Author Topic: A child, a monster, and a place.  (Read 1054 times)

Eater of Clowns

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A child, a monster, and a place.
« on: May 17, 2016, 02:40:51 pm »
I went to a creative themed party this past weekend. One of the workshops was for writing. I've never done a writing workshop or learned anything about the process other than doing it and collaborating, mostly with people here. At the end of the discussion, we were given the prompt:  a child, a monster, and a place. We had about 20 minutes. Here is what I came up with.

"They're coming for you, Chris." The voice was smooth, and close.

"But you're with me," Chris said. He lilted his tone like a question.

"I'm with you."

"I can't look everywhere at once. I'm afraid."

"I'm with you."

Chris sighed. The night light let a soft yellow glow into his room. It was only enough to lend everything a terrible shape. He was glad for Brian. He was always glad for Brian, when he was there. But Brian wasn't always there. Brian came from wherever monsters came from, and Brian came when Chris was scared of monsters.

"Back to back, remember," Brian said.

Chris pressed his slim frame against the hugeness that was Brian. He could see the long hairy arms extending out in the corners of his vision; a wall of monster, to stop the tide of monster.

There was a creak, and a rustle.

"The closet," Chris said.

"The bed," Brian said.

Chris raised his little pen light to the closet door. It was ajar and from the inky darkness within a pair of eyes glinted. There was a hiss as the light hit them, and a hint of scales. They retreated.

Brian was growling, a rumble that sounded like it came from the floor itself. Chris smiled wickedly. That was all Brian ever needed to do. He was the biggest monster. All the other monsters were scared of him. Brian had said so himself.

"Scouts," Brian said, "they always want to know if it's safe. Monsters are cowards."

Chris knew this. Monsters were cowards. Brian had told him. But Brian was not a coward. Brian was Chris' monster.

A howl came from outside, and the padding of many feet. Too many feet. Chris' little pen light felt all too weak. He gulped.

"They're going to use the window," Chris said. His voice wavered.

"I will take the window, then," Brian told him, "you guard our rear. Guard the door."

"On it," he said. He leveled the pen light as bravely as he could.

Tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap tap. Claws against he window pane.

"Let us in," came a voice like a thousand snakes. "Let us in. Let us in." Tap. Tap tap.

"What do we say, Chris?" Brian asked.

"N-no," Chris said. "No!"

"We are coming in," the slithering said. "We are coming in if you let us or not!"

The window slid open behind Chris. He held his light to the door. Its little circle of white bobbed and shook.

"Don't look around," Brian told him. "They'll only be stronger if you look at them. These are tiny things. They are not like me."

"You're strong," Chris said.

"I am strong."

There was a sound like wetness and heaviness hitting the floor. Then another. And another. Brian growled. There was sliding and Brian's two huge hairy arms moving far too fast. There was tearing and squeals.

An eternity passed. "You can look around," Brian said.

Chris did, slowly. The window was open. Deep gouges were cut into the fame. Tufts of hair were missing from Brian's huge arms. His claws dripped with...something.

"You got them," Chris said.

"I almost didn't."

"But you did. Because you're my monster," Chris said.

"Yes," Brian told him, "I am your monster." And didn't the night light make the fangs look long, make the claws look sharp. "I am your monster."
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 01:59:43 am by Eater of Clowns »
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

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Re: A child, a monster, and a place.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 02:59:47 pm »
Niiiiice.

I could see that illustrated by Dave McKean.

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: A child, a monster, and a place.
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 03:27:49 pm »
I'm sure it's only coincidence that I just happened to see Monsters Inc for the first time yesterday. It has to be. .yes... it HAS to be! Clearly.


This was much better, surreal of course, but more realistic monsterness.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

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Eater of Clowns

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Re: A child, a monster, and a place.
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 04:44:15 pm »
Niiiiice.

