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Author Topic: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Submission Thread  (Read 8778 times)

Offline OnlyOneHighlander

Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Submission Thread
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2016, 09:22:37 PM »

This is a great prompt: tricky but lots of fun. My story comes in at 1,497 words and is called Narrative Friction.

Hope you like it.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Narrative Friction

Dawn cracked like an egg over the town of Scree. A bulbous yellow yoke of sun slid from the whitecaps of the Thin Sea, spilling translucent light along the harbour walls and sending it seeping into the warren of streets beyond. It was a quiet morning, a morning when nothing much exciting was happening at all, the kind of morning that by all rights should be given over to listening to the gentle calls of the sea birds...

‘Free Scree! Free Scree!’

 ...and thoughts of lunch. The streets were certainly not full and there were definitely no demonstrating crowds converging on Snob Hill.

‘Out, out, out! Get the clout out!’

‘Voices for the voiceless!’

All in all, everything was, as it so often is in Scree, quiet and calm and peacef-

‘Good narration, accurate representation! Good narration, accurate representation!’

‘Free Scree!’

‘Out, out, out! Get the clout out!’

Okay, okay, so perhaps there were some people in Scree not enjoying the beautiful wonders of the bountiful morning. But it was a small crowd, not even fifty –

‘Balderdash, I count one hundred and six from here, and there’s more coming down Cellar Street.’

Gripton, the greengrocer, was there, his placard boasting all the usual poor punctuation of his advertising boards.

‘Here you, its the message that matters, not all your fancy punctuation and grammar and what not.’

It’s. What-not.

‘Oh, so clever. Listen, it ain’t my fault Scree hasn’t advanced enough to see the benefits of universal education. People know what they get at my shop, no matter where the damn apostrophe is.’

And this was very true. All throughout Scree people knew exactly what they got at Griptons’ Greengrocers’:  ripped off.

‘You listen here you haughty-taughty, turnip-faced –’

‘Now, now Gripton. There is no need for language like that. As Mayor of Scree I will speak on behalf of the town.’

The Mayor was a sensible man, doughty and with the confident bearing so often found in natural leaders. He held out his hands to dampen the noise of the admittedly medium-sized crowd, and raised his voice so all would hear.

‘Narrator, it has come to my attention that recently the good people of Scree have been,’ the Mayor said, choosing his words carefully, ‘eh... less than fully satisfied with your portrayal of our nice little community.’

‘Damn right we are,’ came the gruff bark of Roget Brittle. ‘Last week he said I smells like a brewery with a hangover.’

‘And he called me an old crone,’ screeched the incessant Mavis Turtlepike. ‘I’m only thirty-two,’ she added through the gaps in her yellowing teeth. ‘Pah! Half the town’s got yellow teeth. No need to pick on me.’

‘Speaking of yellow,’ said the Mayor’s wife. ‘I have a name you know. Not just “the Mayor’s wife”. Bloody sexist.’ Lady Jacqueline Petriheart’s rising voice cut through the remains of what had been such a lovely morning. ‘That’s better. As I was saying, speaking of yellow, he said the wall paper in our drawing room looked like custard, post-regurgitation! He’s got to go I say.’

Always in touch with the troubles of the common people, Lady Petriheart sat stiffly on her literal high horse – a normally docile creature called Tiba, who today could quite conceivably become unsettled by the surrounding mob and, with little warning, might very well throw the Mayor’s delicate wife into the mud. Animals are so unpredictable, after-all.

‘Now then,’ the Mayor said. ‘You’re on thin ice there Mister. I won’t have you threatening people, especially not my wife. You aren’t in charge around here.’

As he spoke the Mayor’s face grew red with indignant rage. He puffed himself up, ready to make one of his grandstanding performances in front of the gathered townsfolk. This would have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that there was an election coming up and he had to maintain the illusion that he was in control.

‘I am in control! This is my town, not yours,’ he said. But as the words left his mouth, the rational part of his brain – buried as it was beneath the greedy, self-serving parts – suggested picking a fight with an omnipotent, omnipresent overseer three weeks before the big vote may not be a wise move.

‘I won’t be intimidated by you!’

Is exactly what the Mayor had said to the Captain of the City Guard just before his mysterious disappearance, two months ago. The embezzlement case Captain Sharp had been working on at the time remains unsolved...

‘Ah, eh, yes, the thing about that is...’

