Some more stories

Written By: Jan Jacob Mekes - Sep• 29•11

The people at the Telltale Games forums have been pretty active on the story request front, so here are some more stories. I aim to please. First up is another request from RetroVortex, who asked for the following:

Illness
Embarassment
Supernatural

Not content with that, another element was added:

Actually thats a little too easy lets throw in a prop:

- Sock puppets!

With that in mind, here is the story.

The Talking Rat

“Have you heard, Alys?”

“Oh, what is it now, Gawain?”

“Look!”

The boy handed a pamphlet to his sister. She read it aloud.

“‘Villagers, countrymen and lords! Come to the village square today, where you shall be treated to a happening of divine nature! A talking rat will speak out on the Black Death. If you seek healing, come listen to the words of this messenger of God! Come on and all!’ Hmph. Sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me.”

“I know, but suppose it’s true? Perhaps we could cure uncle.”

If it’s true, dear brother of mine, it is witchcraft. And you know what mother always says: stay away from witches.”

“Well, I’m going anyway. And knowing you,” he said, poking his sister in the elbow, “you’ll be sneaking along as well.”

Gawain was right. At noon, a crowd had gathered on the village square, and Alys was there as well. No talking rat could be seen however, just a curious box with a hole in it that measured a square foot.

“See, nothing’s happening,” Alys said.

“I wouldn’t be too sure of that. Look.”

A rat appeared in the hole. The crowd fell silent as the rat scraped its throat.

“My dear ladies and gentlemen,” the rat said. “I know us rats have been giving you a hard time with this plague thing, but rest assured that it is not what we want. We have merely been sent by God to get you to repent! But there is still hope. If each of you gives me… that is to say, in my capacity as a prophet… gives me a hundred gold Nobles, then He will take this plague away from you.”

“Blasphemy!” a voice sounded from the audience. It was the local priest. “This is witchcraft! We need to expel the demon from this rat!”

A murmur rose up from among the audience.

“Begging your pardon,” a farmer said, “how do we know this is not a prophet? It would sure be nice to be rid of the Black Death!”

Now the murmur turned into one of approval at this last remark.

“I say,” the farmer continued, “that we pay this rat! And if anyone wants to stop us,” he said, glancing at the priest, “we’ll have to stop them!”

“Yes,” a woman’s voice said, “let’s go to the bank, get our savings and stop this terrible illness!”

While the whole crowd was astir, one little girl had escaped their attention. It was Alys. She had sneaked up behind the box. She carefully poked a hole in it and looked through. Her eyes widened.

“Hey everyone, listen! It’s not a talking rat at all! It’s a man with a sock on his hand!”

[kkratings]


The next story is for forum member Ribs. These are his ideas:

Robots.
Forgotten Winter Nights.
Evil Cheese

An interesting assortment of subjects, that’s for sure. Can they come together in a story? There’s only one way to find out.

The Camembert Factory

“Careful there, you nearly drove us off the road!”

“Yeah, it’s too damn dark and slippery. I hate winter.”

“Yeah, and night as well, I suppose?”

“Nah, night I like. Normally. When there’s no ice on the road. Damn it, I wish this would be over already.”

“I hear ya. I can’t wait to be free from that idiot Pierre-Luc.”

Realizing what he had just said, the man quickly checked if the radio was switched off. Fortunately, it was.

“That was a close call.”

“Don’t ever do something risky like that again.”

“Well, at least I’m not the one driving us off the road.”

“Shut up and look. I’ve gotten us safely to our destination.”

Up ahead they could see a boring concrete building, lit up by the headlights. They stepped out of the van, carefully navigating their way towards the entrance, trying not to slip.

Inside, they found an unusual assortment of machinery, each piece of robotic equipment looking as though it had stepped right out of a science fiction film. To any other person, this would be an intimidating sight. But these two had been here many times before. Today would be different only because it would be the last day.

“You know, Joe, it never ceases to amaze me how the boss got to put this thing together. And right under the nose of the French government as well. You don’t suppose…”

“That they’re in it? Of course not. You really think they would poison their own people?”

