Week Four - This will thread will contain a week's worth of writing exercises to be completed each day. I'm going to award W.P. (writing points~) for completed assignments, and to give myself less math this time, it's 1 W.P. per regular assignment, 5 per bonus. If I make a super bonus assignment, I will tell you what it's worth individually. (Please bear in mind that I will not award points / will deduct points for incomplete / improperly completed assignments and I cannot award points past the days of the week in question. Thank you.)
You may do as many or as few as you please. Anyone is allowed to join up at any time, but please let me know in a PM if you want to be added to our tag list because only people on the tag list will be awarded points. Also, you may leave the exercises at any time. Please tell me if you wish to be removed, though. I will not remove you unless you request it.
Our goal here: Fun, encouragement of young and old writers, and self-improvement. :D
ONE IMPORTANT RULE: PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO ANY OTHER WRITER'S POST. I created a feedback thread, please use it: Link! My insistence on this is to ensure that other writers can edit as needed, and while it is possible to unlock posts, it's best not to create any more work for our admins / mods than necessary. Thank you for your cooperation. =)
Monday! This week's theme: Classic tales, your way.
Alright, I'll admit it. I have a weakness for twisted versions of kid stories, which is why I've wanted to make this a theme since before the first week. Pick a fairytale, any fairytale. Yes, it can be obscure, but it still needs to be a pre-existing work. Feel free to link it to us if you can find it on Wikipedia or another site. Tell me what the fairytale is, then give me your spin on it with a full summary of your version.
Bonus: Write a scene from your fairytale, first person perspective.
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For this exercise I'll pick 'Pinocchio'. In case anyone doesn't know, in short: man makes puppet, puppet gets enchanted and becomes alive, his nose grows every time he lies and only shrinks if he tells the truth, puppet wants to become a real boy. Might be nice to point out that, instead of the Disney version, in the original version, Pinocchio wasn't exactly the best example of good behaviour, and he eventually was executed. (Here's the Wikipedia page if you want to know more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinocchio)
Anyhow, for my own version, I am kinda moving away from the fairy tale aspect, and instead want to set it in modern day Italy. The main character of my story is Pietro Innocenzo Nócchio, or Pietro for friends. When the story begins, Pietro has just been elected into the Italian parliament. However, his campaign wasn't cheap, and he mostly paid for it with money from the Moriconi family, one of the more notorious families in Italy. Once in parliament, Pietro has no choice but to vote according to the wishes of the Family. One of these votes happens to be the tie-breaker in a law which leads to the demolition of a series of apartment buildings in the outskirts of Rome, after which the Moriconi can cheaply buy the land.
However, shortly after the passing of the law, Pietro receives a letter, written by an old woman who lived in one of these buildings. She states that the law Pietro helped pass condemned her to a life of homelessness. She curses him, as punishment for his lack of morality.
The next day, while Pietro is giving an interview, he notices the effect of the curse: whenever he tells a lie, his nose grows longer. Realising that this curse basically spells the end of his personal and political life, Pietro seeks to lift the curse. After finally finding the woman who wrote the letter, he realises that his only solution is to abstain from lying, and living an honest life. The one major challenge to achieve this goal, however, is the Moriconi family's influence over him.
When the Family realises that Pietro is no longer in their power, they start a smear campaign, revealing all of Pietro's corruption while dealing with them. After hearings in parliament, and a very public legal battle, Pietro finally confesses everything. Accepting a plea deal, and working together with the Italian anti-mafia unit, he manages to get the Moriconi family's top members, especially the 'father' of the family, convicted.
Having brought down one of Italy's most powerful families, and after retreating from politics altogether, Pietro's curse is finally lifted.
For my bonus scene, I chose the moment when Pietro notices the effects of his curse:
The press room was located in one of the older parts of the ministry. Decorated in an 18th century Baroque style, it felt more like a palace than the workplace of an elected official. The chairs for the attending press were set in a semi-circle, with the lighting of the camera's in the back turning the journalists into a shadowy audience, while I, as the afternoon's main act, stood behind my lectern.
"And that, ladies and gentlemen, is our vision of the Suburra housing project as I, and my co-workers, envision it." I told the audience. "Are there any more questions?"
Somewhere in the back of the room, a shadow raised its arm. Shortly after, a disembodied voice called out: "Mister Nócchio, do you really believe that your project will enhance the lives of those living in the Municipio XVI? After all, did the government not just recently, with your support, if I might add, evict those living in the low-income housing projects in the neighbourhood?"
Of course, I had already anticipated questions like these, so I confidently answered: "I don't only believe it will, I know it will. We demolished the housing projects because the living conditions were sub-par from what we expect from a modern country, and a modern metropolis. I know that it might not seem so at the moment, but when the project is finished, the neighbourhood will prosper, and those who are now temporarily living elsewhere will see the merit of our project. Our main concern is the improvement of the lives of our citizens."
Now, I have to add that I gave this speech in the Spring, right during hay fever season. However, as Cesare, my media advisor told me that constantly scratching my nose didn't look good on camera, I couldn't resolve the itch that had been bugging me during my presentation. However, once he jumped in front of me, and yelled 'no more questions now!', I realised that something was wrong. Only when the lights were once more turned on in the room, I noticed the curious faces of the press.
At that point, I realised that something was partially obstructing my view. A blurry object in the corner of my vision. And then, while one of my attendants finally held her pocket mirror in front of me, I saw what it was: my nose had grown longer by about an inch.
Fairy Tale: The Ugly Duckling
Peter Duckling was the youngest of eight little geese children and was always ignored by his siblings. Even Rosa, the sweetest of the bunch, would pay little attention to poor Peter Duckling. While he was busy moping in the shadows of his family, a fox stalked in the background. Peter Duckling gazed sadly at his happy family, wondering when he would get a chance to shine.
The clever fox hid in the bushes behind Peter Duckling, laughing maniacally to herself. "Ahaha, a free tasty morsel. After this, I shall murder his entire family!"
Lunging out at him, she swung one white paw and knocked Peter down. She bit into his flesh. It was horrifying. Fifteen minutes later, Peter was dead. The fox laughed happily and bounded off for the others.