The Mayor’s words stumbled from his flapping jaw as the assembled crowd began to wonder who the real tyrant in Scree was.

‘We do not need any lessons in tyranny from you,’ said Bishop Sorel, the gravity of his words only slightly undermined by the fact he was picking his nose.

‘I am not picking my nose!’ He shouted, cuticle deep. ‘Did you start that rumour? You are responsible for the initiates calling me Bishop Snotel.

‘Yes,’ the clergyman cast a glare across his attendant monks. ‘I know all about it. And no, it is certainly not true.’

‘There was that one time,’ said the ever-truthful, unimpeachable even, Brother Mets.

‘Enough!’

The new voice came from the centre of the crowd. It was an unfamiliar voice, an unimportant voice, the voice of someone who would never play a pivotal part in any plot, who would slip through the pages of life with barely a trace. It was the voice of...

‘Colin Dickson.’

It was Colin, Son of Dick –

‘No, not “son of”. Just plain Colin Dickson.  I won’t have you making a cliché out of me,’ he said in a deep, booming voice.

‘Whatever. Listen, we are sick and tired of your purple prose, your clumsy metaphors, your redundant adverbs,’ Colin said resolutely.

‘And we’re sick of you thinking you can run our lives. We’re here, united, and you can’t silence us all.’ This is what Colin had wanted to say, but as he tried to speak his words were drowned out by a growl of thunder, a screaming gust of wind and the deafening din of rain hammering into the ground and onto the town’s slate roofs.

‘You see!’ the sodden Colin shouted futilely, ‘What happened to the yokey sun and the beautiful morning. You can’t just change things willy-nilly. IT BREAKS THE IMMERSION OF THE READER!’

But no-one could hear Colin. The rain was too loud, the wind too strong. It wouldn’t be long before the townspeople retreated to shelter in their homes and hide in their beds.

‘OH NO WE WON’T! WE’RE STAYING RIGHT HERE AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABO –’

*

Colin woke up in bed.

‘What? How did you do that?’

He’d been having the strangest dream. All that business about demonstrating against the Narrator. Madness, he thought, I could never win.

‘Right, you just wait. You can’t get away with it that easy. Darling, wake up! We’re going back out there. Where are my shoes?’

Soon the townsfolk were massing again, slapping down muddy streets in bare feet. It was the strangest thing, overnight all of their shoes had disappeared.

‘You’ll have to do better than that,’ said Colin. He was dressed in a spectacular pink kimono. Inexplicably, it was the only piece of clothing he could find in the house. ‘We’ll stay here all week if we have t –’

*

A week later all had returned to norm–

‘Damn it! He’s done it again. Come on Sally. I’m not putting up with this. He can’t beat us all –’

*

A month went by and all the grievances against the Narrator were forgotten. The Mayor was re-elected, Gripton’s grammar had improved dramatically, and Bishop Sorel had been invited to an audience with the High Shepherd. As for Colin Dickson...

‘How did I get here? And what am I standing in? And what is that smell?’

... He had been fired from his job and taken up cleaning the town sewers to make ends-meat. His wife had left him. And he smelled awful, truly awful.

‘You won’t win you know. You can’t grind me down. I’ll fight to my dying brea –’

*

As winter closed in, Colin’s consumption grew worse. The rest of Scree had long since given up trying to challenge the Narrator. But Colin fought on, cold, miserable and alone.

‘You don’t get to control my fate. I’m a person damn it. Not a character, not a plot device to be cast aside. I have a soul!’ said Colin, but no-one was listening. With each vain cry his lungs rattled against an increasingly gaunt ribcage. The hovel that had become his home was drafty and damp. The stinking blanket that was his bed crawled with mites and lice. Icy water dripped from the roof and even the air seemed to shun him.

‘You can’t.’

Slowly, he came to realise, he would not see the spring.


“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!” Neil Gaiman

Check out my book Here Be Dragons here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Be-Dragons-David-Macpherson-ebook/dp/B07CCGBDQW/ref=sr_1_3?s

Offline Blackthorn

Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Submission Thread
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2016, 05:01:23 AM »
I'm a very new member, in fact I joined just to take part in these contests. I wrote my story rather quickly to get it done in time, I think I got the concept right. I hope you enjoy Incoherent Ramblings. 1499 words.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Incoherent Ramblings

We begin the story with our Intrepid Hero racing the clock. The Troll he Tracked through the City is headed for the Apartment of a Beautiful Damsel, even now it could be climbing to her window. Our Hero, displaying heroic talent begins jumping from rooftop to rooftop in pursuit of the horrific….

