Introducing Bouffon Stories

Written By: Jan Jacob Mekes - Sep• 28•11

Wait, wait, wait… introducing what now? Let me explain. I have this crazy idea of giving away stories. You give me an idea for a story, then I write it, so you can read it. And when I’ve amassed enough of these stories, I’ll compile them into a free e-book. Yes, free. Why? Because I like you. And maybe, after reading those free stories, you’ll become interested in my books. But that’s up to you.

Now, I can understand if you’re still about confused about all this. That’s why I’m going to post two example stories here. My good friend Andrei has come up with two ideas. His first one was simply one word: pirates. So here’s my story for that.

Pirating

The air was thick with smoke, as the two wig-wearing gentlemen, dressed in richly decorated brocade suits, laced cuffs peeping out from under their sleeves, sat staring at the chessboard in front of them. One of them, wearing a green silk coat, coughed.

“I say, you really should stop smoking that pipe. It completely messes up my play. I just can’t,” he said, coughing again, “concentrate.”

“Nonsense. You are just play-acting, sir. It is your coughing that distracts me from the game.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, just make your move.”

“These things take time, you know. One can’t force a gentleman at making a move. That said, I’m going to just move my knight over there like this…”

“Ah. I hoped you might do that.”

The man with the pipe quickly moved his hand in an attempt to pull back his piece.

“No, no! I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that, my good man. Here.”

The gentleman in the green coat moved his queen in a bold attack. “Check.”

“My dear fellow-” the other began, but he was brusquely interrupted by a loud sound coming from the door.

When he looked to the source of this racket, he noticed the door had disappeared. It was replaced with a heap of splinters, and a band of ruffians holding swords. One of them, a particularly nasty character with a beard and an eye patch, spoke.

“Arrrr, ye landlubbers! Belay that!”

The men panicked. “What? What? Please! I have a wife, and children,” one said.

“Yes, I have a child, and wives!” said the other, who didn’t even realize that what he had just said was really rather silly.

“Arrr, avast I say! Stop your blabbering and give us what we want!”

“You… you want our money? Take it! I’ll give you all of it, but just leave us in peace!”

“Nay, we cannot do that, ye mangy scoundrels! Ya think we be interested in money? That we be really so… shallow? Aye, is that what ye think?” the bearded pirate said, pointing his sword at the man with the pipe, which promptly dropped from his mouth, much to the amusement of the other pirates.

“Gulp. No… but… what do you want then?”

“Yer game.”

“Our… our game?”

“Aye. Ya know, the days on a pirate ship can get mighty long, an’ we would kill fer some entertainment. Problem is, the moment we approach a game shoppe, the shopkeeper locks up, thinkin’ we come to plunder ‘is store.”

“Ah, I see…”

“Aye. So now we be forced to resort to pirating games.”

“Oh…”

“So just hand me the board and pieces, and nobody gets hurt.”

The pirates left the room with their unusual plunder, leaving the two gentlemen utterly baffled. Then, one of them started chuckling.

“What’s funny?” the other asked.

In answer, he reached into his pocked and took out a little figure of a king. “Good luck to them finishing a game!”

The other laughed as well, but quickly stopped when he looked to his friend, who had a pistol pressed to his neck.

“Hand over the king, and no jokes now…”

[kkratings]


The second story is a bit different. For this one, Andrei gave me a writing prompt:

So I woke up this morning, like any regular man, when I noticed an old woman at my window. An old… woman. At MY window. Did I mention I was living at the 8th floor?!

Continuing this story…

Elastics

I rubbed out my eyes, thinking yesterday’s party had turned my brain to mush. For one moment, this seemed to resolve the situation, but a second later things took a turn for the worse. The woman was upside down, and she seemed to be dangling. Did I imagine this? This couldn’t be happening. Still, I thought it would be best to make sure, even though I felt pretty silly opening up the window to look at what must obviously be a hallucination.

“Oh, hello,” the hallucination said.

Now, I’m not an expert on tricks of the mind, but I was pretty sure most hallucinations didn’t address you with “Oh, hello.”

“Um… hi?” I cautiously replied.

When the old lady had stopped dangling, it was a little easier to converse with her.

“Hello again. I’m sorry to just drop in like this,” she giggled, her cheeks red with excitement. “The thing is, I seem to be in rather a predicament here.”

“I can see that,” I said, being the Captain Obvious that I am. “How did you…”

“Let me explain. My grandson visits me every fortnight, and every time he comes along he talks about these modern things. Last time he taught me how to use Twitter. That was pretty boring though, so I asked him to tell me about something more interesting. Now, yesterday he explained how he had bungee-jumped once. That sounded very exciting to me, and I asked him if I could have a go at that.”

“Wait, I know it’s not a decent question, but… how old are you?”

“73.”

My mouth dropped open.

“But anyway,” she continued, disregarding my amazement, “he said it would be too dangerous for a woman my age. Well, dangerous, schmangerous, I say. You’ve got to try everything at least once, haven’t you?”

I couldn’t help nodding.

“I knew you’d understand, love. So today, I tied a clothesline to the antenna on the roof, and the other end around my ankles. Well, my boy, I can tell you I haven’t felt this great since 1965! But now I seem to have a bit of a problem… I can’t get back up.”

It was a problem. You see, she was sort of stuck halfway between storeys, so I couldn’t help her into the window. Now, I suppose I could have called the fire brigade, but I feared the clothesline would snap before they’d arrive.

“Hang on,” I said.

“Yes, I haven’t got much choice,” I heard the old lady quip as a ran up the stairs to the roof of the flat. When I got up there, I carefully pulled the line, trying my best not to upset the gentle balance of the knots the old woman had tied. Fifteen nerve-wrecking minutes later, I had her back on solid ground.

“Don’t ever do that again,” I said.

“Of course not, dear.”

“Good.”

“I’ve tried it now, so there’s not point to do it again, is there? Now, I’ve read something about paragliding… maybe with a sheet, I can do something… that’s something for my grandson’s next visit though.”

That same day, I put up my apartment for sale and moved in with my brother until I found a new house.

[kkratings]


So, that’s it! If you have any story ideas, like keywords or prompts or subjects or moods or settings… let me know. You can comment on this post, or find me in other places, like Facebook. I’m looking forward to writing for you!

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