The Duckling family managed to fight off the hungry fox, and their mother realized that Peter was missing. "Peter, Peter?"
Of course, they never found him until it was too late.....
"AGGGGGHHHH!" I screamed in terrifying agony as the fox's fangs ripped into my flesh.
"Die little duck, die!" The vile fox screeched. She clawed at my eyes, and my eyelids tore.
"STOP! STOP!" I shouted in pain. Blood coursed down my face.
She shook her head side to side with her teeth fixed in my throat. It immediately ripped my airway. I coughed as the blood flooded down my throat, struggling to breathe. The fox grinned with all its terrible, bloodied teeth in a frenzy, chewing a chunk of my skin, complete with blood-red feathers.
I felt faint. Touching one wing to my neck, the blood felt cold. Is blood supposed to feel cold?
Closing my eyes, I thought one last bittersweet thought, Was I supposed to be ugly?
"Uncle Hector!" I cried.
His warm embrace made me feel better.
"I'm so glad you're here with me." he said. "Welcome to heaven."
I smiled. "Hello, heaven. Nice to see you."
I decided to use the story of Puss and Boots. Many of us know this loveable cat from the Shrek franchise, but his story is actually pretty cool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots
My spin on the tale is that Puss and Boots is actually a demon slayer. Once the most powerful sorcerer in the land, Puss and Boots, or Mavis as he was once called, was cursed by a lich and sentenced to eternal damnation. The only way to destroy the curse is to find three others who have suffered a similar fate. Mavis decides to help his master attain wealth and fortune, though with the ulterior motive of cleansing the spirit of the King’s daughter, who is one of the “Eternally Damned” that he seeks.
After going into the forest and capturing a rabbit, it turns out that the rabbit is the god of the forest. In exchange for the god’s help, Mavis is supposed to convince the king to stop cutting down the forest for farmland. Mavis then presents the god as food for the king over several months (because the rabbit god can change its form and is immortal), and tells the king that his master is the Marquis of Carabas.
Some time later, Mavis tricks his master into falling into a naked river as the King passes by in his carriage. The King ‘saves’ the ‘Marquis’ and gives him the clothes of a lord, agreeing to bring the cat’s master back to his castle. Mavis decides to find a place that is suitable for a castle and an estate, eventually locating the tower of an old demon lord, surrounded by his demon spawn. Mavis kills them all with his magical powers and completes the charade of ‘The Marquis of Carabas’. When the princess offers her hand in marriage to Mavis’s master, Mavis gives his master the conditions that will bring forth fortune-those being ten minutes between Mavis and the princess alone, as well as the maintenance of the forest.
His master agrees, and Mavis is able to exorcize the curse of the princess, which was actually the Queen. The Queen harbored jealousy toward her daughter and her beauty, eventually being subject to a curse which stole her mortal body and placed her soul into the body of her daughter. The bodies and souls of both of them are restored, and everyone in the kingdom lives (mostly) happily ever after. Mavis leaves the kingdom to search for his next target.
“Are you the one with fur of black, leather boots and shoulder sack? Or are you foe, who only comes to bring me woe? If so, I send you back!”
What is this madness, utter balderdash? I came to fetch my master fortune, wealth and all that this life has to offer. I do it not for lame compassion, sickening, sickened, dying kindness. I do it for unbridled passions, things once lost to foolish action. That demon wizard, wizard king, king of demons and the like, has made me suffer with his curse-and now this fool?
“Humble God, I pray thee well. I am the one with black you seek. No charlatans could grace your presence.”
“Arrogant sage or humble fool. I cannot tell the difference. What do you seek of power ancient, power sacred, power known?”
“I come to ask for power ancient. I ask for life, your very own. Never dying, never dead, always living, with me tread to yonder castle up o’er gleaming, greening hill. There I seek a regal man whose mind is only mortal borne. Please him as mortals are pleased, with earthly pleasures bring him to his aging knees.”
“You ask too much, though intrigued I am. Would like to strike a bargain?”
“If thou choosest to bid me counsel.”
“Then harken, sorcerer of yore. You may speak to me never more. I know you now more than yourself. I will become a thing of bread, my mortal meat to fill its innards, never dead. Reborn, I will do it again until thy wish is granted.”
“My humble thanks-”
“SILENCE FOOL! Do not disrupt the will of gods, for they shall strike you in the back. For my service, you are bound to serve me in my time of need. Bring me back my forest land, my spirit land, my promised land from forces beyond comprehension. Then our deeds will forever rest.
“Good God, I put your claims ‘gainst mortal test.”
Bonus not attempted (yet). (Been a little busy but hopefully this week I can keep up with the exercises!)
I’m going with an alternate version of Cinderella. I think we all probably know that one, but click here for a summary anyway.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful metalhead by the name of Cinderella. She lived with her wicked stepmother and ugly stepsisters, who made Cinderella do all the chores in the house so they could play metal all day. Cinderella was never allowed her own guitar by her wicked stepmother, but she practised air guitar relentlessly and wrote songs in her head, listening to her ugly stepsisters play to draw inspiration.
One day, instead of there just being a standard ball, there was a talent show of sorts for a chance to impress the handsome Prince Harming. The prince was a big fan of heavy metal, so there were dozens of young women there trying to impress him with their own compositions played by themselves and their bands.
Cinderella, left alone at home instead of going to the talent show, started growling her songs in demonic languages and headbanging, accidentally summoning the Fury Grindmother using a satanic ritual. The Fury Grindmother used her arcane magic to help Cinderella obtain her own pumpkin guitar, badass spiky gothic/witch-fusion metal outfit and transport in the form of seven reaper rats, allowing her to attend the talent show.
At the talent show Cinderella teamed up with her ugly stepsisters, winning and thinking that she secured her marriage with Prince Harming (because her ugly stepsisters were too ugly). Unfortunately for Cinderella, the prince, being a bit of a freak who was sexually into the weird side of metal, found the hellish appearance of both stepsisters very attractive. He couldn’t decide between them and the unique hotness of each, so he decided to marry both.
