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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Issues…

Sorry, faithful readers, but the internet has been down at my house for the past two days and I was not in the office at work, so I’ve had no opportunity to write a story.  I will try to rectify this as soon as possible, but I wanted to let you know what’s up in the meantime.  Now, I actually have to do some work.  Boo.  🙂

with high hopes,

the SotWC

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Announcements

 

Bork the Nasty (story #87)

So, I think I’ve found a couple minutes to write a story.  Hooray.  But the internet is running slow in my house, and my butt hurts from sitting at a computer all day.  Boo.  That being said, I wanna give a shout out to my friend, Kevin, and his Magical Space Pony web comic.  Mainly because I am going to steal a line from his comics to use somewhere in the story tonight.  I don’t know how or why it will come up, we’ll have to find out together.  You will surely know when we get there, however.  Because of the Magical Space Pony reference, I would think.

BORK THE NASTY

Once, many years ago, when history was still the future and stories were told, not written, there was a viking tribe called the Fungschway.  They weren’t really sure if “tribe” was the right word to describe a group of vikings, but they also didn’t really care.  The Fungschway tribe were mostly known for their predisposition towards planting pretty, pretty flowers.  Well, that and merciless torture.  It was kind of a toss-up.

Our story concerns one of the Fungschway whose name was Bork.  Bork was often given to wild flights of fancy, and more often than not at extremely inappropriate times.  Once when his father, Meep, was threatening a helpless crowd of villagers with hideous torture and window boxes full of begonias, Bork began to give a puppet show for all the children.  Pretty soon everyone was laughing and no one was taking Meep’s threats seriously anymore.  Poor old Meep was forced to plant a couple of window boxes right then and there just to prove he was serious.

After they left the town, Meep said to Bork, “listen, son.  You know I love your imagination, but you gotta learn time and place, kid.  You made me plant way too early back there, and those begonias are way out of season.  They won’t survive the winter.”

"Look! Up in the sky! It's a magical space pony on a jet-propelled rocket duck!" Art by Maria Gullickson

“Yes, daddy,” Bork said.

“All right, have we learned a lesson, here?” Meep asked.

“Look!  Up in the Sky!  It’s a Magical Space Pony on a jet-propelled rocket duck!” said Bork.

“That would be a ‘no.'” Meep said, sighing.

Another day found Bork weaving an elaborate tapestry of tales to all of the prisoners the Fungschway were keeping in the dungeons (you know those dungeons that vikings have).  Meep came upon him just finishing some outlandish story about a Kingdom full of trolls and giant cats and beautiful girls, and the boy from another world who had to deliver them all.  Ridiculous, right?  Meep was the opposite of pleased.  Which you could take to mean he was desaelp, if you were feeling very silly.  Which is obviously okay around here.

“What are you doing?!?” Meep cried.

“Why, father, I’m just entertaining the prisoners,” Bork replied.

Meep was crestfallen.  “Are they not entertained enough by my beautiful rose bushes?” he asked.  He was quite proud of how well he had managed to get the roses into full bloom even being planted underground and in a stone floor.  He had one heck of a green thumb, did Meep.

“I’m sure they are most entertained by your hearty roses,” said Bork.  “I just wanted to tell them a story to keep them even more entertained.  They looked sad after all the torture, you know.”

“Well, that’s what the rose bushes are for, son,” said Meep.  “Remember, our tribe is known for flowers and torture.  Not for stories.”

“Yes, daddy,” said Bork, frowning.

One of the prisoners, whose name was Mana-mana,  looked at the sad little boy and then at the great, jagged cat o’ nine tails that Meep held in his fist.  He whimpered a little and Bork looked up at him.  Mana-mana winked slyly and then began to cry.

“Oh, great and terrible Meep of the Fungschway!” he wailed.  Meep looked up at him.  “Your roses,” Mana-mana continued, “are a great comfort to us.  But your boys’ stories…  Oh, the stories!  They are like torture!  They hurt our very souls to hear!  A greater torture one could not devise than to be forced to hear such tales!”

“Really?” said Meep.

“Oh yes, your viking-ness,” said Mana-mana.  “We all dread his visits here.  We call him Bork the Nasty, for he is so evil in torturing us with tales!”

Meep thought for a moment.  “You really call him Bork the Nasty?” he asked finally, a gratified smile curling his lips.

“Totally,” said Mana-mana.  As Meep lowered his head in thought, Mana-mana once again winked at Bork.  Bork grinned and winked back.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” Meep said finally.  “I’m gonna have Bork the Nasty come down here and tell you guys a story every week.  How’s that for torture, suckers?”  The prisoners all groaned and pretended to be extremely desaelp, but it was not easy to contain their true joy.  Of course, they all loved Bork’s stories and looked forward to them.  Now knowing he would be able, even committed, to telling them a story every week, they were quite happy.

