Saakara: “Holy hell. I need a happy ending. I’m wearied of tales of wickedness and despair. Does no one write rousing stories of heroics where the good-guy gets the girl?”
Me: “I used to. Then postmodernism got ahold of me…. I can try if you like. Good guy gets the girl, rousing stories of heroics… anything else? Would you like airships with that?”
Saakara: “Hey, if you’re taking requests, I’m full of ’em. I want *fleets* of airships; much like fat jokes, you can never have too many airships. in fact, after the revolution comes, I think that it will be illegal to write stories without them. I would also like the story to have a narrator, one who breaks the fourth wall. Actually, I would like the narrator to be a personification of death, and should be a beautiful woman.”
So, about two years later… today I wrote the 20,000th word of a story that is maybe half-finished if I’m lucky, and has (with the exception of a little fanfiction) devoured much of my muse’s time since. Short stories, those little 20-page slices of life that I love to write, suit themselves so much better to despair or wickedness; it seems to craft a rousing tale of heroics you need a good amout of setup. By the Aerfaedur, I hope this turns out good in the end–I’ve never written a novel before, and I never intended this to be more than a short novella.
Anyway, just wanted to post this, so that next time I want to reference the original dare I don’t have to sift through years’ worth of Sakaara’s page again. (Not that it was unpleasant sifting, mind you…)
I suppose I can’t post this without the obligatory excerpt, so here you go.
Eddison was unhappy.
“We need bearings,” Sadler said, implacable. “And we need to know how close or far the fleet is.”
Eddison—a mere silhouette in the thick cloud cover that still enveloped the ship—threw his hands in the air. “That’s fine. Lovely, really. Send Roth. Send Patch. I am not getting in that… that…” He gestured at the ship’s skycar, which the deckhands were rigging to a heavier block-and-tackle, but failed to find a strong enough insult.
“Your eyes are better. You have more experience. And you have the navigational skills to take the Argans’ heading, should you see them.”
“I’ll be lucky if I bring any heading back, if I’m sick all over my logbook!”
Morris, who had been watching, quietly slipped away. He wasn’t sure what they intended to do with Eddison and the skycar, and part of him was scientifically curious, but he wanted to speak to the captain.
Above his head, he could hear voices, but there was nothing visible in the gray fog. Crewmen, repairing the hole in the envelope, no doubt. Morris still wasn’t sure why all the gas hadn’t leaked from the great balloon—if what Sadler said was true, and there was no gas in the envelope, what caused the Pandemonium to lift? Morris’s studies had been of ancient religions and architecture: he knew next to nothing of airships.
Copyright Chris Russo © 2010. Plagiarizers will be given a fair trial after which they will be shot.