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Short Story Ambage Flash Fiction FFFC

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#1 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Oct 16 2012 - 06:28 PM

The warm golden fingers of the crepuscule were withdrawing. The gilt was melting off the trees' leaves, leaving the auburns and ochers of autumn to their own polychrome. A chill wind whistled through the branches, with a nuance of humidity that foreboded rain. Below, gloom was gathering among the tree trunks. Leaves crunched beneath the feet of two peripatetics as they sought their way through the forest. It was a relaxing stroll gone awry.One was a short boy with unkempt yellow hair. His ears were small and his mouth antithetical in size. Dressed too sparingly for the collecting cool he shivered, his arms folded.His companion was nearly twice his height, with unusually short legs and long torso. Beneath an orange and black coat he was contentedly toasty.Asked the former, "Haven't we passed that same stump seven times?""What makes you say that?""The moss growing on it looks like a three-headed space alien with tentacles."The other scratched his chin. "You know, I do remember that. I think you're right." He frowned. "But that's the first time today." He rolled his eyes and walked on."Hey, I wasn't leading when we got lost, remember? You wanted to lead, and I was benevolent enough to let you.""Benevolent!" the lanky scoffed. "You've lived here your whole life! You must have been in these woods hundreds of times! Don't you know where we are?""You've been here as many times as I have, fuzz-brain.""Always with you leading. You never let me before. How should I know my way?""What happened to that instinct you always brag about? You should be able to find your way out ""I'd be able to smell my way out of here if someone hadn't avoided his bath last night.""Then why'd you help me hide?""I didn't think our lives would depend on my nose!""If that ever happens we'll be doomed. You couldn't smell your way out of a paper bag.""I'd like to see you try it!""I'll find my way and without my nose.""Then why don't you?""It would be easier if you would keep quiet," the yellow-haired boy retorted. "And if my foot wasn't throbbing with every step!""I told you not to cross that log. It was too high.""You could have told me a little louder.""Is that rain?" The taller companion raised his face to the sky. A large, fat drop landed on his nose with a ­plop. He squirmed with distaste. "Great, now we'll be lost and wet.""Didn't I tell you the forecast said it would rain today?""Just because they're lucky every now and then when their psychics are right doesn't mean there's any reason to believe them.""I'm surprised you couldn't sense the rain with your 'instinct.'"As the rain fell harder their dissentient discussion rapidly developed into an altercation, an event not at all out of the ordinary."Look, pal, if you don't keep quiet I'm gonna leave you out here in the cold alone!""If you do you'll only die of starvation while I find my way home. Lemme go!"With a fist to his captor's stomach the yellow-haired boy freed himself. He received a kick to each shin in retaliation. Best of friends and best of foes, they broke into fisticuffs in earnest."Why don't you take a long walk on a skyscraper?" snapped the taller."Dr. Frankenstein called today, he wants his monster's brain back!""Your lips are moving but I only hear a buzzing sound coming out!""That must be your brain sizzling!""Slob!""Noodle-head!"A new voice broke into the racket. "Calvin! Calvin!"The contenders broke apart. Quoth the shorter, "Mom?""Calvin? Calvin, where are you?""Over here, Mom! Over here!"Crashing through the brush she appeared beside them. She held a flashlight in one hand that illuminated her face. It was a contorted mixture of choler and relief."Where--have--you--been?""We got lost, Mom! It's Hobbes's fault! He was leading the way, but he had no clue where he was going.""Don't tell lies!""But it's the truth! Hobbes has no sense of direction!""He couldn't have got you lost and you know that. He's just a--Oh!" Without warning she fell to her knees and wrapped her son in her arms. "I'm just glad you're all right! Let's get you home and into a warm bath."An hour later, snug and cozy in his bedroom, Calvin gazed from his window. The moonlight glazed the treetops with silver, setting each raindrop scintillating like the stars above. From here the woods, so frightening and frustrating not long before, became picturesque, even halcyon."You know, Hobbes," he sighed, "getting lost wasn't so bad, after all. Not when you look back on it.""It could have been worse. We might never have found our way home. It was still a bit scary, though.""Not as much as it would have been alone. Together, it wasn't so bad. Finding your way is a lot easier when you have a friend to help you find it.""It's even easier on a full stomach," the tiger countered. "Let's go back tomorrow--but after dinner, okay?"

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


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When I know I can't live without a pen and paper, when I know writing is as necessary to me as breathing . . .

 

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I know I am ready to start my voyage.

 

A Musing Author . . . Want to read my books? . . . Want to read for free in exchange for an honest review?


#2 Offline Chro

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Posted Oct 16 2012 - 06:35 PM

Haha, nice one, Nuile. Knew what it was immediately after the first couple paragraphs. :)
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#3 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Oct 16 2012 - 06:43 PM

I'm always glad to receive a comment and to know a fellow fan. :P I thank you.The inspiration struck me this morning. It occurred to me that the events of one comic in particular were very aptly suited to the theme of the contest, and so I adapted it into this. I probably won't win with it, but it was a pleasure to write.

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


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When I know I can't live without a pen and paper, when I know writing is as necessary to me as breathing . . .

 

tumblr_meb7408mTy1r4ejnio1_1280.gif

 

I know I am ready to start my voyage.

 

A Musing Author . . . Want to read my books? . . . Want to read for free in exchange for an honest review?


#4 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Oct 22 2012 - 09:40 PM

Hey, it's Zaxvo from the Short Stories Critics Club.I want to open this review by commenting on that twist...it was well-written, brilliantly played, and perfectly hinted at. Masterfully done. I laughed. My only quibble is that you go from being overly wordy and descriptive to being really casual in a short space, and it doesn't work very well for the readability of the story. for example, in two sentences Calvin goes from "a three-headed space alien with tentacles." to "I was benevolent enough to let you." Do you see how the tone and vocabulary varies? It throws the reader off a bit. Other than that, well done. I'm impressed and it was quite entertaining. Good job!

Edited by Zaxvo, Oct 22 2012 - 09:41 PM.

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#5 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Oct 23 2012 - 02:19 PM

:kaukau: I guessed what it was just by accidentally seeing your banner. I'm a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes. This is one of your better stories, not that this is a compliment when you consider that the only two reviews I ever gave you were both a bit scolding. I primarily liked the dialogue, since it's similar to my own, and I like characters who can speak in snappy, punchy prose. At least, when the style fits, and the style of Calvin and Hobbes works for it, being a slightly surreal world of humor filled with unexpected insights from a two-foot-tall kid and his imaginary friend. For most of the dialogue, I have no complaints, other than that you could have used a few more "Calvin said/ Hobbes said" moments (or, alternatively, "said the shorter/said the taller" to avoid outright giving away their identities too soon). On that note, you also tapped into one of my number one pet peeves, which is when writers absolutely refuse to use the word "said" and instead op to always use creative alternatives. They hardly help and they mainly serve as a distraction from the dialogue itself.The primary thing I would fix up would be the beginning and the end, where you rely too much on words like "crepuscule" and "peripatetics", which are distracting. While I suppose it encourages the reader to look up new words, I dislike it for disrupting the flow and ultimately bringing too much attention to itself, and therefore bringing too much attention to the author instead of just telling the story. I do like an enhanced vocabulary, but I prefer to use casual words at first and then move on to alternatives as I try to not repeat them within a short period of time. What you have here looks to be the works of a lunatic with a thesaurus.That said, this really does capture the essence of Calvin and Hobbes, to the point where the dialogue sounds authentically like something from the comics. I even wonder if there are parts that are directly lifted, but I trust that from what I know of you, I don't have to worry about that.

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