Goodness, gentle readers and assorted riffraff– yours truly truly did tackle the writing prompt I made up out of thin air for some vague sarcastic point in riptide. Lesbian giraffes attacked by a giant squid sent by Jesus. I imaginatively called it The Giant Squid and wrote it in an afternoon’s passing. A little over five thousand words. I made up this sort of coastal community peopled by animals acting like people, ala Zootopia and every other fucking animal-based whathaveyou where the animals talk. Wind in the Willows, Watership Down, Duncton Wood, The Plague Dogs, Animal Farm, the Velveteen Rabbit, the Jungle Book, Redwall series, the Narnia Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web, James and the Giant Peach, the Last Unicorn, the Tale of Despereaux, Babe the Sheep-Pig, the Tale of Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Stuart Little, the Trumpet of the Swan…
Here’s the big reveal:
I LOVED WHAT I CAME UP WITH.
It had an odd gentle fairy tale feel to it. I kept the sickening violence and adult language mostly to off-stage and not written into the tale at all levels. Yes, the squid does attack the elderly alcoholic zebra [you read that right] but the zebra dies of fright and shock and a heart attack. I just found all this…stuff pouring out of my suddenly revved up little brain and flowing out through the medium of my flying fingers. Words formed! Entire paragraphs bloomed! I smiled the whole time I composed! I wanted to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I grew to really like the voices that developed among my various characters, even the not so likable ones. I grew to completely SEE this little village of Deadlion’s End set right on Beastface Bay. A cozy little collection of houses and cottages! That there were other communities and settlements up and down this imaginary coastline of mine. Driftwood and Seagull’s Feather and Starling’s Wing and Froggy Pond and Deadlion’s End! That there were hidebound laws and traditions. That some were trying to change those laws and traditions. That it seemed this little world had been waiting for me to discover it. It seems all there, I just have to write about what I observe in my brain’s widescreen, featuring Dolby Surround sound, inner movie theatre.
Even now, I want to dive back into this insular world. To explore it. See what pops up over in Froggy Pond, which is not so welcoming to visitors anymore, or if Teddy, the Irish Wolfhound, actually does have a litter of illegitimate puppies with a loose Labrador over in Furcape. Which is the nearest big city to Deadlion’s End or just the End as inhabitants along this coast of mine refer to it…
Now, I do have a second tale about the Beastface Bay-ites completed. About the mixed species couple that run the antique shop in Driftwood, just down the road from the End. It turned rather dark, but I am a rather dark writer most of the time, and it was also funny. What unfolded I just let unfold. I got out of the way of the story that wanted to be told. I called a whale Bluebell. I invented a sullen little feud between turtles and goldfish. I wanted to next tackle life in Froggy Pond, and why the two turtles fled its confines. I want to explore what happens to the one goldfish, Liam, that escaped the nighttime massacre of the fish pond he once dwelled in. I want Judy, the otter, and Burt, the weasel, exposed and yet I don’t want them caught for what they did, because that’s real life and people get away with all manner of stuff all the time, that’s real life. But these are talking animals living in houses and selling teapots for a living. So?? The creatures that live along Beastface Bay honeyfuggle me into telling their stories. They entice me. I am enticed.
The ideas are churning through my brain meat. I need to make notes and write down names. I need to map out relationships and who said what to whom. I need to write write write. Compulsion roils through me. It’s fantastic.