WeWriWa #3: The Game


Here’s an excerpt from a new story of mine for this weekend’s weekend writing warriors  I’m hoping to send it off to a sci-fi/fantasy mag.

********

The problem with most people, Ma’lark the Halfling thought, as he applied buttermilk colored foam to the bank’s plaster wall in front of him, is that they’re stupid.  They think, for instance, that just because the most advanced machine around is the crossbow, people shouldn’t know how to make explosives.

He smirked and finished placing the foam.  He stepped back to admire his handiwork, and couldn’t help but smirk even wider.  The foam was arranged in a pattern to look like a caricature of him, giving a very condescending thumbs up.  He chuckled to himself as he took a fuse out of his rucksack and stuck it into his foamy doppelganger’s foot.

It’s ridiculous, really.  Explosives are just simple chemistry. 

******

Thanks for reading!

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Fus Roh Dah


I was walking home from working my dead end job on a warm spring evening when I happened upon an ancient and crumbling brick wall.  My first impression was that this wall must have been from ages past, when states warred with one another and men such as Jackson and Longstreet walked upon the Earth, but upon closer inspection I discovered something peculiar: words drawn in an ancient and mysterious language.  Being a student of the Classics, I was rather surprised that I had never seen this peculiar script in any of my researches.  Suffice it to say, it was old, very old.  It looked something like this:

I bent closer and traced my finger over the depressions that formed the characters, and found myself subconsciously humming a nameless, though catchy tune.

“Da da dum, da da dum, da da dum dum da dum.”  I sang quietly too myself, and then I paused, and stood erect.  Something was wrong.  The late spring in northern Alabama is a particularly noisy time of year.  All sorts of wretched insects, from the thrice damned Grasshopper to the vengeful Cicada, commence their endless mating calls once darkness descends across the land.  Dogs  howl, begging release from the oppressive seasonal heat that permeates every hour.  Fire flies and love  bugs join in a dance, adding their peculiar luminescence or unparalleled ability to fly in one’s eyes or nostrils to the annoying music of their fellow beasts.  Late spring is a busy time, and yet, as I attempted to read the ancient runes, and as I hummed a nameless tune of a bygone era, the noises gradually decreased and the bugs seemed to vacate the area, until the world was as silent as death.

I looked around, and there was not a firefly in sight.  I opened my eyes wide, a clear invitation, and yet no love bugs struck them.  I turned back to the letters on the wall, and saw that they were now glowing an icy blue, like Gatorade frost’s glacier freeze.

“How very odd,” I muttered under my breath in an effort to conceal the sudden terror that had gripped my heart.  I wanted to run, to hide, but my idiotic curiosity, the kind of curiosity that urges you to press the button because, hell, what’s the worst that could happen, kept me in place, watching.

A great wind picked up, blowing my hair into a maelstrom, and scattering debris from here to the theater building.  I could hear an ancient chanting swirl about me, as if a horde of vikings were rowing a mighty dragon ship to the lush and fertile fields of England, and it wasn’t going to be a pleasant visit, at least not for the English.  They didn’t just need a cup of sugar, as it were; they needed all of it.  Electric lines of glacier freeze energy were pulsating from the words, surrounding my body in a shimmering light.  I was getting tunnel vision, fixated on the words of power.

“So this is how I die,” I mused as I was hoisted into the air by some unknown force, “consumed by mystic words written upon a crumbling brick wall.”  I didn’t find this surprising.  I have always been an avid reader, a book worm, or as the Germans put it, a leseratte, and I secretly knew that it would one day prove to be my undoing.  I must have been three or four feet in the air at that point, and the maelstrom seemed to be at it’s height.  The vikings were positively screaming now, and the words glowed brighter than 1,000 suns.  How fortunate I was, gentle reader, that my eyes were not burned from their sockets.  Perhaps my glasses had some sort of diffusing effect.

The vikings reached a crescendo, and it was over.  I was dropped unceremoniously to the concrete bellow, receiving a nasty bruise on my bottom.  I rose slowly to my feet and, after dusting myself off, glanced one more at the eldritch masonry and its insidious runes, only to discover that they had faded with the storm, and were now barely even visible.  I once again traced their outlines, feeling a slight depression in the cool brick, but nothing happened.  I looked at my hands, and then my feet.  I didn’t feel any different, so what had just happened?  Perhaps there is some undying wizard, a lich of some sort, that travels around the country, trolling innocent bystanders into thinking that they had stumbled upon some sort of power granting magic, but it was in fact only an impressive light show.  It sounds like something I would do if I were a mighty warlock.  Oh well.  I turned around to head home.  And then I saw them, my enemies.