Cinderella, enraged, tried to convince the prince not to wed those two troglodytes over someone normal looking like her. He laughed in her face and told her that normal was ugly. Cinderella had forgotten the Fury Grindmother’s warning that if she didn’t leave by midnight, Satan would appear and consume her soul. That was exactly what happened, and all she left behind was a glass guitar pick, which one of the stepsisters found and decided to use as a nail file. Prince Harming got two sisters as wives (but slept with them separately, of course. He might have been weird but not that much!), the ugly stepsisters got a rich husband to fund their drug addiction, and they all lived happily ever after.
Sorry I'm a little late to the party this week, I've been pretty busy irl. Better late than never.
My chosen story is The Juniper Tree by the Brothers Grimm, which is already a pretty twisted fairy tale all on its own.
My version of the story starts off similar to normal; the woman dies giving birth to her son, and is buried beneath a juniper tree. Her husband mourns for several years, and attempts to bury his grief by setting up and running a small pig farm. But then he meets a new woman, falls in love and they soon get married and have a daughter.
A few years pass and they begin to hear in the news of a zombie apocalypse, but ignore it because it is only rumours of things happening far from their little pig farm.
But unknown to them, the first wife has risen from the grave as a zombie and now roams the fields around the farm, feeding on their pigs.
They soon notice that something has been munching on their pigs, and the second wife sends out the son to try and find whatever animal has been feeding on them. But he is set upon by his zombie mother and a herd of zombie pigs, and killed in a gruesome death.
The following morning the second wife and her daughter find the body, and she blames herself for his death. Her daughter convinces her that they need to hide the body from the father, and so they put him in the same place they keep the dead pigs.
Unfortunately, the father finds the body, and it is so messed up that he mistakes it for a pig carcass. He makes it into a stew, and the family have it for their dinner. That night they all rise from their beds as zombies, infected by the sons contaminated flesh, and go to feast on their neighbours.
Bonus scene from the perspective of the daughter when her and her mother find the son’s remains.
The moment I walked out of the door I could tell there was something wrong. The remaining pigs were all squealing and dancing around in their pens, crows and other scavenger birds were dancing around, waiting for a good opportunity to prey on whatever carcass there was for them to feed on, and the smell of blood filled the air.
At first I thought it was simply another pig. Enough of them had been attacked by the creature over the last few days that it had simply become something I was willing to accept as a daily occurrence now.
And yet I could hear a faint sound of sobbing. I hurried away from the house towards the sounds of a crying woman, terrified that something horrible had happened to my mother. After all, she would not be crying if it were simply another dead pig.
Rushing into the field, I saw her knelt over a bloody carcass. “Mother?” I asked gently. “Are you alright?”
She didn’t respond to the question, she must not have heard me over the sound of her own sobbing. “Mother what’s the matter?” I asked, gently resting a hand on her shoulder.
She sat up suddenly in panic, but calmed down when she realised it was only me. “Oh thank god it’s you,” she said, holding back another sob.
“What’s going on?” I asked. “Why are you crying?”
I watched as her face crinkled up, and more tears came running out of her eyes. “Oh it’s terrible!” she yelled, burying her face in my shoulder.
I looked at the corpse behind her, confused. It was slightly bigger than most pigs, and what had been done to it was horrific, but I couldn’t see why this was any more terrible than the previous corpses we had found. “It’s only a pig mother. It’s not that bad.”
“But it’s not a pig,” she sobbed.
I looked at the corpse again, but I couldn’t work out what it was. “If it isn’t a pig then what is it?” I asked, slightly worried about what the answer might be.
My mother moved her head from my shoulder and looked me in the eye, a look off terrible anguish on her face. “It’s not a pig,” she just about managed to say. “It’s your brother!”
Tuesday! Pick your favorite ghost short story or scary campfire tale -- if you can't find a good one, sum up a Stephen King novel or Edgar Allen Poe work-- and show it to us, but put a new twist on it. It can turn silly, get weird, raunchy, whatever you like. (Just don't go R or X rated on me, folks.) Bonus: make a twist to top your twist.
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For this exercise I'm re-telling the 'killer in the back seat' story.
One bleak autumn night in the middle of November, Rebecca was driving home alone, having been to the cinema with some friends. Living in a very rural village, some miles from the city, she would often have to drive for some time over lonely, unlit country roads. However, this night, just as she left the outskirts of the city, she noticed a large, black pick-up truck following her.
"That's weird." She thought. "Usually I'm all alone. I guess we must be living in the same village. Such a gas-guzzler isn't out of place there, anyhow."
Thinking not much more of it, she turned on her radio and continued driving. But as he kept following her at close distance, she began feeling uneasy.
"I have to get away from this guy..." She thought, and she pressed the gas pedal further. The truck, however, kept tailing her. Not only that, but its high beams also flashed on periodically. Slightly panicking, Rebecca looked in her rear-view mirror, but the driver in the car behind her was invisible.
When the village's lights finally came into view, Rebecca was practically shaking in her seat. The flashes of her pursuers high beams were driving her mad. Now, in the intermittent light of the streetlamps, she could make out the bushy beard of the driver behind her.
As she drove up to the driveway of her parent's house, she honked rapidly and loudly, the black truck still following her. Then she bolted out of her car towards the front door, her engine still running. Just as she reached the door, her father came out, dressed in his nightgown, with his shotgun in hand.
Without asking questions, he pointed it at the driver of the pick-up truck, having now left his car, brandishing a gun of his own. "Stop right there, who the hell are you?"
"You really shouldn't be pointing that thing at me, you know. And I'd rather be asking questions to him." The driver answered, pointing at the back seat of Rebecca's car. Though Rebecca and her dad were still mistrusting, they investigated the car and saw a body lying on the back seat, face down with his hands behind his head.
It turned out that the driver of the truck had seen a man sneaking into Rebecca's car when she drove away from the cinema. However, as she had already left, he was unable to warn her and instead decided to follow her. Every time the man in the back seat tried to sit upright, the driver flashed his high beams, and the unknown assailant would lie back down.
