Monday, July 30, 2007

The Great Comeuppance of Rufus Meriwether

It's creative writing time, boys and girls. Read this if you're into torture, and let me know what you think. I don't think I'm going to develop this much further for the minute, as I've got something grander stewing in the old cabasa, but I wanted to share it... so here:


There’s little rhyme or reason to our lives. We all enjoy the idea that there may be some greater plan for us, but we have no proof of any such design. We are simply left to have faith and cross our fingers that when it ends, we’ll find out.

However, the moment we grasp the fact that we’re mere mammalian oddities, the sooner we can get on with the whole thing and enjoy our short stay here. But that doesn’t mean we’re all destined for average lives, with average occurrences, and average endings. In fact, I’m of the school of thought that we can each have very distinct control over the things we do and the moments that define who we are. All it takes is a little planning, and a little ingenuity. But for some… greatness and success are not an option. They are feisty, ravenous beasts thrust upon them without warning. A shackle they must bear for better or for worse.

Such is the life of Rufus Meriwether.

With the exception of his rather uncommon name, Rufus was as ordinary as a suicide at the Internal Revenue Service office building. He enjoyed his unpalatable domestic beer. He reveled in watching rerun episodes of canned family sitcoms. And most of all, though he would not admit it aloud, he rather liked the way he blended into society. He fancied the way his brown hair sat boringly upon his normally shaped skull, and the way his black-rimmed glasses only helped characterize him as an “Everyday Joe”.

He wore simple slacks, with simple brown loafers, and simple white shirts with monotonously-patterned ties to his ridiculously small cubicle desk job each day. He never dared to work overtime unless the rest of the office was tasked with doing so, and he called in sick only once in his thirteen years on the job due to the fact that being absent would only draw more attention to him. You see, Rufus was the type of person that would quickly un-capitalize his own name for fear of standing out, if only those pesky rules of grammar would let him remain decidedly insignificant.

A lesson taught to Rufus at a young age was that being anything more than commonplace was not something to be proud of. In the days of his youth he had been an entirely different person. He dreamt of far away places, drew personalized cartoons of his imaginations, and often found himself in the backyard envisioning tales of his fantastic travels and acting them out accordingly. Only one day, when young Rufus decided to attend elementary school dressed in his full adventuring garb (a wizard’s pointed hat, tower-shield made of plastic, and his father’s snow boots), he was greatly taunted and ribbed and ridiculed to the point of tears and ultimately he ran home to cast off his preposterous paraphernalia and huddle up in a corner of his room. It was from this point on that the grown-up Rufus of our story began to materialize.

There now, don’t you fell better knowing all that? So we have Rufus Meriweather, and he is an absolute bore. I suppose I could have just told you that and been done with the whole opening description thing, but then what fun would that be?

The tale of Rufus’ unwanted turn of greatness, fame, heroism and all of that begins with a rather loud thud. This is the sound Rufus’ apartment floor resounded with when his body hit the floor. Rufus, like so many of us so often do, spent the entire evening lying flat on his back on the sofa, staring at his television as if waiting for it to do something unique. When at last it was time for him to retire to the bedroom, Rufus was overwhelmed with a rush of blood to the head and ergo he passed out, falling to the ground like so many pounds of dull, uninteresting flesh.


heather said...

A very antique style, for which it could be difficult to find readers these days. But well-executed and enjoyable!

Bildo said...

Thanks, Heather.

That's sort of been my problem in writing. I love that style, but the market doesn't.

I want to write YA Lit, but that requires a more even-handed delivery, more deliberate. So the other mentioned project is going forward with a slow and steady outline, and then I'll begin writing it with the intended purpose of being less archaic. :)

I'll let you know as soon as I have something to show. I'd love to get your feedback then.

Kanthalos said...

Good to see some more fiction getting into our blogs :) Can't wait to see what you're working on. Maybe you could start doing a weekly fiction post like I'm doing.

Heather said...

To be honest I often squirm when folks post fiction in their blogs and want feedback. I've been reviewing books for nine years, and I know the vast majority of people are really looking for encouragement, not "well, you've got some good basic ideas, but..." (usually even if they say otherwise) so I end up saying nothing at all most of the time. It's always great to find something I enjoy so I can honestly say so!

Bildo said...

That's awesome to hear, thanks Heather!

But when I post stuff and you do feel like reading it, PLEASE don't hold back. As soon as I get past the outlining stage of the YA story I'm working on, I'll be posting bits and pieces of it here as it's written.

I'll want you to be as brutally honest as you can. Because I'll need it all to be in tip-top shape before submitting queries and whatnot to agents and publishers.

It's an idea that's been worked on in my head for years, and is now undergoing a 3rd and major overhaul.

Bildo said...

Not just you SPECIFICALLY, but the collective "YOU" that is the 10 or so people that drop by on me from time to time. :)

heather said...

I'd kind of guessed from your online "demeanor" (so to speak) that you'd actually be one of those rare folks who really meant it when they said they wanted honest feedback (and knew what they were getting into).

IMO, the best way to go is just to always say what level of feedback you're looking for when you post something---e.g., "this is a first draft, so please point out anything major"; "this had been edited a few times, so nit-pick a bit"; "this should be nearly final, so rip it apart."

Not only do you tend to get better feedback (because it's closer to what you really need at a given stage), but folks often feel more comfortable giving feedback if they know what you're looking for and that they won't be considered nitpicking if they point out thus-and-such.

Bildo said...

Good point. When I next post some fiction, it'll come with a disclaimer tag, letting everyone know they can tear it apart as much or as little as they see fit.

That's ultimately the reason I'm posting it, you know?