animal and you want to bring it further down by indulging in senseless murder? We should attempt to lawfully change the system.'
`When one tries to change the system from within, it is not the system which changes, but the man, Jarek, the man.' The whistle induced convulsions of Jarek's face went unseen in the darkness, `I ought to have listened to reason and not you, Del Mulino!'
`So your beautifully crafted speeches were merely vacuous blather like the rest of the senators'?'
`I am leaving. And it best for you if I never hear that damnable whistle of yours again!'
`Well, you asked for haste, Vincent, and we certainly got it. Shame about the disappointment though.'
As he spoke, the toothless door-keeper seized Jarek, `You are aware that I cannot let you leave, Monsieur Donat? At least this will be the last whistling you shall have to suffer.'
Lazy Beggar fucked around with this message at 00:02 on Nov 11, 2013
|# ¿ Nov 10, 2013 22:56|
|# ¿ Nov 11, 2013 23:08|
In order to remember more easily, I went for a simpler name for my protagonist this week.
Nim (526 words)
Nim jumped down from his tree. He sauntered towards the hard, shiny trees to see who was there today. Two stood before him. Initially, Nim believed that the tall one was the one who brings the same sensation he feels when he is alone under the shade of his tree, free from everything. He wanted to go to her, but he knew he could not enter. He had tried before. For a long time now, he had not attacked his tree with his thoughts when the emptiness came; he no longer continued to use the same path to reach the top of his tree if he fell repeatedly.
The other one was little and still dependent on the one she saw first. She clung on to the other one; the one who made Nim aware of his current hollowness. In the past, when he had finished before the others his things coloured like the light above the trees, he used to feel a bad heat; especially if the emptiness remained. He was growing hotter now.
He would not want to sit at the bottom of his tree while darkness replaced light over and over again; why would they waste the light by coming here? To show him they had what he did not? He jumped at the reliant one. She pointed at him and made a noise. To Nim, it sounded like she had just climbed her first tree. He tried to recall his first, but it was too long ago. He shared her joy and warmed to her.
Nim thought of himself looking at water and seeing his movements being repeated before him. He jumped and turned. The one who brings him warmth had returned. He rushed towards her. A good warmth, warmth different from what he feels when just close to any another. She took away his emptiness. He climbed her as if she had leaves. And then he remembered his first tree.
She made the noise which Nim found more pleasing than that which the leaves of the tree make when its arms dance, as they are pulled and pushed by the breath from above the trees. She gave him many of the sweet sticks, curved and of the same shade as her light hair. He climbed down from her and began to fill himself. The little one stuck behind the impassable trees made another noise. Nim understood what it meant. It was similar to what he would make when he forgets about the barren feeling inside himself; when he does not want to hide from the others. Nim thought she must still feel at the top of her tree.
He walked towards her and passed his hand through to her. He did not want her to feel as he had earlier. They would make noise together. The same noise. She took it from him, and he released the sound of his warmth. It resonated from her like when he would make noise and wait for it to return. Nim jumped and continued to create sound. She did the same as if Nim stood over the water.
Nim thought he would never be empty again.
Lazy Beggar fucked around with this message at 16:08 on Nov 14, 2013
|# ¿ Nov 14, 2013 14:16|
* Phlogiston. It’s real!
* An icebreaking ship is crucial to your story’s plot. May not be set aboard the ship.
|# ¿ Nov 18, 2013 22:36|
I'm bowing out of this week's comp. Sorry. Or, to the judges at least, you're welcome.
Lazy Beggar fucked around with this message at 14:30 on Nov 22, 2013
|# ¿ Nov 22, 2013 14:20|
Flash Rule Your story must take place in a kitchen. Or multiple kitchens. Also your protagonist has Alzheimer's. At what stage is your choice.
Edit: First title I got was 'The Cold Terror'. Fits nicely with the initial prompt.
Lazy Beggar fucked around with this message at 19:20 on Nov 27, 2013
|# ¿ Nov 27, 2013 19:14|
Thought I would have time to write when moving from one country to another. I did not. Will have plenty of time this week.
|# ¿ Dec 2, 2013 16:08|
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
|# ¿ Dec 3, 2013 08:43|
Computer woes. HDD hosed. I have a hard copy but work using a colleague's iPad, which I can barely use. Will try and post tomorrow or later tonight.
|# ¿ Dec 8, 2013 22:46|
|# ¿ Oct 17, 2021 23:19|
Prompt: Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
In a rather spacious and well lit alleyway, thanks to the bright clear morning sunlight, sat Edward with his head drooping listlessly between his knees. He was dressed in his motley coloured work uniform, his face painted white, his nose red. His purple wig lay discarded beside his feet. On his feet were oversized shoes, what some might consider as being comical in appearance. Unfortunately Edward's comic effect was dampened by the fact his make-up was ruined by the steady stream of tears running down his artificially cheery face. The faint sound of his sobbing was drowned out by the roar of children's laughter flooding out of the nearby house.
The noise grew louder as the door of the fun-filled home was opened by a woman who seemed to be merely constructed of bones and just a hint of flesh. She appeared kindly nonetheless.
'The children are asking after you, Mr Wirths. Will you be returning soon?'
Edward broke his gaze from the phone that he held between his legs and looked up at her. He smiled in an attempt to offset the horror his face had become. In fact, the smile only served to make the awful visage worse, as he probably should have suspected really.
The kindly bag of bones was clearly aghast at the sight of his face and made no attempt to conceal the fact.
'Are you all right, Mr Wirths!?'