Having heard the driver's story, Rebecca and her dad once more inspected the back seat of the car, though what they found wasn't exactly a murderer. Looking closer, Rebecca recognised the guy in the back seat as Josh, one of her friends. Though it took some time to get an understandable answer out of him, they eventually found out that it was all a misunderstanding. Josh wasn't able to make it to the cinema that evening, as he had to go to a birthday party for one of his family members. However, after having a few too many drinks, he decided to join them after all, but only turned up when the group was already leaving. Recognising Rebecca's car, he got in, afraid that the group was leaving without him. Through the haze of his drunkenness, he periodically realised that something was wrong, but every time he got up to ask Rebecca where she was going, he was blinded by the high beams of the driver behind them, and fell down. And that is how he eventually ended up lying on the back seat of Rebecca's car, feeling nauseous and disoriented.
When they all realised that this was all just a big misunderstanding, Rebecca asked Josh and the driver, whose name, it turned out, was Daniel, inside for a bit. While her father was in the kitchen, making coffee, Rebecca stayed behind with the two guys. Having sobered up a bit, and apologising profusely for the fright he caused, Josh eventually offered to call a taxi.
"Oh, there's no need for that Josh." Rebecca heard her dad calling from the kitchen. "You can stay here for a bit if you want. I'm just glad that my little girl's safe. I can't tell you how relieved I am that you aren't a murderer." While he was saying this, the dad walked out of the kitchen with a big grin on his face. In his hand, he held the shotgun from earlier. "After all, we wouldn't want any competition now, would we?"
My scary story is called "The Nurse" from the book trilogy "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." It is about a group of young doctors who decide to play a cruel prank on a nurse who got them into trouble. The result: the nurse goes insane. (http://www.scaryforkids.com/nurse/)
My twist is that this entire story is a dream. The young man who suggested the idea of the prank has this dream, which serves serves as a premonition to not do the deed. The end of the story would be when he wakes up and realizes that it was a nightmare.
Double Twist/Bonus: Only it wasn't a nightmare ... The young doctor would convince his friends to not do the deed, but the woman dies because a stress induced heart attack (a result of overwork and their continued shenanigans). She comes back as a ghost to exact her bloody revenge on the men who contributed to her death, slaughtering them all one by one.
Bonus attempted (I’ve tried to fit in more than two twists, though!); the story I have picked is The Licked Hand.
I get home from work and open the door, immediately greeted by Rocky, my dog. He’s a particularly big St. Bernard, my only company while the rest of the family is away. I sit down in front of the TV and turn the news on. Apparently, there’s a serial killer on the loose in the neighbourhood. Before I go to bed I close all the windows, except the one to my bedroom on the second floor. This house is at the top of a hill, and just outside my room there’s a sheer drop to the road for almost fifty feet. Rocky takes his place under my bed, and I turn the lights off.
In the night, I’m woken by something. Drip, drip, drip. That’s weird. I thought I turned the tap off. I go over to the bathroom. The tap is definitely shut tight. I go downstairs to the kitchen to check the sink, but same there. Maybe I just imagined it. The lights still off, I fumble my way back to bed. I roll over, unable to sleep. My hand leans over the bed and I get a reassuring lick from Rocky. At least I have him if the serial killer does come. What are the chances of that, anyway?
Again, I hear the pitter patter of liquid dropping on a metal surface. It’s strange; it almost sounds like it’s coming closer than the kitchen or even the bathroom. I venture outside, more cautiously, and look at the sinks. I made sure to turn the taps as tightly as I could this time, using a towel to grip more strongly. I go back to bed again and put my hand down, letting Rocky nuzzle my hand. I would be very scared now if not for him.
More dripping. This time I really am freaked out. It’s weird, but I can swear it’s coming from the wardrobe. I walk very slowly over, baseball bat in hand. In a sudden motion I open the wardrobe, and I can’t believe my eyes. There, bloodied, hanged, mutilated, gutted, was Rocky’s dead body, blood dripping out of a gaping wound on his side. But then what’s been licking my hand...? You see in the mirror inside the wardrobe, written in blood, I can lick too.
I shudder, turning around, backing away, switching the light on. I peer down under the bed, but there’s nothing there. “Surprise,” I hear behind me. Not wasting a millisecond, I turn around and swing my baseball bat. To my horror and surprise, I see Mark, my husband, lying on the floor with a broken nose.
“You did this to Rocky?” I ask. “Was it really you?” This can’t be happening. It’s a dream. It’s a dream.
I wake up, my hair sweat-soaked and clinging to the side of my face. The first thing I do is jump off the bed, then cautiously check under the bed. Rocky’s fast asleep, eyes closed and chest heaving. Phew, it really was just a dream. But...
Drip. Drip. Drip. Oh no. Not this again. I take my baseball bat and go over to the bathroom. The tap’s screwed shut. I go downstairs, heart pounding, to the kitchen. As I walk into the room, I see that the tap really is on! I laugh and turn the tap off. I head back upstairs, feeling better, although I do check again that it is rock under the bed and that he is alive, which he is. I stroke him, and he wakes, licking my hands. I finally feel calm.
“Thank you, human. You have passed the test,” says Rocky. I freeze, dumbfounded. “That dream was a trial. You did well, my homo sapien. Now onto stage two.”
I can’t think of anything to say, my mouth hanging open. Rocky gazes intently at me.
Selected story: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stephenson. (That’s technically a horror story right?)
The twist in this story is that Utterson discovers that he himself is in fact another version of Dr Jekyll that had become so far dissociated from him he had become a completely separate figure.
Second twist: Utterson actually had dissociative identity disorder, and Jekyll and Hyde were these imagined identities. The death of Jekyll/ Hyde in the novella is when Utterson is cured of his mental disorder.
Wednesday! (This move is murder.)
Shakespeare. We all had to suffer through his works at some point in school. Pick one of his works, preferably a play, but change at least two of the following: setting, time period, character races / species, character roles, character motivations, good / evil affiliations, ending of the story, beginning of the story. Then, write a detailed summary or a scene from the play. (Please tell us what you changed and how.) Bonus: Four changes minimum.
*Don’t worry Kiel, it’s tough, but you’ll get through it.*
I shall use Much Ado About Nothing as my play.
