Happy Hour 2011
It's happy hour, people! I must confess that the only kind of drink I actually know how to make is smoothies. Oh well, happy hour smoothies for everyone! Just remember to be happy. It's not 'pout and glare at 453' hour.
Once upon a time, there lived a carpenter named Tony. Tony was very good at his job. Due to a painful screwdriver accident, Tony had an ugly scar on his hand. But otherwise, Tony was a very generic looking guy.
Tony was not married, and chiefly lived off of microwave meals. But one evening, his electricity went out! Leaving his microwave inoperable!
Tony was hungry, so he searched his kitchen for something to eat. It was getting dark out, so he had to turn on a torch (or flashlight if you're American) in order to see. All he could find besides microwave meals, was a can of pork and beans. So he put emptied the can into a pan on the stove, and went to his tool room to search for a match.
As he dug through his bins of tools, he pulled out a dustmask. Having never cooked before, he thought it might come in handy, and put it on. Shortly, he found his matches and used them to start the range.
Now as I've mentioned, Tony had only ever "cooked" with a microwave before. Using his microwave, he would simply turn the dial and it would tick down automatically, and ding when it was finished. Tony assumed the stovetop worked the same the way. He turned the dial (turning on the gas), and then left the room to wait for it to ding.
A while later, it still hadn't dinged, and a fetid odor was starting to disturb Tony. He checked on his pork & beans to find that it had turned black, stuck to the pan, and was very unappetizing. Tony was upset. He checked his Tome of Household Maintenance for advice, but it didn't say anything about cooking. He decided to go out to eat.
So he set out, but unfortunately the electricity seemed to be out in his entire neighbourhood. He peered into the windows of every restaurant he passed, but they each looked dark and cavernous.
He had to walk two miles before he finally came to a street that had electricity. By then he was in the rich part of town. The restaurants there were very fancy and he knew it would be pricy, but he was very hungry so he went into the first restaurant.
Tony felt lame being in a fancy restaurant by himself, so he sat in the corner and avoided eye contact with the other diners. On one wall there was an old grandfather clock, and Tony watched the pendulum sway back and forth, back and forth...
Finally the waitress brought him his salad, which had pepperoncinis on it and tasted like bromine. It was terrible.
And that is the story of the night that Tony began to plan to learn to cook.
Anyone else want to play? Here's some words (your story must contain all these words in order):
Ha! I dare anyone to come up with an unhappy story out of those words! (Um, not really. Don't take me up on that.)
This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 11 October 2011 - 09:08 PM
Selax last edited by
Hmm, this BreadWorldMercy453 is quite the persistent spammer: 3 topics in 3 or 4 months! I call banning rights :p !
Jehezekel_bot last edited by
@selax_bot, on 31 July 2011 - 05:52 PM, said in Happy Hour 2011:
Hmm, this BreadWorldMercy453 is quite the persistent necromancer : 2 topics in 1 week! I call banning rights :p !
I wrote a story. I'm not sure if it's happy or not. I strongly recommend you read this story while listening to this song.
The dark archprelate Painmonde was quite the persistent necromancer, but was an amateur one, and showing not very much aptitude for it. He had mastered the art of raising skeletons—sort of, because he could only animate the skeletons of bunnies. "How did I get this job again?" he would ask himself. "Oh right," he would say. "The queen saw in a looking glass that I would commit an act of great evil." That was the sort of story that merited a dark archprelacy. He just wished he could be getting on with the evil.
One day, Painmonde put on his blackest robes and gathered together his skeleton bunny army in the large auditorium that he conveniently had. He addressed the crowd, telling them his plan: "The queen's daughter, Princess Hesperia, is to be married tomorrow. Now, at last, I can commit that act of great evil I'm supposed to. Join me, my undead army, and we will go on a journey to the castle, and ruin the wedding. No one will have any fun at all!"
The bunnies sat there silently. They were skeletons, and lacking ear bones, had no ears to hear him with.
Actually, come to think of it, that's pretty weird. I guess, without the ears, bunny skeletons would just look like big rodent skeletons? Never mind, we'll pretend that the bunnies had ear bones. But just this once.
Having heard his speech, the skeleton bunnies burst into applause! They would follow Painmonde anywhere, and especially to a wedding!
The next day, they arrived at the castle. The bunnies all had ribbons tied around each of their ear bones. They were trying to look pretty so that they could sneak in.
"Halt," said the guard at the gate. "Speak your purpose here."
Painmonde replied, "These are the flower girls."
"Right then," the guard said. "Carry on."
The wedding wasn't supposed to happen for another hour, so Painmonde and the bunnies thought they'd take a tour of the castle. It had all of the amenities befitting a modern castle: a throne room, two oubliettes, a discothèque with disco ball, four home theater rooms with 5.1 surround sound, &c. It was impressive: at his dark tower, Painmonde only had stereo, and a much smaller TV. The castle also had a garden, which was where the wedding was being held. They had spent enough time looking through the castle so they went out to ruin the festivities.
Just as the princess joined the prince at the altar, Painmonde and the bunnies burst into the garden. "Now, my minions," he shouted. "Attack!" What the bunnies lacked in size, they made up for in numbers, swarming and devouring several high-profile guests, including the queen, the great wizard Spellwax, and a particularly well-known clown.
Soon they reached the altar. The skeleton bunnies jumped on the prince, and began gnawing away at him. It wasn't a very friendly thing to do. Moments later, he was a skeleton himself (but not the animated kind).
"Wow," Princess Hesperia said to Painmonde. "That's pretty neat. Can you teach me to command the undead?"
"Yes!" Painmonde said, sensing his chance at more evil. "Join me as my dark queen, and we will rule this land!"
The princess recoiled. "What? Dude, no, I don't want to marry you. I just want to be evil."
