Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Group Story: Classic Literature

Hi, Everyone! Today, let's see if we can improve on one of the classics of Western literature. This group story will run for two days, so come back often.

Ready? Charles Dickens, eat your heart out!








From A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...

67 comments:

Kalila said...

Clearly indecisiveness ruled that land. That was humans for you, though.

Ricky said...

Buster Bustamente decided to do something about it. People needed direction. They needed big goals, big ideas. What this country needed was a revolution, and he was just the guy to make it happen.

Faldur said...

But someone was watching Buster closely, waiting in the shadows, following his every move. He wouldn't let Buster tear apart the country just for his own amusement. Revolution is ugly, and deadly. There was so much suffering already, why add more?

So Verbold watched, and waited.

Anonymous said...

It was a time when Angels appeared.
And, a time when Vampires did too.

Anonymous said...

Vampires! Vampires! Vampires!

"I will drink your blood," said the Vampire to the Angel.

Vic said...

Vampires like revolution! And blood. Lots of blood. As long as it's not AB-Negative. That stuff is nasty.

Ricky said...

Uh...I'm glad you're not interested in my blood, Vic, but I don't appreciate you calling it "nasty."

Vic said...

Just get on with the revolution, will you?

Bo said...

Buster was wondering if he should change his plans, what with the vampires and all, when he suddenly caught sight of luscious Lucille, the hottest tramp to ever sing La Marseillaise.

Bring on the revolution, baby!

Nevin said...

Wait! Why are we having a revolution? I think Faldur is right, that it leads to a lot of suffering. We should seek a peaceful way of resolving our differences.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the Dickens story.

Can I just make things up?


Buster told Lucille, "Baby, it's time to take the City back from the Vampires. They are evil, and we are good. We should be in charge. Give me a kiss, you lucious thing."

And Lucille said...

Troubadour said...

The waifs who lived under the docks were unaffected by the plans for revolution. Mere survival became their highest priority. Those without family, friends or fear. Those who hungered for both food and comfort, and often went to bed with empty bellies and empty hearts.

Lost among them was young Thomas Hardy. Orphaned at the age of nine and grown up by the age of twelve, Thomas had only his wits to guide him through his country's plight.

Pure fiction said...

Until Lucille and Buster happened upon young Thomas, stealing a loaf of bread in the local market.
The bread looked particularly delicious, with a fresh crispy crust as though it had been made with newly churned butter. Thomas was just thinking how well it would go down with a cup of . .ale? when he felt a gentle hand land on his wrist

Pure fiction said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Bo Said:
Buster was wondering if he should change his plans...But really...

Buster was wondering if he should change his pants.

Pure fiction said...

Incidentally, next to the stall selling bread was another stall selling delicious looking cakes, which only the wealthiest most privileged people could afford to buy. There were eclairs bulging with cream, porter cakes jammed with dried fruit and cherries, buttery madeira cakes scented with lemon and orange rind.

Buster decided to buy a cake and skip the pants problem

Anonymous said...

He looked up into the blood red eyes of a vampire!

Oh no!

Anonymous said...

When he landed there amongst them, he was tall and still as a statue.

He never saw another way out.

So he stood there, stoic, his wings folded quietly around him, and allowed the vampire to drink from his blood.

Only a single feather fell and it drifted gently, slowly down to earth from one of his beautiful wings.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I didn't know he had wings. Cool.

Wish I had wings.

I don't want to be a vampire, though.

Shadow

Anonymous said...

"Bleh," the Vampire spit the blood out.

"What is this? I don't want THIS blood."

Vic said...

I want Thomas's blood! Now where did that little thief go? Buster and Lucille better not be hiding him from me!

gunner said...

Yes, I want the blood of a young one.

No, said Buster, standing tall. You shall not have him, Sir! I shall fight you for his life.

A duel! I challenge you, Vampire, to a duel!

Anonymous said...