I could see that illustrated by Dave McKean.
Thanks. Yeah I loved his work on Sandman. I hadn't thought about it but his style is perfect for what I was going for.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

Eater of Clowns

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Re: A child, a monster, and a place.
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 04:59:01 pm »
I'm sure it's only coincidence that I just happened to see Monsters Inc for the first time yesterday. It has to be. .yes... it HAS to be! Clearly.


This was much better, surreal of course, but more realistic monsterness.
Haha, Monsters Inc did pop into my head while I was writing it. There are some hints of Sully and Randall in there.

One of the things my buddy said about short stories is the last line should make you reevaluate the entire piece so I tried to make Brian a little more ambiguous with it.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: A child, a monster, and a place.
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 05:51:12 am »
I'm sure it's only coincidence that I just happened to see Monsters Inc for the first time yesterday. It has to be. .yes... it HAS to be! Clearly.


This was much better, surreal of course, but more realistic monsterness.
Haha, Monsters Inc did pop into my head while I was writing it. There are some hints of Sully and Randall in there.

One of the things my buddy said about short stories is the last line should make you reevaluate the entire piece so I tried to make Brian a little more ambiguous with it.

Ha! Ambiguous like teeth in moonlight.

I got a distinct feeling of concern as a wild animal that could turn suddenly when I first read it. Now the thought just hit me, "it may be your monster, but having your own monster isn't necessarily a good thing."
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

Eater of Clowns

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Re: A child, a monster, and a place.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 03:17:03 pm »
Earlier this month was the 2nd of these parties. I did the writing shop again, this time getting the prompt "A story about a heavy metal band." Here's what I had after 30 minutes or so:

The last note sounded, deafening on a small fortune of amp stacks, resounding over a packed stadium. Thousands cheered, the constant din of all crowds erupting into 40 years of fervor. Magnus Ulric Vandoerf didn't feel the lines in his face, and the lights washed them off of the audience as they cried out and he was The Hateful Swede again in the headlines. Instead of Mr. Vandoerf, subtitle guitarist.

"Omenus!" they chanted together, "Omenus!"

If he could have known in the 70s where he'd be now, he'd have picked a better name. What the fuck is an Omenus?

The hand waved, perfunctory. Anything else would not be metal. The Drummer tossed his sticks over the stage. Not long ago that would have caused a fistfight. But not these days. Fistfights didn't go well with arthritis.

Magnus tried not to shuffle. He'd tripped on a cord ten years ago and two bruised ribs were headlines for a week. They made it, even The Drummer, whose trips to and from his kit were the most walking he did these days.

"Omenus! Omenus!" it kept coming. It would end soon. They had kits to get to. They didn't need to party all night to have a rough next day.

They sat in the dressing room, not speaking, slowly sipping beers, except for Svendsen. Svendsen was fifteen years clean.

"This is bullshit," Magnus announced. The others enacted dull surprise. "We can't keep doing this," he continued, "look at us!"

He huffed for a while. It was tiring being The Hateful Swede so late, and after a 3 hour set.

"Anyway it's time to call it quits," he finished.

This was enough to stir them.

"Quit and do what," The Drummer said. "I don't even know what it's like being home anymore. Am I going to take up gardening? Fuck, even my grandkids call me The Drummer."

He was right, of course. They were Omenus. Sten grunted from the corner. It was the bassist's version of a speech.

"No fucking retirement," Magnus agreed.

"So then what," Svendsen asked, "honestly I figured we'd die on stage."

"We go back to the beginning," Magnus said.

"Club shows?" said The Drummer, "no thanks. The sound in those things is bad on my ears."

"No, no, no clubs, no shows, no music," Magnus said, "weren't all those just an excuse anyway? We just bought into them the same as anybody else." He stood. "I want to be The Hateful Swede again. Boys," he looked at them. The Drummer in his chair, Svendsen with his water, Sten just there, as always. "Let's go burn down a church!"

He'd have it again, his subtitle. The Hateful Swede.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.