So, Bork started telling the prisoners a story every single Thursday, and everyone was happy.  Bork had a cool viking name, Meep had a son who could “torture” people, and the prisoners got a break once a week.  It was a swell arrangement for everybody.

Until Bork stopped telling his stories on the right day.  Some weeks he wouldn’t even tell a story at all.  He always had excuses like “I’m sick” or “I’m busy” or “my butt hurts.”

Geez.  What kind of jerky storyteller acts like that, huh?

THE END

Okay, time to stop this story before “self-referential” becomes “self-pitying.”  Ha ha!  What a great Magical Space Pony reference though, huh?

See you soon,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Fantasy, History

 

The Story of Charlie the Fishing Well (story #86)

Well well well.  Here we are on the morning after once again.  I left my house yesterday at 8:30 in the morning and (excepting a quick stop by home to put milk in my refrigerator) did not return until after midnight.  So I opted not to write a story.  Does it sound like I’m making an excuse?  Oh well.  It’s what happened, is all.

I seem to be saying “well” a lot today.  Perhaps I should just go ahead and write a story about a well.  Not a wishing well, though.  That’s too easy.  No, this story will be about a FISHing well.

I have no idea what that means.

THE STORY OF CHARLIE THE FISHING WELL

Art by Deron Decesare

Once upon a time there was a well named Charlie.  He was a nice, deep well.  Not meaning that he went far into the ground, he didn’t.  He was actually not a very good well in that respect; he had been built by a man named Chew who was not a very good planner and had stopped digging at about four and a half feet.  Needless to say, Charlie was not a very good well, since he only held water after it rained, and then only for a few hours or so depending on how much precipitation had fallen.

No, when I say that Charlie was a nice, deep well, I mean that he had a very pleasant disposition and was a heady thinker.

One day, a young man named Rumpole came up to Charlie and looked into his murky depths (it had just finished raining about twenty minutes before; Charlie would have murky depths for maybe two hours).  Rummaging into his pockets, Rumpole pulled out a quarter.

“I wish Mathilda loved me,” he said forlornly, and prepared to flip the quarter into the air.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said a voice.

“Huh?” said Rumpole, making a fist around the quarter to keep from accidentally dropping it.  “Who said that?”

“I did,” said the voice, echoing slightly in the shallow hollow of Charlie’s well-body.

“Who are you?” asked Rumpole.  “Where are you?”

“I’m right here,” Charlie responded.  “You’re leaning on me.”

Rumpole looked down at Charlie’s stone sides.  “I’m . . . leaning . . . on you,” he said.

“Yep,” said Charlie, blowing a few cheerful bubbles to the surface of his temporary fulfillment.

“You’re the well,” Rumpole said, lifting his arms slightly off of the surface of Charlie’s wall.

“Yep,” said Charlie again.

“And you’re talking to me,” Charlie continued.

“Yep,” Charlie said for the third time.  He waited for Rumpole to respond.  Would he scream and run?  Would he ask more questions?  Would he lose his mind in the face of such an improbable but undeniably true circumstance?

“That’s weird,” Rumpole said.

“Ah!” said Charlie, blowing more giddy bubbles.  “Well done, my friend.  An impressive, if prosaically phrased, sentiment.  Not fear or madness, but simple observation.  I like it.”

“Well, that’s nice of you,” Rumpole said.

“That’s how I roll,” Charlie replied.

Suddenly, Rumpole snickered.  He tried to hold it in, but the snicker turned into a full out belly laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Charlie asked, feeling a little left out and fearing that perhaps Rumpole had slipped into madness after all.

When he had control of himself, Rumpole replied, “I said ‘well, that’s nice of you.’  Get it?  You’re a well!  And I said ‘Well, that’s nice of you!’  Like if you said, ‘boy, that’s nice of you.’  Get it?”

Charlie thought a moment and then burst out laughing.  Murky water and mud splashed all over Rumpole’s face.  This just made both of them laugh harder, Rumpole until he was rolling on the ground clutching his sides, Charlie until dirty water flooded over his stone body and out onto the ground.  Needless to say, they were both quite filthy before the whole episode was over.

“Well,” said Rumpole, dragging himself to his feet.

“Yes, boy?” said Charlie, and they both snickered a little more.

“Why did you tell me not to flick my quarter into your water when I made my wish?” Rumpole asked.

