Cat rode down the mountain on a bike to get some cheese. He couldn’t get the cheese because he didn’t have any money, he didn’t even know what money was. Yet he knew how to ride a bike. Actually, it wasn’t his bike, it was the Dog’s. The Cat just borrowed it. The Dog didn’t have any money either.
Sometimes we die, we do that quite often in fact. Some people believe life and death is just a cycle, that death isn’t really the end, but I’m getting ahead of myself:
Let me introduce you to the Melburns. They are a wealthy family, not only in money but in children as well. They have seventeen of them – eight Mrs Melburn doesn’t even know about. The thing about Mr Melburn is that he isn’t a good person, not in most circles, but at least he takes care of his family. He feeds them, clothes them, and that’s about it. There’s only one he pays any attention to and that’s his eldest daughter.
She died, recently, at the tender age of twelve of mysterious reasons. She was found with a mouth full of sweets and several of them were lodged in her throat. Mr Melburn always said gluttony is a problem, I guess she disagreed. As you can see, being wealthy doesn’t protect you from death, not entirely anyway. Life cannot be bought or exchanged, but that didn’t stop Mr Melburn from trying.
He contacted the local Necromancer – every small and big town has one. Necromancy is the cure against dying, according to their words, and they have many theories on how to bring back the dead; the most common one involves an exchange. The Melburns weren’t willing to give up one of their own children so they went and looked for another. A local eleven year old boy disappeared soon after. The whole incident was hushed up later when the right amount of money appeared in the right people’s pockets. It was a freak accident how the child gut himself before walking across the country and breaking into a total stranger’s basement.
I’m not saying necromancy is complete bogus, but it’s a lost art. I find it ironic how the people who are afraid to die are the most avid practitioners these days. With the Melburn’s left with no other option they decided to buy her a fancy new home to sleep her eternal rest in. It’s common in most places to have a fancy little crypt for their loved ones; to tell the world that somebody important was buried here. You better pay attention to her. If the Melburns are lucky, their dear daughter will be happy with her new accommodation and stay quiet for all eternity.
Now, let me turn your attention to the Shillies. They are not a wealthy family. Indeed, they’re so poor that the father often doesn’t eat, like, at all. He’s the definition of a saint. He also died recently and his death was not a mystery. Mrs Shillies would like nothing more than to give him a nice home to rest in, but they cannot afford to, and most likely, Mr Shillie won’t expect one either. He’ll sleep quietly in whatever grave they end up burying him in.
But, the funny thing about dying is that it’s a lot like living. People change. If Mr Shillie had any unfulfilled hopes and dreams that we didn’t know about, he might wake up and try and fulfill them. His chances are pretty good too without those pesky responsibilities of being alive or morals that comes with it. In fact, there’s a saying that most kings never lived. But one thing’s for sure, Mr Shillies won’t be able to rest easy knowing his family will most likely die of starvation without him. The city knows this, that’s why he’s going into the pit.
The pit is not just a hole in the ground, it’s deeper than anyone knows. Some say it’s bottomless, while some scholars claim it’s exactly 3000 kms deep. Nobody is sure how they came to this conclusion, most people don’t understand what those weird scientists are saying, anyway. But it doesn’t really matter in the end, because anything that is thrown in doesn’t come up!
© Christopher Stamfors
“Yes, yes! Let’s party!” a man with clown makeup cried while dancing around a larger, bulkier, man with a shaved head and a mean expression. Jason, on any other night, would have punched anyone who dared annoy him, but he found the clown strangely captivating. Jason was proud of his ability to remember anyone he ever met and he was pretty sure he could recognize them even with makeup on, but somehow, he couldn’t put a finger who this man was; but he looked familiar.
Intrigued, he let the clown do his thing, while the small entourage of men followed closely behind. Suddenly, the clown grabbed his hands and swung him in a circle without letting go. Jason tried to stop him but the clown only swirled faster and faster until Jason lost his grip (or did the clown drop him?) and fell on his ass. His cheeks flushed red.
“Ooof, need to work on your balance there, my friend,” the clown said.
Jason bared his teeth. I’ll mess you up, he thought and accepted the clowns helping hand. The hand popped out of its socket and left a hole around the clowns sleeve. Jason fell again. The light from the streetlamps shaded the faces on the group behind them but they were no doubt trying their hardest to suppress a smile. “Weehehee,” the clown laughed.
All right, tonight I kill a clown, Jason thought as he got back on his legs.
“Oh, don’t be like that,” the clown said. “Everyone needs a good laugh every once in a while. Tell you what. I’ll buy you a drink at–,” he paused, looking around. “That bar,” he said and grabbed Jason’s arm.
If there had been a convenient alley that he could force the clown into at that moment, he would’ve, but yet again, the clown was lucky as he dragged him into the bar. People stopped and stared at the clown, however, they cowered as soon as they saw who the clown was with. The bar stools emptied for the new guests and the barkeep handed out the drinks promptly and without taking pay, which negated the clowns promise.
“Cheers,” he said, apparently willing to conveniently forget about it.
Jason ignored the clown and drank with a frown.
“You’re not still mad at me, are you? I’m the Joker, I joke!” He cried happily and fooled the man next to him with a fake flower that wet his nose.
Jason finished his drink. “Another one,” he growled.