My changes are the following:
All of the characters are born in the late 1700s.
All of the characters were born in Puerto Rico (except for Don Pedro and Don Juan [John], and Leo [Leonato] who were born in Spain), after their parents moved to the island as part of Spain’s colonization of the island.
The opening of the story now has Don Pedro go to Puerto Rico after completing a campaign against Napoleonic forces, and is welcomed by the governor of San Juan, Leo, to stay on the island and celebrate the end of the war.
The ending of the play is also changed. After Don Juan flees San Juan in hopes of escape, Benedicto (Benedick) vows to hunt him down. Benedicto corners Don Juan on one of the mountains of the El Yunque rainforest following a three day search, and challenges him to a fight to the death. Benedicto kills him, and returns to San Juan just in time for Claudio’s wedding. Upon learning that Benedicto has slain the villain, Beatriz (Beatrice) proclaims her love to Benedicto, and he does the same to her. The two get married a few days later.
Scene (To make it easier and authentic, I am putting it Spanish, and shortening Act One, Scene One to the exchange between Beatriz and Benedicto. Practically all of the scenes in this play are long!):
*Senor Leo y Don Pedro mueven a la derechas y siguen hablar*
Benedicto: Pues, aunque Senor Leo no sea su padre, estoy seguro que ella no querria la cabeza de un viejito encima de los hombros suyos.
Beatriz: Estas hablando todavia? Benedicto, no hay nadie que quiera oirte.
Benedicto: Bienvenidos querida Senora Tristeza. Pense que ya estabas muerte!
Beatriz: Como se muere la tristeza cuando tu estas vivo? Aun la pobre Donya Cortesia se pone deprimida cuando te ve.
Benedicto: Que traidora es ella! No hay ninguna mujer me odie, menos el cuerpo tuyo. Pero mi corazon de piedras no late por nadie, y no me permite a amar. Es una pena de verdad.
Beatriz: Las mujeres tienen suerte entonces. Pero yo me siento lo mismo. A mi no me importa la romancia. Preferiria escuchar al perro mio cuando grite mas que el varon que me promete el amor.
Benedicto: Espero que no cambies la mente. Los hombres no estarian seguros ni bellos, porque los dejaras tu con caras arracadas.
Beatriz: Si tuvieran caras como tu, mis unas no podrian cambiar nada. Ya serian feas.
Benedicto: Tu me ensenas como un pajaro, gritando sin callar.
Beatriz: Cual es lo mejor? La paloma que canta or la salvaje, tu?
Benedicto: Quizas el caballo que monto pudiera con la rapidez que hablas, sin cansar. Estoy cansado, me voy.
Beatriz: Ya te conozco bien. Tu te vas asi siempre.
Yes, I know this will need probably need a translation to be scored and even understood (I couldn't put any accents or proper Spanish punctuation, so...), so it will go here:
*Leo and Don Pedro move to the right, and continue talking*
Benedicto: Well, even if Leo is not her daughter, I'm sure that she wouldn't want an old man's head on her shoulders.
Beatriz: You're still talking? Benedicto, nobody here wants to hear you.
Benedicto: Hello, Dear Lady Disdain. I thought you were already dead!
Beatriz: How could disdain die while you're still alive? Even Lady Courtesy gets upset when she sees you.
Benedicto: Then she's a traitor! There is no woman that hates me except for you. Even so, my heart of stone does not beat for anyone. It's a shame that I'm unable to love as they love me.
Beatriz: Then all women are lucky. But I share your sentiment: I'm not interested in romance. I would prefer to listen to my dog bark and howl than to hear a man promise me his hand.
Benedicto: I hope you never change your mind. If you did, men in your wake would never be safe or handsome-you would probably tear their faces off.
Beatriz: If they had faces like yours, my nails wouldn't make a difference. They would already be ugly.
Benedicto: You remind me of a bird, screeching without shutting up.
Beatriz: Better to be a screeching dove than the savage beast from which you draw inspiration.
Benedicto: Perhaps one day the horse I ride could run with the speed at which you talk without tiring. Alas, I am tired and take my leave.
Beatriz: Hmph! As always, you leave in the same manner. I know you too well.
Didn't had that much time to write today, nor had that much creativity, I'm afraid. Anyhow, for this exercise, I choose Macbeth (Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth).
Our story begins with Macbeth, the victorious general, after a battle against two traitors to the Scottish crown. Returning from said battle with Banquo, one of his closer friends, he discusses that the traitors might actually have been right, and that the crown of Scotland should belong to a stronger ruler, himself. However, three sisters from a nearby monastery hear them talking, and warn Macbeth that God will punish those who rebel against their lord. Not very impressed, Macbeth laughs at them and rides away.
In the next scene, Macbeth is back at his castle in Inverness, talking to his wife about his ambitions to become king. His wife, though reluctant, agrees to helping him, as she had a vision of Macbeth becoming king. And so, that night, when King Duncan of Scotland was a guest at their castle, having rewarded Macbeth for his services, Macbeth and his wife murder the king, blaming Duncan's sons.
Using the chaos after the kings death, and the disgrace of the heirs, Macbeth seizes the throne of Scotland for himself. However, he realises that the sons of Duncan are still a threat to his throne, especially Malcolm who, with a Scottish nobleman called Macduff, have fled to England to raise an army. As revenge, Macbeth sends Banquo to raze Macduff's castle to the ground. After burning Macduff's castle, Banquo returns home, but on the road he meets Hecate, a witch, who prophesies that Macbeth won't be king for much longer, and that his, Banquo's, sons will be kings. Convincing him that Macbeth is going to execute Banquo, the witch tells him of a plan to attack Macbeth, and seize his throne.
In the final scene, an army descends on Macbeth's castle, led by Banquo and his son, and reinforced by the armies of the Scottish nobles that Malcolm and Macduff raised. However, the attack fails, and Banquo is slain, though his son and Malcolm manage to flee. Rejoicing, and now without contestants to his throne, Macbeth throws a feast. The only one not celebrating, though, is Lady Macbeth. Racked with guilt over her sins and Macbeth's she takes a knife from the table and kills Macbeth while he is celebrating, afterwards killing herself.