I don’t know why these guys decided to be my enemies.  Perhaps they were jealous of my Gi (see The Sensei), or perhaps they were just looking for trouble, and thought they had found it.  Either way, they loved to harass me at every opportunity, though their machinations were normally thwarted by a last minute sally from yours truly.  The most peculiar thing about them was that they were all British, and had the accent of the inner city London projects.  What they were doing in Alabama only God knows, but I’m sure he finds it hilarious.

“What’s this, then?” taunted Ringo, the ring leader of their little band, “looks like we found ourselves a nerd!”

“That is quite rude,” I rebuked him, “and I expect to hear an apology forthwith.”  They all laughed, like hyenas, lending a certain Serengeti quality to the already bizarre evening.

“Yeah sure, we’ll apologize,” he laughed.  He suddenly ran up and grabbed my shirt.  “With our fists.  We heard you playing that Skyrim music earlier, nerd, and you know we hate Skyrim.”

“Yeah!” said Ding-Dong, the fat kid in the group, “We hate that game. We found the open ended world to meander a bit too much, and the main plot line too slow for any sort of large time investment.”

“Yeah!” said Chirp, the small, mousy member of the gang, “fuck that game, yo!”

“And now,” said Ringo, as his mates closed in, “We’s gonna teach you a lesson”  He cocked his fist and let fly, and time seemed to slow down.  It was almost comical how slow his fist was traveling.  Was this the wall’s doing?  I began to laugh, but suddenly, as if by magic, I heard an old man speaking.

“In their tongue, he is called Dovakin, dragon born.”  And then I knew what to do.

Pictured: A fellow Dragon born

“Fus Roh Dah!”I shouted at Ringo, and I was gifted a glimpse of a scared look flashing across his face, before he blown away from with the force of a cannon.  His body tumbled through the sky, dozens of feet in the air, before crashing into one of the many aged trees that shade the quad of the University.  I heard several loud cracks, and dared to hope that one might have been his femur.

“Lawl!” I laughed.  His friends were staring at me completely dumbstruck.  Such is often the case when one uses an amazing magical power to vex one’s enemies, I’ve found.  I smirked.

“Chirp,” I said, cordially “would you mind standing closer to young ding-dong there?  No, a little closer, please.  A little more, OK, good, and FUS ROH DAH!”  They too went spiraling into the night’s dark embrace, and left me standing wholly alone.  Was it true?  Am I… dragon born?  The evidence was resoundingly in favor of yes, but I wasn’t certain.  I have human parents after all, well, at least I think they are humans.  I suppose they could be dragons in very good disguises.  I have heard tales that dragons can take human form as it suites them, so perhaps that is the case.  I have also heard that dragons tend to have hoards of gold, in which case I would be very cross with my parents that I had to take out student loans…

Curse your reptilian avarice! Curse it!

As it was, I doubted I would ever be certain.  Confronting one’s parents about whether or not they are dragons is often a great way to get sent to a therapist.  Perhaps I should just be happy with my new found super power and call it a day, or night, rather.  And what a night it was!  It was neither too warm, nor too cool, and slightly foggy.  The fog closed in around me like a particularly damp and ethereal blanket, and I found it comforting.  There is something about the way fog clouds your vision that makes the world seem full of… possibilities.  As if something unknown may be around the next well trod bend.  The insects and other animals recommenced their mating calls, drowning out the agonized screams of my enemies almost completely.  I took a round about route home anyway, thus avoiding the tree in which my enemies lay and likewise avoiding any sort of legal punishment contained therein.  My throat was feeling somewhat scratchy.  I suppose it was from the magic, but it was practically begging for a cup of mint tea, and so I made one, and then I slept the sleep of a dragon born.

A Golden Age is Dawning


Some of you, my dear readers, may have noticed a sudden resurgence of interest in blogging on wcbrock.wordpress.com.  Some of you may have not, but that’s ok, I don’t blame you, I blame your lack of perceptiveness.  Before the tabloids begin to have a field day, let me lay to rest once and for all the rumors that have been floating around of the coming of a golden age here on wcbrock.wordpress.com.  You might want to put on your safety goggles, because I’m about to blow your mind.  If you don’t know how to put on goggles, the doctor is here to demonstrate:

See? It as easy as pronouncing Raxacoricofallapatorius!

IT’S ALL TRUE.  ALL OF IT.

We are entering a golden age here at wcbrock.wordpress.com, or at least that’s what the experts at MIT and Cambridge think, and who am I to argue with experts?  Four posts in just as many days is no coincidence, they say.  It is in fact classic evidence of a golden age, just like the one in Greece that one time!  In honor of this auspicious happening I am now going to assemble list of some of my favorite things.  It won’t be a complete list mind you, but I’m planning on updating it regularly.  Oh, and if you’ve found your way here because I liked or commented one of your posts, I’d like you to know that yes I did in fact read it.  It wouldn’t be fair otherwise.  So, if you agree with what I say, feel free to comment.  If you disagree, feel even more free to comment.  If you don’t care, feel even more even more free to comment.  And lastly, if you TL;DR, then you can just go back to your troll cave sir, and cry yourself to sleep as you are want to do.

My Favorite Movie

If you argue, then I have just one thing to say to you: Ni!

I lik funny things, and lads who work at conrgoblin.wordpress.com and I agree that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is about the funniest damn thing we have ever seen.  Not convinced this is a great movie?  Oh, ok.  Maybe rotten tomatoes can convince you.  A 95%?  Even Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked didn’t get a 95%, and some kid at the mall told me that movie was “fucking awesome, bro!”  Every scene in this movie is hilarious, and could be a skit in its own right, but the movie doesn’t feel like it’s a bunch of skits loosely strung together, it feels like a real movie.  And I think that’s the true beauty of the film.  It was made with no budget, and never takes itself seriously.  I even went to an interview for the writing program at the Florida State Film School and said that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was my favorite movie at all time.  They laughed.  One of them went so far as to say “bold!” while shaking her head.  They didn’t let me in, but I’m sure it had more to do with the absolute state of bowl releasing terror i was in during the interview than Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  And even if it was the movie’s fault, who cares?  It’s only a flesh wound!

My Favorite TV Show

Ok, first off, let me say this was a hard one.  I really, really, really like arrested development.  But there’s one thing about Futurama that makes it my favorite show: the writers can write whatever the fuck they want.  There is literally nothing holding them back.  Futurama is set in a crazy magically advanced future world with no rules.  It’s beautiful.  Wanna assassinate Hitler?  No problem, time machine.  Want to have celebrity appearance?  All of their heads are preserved in a museum.  Want to do anything else?  Time travel, infinite planets, extra dimensions; they have it all.  It’s like going to a cafeteria salad bar only to find out that the shitty lettuce has been replaced with every beer on the planet.  And its all free.  That’s Futurama.  Deal with it.

deal with it

Favorite Soda

It’s got 23 flavors.  I mean, come on!  Nothing has 23 flavors.

Favorite Toaster

 toaster that makes eggs

This one.  You can cook eggs and toast stuff at the same time!  What’s not to like?  You know, unless you are allergic to eggs or something.  Can you be allergic to toast?

Favorite Historical Thing That Can Also be a Halloween Costume

Vikings are as awesome as Pirates, and they have a crazy awesome battle religion to boot.  Plus, everyone dresses up as pirates.  Hardly anyone dresses up as vikings.  It’s probably because they’re scared to.

Favorite Element

Not only is francium all the way down on the bottom of the table of elements, but it’s also the most unstable naturally occurring element.  This means that if vikings were an element, they would be francium.  Vikings conquered parts of France(ium) didn’t they?  Answer: yes, yes they did.  My logic is irrefutable.

Favorite Medieval Torture Device

The Iron Maiden.  It’s also one of my favorite bands.

Favorite Fantasy Race

goblin

Goblins, duh.  Have you not read my blogs name?

Hopefully this list sparked some interest.  What are your favorite things in these categories?  Comment your answers, and we can argue and ruin each others day.  It’ll be just like the league of legends forums.  Dr. Who knows what I’m talking about.

dr who yell

The Red Carpet


Tonight is the dreaded apex of an event that began less friday, the snapshot film festival.  Tonight the short films that we designed, wrote, filmed and edited in just 48 hours will be shown.  Tonight, the truth will at last be revealed; who was the best and who wasn’t.

Luckily for all of us, Party Spock did not compete this year, though i'm sure everyone will continue to have a logical time in his absence.

Every  year I do this i find myself sitting around and staring during the week before the big premier.  As I stare, I wonder.  I wonder how good the movies will be this year, when mine will be shown, if it will be the best etc.  I am always torn on the issue of hoping that the films will be good this year or not.  On the one heand, the whole event would be far more entertaining if every film is utterly fantastic and as any movie goer can tell you, there are few things worse than sitting through an awful movie, regardless of the length.