"Fine," The Vampire looked him over with contempt in his eyes. "If I do not with to drink your blood, I do not mind spilling it on the ground for all to see. Pick your weapon."

"A ping-pong game." Said Buster without hesitation.

Faldur said...

The vampire whipped out his paddle. "En gard!" he cried. The cake vendor cleared off one of his tables and there underneath the cloth was a ping-pong table, for ping-pong was the national game. In fact, one of the reasons for the revolution was the fact that the poor couldn't afford ping-pong, because of the high taxes imposed on the balls.

Buster whipped out his paddle, as well, and Thomas produced one of the many white balls hidden in his pockets. He tossed the ball up over the center of the table. It fell down, bounced once, and in a flash the contest began.

While everyone was distracted, Thomas slipped away from Vic and disappeared.

Anonymous said...

The Angel rose angelically.
But then hes swiftly was flying back and forth as he blew holy air currents into the pingpong balls helping to guide their paths.

The dueling vampire, of course, Vladimeer was his name, was NOT amused.

First he had been poisoned by Angel blood and now this!

He hissed loudly.

"Hises to you!" he cursed!

Vic said...

How'd Uncle Vlad end up in this? Go away! You aren't the ping-pong champ you used to be!

Besides, it looks like Thomas got away.

Nevin said...

And he still had the bread. Should we send Javert after him?

Ricky said...

Wrong classic, Nevin.

Carry on, folks.

Mira said...

"Yeeeee-Haw!!!!" Buster hit an especially good volley over the net.

"Take that, you blood-sucker, you!"

Two things become very clear to the crowd:

One: Against all odds, the Vampire appeared to be losing the ping-pong battle.

Two: Buster was alittle nuts.

Suddenly, a trumpet sounded. "Make way for the King. The King is coming."

Anonymous said...

Buster stopped and looked at Lucille.

To her credit, Lucille blushed a bright red.

Then, she ducked under the table.

Faldur said...

Buster won the game with a brilliant double crouching-tiger-hopping-dragon move, and dived under the table after Lucille. The vampire hissed, gnashed his fangs, and flew away in search of other prey.

Interesting sounds came from under the table. Ignoring them, the cake vendor replaced the cloth and the cakes as if nothing had happened, but the crowd remained.

After an interval, Buster and Lucille crawled out, looking flushed and a bit embarrassed. But happy.

Verbold smiled from behind the cupcake he was eating. His plan to distract Buster was working. Good old Lucille!

Bo said...

Way to go, Lucille and Buster!

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Thomas peered cautiously around the corner of a dark alley. The damp and squallid vantage place allowed him to view the ping-pong game as it progressed yet not be noticed by the assembled hoards.
He took a few moments too long to catch his breath, and eat the some of the delicious bread. How he would come to regret not moving on before the game had been completed.

Anonymous said...

He thought to himself, as he watched Buster and Lucille emerge from under the table:

Well. That was the best of times.

I wonder what the worst will be?

Little did poor Thomas know that he would soon find out. The worst was on it's way to find him.

Pure fiction said...

Suddenly a dark shadow fell on the pavement before young Thomas. Quick as a flash, without turning his head, he flung the remaining bread backwards as hard as he could. There was a muffled thump as the loaf hit its target and a strangled cry of 'damn you humans - how did you know I am fatally allergic to wheat?'
Thomas span away and took off down the dark alleyway, his short legs pumping desperately, arms swinging wildly, the faint scent of chocolate eclairs still lingering in his nostrils.

Mira said...

"I'm melting, I'm melting," the Vampire cried, as the wheat began to have an effect.

Vic said...

Now he was in real trouble. Thomas had destroyed a vampire, and its compatriots would want revenge!

Mira said...

The Vampires all met in a big cavern.

"Come to order, please," said the Master Vampire. "We have a problem on our hands. One of our Vampires has met a horrible death. He has been melted! This can not be tolerated. We must have vengeance!!"

