Story - Nothing New
January 9, 2017 1:30pm CST
The following story was created by me in a creative writing workshop run by Leanne Dempsey on the theme of ‘Newness’. The instructions were to tell the story entirely in dialogue without even a single ‘he said’ or ‘she said.’ Here is my stab at the exercise. “New, neo, fresh, modern, post-modern, I hear all these labels daily and believe me there really is nothing new under the Sun.” “But I assure you that I can show you ideas that are totally original.” “Rubbish! I guarantee it will have been submitted, suggested, published or patented before in some form. Oh, it might be in a new combination, or colour design, or a fresh mix of two old ideas but it won’t and can’t be totally unique, nothing ever is.” “Surely a 747 was a totally original aircraft design on its maiden flight?” “Hardly, it was just a bigger, more comfortable aircraft than a 737 or a 727, and you can trace flight right back to Kitty Hawke or even to the wings of Icarus. Your big proposals won’t be original either.” “Yes they will. My proposition is about …” “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear it. You lost out as soon as you barged in here pitching it with ‘it’s like nothing you ever saw before in your life’. Trust me, I see nothing new any more.” “You are so jaded for one so young. Does everything you have seen in life include vampires?” “Oh come on, there’s Dracula, Lestadt, Twilight, all the vampires killed off by Buffy Summers. Surely you’re not just peddling another cloak and swagger story of blood sucking dead-guys.” “Yes, but with a few crucial differences. For one thing, my story is true.” “So you’re a nut who believes in vampires.” “I don’t have to believe. I am a vampire.” “Get out of my office.” “I can prove it.” “Hardly, it’s broad daylight. I had garlic bread for lunch, so you must be able to smell it on my breath, and there’s an old crucifix on the wall right behind me. If you were a vampire you’d be vacuum dust by now.” “Few real vampires are like that. I am a psychic vampire and here is the really original part. I’m not actually here. I am five hundred miles away projecting myself into your mind.” “Oh, so now you’re a horror-hologram, like something out of Red Dwarf or Star Wars. Again, it’s all been done before.” “You have to believe me!” “Why? So you can peddle me your wares?” “That and so can feed on your fear. Unless you believe in my existence, how can you be frightened of me?” “You want to frighten and intimidate me into publishing the memoirs of a crackpot?” “No, I want you to stop me feeling the need to feed on you, so we can do business together like gentlemen.” “Just go away. That’ll stop you feeling a need to worry me. Our business here is at an end.” “I told you I’m not here. I am in in your mind. To stop me you will have to stop yourself from seeing me.” “So I close my eyes, you’re gone. Hey Presto.” “No, to really lose me, you must kill yourself. Suicide is your only hope.” “I’m calling the cops.” “They won’t see me. They will only see you and they will think you are insane.” “So you’re claiming to be invisible now as well as a sidekick vampire?” “Psychic vampire.” “Whatever!” “Invisible isn’t original either. Think of H G Wells or Harvey, the rabbit only James Stewart could see.” “The truth is what makes me a real original. I can only be seen by you.” “Like Mr Ed and Wilbur?” “Who?” “Never mind, look I’ll get my secretary to prove you are not invisible.” “Go right ahead.” “I’ll use the intercom. Here goes. Miss Elverton, could you pop in here a moment please?” “Sure Mister Stevens, be with you momentarily.” “Here she comes.” “What is it, Sir?" “This may seem an odd question Miss Elverton, but how many people are in this room right now/ Two or three?” “Just you and I, Sir. Why are you asking me this?” “Susan… Miss Elverton, you just sat on our guest. Oh God, you sank right through him.” “The chair is empty of everyone but me, Simon. Are you feeling alright?” “Your voice has changed. You sound just like him, it!” “I am him. I’ve been him all along.” “I’m going mad. I need to lie down.” “No Simon, you need to step out the window and plummet twenty storeys to the street below. That’s how this ends and you become one of us.” “Why are you so keen to kill me?” “I’m not. You are depressed enough to want to kill yourself. I’m just feeding off your misery until you do.” “Then I embrace my madness. Having the adventure of a vampire stuck in my head as long as I live makes my life suddenly exciting and worth living.” “No, you can’t. I’ll starve in here like a woodworm in a plastic room if you don’t feel frightened and miserable about having me here. I can’t leave a healthy happy mind or feed from it.” “Well, I suggest you enjoy the comedy club I’m going too right now and the wine I have afterwards with my girlfriend, our hot bath together and our love-making…. “ “No, no. You’ll kill me.” “What an original way for a vampire to die. I might write a story about that myself soon.” Arthur Chappell
12 people like this
• Wapello, Iowa
That was very good. I was getting a strong Twilight Zone vibe and then you referenced Mr. Ed and Bewitched....Along with the horror and science fiction...Anyway, you melded them all together into a short little gem with a very nice ending. Good work. PS If they ever bring back yet another new edition of The Twilight Zone, you should write this up as a script and submit it.