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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 412 (May 17-23) Stories Topic: Airplane

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message 1: by C. J., Cool yet firm like ice (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4309 comments You have until the 23rd of May to post a story and from the 24th to around the 28th of May, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Airplane

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

Most of all have fun!

message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9620 comments I have to be honest with you guys: the airplane prompt is a square peg in the circular hole when it comes to Beautiful Monster, a novel set in a time when air travel wasn’t even a thing yet. Plus, chapter eleven would be considered too sexual for this group. So instead of another installment of Beautiful Monster, I’ve decided to post a blog entry about my childhood. It’ll be my first nonfiction memoir for this group and I hope it’ll be acceptable. Enjoy!

AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: The Last Child Comedian
GENRE: Nonfiction Memoir
RATING: PG-13 for language

Many of you already know this, but when it comes to my sense of humor and my writing, George Carlin has always been one of my biggest influences. He swears like a sailor, he’s unafraid of being censored, he’s poignant as hell, and best of all, he’s funnier than a motherfucker. Speaking of which, “A father is a motherfucker.” That’s a direct line from George Carlin and it got my laugh motor going at the time. Thank god he came into my life when he did, because my sense of humor was suffering as an early teenager slash little kid.

Before Curious George became part of my comedic repertoire, I had guys like Johnny Carson and Benny Hill giving me my fill. There’s nothing wrong with either of those two comedians, but there was something wrong with the way I’ve processed their jokes into my own creativity. They told a lot of adult jokes that I wasn’t old enough to get yet, so all I had was their G-rated material. And from those jokes came some…questionable material on my part.

I knew it was questionable because when I told these manufactured jokes to my dad and brother, they didn’t laugh. Quite frankly, I don’t blame them. Want to hear my version of Jeff Foxworthy? Prepare to cringe hard. “If you fly all the way to Big Ben just to see what time it is, you might be a redneck.” Good god almighty. What the fuck? You think that’s awful, listen to this: “Why don’t criminals use pens? Because they might go to jail (pen as in penitentiary)”. Ugh. I’m cringing just writing these jokes down.

But it didn’t stop there. In fact, it got progressively worse. I’m sure my older brother remembers the infamous “Buttered Toast Shop” routine. It told the fictional story of a crabby restaurant owner with a lisp who only served buttered toast at his establishment. You couldn’t order anything else, not jam, not peanut butter, not even water. Just buttered toast. You also couldn’t dress like Wonder Woman in his diner because he’ll accuse you of wearing a diaper instead of a one-piece suit. I’ll let you all shiver for a few seconds before I continue.

And then there was a routine about a fat black guy named Tiny winning a vacation to Hawaii. Only he didn’t pronounce it the way people normally do. He pronounced it “Hwy.” That’s it. That’s the punch line for this whole joke. People would constantly try to correct him, but he just kept calling it “Hwy”, so he had his vacation revoked. I bet some alternative right motherfuckers would eat this shit up, but not my brother, who rightfully told me that my sense of humor was for little babies.

And then it got worse once again. My next routine was about an airline traveler who wanted to go to Japan, but kept getting his ass kicked by ninjas. In fact, the ninjas told him in a butchered sing-song accent, “We are the Japanese ninjas and we’re going to kick your butt!” Okay, so just don’t go to Japan. Problem solved. But then this traveler kept going to other countries and getting his ass kicked by ninjas. “We are the [Insert Foreign Country Here] ninjas and we’re going to kick your butt!” Even when he was on an airplane over the Pacific Ocean, he’d still get his ass kicked by international ninjas. Not one laugh. Not one goddamn laugh was earned that day. I can’t imagine why. Oh, excuse me. I can’t imagine “hwy”.

I didn’t watch my first George Carlin HBO special until I was fifteen years old. It was a VHS version of “Doing It Again”, where he talks about euphemisms, politically correct language, dog turds, and anything else that would make the censors rip their hair out. I watched these comedy bits and I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” So I took myself over to The Matrix Coffeehouse in Chehalis, Washington and performed George Carlin routines from memory. “If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fires, what do freedom fighters fight?” And of course, some wiseass from the crowd just had to yell, “Freedom!” Even so, I probably got more laughs doing this than I would have talking about a fictional Buttered Toast Shop.

It was from that George Carlin special along with the movie Pink Floyd the Wall that gave me my strong sense of individuality. I could crack offensive jokes and listen to devilish music without ever once caring what other people thought of me. I still take that nonconformist attitude into my adult life, though I’ve calmed down just a little bit during those lengthy years. Thank you, George, for bringing me the mental emancipation I needed from dull G-rated comedy that makes no goddamn sense. He’s been dead for a whole decade now, but I still keep his comedy close to my heart.

The lesson for the day: if you must process creative fuel and form your personal identity around it, don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do this or you can’t do that. Do what feels right to you. Do what makes you happy. Unless you’re a serial killer, in which case, you should probably surrender yourself to the authorities. Other than that, try not to crack under the pressures of society. They don’t care about you and your dreams. They only care about keeping the machine moving, a machine which grinds individuality into pieces of homogenous meat. I told you Pink Floyd the Wall had a strong influence on me! I’m Garrison Kelly! Even when you feel like dying, keep climbing the mountain!

message 3: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Basilisk Catalyst (Helen Singer, Chapter 17, Part 2)
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1278
Rating : PG13

We watched Basil grow and grow, until his jet black back hit the ceiling of his jail cell, but even that didn’t stop his growth. The ceiling began to creak and bend outwards, and it was only a matter of time before the wall gave and the Basilisk would be free to roam the streets, killing whoever crossed its path, or at least turning hem to stone like it had my dad.

“Don’t look it in the eye,” Fran suddenly warned, having turned her back on the cell window, “remember what it can do.”

