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A short story what I wrote

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:13 pm
by carbonstealer
So I wrote this story, and it has a part one (which is ok stand alone) and part of a part two which I am considering finishing one day. Have a read?

The Epic Tale of Tobias the Fairly Great and Mostly Good Part 1
On a warm spring afternoon, a lone caterpillar crawled along the cobblestones of the wide and busy street. So far the caterpillar had managed to dodge stamping hooves and rolling wheels, slither around live stock and navigate through treacherous puddles with skill that Houdini would’ve given his left arm to possess. The caterpillar raised the head of its long, green, furry body, feeling the air for disturbances with its myriad fine hairs. Soon the caterpillar would be at safety – up ahead lay a set of stairs with a tall man spreadeagled across them, a tankard in his hand. The caterpillar bunched his furry body up, sizing up the distance as he readied himself for one more burst of speed to launch himself to safety. Just as he was about to launch, out of nowhere there swooped a crow, razor sharp beak yearning for caterpillar flesh. No time to think, the caterpillar just closed his eyes and let fly his coils and sped as he had never before. If there had been any witnesses, they would’ve said he had flown like the mighty eagle, but there wasn’t so they didn’t. His body made a near invisible arc over the stairs, as he flew straight and true. When he opened his eyes he found himself on the side of the drunkard’s tankard, and lost no time crawling over the lip of vessel, hiding himself from the view of the fearsome predator. He heard the crow caw in an aggravated manner, but having resigned itself to losing its lunch, it flew off in search of less wily food. The caterpillar congratulated himself on his narrow escape. This was the last thing he ever did.

Tobias lay on the steps watching the carts rolling by, tankard in hand. He marvelled at the fact that even after three hours of hard drinking he could still feel the imprint of his wife Christine’s hand upon his cheek. Not to mention the imprints of Catherine, Maria, Isobelle, Stella, Elizabeth and Flower-in-the-Night, his other wives. He should’ve known not to let them all join a sewing group. What are the chances that in a city with a population of one hundred thousand with more being spawned everyday that every single one of his wives joined the same sewing club? For such delicate beauties, they certainly had some oomph when it came bashing the living daylights out of their lying (he preferred the term “omitting”) husband.

Honestly, he couldn’t see the reason for them to get so upset. He paid good attention to all of them, kept them in the fancy upkeep they were used to. What would’ve been truly indecent would to have saved them from the terrifying dragon/snatched them from the claws of priests attempting to sacrifice them to unknown God’s/carried them off from a creepy bunch of dwarves that spent their time staring at them in glass cases and not to have married them. That would go against the way of the heroes! Everyone knew that when a handsome man with a big sword (and that’s not all) and trusty steed road in banners flying and saved the princess from imminent death (or in some cases, perving from the vertically challenged) that they road off into the sunset to get married in a church with an overabundance of flowers and the presence of strange midgets (presumably children). Adventuring was what he did, and if that meant he had to marry multiple extremely beauteous women who worshipped the ground he walked on, not to mention spent the long hours of their imprisonment sexually fantasising about the one who would rescue them, he was willing to make that sacrifice.

He took a self-righteous swig of alcohol (knowing that his opinions seemed to have more foundation the more he drank), but as he did Something wriggled on his tongue then lodged in his throat, as if devising an escape stratagem. He gagged then took another, larger gulp of ale, and so ended the life of our wily caterpillar. Tobias didn’t dwell on what the mystery object was. In his experience, it was better for his sanity if any mystery objects he swallowed that originated from a quantity of alcohol remained a mystery. He shuddered as he remembered that one time, at training camp when they were sneaking their instructor’s mead, and Billy had asked where his pet tadpoles had gone…

Tobias decided not to go down that particular lane of memory and instead contemplated his current situation. At six foot five, he was an impressive specimen of man, with broad, manly shoulders, a broad, manly chin, piercing blue manly eyes and long luscious, lustrous, silky, manly black hair (someone had tried to point out to him that hair like his was most often seen on the less manly sex. That someone never said anything again, partly due to how much the following events mentally scarred him, but mostly owing to the fact that his tongue ended up nailed to the tavern’s dartboard). Surely there was at least one more quest left in as fine a figure as his, but where in this day and age would he find one? It could take months to find an appropriate situation…


