Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Before I Could Write – Part 9

Yes, it’s the next instalment in the Before I Could Write series, because I know you guys just love it SO much.  This series of posts follows the theory that I was incapable of writing anything other than tosh until 2005 (when I was about twenty) and chronicles my paltry attempts.

So, when I was 14, I came up with this piece of profound philosophy:

Life is like a clockwork mouse; it doesn’t do anything till you make it!

Thanks for that, 14-year-old me.

I wrote the following story, of which I was smugly proud:

Self Portrait

It was when we had only been here a week that the scariest encounter of my life happened.

We had just moved in.  Our old home had been blown away in a storm.  But this was safe and warm, it was indoors.

I used to play with my brothers and sisters.  We used to run around and hide and explore new places.

On the morning of the day before that dreaded day I had slipped away and went to explore on my own.  I found a door, it was shut.  Of course I was too small to be able to open it, so I peered underneath.

“I wouldn’t go through there if I were you,” a gruff voice made me jump.  I turned to see an old man.  He was big with long legs.  I shifted uneasily.

“Don’t worry, I won’t eat you,” he laughed, “but my wife might.”

I asked him why I shouldn’t go through the door but he wouldn’t tell me.

“You look too young to know about the dangers that plague this world.  Wait till you’re as old as possible I say.  Life is a lot safer that way.”

“And a lot more boring too, I should imagine,” I answered.  With that he turned away shaking his hairy head.

I stared at the door but I didn’t know what to do.  After about an hour of wandering around worrying I decided to ask Sidney, one of my brothers.

“Something new!  Something dangerous!” he cried when I had explained.  “Let’s go!”  He ran away and all my brothers and sisters followed.  That’s a lot believe me!

The last I saw of them was as they all ran through the door.  They never came back.  I listened all night by that door.  I heard strange noises, very strange.  There were bangings and crunches which I think must have been the end of Sidney and co.  Once I heard an almighty scream that could have cracked glass.

Strangest of all was a droning noise.  It became so very loud at one point I ran for cover.

The morning came and I could withstand the suspense no longer.  I crept ever so slowly and ever so quietly towards the door.  As I sat staring at it, the ground trembled slightly.  I thought I had imagined it but now I could hear the ‘clump, clump, clump’ of giant footsteps.  The ground was shaking now.  Whatever it was out there must have been over one thousand times bigger than me.  The footsteps stopped outside the door.  The creature was growling in its own language as the door was flung back.

And there, standing tall, far, far above me, was… a… HUMAN!!

I turned and ran as fast as my eight little legs could carry me.


This was also the year when we were repeatedly shown the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth at school to teach us about World War I.  I got quite sick of it, since I had already seen it many times at home, having been brought up on Blackadder (and Red Dwarf).  Being insufferable, I can remember complaining to The Slayer how irritating it was that they were showing us ‘Blackadder’ as if it was something new and they must think we were some kind of idiots.  To which he obviously immediately said he had never seen Blackadder before.

Anyway, when I was 14 and two-thirds years old, I wrote another scene of the final episode, to go after the ending, which would totally undermine the point it was making.  And here it is:

Blackadder Goes Forth
Episode 6 – Goodbyeee
Scene 5: No-man’s land.

The sound of guns quieten into the background.  Blackadder is lying on the ground.  He is dead, or so it seems.  Suddenly his eyes open.
Blackadder: Good Lord, the guns have stopped.  Is everyone all right?
Baldrick: Certainly am, sir.
Blackadder: Typical, here I am, amongst thousands of dead men in no-man’s land and my only companion is a half-man-half-dungball with a brain smaller than an ant’s who’s had half of his removed.
Baldrick: Thank you sir.
Blackadder: (looking at a dead body) Look at that, it’s Cartwright, looks like he didn’t make it.
Baldrick: Neither did Willis and Petheridge.
Blackadder: I don’t suppose Darling made it either.
As Blackadder says this, the pile of bodies subside and Darling’s head emerges.
Blackadder: Of course, I could be wrong.
Darling: I say, have the guns stopped?  Am I alive?
Blackadder: Sadly, yes.
Darling: Oh, erm…  Blackadder.
Blackadder: Hiding, were we Darling?
Darling: Well, you see…
Baldrick butts in.
Baldrick: Begging your pardon, sirs, but where’s Lieutenant George?
Darling: Does it matter?  I’m safe, at last I can go home and marry Doris.
Blackadder: Yes, well I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
Darling: Why not?
A gun is put to his head.  They look up and some Germans aim their guns at our heroes. 

Scene 6: A German prison cell.

From outside ‘eins, zwei’ is heard, then a door is unlocked and Blackadder, Baldrick and Darling are pushed inside.
Blackadder: Good work, Baldrick, if you hadn’t acted like you had rabies and launched yourself at those Germans, we’d have been shot on the spot.
Baldrick looks bewildered, he wasn’t acting.
George emerges from the shadows.
George: By George, if it isn’t Captain Blackadder!
Blackadder: George, you’re alive.
George: Yes, almost wasn’t though, but I just happened to mention my uncle and the huns didn’t shoot, but bungled me up in here!
Darling: Look, Blackadder that window is open (he points)
George: So it is!
Baldrick: Sir, I have a cunning plan.
Blackadder: Yes Baldrick, and I have three complete morons as friends, but that doesn’t mean anything does it?
Baldrick: But sir, we could climb through the window, run round the front, jump the guards and unlock the door, thus setting us free.
Blackadder: Well, quite.  Alternatively, we could climb through the window and run away.
George: What a good plan sir.

Several minutes later…

George, Blackadder and Darling are by a fence.
Darling: We can get through here.
George: Wait!
Blackadder: What now, you’re holding us up.
George: It’s Private Baldrick sir.
Blackadder: Well what about Private Baldrick?
George: He’s not with us sir.
Darling: Who cares?  We can escape now, let’s go!
Blackadder: Really Darling, you have less backbone than a worm, which is strange, because that is exactly what you are.
Darling: But Blackadder, if we go back, we could be killed.  If we leave now we still have a chance.  Besides, you don’t even like Private Baldrick.
Blackadder: Look Darling… actually you’ve got a point.
George: Sir, you can’t be thinking of leaving him behind, what about friendship, what about trust, what about respect, what about honour, what about…
Blackadder: Ohhhhh a—ll right.

Scene 7: Staff HQ

Darling, Blackadder, Baldrick and George burst in, ragged and worn out.
Melchett comes out of his office.
Melchett: Oh hello Blackadder, George, heard you had a bit of a scuffle with the Germans.  We’ve advanced you know.  I’m moving the head quarters nearer.  SWEETY!
Darling: (stepping forwards) I’ll help you move sir!
Melchett: (looks up) Oh, Darming isn’t it?
Darling: Yes sir.  Something like that.
Melchett: Blackadder, George, Private, oh and Darking, I’d like you to meet Captain Sweety, my helper.  (An attractive young man enters carrying a box).
Sweety: Here’s the last load sir, oh and I found this picture of you and some bloke, what shall I do with it.
Melchett: Ohh, burn it.
Darling looks crushed.
Blackadder: Sir, I hate to interrupt but we’ve been through a very dangerous, traumatic and frightening experience…
Melchett: Oh yes, I know.  Blackadder, George, Private, Darding, so I’ve phoned for a car so you can get back to that exciting war of yours.
Blackadder, Darling, George and Baldrick steps forwards menacingly as the programme ends.

Oh yes, well done 14-year-old me, it would have been much better if it had ended like that.

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