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The External Narrative

Short story By: Kealan Coady
Other


An experiment in narrative.


Submitted:Jul 4, 2013    Reads: 4    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


1 A character of minor authority, some judges son. He is standing in the shining park waiting for a local dealer. The character is undercover on three levels. He is a fictional character that is a real life person who believes he is a character in a fiction story. Don. His name is not short for Donald, it's just Don. He watches as a flyer for a travelling circus flitters past his shins lifted by the wind. "Where is this guy? He's already a thousand seconds late." Then he sees him arriving from the direction of the bandstand. Along comes STOCK MALE CHARACTER NO.36 FAILED TO UPLOAD Don outstretches his hand. The arriving character fails to shake it and instead sits down on the bench. Don asks: "Do you have them." STOCK MALE CHARACTER NO.36 FAILED TO UPLOAD takes out a small box of twenty Tramadol tablets. "Where's the money?" Don passes over a twenty pound note and smiles and takes out a rolly and lights it looking up at the sun. "I'll probably need more next time is that okay Stock, can I call you Stock for short?" "My friends call me STOCK MALE CHARACTER NO.36" "Okay." Two chubby women with prams and short cropped hair pass along the path by the bench. The two main characters sit talking and developing the plot. To make them more believable it is advised that the reader at this point assign physical characteristics to each of them in order to create personality. Hair and eye colour. Clothes. Posture. Approach to blinking. Maybe one of them is smoking a cigar. If it makes it easier then just imagine them as actors from your local soap opera. When STOCK MALE CHARACTER NO.36 FAILED TO UPLOAD puts the money in his jean pocket he stands up and by moving his mouth in a certain way makes the noises "I'll see you next week same time." Don nods and watches him limp away on legs that resemble rusted stilts or antique pogo sticks. 2 The protagonist always needs something. What does Don need? Money? Work? More Tramadol? Maybe a love interest. Yes. Carla her name is. She is twenty something, blonde hair down past her hips, blue eyes that change to black as the sun's light dictates. She appears just like any other love interest until the sex scene in which the reader finds out about her scars. The scars are a back story. Carla has a dark and violent history. The ex - girlfriend of the infamous Toasted Sandwich Strangler. This killer strangled teenage girls in their showers but he only ever stabbed people he cared about. Carla was one. The reader may find it uncomfortable to hear how he raped her immediately after the stabbing but the disgust is slowly transformed into something warm as we learn that Don has taken on the role of looking after her. This may or may not add layers to the protagonist. But maybe he is cheating on her. A good story is never short of bastards. But the sub - plot female in this story is fairly innocent. She is not even aware that Don has another woman. Actually, the fact that Don is already married is completely unknown to her. Don has a wife and Carla is the mistress. And for someone with a devastatingly tragic past she is relatively mischievous. Often at night she will ask Don a question like: "When was the last time your wife gave you a blowjob?" Don looks at the dark, the four a.m. shade and the spits of shadows from passing cars and he says: "Just after the abortion." Silence shakes the room's hand. 3 Sunny park. Friends and families. Roundabout. Monkey bars. Sandpit for infants. Bench. With gentle strides STOCK MALE CHARACTER NO.36 FAILED TO UPLOAD arrives alongside Don and sits down. Don asks: "Did you get my message?" The other nods. "Forty," he says and hands over the mint and white box of pills. Don accepts them with a sort of grin and hands over the money. Saturday. No clouds. Both characters rise and set off towards two different, undescribed settings. 4 Why is he buying Tramadol? Undercover? The prescription drugs industry is fantastic for newbies. No. Though his father is a judge Don has never been inclined to live a life seeking justice. Who needs Tramadol? His wife is dying of cancer and nobody will believe her. The doctor tells her it's a phase. "Like stamp collecting," he says. (It is at this point the story has a fight or flight moment but instead of doing either it just sits here sulking and bleeding ink). 5 Before a return to the sub - plot something serious has to be defined. Cancer. Something to make the reader keep reading. Okay. The tablets his wife is on for her cancer are not enough so Don has resorted to buying pills on the sly. Is that good enough? No? His wife is lying in bed. They both know she doesn't have much time. "Come here," she whispers, rusty and frail. "I have something of the utmost importance to tell you." 6 From here a jump to a minor plot. Carla's past with the Toasted Sandwich strangler. After killing his victims he had an obsessive compulsion of stripping some of the flesh from thigh or shoulder propping it between two white slices and grilling it till the meat oozed from slits on the edges of the sandwich. He then feasted on the meal heartily. Carla was his young girlfriend who knew better but pretended not to. She never saw him eat human, had absolutely no clue what he was up to and then one day he just snapped and stabbed and raped her and disappeared. 7 "Come closer," she whispers. He does so by moving his entire skeleton alongside her to lie on the bed. "Yes, love?" "This cancer is an improvised joke that got out of hand." "It's not a time for joking," he says calmly, emotionally. His wife's lips are crusty and parted. "Seriously," she says, "I have a secret and I'm sorry but I couldn't tell you until now. It's a concept that my family has been entrusted to preserve down through the ages. For over five thousand years it has been passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son. What I am about to tell you will change everything you believe as reality, it will completely disturb your sense of normality and may bring on several intense panic attacks. In fact, what I am about to say is so outrageously interesting that it actually makes this story worthwhile." "What is it?" he asks wide eyed and mouth gaped. She tells him. 8 He is sitting on a bench in the park with the sun dangling like a pocketwatch in the sky. The other man approaches and takes a seat and sighs and says, "Just ten this time?" "Yep, my wife is about to die, I reckon i'll have some left over." He hands over the money and it is received by STOCK MALE CHARACTER NO.36 UPLOAD SUCCESSFULL "Congratulations," says Don, "But I think the reader needs some sort of twist to finish things. "Well then we'll just have to give them one," says John Smith and then begins to imagine what Don's shoulder would look like between two slices of bread.




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