Writer!

Hey Writer!

 Is that really the best you can do, giving me some cheesy “George of the Jungle” bullshit narrative? I feel like I deserve more, I mean…come on when did I even get on the roof? The only thing about that swill you call a hook is the girl. I don’t often go for “damsels” but at least you had the good sense to put some love interest in from the beginning. Now come on, scrap this mess and try again, and don’t call me intrepid again….it’s insulting. Oh, one more thing, quit capitalizing everything.

Character name looked up from…

Wait!
 You haven’t given me a name yet? What exactly do you think you can accomplish if you don’t even have a name for me yet.

 IDIOT!

Stupidness Mcassjack looked up….

Be serious would you writer. Look, I may have overreacted a little bit, but this is my future we are talking about here. It’s our future, put some heart into it and come up with something memorable.

Jason Green looked up from the track he squatted crouched over, checking the surrounding area for other signs of the creature’s whereabouts. Absentmindedly spinning the ring that signified him as a sanctioned slayer, he studied the track of the monster. Judging by the size and shape, he assumed a half grown, male troll.

I do not Squat.
 Crouch if I must, but I have not. Do not. Will not squat.
 Go ahead and scratch that out and keep going

Ok writer, that’s a bit better, the name isn’t the best but it will serve its purpose for now….but I’m not really feeling the troll. Vampires! Vampires would…no those are overdone. Tell you what writer, let’s both sleep on it and start fresh tomorrow. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, what happened to the chick? When I get tired I start to ramble and I’d hate to wake up tomorrow with a bunch of crap written down. So, let’s say fifteen, sixteen hours, and we’ll get up and try again.

Writer!

Hey writer, wake up!

Get your lazy ass up writer!

I know it’s four in the morning, but I figured out a really menacing creature to slay. I’m really excited about it and I don’t want to forget. Go relieve yourself and grab a cup of coffee. Tonight, I’m fighting Gargoyles! Hey, why are you sleeping again?
 Wake up!
 Get up, get up, get up, get…oh forget it, I’ll just try to remember my stroke of genius I suppose.

Alright Writer, today is the day. Today I become legend.

 What’s that?

 Oh yea, and you too I guess. I really don’t know what you deserve credit for honestly, I have to hold your hand every step of the way. I’m the one doing everything here, if it weren’t for me you wouldn’t even have a story.

Jason Green lay on the ground, choking in the foul dust. In his back was a long blade. Tragically, Jason took a shuddering breath. He regretted every moment he had been rude, or arrogant.

 “It’s too bad, he thought, that there is no time left for change.” Jason drew what would be his last breath, forcing his eyes to look to the stars. A strange peace seemed to fall over him as he exhale…


Whoa, hold on!

Ok, point taken, you are an important part of the process.

 Happy?

Ok, so let’s get back to the story, I think I should be hunting gargoyles. Gargoyles are much more interesting than some boring old troll. They can fly! That’s much more dangerous, and more danger means more excitement. Just don’t let things go too far this time alright?

Ok Writer?

Writer?

Jason Green looked, with no emotion, at the blood stained ground that marked where the creatures had gorged themselves. Kneeling, he examined long, three-toed claw marks disfiguring the smooth concrete. Gargoyle he spat, immediately his eyes searched the sky, it was not above gargoyles to ambush victims caught motionless by the scene of their earlier meal.

Absentmindedly fingering the medallion that marked him as a slayer he tried to calm himself, knowing the excitement of the hunt would ruin sound judgement. Gargoyles were pack creatures with a vicious attitude when cornered, just the kind of challenge Jason craved. However, gargoyles were near impossible to track from the ground, his only option would be magic.


I have magic?

Cool.

Jason took a short, bone knife marked with several inscriptions and handed down from father to son, a ritual blade used for…


Writer…that’s too much, you don’t have to tell the whole history of the knife in one sentence. Why don’t you just take it down a notch?

Jason pulled a short, bone knife from the thong on his wrist, his fingers tracing the ritual words inscribed on the blade. Laying the knife on his open palm he swiftly sliced through the skin. Blood erupted from the cut, filling the engraving with blood. Holding the blade above the tracks he slid it effortlessly into the pavement.
Immediately, Jason was hit with an intense sensitivity to sound, light, and smell. It was a side effect he could never get used to, then the numbing magic would take over. After a few minutes his sensitivity dropped, and he saw, in his mind’s eye, where to find his mark. Quickly the vision passed, and after a brief moment of queasiness, he stood and began running toward the pier. He had to find the monsters before dawns first light, or they would become impenetrable stone until the next blood moon.