Jason still couldn’t put his finger on who the clown was. He was far too comfortable around him, and he started to worry that he might be somebody he should know. The clown dies tonight either way, he thought to himself. “A joker, eh? Then let’s go kill somebody,” he said. “You and me. The greatest joke there is, right?” He chuckled, imagining the clown’s eyes to hide in his skull out of fear because he couldn’t get any paler than he already was.
But the clown didn’t seem uncomfortable at all, in fact, there was a glee in his face and he became misty-eyed as if from joy. “I thought you’d never ask,” the clown said and ushered Jason out from the bar and danced down the street again, singing. “Kill, kill, kill, let’s kill!”
Jason was mystified by this reaction. Even though he was THE thug of the street, the clown didn’t seem afraid of him. Perhaps he was mad. “Will you shut up!” He said. “This is not how it works.”
“I’m sorry, I’m just so excited to kill with my new best friend,” he said while walking. Then he stopped abruptly. Gasp. “Should we kill him, or maybe him? There’s so many to choose from!” He said and grabbed a random stranger and pushed him close to Jason’s face.
The stranger looked bewildered and scared as he met Jason’s eyes. “Is he good enough?!” The clown said.
“Are you crazy?” Jason said and threw the stranger to the side who was promptly picked up by his entourage.
“Hmm, you’re right. He didn’t feel right…” he said and started looking for another.
Jason had had just about enough of this clown and he pushed him close to his face. “Are you trying to get me into trouble? Who the fuck are you?!”
The clown smiled; he never stopped smiling. “Worried they’ll recognise you? You should’ve had makeup on, like me!” He smiled. “But don’t you worry, they’ll never notice you once I fix your nose!” A machete emerged from the clown’s pants and with one sweep, Jason’s didn’t have a nose anymore.
Jason staggered and touched his face that was wet and full of blood. He didn’t feel anything, though. Not yet. “In fact,” the clown said. “I should fix a few other things while I’m at it!”
Jason’s left ear came off cleanly and he didn’t feel the pain immediately that time either, but as he realised what was happening, he felt the pain and he crumbled to his knees. “Stop, please!” he cried.
“Please? Too nice a word coming out of you!”
The clown planted the blade deep into Jason’s skull and he collapsed, pathetically, onto the street. The clown looked at the entourage who remained frozen a few feet away. The man they’d caught slipped out of their grip. Somehow, the clown thought that was very funny. “Weheehee! I am the Joker. I’m the one who jokes!”
© Christopher Stamfors
I’m sitting at a cafe reading one of my stories when a fly landed beside me. There was nothing particularly special about this fly, maybe it was a bit more colourful than I was used to, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It acted like a typical fly, cleaning itself with its front legs rigorously while staring at the window trying to figure out why it can’t fly through it. It must have found a solution, or maybe it got inpatient because it dashed right into the window and landed back on the table again, next to my computer.
It started cleaning itself again, the wings this time. It doesn’t look unclean and I wonder if he really needs to groom itself all the time or if it is just an instinct whenever it is idle. Why do they clean themselves with their feet, it’s the dirtiest part of their body, surely? But then again, I don’t know anything about flies. It made another dash at the window, unsuccessfully and landed this time on my shoulder. It started cleaning itself again, furiously.
I did not swat the fly. Instead I let it be as I walked out from the cafe and waited until it realised it was free and I wondered if I should go back to reading again.
Talk to me on Twitter if you want – most of my short, brain-stormy, ideas happen over there.
There’s one quote that always comes to mind after a long writing session . Granted, I don’t often remember it word for word but I get the meaning:
“Never Empty the Well of Your Writing. I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.” – Ernest Hemingway
I’ve emptied this well a couple of times, and the feeling is awful. You are in the middle of a sentence and then suddenly nothing good comes out. It’s like the tap has dried and no matter how hard you try, you can’t coax your brain to continue. The feeling of frustration is unlike any other and you just want to scream – unfortunately I can’t because I don’t wanna bother my neighbours.
Sometimes this feeling is paralyzing, but most of the time, I actually end up being very productive in other things when I botch a writing session like that. The dishes gets done, I clean the house and do other chores, although, I need to be careful because I do it very violently.
You should be afraid of the unknown because you don’t know if it’s dangerous or not, at least in a primal sense. But for others who wants to go further they must take risks and challenge the unknown
Nobody reads my tweets so I might just as well post my sayings here when they come to me, stupid or not.
Don’t assume that things will work out as you write your script. Plot demands serious thought and you will just end up wasting time if you skip it.
For me, it boils down to having to learn early in the writing process what works and what’s not and not jump at every idea you have, especially if you have a lot of them, which I have all the time… Endlessly…
Basically; don’t start on something when you got nothing.
I can make any story seem good to a point, polish it and whatnot, but when the plot, the theme, and the whole existence of the story doesn’t work, it will never work.
I dug too deep and came out with nothing.
The worst part about editing is when you realize you like both versions equally as much and you try to incorporate the best bits of both versions into one. It never becomes pretty but you do it anyway, until you destroy both and start anew.
“You can destroy our society, kill a great many of us, even most of us. But when most of us are gone,and only a few are alive, we will rise, because humanity never gives up. Survival is in our blood; desire is our moto. There will be no hiding once we rise and take revenge on those that destroyed us.”