With Macbeth dead, Malcolm returns to Scotland and is crowned King of Scotland, not realising that Fleance, Banquo's son, is plotting to overthrow him.
So summarising, I stuck pretty closely to the original story, but I did change some small things. The thing I changed most was Macbeth's personality. Instead of being sort of tricked into usurping the Scottish throne, he instead planned to do so all along. Even the three holy sisters (the three witches in the original play), who try to discourage him fail. Instead, Macbeth convinces others, like his wife, that he will succeed with his plot. (And not the other way around, with his wife, who by the way has the vision of Macbeth as king instead of the witches, in the original play managing to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan). Furthermore, in my version Banquo isn't murdered by Macbeth, but instead is convinced by a witch to kill Macbeth and take the throne of Scotland, like Macbeth was in the original play. I also changed that Macbeth died during the attack on Inverness, instead he was killed by his wife in my version (the guilty suicide part is in the play). I also changed some more minor things, but I hope that this qualifies enough for today's exercise :D
My chosen work of Shakespeare to make a few changes to is The Tempest.
In this version Sycorax is still alive, and has enslaved Prospero and Miranda along with the islands spirits. She has married Prospero, and plans to restore him to his throne so she may become duchess of Milan. They work together to cause the tempest, leading to the events on the island.
Caliban is kinder in this version, and has fallen in love with Miranda. However, his mother forbids him from having her. But when he discovers she plans to marry her to Ferdinand he become full of jealousy, and joins the island spirits to overthrow Sycorax, freeing Prospero and Miranda.
However, whilst this is happening, Atonio and Sebastian's plot to kill Alonso has succeeded, although they were seen by one of the island spirits. This spirit tell Prosper, and he decides to imprison them on the island with Sycorax.
He returns home to the Milan, where he once again becomes Duke. Miranda marries Ferdinand, who is now King of Naples, and Caliban remain on the island to watch over the three prisoners.
In summary, the four changes are: Sycorax is still alive, Caliban is good, Alonso is killed, and Prospero regains his title of Duke of Milan.
Thursday! ... Wow. I missed a day and I actually did not notice. How the hell did that happen? I'm sorry, guys.
Nursery rhymes! Who doesn't love a gritty reboot once in a while? Let's see if you can make a compelling, interesting story out of an old nursery rhyme, shall we? Pick one (try for a not too terribly obscure one, please) and make a summary for story out of it. Bonus: Include another nursery rhyme in the mayhem.
Here’s a crossover of Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill, with Baa Baa Black Sheep and Mary Had a Little Lamb thrown in for good measure.
The story starts off with Jack and Jill, a young, newlywed couple. They have spent most of their money on their wedding and honeymoon, and have returned home to realise they can no longer afford to pay their bills. Jack also discovers he has been fired from his job due not turning up at work for two weeks.
They come up with a plan to rob the king’s vault and steal all his money. They go to their friend Black Sheep, who has recently escaped from his cruel mistress, Mary, who had kept him enslaved since he was a little lamb. He agrees to help them, and they rob the vault successfully, making off with large amounts of money.
The king employs investigator Humpty Dumpty to find the villains that stole his gold. After a lengthy investigation he finds black sheep, and promises to have him given a new life to protect him from Mary if he reveals Jack and Jill. Black Sheep agrees, and tells him that they are in hiding at the top of a hill.
Humpty Dumpty goes to this hill and finds Jack and Jill there. They get into a fight, and Jack and Jill got tumbling down the hill, where they are caught by the police. However Humpty Dumpty was fatally wounded in the fight, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
I'm foreign, dammit, I didn't grow up with English nursery rhymes. Anyhow, I chose 'tick tock', and 'eeny, meeny, miny, moe'.
Tick tock, goes the clock, hanging on the wall behind Inspector Mourant's desk. It's his third week at London's Metropolitan Police, and yet he is assigned to one of the most gruesome cases in recent history: a grizzly string of execution style murders, spread around the capital. Up till now, no leads had been found, until Pauly Johnson, a minor member of a local criminal network, turned himself in. Having told the authorities about wanting to make a deal in exchange for immunity, Pauly is waiting at his apartment to be brought in by the police.
The clock strikes three as Mourant enters the appartment. There, sprawled across the kitchen floor is the lifeless body of Pauly Johnson. A close-range gunshot wound to the head confirms the same execution style murders as the rest of the victims. However, upon closer inspection of Johnson's apartment, Mourant finds a hastily scribbled note lying next to the phone, with the address of a local pub, 'The Tiger's Toe'. .
Mourant follows up on the lead. After questioning the pub's patrons, he notices that some patrons move to a back room. The bartender, however, prevents Mourant to follow them, and kicks him out. Realising that time is of the essence, Mourant calls to New Scotland Yard, to call a police force to his location. However, he decides not to wait, and barges into the pub. As the barkeeper tries to intervene once more, Mourant pulls out his gun, threatens him, and commands him to let him into the back room. As the barkeeper opens the door to the back room, Mourant sees a stairs that lead to the basement. However, then his vision turns dark as the barkeeper knocks him out with a cricket bat.
When Mourant wakes up, he finds himself tied to a chair in a dark room, illuminated by a single light bulb. In the faint light, he can see three other people, similarly tied up. Somewhere in the darkness, he can hear a clock strike eight. In the shadows beyond the ring of light, Mourant can make out a circle of people, whispering excitedly to each other.Then, finally, a person steps forwards, and identifies himself as Nigel Farraway, leader of one of London's major crime networks. While Farraway explains what's going to happen, Mourant slowly realises the true purpose of the murders: they are part of an underground gambling ring. The people in the shadows make wagers based on a twisted game of Russian roulette. Four victims of kidnapping are bound up, while Farraway fires his gun at each of them, with three blanks in the gun, this means that one of the victims dies. The better who bet on the right person wins money. The remaining kidnappees have the honour of playing in the next game. And now Mourant finds himself in the player's seat.