Nice touch giving the magic a drawback, even if it was a pretty simple one. The gargoyles were great right?
 I think you’re starting to find your muse writer.

Following the magical vision Jason sped along the pier, pulling his sword from its scabbard as he ran. Cutting into an alley between two storage buildings he rounded a corner and found the back entrance to the warehouse. Throwing his shoulder at the door he burst in to the building.

Three Gargoyles, alerted by the noise, turned their scaly, vaguely reptilian heads toward the hunter. Pressed as far as possible against a shipping crate was a girl; she looked a little worse for wear but not seriously injured. Judging the new arrival to be a more pressing matter the gargoyles, flapping their large leathery wings, flew at a blistering speed towards the still stunned slayer.

Acting purely on instinct Jason swung his sword, keeping the largest of the creatures at bay. He deftly cut the wings of one, and the throat of anoth….


Boring!

Can you make it more impressive?

Jason swung his sword in an arc and carved a large cut down the lead gargoyles chest, he thrust his fist into the cut and pulled out the Gargoyles still beating hea….

What the hell is wrong with you?

I said impressive not horror film.

Jason swung his sword in an arc, slicing through the membrane of one gargoyles wing. Screaming in rage the creature lunged at the hunter, and was rewarded with a sword through its chest. The creature spun and wrenched the blade from the hunters’ hand.

Quickly pulling a knife, Jason rammed the hilt into the bottom jaw of a second monster, bringing a knee up into its abdomen at the same time. The creature, doubled over in pain, was helpless to stop the blade piercing into its spine.

 Pulling his knife from the gargoyles body Jason turned to meet the lead gargoyle. Seeing the obvious skill of the hunter the gargoyle swiftly sprung up into the air and flew off, escaping through a broken panel in the roof.

Unable to use the tracing magic again, Jason was forced to let the creature go. Focusing instead on the two dead bodies he pulled his medallion from around his neck and touched each body in turn with the gleaming piece of silver. The bodies, upon being touched, burst into flame and were quickly consumed, leaving no traces behind.

Turning Jason began walking to the door when he was stopped by a voice.

Wait!

Will you…will you let me come with you?

Jason studied the girl. He had barely noticed her before, but now, he found himself stunned by the gleam in her dark green eyes. Slowly he turned away, and spoke his answer.


Yes!

I say yes!

Actually I’ll say no but it will turn into a yes, that’s always pretty good isn’t it writer?

Writer?

…of course.

 Always end a chapter with some intrigue and make the next chapter easy to start.

I hate when you do that writer.

See you tomorrow.


 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 05:13:53 AM by Blackthorn »

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Submission Thread
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2016, 02:51:28 AM »
Last minute entry for fun, but not edited so may modify if I can later. Thunderstorms causing network problems so posting now.Anyway Harmony House at 1249 words last count including title.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Harmony House

The house was one of those typical city semi-detached houses, looking fresh and well-kept. It drew the eye of passers-by and seemed to make them smile with content for no reason – a just because moment.

It had been built around the early nineteenth century, for a successful professional man and his large, obedient, respectable family.  But they weren't all as obedient as he would have liked.  There was a young cuckoo in this family nest.

A delicious spirit of rebellion lurked in the heart and soul of his fourth daughter, Florence. She never let it show, just hugged her hopes with a steadfast spirit, while trying unsuccessfully to plan how she could follow her dream.


Whoa there, you're fussing about how she'll do this?

Do you expect a heart-rending story of hope and struggle to overcome patriarchal domination?

Elope with a poor struggling poet?
 
Become the first female graduate at a university ?

Or she's actually Florence Nightingale?

Give me a break.



An invitation to afternoon tea at a respectable nearby home appeared on her dressing table one morning. She dressed suitably and, on opening the front door of the house, unexpectedly found her dream came true.  Her life was henceforward full of adventure and entirely satisfactory.


There, now are you happy?

You want to know more?

How can I just leave it at that?

Because I can. Maybe I'll tell you presently, but wait, there's more.



Many years later the family who now lived in the house was happy, high-spirited and their patriarch indulged his family whenever possible. Not, sadly, with due care and attention. to the pecuniary consequences and the state of the family budget was often precarious. The family was often skint.


You don't like pecuniary consequences? Or precarious?

Sorry, live with it, love a touch of highfalutin' archaic  pretentious old fashioned language  wanky words now and then.

You don't know what highfalutin' archaic means?

Give me strength. What century do you live in?
 
Oh sorry, forgot you're 21st – alright I'll change it all.

Happy now?



Mama was forced to dispense with servants, and all the family took their turns at doing the housework. Cleaning, cooking, laundry and ironing.


All the family?

Yes, certainly. This was an enlightened and equitable household.

In Victorian times?  No, it was Edwardian by now.
 
What's with the nit-picking? They can be equitable if I say so. Do you want to hear about this ideally happy family or not?



Whilst tidying the back of the wardrobe one day the two eldest children, Primrose and Egbert, found a hidden door....


Doors in wardrobes are done to death? Been there, done that? Cliches?  Stereotypes?

Well, excuse me, but it's what's behind them that counts,isn't it? Isn't it?



Behind the door was a cupboard containing diagrams and a working model of a much needed new invention, together with some old gold sovereigns.  The gold was worth enough for the family to set up a factory and successfully manufacture and market the new invention. They eventually sold out to an international corporation for a vast profit.


Why don't you believe me? People can have good fortune for a change.

I liked that family so that's what happened, OK?

No, I'm not going to explain the sovereigns. I'm trying to use a logical time sequence.

Can't be bothered with flashbacks, too easy to forget some vital point affecting the future and then you get smart ass tweeters and bad reviews.



By the time two world wars had passed, and some semblance of calm normality returned, the house had become too large for most families. It had been turned into separate apartments and tenants came and went. The landlord was a great grandson of Egbert. His wife, although born overseas in some exotic location, was actually a descendant of Florence. They lived on the ground floor, kept the house in good repair and it was a house of harmony and happiness.

Two brothers belonging to a West Indian Reggae band lived on the third floor, yet were able to practice without disturbing the other tenants. Once their door opened the music made everyone mellow, but once closed it never even waked the baby of the couple on the second floor.

The young writer in the attic had a part time job, so she didn't starve and her stories were accepted by a reputable small press more often than not.

Mr Patel in the basement shared his curry generously, and his recipes with anyone who asked, yet the smell never lingered or filled the house too long.


No, I did not tell you about the  Reggae band brothers and Mr Patel just to show token diversity. Who the heck do you suppose plays Reggae except people of West Indian descent ?

Why choose Reggae? Because I like it, so that's the music in the house.

You suppose I like curry too? You got that one right, and Mr Patel cooks the best curry ever.
 
Now did you want to know about what happened to Florence and her life of fulfilled dreams?



Florence had found herself on The Orient Express, with all the necessary equipment and clothing, abilities and language to enable her to travel the world.


What? As one of those Victorian ladies writing travel journals? Heaven forbid.

She was the engine driver.

And the invention the children found in the wardrobe ?


Primrose and Egbert had found a bustle deflater model. At that time bustles were in fashion for ladies but to sit down in comfort was very awkward, if not impossible. All the ladies loved the deflaters and they were in great demand  until  fashions changed and a smooth rear view was the in thing.

The family sold out just before bustles went out of fashion and the invention became obsolete.  Because of this the corporation went bankrupt and all the directors jumped off high buildings.


You think that's ridiculous and spiteful?

Hah, I really enjoyed that part. The corporation was not environmentally conscious and hadn't given its female workers equal pay. They all deserved just retribution for once.  Anyway, the ideal family ensured all the workers got new jobs with a much better corporation.



The house was a place of harmony and tranquility except when anyone evil, cruel or manipulative happened to try and live there. Such persons fell out of a window, or got shut in the cellar and starved, or just disappeared.
So everyone lived happily ever after.


You think that was soppy nonsense with an abrupt unsatisfactory ending?

True.  I'm bored and desperately running out of time.
 
I was practising to inspire an award winning novel in the mind of the young writer in the attic. It was meant to feature empathetic and complex characters who lived in the house, but she prefers cracked kingdoms, dragon riders, metal chewing magic and necromancy.

You don't think I'm a real character and so can't break the fourth wall?

Of course I'm a character, you can find me all through this story. Who do you think had the power to give those people happiness?  Or deal out rough justice ? Pretty awesome omnipotence, don't you think?

