Author Archives: steve

Pitch: Bookmarked!

bookmarked

Bookmarked!
So that you don’t forget.

Paper, virtual, or mental.
Tell a story of some hot bookmarking action.

Project lasts two weeks: one story a week, 100 words a story.

Posted in 2012-06-04 to 2012-07-15 - Pitchin', 2012-09-10 to 2012-09-23, Pitches | Comments Off

Pitch: Decision, Consequence

network

Stories about the possibilities of every decision we make.

Week 1: a 300 word story that leads up to a decision.

Weeks 2, 3, and 4: each week, a 300 word story about the (different) decision made and the consequences of it.

Posted in 2012-06-04 to 2012-07-15 - Pitchin', Pitches | Comments Off

Pitch: Taxi!

taxi

Stories told in the 2nd person of an everyday ride that takes a turn for the unexpected. The ride should last about 250 words, and take about two weeks to write down.

Posted in 2012-06-04 to 2012-07-15 - Pitchin', 2012-07-16 to 2012-07-29, Pitches | Comments Off

Pitch: My Favourite Pair Of Shoes

shoes

Are they the brand new pair bought from big shiny sports store, or the roughed-up work boots found at the flea market? Why are they the favourite pair?

Write the story in 250 words over two weeks.

Posted in 2012-06-04 to 2012-07-15 - Pitchin', Pitches | Comments Off

Pitch: Infected

infected

The story of a new disease and Patient Zero.

Two weeks, 250 words.

Posted in 2012-06-04 to 2012-07-15 - Pitchin', Pitches | Comments Off

Pitchin’

Whoa, Nelly (And not the Elephant, the woman, or the man).

Due to overlapping holidays and things, Fictitious is going on a pseudo-hiatus for the next few weeks. We’ll be making more Pitches, ready for diving back into action near the beginning of July.

If you’d like to join us, do the register thing. It will instantly add 100 IQ points and make you more attractive to everyone!*

* disclaimer: some or both of these things may be untrue. YMMV.

Posted in 2012-06-04 to 2012-07-15 | Comments Off

Set 3

“And… Action!”

This will be the one. The one that gets me the nomination. The ones that gets me the award.

I’m fed up being mocked by… by everyone. Producers. Execs. Other directors. Even the goddam actors. I am a good director. I am *excellent* director. Remember the tapes: “You are empowered to be the center of your own excellence.” I am empowered to be the center of my own excellence. I am… shit, I am *something*, and it is great.

This will be the one. The perfect episode. Comedy. Tradegy. I’ll have the audience in tears of laughter one minute and tears of sorrow the next. The ratings will shoot through the roof.

And… glass smash! Fantastic. Great wrist work. The right amount of stiff, the right amount of limp. And… cue tear. Damn, he’s good. Look at that redness around the eye. Fantastic.

“And… Cut! This is gonna be the best damn episode of The Young and The Beautiful ever made. Great work boys!”

Posted in 2012-05-14 to 2012-06-03 - In the Eye of the Beholder | Comments Off

Set 2

Jesus, I can’t believe I’m still doing this after five years. I should have stayed on the stage. Or gone into porn like my agent was suggesting.
“Oh, hi, Honey.”
Eat olive, Smile.
I wonder if my smile still looks good.
“Just out. Relax, sweetie. I was thinking of you the whole time.”
Drink.
Oh, this day would have gone so much better if this was actually a martini and not just water. Evian, yes, but still. A shaken not stirred would be better.
“I’m fixing myself another. Want one?”
Jeffrey’s character hits glass, shatters, cries.
This is the *third* take for this ridiculous scene. It takes them ten minutes just to hoover up all the sugar glass. Christ, Peter, just move on. It’s not Shakespeare.
Turn around. Hunch. Tense.
“What if I was? At least he’s there for me when I need him.”
And… Scene. At last. Now for that drink. And wardrobe. And makeup.