“Well…”

Joe shrugged. “Oh, what do I care anyway? All that matters is we’re set up for a one-way trip to the Bahamas when this plan goes through. Imagine that, all that stands between us and the poisoning of thousands of Camembert-eating frogs is a press of a button. Then the way will be free for the boss to become president of France. The people will demand tight security measures. And we… well, hula ladies, here we come!”

“Heh. I can’t wait. Hey Joe, can I do the honours?”

“Yeah, yeah, press the button already.”

As he did so, nothing seemed to happen at first.

“Did you press it?”

“Of course, I’m not a complete idiot!”

“Well, why then-”

At that moment, the machinery came to life. On one of the walls, an image of a man in uniform was projected.

“My dear sirs, you were right. The French government was in on this from the beginning. Unfortunately, it is not as you think. We have your friend Pierre-Luc here in custody. As for you, well, we would come to arrest you… that is, if we knew your location. You see, we hacked into this facility from a distance. We can lock the doors like this, voilà. Sadly, we do not know how to open them. I am afraid you are locked in there with a bunch of rampant robots and poisonous cheese. Good luck getting out, messieurs.”

[kkratings]


The next story is for doodo!, who came up with three rather more conventional themes:

Vanity
Evolution
Species

That doesn’t mean they’re any easier to write about, however.

Is that me?

A woman sat down at her dressing table, looking in the mirror. Her life was in perfect order. She’d married a wealthy man, she was pretty, and her bank account would allow her to remain good-looking well into her fifties. Now she was only twenty-nine, but she wouldn’t let that stop her looking beautiful. She carefully applied lipstick, mascara, eye shadow. But those were just a few finishing touches. Twelve kinds of foundation, rouge, day and night creams, hair extensions, all adorned the table, and all were used on a daily basis.

How ironic, she thought, I want to have more hair on my head, but at the same time I’m trying my best to remove any trace of the existence of hair in my face.

“Yes, how ironic.”

The woman jumped in her seat. What was that voice? It was her voice, but she was certain she hadn’t spoken.

Then who did? Find out in Bouffon Stories 2012, where you can read the conclusion of this piece of flash fiction.


Next up is coolsome, who came up with three keywords that again are pretty heavy.

Darkness
Soul
Galaxy

And this is what I cooked up.

Eternal Waltz

It had been days since I left the space ship. Or maybe it had been months, I don’t know. It could just as easily have been millennia. But it felt like days. It had started out so beautifully. We would go on a mission to Mars, a mission that would somehow benefit humanity. Of course we gobbled it all up. We were scientists, and adventurers. We were on top of the world. And soon we would be out of that world.

The journey was amazing, the most amazing experience of my life by far. How beautiful those myriads of stars looked, like lighthouses that guided our way in an ocean of darkness. We were sure we could do anything then. We felt like gods. And perhaps we were, but even gods have an Achilles’ heel. Ours was the people who built our space ship. Of course, we knew the government couldn’t spend too much of the tax payers’ money on a project like this, but we never expected them to cut corners building a space ship. We soon found out, however. The blast rocked us to the core.

It’s funny, I had imagined my death to be quite different. Painful perhaps, long drawn out. But this was just a moment. I instantly transformed into this… I don’t even know what I am. Ethereal being maybe? I like to call it a soul, but I don’t know if that’s correct. Being afloat in space like that, I experienced loneliness like I couldn’t imagine. Here’s the thing: it seems that souls can’t enter the Earth’s atmosphere. That same Earth that we were so eager to escape, I now tried so desperately to return to, but all to no avail.

There was no way out. The darkness surrounded me. Miles and miles of universe stretched out on all sides, and I had no way out. I couldn’t even commit suicide to end it all, because I was already dead! Then, by some stroke of luck, I remembered an accident that had taken place ten years prior to our journey. A crew had been sent to the Moon, tasked with setting up a base there. A construction error made sure they would never return to Earth. They were left to die there.

It was terrible, yes, but just suppose… I managed to guide my immaterial self towards the site of the crash. And there she was. Another soul in this wide open space that felt so claustrophobic. We both couldn’t believe it. We were indescribably happy, and all we could do was dance, dance, dance. It’s funny, the only dance we both knew was the waltz… we had no music, but we needed none. We just danced, danced, danced. And we still are. And when you look up at night and see a shooting star, say a little prayer. It might just be us, dancing our eternal waltz.

[kkratings]

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