"Hey, you've reached the voicemail of Rick Coleman. In case you've never called a cellular telephone before, I got this robot chick to tell you what to do regarding the beep."
"Please record your message after the tone. If you'd like to page this person, press 5 now. When you have finished recording, you may hang up or press 1 for more options."
"Hey bro. Um... Look, there's no easy way to say this; Danielle and I are running off together. We've been seeing each other for the last couple months and we've just really hit it off. As soon as she gets here, we're driving out of state and doing the Justice of the Peace thing. I'll let you know where we end up living once you cool off some.
So, I thought it would be fun to give some insight into each story, such as reasons why I wrote it, circumstances you might find interesting, and trivia tidbits. In addition to this one, I went back and added a Behind the Scenes post for last week as well. I wanted a more elegant way to do this, like a hidden post you could only get to from a link at the bottom of the story, but this will do.
It's assumed you'll read the story first, so here's the cut so you don't accidentally catch any spoilers:
The man woke up to find himself in the clearing of a lush tropical forest. As he fought through the disorientation of waking up and staring into the brilliant blue sky, he pushed himself into a sitting position, propped himself up against a tree trunk, and examined himself. He had bruises on his wrists and ankles, which contrasted further the highlights of skin developed from years of wearing rings and a watch, and he could tell from the stiffness of his muscles that his body had not been treated well recently. The left sleeve of his white dress shirt had been hastily rolled up, and there was a large needle mark on the inside of his elbow; the fresh scab really brought out the color of his necktie. He was of average build, somewhat lean, but he could tell that he wasn't one for much physical activity. His clothes were already damp and sticky with the sweat brought on by the thick local humidity, and his shirt and tie had long since gone limp. He rolled up his right sleeve to match the left and lamented that there was no shower or air conditioning in sight.
This was the last story I had to write for my Creative Writing class, and I think I did it in 2 or 3 hours the day before it was due just to get it out of the way. Despite that fact that it was basically a throwaway piece, I really enjoyed it and I think it came out well.
I loved writing it as a children's story because (a) I hadn't done one before and it seemed like it would be fun, (b) it meant I could keep it glossy and breezy and not be as detail- or dialogue-heavy so I could write it faster, and (c) it's always really fun to take the bright and happy kid's story and put a dark twist on it.
Nothing like subtly glorifying all the things that we try to keep kids away from and then watching how it turns out.
"Bermuda Dunes" is one of my favorite street names. It's in some subdivision in Houston.
The idea for the basketball that would enamor and slowly consume its user's attention to the point of death comes from the Star Trek novel "The Devil's Heart."
Introduction: For several reasons, primarily that (a) I'm afraid I'll run of ideas and burn out at the pace of 7 a week (and I don't know that I can keep up with 5; we'll see), and (b) I really want to improve my creative writing skills, I have decided to institute Short Story Saturday! This is an improved version of a story that I wrote for a Writing class, and the next one(s) will be too if I can't crank out new stuff in time. (Don't worry; they're fairly decent.)
Something that would really help me and could be fun for everyone is this: Post comments for me suggesting constraints! Things like "500 words or less," "Civil War era," or "Mystery;" any restriction or specification that will push me to do something different and stretch myself creatively. I'll pick the one I'm up for that week and we'll see how it goes!
The Magic Basketball
Several years ago, in the city of Bermuda Dunes, in the state of California, in the country of the United States, there lived a young boy named Karl Curtis.
Karl lived at the outer edges of the inner city in Bermuda Dunes. He was a very happy boy who loved playing basketball. He would play basketball all day long, even if it was snowing or raining. There were days he would even skip school to play basketball!
One day, a few days after his twelfth birthday, Karl was out playing basketball. He was still a little sad that his parents had forgotten his birthday again, but playing basketball made him feel better. He shot the ball and missed the hoop; the ball flew past the hoop and way, WAY past the end of the court. Karl ran after it, but he couldn’t find his ball!
Karl was even sadder as he started to walk back home. That ball had always been his favorite ball, and he just wanted to have it back. Karl started to daydream about what would happen if he got his ball back: how he would become a famous basketball player and have a nice house and new cars and a lot of money. Karl wanted it to be true so badly!
And that’s when he noticed the brand new basketball against the fence beside him. It was a little dirty, like it had soot on it, but it didn’t look like it had even been used before! Maybe this would be his new favorite ball!