Author Topic: Station Shorts  (Read 58884 times)

Offline jeanette

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Station Shorts
« on: February 04, 2007, 03:46:26 AM »
Hi everyone. Following on from my 'collaborators wanted' thread in the Writers Wanted section, Crystal has asked my to open a new topic for people to post their stories to, so here it is. 
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crystalwizard

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My Contribution (I'm lousy at titles)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2007, 09:58:38 AM »
A dark, shadowy figure ensconced at a corner table scanned the activity  around the bar then shook its head.

"Losers," it muttered under it's breath. "Look at them. Whining, griping, carrying on. Humph."

"You don't seem to be doing much better yer' self." A small ugly man slid to the floor off his stool and waddled over to the figure's table. "In fact, you ain't even got a face."

"I do if I choose to," the figure informed him, turning the opening of its hood in his direction.

"Bah!" the dwarf snorted, waving his hand in dismissal. "Ya ain't got a face and ya ain't got no manners neither. How come you're in here if ya got some where better to be?"

"I didn't say I had some where better to be," the figure replied. "But you don't hear me whining, do you?"

"So what's your story then?" The ugly man clambered onto a chair at the figure's table, settled back and began kicking the legs. "How come you're here?"

 "I'm not needed," the figure shrugged. "No one wants me, so I'm here. I'm one of the few with a permanent room upstairs."

"Bah!" the ugly man laughed, then signaled for a waitress. "None of us is permanent. Your author..."

"Doesn't have any need for me," the figure finished for him. "He's moved on to other things."

"He could start writing..."

"He can't start doing something he never did," the figure interrupted.

The ugly man peered at the figure then picked up the drink which materialized on the table.

"Ya ain't making no sense," he observed around a mouth-full of suds. "You're here. You gotta have an author."

"I do... did," the figure agreed.

The ugly man crossed his eyes and wrinkled his nose. "I still don't..."

"Look," the figure said, bending forward. "I'm a character, ok? That doesn't mean there was ever a story. All my writer ever did was create me... us... lots of us. He never wrote anything."

"He might," the ugly man insisted, suddenly sympathetic for the dark stranger.

"He won't," the figure insisted. "He never intended to."

"Then how come he created ya at all?" the ugly man asked. Maybe the figure was delusional... it happened.

"He used to play ... games," the figure explained. "Role playing games. He spent a lot of time creating us, but most of us never got beyond the first stage. I'm one that at least got a body, such as it is. He only used a few of us before he quit playing. That's ok though," the figure finished, settling back against his chair. "He was terribly bad at the games; that's why he quit. I'd rather be sitting here, talking to you and enjoying myself, rather than being digested by some hideous monster."

"Watch who you're calling a monster," a deep voice boomed from the shadows.

"I wasn't referring to you," the figure said, glancing up at the darkness.

"Just watch it," the voice cautioned. "The GM made just as many of us 'wandering encounters' as her players did you guys."

Tthe figure snorted, turning toward the ugly man. "Don't mind him, he doesn't even have a body. The GM never got that far before the game ended."

The ugly man lifted an eyebrow, then nodded and climbed up onto the chair seat. Holding his arms out to the sides, he bent his knees and sprang backwards into the air. He executed a perfect back-flip, landing gracefuly on the floor without mishap. The bar broke into a thunderous round of applause as he straightened back up. He bowed toward the other patrons, then picked his drink up off the table. "Well nice meetin' you," he said, raising his glass in salute to the dark figure. "I've got a circus to catch. Just stopped in here ta grab one fer the road. Take it easy."

The figure watched as the ugly man wove through the crowd and made his way out the exit.

"You think he'll be back?" the voice boomed from the shadows over head.

"Eventually," the figure replied. "They always return. Feel like a game of chess?"

"Sure," the voice agreed. "I'm white this time."

Offline fordy

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 08:13:20 PM »
I first saw Jeff hunched over the bar in The Station.  I couldn't see his face, but the woollen jumper he was wearing look so 1950's with its multi coloured zig-zag patterns.  Intrigued, I sidled up to the bar and sat on a stool beside him.

The barman, a dwarf who's name I can never remember, hopped up onto his box and stuck his chin on the bar.

"Waya want?" he said.

I ordered and he disappeared below the bar, reduced to a disembodied series of shuffling, clinking, and gurgling sounds.  My drink appeared on the bar as if by magic.

I looked sideways at Jeff.  He was staring into his drink, motionless, as though he were in a totally different world.

"New here?" I asked.

There was no reply.

"Look, were all here for one bum reason or another", I said.  "Best to get it off your chest.  Folks here are pretty understanding."

Slowly, his head turned and he looked at me as if he were sizing me up.  After a few moments his eyes returned to the glass in front of him; he lifted it and took a large swallow.

He put the empty glass down and pushed it to the back of the bar.  It disappeared, and he turned to face me.

"Look", he said, "I come here to drink to remember.  I don't need any understanding.  Just some memories.  Ok?"

A drink had reappeared on the bar and he reached for it, without taking his eyes off of mine.

I don't give up too easily.  A lot of the characters who come to The Station can be a bit awkward but its my job to see that they all get on while they are here.  We don't need trouble - this is the only place some of these guys can call home.

"If its memories you are after, there's a few doctors - well ex-doctors mostly - who might be able to help."

"No one can help", he said, "my memories don't exist.  Never had any."

"Everyone has memories.  Some got a few more than they're comfortable with.  So how come you got no memories?"

"My writer hasn't given me any", he said.

"Oh, that's nothing to worry about", I said trying to cheer him up.  "There's plenty of folk here just waiting on their writer to put pen to paper.  Just gotta be patient."

At that point he put his drink down, slid off his stool and stood facing me, finger poking me in the chest.

"I was going to be an academic", he said. "A computer scientist - brain the size of a planet.  But right now I'm thinking Vogon Captain and chucking you into the great void of space!"

I swallowed. He looked like an academic, but I didn't want to take any chances.  Anyway, he was still poking words into my chest.

"My writer ain't coming back for me.  E-V-E-R." 

Now he was poking letters.  There would be bruises I was sure.

"My writer killed me before the story started.  I arrived on page one dead.  Got it; D-E-A-D."

I nearly toppled off the stool.

"Any memories I should have had are all in the book.  Me, I got N-O-T-H-I-N-G."

He stopped, climbed back on his stool and emptied his glass.

I paused, watching him carefully. "Would you like another drink?" I asked.  And another glass appeared over the edge of the bar.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 01:58:52 PM by fordy »
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: Station Shorts: Bouncer & Under-Age Drinker
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 10:02:59 PM »
        The barman summoned the bouncer with a jerk of his head and the big fellow - nameless veteran of countles brawls - ambled casually across.

        "Trouble?"  Supressed eagerness in his voice.  For a pub with such a mixed clientele things were pretty tame.  He'd worked in far more dangerous places and - if the truth be told - he kind of missed it.

        He'd thrown Harry Patterson's Liam Devlin out of a German pub, through the window no less. Very satisfying, one of the few men ever to come out topside of that wily Irishman.

        He'd armlocked a drunk just in time to stop him puking into the open top of Sam's piano in Cassablanca.

        He thought he'd once traded knuckles with Ernest Hemingway in a Cuban bar one night when the boundaries between creator and creation blurred more than a little after the second bottle of rum.  But he kept that memory to himself.  Sanity was a fragile commodity, and well worth hanging onto in a place like The Station.

        And he still shuddered at the memory of trying to break up a knock 'em down and drag 'em out cat fight between two saloon girls in one of J T Edson's Westerns.  There are some things no man should ever attempt, and some scars that never heal.

        The barman nodded towards the corner.  There were more corners than any single person could ever imagine in this pub.  Or perhaps it was just one corner, constantly being redrawn to suit the temporary occupants.  Who knew?  Who cared?

        He cracked his knuckles suggestively and ambled across.

        The tall lanky kid had a purple mohawk haircut, and was sat on the saddle of a purple metal-flake motorbike with matching sidecar.  In the sidecar sat a purple punk porcupine, its spines slippery with hair gel.

        "Barman sez you ain't drinkin.  Not allowed to stay 'less you're drinkin'."

        "I'm not allowed, I'm only ten years old."

        "Why are you here then?"  The bouncer couldn't recall ever being ten.  He had a curious feeling that he'd always been a bouncer.

        "The Boss just temporarily parked me here."  He held out a bony hand.  "Wicked Walter, the World's Worst Ever Schoolboy.  I live in a haunted dustbin.  Haunted with the ghosts of dead school dinners."  His lower lip trembled slightly.  "I wish I was back there now"

        There was a moist sheen to the boy's eyes.
       
        "You ever been in a book?" The bouncer asked gently, magically producing a can of coke from thin air.  Little tricks like that were one of the few perks of working in such a crazy place. "Or are you still waitin' like most o' these poor sods?" Popping the tab he handed it to the lad, who took it gratefully and seemed calmer after a long swallow.

        Suddenly he became short and fat.  The motorbike, sidecar, and porcupine vanished.  He was wearing a wooly hat with a bobble, and holding a string.  At the far end of the string - like a very small dog - was a snail wearing a matching bobble hat.

        "Book?  I wish...  I'm a Live Story.  Part of a School Storyteller's Troupe of Performing Ideas.  He drags me round schools and invites the children to make me up as they go along.  Not just the kids either...  See that bloody snail, that was a headteacher's idea.  Takes me three days to walk the little brute to school."

        He swallowed again and laughed, a bitter laugh for one so young.  "I s'pose it balances out for when I was a midget and rode a greyhound to school.  Three minutes from gate to gate.  Hated the damned Pixie suit I had to wear though."

        The bouncer looked at him in pity.

        "No book?"

        "No book.  Never likely to be one.  And all those different ideas.  The Boss keeps some kind of editorial control, but the damned kids create me again and again."

        The short figure grew taller, wearing ripped baggies with huge cargo pockets, a bodywarmer, and a reversed baseball cap.  He was stood on a rippling skateboard, made from a real live Skate of the fishy variety with wheels nailed onto the underside.

        "Gotta go.  Thanks for the drink.  Looks like his Great Niece has decided this is her favourite bedtime story again."

        For a few seconds the faint whiff of fresh fish hung in the air.

        "Poor kid", mused the bouncer.  "Doomed to live for ever, like the Flying Dutchman."

        "Goot.", said a voice from behind.  "You are remembering me.  Vould you like a beer, hoor?"

        ***

 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 02:34:27 PM by Gyppo »
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Offline jeanette

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 05:42:41 PM »
Yes, Dave, Yes! Wonderful!
\"Abandoned\" is available from www.lulu.com/content/2072117<br /><br />\"the Dragon\'s Promise is available from<br />www.lulu.com/content/8075592<br />visit my website at www.jeanettemccarthy.co.uk

crystalwizard

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 06:09:12 PM »
A huge paper airplane carrying 15 pixies sailed over Penny's head about two seconds later.

"Wheee!" the pixes screamed, failing their arms in a vain attempt to control the direction of the paper airplane.
It smacked into Suzanne's forehead, spilling its passengers onto her chest and almost rendering her blind in one eye

"Good shot," someone snickered from the side. "Care to try again?"

Suzanne gasped as the pixies scrambled inside her shirt and began gyrating madly in an attempt to remove them, without removing her clothes.

"Welcome to The Station," an eight foot tall skeleton warrior said. "Can I get you a drink or would you like a table?"

crystalwizard

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 02:25:13 AM »
Bones shrugged and retrieved the partly empty mugs from the table then carried them over to the bar.

"You know what I'd like to understand,' he said as he sat down the mugs and bent over the bar.

"Wassat?" The question floated up from some where near the floor. It was followed a moment later by the top of the barman's head.

"I'd like," Bones said, reaching a hand down and grasping the barman's hair firmly. "To know," he pulled, and the barman rose into the air. "Why we have a door? No one ever uses it."

"I'd shrug," the barman said. "But I currently can't."

Bones looked at the head he was holding up in the air, then glanced around the room.

"You really should stop loosing your head over that girl," he admonished the body-less barman. "She's not worth it."

"I would," the barman replied. "But I just can't see to pull myself together. See if you can find where I left me this time, would you?"

"Sure," Bones agreed. He deposited the Head Barman back on the bar and waled off.


Offline fordy

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 03:21:01 AM »
"Oi!" Shouted the barman after Bones.

Bones stopped in his tracks and twisted round.

The barman blinked, he hated watching bones face two ways at the same time.  "I wish you'd turn round properly like other folks."

"Look, no ligaments" laughed bones swinging his arms wildly in great arcs.

The barman nudged a bowl of serial across the bar with his nose.  "You left your Special 'K'", he said.  "You'll find it hard to walk without a 'k'".

Realising his error, bones collapsed on the floor and crawled back to the bar.

He swallowed the serial - no mean feat for a skeleton - and got back on his feet.

"That's better", he said "I'll be OK now", and walked off to find the barman's body.


(Don't use this one in the compillation ... its was just a bit of nonsense and I've forgoten what the joke was now ???)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 05:45:53 PM by fordy »
If I always do what I always did, I'll always get what I always got.

Offline matsamu

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2007, 06:18:31 PM »
Harold and Cari sat at a table together, talking in hushed tones, apparently very intent on their conversation. They were so focused niether noticed the barman's head floating closer and closer.

"Hello folks, can I get you anything?" Just as they opened their mouths he burst out laughing. "HAHA! Gotcha!" He became more sober. "Seriously people, you actually thought I was capable of getting you something? Come on. Use your brains." He thought for a second, then more sympathetically, "Or were you written without any?"

"We have brains, sir." They said in unison.

He blinked with suprise. "Sorry, but that was kind of weird."

They both shook their heads, the exact same direction at the same time. "We get that a lot."

"So why do you keep doing it?"

"We're the same person." They said.

"Come again?"

"Quite literally. We are the same person. Our author started out with her/me" (the word was split between the two before they got back into the sentence without missing a beat) "Before he realized that the story would be better with him/me and changed nothing but the gender and the name of the character. We have the same backstory and personality."

The barman's head looked between the two. Come to think of it, they did look almost exactly alike. Except for the obvious differences, you could see where the two had merged. It was like twins. He cleared his...well, he made a sound. "Well folks, i'm sorry, but..."

"About what?" They asked, suprised.

He gestured with his chin. "Your predicament. I'd think it might get annoying. Don't you two always have the same thoughts and opinions on everything? How do you have any kind of conversation."

"Who needs conversation? We are undeveloped characters for a murder mystery sex novel." They shrugged. "We only care for one thing anymore." At this they smiled suggestively at each other and looked back at the barman. "Do they have any rooms available at the hotel?"

The barman nodded his head. "Yes they do, considering this IS the hotel round these parts. Do you want one?"

They nodded and followed the barman to put their money in the drawer, counting it out where the Head could see, grabbing the key and going up the nearby stairs, head floating close behind. He showed them the room and they walked in. As he was floating away, he heard identical giggles, identical squeaks of the bedsprings and a several quick thuds in succession. Four to be exact. Two for each, he thought.

When he reached his bar again, the floating head shuddered a disembodied shudder. " 'S like shagging your sister." he muttered and proceeded to drag the cloth across the bar with his forhead.



Wow. That was a fun story. I really like the idea, but i have to say. Neither Harold nor Cari ever existed in any story idea until now. They just came into my head today as i was reading the idea in the Writers wanted section. Good Idea guys!

~Matsamu
*pop* That was my head. It just got blown.

Offline jeanette

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 04:40:30 AM »
Hi Matsamu, nice story! The whole idea of this came into being when we were just shooting the breeze about something else. I think sometimes these spontaneous ideas are the best of all.
\"Abandoned\" is available from www.lulu.com/content/2072117<br /><br />\"the Dragon\'s Promise is available from<br />www.lulu.com/content/8075592<br />visit my website at www.jeanettemccarthy.co.uk

HT_Llewellyn

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2007, 03:52:49 PM »
It started off like the stupid jokes one hears from deranged coworkers; two men walked into a bar.

From then on out, of course, it was less like a stupid joke and more like what the two considered to be normal, which may be too much for deranged coworkers to handle in the first place.

The bar was always full of freaks - and normal people, which was, possibly, even more disturbing - but today it was particularly packed.

The two men from before were used to it, however, having made the trip several times. They preferred to go during the busiest days, because then it was more interesting. They towered over half the crowd, but was about level with the rest, so they didn't stand out as much as they could have. In either case, they chose a conveniently unoccupied table in the very center, and pulled down the hoods of their rain cloaks.

"Busy night, eh?" the shorter, dark haired one asked the barman, grinning broadly. The barman scowled at him.

"Don't get chummy with me, boy, you always bring so many with you it's hard to handle. Well? Where's the crowd this time?" he asked.

"Relax, barman," said the other young man, the one with brilliantly white hair. "We're alone tonight."

"And we'll take two margaritas, if you don't mind," said the other, still grinning.

The barman eyed them suspiciously. "You haven't finally been abandoned, have you?" He wasn't entirely sure he wanted both of them to be in his bar all the time. He had never seen them drunk, and he didn't care to. They were bad enough when sober. Of course, they weren't as bad as most people he had to deal with, but these boys liked to take other people's trouble and make it worse. So with that in mind, maybe they were.

"No, no, of course not," the grinning one said, waving a hand dismissively. "Our author is giving us a bit of a rest."

"Because, you see, the child just finished twenty nine chapters dedicated to Silverwing and myself," the white haired man explained. "Poor thing's exhausted."

"The kid finally listened to me," the other - Silverwing - said in a conspiratorial manner. "Finally realised that it was twenty nine chapters of bullshit. So Daaren and I get a while off until the author figures something out."

"Which means," Daaren went on. "that we'll be here for a while." And they both flashed bright smiles at the barman, who stifled a groan and quickly left the table.

The two looked back at each other, smirked briefly, then looked round to see who their first victim should be.


----


Fortunately for the barman, Daaren and Silverwing won't be there for long, because I finally know what to do with them now. ;P But I figure that with how often I use these characters, put them aside, use them again, put them aside, then they'd probably wind up at the bar there every now and then. And I'm fond of these guys, so why not.

Their exact heights are thus; Silverwing is 6 feet 8 inches tall, Daaren is 7 feet tall. Keep an eye out for them, they get around.

thatollie

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2007, 11:33:58 AM »
1 & 2 &, um, something else

“End of the line,” the mechanical voice as if it were a dirty joke. The Gigantic hydraulic doors slid open and the pack of cramped doe-eyed newcomers shuffled out for air. A sleepy, young man greeted them with his well-practiced lines.

“Ladies and Gentlemen and everything else, I’m Liam and I’m here to explain what’s going on. This wonderland behind me is The Station; characters come here when their authors have dry spells.” He yawned, ruffled his hair and began to vanished, “no, please. Go write the crappy detective novel.”

He was replaced by an over-enthusiastic woman, “hey guys, do you have any questions?”

A random blur threw up its something, “Yeah,” the voice suggested no gender or age, “what happened to him?”

“His author got inspired, lucky guy. He’s off to go fight a Dragon. One day, you might be off to your novel. I hope so; you seem like a great bunch of characters.” She pulled a scroll from her coat, “I’m going to read the rule, ‘kay. #1: please respect that all characters are born the way they are; #2 No fighting; you never know when a character will have to look good for their next scene; #3; please do not remove items from the Station and take them to work. We’ve had trouble with this before, especially anime characters. I hope you understand the rules and enjoy your stay.”

Two characters loitering at the back, called Aides #1 and #2, approached the guide, “we’re periphery cast,” started #1, “why are we here?”

“All not-in-use characters come here. They don’t just freeze until they’re needed. Characters evolve even when they aren’t being used.” The annoying woman went to greet another trainload of visitors. More ideas lost by their forgetful authors.

1 & 2 took in the unemployed character lodging, the main room was dominated by a large, marble pillar that swirled and undulated into the ceiling. High above, painted figures danced to an unknown rhythm, “I like this place,” said #2, “I hope our author is blocked for ages.”

“I need a drink that looks like a bar, sort of.” They passed under a floating Mercury sign spelling “The Station-House.”

From the outside, the bar looked the size of a telephone box. The interior stretched for miles with a corner for everyone, “Good day Gentlemen, welcome to the Station-House. I’m afraid we’re a little packed tonight; I hope you don’t mind sharing with a fellow patron.” They were too freaked out to argue, “Does anyone have space at their table for these fine fellows?” Several hands, claws and other appendages shot into the air, “I think you’ll find Mr Xgienx stimulating company. These are… What are your names chaps?”

“Aides #1 & #2,” said #1. Mr Xgienx was a tall, man; he resembled a shark. His thin lips curled upwards as he greeted them, revealing long, sharp teeth.

“Please call me Walter,” He wore black, contrasting with the pale skin which stretched thinly across his face.

They had barely finished ordering their drinks when, “Walter,” a high-pitched British accent cut the air. #2 offered his seat, “thank you dear. Who are these nice guys?”

With a majestic wave of his hand, Walter introduced them, “Aides #1 & #2 meet my wife Felicia Backingbrook, Duchess of space.”

“I love how much he respects minor characters.”

His expression, and his skin, hardened, “Don’t patronise them. I was a minor character myself, that didn’t stop you from…”

“I was young and naïve. Listen, I have to go to work.” She said. They kissed, the aides' skin began to crawl, and she disappeared.”

“If you work together,” #1 asked, “why aren’t you going with her?”

Walter’s pale face softened, “The author thought about it but I declined. I want to spend time with the kids. I’m going to pick them up from school. Goodbye gentlemen.” He left through the door.

“Scary Alien Guy is a house husband.” said #2 and they burst into laughter.

Offline jeanette

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2007, 07:11:32 PM »
class, thatollie, just class. This idea just never goes away, does it? One day, our time will come...
\"Abandoned\" is available from www.lulu.com/content/2072117<br /><br />\"the Dragon\'s Promise is available from<br />www.lulu.com/content/8075592<br />visit my website at www.jeanettemccarthy.co.uk

thatollie

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 08:09:19 PM »
I must post my compliments to all others that have posted. Thank you Jeanette for your kind comment. Yes, our time is coming. Could use a kick up the arse though, couldn't it.

crystalwizard

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Re: Station Shorts
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2007, 08:32:32 PM »
The door opened, letting in a blast of chill air and the unmistakable stench of barnyard.

The patrons, all fifty of them, turned their heads and stared at the door.

"Excuse me," brayed a loud, obnoxious voice. "Can someone tell me where I can..."

"Get outta here!" the barman snarled, grabbed the donkey and whirled it around. "Yer kind ain't welcome here!"

With that, he gave it a hard boot in the butt and slammed the door behind it, then returned to wiping down the counters while muttering under his breath about writers and their ill-considered catch-phrases.