How could I forget – finding my dad turned to stone in the garden hadn’t exactly been the best moment of my life - so I turned away from the cell, clutching the vial of sedative as Fran handed me her syringe.

“What’s that for?” I asked.

“Well, you’re the one with super strength, right?” Fran said, “So you should be the one to try and sedate that thing.”

“Isn’t it too late for that?” I asked, staring from the sedative to the syringe and back again, “I mean, he’s already started changing.”

“So had Wendy Goldsmith,” Fran argued, “and she was fine afterwards. All we have to do is get that sedative into him.”

“And somehow break the skin of that giant monster in there?” I shook my head, “I really don’t think this is going to work.”

“Well we have to at least try,” Fran said, “you have to at least try.”

“Well, it’s all academic now,” I said, “we haven’t got the key to his cell so we can’t get in there to administer any drugs, anyway.”

“Then we need to wait outside,” Fran stated.

“Outside?” I repeated, “I thought you were all for stopping this curse. How does leaving Basil to his transformation help us stop the curse of Ichabod Flamel?”

“We’re not leaving,” Fran said, “we’re waiting, and I need you to try something on the officer on the front desk.”

“What about my mum?” I asked, pointing to my unconscious mother lying on the floor at our feet, “we can’t just leave her here, the building could fall on top of her when that thing bursts through the roof.”

“Take her with us,” Fran said, shrugging, “you should be strong enough to lift her on your own.”

Fran was right, of course. I bent to pick my mum up, straining instinctively in the anticipation of her weight, but finding her pretty easy to lift. I didn’t want the officer on the front desk to suspect I had super human strength, so I lay my mum’s arm across my shoulder to try and make it look as much like she was moving under her own steam as possible.

We walked out into the front area of the police station, seeing the young officer standing at the front desk. I wasn’t sure how we were going to convince him that my mum was okay and that the noises coming from the cells that he was bound to hear sooner or later were perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. The I remembered the book, Literary Myths & Historical Legends, and how it had featured a number of mythical creatures that were related to my name. Not only was there Abraham Van Helsing, which is most likely where my strength came from, and Helen of Troy which had caused me nothing but grief when its power kicked in, but there had also been a Banshee and a Siren, neither of which had shown their effect on me so far. I knew Banshee’s were known for their scream that foretold death, so I wasn’t looking forward to that power showing itself, but the Siren power could actually come in handy if I could figure out how to control these powers, and how to call on them when they were needed. The Sirens myth told of creatures that sailors thought were beautiful women, who lured them into sailing their ships into the rocks and wrecking them, but it was possible if I remembered rightly that the Sirens were also able to persuade people into doing what they asked, using their songs as a sort of hypnosis. I hefted my mum into a more comfortable position, watching Fran as she looked on expectantly. I could tell she wasn’t sure what I had planned as I stopped at the main counter, clearing my throat to get the officers attention.

“What’s wrong with Officer Singer?” he asked, his voice sounding like it hadn’t quite broken yet, “is she okay?”

“She’s fine,” I told him, focussing my eyes on him as best I could while still holding my mum upright, “everything is fine. There are no noises coming from the cells.”

“Noises from the cells?” the officer stared back at me, “Hey, what is that noise? I something going on back there?”

“There is nothing going on in the cells,” I repeated, desperately trying to focus my attention on the young officer, “there are no noises.”

“Helen,” Fran said, warning in her voice, “whatever it is you’re doing, it isn’t working.”

“I’d better go and check on that noise,” the officer said, seemingly having not heard Fran, motioning as if to move around the main desk in the direction of the cells. I let go of my mum, who slumped to the ground, and stepped in front of the policeman, focussing as best I could on stopping him…

…And that was when something strange happened.

I began to speak, thinking I’d say pretty much what I’d already said to him about not going back to look at the cells, but instead of words, music came from my mouth.

I was singing!

“There is nothing going on in the cells,” I heard myself singing.

“There is nothing going on in the cells,” the policeman spoke in a monotone back to me.

“You will leave the police station.” I sang.

“You will leave the police station.” He replied.

I thought quickly, coming up with an idea that I’m convinced Fran was proud of, “If anybody asks about the damage to the station,” I sang, “you will tell them that somebody set of an explosion, trying to free Basil Iskander from his cell.”

“If anybody asks…” the policeman began, but you get the idea; he said what I’d said, blah blah blah.

“Excellent,” I stopped singing, and the officer, still looking more than a little zoned out, began to walk to the station doors.

I picked up my mum, dragging her to the exit of the station, Fran walking beside me, “What the heck was that?” she asked.

“Another power, I think,” I told her, “from the curse. A siren’s power, I guess.”

“Of course,” Fran smiled, “that makes perfect sense.”

“Why do you think I’m getting multiple powers?” I asked as we left the building, “When other people just got one?”

“I really don’t know,” Fran replied, looking a little panicked, “but now probably isn’t the best time to be discussing this. Have you still got the sedative?”

“I glanced down at my jacket pocket, where a small bulge indicated that the vial was still present and accounted for, “Yep,” I said, “have you got the syringes?”

“I do,” Fran said, “now, we need to set your mum down somewhere and get round the back of the police station before…”

As if mocking Fran, an explosive burst emanated from the back of the police station, sounding not unlike a jet engine as a plane taxis for take-off. We heard a muffled roar, and then a puff of grey smoke erupted into the sky.

The Basilisk had broken through the cell!

message 4: by C. J., Cool yet firm like ice (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4309 comments Sorry guys. I've been having a weird day with seemingly nothing but problems. It looks like I will have to put the polls and contests up next week.

message 5: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9620 comments Take as much time as you need to sort things out, CJ. We're not going anywhere. We understand. :)

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