Friday, November 07, 2008

Extremely Short Story 1

I met Randall the first day of clown school, a shy and reserved middle-aged bumpkin trying to put some pizzazz in his life. He wasn't that good, didn't have a body that drove women wild, but he did have that je ne sais quoi and the magic vibrating weasel; an irresistible combination.

We found an apartment and made like lovebirds, cooing and billing and flowers and candy and Victoria's really secret, secret gifts.

All the glittery, sparkling romance ended like the effervescence on three-day old champagne when I visited his cabin. It's sad when the dream confronts the reality; when the stars become twenty-five watt bulbs in driftwood lamps, papier mache shades and velvet paintings of Elvis in toreador pants.

I wanted not to like it, being with Randall.

I wanted to be able to say No, this isn't any good, him with his dead deer body part lamps and his dead heads everywhere and his belly pooching out over his jeans and his liking to take naked pictures of me all the time.

And that fake curly hair of his.

But I played it out until the end, and the end was Randall T. traveling out to Denver and turning into a Western Man and leaving me behind.

--Dave F./Robin S.


ChrisEldin said...

Initially, I thought Robin wrote the ending to Dave's ending. But I got it all wrong.

This is harder than it looks. Dave, very, very good!! I like these two together!!

Dave F. said...

I think it's simpler to do than a continuation.

In fact, one of the other stories has short, clipped sentences and that should be easy for those of you who write haiku like water drips while I sweat blood on haiku and poetry.

One reason this is easier is that you only get five sentences.

Another reason is that the situation is ending and not beginning. In this case, I only had to create the love affair, add a few goofy/giggly details and let Robin's ending complete the story. Count the words in each sentence of the ending and fill in the blanks.

Matching the style is easier because of the restriction on sentences. The first sentence has to open the short story and the last sentence had to logically proceed into Robin's ending.

The BIG INSPIRATION, when I moved into my house years ago, I had a relative give me driftwood lamps with hand painted critters on papier mache shades when they knew my taste in furniture was metal and glass modern. {think unkind thoughts} I had to keep those {XXX} items and haul them out once a year or so until I got a decorator to redecorate. Then I lied about how much the decorator loved them and bought them off me.

Ellie said...

My favorite part of this was the "clown school" linking to "fake curly hair."

And now I'm so curious to read the real story of the last five sentences.

Whirlochre said...

This looks like a potentially great new feature.

Too many lines I wish I'd written myself — magic vibrating weasel! — ha!

Robin S. said...

Dave - you did a great job. I'm with Chris- I thought EE married two existing pieces.

I like the idea of sending in endings, and having the beginnings written. Your original formula, flipped over.

So now what happens? Is it still supposed to be critiqued like the beginnings and continuations?

Evil Editor said...

Five sentences probably isn't enough to critique anything. On the other hand, whether it's a story, novel or chapter, one should strive to make the ending feel like . . . an ending. Like an appropriate stopping point has been reached. It's more than just the end of a scene, where you skip a line, it's a turning point, (turning the page point, at least). So if one of these doesn't give you that feeling of completion, feel free to say so, and why. I'm sure the author won't be annoyed.

Anonymous said...

Very smooth, Dave. Sadly, I haven't seen roadside vendors of Elvis paintings in years. I need some more to upholster my van.


Sarah Laurenson said...

I like this new feature. Create a complete story in ten sentences when the last five are already given? Stretching different creative muscles.

Dave F. said...

whether it's a story, novel or chapter, one should strive to make the ending feel like . . . an ending.

Good point and one so obvious that it can be overlooked. An "ending" is a resolution composed of a climax and a denouement. It's not what many movies nowadays do and that is hint about a sequel. I vividly remember boos and jeers at the end of "Back to the Future #2" when they emblazoned those big letters of "#3 to come" on the screen.

Another example of a bad sequel-like continuation was SOUTH PARK's episodes about Cartman's Mother. Those guys almost got lynched for that stunt. They never completed the story and the fans were after them with pitchforks, knives and torches.

Robin S. said...

Thanks, Ellie!

This is the end of a chapter in the middle of my novel.

sylvia said...

Very clever Dave, I liked how you spun the story straight into Robin's ending!