Author Topic: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)  (Read 14484 times)

Offline Clarius

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Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« on: April 10, 2015, 03:54:40 PM »
I always keep a book in the car (usually a collection of short stories) just in case I'm ever stuck waiting somewhere. I started reading the introduction to 100 Selected Stories by O. Henry and one quote sent me reaching for the notebook and pen I always carry in case inspiration strikes. This was written longhand in one quick spurt. A bit of fun to wile away a Friday evening. One interesting fact I learnt is - and who knows it might be your winning question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - that it was O. Henry who coined the phrase banana republic. Oh, and by the way, need I mention my tongue was very firmly in my cheek while I wrote this. :-[

   I suppose I might begin by telling you how I came to be here, but Iím not sure which of us would be the most bored by that; me by the telling of it or you by the listening to it. It might be more productive of me to tell you how I came not to be there, there being somewhere which is not here, and that might sound like a roundabout way of my telling you what I just told you I wasnít going to tell you but trust me the one is as different from the other as night is from day.

   In the normal course of events I might begin by telling you my name and by having you tell me yours in return, but I have no interest in knowing yours but do have an interest in your not knowing mine, for if you were to know mine then you might be able to seek out, independently of my telling you this tale, those who might corroborate its authenticity and by doing so learn the real identity of those whose names Iíll change in order to protect their reputations.

   Where to begin? At the beginning, which that well known song assures us is a very good place to start. Hmm, maybe not there, not right there, although I may go back there if I deem it germane to the telling of the tale. No, I think Iíll begin in the middle of things, in that place so beloved of creative writing teachers, in media res as they so grandly pronounce it, with only a vague idea of what the original Latin actually means.

   Itís funny how weíre told in our formative years that a story has a beginning, middle, and an ending, only to have those who profess to know better tell us that a story needs must truly begin in the middle if it is to have any effect upon the one to whom it is told. The recipient, we are told, must, at the very least, find the story satisfying if we, the teller of the tale, are to consider ourselves at all proficient at our task.

   And if you find that thought amusing then I have no doubt youíll find much humour, albeit of the ironic variety, in the fact that, no sooner are we asked to tell a story than we are immediately and unmercifully criticised for doing just that, for telling a story as opposed to showing Ė

   Ah! I see the look in your eye, and I know what you are: one of the enlightened, one of the literati. You, Sir, are one of those vicious bottom feeding creatures who subsists entirely on the dreams of others, one of those carrion who descends upon the lonely pilgrim travelling on the path to enlightenment and rips asunder the gossamer veil of self-confidence with which they have clothed themselves upon the road, and having destroyed that carry your pound of their flesh back to your nest for your harping offspring to feed upon. In short, you Sir, are a critic, and I bid you farewell. My tale is not for the likes of you.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 09:59:24 AM by Clarius »
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Offline Simple Things

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 04:17:09 PM »
I like to see members' writings in The Gallery, freed.


Offline bri h

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 05:57:20 AM »
In the spirit of this 'just-for-the-fun' theme you have going, I should tell you of the typo you have left in, in the 'where to begin' part of your tale. But as this is the gallery and crits are not expected or possibly welcomed . . . I won't. ha ha. Cos it's you, I enjoyed reading this. Anyone else would've got a skim. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Clarius

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 10:00:24 AM »
In the spirit of this 'just-for-the-fun' theme you have going, I should tell you of the typo you have left in, in the 'where to begin' part of your tale. But as this is the gallery and crits are not expected or possibly welcomed . . . I won't. ha ha. Cos it's you, I enjoyed reading this. Anyone else would've got a skim. B

Or was it an ironic comment on the teller's own lack of ability? Was it bollocks. Fixed.
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Artemis Quark

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2015, 07:54:55 PM »
A most entertaining un-tale (like the uncola drink that competes with Coca-Cola). It's refreshing despite the missing ingredient, aka a story. Perhaps the title should be The Basic Rules of Creative Writing - A Tutorial? ;D

Thanks for sharing, Clarius. The first person POV works well, too.

AQ

Offline bowmore2

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2015, 10:13:56 AM »
Hi clarius. Oh henry, loved the way you turned everything inside out, or perhaps outside in.
whichever way it ends up is fine by me.

The last paragraph was the one that really grabbed me, as I can associate my attempts at writing, and with the enlightened and the literati.   

Offline Clarius

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 08:28:36 AM »
^ Is a sleeping bag outside in or inside out. I'm sure there's a poem about that.
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Offline Suzieq will do

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 02:00:35 AM »
ĎInspiration strikes,í drew me in to read your short story and I left laughing at a very clever non-story.  :D

Offline Clarius

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Re: Oh, Henry! (A 500 word freewrite, just for the fun.)
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2015, 04:45:33 PM »
Dear me, has it been that long. Time for me to post something new, and let folk get their own back.  ;)
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns