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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Charlie Samson-Brown can't think of a story to write...But whom better to teach her than history's greatest writers?!?

Submitted: July 31, 2008

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Submitted: July 31, 2008

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Charlie ran, her pencilcase jingling helplessly.
Hrmm. Helplessly. Good word. She thought to herself. I’ll have to use that in the story. But Charlie did not know how she would use this word, because she had no idea what the story was.
She burst open the library doors and laid the pencils down on the table. A young librarian primly put away some thick, tattered novels. When Charlie tried to spot the strange mark on her neck, she turned sharply and glared at her. Charlie quickly turned towards her paper, which was blank.
Blank, like her mind.
She thought about her favourite authors. What did they do to make their stories so…so…so great? She sighed. “Shakespeare, I’ve let you down.”
“How could you possibly, young friend?” enquired a mysterious voice.
Charlie looked around, but couldn’t see who was saying it. At the end of Aisle R was a middle-aged man who was slightly balding, and had half-moon spectacles on his crooked nose. He had a pencil moustache, and burgundy clothing which was a robe and a puff sleeved blouse. His pants were embarrassingly short, and, to her surprise, Charlie noted the man’s disturbingly fuchsia tights.
He peered at her page inquisitively, then snorted. Charlie raised her eyebrows. If she didn’t know better, she’d say this man was…
“William Shakespeare!” cried the man, thrusting out his hand. He spoke with a thick British accent, and he looked at Charlie with a smug smile. “I see you have what we writers call; writer’s block! Yes, quite a pity. I would write something for you, but ‘tis not my burden! So here’s my advice; Make them cry, make them laugh, or make them scream; Anything to move the audience.”
Move them? Charlie thought. I barely know them, and I’m expected to make them instantly burst into tears.
“Mr, um, William Shakespeare, but I can’t write like that!”
He shrugged. “Child, I am considered the greatest playwright who ever lived. Trust me for once, won’t you?”
Charlie thought about it. She looked at her watch. In half an hour, she’d have to get home for dinner, and she wouldn’t have any more to study for the English essay.
“Mmm…’Kay. First things first-I need a title.”
William chortled. “It must be mysterious, and curious. Then, your adoring fans will flock to this new novel!”
Adoring fans, yeah right, thought Charlie. She quickly scribbled a title, when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
There was another balding man next to her, but he was rather different. He wore a shabby suit with a banana yellow tie, and his beetle-black eyes had a peculiar twinkle in them. His face was heavily lined from one too many smiles, and he had a merry aura about him.
Pointing at the page, Charlie was surprised to hear another English accent from him saying, “Over here-You spelt “mystery” wrong. There’s no “I” in the word.”
“First Shakespeare, now Roald Dahl?” Charlie cried as she looked at the man.
He blushed. “How’d you know I was Roald Dahl?”
“Eh, I’m a fan.”
“Well, that’s just funderful!”
“Sorry, what?”
“Funderful is a cross between fun an’ wonderful. Geddit?”
“Oh, I see. That’s quite clever.”
“Yes, it’s in all my books.”
“So using strange words makes your books popular?”
“I’m no boasting man, but it does help.”
Charlie bit her lip, then scribbled down something else on her plan. When she looked up, Roald was leaning back to peer down aisle T.
He smiled, then shouted out, “Hey! Hey Jane! Got another one ‘ere!”
I’m “another one?” How many people got to meet these guys?
She held her breath, curious as to who “Jane” was. When “Jane” appeared, however, she felt déjà vu. Had she seen Jane before? Somewhere? Jane was a rather short woman dressed in a deep emerald velvety gown with frothy white lace. Her face was fresh and round, and when she saw Charlie, she broke into a charming smile.
“Oh! I see. This is Charlotte, yes?” she said.
“Yeah, but people call me Charlie.”
She cocked her head. “I have not heard a name such as that before. I shall have to tell the Bronte sisters. One of them is named Charlotte, too, you know!”
There was an awkward silence, then Jane jumped.
“Oh! I almost forgot! My tip is to use romance.”
Charlie paused. Her heart stopped beating. Her blood froze.
“Romance? You…think I should write romance?”
Jane’s fine eyebrows furrowed. “Charlie? Are you well? You seem perfectly pale. I think you may be ill.”
“Yeah, I think so too! I cannot write romance! No! I can’t write about people…you know…kissing, and falling in love!”
“Then try it!” Jane went back to absent-mindedly thumbing through a tattered novel.
“She’s a good gal, Jane Austen is.” Said Roald admiringly. “Wrote a few of me favourites, she did.”
Jane Austen! Charlie was sure she’d know who she was. While she jotted something down on the sheet, she talked to Mr. Dahl.
“So, Roald-what’s the deal with all of…this?”
“All of what?”
“All of you guys coming here!”
“Well, it seems like you need help with writing, so…writers like me can probably help!”
“I know, but I still haven’t got an idea for the story.”
“Use inspiration from things that you know about.”
“Like…my dog?”
“Yes.”
“But Pickle isn’t all that interesting. Well, he did get electrocuted once, and his ears twitched like mad for at least a month.”
“Well, write about what could have happened next!”
Charlie licked her lips and did a few notes beneath her plan. She almost had her story! But when she looked up to tell Roald, he wasn’t there. But somebody else was.
The man looked rather similar to Shakespeare, yet he had rather long hair and a fuzzy goatee. He had icy blue-grey eyes, and a thin, sallow face.
“Charles Dickens.” She breathed nervously.
“The one and only.” He said in a modest voice. “It is rather difficult for oneself to believe that one would be having troublesome times with this story.”
“Urm, yes. Oneself is really, really stuffed up at the moment.”
“I see.”
There was an awkward silence, as Charlie tucked a piece of hair behind her ear.
“I believe that there is no simple way to put this, but death is one of the most interesting parts of a novel. I use it in many of my books-in fact, simply use tragedy. It brings sophistication and power to your novella.”
Charlie’s eyebrows rose slowly. “That…sort of makes sense.”
“It should.”
Thanks, Mr Charles Dickens!”
Charlie held out the page, and reviewed her story.
A MYSTICAL MYSTERY
By Charlie Samson-Brown
Once upon a time, there was an emotional dog called Pickle. It was so fuggy-duggy ding dong. Then it fell in love with another dooby-dog. It was hip-hop-happy. But then everybody died of death.
THE END!!!
She heard someone clear their throat. It was Shakespeare. “Well, erm…It’s a start. I mean, you did use my tip, but…using the word “emotional” doesn’t make a story into an emotion-filled epic.”
“Dooby-dog? Fuggy-duggy-ding-dong?” cried Roald Dahl. “You’re turning my trademark language into a laughing stock!”
Jane just cackled and tried to contain her snorts and giggles. “Th-the dog! It f-fell in love!”
Charles Dickens picked up her pencil and erased the ending. “No. No. No, this will not do. I will teach you the art of the literati if it’s the last thing I do.”
“Don’t act like the hero, Dickens.” Sneered Shakespeare. “We all know you ripped off my ideas.”
Jane wiped some tears away from her eyes. “You two are still argueing about that? Please, act like responsible adults!”
“Well, he started it!” cried Dickens.
Charlie coughed interruptingly. “Are you going to help me or not?”
They all wrote ideas and paragraphs until their fingers were tired and stiff. The story was complete, and guess what?
You’re reading it now.
By Charlie Samson-Brown


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