The Vampires in the cavern growled and gnashed their pointy teeth. "Grrrr! Grrrrr!," they cried.

But Standing alone in a corner, there was a small Vampire who was not gnashing his pointy teeth. He was wearing tortise shell glasses and had ink stains on his clothing. Timidly, this Vampire raised his hand.

"Yes, Freddy?" said the Master Vampire with a sigh. "What is it this time?"

Freddy's ink-stained sleeve trembled. Freddy knew his suggestion would be ridiculed and mocked, as always. But, there was something inside Freddy that would not let him stay quiet.

He knew the solution, and if it meant constant ridicule and derision, then that was the price he must pay. He must speak, he had to speak, or he would forever regret it.


Freddy cleared his throat. In a voice barely above a whisper, he said, "I think we should form a committe. Several committees, actually. One on melting, one on wheat, one on polices related to vengeance, and one to provide lunch. Each committee should prepare a report for the general conclave, and then we can vote on a preliminary decision which will go back to committees for futher refinement."

Anonymous said...

Freddy was immediately beat up and sent to the below dungeon.

A couple of bats were sent to keep him there.

"Ho-Hum," he sighed.

At least he had his ping pong set to amuse him.

Anonymous said...

He practiced and practiced.

To the bats' amazement, he was getting a pretty good game on.

Laurel said...

Meanwhile, back in the putrid streets of the city's underbelly, Thomas continued his reckless flight. Unsated hunger fought his fear to slow his pace and he found himself crouched under a bridge, gasping and weak. A motley collection of boys about his age were gathered round a fire that managed to look cheerless despite the dancing flames. They were at the other side of the bridge's underpinnings and his side was well shadowed. Perhaps he would escape notice.

"Do you think we should tell him about the troll?" one of the boys asked in a low voice.

"You crazy? Fagin will eat your other leg. Let him have that one. Maybe he'll leave us alone."

Thomas was overcome with the notion that he was about to encounter trouble far worse than a gluten sensitive vampire.

Ricky said...

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Thomas was taking refuge in the home of baker. Amid the sacks of wheat flour, he was practicing his ping-pong game, too!

Ricky said...

Oops. I meant, Tomas left the bridge and sought refuge with the baker...

Mira said...

Meanwhile, the Troll sat on the other side of the bridge.

"I am so bored," he announced to no one in particular.

"If only someone would come and keep me company. Or even," a look of yearning passed over the Troll's face, "play ping-pong with me."

It had been years since the Troll had played a good game of ping-pong.

"It's been so long," whispered the Troll, as a lone tear fell down his cheek.

Anonymous said...

Sitting in his dungeon, playing with his ping-pong, Freddy realized the balls were speaking to him.

Mira said...

(oh. wow. That's so close to the line..........well, okay. Lol.)

Laurel said...

Nice save, Ricky.

Anon 10:02. I just laughed out loud and snorted a little coke (a cola...not the other kind) on my monitor.

Candy said...

Freddy had not realized how many ping pong balls had slipped out between the bars as he practiced, and the power of his shots caroomed them with great velocity in through the baker's window across the Rue de Pastrie. Singing merrily in his high falsetto the baker picked each plastic ball from the egg basket where it had landed, and popped it into the new loaves of bread which would soon be sent across town, by batmobile, to where the lush Lucilled awaited with her energizing cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

Are these story lines all going to come together by a ping-pong ball?

Keep tuned for the next installment.....

Kalila said...

As the bread delivery truck rumbled over the bridge, the troll leaped out and stopped it. He ripped open a fresh loaf of whole-wheat-basil-butter-split-top and found the ping pong balls.

A treasure!

Raising a fist toward the heavens, he let out a cry that was heard all over the city. "I challeng all you worthless vampires, trollops, and street urchins to the duel to end all duels! The winner will control the city!"

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

The troll, having spent far too long in Outer Mongolia, was ignorant of all the parameters of normal behaviour: too far along the autistic spectrum and not far enough up the evolutionary one!