'Oh, yes, Mrs Richardson. Quite all right, thanks. But I'm afraid I won't be returning to the children, just received an urgent phonecall.'
Edward and Mrs Richardson both found the formal manner of their discourse rather absurd but neither were comfortable enough to break away from it despite the situation seeming somewhat emotionally charged. And so Edward stood and shook the hand of Mrs Richardson. His tears having stopped now that he was in the presence of another soul and had been forced to adopt a more stoic demeanour.
'Thank you for your business, Mrs Richardson. Very much appreciated. And my apologies for the need for a swift departure.'
His earnest tone left her feeling bemused. The clear evidence of tears and the calm but almost jolly manner in which he spoke were in conflict: she was not convinced that he was in a good state at the moment but she could not be certain as his face was very much obscured by the mess covering it.
'It isn't much of anything. Thank you though, the children were very happy. And are you sure you're all right?'
'Yes, but I must leave now. Hopefully my taxi will arrive soon.'
'Wait a moment and I will go get my purse so as to pay you.'
But just at the moment the taxi arrived. This was made clear to the pair by the impatient tooting of a horn.
'No time to wait. I must leave right away. Thanks again!'
He made his way to the taxi and the tooting stopped as the driver seen him approach. The driver looked perplexed.
Mrs Richardson shouted after Edward, 'But I haven't paid you!'
Edward turned to the dismayed Mrs Richardson and smiled once more before entering the taxi. Mrs Richardson watched as her hired clown was driven away, left feeling confused and incredibly unsettled.
In the taxi, the driver continuously cast a suspicious glance upon his fare. He was uncertain whether Edward had intended to look as he did or if he had actually been crying for some reason. He no doubt would have felt more uneasy if he knew which was true with certainty. As it was he found some solace in not knowing.
'Royal Infirmary, aye?'
'Yes, indeed,' replied Edward while gazing out of the window. Edward made an effort to sound jolly as he was very conscious of the driver's discomfort. But in the end it was just another failed attempt to belie his tragic appearance.
'Know what building?'
'Oh, yes. It is G.'
Now that the driver had all the information he required, he tried with all his might to ignore the unsettling figure in his car. The only noise to be heard was the light drumming of Edward's fingers. Rather than seeming to just be a little impatient, Edward cut a rather frightful figure. This thought crossed his mind and so he stopped immediately. Stopping so abruptly drew the attention of the driver, and also his worry. It then dawned on Edward that he could do anything and it would seem sinister. He rued the fact that he had to arrive at the hospital looking as he did. It was not the sort of occasion that called for a walking nightmarish cliché.
A short time passed with both men ignoring the other, as is common in uncomfortable taxi drives. And then the taxi offered to break the silence with a cough and a splutter. This unwelcome noise was followed with the slowing of the taxi. Eventually it came to a halt. They had stopped on the biggest bridge crossing the city's river and many miles from Edward's destination.
'Sorry, mate. I'll call it in. Won't be long for a replacement.'
They waited. And then they waited. And having waited for a long time, as Edward thought, he jumped out of the car and started walking away from the pleas of the taxi driver. Walking in his work shoes did indeed look comical, but it was also frustratingly difficult. He persevered nonetheless. Before long he took out his phone and tried calling a taxi from a different company. None answered. And then as if fate was mocking Edward, his phone no longer showed any life. Now not quite frustrated but thoroughly enraged, Edward tossed the phone into the river.
It took Edward two hours to walk to the hospital. No free taxi passed him in that time. He had tried to flag them down, but failed numerous times so he could only presume they had not been free. To say that Edward arrived at the hospital in a sour mood would miss the mark by a long way. Thankfully, it was not such a maze to navigate the hospital grounds that it took an age to find the right building, but it still took longer than Edward was happy with.
Edward moved as quickly as he could but was still hampered by his laughter inducing footwear. He cursed them rather loudly and received a reproachful look from an ill-looking nurse out for a quick smoke. Another vulgar cliché he thought. He attempted to dash past the reception but misfortune befell him again. The nurse called after him asking for some justification for his undesired presence in the building. It turned out it was actually good fortune of sorts. He was in the wrong building.
He arrived at the next building and he hoped it was the correct one. He also hoped he wasn't too late. He had to go through the same process in this building but was thankful to find out it was indeed the correct one. Having thus been delayed, he tapped his foot as the elevator stopped at every floor. He was very weary of the looks. His patience had long left him.
At the last galling ding of the elevator, he leapt out and hobbled at pace towards the room. The feeling that he should have been there hours ago made him stop at the door before entering. When he did, everything was a surprise.
He was welcomed into the room by an horrific smell. His wife lay on a bed. She was a sweaty mess. She looked up at Edward, having been alerted to his arrival by the rather load entrance he had made, thanks largely to those god-forsaken shoes of his slapping loudly on the floor. She burst into a mirthful laughter. It was the first positive response he had had upon leaving the alleyway. He laughed too, all his stress and anxiety flooding away from him, gladdened that his wife was in good health.
'He is well too?' Edward asked.
'Yes, no problems at all. He is a heavy one though, ten-point-six pounds!'
She lifted the small bundle in her arms and asked Edward if he wanted to hold their son. He did, of course. In fact, there was not one thing in the world he would have rather done at that moment in time. And so he took his newborn son from his wife's arms.
'He's not crying, Marie!' he exclaimed. 'He's not crying.'
'Because he can't see your monstrous face, Edward.'
And they laughed.
Lazy Beggar fucked around with this message at 18:22 on Dec 9, 2013
|# ¿ Dec 9, 2013 11:07|