Tobias was thrown flat on his back as the cause of the unusual sound effect hit him in the face. As he peeled off the sheet of parchment (such was the nature of the object) it occurred to him that there was no way a sheet of parchment could go SPLAT! Crackle maybe, but not SPLAT! Obviously the parchment disagreed however, since it then commenced reattaching itself to his face, with a loud


Once he had managed to remove the parchment from his face, this task made ever so slightly more difficult by his state of inebriation, he perused its contents. It didn’t seem to be making much sense. After much puzzlement he discovered this was because it was upside down. Having rectified this problem, he began again to try and decipher its contents, with the help of several large and lovely illustrations:


Tobias thought this was a promising start, and decided to continue on.

Brave Adventurer Required To Save Princess Rosalyn From the Dastardly Dragon Of Dire Death!

50, 000 Gold Reward!!!!

The start was good, the middle was fairly interesting, but damn was it a spectacular end.
“SOLD!” He exclaimed aloud, leaping from the steps in excitement. “It shall be a quest to remember! I, the hero shall come forth gloriously victorious!” At this he struck what in his mind was a very heroic pose, until his eyes met those of a rather frightened cart driver, who was looking like he’d just seen a mad man start leaping around and shouting things. Tobias looked behind himself for said mad man and having found none assumed the cart driver was simply awed by his manliness, as all peasants should be. He gave the cart driver a friendly wave and a (very manly) grin, but was puzzled when this caused him to tug on his reins so that his horses galloped away. Strange man.

Shrugging off the incident, Tobias once again glanced at the sheet of vellum. A dragon eh? Not all they were cracked up to be really. With all the sitting around listening to damsels in distress singing about their true love they had to do, Dragons had far too much time to think. All thinking eventually leads to the big questions: Why are we here? What’s life all about? Is there a heaven or hell? Do we reincarnate? (You can find these questions, and more, in the meaning of life). By the time Tobias came, they welcomed the end to their pointless existence, not to mention off key singing. What he did need though was a trusty sidekick, to aid him on his quest for gold and glory (in other words, coin and cleavage).

“Excuse me sir, you wouldn’t happen to be in need of a sidekick would you?”

Tobias jumped. Out of nowhere, a tall thin youth with boyish curls and helpful expression, had appeared next to him. After a few moments of staring confusedly at the youth, his lips mouthing words such as who, what, why, when, how and spaghetti, he realised that he probably looked like a complete idiot and commenced looking manly and authorative. It was odd how things kept appearing as he was thinking of them.

“Why, yes in fact I am in need of a sidekick. Pray tell how you knew this, and how you appeared so suddenly”

“It’s a sidekick trick sir” The youth said in a tone usually used when speaking to small children “We just have this sort of six sense when it comes to being needed in a quest to perform all the dirty tasks that the hero doesn’t want to do. You simply have a lazy author who could not be bothered to think of a reasonable excuse for me to turn up” Quite rightly, Tobias felt like this explained nothing. “What is this … ‘Author’ you speak of? It’s not like this is some story clumsily written by a teenager yet wet behind the ears, this is real life, young fella m’lad (Tobias had a habit of reverting to condescending terms when he felt he was being condescended upon), real life!”

The boy shrugged. “Reality is what you make of it sir” came the diplomatic reply “If you’re secure enough to believe that this is real life, then kudos to you. Personally I highly suspect that there is some hidden force directing our paths towards bad puns and situations that barely fit into the parameters of the vaguely possible”. Tobias responded to this in the most dignified and manly manner possible – he smiled and nodded as if to say, yes, I know what you’re twaddling on about.

“Ahem, very good, very insightful.” Tobias paused and coughed, looking around shiftily “So, err, do you have a name young lad?”

“Terrence Phineas Reginald Bilious Oswald Kirk McLeay” Intoned the young lad in the tones of someone reciting something that they had had to write out three hundred lines of before they go it quite right.

“Quite a mouthful you got there. Family name?”