Posted in 2012-05-14 to 2012-06-03 - In the Eye of the Beholder | Comments Off

Set 1

Lance unlocked the door and swung it open slowly. There was Rod, reclining on the couch, sipping a martini.
“Oh, hi, Honey,” he said, popping the olive into his mouth.
“Goddammit, Rod! I was worried sick. Where were you? It’s been days!”
Rod flashed his bright white smile at him.
“Just out. Relax, sweetie. I was thinking of you the whole time,” he said. He downed the drink. “I’m fixing myself another,” he said, waggling the glass. “Want one?”
Lance smacked it out his hand, sending it into the oak dresser and shattering it into a thousand pieces. A single tear rolled down his cheek and dripped on to his shirt, forming a small, heart-shaped dark patch.
“You were with him, weren’t you? With Dick.”
Rod turned his back on Lance, hunching his shoulders, and tensing his arms.
“What if I was? At least he’s there for me when I need him.”
Lance wiped his eye and sniffed.
“Then maybe he should just have you. Maybe I don’t love you anymore.”

“And… Cut! This is gonna be the best damn episode of The Young and The Beautiful ever made. Great work boys!”

Posted in 2012-05-14 to 2012-06-03 - In the Eye of the Beholder | Comments Off

Black Bavarian

Recipe:

  • 1 shot Kahlua
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1 shot Jägermeister
  • 1 pint Pilsner

Fill a glass with ice. Pour over the Kahlua and vodka.
Down in one smooth motion. Chase with the Jägermeister, poured into the Pilsner.

I haven’t had anyone ask me for one of these in years. Who told you about it? He still alive? Shit, have this one on the house. Tell him I said hi.
You know he invented this, right? He was sitting right where you are, about ten years ago. He was about six Black Russians to the wind and he couldn’t decide if he wanted to go home or go on. He ordered a shot of Kahlua, a shot of vodka, a shot of Jäger, a glass, and a pint of Pilsner. He stared at the drinks for a minute, then poured the Kahlua and vodka into the glass, downed it, poured the Jäger into the Pilsner, then downed that. Once I managed to wake him up, I called him a cab and sent him home. He was back the next night and ordered the same again: a Black Bavarian.

Posted in 2012-04-23 to 2012-05-13 - Hey, Bartender | Comments Off

Easter Island Iced Tea

Recipe:

  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1 shot tequila
  • 1 shot rum
  • 1 shot gin
  • 1 shot triple sec
  • 1 shot pisco
  • 1 shot cola

Pour the shots one by one into a highblass glass filled with ice. Give it a quick stir and serve quickly so that the bubbles can tickle your nose.

So we were backpacking around the world when we were in our 20s, like people do. We were sitting in some dive bar in Santiago and a guy comes up to us, halfway through a bottle of pisco, and tells us he can give us a great exchange rate for our dollars. While we’re trying to explain that we’re not American, he puts the finishing touches to our cocktails-in-progress with the remains of his bottle. The bartender hustles him out, assuring us he’s harmless.

The name of the drink? You’ve seen those Easter Island Maoi heads, right? That’s how yours feels the next day.

Posted in 2012-04-23 to 2012-05-13 - Hey, Bartender | Comments Off

Part 4: Fire

I drop to my knees in front of the pit. The roll of twigs strapped to my back feels suddenly heavy. I untie it and take a moment’s rest. The day is finally here. I will Become.

I pull the twigs out and start constructing the fire. The ritual is precise, clear on the specifics. Six twigs in the middle. Six in the next layer. Six on the outside. One across the top. I add a few more rocks around the pit and start the fire. As the scraps of brush catch, I sharpen my blade on my whetstone. I test the keenness of it on my forearm, as I was taught. It is sharp enough.

I feel the warmth of the fire through my makeshift boots. I say a brief prayer to the stars and begin the ritual.
I remove the pungent fish from its wrapping and slice it open. I smear one handful of its innards across my belly and swallow the other handful. I toss the rest on to the fire.
The worms are still wriggling as I grind them into a paste on one of the rocks. I mark my legs with their remains and lick my fingers clean.
The bird’s carcass is surprisingly tough; I have to scratch off a patch of feathers before I can slice its belly open. The blood I rub across my forehead drips down and into my eyes. I blink it away as I swallow chunks of its flesh.

And now the moment of truth. Without hesitation, I plunge my hand into the fire and scoop up three glowing coals. I stare at them for a moment, my skin sizzling, then throw them down my gullet to join the rest of the sacrifice. I cry out from the pain. 