Slowly, Farraway moves from victim to victim. "Eeny..." *Click* "Meeny..." *Click* "Miny..." *Click*, until he reaches Mourant. "Moe..." *Bang*
Cut to a local ten o'clock news bulletin. The newscaster presents the case of an underground murder-gambling ring which has been rolled up by Metropolitan Police. Operating from a pub in the heart of the city, they managed to kidnap and kill victims for sports, without anyone noticing. That is, until Metropolitan Police got wind of the case and shut the gambling ring down after a raid of the pub. The only casualty reported is a junior inspector.
*This is mainly the "Hush, Little Baby" nursery rhyme, but I mixed in just a smidgen of Humpty Dumpty in an o' so special way. Warning: This is fairly disturbing, and you may never get this version out of your head. EVER.*
Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Forget everything you thought you heard.
And if you don’t, just know one thing,
Tomorrow heaven’s bells are going to ring.
First, I’ll fucking beat your ass,
You will be screaming really fast.
Then if all of your bones ain’t broke,
I’ll break them for you until you croak.
And if somehow you’re still alive,
Your head will be like Humpty, smashed inside.
And if your brain still isn’t mush,
I will give your body a little push.
Over and out your body falls,
Down the building, hitting walls.
And at the bottom you’re such a mess,
Bloody little pancake, nothing less.
A lady just walked by, you see,
Looking on up and straight at me.
She looked at her feet and saw you there,
Screaming, losing shit and shitting there.
Just like Daddy, she’ll be dead,
One, two, three she’s the final head!
Friday! - (Due to the fact that I am posting two exercises on the same day, I'll wait to score until Monday again. Sorry, folks, I guess between the move and my birthday, my brain's a little fried. Hell, maybe I'm getting senile already, wouldn't shock me.)
Mix-and-Match! It's a cross-over day. Pick two of the previous days assignments and combine them into a detailed summary for a new story. A shakespearean fairytale? A ghoulish nursery rhyme? (And NO, you will not get credit just for picking Hamlet by virtue of it having a ghost in it already, Hamlet could've been hallucinating...) Bonus: write a first person POV scene from it.
Super bonus: (worth 15 points) Combine all four previous assignments into one short story instead--using the work you did before--giving us the summary, then write a first person POV scene for it.
Not sure how great this'll be, but I'll try to combine all previous exercises for this week.
It's ten o'clock on a Monday night, and Lorenzo Moriconi is celebrating with his family. The polls for the Italian elections have just closed, and the preliminary results show that Pietro Nócchio, the family's puppet, has been elected into the Italian parliament. Days later, a law is passed, demolishing apartment buildings throughout the capital, construction contracts for the new housing are now up for grabs, and Lorenzo is determined to get as many of them for his shell companies.
However, a new family is appearing on the stage of Rome's underworld: a British gang of criminals, funded with money from London, and claiming ties to the British royal family, through James the First/Sixth, down to a contemporary of MacBeth himself, they are now dead set on becoming the kings of Rome's underworld. Using the money from their overseas operation, the British bribe their way through Rome's bureaucracy, gaining influence, and the valuable construction contracts, on their way.
A war ensues between the Moriconi family, and the British usurpers, leading to a string of liquidations throughout Rome. As the violence reaches its highest point, Lorenzo receives news that Pietro, the family's politician puppet, is behaving strangely. Seeing his empire crumbling around them, Lorenzo starts to despair.
However, then news reaches Rome that the British operation in London has been rolled up by the local police department. Seeing an opportunity to rid himself of his British rivals, Lorenzo hires an American professional murderer to get rid of the organisations leadership, while Lorenzo's goons clean up the debris.
His plan succeeds, and the Moriconi family is once more the unrivalled leader of Rome's underworld. Until Pietro Nócchio loses his mind and starts cooperating with Italy's anti-mafia task force. Lorenzo swiftly starts a smear campaign, to discredit the politician, and does whatever is in his power to try to stop him. But it is to no avail. The Moriconi's assets in Italy are seized, and after a highly controversial lawsuit, Lorenzo and his closest confidants are imprisoned.
"My dearest family, our opportunity has arrived to rid ourselves of those British upstarts. My ears in London tell me that a few hours ago, their London operation has been shut down by Metropolitan Police. With their largest money flow gone, they're more vulnerable than ever. Now, I'd like to hear your ideas of how to deliver them the final blow."
As I delivered the good news to my closest confidants, I was practically buzzing with excitement at the fact that we were so close to retaking our leadership position amidst Rome's families. Looking around the conference room of my palazzo, however, I saw that my gathered family was unable to come up with a solution. But then, just as I was about to speak up, Giuliamo, my younger brother, stood up.
"How about we remove the head of their operation, quite literally. I recently expanded our operations in the United States, and employed a hired killer there quite effectively. He's a sight for sore eyes, some hillbilly from an American village, but he can get the job done. If he ingratiates himself with the British, he might be able to get an opportunity to... remove their leaders from their position. Meanwhile, our own men can start to uproot the British operations in the city."
At that moment, I fell proud that my brother was finally getting himself more involved with the family business, and I had to agree that his plan was feasible. Having made the necessary preparations for the coup to succeed, I closed the meeting. While walking back to my study, I couldn't help but dream about the grand future of my family.
A boat sails off of the coast of Italy, a mismatched crew on board. The Duke of Milan and his friend the King of Naples travel on board, much as they do in The Tempest. Also on board is Gabriel Utterson, being transferred to a new mental hospital, where they hope to try and cure him of his dissociative identity disorder. And also on board are Jack and Jill, who are attempting to escape to Italy with the money they stole. However, Humpty Dumpty has also snuck on board, following Jack and Jill so he may arrest them when the boat lands.
However, Sycorax and Prospero cause the tempest, and the ship crashes onto the island. From here things take a turn to the worse. Caliban attempts to lead the fairy rebellion against his mother, but Utterson mistakes him for Hyde and shoots him dead. Upon seeing her dead son, Sycorax goes mad with grief, and kills Utterson. She then goes on a killing spree, slaughtering the island’s fairies. This uses up so much of her power that Prospero and Miranda manage to free themselves. They begin to fight against Sycorax in an abandoned farm on a hill with a large Juniper tree growing on the top.