“My parents had a strange sense of humour. They believed that it would be funny to give their son as many ridiculous names as possible.” He paused for a second, and his eyes tilted briefly skyward. When he continued his voice seemed strangely far away, as if emanating from the deepest reaches of his memory “I suppose it was funny for them” His eyes turned to meet Tobias’ and in those eyes was a world of name-based torment never before known to the down-on-his-luck hero. An uncomfortable silence ensued. Tobias looked at his feet, at his hands, at his elbow, at the man arm wrestling a donkey and finally at Terrence Phineas B…. Terrence Phineas Roger? Terrence, and having found nothing out of the ordinary with which to seamlessly change subject, he attempted simply soothe the current one.

“I’ve heard worse” he said, lying through his teeth “But if it bothers you, why not a nickname?”

Terrence looked slightly wary of this suggestion. “In my experience nicknames aren’t a pleasant thing”. Tobias could see the logic behind that. With a name like that, the nicknames would probably have been leaning more towards the pointy end of the lance. “This is a different kind of nickname. Luckily for you, you have plenty to draw from to create a nickname” said Tobias reassuringly. He began to think. It needed to be something snappy and catchy, that sounded good when yelled out in life threatening situations. Terry Fin? Too weird. Ossie? Too crazy bat-eating rock star. Jimmy? Perfect.
“What about Jimmy?”
“Uh, I suppose that’s good. One question though”
“Ask away, Jimmy.” Answered Tobias, cockily emphasising Jimmy.
“I have five first names and two surnames, all of which have various syllables. Why choose a nickname that has nothing to do with ANY of those? I mean the Kirkinator might have been a bit cool.”

The boy was right. That was an awesome name. However, completely beside the point “Ah, my dear Jimmy, none of those could have quite the ring that Jimmy does in perilous situations!” Tobias made a chopping motion on situations, obviously trying to indicate that hitting his hand with his other hand was a perilous situation. “Let me demonstrate my dear boy. Pretend you are in a perilous situation!”

The newly named Jimmy closed his eyes, and started mouthing the words ‘perilous situation’ to himself. He came out of it a few moments later with a harried expression on his face. “Ok, done”

The boy had commitment. Tobias admired that.

“Ready for it?”
“A good sidekick is always ready!”
“ok here it comes…” Tobias took a deep breath in preparation, filling up his lungs with air. When they could take no more he let it all out with one heartfelt cry:


Carts stopped, old women fell over and small children dropped their balls as the cry reverberated around the cobbled street, ricocheting off hewn stone walls and echoing in protesting ears. All attention was focused upon Tobias, and the usually deafening streets went completely silent, save for the dying echoes of Tobias’s voice. He waited till even those had died away, and then simply stated:

“And that m’lad, is why I chose Jimmy”

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:54 pm
by Astrogirl
I love it. Extraordinarily good writing. When do you think you will have the second part ready?

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:32 am
by carbonstealer
I can't work on it at the moment cos of uni, it will probably be a few weeks before I can get to it...

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:04 pm
by Apocalyptus
I liked it, though I thought the meta fictional self-referencing was a bit too emphasised.

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:21 pm
by carbonstealer
mmm that was a part that I wrote when I couldn't really think of anything cool enough and always meant to change but then never did

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:22 pm
by Astrogirl
Interestingly, I recently read a book that started kind of in the same way. This one: The Flight of the Ants (flight as in fleeing, not as in flying; does not seem to have been translated into English, yet; it is about a vulcano breaking out in Germany).

It starts from the perspective of an ant, or rather a group of ants. They touch and smell something they have not encountered before. Turns out to be a shoe. When the person stomps, all fall off but one. It crawls up and up, inside the leg of the pants. Eventually it gets squished and the perspective changes to the man, who is then the main character.

Looking forward to how your hero-and-dragon story will evolve.

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:04 pm
by Astrogirl
Now you have time to continue writing this story!

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:54 pm
This story makes me happy to read :3

Re: A short story what I wrote

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:21 am
by lumusislight
Re: Elements of a story and inducing realiry with Ken Ramsley's:

It's a good story with a vivid line and basic elements. Any event in a story is characterized by 4 features: irreversability, consecutiveness, unpredictability and non-repeatability. It makes a story sound fresh and logical. Truculent characters and villains are seen as powerful tools for captivating the reader.