Friday, July 24, 2009

Wordzzle 73 - Life on the river

This is my contribution to this week's Wordzzle. Wordzzle is a game in which each week word lists, used to create stories, are given on the blog Views from Raven's Nest. Participating users post their stories on their own blogs.

This is the seventeenth time I've played the game.


Ten Word Challenge:

riverboat,
procrastinaton,
drank,
demons,
invisible,
candle,
enough,
film stars,
summer job,
computer


The film stars on the riverboat drank heavily, haunted by demons visible and invisible. The movie was supposed to take just a few weeks to film, just a short summer job, but it was dragging on forever. The director kept reshooting scenes, and having new ones written, and then demanding the rewrite of half the script, but it never seemed to be enough. When it came time to shoot the scenes, though, many times he would just sit there, looking like he was afraid to do anything. It was starting to seem like it would never be finished. Even the stars were getting late to show up now, not caring much about it any longer. Procrastination was rampant.

Then the computers and all the electronic equipment got flooded when the riverboat hit a rock. The movie was being shot digitally and all the scenes that were shot were lost. Even the latest versions of the script were lost. All that remained were paper copies that were largely outdated.

The scriptwriter sat on a rock on the river bank in the darkness, frantically trying to write down all he could remember. Beside him, a few candles burned, giving off a dim light. Nearby, the director paced. Every now and then he would say, "Why don't we do this instead..." and the scriptwriter would write down the new suggestion, then try to come up with a way to work it in that seemed halfway believable. From somewhere in the darkness, surrounded by a greater darkness, a hand, or something like a hand, reached up toward the sky.

It began to rain. The candles went out. The scriptwriter began to weep, silently, the tears mixing with the rain. The director continued to pace. "You know, we could work something like this into the script. I can just see it. The riverboat hits a sandbar, and they all have to get off, to lighten the boat and make it easier to get it unstuck, then a big storm comes up..."

The rising water washed over the scriptwriter's feet, and he got up and moved away from it, clutching his soaked pages, when he tripped over a root and fell, then slid into the river. The pages floated away. He floundered around and finally caught a projecting root and pulled himself back on the bank. It came to him then that the pages were gone. He had been writing on the latest printed copy of the script, which meant that that was gone, too. He felt his pockets. Even his pens were gone. All he had left was a strange little idol his cousin had given him, something he had picked up in South America.

He sat on the bank and wept some more, than got up and cautiously made his way back through the darkness. The director was still talking. "They heard the distant sounds of banjo playing, and they went toward it, hoping to find shelter..."

In the darkness something laughed, silently, unheard.


Mini Challenge:

general demeanor,
surprisingly,
masked man,
reach,
standards


The general demeanor of the invisible masked man didn't reach the standards of most people, but he figured, not surprisingly, who could tell?


Mega challenge:

riverboat,
procrastinaton,
drank,
demons,
invisible,
candle,
enough,
film stars,
summer job,
computer


general demeanor,
surprisingly,
masked man,
reach,
standards


I drank some more, and watched the riverboat go by. I hadn't been much for procrastination before, but I seemed to be getting a handle on it. Not too much had happened lately. Calling it lately may have been optimistic, as it had been going on for years.

Film stars walked by, pretending not to be film stars. Some kids went by on skate boards. No summer jobs for them, I guess. A bum walked by, talking animatedly to an invisible friend. I thought of saying something to him, but he seemed far enough gone already.

Then a masked man came by and pointed a gun at me, and demanded all my money. I told him I would have to get back to him. He hesitated, but evidently sensed something, or saw something in my general demeanor, and surprisingly turned around and left. I had plenty of money of course. More than enough for me and anything I wanted to do. I could have created an interesting little situation with the would-be robber, but I couldn't seem to get up much enthusiasm for it. Maybe next time.

I reached for the bottle and poured another drink. There was a time when I had better standards, but it was in the receding past, becoming a blur of memory.

The day was fading into evening. I lit a candle and gazed into it for a while. It didn't tell me anything new. Out in the river, another boat went by, mostly invisible in the darkness. I didn't have any trouble seeing it, of course. There wasn't much I missed, if I cared to take the trouble to notice it. I was caring less and less about taking the trouble, though.

A man came to a table, then, not far away, and started working on something on his laptop computer. I raised my glass in a toast to it, and took a sip. The computer screen turned blue and a cryptic error message appeared. The man cursed, and slammed it closed and threw it in the river. I grinned, and had another drink. The day wasn't a total loss after all. I had managed to do at least one good deed.

At least good as far as demons went.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Raven said...

A day in the life of a demon. Very clever. Interesting as always.

7:44 PM, July 25, 2009  
Blogger DawnTreader said...

Demons destroying creativity. Always suspected they were around...

Good writing, I got caught up in it.
:)

12:19 AM, July 26, 2009  
Blogger CJ said...

Three excellent stories. I especially liked the last. I think all of us, at one time or other, would like to throw our computers into the river. My husband often says, "Technology gives us power, but it doesn't make us happy."

2:28 AM, July 26, 2009  
Blogger Valerie said...

I particularly liked the last story. You have a great writing talent.

4:14 AM, July 26, 2009  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

The first story has the making of a film! :)

You have won the Great Imagination Award #2 - pop by and collect. :)

4:40 AM, July 26, 2009  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

These are just amazing!

7:27 AM, July 26, 2009  
Blogger Dr.John said...

You are just great with words and the stories you create are first rate.
I like the first one best.

2:27 PM, July 26, 2009  
Blogger bettygram said...

They were all great. I liked the last one. The mini was cute.

4:02 PM, July 26, 2009  

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