(Still Heading Downwards)
‘You’re rubbish!’ said the Knight, kicking…well, nothing actually. ‘You’re so rubbish, you haven’t even set the scene – there’s no trees, no flowers, no sky, no sun, no earth, not path, nothing! How can you start to write a story when you can’t even do the basics like set the scene!!! ?’
‘The Chapter titles are nice,’ the Writer said, weakly.
The Knight was having none of it. ‘Oh yes, they’re lovely!! Look at this one – ‘Chapter Two (Still Heading Downwards)’ – what a magnificent piece of literary genius!!! I’m surprised you can count!’
‘Look, I’m trying my best – you’ve got to remember that I’m getting all of this off the top of my head, I’m making it up as I go along because that gives me the greatest freedom of all. I’m not tied to strict plot lines, or character development or anything like that.’
‘No, you’re just tied to several pages or complete rubbish that wouldn’t be good enough to line a bird cage, and I’m tied in with…….where are you going?
‘Sorry, I’ve got to make a cup of tea – give me five minutes.’
‘I would do,’ said the Knight, ‘but you haven’t written me a watch into this story.’
‘Of course not – you’re a Knight. It’s the middle ages! You wouldn’t be wearing a watch in the middle ages because they wouldn’t have been invented yet. Any why have they not been invented yet? Because it’s the middle ages!’
‘Not that anyone could tell – BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T SET THE SCENE!!!!’ cried the Knight.
The Writer, needing to get out of this argument, decides to leave.
The Knight just waits, mumbling to himself about the Writer (probably).
A few minutes pass, and nothing happens.
Pretty boring, eh?
‘Right, I’m back’, said the Writer, ‘what were you saying?’
The Knight didn’t really want to get involved in this argument all over again, so chose not to carry it on.
‘Nothing – I wasn’t saying anything. Look - can we just get on and get this story started?’
The Writer looked down at the Knight, and suddenly realised that this was a great opportunity to be part of something good, to create something that people would like, and would tell other people about.
The Knight looked back at the Writer, and suddenly realised that if the Writer had been Jackie Collins or Jilly Cooper, then he would have been up to his waist in buxom wenches by now.
‘Ok,’ said the Writer, ‘let’s get this adventure started. First, I need to set the scene. You close your eyes for just a moment, and I’ll get to work.’
‘As you command, my liege,’ said the Knight, bowing. ‘I’ll even cover my face to prove I’m not peeping’
The Writer couldn’t but help to notice a hint of sarcasm in the Knight’s tone. Ignoring it he replied, ‘Closing your eyes will do, thank you.’
The Knight mouthed the word ‘sorry’, closed his eyes, and waited in anticipation (not the Anticipation you understand – cousin to Inspiration, Frustration and Depression – after all, this is a family book!).
A few moments passed, and then the Writer said, ‘You can open your eyes now’.
The Knight opened his eyes – but had to shut them again instantly. Through his tightly shut eyelids, he could feel the warmth of the sun. Gingerly, he opened his eyes, and was amazed at what he saw.
He was standing on a green hilltop, overlooking a valley. Far below him, a river snaked its way past the green patchwork of meadows and farmland until it emptied itself into an ocean, a thin blue line on the horizon. Up above the sky was blue, with fluffy white clouds dotted here and there. It was an idyllic scene. As the Knight stood there, a gentle warm breeze hit the Knights face – followed closely by a dragonfly that evidently was also so taken aback by the Writer’s creation that it hadn’t been looking where it was going.
‘This is incredible!’ said the Knight, wiping the remains of the Dragonfly from his cheek.
‘I know,’ agreed the Writer, ‘Massive eyes in comparison with its body, reaction times hundreds of times faster than our own, millions of years surviving on this planet – you’d think it could manage to fly round things, wouldn’t you?’
‘I’m not talking about the Dragonfly,’ said the Knight, ‘I was talking about, about all THIS!’. He swept his right arm in an arc from left to right following the line of the horizon, emphasising the grandeur before him.