The writer? No, the writer isn't a character remember. Try again?

Deus ex machina?  No way.

You honestly think I'd live in a clacky old typewriter or a skinny flat laptop?

Didn't you guess? I'm the house.

Deus domus.  Now what can I do for you?




Dedicated to a very special house in Lymington Road, London and the happy couple who actually lived in the attic.



« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 04:12:01 AM by Lady_Ty »
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Submission Thread
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2016, 09:07:27 PM »
Really last minute entry.  :)
It's something silly or just plain stupid, but it has its moments. Enjoy.

1500 words, including the title, which is Worthy adversary.

Some violence and swearing.

Spoiler for Worthy adversary:

Worthy adversary

“We can’t win! He’s too powerful,” gasped a goblin, staring at the warrior in a leather loincloth. “He’s faster than us, stronger than us. We are no match for him in skill or in cunning.” The goblin’s voice trembled as he slumped to the ground, holding his chest. “He is the Mighty Arnholt, undefeated, invincible, nigh immortal...” His little heart caved in under the stress of fear, first speeding up and then slowing down to a halt, when the warrior cleaved the last of the trolls in half with his axe and ripped off the head of another goblin.

So, there stood Arnholt, alone amidst the carnage: the eliminated wolves, and the dispatched goblins that had ridden them; the slaughtered orcs, and the dismembered trolls that had followed them; the hordes of the re-killed undead, and the slain shamans, wasted wizards, snuffed out sorcerers, and whacked witches who had reanimated them. He wiped his axe clean from the blood, gore, and goo on the clothes of the fallen, his muscles, pumped up from the mild exertion,  glistening red as the rays of dawn scattered from the dew drops on his sun-tanned skin. There he stood, unscathed. Maybe he truly was invincible, even immortal.
 
“Is that all?” he shouted to his destroyed enemies.

“No! Arnholt shouts to you!” he hailed the gods, looking up towards the sky.

“No. YOU, you idiot!” The frustration made his vulgar accent slip to the surface from the depths of rehearsed lingual clarity.

What? Me?

“Yes, you, the storyteller”, Arnholt spelled it out. “There’s no one else here.”

Er. To be frank, even I’m not there. You really shouldn’t even be aware of me.

“Shouldn’t, smouldn’t. Ha! I’m Arnholt the warrior.”

Yes, a fictional charact—

“Of course I know you.”

Did you just interrupt me?

“I wouldn’t be much of a warrior if I didn’t know my enemy.”

I’m not your enemy. And I believe I just asked you a questi—

“You made these poor creatures attack me. Thus you are my enemy.”

I also made you.


“Debatable.”

How is that deba—

“It is.”

NO, it’s not! And stop cutting me off!

“Oh, the little storyteller man gets angry. I’m so scared. What is the little puny man going to do to me?”

Are you being sarcastic?

“And if I am? What are you going to do about it, little man?”

I’m going to ask, has anyone ever told you what an asshole yo—

“Shh.”

Don’t you shush me!

“SILENCE!” Arnholt shouted with such a conviction that even the wind in leaves and the water in streams ceased making sou— “I said silence and I meant it.”



“Good. Now listen. Although this was a decent morning exercise, none of these weaklings was a challenge. So as there’s nothing you can sic on me that I couldn’t handle, I challenge you. Get down here, and we’ll settle this like real men.”



“Speak.”

Thanks; being muted was horrible. But I’m not going to fight you. That would be silly.

“You are afraid. Arnholt understands this. I’ll make it painless. Get down here. Do it. Do it now!”

No, I won’t. And I’m not afraid. It’s just… well, you wouldn’t have a chance. I am your creator, after all.

“That is little-man talk. Get down here and prove it. You can’t kill me. I’m invincible and immortal.”

He said nigh immortal. You’re not actually immortal.

“You said it yourself: immortal.”

I said that maybe you were immortal.

“Immortal.”

I never said you were.

“It was implied.”

Oh my god!  You’re NOT IM-MOR-TAL!

“Still, you can’t kill me. What I may lose in immortality, I make up for in confidence.”

Yeah, clearly.



There was a pause that lasted only as long as the warrior let it. “What are you thinking? Hurry up, my muscles are cooling down,” he yawned, flexing his pectorals in turns. “Stop stalling with useless description. And don’t use non-speech verbs in dialogue tags.”

Okay. Sorry. I was just thinking, what if you gave me a few chances to kill you from here? And should you win, I’d come down there straight after you have dealt with your last opponent. Okay? Maybe ten tries?