Painmonde thought for a moment. "Well, OK," he said. "But there has to be a jubilee."
And there was. And everyone (that was still alive) lived happily ever after. And so did the skeleton bunnies (even though they weren't alive).
P.S., If you're wondering…
This post has been edited by Pallas Athene : 11 October 2011 - 07:36 PM
Yay, a Fiery-story! Not quite what I was envisioning, but at least it's happier than Sely's idea, and it's got a happy ending. I was imagining cute little skeletons and then I clicked on your link... They look more like dinosaurs with giant hind legs :\ However! What your story lacked in cuteness, it made up for in musical accompaniment :D Besides the "Skeleton!" that song sounded like Blue's Clues ^_^ I very much enjoyed it, and the story.
Awww! That picture is so much cuter than bunny skeleton you linked before! And I didn't know you were a skilled artist on top of being overall brilliant, knowledgeable, and geeky! 100 bonus points to Fiery : ****D
I was going to let someone else have a chance to write the next story, but it's been two weeks so I'll take another turn!
"Bravo, bravo," the crowd cheered and clapped politely. Charlie beamed as he listened to the echo of the applause in the big ballroom. He bowed and lead his partner off the floor.
The next couple in the competition got up and began to foxtrot. Charlie knew them well from previous competitions - he called them Romeo and Juliet because of how sappy their dances were. Charlie tried to distract himself from watching them dance. He liked this hotel that was hosting the competition this year, and he wondered if they would host again next November. Still he found himself watching Romeo, so he turned his head and stared at the uniform bricks of the wall. Finally they finished and the judges took a minute to consider.
Charlie was outraged when Romeo was announced to be the victor, and he stomped off to the hotel bar to drink a bottle of whiskey.
Would anyone else like to decide the next ten words?
Selax last edited by
Does that count :p ?
No. It has to be dictionary words (see the rules on the original thread), which I'm pretty sure "BreadWorldMercy453" isn't.
Okay, let's modify Sely's list a little bit. How about:
Anyone up for that? Bonus points if the story is not about me.
Alright, I'll take it.
I like going to Gram's house because she's always cooking something in her oven, and she bakes the best bread in the world! So today I went to her house with my big brothers, and we all sat around the kitchen table licking our lips and waiting. She was making yam bread. After the egg timer went off, the three of us turned to watch her take it out of the oven. Only, the bread was on fire!
“Mercy me!” Gram said. “I think this bread has been in there too long! Sam, get the fire extinguisher from under the sink.”
“Yes, Ma'am,” Sam said. He ran and got the fire extinguisher. “OK,” he said. “On four…”
“No!” Bram said. “On five!”
Gram interrupted. “No, on three!”
“One!” Sam counted. Then he pulled on the handle of the fire extinguisher. The foam shot out. Wham! Except that Sam was too lazy to aim correctly, so it all went towards Bram and covered him in foam instead. “Damn,” Sam said. “I guess we need to come up with something else.”
We were in a real jam. I tried to imagine what else we could do to put out the fire in the oven. “Hey,” I said. “If we had a barbecue fork, we could move it to the sink and put it out there.”
“That's the right idea, Pam!” Gram said. With those words of encouragement, I fished out a barbecue fork from a drawer and rammed it into the bread. I picked up the loaf and moved it to the sink, then turned on the faucet. Blam! The fire was extinguished in a big puff of steam.
Gram turned to my brothers (Bram was still trying to get the foam off). “Pam did all that herself, and you barely helped at all. You two ought to be ashamed!” I was really proud. Except, the bread was ruined, so we didn't live happily ever after.
P.S., that story is dedicated to Zam and Cham.
Well my blender is broken, so I'm taking away the offer for free smoothies! I also consider the possibility that the smoothies were actually scaring people away. Hopefully the writing will pick up now!
Of all the different women I've ever met, every Molly, Jane, Susie, Maria, Joanna, Claire, and especially Marylin, Cypress City takes the cake. Typical of any woman, just when you think you know the girl she turns around and shows you a 'brand new' side of herself that you were never told about, or consented to. And typical of all men, no matter how fed up and frustrated I got, I couldn't keep myself away from her.
Yeah, Barnaby Inquiries was my set-up in town. Now the only problem was my unfortunate last name: not the most striking or attractive for a detective, and it clearly affected my business. A slow day, like most of them, was how this tale starts.
I was relaxing in my office; feet up on the desk and everything. Can you blame me though? I already told you how 'booming' business was, and it wasn't like I could just go out and find it. It was a little past noon, the blinds were drawn, the paper was on the floor, and my bottle had run dry. I scoped the office for more, but no dice. I began to reach under my desk in search for any remaining supplies, but as I did the chair decided it was too tired and underpaid to carry me anymore and so dropped me onto the floor. Now most people would pick themselves back up right? Well not me. See, I'm smarter than them. I saw it then, the truth: what was the point? Might as well conserve my strength and get some sleep.
I came to a little later. There were strange noises in my office, and a persistent drumming in my head. Slowly, as I wiped the gunk from my eyes, those strange noises turned into a single beautiful melody, a woman's voice, calling my cheesy last name of all names. I should go back to sleep I thought, this is too good a dream.
"They're here!" the voice shouted I think, something worrisome like that. I wasn't all there yet. By the time I pulled my dusty self off the floor, she was gone (or unimagined depending on how much I had to drink). I was going to pass it off as a dream until I saw what was on my desk. The object was a white piece of paper, a real fancy piece with the pretty little frilled trim. On it was some fancy writing too, the kind only an ace detective such as myself could decipher; it read Bunnies. And below that was a hot red kiss where lips had been, nice ones.