Meanwhile, Humpty Dumpty has arrested Antonio and Alonso for attempted murder of Alonso, and upon realising that he is a cop, Jack and Jill flee into the island. Humpty Dumpty follows them up the hill, where they find themselves caught in the magical fight between Prospero and Sycorax.
Jack and Jill side with Sycorax, and Humpty Dumpty joins Prospero and his daughter. However, being a fragile egg, it doesn’t take much for Humpty to be killed. His death awakens an old curse on the island, and from their graves beneath the juniper tree rise a family of zombies, ending the magical fight with their undead rage.
Bonus scene: Utterson shooting Caliban.
I stumbled along the path, wanting nothing but to get away from the wreckage of the ship. I still could not believe how suddenly the storm had hit, nor how it had such fury. The day had been delightful, the sun shining brilliantly from a clear blue sky, a gentle breeze enough to keep me cool. I had been talking to the strange egg fellow about my mental illness, refreshed to find somebody who did not ridicule me for being insane, even if he was an egg.
But then the tempest had hit, and there was nothing the captain could do to save the ship. I had been sure I would die, and was amazed when I had awoken on the beach. I was even more surprised to have seen Mr Dumpty lying there beside me, his shell intact.
But before I’d had a chance to properly recover, I’d seen two of the Italian nobles attack the other, and my stomach had finally given way. I stumbled away from the soft sand, into the islands foliage. Bending double, I released my lunch into an unfortunate bush.
A few moments later I was upright again, spitting and wiping my mouth in an attempt to remove the foul taste from my tongue. But as I looked between the trees I stopped all movement. My entire body froze in shock and fear, and it was all I could do not to release my breakfast alongside my lunch into the bush.
For in front of me stood someone I had believed to be a figment of my imagination, someone who had no right to existence, let alone to be standing on this island several metres in front of me. There stood Mr Hyde.
Reaching to my side, I was relieved to discover my pistol had survived the wreckage of the ship. “Mr Hyde!” I called out as I walked towards my nemesis. “All this time I believed them. They told me you didn’t exist, and I believed them!” I screamed this at the monstrosity before me, almost hysterical now.
The troglodyte turned to face me, an expression of surprise on his evil face. “I’m sorry, do I know you?” he asked.
I almost laughed in mad disbelief. “Do you know me? Do you know me! How could you not know me? For years I’ve believed the doctors. For years they’ve done your bidding and convinced me not to go looking for you. But now I’ve found you, and I can finally finish my torment!” I pulled out my gun, and pointed it at my enemy. “Do you have any last words?”
The man before me staggered backwards in fear. “No! Please, you have the wrong man! I’m not this Mr Hyde you think I am. My name is Caliban, please believe me!”
A sick grin appeared on my face, amused that even now Mr Hyde was trying to pretend he did not exist. “Goodbye, my old friend Jekyll,” I said. The sound of the gunshot echoed across the island.
Edit: Sneakily changed the bonus scene from third to first person. Nobody noticed I'd got it wrong had they? :P
I decided to combine “The Muffin Man” with the scary story “Something Was Wrong.”
The story would be about a boy who died in a car accident, and leaves the wreckage as a ghost, completely unaware of the fact that he is dead. He tries to do whatever he can in order to leave the woods where the car crashed, and find clues as to what happened to his parents, who should have been there with him.
All he knows is that he must do it quickly, because he can hear the footsteps.
Because the woods are dead silent, as if devoid of life, he can hear them from the distance. Little does he know that what is following him is the demon that killed his parents. He was once the Muffin Man, the murderer who lived on drury lane. One day, while making plans for his next victims, he crashed his truck into the woods, killing him instantly. His desire for revenge and bloodthirst lead him to be resurrected as a demon. He always crashes the twelfth car he see on the road (for a baker’s dozen), and forces it into the woods, where he hunts them and kills them brutally.
The Muffin Man has already done this to the parents, who actually survived the crash, and now looks to do this to the soul of the boy.
In the end, the boy escapes the woods and enters a nearby town, only to have the demon pursue him. The boy tries to ask for help, but scares everyone away. He makes it to a telephone booth, and tries to call the police. While on the line, the demon approaches and swallows the ghost of the boy.
The demonic Muffin Man leaves the town, returning to the woods to locate his next victim.
Do you know the Muffin Man?
I was him.
I lived on that Drury Lane, and I liked it there. In that house, I had everything I needed. My flour, my butter, my eggs, my milk, my chloroform, my knife, and best of all the meat.
Human bodies taste delicious with just the right amount of bread. I can still hear them roasting, screaming in agony as I poked and prodded their flesh-less hides. Of course, the skin tastes nasty, so I skinned them alive. I just love the voices. They keep me up at night, reminding me that I am not alone in the dark. I have them and my oven, always glowing bloody red until the wee hours of the morning.
But I fucking killed myself. I crashed my truck in a forest in the middle of nowhere. Pathetic, I know. But now I have a new hobby. Somehow I’m still alive, only with a new form. I am the worst thing you could ever imagine. I haunt your dreams, the pitchest black corners of your illogical mind, your base instincts.
And I’m waiting for you.
I wait for you on the side of the road, as the vagabond, the man ready to commit suicide, the deer that shines in the headlights. When you pull over, when you crash, I’ll be there waiting to hunt you down. I am the savage beast, ready to pounce at the slightest disturbance, faintest whisper, silent heartbeat.
Oh, here comes another one! I can it in the distance. It’s a honda, with a young couple and a boy in the backseat. I wonder how that kid will look when I tear his parents limb from limb?
Only one way to find out.
Hope that was enough time to make up for my goof-up last week. Your fourth week scores are as follows:
@Romulus - 45!!!
@Ogre11 - 12
@At_Your_Throat - 6
@LeoScales7 - 30!
@31TeV - 7
@BenCrucifix - 45!!!
Congratulations to BenCrucifix and Romulus for taking on my sillier / crazier 'twisted tales' challenges.
Good job to everyone else! I will try to get back on track with feedback soon. (xD Kudos to Leo for picking my favorite Shakespearean work...)
Congratulations to BenCrucifix on gaining enough points this week to achieve 100 overall on his account.