Pure fiction said...

And from every corner of the city they came: children, vampires, trolls, bats, freddie (freed from the dungeon by an errant ping pong ball knocking off the rusting padlock on the gate), Thomas, drawn out into the light by his hunger and the smell of a fresh loaf of whole-wheat-basil-butter-split-top.
It was to be the tournament to end all tournaments. It was to be the best of games and the worst of games. It was to be a game of many many ping pong balls.

Candy said...

Verbold's watching and waiting was about to pay off, He gathered the kings troops, the gendarmes, and Mrs. Flaubert, who had always had a crush on him, and loaded them all on great rumbling carts. With him in the lead on a very flashy, bad tempered Zebra, and each of his followers armed with a large soccer ball, they set off to settle France's destiny!

Anonymous said...

Thomas QUick, quickly threw his coat over a mud puddle in the middle of the street in front of the baker's shop.

Peering through the bars of his cell, Freddy be came very jeolous.

Nell,her breasts heaving, was just leaving the baker's shop, her basket loaded with muffins and ping pong balls.

Thomas bowed gallantly as he presented the safe crossing over the mud for her.

Anonymous said...

"But I'll save you, Nell!" creid Freddy from the dungeon.

With the superhuman strength of a pro ping pong player, and also because, spindly accountant vampire that he was, he was STILL a vampire, Freddy pried the bars apart and went into the filthy streets to save his heroine!

Anonymous said...

Count Valdameer hissed!

He was not to be outdone by the calculating Account Vampire.

"Git a duck!" he said, savagely at Freddie, who was now growing in size.

Anonymous said...

"Eat me!" cried Nell.

"No, not her, drink MY blood!" cried
Lucille.

They had both been feverently reading the Twilight series and were quite intent on getting some vamp action going.

Anonymous said...

The duck waddled across the stage.

"Quack quack," he said.

"Go for the Alligator!" he advised.

Anonymous said...

At which point, (since this was the streets of Paris, right?), everybody on set, sat back and lounged while taking long strong draws from their cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

"This is very existential," they all agreed, looking bored and knocking the ashes off the ends of their cigarettes.

Kalila said...

Crowds filled the streets, building barricades with whatever was to hand and flinging ping-pong balls at each other.

Into the chaos, Buster came running. "Wait!" he shouted, "This was supposed to be my story! What can I do to save my fair Lucille and those she loves from this onslaught?"

Vic said...

The group watching from the cafe sipped their blood-red beaujolais and took long drags on their Gitanes. "You can do nothing!"

Nevin said...

But wait! There was something he could do. One great and noble sacrifice that only he could make...

Ricky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricky said...

Buster was about to make the ultimate sacrifice and lay down his life for country and ping-pong.

But just then, one of the bystanders in the cafe waved a book at him. "Hey, Buster!" he called. "Quit reading those Beefeater books about honor and sacrifice, and read this instead!" He tossed him a copy of Bonjour Paresse.

Using the speed-reading skills he had mastered in his youth, he read the entire book in three and a half minutes and a sense of relief washed over him. It was okay to be lazy! It was okay to let others make the sacrifices!

He settled into a chair and accepted a glass of cabernet. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done," he said. He accepted a Gauloise and a light, sat back and sighed. "It is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known."

The End
(Unless someone wants to post an alternate ending.)

Mira said...

Wow.

I came home today, and noticed that my book of Dickens was sobbing.

Clearly we've touched him. Or moved him. Or....well, we've done something to him, anyway.

Either that or he's jealous of our creative flair. We've gone places that he would never, not in a million, trillion years go. A zillion, even.

That's okay, Charles Dickens. We can't all be creative geniuses. You're still a very nice little author.

Another CIC triumph! Boy, are we good! It's almost unbelievable.

Truly.

Christine H said...

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... no wonder poor Charles is upset!
:-D