Monday, 20 May 2013

First Draft



(a writing prompt from Trifecta)
No more than 333 words inspired by:


At seventeen years old Jackson Stryker was the youngest Warp Agent in the Paradox Police.   He strode from his office clutching the silver edged telegram that had been delivered mere moments ago

“The game is afoot,” he said, brandishing the telegram, “My nemesis has returned.   This telegram is from Baron Von Stark himself gloating about his latest mischief.   He and his Nihilinuns have simultaneously abducted our President’s daughter at five separate points in her life and he’s threatened to kill them all in order, youngest to oldest unless we accede to his demands,”

“That son of a bitch,” growled Sergeant Bull, “What does he want this time?”

“Money, Pete,” said Stryker, “and lots of it.   But I’ve no intention of paying a penny.   Here’s the plan...”

“What are you writing?” asked Edgar looking at the laptop.

Irritated at being broken off my tone was sharper than it had to be.  “It’s a prompt for Trifecta,” I said, “Thought I’d try a science fiction piece this time.  Light touch instead of all that dark gothic stuff, you know a bit Harry Harrison maybe.”

Edgar did not look impressed and made a disapproving noise as he read down the screen.
“Seventeen years old?  And he’s already got a nemesis?  Really?”

“Why not?” I replied, “All heroes need a nemesis.”


“Yeah.. but come on.  When did he start being a cop?  Kindergarten?   And Von Stark?   Forget it.”


“Why?”

Edgar sniffed.  “Hero called Stryker, villain called Stark.  Too similar.  You’ll confuse people.”

“Alright I’ll change the name,”  I started to edit. “How about Von Wrath?”


“The Pit Bull joke is too obscure,” Edgar said, “And if your villain kills the hostages youngest to oldest, the older ones will all disappear before they can be killed.”

“For a talking cat you’re damned pedantic,” I said, “that’s the whole point.  Paradox Police.  Time travel.”


“Makes no sense.  And you’re one word over the three hundred and thirty three word limit.”

I glanced down at my word count.

“No I’m

58 comments:

  1. Ha!ha!A talking cat named Edward?Too good!I can't stop laughing and I have to agree with your cat that ,“And if your villain kills the hostages youngest to oldest, the older ones will all disappear before they can be killed.”But on the other hand I would have loved to read sci-fi from you-that too a light one,wow!

    Though not being American, I missed all the finer nuances and references(Harry Harrison,Pit Bull)but still it was so thoroughly enjoyable :D

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    1. I'm English myself, but have always enjoyed the lighter toned science fiction (such as Harry Harrison's work) over the more serious sciencey stuff. That said I'm really glad you enjoyed this piece. Cats make natural pedants I think.

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  2. The game sure is afoot! I loved this, Thomas! All 333 clever words of it!

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    1. Thanks Valerie, I'm really happy you enjoyed it.

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    1. Glad you liked it :D The wordcount restriction is sometimes the bane of my life so I thought it fair to make that a story element.

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  4. I SOOOOO love the end!!!

    Awesome.

    Best,
    MOV

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    1. Really pleased you liked it - thank you

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  5. Absolutely loved it!! Things were looking grim at the beginning - loved the twist around. Still smiling!

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    1. Thank you - I'm so glad I put a smile on your face - and thanks for the mention on Twitter, much appreciated.

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  6. Consider my hat to be tipped in your direction! Brilliant on many levels! Loved the inter play between the cat and the writer. Damn cats have all the best lines and know far more that we can ever imagine! You are a wonderful writer. Thanks for a wonderful read. :)

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    1. Thanks Tom, you're so write about the cats. And not only do they know more than we imagine, they think they know even more than that!

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  7. Ha ha! Wonderful story!! Great ending! I was really getting into the story but Edgar did have a few good points. I was wondering, myself, how he was going to kill the president's daughter from youngest to oldest in five points of time --- perhaps just to make sure she was dead? That cat doesn't miss a thing. Would you consider hiring him out?

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    1. With pleasure! And thank you for the comment

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  8. You know I was thinking about the whole young-to-old thing too and I was all ready to point it out in my comment (: Great piece.

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  9. Love it, love it, love it. Nicely done.

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    1. Very kind of you - I'm glad you enjoyed it

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  10. Cats think they know everything! I'm not into serious sci-fi, so I truly enjoyed the humor in this :)

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    1. Think they know everything? You mean they don't??

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  11. I love how you went all meta with this. I was actually wondering how the youngest-to-oldest killing would work, but Edgar beat me to it. Brilliant. And the ending was quite clever.

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  12. OMG instant love, instant love <3 It is so brilliantly meta! This is why I hide all my manuscripts from my talking teddy bears and the two-headed muse. (Jeez, I really love the Paradox Police too. And what are Nihilinuns? This is just too PRECIOUS!)

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    1. I can't ask for more than that :D Thank you

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  13. You've clearly read a lot and it's come through by way of your references to the tropes from those books. I enjoyed the switch from science-fiction detective story to comedy to talking cat as well :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed things - I don't get as much time to read these days as I'd like but I hope to remedy that.

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  14. I agree that the literary references here are fantastic and I would actually argue that cats do know everything which is why they can spend so much of their time being precious. I, of course fell for it all and actually laughed out loud at this line: “Thought I’d try a science fiction piece this time. Light touch instead of all that dark gothic stuff, you know a bit Harry Harrison maybe.”

    Because I did actually think to myself, Oh, my, Thomas is going for Sci-Fi this week!

    Fun read!

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    1. Glad I could raise a chuckle - and that you liked the story. I had fun writing it.

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    1. Thank you Lyssa - glad you liked it!

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  16. Very creative, I really liked this.

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  17. What a fun, creative take on the prompt! Love that Edgar is a cat. Well done!

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    1. He enjoys being a cat too - who wouldn't! Glad you liked this

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  18. Thoroughly amusing. I liked the way the word limit creeped up and then the story ended abruptly. Very clever.

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    1. Thank you - and the word count does that to me every time!

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  19. Thomas, I love you. Not just because you can write in so many genres, but also because the cat pointed out the thing that was bugging me about the order of killing the hostages.

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    1. Really glad you liked this piece - thank you so much

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  20. OMG. Why is this week community judged? I've found my winner. :-) I love this, Thomas. LOVE. Quick note--some concrit for readability, you need a comma after "Irritated by being broken off".

    Don't forget to come back and vote at the end of the challenge. Good luck!

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    1. You're too kind :D Thank you very much for the feedback & I shall certainly be voting.

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  21. Interesting story with a fun ending! Win-win!

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  22. Very clever. For a minute I thought you'd lost your POV, but then when I realized what you were doing I had to smile. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Dee, I only ever lose my POV in real life :D

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  23. That was fun! I'm glad cats can't talk. Damn know-it-alls.

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    1. They can, they just don't lower themselves to talk to "unsophisticated hairless chimps" (not my words, Edgar's). Glad you liked the story.

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  24. I absolutely love the way this played out. Brilliant. :)

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    1. Thank you Your Inner Chick -glad you liked it.

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  26. I'm reading this secretly. Don't want my cats to get any ideas.
    I enjoyed this, the shift in POV was great. Give Edgar's treat.

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    1. But imagine what they are secretly reading while your eyes are not on them! Thank you for your comment, glad you liked the story.

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