Monday, June 02, 2014

Live-Writing Exercise: Day 2

“Yeah, yeah,” he’d groused from the bar.  “But there’s prolly a one in a thousand chance of it coming here.”

More like one in ten thousand, she thought, but didn’t say.

The monster, as the networks were calling it (or Quetzalcoatl, as CNN had dubbed it), had emerged from a volcano in the Pacific, and seemed to be a giant snake or worm that either swam or flew—depending on whether you thought the smudge in one satellite photo was wings or not.  It had emerged from the oceanic eruption two days ago, and had not been seen since.  Scientists argued about whether it would head for the mainland, go to an island, or never be seen again, perhaps burrowing into the sea again.  Carly didn’t know why, but she had immediately thought of a lighthouse, and found the closest one, and was at least going to at least look.  If the monster came here, she might get a great photo or footage, if not, she would interview a fascinating old man, and maybe get the piece onto the news, the human interest story at the end of the hour.  She still could do that much.

The lighthouse was damp and foul-smelling, and had fallen into disrepair on the inside as well.  “How long have you lived here?” she asked, following up the stairs, careful not to brush the rickety-looking handrail.

“Going on thirty now,” he said, huffing but staying ahead of her.  “Fore that, I worked her for nearly forty.”

“You okay?” she called up to him.  The way he was breathing, she worried he might topple backward into her.

 “Just old,” he wheezed.  Well, that was an understatement.  She thought her grandfather had looked better the last time she’d seen him, and that had been from beside a coffin.
“Lots of stairs,” she said, for lack of something better to say.
“Eighty is all,” he called back.  “You can make it if I can.”
They’d reached the halfway point of the building, and there was a little kitchen, and a table with a television on it in there.  A mouse darted from the table to the chair.  “Is this—“ she began, but the old man kept on up the stairs, leaving the room behind.  They emerged onto the top level, where a bed, a bookshelf, and stack after stack of cardboard boxes lay.  There was also a group of windows on one wall, and a door out to the roof on the other.
“What’s in the boxes?” she asked. 
“Books mostly,” he said, stopping now to cough and hunch over, his hand on his bony hips.  “You read?”
“Not like I used to.”
“Too busy bein’ a big time reporter?”
“Big time, no.  Reporter, barely.”


I feel like a jerk for doing this, but I looked over the rules of the contest, just to make sure their ludicrous word limit was just a bad dream I had, and I made a discovery.  One of the stipulations is that the story cannot have been published elsewhere, which I worry may include my live-blogging.  Honestly, I don't know, since what you read here will not be the final seriously-cutdown audio adaptation, but I don't want to get kicked out of the contest I have lost three years in a row just because I made a dumb mistake like this.

Me being me, my first inclination was just to do it anyway, because I honestly do not care about winning any contest, and more importantly, because I honestly do not care about rules.  But the folks over at Horror Addicts have been kind to me, and respect dictates that I ought to stop doing this, in case it feels like I'm insultingly flaunting my disobedience on a blog that only four people read.

But I could be wrong.  I could totally be okay with doing this, and it could act as a sort of advertisement for their podcast, saying, "Hey, I hope you enjoyed the stuff I've been typing these past five days.  Come on over to the Horror Addicts podcast and listen to how I adapted it into a short reading, used helicopter sounds, and cut out all the parts about Carly saying a bad word on live television!  And, if you want to do so, you can vote for me afterward!"  That seems like it could be better than just abruptly stopping this mad experiment, but it could also be the Donald Duck Devil on my shoulder, quacking into my left ear. 

Feel free to give me your opinion, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna stop here.  Sorry.



Seraph said...

Ah bollocks! I was enjoying that ! Fair enough though. Could you send them an email and ask ? I guess I can read the rest sometime elsewhere ? I can wait then. :-)

Jason said...

Thats a pity, I was really getting into this one (sorry, after days of feedly being attacked, I am finally getting caught up on your blog).

Looking forward to the next story though.