Stories I’m Glad I Never Wrote

My journey as a writer – or very verbose wannabe – is paved with unfinished projects. Some of which, I can say, I’m proud to have started and hope to someday return to. Others were so mind-wrenching bad, they instilled a permanent wince of pain just by invoking them. Several stories in my arsenal should never come to pass, as idea or inkling.

How they entered my mind, I know not. A few were dreams made manifest in plot form, the rest…ramblings of a village idiot.

How bad?

Well, congratulations, you will now be subjected to them. Below is a generous helping of steaming, putrid plots I discarded for the betterment of society. I present them here as a reminder of why I didn’t write them. Even in tight summary, they make me groan. If you – fair reader – should find inspiration from them, tell me why. Why, God, why???

PsyKit

Origin:

I think I was in the 6th grade when I came up with this little shit-nugget. No other explanation is needed.

Plot:

A young boy receives a blotch-tabby kitten for Christmas. He soon discovers that there’s something different about it. It reacts to things before they happen.

The boy’s father – a military contractor – also takes note of their new pet’s strange behavior and mentions it in passing while at work. His superiors take an interesting in this anomalous feline and whisk (or whisker?) it away from the unsuspecting family. The boy is devastated when he discovers it missing.

The father, feeling guilty, stages a daring rescue with the boy in tow. Together they storm the military base in the hopes of locating their lost family member. For some reason (and I have no clue why) there are a lot of explosions, people die…and the kitten is rescued.

Only to die moments later.

Reason for Discard:

Weren’t you reading? I killed a kitten!

Best Blade in the West

Origin:

I was making the ten-hour drive from Reno to Portland, weather was crappy, and I was going through the winding pass of Hwy 80. That’s all I’ve got.

Plot:

I didn’t really have one. The only notion that came to mind was a typical Wild West scenario, except no one had any guns. In fact, guns had never been developed. Everyone used swords! Broadswords, scimitars, claymores, hatchets, axes, battle-axes, you name it! The hero – a mysterious man named Cale McHale – would’ve been someone returning home from some pilgrimage to Japan where he learned the ways of the Samurai.

As to whom he had to fight, well, I never got that far.

Reason for Discard:

After several initial looks of “Huh?” from people, I finally thought it best to put this to pasture. I mean, the hero’s name was Cale McHale, for God’s sake.

Gashton

Origin:

It came to me in a dream…what?

Plot:

An Asian medical student is saved from some unsavory predicament by a classmate. Before she could thank him, he leaves. Relying on what little information she has on him, she learns he was a new student from a small town by the California-Nevada border, a place called Gashton. She convinces a few friends to join her on a road trip over spring break.

Gashton turns out to be someplace quite different than she imagined. The local sheriff is a retired security guard. The local loony bin is a converted Victorian house with only one patient and one resident. Said patient is also the leader of the town’s local religion, a cult to a mysterious alien called “Zuntan”. The idol is a bottle of suntan lotion…with the letter “S” printed backwords, hence the “Zuntan” origin.

Weredeer populate the periphery of town, man-eating gophers are a regular menace, and the mayor only appears in person every once in awhile. The rest of the time he’s a disembodied voice that everyone in town can hear. The girl also learns that everyone in the town is over a century old, but they don’t know what year it is.

She finally encounters the boy who saved her, who turns out to be the other resident of the town loony bin.
Creeped out by the berg’s inhabitants, her friends decide to leave. She chooses to remain permanently, taking a job as the town’s sole nurse. Not that they really need a nurse, since everyone appears in perfect health.

One of her friends returns to town to see how she is. He has aged considerably. She hasn’t aged at all. Twenty years have passed since she first entered town. To her, it barely seemed a day. A very long day.

Gashton is unstuck in time.

Reason for Discard:

For awhile, I actually liked this idea, but I had no clue how to write it. Nor did I have a sense of what sort of readership I was aiming for. In the end, I just attributed it to being a very bizarre but intriguing dream. Such as it was.

Punishment E

Origin:

I hate rape in stories or movies. Can’t stand it. I remember trying to read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and threw the book down when there was a rape scene within the first forty pages. It made me sick. Another example, the movie Showgirls. I walked out of the theater shaking with rage. I paid for a skin flick, damn it! Not that crap.