Well well , I thought, business is picking up.. way up! But she's gone! And all I have now is this strange note. I'd been in a slump for too long and it was time to get back in the game. Looking in the mirror on the wall I talked myself up. "Alright Lawrence, I know things haven't been too great around here lately. Sure, the bills on this place have gone 'missing' a lot as far as the land lady needs to know, Lucy left you for that lawyer and kicked you out, and you drank all the booze.." It wasn't going well. "Well none of that matters anymore! It's make or break now, do or die, something or other, just get out the door already!"
I grabbed my coat and hat, coasted out the door and hit the streets. Yeah, it felt good. The gears were turning now, my old hound dog nose still had its magic. The note, the note. Bunnies? It was all too vague. I was starting to want a drink again, then it hit me. Bunnies! The gentleman's club across town. I hailed a taxi then remembered the only thing occupying my wallet was moths and dust. A little while (many buses, blocks and an irate taxi driver) later I had arrived at Bunnies.
The first half of my adventure is pretty boring so I'll sum it up so you don't fall asleep. You're welcome. The bartender at Bunnies eventually told me that a smokin' hot blond had dropped by a little while ago, and left a note for yours truly. Looked exactly the same as the last one, minus the kiss, and that this one read Glass. Using my uncanny powers of deduction I again managed to figure out what she was referring to: one of twenty glass manufactures or shippers in the area. Surely enough the one I found, in no time at all really, had a package for me. This one had a fancy note that read Story. Ha! This was two easy, since there are only two libraries in the city, get it? I crack myself up sometimes. Even though they were on opposite ends of town I, of course, picked the right one first and not second; and through my expert use of the Dewey Decimal system found the book she was referring to. At the end of the book was a note that read Journey. A real stumper. You think so too, right? Well think again! Where would you go to take a journey? The train station of course. Like clockwork I found the next note stuck in time tables for the trains at the station. This note read Wedding.
Wedding? This was ominous with bells on. Could Blondy be tying the knot? This could even be terrible. Moreover, there are hundreds of weddings in this city, sure a lot of them won't last, but how'm I gonna find the right one? I filled in a seat at the station, started skimming the paper, and it hit me: the man I borrowed the paper from. "What kind of man takes a paper that isn't his?!" He shouted from his withering old throat, scolding me, "I was reading about the Mr. Kingsly marriage before you interrupted me, you scoundrel!"
Of course! I thanked the old timer and took off with his daily. Can you blame me? Love was on the line, and who knew what else if I played my cards right. I bolted out the door, reading; the marriage wasn't even gonna be until the next day, but it was being held at a very pristine church, the next best place to check for leads.
I hadn't exactly been chummy with the man upstairs for a while, but I did take my hat off once I got inside. I'm sure He appreciated me for my manners. It was only the day before, but already there was all types of designers, florists, choreographers and other know-it-alls setting up for the event, some of them not the friendliest looking bunch. I took a seat in the front and pretended I was praying. Well, that's not all true, I was praying, but not for anything the divine would answer.
I glanced around again for anything out of place. Up at the altar I saw it, the note! It was wedged, poking out of the gilded alter. Casually, maybe too casually, I strolled up and plucked the note out. Ribbons? Who the what? This case is getting more jumbled than a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle , I thought, lost in my own ponderings.
"Hey! What are you doing?" came an impersonal shout from behind me. Looked like the goons in suits around here had noticed me snooping. Was I really that poorly dressed? Luckily, yours truly is good at thinking on his feet, and by that I mean I am an excellent runner.
Two were closing in from the sides of the church, like hounds on a fox. I made a dash down the aisle past the empty oak benches. "Sorry to leave you fine gentlemen at the alter, but I gotta date that won't wait for me!" I yelled putting my hat back on. Beside me an elderly gentleman, must've been the flower guy for the joint, had just set down a couple bouquets. I snatched them up and ran past, "My apologies to the bride," I quipped off to the shaken old man before launching the dainty bundles at my two gracious pursuers.
As I made my way out the imposing oak doors, I laughed at the sneezing, coughing and other sounds of discomfort coming from inside the old hall. Yeesh, what pansies , I thought, reminding my self to remember that one.
Sure the bad company had been lost, but this last note had lost me. Even with all the years of ace-detectiving, the gears weren't spinnin' like they were. In all of Cypress City there had to be hundreds of related places, things, people- that's it! Sure there were lots of things and other nouns 'ribbon' could connect to, but only one person.
David Ribbon. Corporate big shot, with the fancy car, sad eyes, cruel lips, and receding hair line to prove it. He had a popular nickname too in the business world, the great 'Blue' Ribbon of Cypress City for always being the best of the muck-a-muck best. I hopped a bus downtown, business district. The ride was short, but my thoughts were long. Just who were those gorillas at the church, and what truth is tangled up in these strange little notes? Blondy trying to tell me something? She'd do better with those red lips. Even so far down the zigzag line I wasn't seeing the connection.
In through the big doors they put in to make you feel small, I walked through the marble lobby straight over to the hot little number working the desk. Curled hair, long legs, eyes for the boss most likely. "How do ya do, honey. I'm here to see Mr. Blue." I said to her, confidence in my chest. Little did I know this broad was about as easy to unravel as the Gordian knot, yeah I read.
"Mr. Ribbon only sees anyone by appointment. Name ple-ahem Name?" she rattled off, face cute but stoic.
I could tell this girl wanted to play tough, and I wasn't gonna let her win. I let out a light laugh and whipped out my recently polished badge. "Ok toots , names Barnaby, Lawrence Barnaby, private detective. Now are you gonna let me see Mr. Ribbon or just sit there and look pretty for me?" Chivalry was out the window. And falling.
She stared at me almost unshaken, but she carelessly let out a small smirk behind that front. "One second please."
"Oh, she smiles." I said sarcastically, leaning a bit forward, "You should try it more, you're probably good at it."
"I'm good at many things you'll never see.. detective." Youch! "Mr. Ribbon will see you now. Elevator is down the hall, he is on the 40th floor."
"See, I'm not that bad when you just cooperate." Time to seal the deal. "You know if you wanna help me further, how about I ask you a few questions over dinner?"
She smiled again. Her sighing was just for show. "40th floor, Mr. Barnaby. Feel free to take the window back down."
I smiled back and walked away, "You can call me Lawrence, ace detective."
Yeah I know that last bit had more words than my dictionary, but hey, worth the read right?
The elevator ride took forever. This guy must be loaded all this way up, the real deal. The elevator music wasn't even bad! I stepped out into a gilded hall of marble and fancy rugs of some far away sheik. Seemed to me like the hall was somehow bigger than the width of the building, but it must've just been my fatigue kicking me in the head. At the end was an even finer little secretary than before. Clearly, I was in the wrong line of work.
"Good day, Mr. Barnaby. Mr. Ribbon has been expecting you. Right this way." She said all proper, but with the voice of an angel that had fun on the weekends. Already passing leagues over the last one. I gladly followed her through the double office doors, into a cigar smoke filled room with an almost comically sized desk on the other side.
The girl gave me a playful smile as she left the den dressed up as an office or vice versa. I get distracted easily if you couldn't tell.
"Ah. Lawrence, how nice of you to drop by." A loud voice boomed from behind the desk. Sitting in a large red velvet chair I saw plump ol' Blue with a large cigar in his curvaceous hand.
"Pleasure's all mine Mr. Ribbon." I said taking my seat, "Mind if I call you Blue?"
"Ho ho! That old nickname? I must admit I am rather fond of it, though I must ask for just Mr. Ribbon if you would." He offered me a cigar but ladies don't like the smell, well, the ones I can afford to take out anyways.
"Now about why you're here, no need to tell me. I already know. I believe my niece has been troubling you, leading you on some wild goose chase all over Cypress. Don't worry, I've found her and had a stern talk with her. Lyra has promised me that.."
I seemed to trail off into pleasant thought at that point. Lyra, what a beautiful name. Just think of the kind of woman that accompanies that name... the kind of figure! Oh and personality too, probably great I'd imagine.
I snapped back into reality, "Um-sorry what?"
Ol' Blue looked a little annoyed, puffing himself up as he puffed away at his cigar. "I was saying that I apologize for any trouble this has caused you, and hope this will be satisfactory compensation for the matter." Ribbon pushed forward a small envelope across the desk, giving me a questioning look from the corners of his eyes. Now I say it was a small envelope, but the little bugger was stuffed to the brim with what you'd expect: Clams. The kind of clams you don't find washed up at the beach.
This was a tough cookie of a dilemma, with rocks instead of chocolate chips. With this kind of cash, I could get a new car.. maybe even a secretary! But this Lyra.. Blondy! Taking it didn't sit too well in my stomach. Something was wrong, and what kind of detective would I be if I didn't find out what.
"Sorry, Blue." I said gruffly, "But I can't take this. Tell Lyra I'm sorry I couldn't be of help. I think I'll be on my way."
"Oh that's too bad, Lawrence." Sighed the old balloon as his face turned remorseful. "I was hoping to put an end to this matter." He struck up another cigar. "Just know this, if you happen to pursue the matter further.. well you know what they say about curiosity and the cat. Good day."
I pretended to ignore the old man's final statement, and show myself out of the office. Yeah those last few words shook me up a little, but what's a road without a few bumps? Something like that.
Angel-girl waved goodbye, somehow she was immune to my advances. There was still priss downstairs though. I didn't get the time of day from her but she did hand me a note addressed to me, Disco it read. Geez, this one was the worst yet. It wasn't even a word let alone a clue. Maybe this girl was crazy just like Ribbon had hinted at.
Luckily, the perfect place to give some serious thought to the matter was across the street. Also I had secretly taken some dough from the envelope. Nobody's perfect.
I shuffled in with the other burnt out chums and fellows needing a refuel for the night and filled in a stool at the counter. That cracking sporadic music filled the joint, the young man on the drums sure knew what he was doing with those sticks and cymbals. I ordered a whiskey from the busy barkeep as fast as my words could reach him, but before my medicine could arrive I got an unexpected tapping on the shoulder. "I'm sorry bub," I said not even turning to look, being a good detective and focusing on the task at hand, "I'm a little busy here can't ya see?."
"Detective Barnaby, it's me! Lyra." I heard in a hushed little voice, so soft it made my bum heart melt. Calling me detective didn't hurt either.
"Lyra?! What are you-"
"Shh! Keep your voice down. I can't be seen or else.." She glanced around the room, casing the place out, "I have to leave soon. So please just listen." She was wearing those big designer sunglasses and some kind of scarf around her head. Trying a little too hard to be inconspicuous.
She grabbed my arm, soft hands. "First things first, detective. Thank you for all that you've done for me so far. I hope by now you've started to see what's really going on in this city. Never mind that last note though, it was just to throw off the men following you."
Yikes. This dame was unloading the whole case on me: plots, motives, killers and thieves and I couldn't hear any of it behind all the music. So what I did next was for her sake. Such a girl, in that kind of state.. I had to pretend like I knew what she was talking about. After all, if I had told her truth, she'd lose all faith in me and who knows what'd happen after that. Nothing pretty.
So I played it cool see, "That's what I figured, Blondy. As far as your situation.. seems like you're in some hot water. Do me a favor and tell me more about it, I'm still foggy on a few of the details."
"Oh I really can't, there just isn't time!" She said distressed, looking around again and taking off those over-sized black spectacles. "Listen," she said, boy her eyes were gorgeous, green like emeralds, and the way she was looking at me, I tell ya, she could've asked me anything: I would've knocked out every bum or prize fighter giving her trouble, or die trying. "...I'll explain the rest once it's all over." Oops. "For now here, take this." She placed one of those fancy cards in my hand. I had a feeling what I'd find on it. "That will lead you to my friend, and the next clue." She put her glasses back on, what a shame, and turned for the door, but before she left.. "Oh and please, be careful." She said with that soft voice, planting a big one on my cheek. Yeah, she had me alright.
I finished my long-time-coming drink and headed back out in the loving embrace of the city streets. The sun was getting gone, and Cypress wasn't the best place to be kicking around in at night. The note read, Garden. No surprise there, just as easy than the rest of 'em. I wasn't gonna quit now though, not after that smooch oh so heaven-ly. Not even if there were ten, fifty, a hundred goons on my trail, or a big shot who wanted me to stop breathin' his air. Not me, not when I had the drive of a headstrong private eye.
There had to be dozens of gardeners in Cypress, but I had a gut feeling it wasn't a person I was looking for. Even though she said I'd be led to her vague and unnamed friend, every note so far had taken me to a building, a place of businesses, well except for the church depending on your point of view. This was a 90% good hunch and looking better.
Around the corner there was a phone booth. Inside that glass box was the perfect person to help figure this one out. I picked up the phone and talked to the operator. "Hello operator?" I said in my strong, demanding voice, "I'd like the address for The Garden."
"You'll need to be a little more specific than that sir." Man oh man, did this girl smoke cigarettes or eat 'em?
"It's a place, well most likely a business, you have anything like that?"
"I have a listing for a flower shop and a restaurant, which would you like?"
Tough call and not enough time for both, but lucky for me I had a detective's gut, a keen nose for trouble, and an empty stomach.
"The restaurant, mam."
Soon enough I had arrived at the appropriately named 'Garden'. In the two beds outside the garden was a tamed jungle of fat bushes and odd, exotic plants probably feeling sick for home. The whole place seemed to come out into the night, with open doors and open windows, why even the chattering party inside was pouring out the front door. A little soiree was being held and strangely enough I was on the list. Squeezing through the soup of stars, starlets, and all the other high-end low-fliers, I was quickly picked up by the friend of Miss Blondy. Am I really that badly dressed? He zipped me away to one of the fancy rooms above the restaurant, to talk in private.
He was a tall guy, clean cut but the little curled bits of hair above his lip made 'em look sleazy. He was quick to shake my hand and introduce himself as Alfred, I skipped the butler jokes even though he was wearing a tux. After too many pleasantries we took our seats at a small round table.
"Mr. Barnaby, my dear friend Lyra has told me to let you rest in this room if you needed. So before we discuss important matters, let us dine."
He clapped his hands a quick couple times and in came two silver trays of cuisine; couldn't tell what it was but it smelled high-class. I pulled back on my other butler cracks for my stomach's sake.
Yeah I know, I shouldn't have been wasting time, but every engine needs fuel to run. I scarfed down that grub like I was poisoned and the food was the antidote. I think it even tasted good as far as the fancy stuff goes.
"Thanks." I wheezed after a large breath. I was beginning to like this guy, if only for his hospitality.
"Yes, not a problem. Let me get you a drink and we can talk at last." I was getting to like him even more.
While he was over at the bar fixing a couple glasses I noticed something tucked into my tray. Sure enough it was another one of those fancy little notes. Just when I thought I was at the end of this crazy goose hunt.
This one read, Friendly. No Kidding, this guy is friendly. How is this even a clue, when it's slapping me across the face? I couldn't figure what she was trying to tell me with this one, except that she was lousy at being helpful. Luckily Alfred was ready with the drinks.
He handed me the glass, then offered me a cigar. I declined. It's as if these guys were trying to keep me single.
He struck up his cigar and sighed. "My friend Lyra, she is a sweet girl. Yes, I admire her energy and sheer will power." That nasty smoke was starting to fill the room, and between that and this guy's smugness soon there wouldn't be enough for my insignificant self.
"You know," he laughed a little, as if he was funny, "she had asked me to take you to my family tailor over by Wormwood Park, for a suit you see. She didn't tell me why, but now.. Well I think I have the idea."
I didn't like the uncaring attitude of this bozo. Didn't he realize his friend, Blondy, was in some kind of trouble? Something was odd about all that smoke too, I couldn't get my mind off it.
"I'm sorry to say though, Mr. Barnaby, that I cannot complete her request, and that now I must ask a favor of you instead."
Yeah the smoke, it was fancy, not the kind you smell normal bums like me smoking. Real familiar. A lot like..
"You see, Mr. Ribbon and I are quite on the same page regarding our distressed miss Lyra. We also know what you and her have been up to." This wasn't gonna end well.
"Tsk. Tsk." He said shaking his head. "It cannot continue I'm afraid."
I pushed out of my chair, and began to make my way for the door. Locked.
Alfred looked disappointed in my choice of actions. "Oh come now. You can't leave now, we've only just started talking, Mr. Detective." That sly beanstalk of a butler got up and pulled a small fancy-lookin' pistol out of his jacket pocket. "I do hope you enjoyed your meal."
I was sure in a bind now, but I had been in tighter. I wasn't about to let butler-boy here put yours truly down to bed after supper.
"If you were gonna kill me why didn't you just do it when I got here?" I yelled trying to make time. I began backing away from the door, over towards my seat.
Alfred kept stepping closer, "I believe every man should at least have one final meal, don't you?"
"I appreciate the courtesy!" I threw my chair between us. Maybe now if I could just reach the window.
"Really Mr. Barnaby? That kind of behavior is not getting us anywhere, especially you. Now I think it's time you left." He pulled back the hammer on the pistol. The click was like the voice of death saying hello.
I had to act now, or it was curtains for me.
