So, I pondered breaking up this last piece, but I figured I would just go ahead and post it. This short story/excerpt created a most curious response: THUNDEROUS SILENCE. I have posted a variety of material on my site, and I always get some kind of feedback. Here, nothing. Should I worry? Not sure, although being from my book I had hoped for something. HEADSCRATCHER LEVEL 10.
Hmmm, I do know that websites are perhaps not the best medium for fiction, although many folks do it just fine. Short pieces seem to do much better, and I get that. I figure I can either think, hey maybe my book really stinks, but honestly some very respectable folks have told me otherwise. I will say that as a small part of a much greater whole, it barely scratches the meta aspect of my novel and don’t let the simplicity and the absurdity of the story fool you, I mean to BURN THEIR PALACES DOWN.
Enjoy, and hey, why not share your thoughts? I very much welcome them.
…A day later, Jacob awoke to the beeping and booping of the native boys’ electronic games. Pulling himself out of his economy digs, he opened his tired eyes to the glory of a busy tribe at work with the daily chores. Jacob decided to walk over to Scratch’s Dart Swinger and stretch out a bit. As he walked across the camp, various members of the tribe waved and exposed various parts of their bodies.
“How utterly charming,” Jacob pronounced. Arriving at Scratch’s car, Jacob was promptly greeted by the manly leader.
“How the hell are ya?” Scratched asked.
“Dandy. Just dandy. What do we have in store for today?”
“Buddy, let me tell you, it’s gonna be a great day. I’m gonna have you come with me on a trading deal with the King of the Go Blow village, then we might visit one of the other tribes that wander this area. But first I have something to tell you.”
“What’s that, Scratch?”
“J, You don’t know how glad I am that you came out here. We sure had a blast the other night, and my people seem comfortable around you. And the bottom line is that we would like you to become an honorary member of the Dodge
If you have ever been an adventurer/explorer (WSM, A/E), or have ever known one, then you know this is an offer that makes their pants wet. “Why, It would be an honor, Scratch.”
“Exactly. What it boils down to J, is that we need some exposure. That’s why I sent the release out. We need a man of your stature to do a nice, glossy travelogue and get us a bigger name. Think you can do it?”
“Why Scratch, consider it done.”
“Good. Now listen. This week we’ll just get down to business and you can walk around and observe and write down what you see. I assure you that I’ll have Full Access Press Passes set up for you so you can do what you do best. At the end of the week I’ll clue you into the final stage of your acceptance.”
Scratch and Jacob shook hands on the deal and so it went. The next week proved to be a highly educational and rewarding exchange of cultures that can be seen in the runaway bestseller The Dodge and I: The Continuing Adventures of Jacob P. Smorelv, on sale now, soon to be a major motion picture. However, due to certain Tribal Limitations, Jacob was not allowed to write about his final stage of acceptance into the tribe. However, various hints of evidence have been pieced together here for a Dramatic Recreation:
On that fateful morning, Scratch woke Jacob up early, so that they could leave the encampment without waking the tribe. The two friends walked in the early mist.
“Now is the time to conclude your greenhorn status. I will walk with you for many miles until we come to the Warrior’s Grove. It is there that you will engage in the time-release ritual.”
Jacob nodded and cleverly disguised his nervousness. “Of course, time honored, umm, release,” he said.
The invigorating preparatory hike was a good time for Jacob to gear up for the enigmatic ritual. As they walked through the wilderness, the serene surroundings calmed the adventurer down. Aside from the occasional early rush
Traffic Copter, the scenic hike proved a most valuable time killer. Eventually they reached the grove.
It was a large circular clearing surrounded by ancient trees. In the dead center was a beanbag, to which Scratch motioned.
Jacob plopped down into the cushy seat.
“J, this is the Warrior’s Grove. All members of the tribe must come to this grove once in their life and commune with the Great One. You sit in the comfortable, form-fitting seat of time-honored tradition. Around you is a circle of old TV sets, which will be tuned in to a variety of entertaining channels. You are to sit here until you see a vision, a vision that will help the tribe in some way.”
Jacob nodded. “I understand. Piece of cake.”
Scratch continued. “In order to help bring about your vision, you will consume various cherry flavored Cough Syrups. Take these bottles and consume them now.”
Jacob took the bottles of Syrup from Scratch, and with great bravado, threw away the dosage cups that they came with. He proceeded to guzzle the medicine down.
“It is with deep admiration that I leave you to the Great One. May you score for our team,” said Scratch. The mighty warrior chief then turned and left the grove. Jacob’s head began to swim. As he watched the tubes flicker with informercials that became cartoons that became shouting preachers that became revolutionary new products, he felt his head weigh him down, and he slumped even further.
“Must remain vigilant,” he thought. “Vigil rust memains,” he said as he passed into blackness.
Day became night and it was the national anthem blaring on one of the TVs that brought Jacob into consciousness. Trying to shake off the cough syrup’s veil of obscurity, he looked about the grove. In the distance, there was a glimmer of light.
“Or was there?” though Jacob.
Yes, there was a light. A flashing point of blue light off in the distance. Knowing that it must be special, Jacob got up off his butt and ran for it. Although the light seemed far off, it was easy to get to and it was not long before Jacob reached it.
And there it was, a glorious flashing blue light suspended in the air, and below it, were boxes and boxes of new and exciting hair care products that the tribe was sure to enjoy. This was it! This was the sign that would assure Jacob an entry-level position in the tribe.
“Hey,” a disembodied voice boomed from above. “I thought you were gonna save some for me.”
Jacob tried to shake off the ultra strength cold medicine and look around the room. Looming over him was his good friend, the King.
“The Great One,” was all Jacob could say.
“Of course it’s all you can say, you’re all jacked up on the cough syrup we were supposed to share. I can’t trust you with anything. And you’ve got my toys allover the room.”
The King stormed out of the room, his face twisted into a mean pout. Jacob cracked a drunken smile.
Another adventure for the books.