“Ah, yes, that,” said Charlie.  “Well, you see—”

“You mean BOY, you see.”

“Yes, of course,” said Charlie, though he was already growing tired of the joke.  “You see, I am not a wishing well.”

“Are you sure?” Rumpole asked.  “You sure look an awful lot like a wishing well.”

“No, I assure you, I am not a wishing well.”

“Okay, then what kind of well are you?”

Charlie cleared his stone throat (Rumpole ducked away so as not to get any more goo on himself) and said, “I . . . am a fishing well.”

Rumpole stared at Charlie.  Charlie waited.  “A fishing well?” Rumpole said finally.

“That is correct,” replied the well.

“That’s weird,” said Rumpole.

“A less impressive response the second time around,” Charlie observed, “but I’ll take it.”

“But, you’re a well,” said Rumpole.

“So noted,” said Charlie.

“So, how can you go fishing?” Rumpole asked.

“I’ve never really figured it out,” Charlie replied.  “But I do think I am uncommonly smart and attractive for being just a well.  Don’t you?”

“What do you mean?” Rumpole asked.

“I mean, if you think I’m thoughtful and interesting and pretty or quaint, it would be okay to say so.”

“Are you trying to get me to compliment you?” Rumpole asked.

“Maybe,” said Charlie.  “But don’t you think I’m worth it?”

“Um, I guess so,” said Rumpole.  “You’re kind of needy, aren’t you?”

“I just want attention,” said Charlie the fishing well.

THE END

Well (har de har), this is what I came up with while I supposed to be doing work.  Hope you enjoyed it.  🙂

Love,

The SotWC

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

They (story #85)

Okay, so I’m two days late, but at least I’m not just totally ignoring the story or anything.  Better late than never, isn’t that what they say?

I was about to write some wiseacre comment about not knowing who “they” were.  But it’s an old joke.  And I think a better response to the mention of the nebulous “they” might be to write a story about them.  So here it goes.

THEY

Art by Eric Jansen

It was a secret gathering, and long ago.  They got together in a dark room of a dark house at a dark place on a dark day.  They said many things, and many things did They say.  In secret, in hiding, the saying is nothing to those who say.  They have naught to worry them, naught to fear.  Who would listen to the nameless faceless rabble of gathered no ones and not I’s who made that dark table their afternoon home and trusted to the anonymity of secrets told to none but the dark and dim and silent?  If only They’d known.  If only They’d seen.  The place was dark, but the place had windows.  The wind was silent, but the house had holes.

Little Lord Timmy Methuselah was there.  Little Lord Timmy Methuselah heard.

“Time heals all wounds,” one of Them said.

“Don’t go in swimming for at least a half an hour after eating,” another replied.

“Don’t swallow Pop Rocks and Coke at the same time,” another joined in.

“Chinese food makes you hungry again in twenty minutes,” said another one of them.

Wow, thought Little Lord Timmy Methuselah as he knelt beneath a window in a wall with a hole, They sure are smart.  I bet everything They’re saying is true.

“Curiosity killed the cat,” one of Them said.

“But satisfaction brought him back!” one of Them shouted in return.

“You shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day,” one admonished.

“It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for,” someone intoned from a dark corner of the dark room.

Little Lord Timmy Methuselah was thankful for his eidetic memory, for this was all clearly wisdom not to be forgotten.  Wisdom for the ages.  Wisdom spoken by dark men and dark women in a dark time on a dark day.  Little Lord Timmy Methuselah was afraid it might rain, but stay he did, and faithful he remained to the task of committing such verbal treasure to memory as would benefit ages to come.

“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” They said.  And the afternoon wore on and on.

Upon returning to his castle late that evening, Little Lord Timmy Methuselah was accosted by his Grandmother, Kelpy Sacrebleu.  “Where have you been?” she cried.  “Your mother and your father and your sister and all the servants and, not the least of these, your grandfather and I have been worried about you!  We’ve been sitting by the door just waiting for you to come home!”

“Well,” said Little Lord Timmy Methuselah, “They say a watched pot never boils.”

Grandmother Kelpy blinked.  Slowly, she released her grip on Little Lord Timmy Methuselah’s shoulders.  “Is that what They say?” she asked finally.

“It is indeed,” Timmy said.  “Among other things.”

From around the corner, the voice of the Elder Lord Timmy Methuselah came.  “What else have They said, boy?”  Timmy’s father appeared and approached him cautiously.  “And how have you heard what They have said?”

“I was out chasing squirrels,” Little Lord Timmy explained, “when I saw them going into a dark house in a dark place.  I followed them, you see, and could hear every dark word they uttered.”