I feel the change begin, deep inside my chest. My heartbeat slows; I feel a coldness in my fingertips and toes. I feel my insides morphing, moving. I close my eyes and plunge my knife into my belly, pull it across, and let free the beast.

Posted in 2012-03-26 to 2012-04-23 - Fire, Earth, Air, Water | Comments Off

Part 3: Air

I make sure feet are firmly planted on the rock, then I close my eyes and tilt my head back, stretch my arms out from my sides. I take slow, deep, breaths. There’s not much up this high, but on the light breeze I pick up hints of moss, and some smoke from a fire burning down the valley a ways off. I like it up here. It feels more peaceful. It’s nothing to do with noise, or crowds. I think it’s the bare rock. Not smooth exactly, but rolling.

I take my bow from my back and sit down to tighten the string. I’m not even sure what material this is. I found it on the dead body of a young man some weeks ago. No major marks or cuts, but dead. Most of his things had been taken already, of course, but a few remained: the bow string, some tobacco.

I hear screeching above me: hawk. A sparrowhawk of some kind, I think. I only have three arrows left. I lost two over a cliff on my last trip. I need to be more careful. I spend a few minutes tracking it across the sky. It must be searching for one of the rodents I felt scuttering across my feet earlier. Should give me a bit longer.

I take the hawk down on the third shot. I bag it, collect my other two arrows. The rodent that it almost caught stops for a moment, looks at me, then runs off.

Finally. Finally, I am ready. It has been a long day, but I will pick up my Water and Earth, and begin the long walk to the sacred place.

Posted in 2012-03-26 to 2012-04-23 - Fire, Earth, Air, Water | Comments Off

Part 2: Earth

I hang my satchel on a low branch, pick a fruit from one higher up. I don’t even remember what these are called. Red, fleshy, insides. That I remember. I sink my teeth into it and the juice dribbles down my chin. Tart, but it’ll do.

I watch the dark clouds drifting over the hills a ways off in the distance. I hope the rain holds off until tomorrow. I spit the pip into my hand, hold it up, examine it. Solid, wrinkly. Peach. It’s called a peach.

I take a few steps away from the tree, kicking around the dirt, looking for a more solid patch, but mostly finding dust. I find a patch that’s thicker, and lower myself to my knees. I roll my sleeves up, stretch and bend my hands around, then plow my fingers into the soil. I dig down a few handfuls, spreading the dirt around the hole. I sift through it – nothing. The dirt is deep under my nails and my fingers are starting to bleed from the sharp flecks of stone, but I keep digging.

Here. Worms. I pluck them out, wriggling, from the dirt. I pull the plastic bag from my back pocket and drop them in, one by one, then throw a handful of dirt on them to keep them fresh.

Two parts down, one to go.

Posted in 2012-03-26 to 2012-04-23 - Fire, Earth, Air, Water | 1 Comment

Part 1: Water

I stand very, very, still. Only my eyes are moving, watching it. My toes are going numb, but I stay very, very, still, waiting. I watch it swirling back and forth: approaching, retreating. It sees the food I’ve put down to lure it, but it also sees me. It is a cautious fish.

It. It. It. Why not he or she? I can’t tell this guppy’s gender from here, obviously, but I don’t recall people ever referring to fish as a he or a she. Maybe because it can be difficult to sex a fish. Maybe because nobody cares.

A small patch of the river darkens red as I plunge my makeshift spear down hard and fast, through the fish and into the silty bed of the river. The tip breaks, comes loose from the shaft, but it doesn’t matter: I have my fish.

I wriggle my toes and wade across to the shore. I make the required cuts, say the necessary words, then wrap the fish in canvas before throwing him into my satchel. I’ve decided it’s a boy.

Now for the other parts of the sacrifice.

Posted in 2012-03-26 to 2012-04-23 - Fire, Earth, Air, Water | Comments Off

Fire, Earth, Air, Water

Project Spectrum Elements by LollyKnit on Flickr

Tell us a story in four parts:

  • Fire,
  • Earth,
  • Air,
  • Water.

The whole story should be about 1,000 words (completed over four weeks), but each piece can be as long or as short as you like.
You can use the elements in any order, but must use them all.