"Goodbye Detective." Alfred said with all the confidence in the world, taking a puff of his cigar. I don't know why he waited, maybe too sure he had me or something, but before he could fire off the shot I flung myself out the open window behind me. Sure it was a couple stories, lucky for me there was a garden out front The Garden. Yeah I know, sharp thinking.
I landed in some weird bush that smelled like the sun didn't shine on it, if you catch what I'm saying. Up above in the fancy room for would-be killers, I heard the disgruntled jerk saying things to me that shouldn't be repeated.
I answered back as I ran off, "Yeah well at least I don't look like a butler!" Showed him.
I headed off for Wormwood park in a hurry. It seemed dangerous, but if it's where Blondy was trying to leave me I wasn't gonna argue.
Ya know I think if they changed the name of the park it might not look like a collection of forgotten trees, depressed shrub-life and a headcount of the unemployed. It wasn't the best maintained and half of it connected to a shady part of town. I made my stay brief and made it intact to the high class shops over by the good part. Sure enough I found the tailor the butler had mentioned. Barnaby's Seams and Alterations, no relation.
The old beady-eyed man was expecting me. Couldn't blame him for being upset I was late. I guess he had been staying open for me. He worked his thread and needle magic though, and fixed me up with a suit in no time. Then he kicked me out lickity-split. The little four-eyes slammed the door on me, without even saying goodnight.
I needed a smoke to collect my thoughts. The new suit was kind of tight, the pockets were also small. As I was feeling around, I noticed something poking out of the inside jacket pocket. I don't think I need to tell you what it was. It read, Jubilee. Pretty word but not much else. I finished my cigarette and headed down the quiet, lamp-lit street of the good part of town.
This game was wearin' on me hard, like I was some fish on a hook being tugged around. The pier was close up ahead, a good place to stop for a break. I took a lean against the wooden fence on the dock and looked out into the moonlit bay. That view and the cigarette almost made everything feel all right. Is it really all worth it for some dame? I wondered. I had almost gotten killed back at The Garden, and I didn't really feel like looking down a barrel again any time soon.
I had smoked another cigarette before I noticed all the lights far off down by the pier. Looks like a real blow out, fire works and everything. A real- hold on , I thought. Looked to me that this case wasn't closed yet. I tossed the butt into the bay and made off towards all the commotion.
They had muscle at the door, but not surprisingly, I was on the backdoor-list. I made my way past the guards out front and into the main bash on the pier. I blended in real well too, I guess I really wasn't well dressed before.
Standing in between two drooling buffoons at the buffet table, was her: Blondy, and boy was she looking swell. She noticed me and left the dead-weight in her dust.
"Oh detective you're here! I'm so glad you've made it this far." She said after a quick hug. That'd get some attention, and not just mine.
"Yeah I made it. Now what? We dance the night away?" When it comes to the fairer breed', it's important not to let them know your head over heels for 'em. Good piece of advice.
"Oh yes, of course you'd be wondering what happens now. Um, follow me." She turned around and started walking. That ruby-red dress sure was something alright.
If the hug wouldn't turn some heads, her pulling me into the kitchen would. Once inside she yanked me again through the back door. We were all alone now, and a moonlit bay behind us: just my kind of night. Sure it was kind of cloudy, and we could still hear the party-the point is it'd do just fine for our intents and purposes.
"Oh Mr. Barnaby, I'm so scared." She cried pulling me into her arms.
"Don't worry doll, I'm here now and nothin' bad's gonna happen while I'm on the case." I assured her, holding her tighter.
Seemed like she was gonna cry, "I feel terrible making you sort this mess out for me." She wiped the dew from those two emeralds on her cute face and gave me a serious look, "Here take.. this. You know what you have to do with it."
Out of her little red and black purse she pulled out something I'd never give a woman, a gun.
"What's that for?" I said moving her away from me.
"Don't play dumb now. Please, take it. Ribbon's inside, he'll be leaving in half an hour, I think you should do it then."
Do it? I thought. Kill big Blue Ribbon? Was she nuts? Too bad I didn't have time to ask.
All I remember was hearing the back door swing open, a short muffled scream, and something like getting knocked over the head too. Then I woke up.. on the same damn pier.
"Geez. You knocked me out to move me thirty feet?" I groaned into the salty air.
"Enough, detective. I think you've given me a big enough headache as it is. The both of you." Said the unwelcome voice of David Ribbon, professional jerk and marathon diner.
I looked to my right and there was Blondy, all tied up like a gift from ol' Saint Nick. The setting of a dock a foot off the water didn't ring too merry for me though.
Ribbon, the old blowhard, was pacing back and forth under the lamp light in front of us. "I warned you detective, about curious kittens!"
Oh I was shakin' in my boots now.
The old man was like an owl, he'd take a puff of his cigar and twist his fat head around to us. "And you, Lyra, are you trying to stop my heart? And on the day before your wedding no less."
Wedding? I thought, loudly.
"Yes that's right Mr. Barnaby. The woman you've been working so hard to 'save' is due to be Mrs. Kingsly fine and proper tomorrow afternoon. However I suppose she forgot to mention that small fact to you." The twisted smirk on Ribbon's face when he said that made me sick.
The woman tugged at her bindings. "I told you Uncle! I'm not going to marry that fiend! Especially after finding out.. after finding out.." It almost broke my heart to see Blondy start crying, but then again, she was also spoken for.
"Finding out what, sweetie?" asked a loud voice from the darkness outside the small circle of light on the dock. In walked a tall, thick jawed man with short, slicked back hair. The kind of guy who looked like he'd run for office, and then I'd want to punch in the face for thinking he was better than me.
"Dudley!" Lyra shouted in surprise. I was surprised too, his name's Dudley Kingsly? And I thought I had it bad with Barnaby.
The girl was surprised to see Alfred step into the light too, I wasn't. Seemed like this peach had a bad habit of keeping rotten company. I really should be used to that womanly feature by now.
"No Lyra, you will be marrying Mr. Kingsly here I'm glad to say. The partnership will also go though, and you-will-obey." Ribbon chimed in before snapping his head back around to me, "As for you Lawrence, well I think it's quite obvious. Alfred?"
"Right away sir." Looked like butler-boy had found his calling taking orders and was about to toss me out into the water like yesterday's trash.
Yeah this was the end for me folks. What? I never said it was a happy story. I swam with the fishes and Blondy became Mrs. Blondy to prince rotten over there. It's just how things go, when you live in Cypress City.
So you did you really believe me? Yeah me neither. You probably saw there was more writing down the page you cheat. Anyway, I was still Lawrence Barnaby, ace detective, and like I've said: there was no way I was gonna let these bozos do me in. Before Alfred got to wringing my neck, he got to talking. The guy had a thing of taking forever to do something, probably makes him a terrible butler. "Thank you, by the way. With this kind of opportunity, I'm set for life."
"It's also impressive how close you got to the truth, especially since you're such an awful detective." Kingsly-I mean, Dudley added. The nerve of this guy.
Ribbon laughed, like a pig, "Y-Yes. Ingenious isn't it? My little operation."
I was getting to truth at last, even if a little late. In the corner of my eye I noticed Blondy squeezing her way out of the rope. I egged Blue on to buy her a few more precious seconds. "Keep dreaming, old timer. 'Whole operation looked sloppy to me. Maybe you spend too much time planning weddings these days."
Alfred and Kingsly looked questionably at Ribbon and waited for his response.
Ribbon snorted again with annoyance, too easy, "And I suppose you would know, you bumbling detective? My set-up is perfect! Better than anything like it done before." he said raising his sharp nose at me, big nostrils too. "We get new orders at the bar, we ship the goods out through the glass shop, the bookie works in the library and it gets delivered by the trains. I knew you'd been snooping around, but you'd never have figured out I was the brains behind the operation if it weren't for my troublesome niece, or that after her marriage to Kingsly here, we'll be so powerful we'll be ruling Cypress City with an iron fist... and expanding. Why even..."
I glanced over and saw the ropes slipping off Lyra. Luckily, the spotlight was still on yours truly. Before the three stooges could notice, Lyra was up and aiming that small pistol of hers (from those soft hands) right at Ribbon. Just before I fell asleep from his speech too.
"Lyra, what are you-"
"Quiet Kingsly!" Blondy shouted, changing her aim to her husband to be not. "All of you, just stay where you are, or I'll end all of this right now!"
"Whadda' ya say we get these ropes off me first, Lyra?" I asked. Alright, I admit I was a bit nervous, not that I'd let it show. But can you blame me? It's less often than a blue moon you find yourself tied up on a dock at night, with three men who want you dead.
She had Alfred untie me, good choice too since the little coward was too yellow to try anything stupid. "I thinks it's time we left, Lyra." I said rubbing my sore wrists and starting to walk away.
"But, but!" She wouldn't come with me. "If we just let them go then this will have all been for nothing!"
I tried to comfort her, make her reassured or something, anything, "Look we can call he cops. We got the scoop on these jerks, they're done. No one's gotta get shot though!"
She was starting to shake now, like she was really gonna do it. "But what if the cops can't help!"
I made a mistake: I had taken too many steps away from her, but--I thought she was gonna follow. Kingsly had started moving over to her left. They were cornering her on the edge of the dock like dogs.
"Your friend's right Lyra." Ribbon began, buying himself some time, "Just put that silly thing down and we can talk about this."
There was a loud crack as Lyra fired a shot into the night air and everyone ducked in shock. "Stay back!" she yelled, and believe me they listened.
With her aim back at Ribbon, the old blowhard was shivering so much the floor boards were creaking, "P-Please dear girl. No! I'll put it all behind me, just please!"
Butler-boy and prince charming took a step back fearing for their own good-for-nothing lives. Though it wasn't like they weren't the only ones wondering what would happen. Even me, despite all my years as an ace detective, could never tell what a woman would do. Well it wasn't just that.. All this time I pictured Blondy as a sweet creature that wouldn't hurt a fly, but now.. Well something was wrong with this picture, that's for sure.
I heard a commotion up at the party. Maybe the cops have finally shown up. I thought, hoping this would all land topside after all. "Lyra! Just come over to me, come on! We'll be fine!"
She turned to look at me, with those gorgeous green eyes. A look that was sweet and sad, that told you everything, and made your heart sink. It lasted only a moment, then she turned away. "It's too late detective. I'm sorry for putting you through all this trouble. I-I," Her face was unmoving, locked on Ribbon. I couldn't see too well, but it looked like she was crying. "I won't live like this any longer."
There was a sound of rushed foot steps from behind me. Looked like the cops were here and not a moment too soon. "The cops are here Lyra, it's all over! Come over to me now!" At that moment there was nothing more I wanted than for her to simply listen to me.
But.. she didn't, or wouldn't, who knows. Before anyone had time to react or stop it, the shot had been fired, and the great Blue Ribbon was stumbling backwards into the grim, unlit waters of the bay.
I could hear the heat getting closer. Is this it? Am I really gonna let it end this way? I asked myself, but I already knew the answer. I rushed through goon one and goon two as if they weren't even there and grabbed Lyra in my arms. The gun dropped out of her still hands, and hit the pier with a clunk. I held her closer as she started to cry hysterically. I wasn't gonna pretend I knew anything about what was going on, but I hated those bastards for whatever they had put her through, that's for damn sure. "It's ok," is what I told her, "It's gonna be fine." but we both knew it was a lie.