“Tell us!” said his father, as the rest of the family rounded the corner and anxiously approached.

“Tell us!” the family echoed.

“I can’t!” cried Little Lord Timmy in desperation.  “I heard all, but I cannot tell you all.  Not now.  I cannot.  I dare not.”

“And why?” asked Timmy’s grandfather, the Eldest Lord Timmy Methuselah.  “Can you tell us none of their wisdom?  What reason can there be?”

“That I can tell you,” Little Lord Timmy replied.  The family waited.  The family barely breathed.  Little Lord Timmy looked at each in turn before speaking.    “They say loose lips sink ships,” he said finally.

A collective sigh broke from the family’s mouths.  “Well,” said the Elder Lord Timmy, “in that case, you shall have to keep silent until such time as revelation may be called for.  But, in the meantime, you are totally grounded.”

“I’m not surprised, ” Little Lord Timmy said.  “They say that no good deed goes unpunished.”

And so grounded he was, and grounded he remained as years went by and the world grew older.  And on dark days in dark times that followed, They continued to meet and continued to speak and continued trust in the secrecy of solitude.  But in those latter days, their trust was founded as none came to hear.  Little Lord Timmy Methuselah sat on his bed and recited their wisdom and wished for more, but more he never heard, sitting and waiting and wishing.  And when his grounding was lifted he went into the world with but finite knowledge of what They say.  But what knowledge he had, he shared.  He’d learned his lesson by being grounded so long, you see.  And always, always, he wished to find Them again and hear what more They had to say.  But wishes were all he had, and you know what they say about wishes and horses, don’t you?

Well, don’t you?

THE END

Well, happy Thursday to you all.  Have a great weekend.  And, you know, inspiring stuff like that.

See you soon,

the SotWC

 

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Not tonight, dear, I have a headache…

Hey, kids.  Today was a decent enough day, but tonight has rhymed with “Schmitty.”  So I’m gonna cut my losses, call it a day, and turn in early.  I will write a story sometime tomorrow.  Good night and good luck.

See you in the morning,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Announcements

 

The Story of Marvin, the Fluffy Caveman (story #84)

Howdy-ho, kiddos!  Gotta warn you, this is probably gonna be a silly night.  For those of you who were scared like cavemen in a lightning storm by our horror story two weeks ago, this may come as something of a relief.  For those of you who enjoyed the horror story and are looking for yet another entry of some substance, depth, or at the very least a little seriousness…  Well, tough noogies.  I’m feeling fluffy tonight.

I think we all know where an introduction like that is going to lead.

THE STORY OF MARVIN, THE FLUFFY CAVEMAN

Once upon a time, when all the countries of the world were one great super-continent called Pangaea, there lived a dude named Marvin.  He was pretty evolved for his family and was the only one who had more than one syllable in his name.  Now, I’m not gonna perpetuate the myth that cavemen all had names like “Ug” and, um, “Ug.”  Sure, they were always one syllable, but they were names like “Sue” and “Bark” and “Spit.”  But Marvin, he was different.  Not only did he have a two-syllable name, he was fluffy.  Not hairy, mind you.  All the cavemen were hairy little beasts, even the girls.  But Marvin was fluffy.  Like a stuffed animal.  Pink and fluffy.

One day, as Marvin was wandering around wondering how he and his family even existed in the Paleozoic era, he had an idea.  He decided to make himself the mayor of Pangaea.  He was, after all, the only one around who had a two-syllable name.  Just like the word “Mayor” had two syllables.  And “Marvin” started with the same two letters as “Mayor.”  And also he had just invented the title of Mayor, so why not give it to himself?  It was almost hellishly perfect.

“What?” said his sister, Spit, when he told her he was the mayor of Pangaea.

“The mayor,” he repeated.  “I’m the mayor.”

“What does that mean?” Spit asked.

“It means you have to do what I say,” Marvin replied.

“Why?” Spit asked.

“Because I’m the mayor,” he said again.  “Duh.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” she said.

“Well, what do you know?” he asked.  “You only have one syllable in your name.”

Spit couldn’t argue with this, so she just pouted.  She was a hairy little cry-baby.

Before long, Marvin saw his best friend, Kite, walking by dragging a dinosaur carcass.

“Hey,”  said Marvin, “you know dinosaurs and cavemen didn’t exist at the same time, right?”

“So?” asked Kite.  “Neither of us existed in the Paleozoic era anyway.”

“Say, that’s right,” said Marvin.  “I was just thinking about that earlier today.”

“Want a Brontosaurus burger?” Kite asked.

