Author Topic: Dan's NaShoStoMo  (Read 1461 times)

dhalagirl

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 197
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Dan's NaShoStoMo
« on: April 02, 2011, 07:02:18 AM »
I don't think anyone has started a thread for this yet so I'm going to.  If this is a duplicate of a recent thread, I'm sorry. If the original is old, I'm not sorry. There's no way I'm taking the time to search through a couple dozen pages just to necro a thread.  But I digress...

This is for those who are taking part in Dan's National Short Story Month challenge.  The rules are thus:

1) Start by reading this post from Eric James Stone. It’s got some valuable advice that I know will be specifically handy for me, and probably for you.
2) I’m setting the minimum at 200 words, though most of my stories will likely be longer; it’s possible to have shorter story, but I specifically want to stop myself from writing “There once was a man, he lived and he died” kind of stories. 200 words is short while still being long enough to force me to take it seriously.
3) Each story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We’re trying to learn how to write short stories, not random 200-word space-fillers.
4) As long as you end up with 30 stories, one per day, it doesn’t matter which day they were actually written on–so if you get in the zone and do more than one at a time, you can afford to slack off. This will be handy for me, as some of my tour days involve 14 hours of driving, plus I plan to take Sundays off.
5) If you post about your quest on Twitter or Facebook, use the hashtag #NaShoStoMo. Which totally sounds like the name of Quasimodo’s brother.


Here's my first piece.


Minions:
#1: April Fools

Viktor laughed maniacally as electricity coursed through his creation’s circuits making the robotic leviathan’s limbs twitch.  Sparks danced across its massive ten-foot frame.  The seven-foot giant’s body was augmented with crude but effective implants to increase his speed and strength to twenty times of that of a body builder.

A rocket launcher served as the creature’s left arm.  Its right arm was a marvelously complex mechanism his minions had constructed.  At the center of the mechanism was a wicked diamond sharpened foot long blade.  Surrounding it was a deadly array of lasers, flamethrowers, a fully automatic machine gun and even a pneumatic blowgun with poison darts.

It was the most hideous thing he had ever built, but that too was by design.  No respectable mad scientist created death machines that looked like fluffy kittens.  The welding on the implants was sloppy.  The stitches criss crossing its arms and chest gaped and the flesh swelled from infection. 

His newest death machine was sure to make the masses quake with terror.  Its smell alone should be enough to make people run.  All it needed was a few more seconds hooked up to the generator to charge its batteries.  Then his reign of terror would commence.

Viktor drummed his fingers against each other as he listened to the computer count down.

Thirty seconds to completion…

Twenty…

Ten…

The overhead lights started to flicker ominously and the generator whined. 

Insufficient power.  Charging terminated.

“No!  No!  You can’t do this to me!”  Viktor pulled large two fists full of hair out by the root.  “Marco!  Kenny!  Get over here now!”

His midget minions shuffled to his side.  “You bellowed master?”

“Both of you get on the bikes now!”  They dutifully ran over to a pair of child sized stationary bikes.   A thick cable connected each one to the generator.  Without being told they both climbed on and began peddling at a quick pace.  The flickering and whining ceased immediately.  He turned back to the death machine and awaited its ascention.

Power restored.  Charging commencing.  Completion in ten…

Nine…

Eight…

Seven…

A sharp pop behind him made the color drain from his face.  He spun around.  The sharp reprimand he was about to give died on his lips.  One Kenny’s legs lie on the floor with the pant leg still on it.  It appeared to have popped out at the hip and made Kenny look like a broken action figure.  There was no blood, just a clean round hip joint.  In fact, Kenny didn’t appear to have even noticed that he was missing a leg.  He was peddling just as fast as he was before.

Five…

Four…

“What the…” But before he could get another word out Kenny’s other leg popped off and fell to the floor.  Viktor’s jaw dropped.  He almost fainted when Kenny’s arms fell off in like manner.

Insufficient power.  Charging terminated.

“No!”  Without Kenny to help pedal the generator couldn’t cope any longer and shuddered weakly before cutting out.  “I was so close!”

Marco had stopped peddling and his eyes were wide with fear. Viktor stared at Kenny who still sat on the bike.  “You ruined everything!  You worthless, incompetent, stupid…” Viktor pulled a small revolver out of his lab coat pocket and fired two rounds into Kenny’s chest.   But no blood oozed from the wounds.  In fact nothing oozed from the wounds.  There was only a few electrical sparks and a tiny wisp of smoke.

Instead of cowering in fear like he expected, Marco did the most disturbing thing possible.  He laughed.  “Pay up Kenny!  I told you he’d shoot it!”

“I can’t believe the break-a-way pants worked!”  Kenny exclaimed as he walked out from behind the generator.

“What is the meaning of this?”  Viktor bellowed.  The minions looked at each other, then at Viktor, then back at each other.  “Well?”

Marco crept forward, casting dirty looks at Kenny all the while.  He beckoned to Viktor with his hand.  Viktor rolled his eyes as he begrudgingly obliged.  Marco leaned in and whispered two words.

“April fools.”
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 04:25:57 PM by dhalagirl »

Juan Dolor

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • stupid LiveJournal thing
Re: Dan's NaShoStoMo
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 07:31:27 AM »
What post by Eric James Stone?

dhalagirl

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 197
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Dan's NaShoStoMo
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 03:12:14 PM »

Juan Dolor

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • stupid LiveJournal thing
Re: Dan's NaShoStoMo
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 03:42:20 PM »
Thanks!

dhalagirl

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 197
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Dan's NaShoStoMo
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 02:56:49 AM »
Here's a slightly longer one that I just finished:

Minions #2:  Job Search

Danielle sat before a wood laminate desk that had seen better days.  The woman across from her wore a very conservative navy business suit. The gold-rimmed plaquard on her desk clearly designated this as Brenda Workman’s desk. Brenda’s black hair was streaked with blonde.  It looked like it was meant to cover the streaks of gray in her hair but either the stylist was new or Brenda had done something to piss her off because the desired effect wasn’t achieved.

“And for the past two years you’ve worked for Mr.  Cuth….Cluth…Cuutuu…”

“Cthulhu.”

“Yes.”  Brenda smiled sweetly.  “And you’ve been with…” Brenda hesitated as she tried once more to puzzle out the pronunciation.  She eventually gave up.  “You’ve been with your former employer for five years?”  Danielle nodded.  “So why are you seeking new employment?”

“Well frankly, I’m tired of living in hell.”  Brenda blinked a few times as if she wasn’t sure that she’d heard correctly.  Danielle didn’t wait for Brenda’s brain to catch up with the conversation.  “The smell of brimstone is impossible to get out of your clothes, the demons have wandering hands, and it’s filled with tortured souls! Don’t misunderstand me, they all deserve it, but the noise is enough to keep you up at night.  I want a career, not eternal torment.”

Danielle watched with some amusement as Brenda’s emotions played across her face.  It wasn’t hard to guess her thoughts.  Brenda, like all of the other employment consultants she’d spoken with this week warred between throwing her out for being a nut and remaining professional.  Brenda was actually doing better than most at remaining calm. 

The consultant at the New Day agency that she had spoken with two days ago had thrown holy water at her and started reciting an exorcism prayer.  He caused such a scene that his boss fired him and then had both of us escorted from the building.

“Brenda?”  Hearing her name seemed to bring her out of whatever stupor she was in.

“Hmm?  Oh, I’m sorry.  Umm…forgive me for asking, but…”

“No, I don’t mind at all.  In fact I’ll save you the trouble of asking.  Yes, my former employer is a very powerful demon.  Yes, my office was in hell, only the second level but that was bad enough.  No, I did not do field work.  Cthulhu prefers to do that personally.  No, I’m not insane.  I don’t have an overactive imagination and helping me is not going to put your soul at risk.  Did I cover everything?”

Brenda didn’t respond for a full minute.  In the silence Danielle could hear the muted click clack of keyboards and the occasional snippet of conversation from the next office.  Danielle waited patiently for her to respond.

“Oookay.  I think I have all the information I need.  Give me a minute to look through our database and see if we have anything ...”  But before she could finish her sentence the door flew open, nearly scraping Danielle’s arm. 

Cthulhu strode into the office.  He wore the black Armani suit she helped him pick out last spring.  Even though his tentacles hid his shirt, Danielle knew that it would be a black Egyptian cotton dress shirt with French cuffs.  She knew that the collar would be open and the cufflinks would be blood rubies cut in the shape of a flame and set in platinum.  It was his favorite ensemble to wear around her.

“What are you doing here?  Do I have to get a restraining order?”  Danielle exclaimed. 

His eyes pierced hers.  She could see the souls he had recently consumed writhing in their depths.  “I want you back.”

Danielle crossed her arms and leaned back in her seat.  “Why?”

“Because no one else is qualified.”

“Oh yeah?  Well, pull the other leg ‘cause this one doesn’t play jingle bells.”

His tentacles started twitching in annoyance.  He briefly glanced over to Brenda who was cowering in the corner and frantically trying to claw her way through the wall.  Her bloody scratches marred the white drywall.  “The only person I could find to replace you is increasingly inept.  I grow weary of his mistakes.”

“And I’m weary of being taken advantage of!  You didn’t appreciate me when you had me so I’m going somewhere that will.  Nothing you say would make me want to come back!”

“Fine!”  His roar shook the walls.  “You want me to beg?”  Cthulhu got down on his knees.  “Please come back.  I’ll give you anything you want.”

She was about to fire off another venomous remark but those six little words stopped her.  “Anything I want?”

“Yes.  Name your price.”

“I want a fifteen percent pay raise, full dental benefits, an expense account, a Porsche convertible, and a three bedroom condo on the beach in Miami.”

“What?”  This time his roar was loud enough to shatter the window glass.  “Absolutely not!”

“Then we have nothing more to discuss.  Those are my terms.  Take them or leave them.”

Cthulhu glared and snorted fetid sea spray at her.  He probably would have snorted fire at her if he could.   It was fortunate for her that he couldn’t.  As he continued to stand and glare she started questioning the wisdom in asking for so much.  She really didn’t need the car and with the pay raise she could afford dental without benefits, but he did say she could ask for anything.

“Done.” He said it so quietly she almost didn’t hear him.

“Pardon me?  Would you mind repeating that?  I’m a little deaf in this ear.”

“I said done.”  He repeated more forcefully.  “Now don’t make me say it again.”

“That won’t be necessary.  I heard you this time.”

Cthulhu stretched forth his hand to her.  As she took it she felt a tremor in the ground beneath her, signaling the opening of a portal to hell.  A great chasm opened in the floor.  Pieces of the building crumbled and fell into the fiery abyss, taking a few occupants with it.  Smoke curled up from the opening and sulfurous stench of brimstone overwhelmed her senses.

Charred stone stairs rose up to meet them as they descended side by side. “Did you purposely find an incompetent replacement so you would have an excuse to ask me back?”  Danielle asked out of curiosity.

The only response she received was an indignant snort but that was all the answer she needed.

Juan Dolor

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • stupid LiveJournal thing
Re: Dan's NaShoStoMo
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 06:23:31 AM »
This is cool.  I wish I had time to write every day like this.  As it is, all my writing time is going to finish a novel. But I wish the best of luck to you and everyone else who is doing this. 

dhalagirl

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 197
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Dan's NaShoStoMo
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 06:49:24 AM »
I don't have time everyday either.  I'm spending most of my writing time working on my novel too, but I can squeeze in a few chibi chibi stories.  I'm hoping that at the end of the month I'll have something decent that I can expand into full short story length that I can enter into a contest or something.