It doens't say on the poster, but the blood war is what happens when, at the end of this movie, everyone realizes that not only have they lost nearly two hours of their lives, but also $10.

I then realize that if all the movies are good, there is a better chance that my movie will be bad.  Good and bad are often relative terms.  Consider the movie Hangover 2.  We already saw that movie 2 or three years before it came it, in it’s less evolved form of hangover one.  Relative to hangover one, hangover 2 is bad.  Relative to ultraviolet, it is the best damn thing ever made.  Such is the case for film festival shorts.  If a good film shines out from the pile of pig filth that is the rest of the movies, it appears to amazing.  On closer inspection, however, one might discover it’s not as good as one previously thought.    The same stands for a good movie surrounded by better ones.  It’s still good, but in comparison to the other, better movies, it sucks.  There’s a formula for this.  It’s called the theory of relativity.

And so the pattern goes, back and forth, back and forth.  The film festival is, after all, a competition, with prize money to boot, and I want to win terribly, because I am competitive and I enjoy money.  But I don’t want to win by having everyone else be terrible.  Far better if everyone was good, but i was just better.  This thoughts constrict my insides like a burmese python, and always put me in a fowl mood.  Therefore, when I come upon other film makers during that wretched week of waiting, I often try to not say anything, and merely attempt to ferociously scowl.

“So how’d your movie go?” they always good-naturedly ask.

“Fine.” I growl, giving them nothing.  These pleasant exchanges are merely ways of gauging the competition, you see, and the less they know the better.  This confuses them, and makes them feel on edge.

“Well, good luck on friday” they say as they slowly make their escape.

“Break a leg.” I tell them, but I don’t say it like most people.  I say it like a curse.  I actually want them to break their fucking leg, maybe even both legs.  Would that I were to enter the brock forum, where the movies are screened, to discover a group of people surronding fellow filmmaker young Timmy, who’s gripping his severed femur and trashing about in pain.

“What happened here?” I would ask, hoping beyond hope that I had guessed the truth.

“Little Timmy,” a bystander would say, “He was just walking… and… and then his leg just broke!  Pow!  Just like that, almost as if he had been cursed or something.”  I would be barely able to contain my maniacal laughter.

“What’s so funny?” they would ask, offended.

“Oh, nothing!” I would laugh, “I just remembered a really funny meme I read, earlier today.  Berks, I think it was called.”

Ha!

I would then make my way to my seat, doubled over in joyous laughter, one opponent already out of the competition.  I know that his film would still be here, but hey, it’s my fantasy, leave it alone.

I don’t actually want anyone to break their leg(s) though.  I’d have to be some sort of deranged psychopath to want that.  In reality, I’m, just nervous about that movie.  I’m sure my fellow film makers can sympathize with me on this.  You, the audience, see a seamless whole, a complete narrative for your enjoyment.  We, the film makers, see a disjointed series of images, sometimes with audio, patch-worked together in a most inexpert manner, trying so hard to make sense of an already poorly written story, hastily spawned in the back of a cafeteria last friday night, and we weep.  We weep for the insanity of it all, the absurdity of some human being wanting to lose hours of sleep cutting and editing these videos.  We weep for you, who we entice to the screenings with promises of cupcakes and free drinks and force to watch or movies.  But most of all, we weep for ourselves, who cringe at every competitors clever plot twists and jump at every one of their cool camera angle, who look around expectantly after every joke, hoping beyond hope that you get it.  You seldom do, but that’s not your fault, it’s ours.  And for that we apologize.

And for this too. Despite me having nothing to do with it, I do so heartily apologize.

So to all my fellow short film makers, sweating copiously as the minutes slowly tick by before the debut of your masterpiece, I say this: you’ve already won.  You did it.  Who cares if it sucks?  Who cares if it’s the worst fucking thing the audience has ever endured?  It doesn’t matter, because you made it and it’s yours.  And you only made it in 48 hours.  Imagine what you could do with a whole week?

Bumbles the halfling goes to the store


So i haven’t blogged in a while, wanna fight about it?

Ok so im trying out something new.  I wrote a new story over thanksgiving about the economy.  Hope you like it.  Sorry for not posting anything in a while.  Hopefully you can click this here helpful like and read my new story.  Its about stuff.  WARNING: if you don’t like stuff, then you wont like this.

Bumbles the halfling goes to the store

 

A new post? Delicious!

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