“Wait a minute,” said Marvin.  “Brontosaurus never existed at all.”

“Does it really matter?” Kite asked.  “At this point, we can pretty much get away with anything.  I mean, we’re a bunch of talking cavemen living on a theoretical super-continent that existed millions of years before the continental drift created the places we would eventually call home.  You’re pink and fluffy and have the outlandishly long name ‘Marvin.’  I’m going to kill and eat a non-existent Brontosaurus if I feel like it.”

“Well, okay,” said Marvin.  “I guess I’ll allow it.”

“Allow it?” said Kite.  “What are you doing going around allowing things?  Who do you think you are?”

“I’m the mayor of Pangaea,” Marvin said.

Kite stared at him for a few moments before saying, “but I can have my Brontosaurus burger?”

“Yeah, sure,” said Marvin.

“Sounds fair to me,” said Kite, and the first political dinner ever was held.  Marvin and Kite invited all their friends and family over for Brontosaurus burgers and they all wore pilgrim outfits and sat at picnic tables and ate with utensils.  They talked all day about movies and  stock portfolios and how Kite had given them permission to do any anachronistic thing they wanted.  But mostly they just marveled at how smart Marvin must have been to make himself the mayor.

“I always knew he’d amount to something,” said Marvin’s mother, Truck, as she patted her pet Labrador Retriever, Cow, on the head.  “When he was born, he was nothing but a little pink fuzzball, but I knew he had potential.”

“Nonsense,” laughed Marvin’s father, Blood.  “She screamed like a ninny when he popped out.  She thought she’d invented cotton candy.”

Truck blushed.  “It’s a good thing Blood didn’t let me eat him, though,” she said.  “That would have been gross.  Obviously.”

“Well,” said Pill, a beautiful (but still hairy) girl from the nice Craftsman style house down the street, “I was friends with Marvin when he was just a little kid and I always thought there was something special about him.”

“Like the fact that you thought he was a girl wearing a sweater the first time you saw him at Caveman School?” asked an annoying little boy named Burp.

“You shut up, Burp!” Pill hissed as Marvin came walking over.  “He doesn’t need to now about that.  Or I’ll tell him about how you stole his G.I. Joe doll in the fifth grade!”

Burp was shocked.  “I’ll be good!” he said.  But it was too late.  Marvin had overheard what Pill said, and he was not happy.

“Off with his head!” Marvin cried, pointing to Burp.

“Whoa, that seems a bit harsh,” said the local newsman, Claude.

“That’s okay,” Kite whispered, “he hasn’t invented police or really public servants of any kind.  There’s no one to do his bidding yet.”

“What was that?” said Marvin.  “Police?  Public servants?  What are these things you speak of?”

“Nothing, oh great and powerful mayor,” Kite replied, eating another burger.

“I see you’ve invented sarcasm,” Marvin said.

“Yeah, isn’t it neat?” Kite replied.

“I must admit I’m impressed,” Marvin said, “but I’m not very happy.  And it doesn’t do to piss off the new mayor.”

“Oo, I’m scared,” Kite said.

“There it is again!” shouted Marvin.  “Off with his head!”

“Marvin, dear,” said Truck, “I think we’ve already established that no one is gonna do it when you shout an order like that.”

“But, I’m the mayor,” Marvin said weakly.

“And I’m the Queen of America!” said Kite.

“It’s not that we’re not proud of you, son,” said Blood, “it’s just that the food’s all gone and no one really wants to hang around and listen to your crap anymore.”

Marvin, with quivering lip, turned to Pill and said, “even you?”

Pill’s eyes lit up.  “Oh, Marvin,” she sobbed, “I’ve waited so long for you to notice me!  I’ve dreamed of this moment!  You want me to stay?  I’ll stay!  I’ll do anything for you!”

“Anything?” he asked.

“Anything!” she affirmed.

“Okay,” said Mayor Marvin.  “Cut off everybody’s head.”

“Well, all right, then,” said Pill, and pulled out a shiny new 3-speed John Deere chainsaw.

“Eek!” everyone screamed.  And, before you ask, yes they all said the word “eek” when they screamed.  They all ran in different directions and, in an effort to save themselves, carved off huge pieces of land and floated away, leaving Marvin and Pill all alone.

And that’s how we got all the different continents.  Thank you and good night.

THE END

Geez Louise, when I say “silly,” I mean “silly.”  But at least I managed to get some actual historical facts in there.  No seriously.  Read it again.  I’m sure there’s something correct at some point.

That’s right kids; the Story of the Week Club is here to provide you with a good education.  Provided you can read between the lines.

See you soon,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Uncategorized