‘Ohhhh, that,’ said the Writer, blushing slightly. ‘I suppose it’s not bad for a first attempt – of course it’s not finished you know, I mean there’s no birds, or sheep, or mice, or pigs, or fish, or rabbits – or other people yet.’
‘Technically, there is the Friar’, the Knight reminded the Writer.
‘Hello!’ said the Friar, ‘someone call?’
‘What do you want?’ said the Writer.
‘I heard my name mentioned, and I thought you were bringing me back into the story.’ said the Friar, with a hopeful look on his face.
‘Well you’re not back in the story,’ The Writer said rudely, ‘I’ll let you know when you’re coming back, but until that time, push off.’
‘But you said, you’d bring me back after a few pages – you promised!’
A tone of stubborn indignation was creeping into the Friars voice.
‘NOW YOU LISTEN TO ME!’ said the Writer, getting a little peeved, ‘I DID NOT PROMISE ANYTHING. AND IT WAS YOU WHO SAID ‘SEE YOU IN A FEW PAGES’ – NOT ME. I SAID I’D SEE IF I COULD WRITE YOU BACK IN TO THE STORY A LITTLE LATER ON. IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME, JUST YOU WADDLE BACK TO PAGE FOUR AND CHECK!
‘Don’t you tell me to ‘waddle’ anywhere’, argued the Friar, becoming steadily angrier, ‘that would imply that I am your stereotypical Friar out of Robin Hood or something – Fat and jolly with a stupid circle of hair around my fat head. And you know perfectly well that my appearance has not yet been described. I’ve only been known as ‘the Friar’ so far.’
‘I’LL TELL YOU TO GO AND DO WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE – BECAUSE I’M THE WRITER, AND AS SUCH I CAN DO WHAT I LIKE!’
‘Hey, calm down, calm down’ said the Knight, who suddenly found himself not in his suit of armour, but in an eighties tracksuit, with a moustache and a scouse accent. ‘What’s with the angry shouting Writer? - you need anger management classes or something?’
‘I’M NOT SHOUTING’, said the Writer.
‘Yes you are,’ said the Knight, ‘Just look at your last couple of lines – they’re all in capital letters – that’s a classic way of portraying shouting when someone is talking in a book.’
‘It is,’ The Friar chipped in, ‘I’ve read loads of books and whenever someone shouts or even raises their voice, it’s always put in capital letters – oh, but not the bible though – no-one shouts in the bible, it just wouldn’t be right – oh no. But pretty much every other book that I’ve read has got shouting in it, and it’s always in capitals. But not the Bible – let’s get that straight. So if you think you’re not shouting, you must be mental.’
‘I AM NOT MENTAL’ said the Writer feeling his pulse quicken. ‘AND I AM NOT SHOUTING – THE STUPID CAPS LOCK ON THIS KEYBOARD IS STICKING. HANG ON WHILE I TRY TO FIx it – that’s better. I reckon there’s a bit of food stuck in between the keys. How’s that? Better? You see, I’m perfectly calm.’
Turning to the Friar, the Writer said, ‘As for you – you’d better scarper before I think up something long lasting and horrible for you.’
‘No thanks,’ said the Friar with a smirk on his face, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for a relationship with you just yet.’ And with that, he ran out of the story.
The Writer turned to the Knight and said ‘Sorry about that. As I was saying, I’m not finished yet with the whole scene thing, but if you’ll allow me to, I’ll add bits in as we go. By the way, why are you still wearing that tracksuit?’
‘You’re the Writer,’ sighed the Knight, ‘you tell me.’
‘Oh yeah – sorry, here you go’
The Knight found himself back in his suit of armour, with his normal, non-specified accent, and clean shaven.
‘That’s better,’ said the Knight, ‘so where am I off to?’
‘Hmmm’, mused the Writer, ‘Look – there’s a path. No, Wait! It’s not a path, it’s a road….a road made up of unusual coloured bricks…I think its saffron, or maybe a golden-type colour?’
‘Where did you say you got your ideas from?’ asked the Knight, suspiciously.
‘Straight off the top of my head – isn’t that right Toto?’
‘Woof!’ said Toto, wagging his tail happily.
‘Yeah right’, thought the Knight.
‘I heard that.’