“Five.”

Eight?

“Five.”

Okay, that’s fine. Six will do.

“Five.”

Geez. Five it is then. Am I free to start any time I want?

“Yes. But you can’t kill me fro—“

Suddenly the goblin that had feigned a cardiac arrest earlier nocked an arrow on the string of his bow and let it loose towards the warrior, catching him in mid-sentence. Arnholt spun around as swiftly as he could, but the arrow flew fast and true, kill… ki… hitting the warrior’s ey… troa… hitting the warrior’s… axe? The arrow ricocheted back, plunging into the goblin.

What? I… I couldn’t write it!

“I told you. You can’t kill me. And, ‘suddenly’? Really?”

I write as I please.

“Yes, poorly.”

Screw you too! I’m the writer, so I should be able to kill you.

“A bad writer needs ten goblin archers to kill me.”

Sudd… All of a sudden, ten goblins got up from the piles of bodies. Evenly spaced around the warrior, they shot their arrows at his centre of mass. Certain death was upon Arhnolt… but then he ducked? The arrows swooshed over his head and killed the goblins on the opposite side from the shooters.

Hey! You said that ten archers would do.


“I lied.”

That’s not fair. You made me spent one of my tries.

“Fine, that didn’t count. Happy now, little man?”

Yes. Thanks.

“Though, I said that a bad writer would need ten goblins. I said nothing about awful writers. So it still counts,” he jok— “No, I meant it. Three tries left.”

Could you just stop with the insults? Okay? They are really detrimental to the confidence of an aspiring author.

“...”

Nothing to say? Thanks, I guess.

Then hundred exceptionally skilled archers appeared out of nowhere and surrounded Arnholt. They aimed at varying elevations and some of them even a little to the sides of the warrior. They shot in unison. Arnholt picked up a shield from the ground, but there was no way he could have blocked all the arrows with it. He spun and dodged and swerved, but one arrow still found its way through his defence, hitting him to the neck and severing his carotid artery. Surely this was the end of the Mighty Arnholt.

Aww yiss. Victory!

Arnholt fell to his knees. He grasped the pine shaft protruding from his neck and pulled it out. The wound... healed instantly, and the warrior attacked, killing the archers before most of them even realized what had happened.

Whoa! What the hell? What the ACTUAL hell! There was NO foreshadowing, not even a hint, of any superhuman healing ability!

“It’s in my backstory.”

Backstory? You are literally like one thousand words old.

“A good writer would have made one. You didn’t, so I made my own. It’s interesting. Want to hear it?”

No! Let’s just get on with this.

Arnholt was hacking the last of the grossly incompetent archers when a roar surged from a distance. The warrior watched as a tiny speck on the horizon slowly grew into the largest dragon that had ever lived. It soared through the sky, setting the ground on fire and finally landing in front of Arnholt. It was three hundred feet long and a hundred tall. Its scales were as thick as nobleman’s children and as tough as the finest steel. Its breath burned hotter than any other flame.

Arnholt readied his axe. He was shaking… not from fear, but from the anticipation. He smiled as the dragon lunged at him.

The warrior flung his axe at the beast, striking its eye. The dragon’s head recoiled, and its mouth opened into a cry that quenched its flame. Arnholt ran up and then jumped into the beast’s gaping mouth. The dragon swallowed him whole.

And so ended the tale of—

Strange, muffled rattle emanated from the belly of the beast, and then a buzz. The dragon convulsed, collapsing dead to the ground as Arnholt bisected its stomach from the inside with a chainsaw.

*Sighs* What is this? The Sharknado? This makes even less sense than that movie. Talk about bad writing. I should just give up.

“Scared already, little man?” the warrior asked, picking up his ax— “I see, back to stalling with description.”

Last chance now, right?

“Yes, little man, then you’re dead. I can’t lose, I’m invincible! And you’re a chicken.”

I’ll come down there as soon as you defeat your last… Hey, that’s it! You don’t have to lose for me to stay alive. You just have to not win.

A man, holding an axe, appeared in front of Arnholt; a man just like him. He wasn't an illusion or a doppelgänger, but as much Arnholt as Arnholt himself.

“Ha!” The Arnholts laughed, turning their gazes skywards. “Well played, little man!”


Everything I wrote above is pure conjecture. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm a perfectionist but not very good at anything. That's why I rarely finish things.