Which is odd because things like tentacle-demon hentai have never bothered me, probably because those are so far removed from reality to be considered bothersome…or even a turn-on.

I was having a conversation with several women, and one of the topics brought up was the best punishment for rape. Each gal had her theory. I, being the only male of the group, was asked to chime in with my thought. Instead I gave them a scenario…

Plot:

A human traveler visits an alien world called Saeyiris, a perfect pleasure paradise. The inhabitants are a humanoid offshoot, blueish purple in appearance, velvetine to the touch. The women emit strong pheromones, the men lay eggs, and both genders are considered carnal treasures by all beings across the galaxy.

Pilgrimages to this carefree world are commonplace. Saeyirians welcome vagabonds of all types. No other world is this egalitarian. They have one rule, however. Everything that is done must be done so with consent. No one has ever violated this rule.

Until now.

A man knowingly rapes and kills several Saeyirian women, forming a necklace out of their severed privates. The man is caught and put on trial. A Saeyirian woman is made his Defender. While it isn’t customary to make an offworlder subject to Saeyirian law, the ghastliness of the crime is an exception. The human alliance tries to intervene but is cast out of the proceedings.

The man is found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to “Punishment E”.

He is emasculated and castrated, then set free. Over the course of time, however, his privates grow back – painfully – due to an implanted growth enzyme. However, the enzyme also severs his manliness again after full maturation, a process as painful as the initial severing. The punishment repeats itself, cyclically, until the end of his days.

Reason for Discard:

Granted, this would have been a great cautionary tale, as a lot of science fiction is, but I couldn’t sit down to type it without crossing my legs…cringing and squirming in my seat.

As to how the table of women reacted to the idea, I think there was at least one applause.

Untitled Suspense-Thriller Project

Origin:

Another one that came to me in a dream.

I should really watch what I eat before going to bed.

Plot:

A twisted couple captures people – regardless of age – and forces them to engage in every illegal perversion imaginable…and film them doing it. After distributing said material, however, they make a list of those who purchased the items. Then they blackmail the clients for buying it in the first place.

Reason for Discard:

Like I really need a reason. The idea is just sick. Oddly enough, I told this idea to my sister and Dad the following morning, shaking my head in disbelief while doing so. My sister, rightfully, gave me a wicked look.

My Dad’s only reaction was, “Hrm…good business model.”

Untitled Hypothetical Bruce Campbell/Nathan Fillian Project

Origin:

I had this li’l fanboy leaning. I thought the perfect buddy-cop movie would be a pairing up of two geek greats, that being The Chin and Mal. Both actors had similar recognition in sci-fi fandom. One had a younger, sort of rookie-ish appeal, while the other had the air of a cheeseball guru. They also had another factor in common, mainstream fame eluded them both.

I wanted to be the guy to write a mainstream cop-caper featuring the two of them. One a tough-as-nails city cop, the other a country boy brought to the city on a case. Maybe the two of them could be related too! Thus adding more tension! Yeah! Those elements worked.

What didn’t work was my…

Plot:

A small-town sheriff visits his father’s farm to find the house on fire, the barn burning, and his Pa brutally beaten by the doorstep.

His last words are, “They took her. They took…Betty.”

The father dies.

The sheriff then makes a trek to the big city and enlists the help of his older brother to uncover who did this, all the while not telling him about “Betty.”

It turns out Betty is a naturally grown…behemoth of a cow, standing tall at thirty feet. Her captors are a fast food conglomerate bent on using her DNA as a template for creating better, larger beefstock.

Uh…yeah…

Reason for Discard:

C’mon, the plot device is a giant cow. What more reason do I need to throw this in the shredder?

Although the image of Bruce Campbell riding a giant cow through a busy urban intersection did induce a giggle.

The Foundling King

Origin:

My brain is a cocktease. The idea for this didn’t come out of one dream, but after a series of dreams. I only got a snippet of the idea during each one. Then I woke up. Argh!

And, in the end, it still made very little sense.

Plot:

In the primordial ooze of the Drealm (the dreamscape), giant capes of land exist. Some right on top of each other. Whole worlds are formed this way – intersecting, crisscrossing, enveloping. One such land is Tyar-Maethi.

The king of Tyar-Maethi has gone missing. In his place, a foundling king is put on the thrown. Unbeknownst to the citizenry, he is actually one of the mountain-folk, a race of proud barbarians borne from the very rock itself; bearers of swords carved from their very own hair. That child-king is called away on a quest, however, and the kingdom is left to fend for itself.

The boy grows into a man, becomes a Sky Knight, and teams up with several other misfit-borns to combat a growing evil. One such companion is a man, the last of his kind; Lemar, a Latetan whose people were killed by the very gods that spawned his race.

Reason for Discard:

I stopped having dreams about this story. It wasn’t that I wanted to. None would come about, so I never got the full story, hence the reason it sounds so scattershot.

Plus, Lemar of Latet…as a name?

Sounds too close to Lamar of La Tete, which – from French – would translate to Lamar of The Head. And that sounds like the name of a basketball player.

Don’t think so.

Fade Out

Origin:

Another damn dream.

And not the good, wet kind.

Plot:

In a dystopian future run by sector-large mega-corporations, a security officer arrives on the scene of a strange crime. A computer hub and warehouse have been obliterated, and two men are witnessed fleeing the scene. The security officer gives chase.

He succeeds in shooting one of them, but the other escapes. As the other saboteur makes his getaway, he turns around to view his fallen comrade. The man has no face. The officer removes the mask of the fallen…

It’s his own brother.

He rigorously investigates a similar chain of events linked to the faceless man. Over the course of his inquiries, he comes in contact with his brother again, but this time he’s alive and well. He questions his brother, but said sibling doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

This leads to a “sharp” interrogation session.

Word arrives of another heist, this time at the central power core for the entire city – funded by the corporate entity that owns the metropolitan area. The officer and his brother travel there and make a shocking discovery. The power core is a pocket wormhole. Another discovery is made.

The faceless man is the security officer himself.

Both he and his brother had gone through the wormhole, but doing so caused them to view time in reverse. For each hour, they would skip backwards in time…in real-time. The man he’d been chasing was himself, halting the reign of a mega-corp in rewind.

In the end, he accepts his destiny, shoots his faceless doppelganger and travels through the power core with his brother in tow.

Reason for Discard:

It made perfect sense when I dreamt the thing, but as the days wore on, the less sense it made. That and portraying someone perceiving time in reverse seemed murderously difficult to hammer out as a story. I wasn’t confident enough in my own ability to do it.

Thorn & Nail

Origin:

I thought of this when I was a sophomore in high school, and – man – do I wish I’d acted on it sooner.

Plot:

A secret society uses the blood on the Crown of Thorns and nails used for Jesus’ crucifixion to create a clone, and pass him off as the Second Coming. However, in doing so, they trigger a chain of events which lead to the actual Biblical Apocalypse. The clone, himself, must also come to terms with his own destiny and determine whether or not he is the Messiah.

Or the Antichrist.

Reason for Discard:

Okay, this one I’m not actually “glad” I discarded, rather, I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I sat on the idea for too long. Two folks beat me do it.

Mindwarp

Origin:

The story came to me in the 7th grade, I think.

Plot:

Someone discovers how to tap into the 90% of the human brain we don’t use. In so doing, he/she taps into a previously unknown ability. Traveling at the speed of thought and opening portals to other worlds. A boy used as a test subject goes on a Wrinkle it Time-ish type journey across the cosmos.

Reason for Discard:

I’m no good at oh-golly-gee-whiz stories. I’d probably end up killing another kitten or something.

Wolfman

Origin:

Yep, you guessed it, another dream.

I really shouldn’t sleep…ever…

Plot:

An amateur con artist returns to the town of his youth. Once known for being a bratty prankster, not everyone is happy to see him, namely the new sheriff; daughter of the old. His last prank almost got him run out of town.

He was in high school and had loaded a toilet with C4, sat on it – dressed in a wolf suit, hence the nickname – and prepped a camera on a tripod to photograph himself mid-explosion. He hadn’t expected to survive the gimmick. At all. Miraculously, he did without a scratch. Having difficulty coping with what transpired, and the sheer impossibility of it, he left town to wander the country.

But now, he’s returned.

The town he grew up in is known for it’s rare and delectable candies. Most are kept stored at City Hall, which also doubles as the police station. He still has a lurking voice in the back of his head, but he’s not sure what. Wolfman figures the only way to shut it up would be to steal the town’s touristy livelihood.

As he commences with the robbery, an odd thing happens. He stares up at one of the security cameras, sees his reflection in the lens. On a whim, he waves. The reflection doesn’t mimic him. Instead, it waves after he does, followed by a wink. With that, he finally understands what the voice in the back of his head was…

It was God.

And he turns himself in as a result.

Reason for Discard:

Read it again, and you tell me?

Wormwood

Origin:

This is my most recent diuretic epiphany. I came up with it over a pint of IPA.

Plot:

A well-off, young billionaire industrialist – who happens to be a devout Christian – comes to a realization. He’s sick of waiting around for the Second Coming to appear. He figures the best way to bring about Christ’s glorious return is to trigger the events that lead up to it – i.e. start the Apocalypse. Assuming the temporary role of Antichrist, he goes about finalizing his plans by turning the course of history in favor of the scenarios outlined in the Book of Revelation.

He forms an empire out of the remnants of the Roman Empire. He rebuilds Babylon. He kills two of his most vocal opponents. He does war with any detracting nations by meeting them on the Plains of Megiddo. Unfortunately, none of the other “Divine” decrees occur. There are no angels, no Horsemen, no plagues, no comets, no demon locusts, no Destroyers, and worst of all…no Lamb.

In the end, he realizes that he just united all nations, rid the world of war, and all without the help of a would-be savior. He is last seen looking up at the stars, wondering why. No one answers.

Reason for Discard:

I don’t even want to think of how many people this would piss off. Nor would I want to have a bunch of cheering alternadopes. I think all sides would miss the point I was trying to make in the name of irony.

On second thought…

I think I will keep the last idea.

What’s life without a stubbed toe or two?

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008 Prose

7 Comments to Stories I’m Glad I Never Wrote

  1. Don’t know that anyone ever called me a dicksmack before.

    But I’m curious: Who is the douchebag in Boston? Do you know the name of either the douchebag or his screenplay?

  2. James BeauSeigneur on November 24th, 2008
  3. Amazing.

    Hell, at least half of them would have gotten published. Whether that is a good or bad thing, however, is totally open to opinion. 😉

  4. Scott Constantine on November 26th, 2008
  5. Hey! “Best Blade in the West” is an awesome idea. Although I always imagined as a movie rather than a story/book. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the music video for “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse, but it’s more or less headed in that direction. I’m kind of a Martial Arts snob and I still love it even though the main character pretty much sucks at MA. Also “Fade Out” sounds like it could potentially be a great read/watch (I’m that guy who always wants everything he enjoys turned into a movie). I imagine it would be sort of a mix of Memento and 12 Monkeys. That, I would pay to see.

  6. JCPRuckus on November 26th, 2008
  7. Fade Out sounds like the plot of Southland Tales, except Southland Tales is ridiculously more complicated. Give it a watch, I’m sure you’ll see the similarities.

  8. guidos on November 27th, 2008
  9. Southland Tales you say? Hmmm… I don’t know. I haven’t heard good things. However, I’ll give it a try. But you should know that if it’s crap that I’ll be expecting you to give me two hours of your life to make up for the time I wasted.

  10. JCPRuckus on November 27th, 2008
  11. Best Blade in the West and Wormwood are brilliant.

  12. DJ on November 28th, 2008
  13. […] While I hadn’t officially gone “live” with the thing, one of those entries “Stories I’m Glad I Never Wrote” got recognized by io9.com. Tons of trackbacks and comments resulted. I had no clue what to […]

  14. My Website Bought this Beer - A 5th Anniversary “Speshul” | Lazy Literatus on November 4th, 2013

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