Monday, April 30, 2012

New Beginning 942

Some months after my cousin took a bad fall down the grand staircase of his home, I called on him for an extended stay. I arrived but a short hour before the doctor was to arrive for one last examination, and he, having burned off any inherent bashfulness at boarding school and again in the army, invited me to stay and chat throughout the examination.

The doctor struck a match and passed it before my cousin's eyes to watch his pupils follow it; snapped his fingers at either ear to see if he started. My cousin's joints were flicked and found adequate. The doctor seemed pleased with his recovery."

"Has your appetite been well?" he asked, writing mysterious marks into a notebook.

"Strong as ever," said my cousin. "Stay for tea and I shall prove it."

"And your libido?"

"Positively libid."

"And how have you slept?"

I saw my cousin hesitate for a slip of a moment before saying, "Never deeper. Never deeper."

"Appetite and libido good?" The doctor's face wrinkled his concern. "And yet you're sleeping deep? Hmmm."

The omnipresent author slipped my cousin a note. His face lit up, and he spoke with a renewed vigour.

"Maybe I've discovered some fantasy dream world the rest of this story will be about, in which I'm some testosterone-fueled centaur laird taking a stand against the nouveau teen vampire chic with hooves a-blazing."

"Might work," said the doctor, tossing aside his stethoscope, "but you reckoned without the Snake Lords of the Preposterous!"

As serpents slid from beneath his Red Cross poncho, I sensed it was time to play my own hand. It roared from my wrist, half Addams Family appendage, half Fireball XL5 rocket propulsion blast, and stabbed a series of alien-looking sigils into my cousin's bare chest.

EQUINE RELATIVE!
I SUMMON YOUR ASS
AS AN AMPUTEE WIZARD ENRAGED!
TOGETHER WE WILL BATTLE THESE SERPENT MEDICS!
AND SAVE ALL HUMANITY—

"Ha!" cried the doctor. "Your edict has fallen foul of the terminal navel. If you're gonna inscribe a call to arms on a torso, do it on a giant where there's more room to flow freely."

The omnipresent author slipped my cousin another note.

"Forget the horses and the snakes. Looks like we're going with romance."

No need for further words. The three of us embraced each other on the hospital bed. Then we kissed like harlots, ready to spawn some fantasy love child...


Opening: 150.....Continuation: Whirlochre

11 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:


The doctor continued to make mysterious marks in his notebook.
"And your bloodhound?" queried the doctor. "Does he bay?"

"He bays all night," said my cousin, "and if you will stop here tonight I shall prove it."

"Indeed," said the doctor, marking his figures. "And your cobra? Does he-"

"Gentlemen!" I ejaculated. "There is no need for this absurd innuendo. I shall retire. And really, doctor, those figures you are drawing are positively disgusting."

--AA

Evil Editor said...

P1: "He" sounds like the doctor.

"I arrived an hour before the doctor was to conduct his last examination" is a less-wordy way of beginning sentence 2.

P2: Quotation marks after "recovery?"

P3: Hard to believe the narrator is close enough to see what the doctor is writing in his notebook.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

LOL continuation.

Yeah, I also took "he" to be the doctor and thought it was damn high-handed of him to invite "I" to stay for the cousin's exam, even in Merrye Olde Englande, where HIPAA didn't apply. (Did doctors talk about libido in Merrye Olde Englande?) I also read "last examination" as meaning that Cousin was fittin' to turn toes up to the daisies.

I would quibble with stuff like two "arrive"s in one sentence, but really, this is probably the wrong place to start the story.

Start at the approximate point at which all hell breaks loose.

Anonymous said...

Agree, loved the continuation.

Author-- I'm guessing you can start at another point in the story that would provide more clarity about the benefits of continuing to read. As a reader, I have no idea what your story has to offer.

Dave Fragments said...

It's like a drive by shooting...

Good continuation.

If something important isn't said or doesn't happen in the next sentence or two, this is not the place to start.

khazar-khum said...

I don't know, AR, this isn't a bad place to start. It just needs clarity.

BuffySquirrel said...

This does create a Regency/Victorian feel, so if that's what you were going for, good :). Although 'positively libid' jarred in that context. Feels too modern.

Also, if the cousin's not married, then the question about his libido might be awkward. Altho if he is married, where's his wife?

Ditto me on the feeling that 'he' was the doctor.

150 said...

Sorry guys, there is no "another point in the story"--this and my next couple openings are from my false-starts folder. So make the continuations good 'uns. :)

BuffySquirrel said...

Wot, there isn't any more? *growls*

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Oh, you mean you're playing us?

/scowl

Fine.

Y'know I went to a doctor once who asked me a whole lot of questions of the "how's your libido" ilk, but failed to give me any diagnosis. The next day I went to another clinic and got a diagnosis of a sinus infection. Sans mention of libido. They just looked at my ears, nose and throat.

I think your cousin should fire Doc Pervy, even if he does make house calls, and get someone who asks him questions relevant to having fallen downstairs.

@ K-k, there needs to be some suggestion of conflict or risk or what's-at-stake.

150 said...

@Buffy - there's like 300 words more. They don't get any more interesting. Which is why it's in the False Starts folder. :)

@AKR - I'm not playing you, just doing my part to fill up the queue. There's always a chance I'll go back to these someday, anyway. I have a good feeling about Doc Pervy as a serial character.