Posted in 2012-03-12 to 2012-03-25 - Who Pitches the Pitchpeople?, 2012-03-26 to 2012-04-22, Pitches | Comments Off

Hey, Bartender

It’s been a rough day.
I need me a drink.
Something… with a kick.
Hey, bartender, what’s your signature drink?
What goes in it? Yeah, make me one of those.
How the hell did you come up with that anyway?

Manager says you’ve got one week.
And keep it short: name, recipe, and 100 words for the story.


Pic adapted from Cocktails 4 Two on Flickr.

Posted in 2012-03-12 to 2012-03-25 - Who Pitches the Pitchpeople?, 2012-04-23 to 2012-05-07, Pitches | Comments Off

The Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle, that is.
UFOs? Icebergs? Mermaids?
Share with us a story of a vessel, sea or sky, that was lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
Schlock preferred.

Our sources suggest that the story would take two weeks, and be about 250 words long.


Pic adapted from Boat in Bermuda on Flickr.

Posted in 2012-03-12 to 2012-03-25 - Who Pitches the Pitchpeople?, Pitches | Comments Off

Mrs Peacock, in the ballroom, with the dagger

“Hmm, yes?” She turned around to see him bowed deeply, hand proferred.
“Would you care to dance?” he asked, a confident, broad, grin across his face. She made him wait a few moments, then took his hand.
“Well, okay, just the one. I’m waiting for someone, and I wouldn’t want to miss them.”
“Of course.”

Her eyes kept darting to the door as they spun and twirled around.
“Welcome: I’ve not seen you here before.”
“Oh, I used to be a regular. Many years ago, though.”
“Really? I’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember your face.”
She stopped her surveillance of the door for a moment: “I’ve changed a lot since those days. I hardly recognise myself.”
“Well, might I say you look magnificent now, Miss…”
“Peacock. Mrs. Thank you. Very kind of you.”
She spotted movement at the doorway. It was him. Tall, thin, same old leather jacket.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to excuse me. My friend has arrived.” She stepped away as their twirl took them past the doorway.

“Hello, brother,” she spat, reaching for her concealed dagger.
“Hello, brother,” he replied. “I can always smell you. No matter how you change your body, your face. You stink of the vat. Green eyes now, I see.”
She plunged the dagger deep into his chest and was out and away before he hit the ground.
“Dammit, brother,” he groaned, pulling out the dagger, his skin closing around the wound.
“I say. Are you all right?” his brother’s dance partner asked.
His tightened his bloody grip on the dagger.

Posted in 2012-02-13 to 2012-03-11 - Get a Clue(do) | Comments Off

Reverend Green, in the cellar, with the revolver

“Then the actress said: ‘And that’s as big as it’s going to get!’ Honestly, I nearly wet myself laughing,” Reverend Green said, putting down his cup of tea and passing his handkerchief to Mrs Winsham.

“Oh, thank you, Reverend,” she said, dabbing away the tears of laughter at her crow’s feet. “Oh, goodness me. I feel so much better. Thank you so much.”

“A pleasure, Mrs Winsham. I’ll be here whenever you need a chat.” He smiled softly at her as he plucked another Hob Nob from the plate.

Mrs Winsham took a final sip of tea and gathered her things. She nodded at him and waddled down the church aisle and out into the soft evening sun.

His hands twitched. A little rain of crumbs fell on his lap. I just need to pop down to the cellar. Just to make sure it’s still there; still safe. He caught sight of himself in the mirror: nibbling away like a squirrel at a nut. Just need to hold it again. He set off toward the cellar.

He pressed his hand against his chest. The key was still there. He pulled off his dog collar and rolled up his sleeves as he pushed open the heavy oak door leading down to the cellar.

He let his eyes adjust to the dark for a moment, then strode purposefully across the hard stone floor to the small lockbox in the farthest, darkest, corner. He opened it and picked up his old service pistol and breathed in the oily, metallic, smell.

“I’ve missed you, old friend,” he whispered, as Mrs Winsham flicked on the lights and her eyes opened so wide he thought they might pop out of her head.

Posted in 2012-02-13 to 2012-03-11 - Get a Clue(do) | Comments Off