Writing Sprint: Talking Rabbits
My brother is a writer with nonstop ideas. I was lamenting to him how I was having trouble coming up with the next book concept, and out of nowhere, he was like, "Let's write a one page story based on a prompt." The prompt he gave me was "write a ghost story with a young widow." I had trouble coming up with ideas, and partway through it ended up ripping off The Others in a big way. I'm too embarrassed to share that story with you, so I'm sharing the second prompt: "write a story involving a talking rabbit."
My brother wrote one and I wrote one. Here's what we came up with...and remember, it was straight writing, one page, no stopping, and no time to think! The pressure was on!
My brother's story:
My best friend growing up was Talking Taffy, a toy rabbit. He never said much, just the same lines over and over. Eventually, even he got tired of saying it, so he stopped. Not long after that, I stopped playing with him, and all my other toys.
It was shortly before the estate sale that I found him again. He was in a box in the attic, rather filthy and unkempt. Why mum never threw him away, I'll never know. But whether out of nostalgia or a misplaced hope of "Cash in the Attic," I kept him. Even had his battery replaced. His voice was different, of course, and I had no idea how to fix that part of him. But those odd familiar lines were unchanged. At least at first.
Once he'd been cleaned up, I let my little one have him. She laughed at his distorted voice, but she genuinely loved him as I had. My wife disapproved, found him annoying, but she indulged us both for the time being. Alas.
One night when I was flipping channels, my little one came out from her room and surprised me. "What is it?" I asked, and she looked rather distraught.
"It's Taffy. He keeps saying things about you."
I got up from the couch and went with her to her room to check on the malfunction and reassure my daughter. But Taffy wasn't there. He was gone.
I tucked my little one back into bed, slightly perturbed (I am not the sort to be annoyed by childish things) but unworried. That is, I was unworried until I returned to the living room, the TV turned to an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, and Taffy sitting in my place.
Content warning: Child murder/violence
"Hey kids! It's your old pal, Rick the Rabbit! Hippity hop, and away we go!"
The throngs of preschool children started screaming as blood dripped from Rick's hatchet. Once the magic words were spoken, he broke into a run, chasing down children, swinging his axe in a carefree manner. He clobbered one child, getting her in the back of the head. She crumpled to the floor and blood spurted when Rick the Rabbit withdrew his weapon.
"Boink!" he shouted as he got another kid, a young boy, in the jaw.
Meanwhile, in the comms room where the television executives were sitting and watching, Beelzebub scratched his chin. "I don't know," he mused. "It seems a little...cliched."
"But the test audiences love it!" Asmodeus exclaimed. "So many people are afraid of giant talking rabbits!"
They peered down at the carnage through the glass and went silent for a moment. "Well, the rabbit is good at what he does," Beelzebub grudgingly admitted. "But he could draw the deaths a little longer, build tension."
Leviathan nodded and got on the intercom. "Yo, Rick, slow down the killings a little bit. You've almost wiped them all out."
Rick the Rabbit stopped and looked up at the group behind the glass in the room above them. He lazily lifted his axe and kicked off the child attached to it. "What should I do?"
"You could miss every now and then," Leviathan suggested. "Give it a try...in 3...2...1..."
Rick slowed down a little, allowing more children to hide behind the colorful set pieces of a pastel forest, and he swung and hit the trees, sending kids running and screaming as he missed.
Beelzebub frowned. "I don't know. What do you think, CEO?" The network executive looked down below, not hearing Beelzebub. "Excuse me, Satan."
The executive at last heard him and turned to the others. Asmodeus asked, "What do you think it needs?"
"More fire," Satan replied.
This exercise was really difficult for me. Given the time crunch, I had a hard time coming up with ideas. To be honest, I mentioned my first prompt was a ripoff of The Others, and the Talking Rabbit Story also ripped off some stuff...for some reason the movie Stay Tuned popped in my head right then and I thought of Hell TV, and then when I was trying to come up with demon names, I couldn't remember any, so those got lifted from the game Obey Me. I guess when the pressure is on, I can't come up with anything new...when I'm thinking of stories to write, I'm only reminded of other stories! So I'm a little embarrassed by my performance in this exercise.
My brother, on the other hand, wrote unique stories. I couldn't link them to anything that had already been written or created, unlike mine. He's a prolific fanfic writer and his brain just whirs a mile a minute, coming up with ideas left and right. I have told him more than once that I am jealous and wished I had his brain.
I mentioned in the previous blog that I'm out of ideas...who knows...if my brother keeps pushing me to do exercises like this, I may be able to come up with something new...if I don't do something derivative first!