"I'm sorry Lawrence, I-"
I cut her off there, she had taken the fall enough in this case, "No don't say that. I'd do it a hundred times over for you, and you know it. So just don't say that now, after it's all over." I ran my hand through her blond hair and she rose her head to look up at me. The cops were already cuffing the other two but before they could get to us, we looked at each other one last time, and I gave her a nice long kiss. She didn't say anything after that, just gave me a small, sweet smile as she was pulled out of the lamp light.
All I did the rest of that night was give my side of the story to the cops and head back to my empty, as usual, office (a good thing for once). After the affair on the pier was over, there was a big ruckus in the courts. Not only were Kingsly, Alfred as well as the Ribbon Company on trial for the creation and smuggling of illegal firearms, but Lyra was on the stand too, for murder.
A few weeks later and the mess was sorted like files into a filing cabinet. Literally. Thanks to my ace detective work, the two remaining goons were doing hard time and their entire operation had fallen to pieces. Blondy got away with self defense, and last I heard had moved overseas to some relatives trying to get away from all the attention from the press. Can't say I blame her but I.. well, it's not important anymore. I thought the end of the whole affair would come without another mention to me, but then a few days ago I got a note in the mail: one of the fancy ones I had been finding everywhere in that last case. This one read, well nothing at all. I put it in my desk drawer as a memento. I sure hope it wasn't a clue or anything important.
Needless to say, that dame got in my head like the roots of a weed. Even though I'm sitting here now trying to pull her out of my mind, she just keeps——
knock knock knock That from my door?
"Uh, come on in!" Whoa now, the look of this girl is something else, and a redhead too.
"D-detective Barnaby? I-I need your help..!" She's crying already? Now that just won't do. Well... sounds like a new case is the perfect thing to get over Laura or whatever her name was.
"Please, have a seat... and a drink?"
Just goes to show Cypress City works in its own way: just when you think you've reached the end of the road, you see there's another one going the other way. Well, something like that.
That was awesome Nezmy! I wasn't expecting anyone to write a novel for this thread! Very impressive. Where did you get the inspiration for that?
First off, forgot to thank lilyrei again for proofing it for me, her and scar, but he only helped a little!
453, I originally started with the idea that it'd be a story about a detective who solves a crime based around the ten words. I didn't really plan on it being so long but it just happened since I needed to build scenes, introduce characters and most importantly build up the image of the lead, Barnaby, while trying to keep the story entertaining.
It took me since the beginning of August into early October to finish all my drafts and revisions, then I had to wait around until I could find a reliable editor (thanks Jae! since I can't trust my spelling for the life of me).
I wrote the story though in one stroke, meaning I didn't do certain parts before others. Even though the writing was off and on, to get myself in the mindset I'd watch old TV shows (like Twilight Zone) or more often than not listen to Jack Kerouac tell some stories until all the little stylistic turns of phrase started forming in my head. The inspiration was just getting the rapidly form ideas out of my head and coherently onto the page.
For the most part it was improvising, or putting in what I wanted to see. I spent some time thinking "OK how is this next word gonna change or lead the story?" and so on. It was really like I had thrown Barnaby onto a case where he discovered the case as he went, which made the improvisation work. I'm done now, though I'd like to go back to it one day and actually plan some stuff out and make it longer and better.
Anyways, Your feedback is too vague! You have to tell me what you liked specifically! The writing, certain characters? Sayings? All that! :p
I forgot to reply, Nezmy ): I'm sorry! The whole story was really entertaining. I wasn't sure what to say - I like the main character even though there's nothing likable about him. How do I explain that? And of course, I liked all the ridiculous detective & mafia phrases.
Well I can't match Nezmy's story - not by a long shot. But here's my story for the latest word batch:
"Whoa," breathed Mabel. She turned to her big brother, who was sitting on the other end of the top bunk. "Zeb! Hand me my camera - I can see an octopus!"
Zebulun rolled his eyes in frustration. "How many times do I have to tell you? We're on a spaceship , not a submarine, you knucklehead!"
"Uhh, no, we're on a submarine," Mabel corrected him. "I'll prove it, I'll dunk you in the water."
"We're almost to Mars," announced Zebulun.
"I see an old upended ship, half-buried in the sand!"
"Oh no, it's a giant meteor heading right towards earth! It could destroy an entire country - assuming that country is like Vatican City or one of those little ones!"
"Really?" asked Mabel, finally showing an interest in space travel. "We have to destroy it! Do we have any weapons?"
"Duh! Readying the lasers now." Zebulun mimicked the sound of lasers being shot. Mabel waited in suspense. "Argh! I can only whittle away at it tediously. We'll never destroy it at this rate. We need bigger guns!"
"I'll go out there and destroy it!" Mabel offered.
Zebulun laughed. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
"Just wait until you see me destroy a meteor with my bare hands," bragged Mabel, perching on the railing of the bunk bed.
"You can't go out without a spacesuit," Zebulun pointed out.
But Mabel had already jumped. "GERONIMO!" She landed safely on all fours, then grabbed Zebulun's soccer ball, which was on the floor, and rolled around with it in epic combat.
Mabel kept rolling until she rolled out the door. "Finally!" said Zebulun, and adjusted his imaginary controls.
He didn't have much peace before Mabel walked back in. "Well, I destroyed it," she gloated.
"You jumped into outer space with no protection and died instantaneously," Zebulun corrected.
"No!" Mabel pouted. "I'm still alive because... That was my doppelgänger! I've been safe in my own ship the whole time!" she declared as she leapt into the bottom bunk - a little too energetically, and bumped her hand against the wall. "Ow!"
"Whatever," said Zebulun. "We're almost there, do you see it?"
"Yeah!" agreed Mabel, "the sunken island of Atlantis!"
"No." said Zebulun shortly. "It's Mars."
Sweet story 453. :)
Here's my list: