Wednesday, October 22, 2014

of old documents, and maples - October Chatterbox

this is a very rough sketch of the maple sketch mentioned in the story below. please excuse the coarseness of the lines and shading.

Rachel, a friend of mine, has been doing a monthly “writing challenge” called Chatterbox over on her blog. Each month Rachel chooses a topic (this month, it is Maples), and we all (the various writers of the blogging-world) attempt to write up a small fiction piece (must include some dialogue and description) that has the respective topic in it. Rachel ever so kindly said we could switch up the form of Maples for this month's chatterbox, allowing us to use maple syrup, flavoring, leaves, etc.

Well only last month have I actually attempted to participate in said Chatterboxes. See, if you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you’ll find I’m not much of a writer. You’ve probably also noted that I’m even more lacking in the area of fiction writing. But I’ve loved writing since forever (specifically the historical fiction variety). And even though many of my other hobbies and passions take forefront in my day-to-day life, I've decided to try and regularly participate in Chatterbox.

So, here’s my go at a small fiction piece concerning Maples (in a small way). I’ve decided to use new characters of mine, not fully developed yet. Here's a very rough-draft snippet that I've come up with, all written in one sitting. Also, I inserted a little more description of the characters then I normally do just so you can imagine the scene a bit better.

Emory** and
Cyril Arbuthnot;
brothers, respectively.
"Come now! Can't you see?" Emory, exasperated, slid the document across the table.
Cyril, running his hand through his auburn curls, picked up the document and earnestly examined it. He knew the connection had to be fairly unmissable, for Emory wouldn't have gotten quite so frustrated with him over something less than obvious. But he just couldn't see what Emory was talking about.
Cyril readjusted his monocle, his brother and him had an intolerable habit of picking up rather old-fashioned habits,  and gazed back and forth between the paper he held in his hand and a piece of paper laying on the table. Soon the gears in Cyril's head began to turn. 
The first document Cyril held contained a set of graphs in the center, with both letters and numbers trailing around the perimeter of the page. Sketched on the second page resting on the table was a maple tree, and underneath the tree were scrolled the words: 
"Under the maple she Sang, and under the maple she danced. With the wind in her hair and the clouds in her eyes, she Wished the world a tearful goodbye."
It all seemed very mysterious to Cyril, and he didn't know quite what to make of it. The two papers were somehow connected, but he couldn't see it.
It seemed apparent that Emory had it all figured out, as he always did. Emory was by all accounts the older, wittier, and quite superlative Arbuthnot brother. All debonair and sophisticated, with his markedly good features, golden mane, and energetic blue eyes. Emory seemed to be in a jocular mood at the moment, his arms good-naturedly crossed over his chest and a bit of a complacent smile dancing on his lips. 
Laughing, Cyril amiably exclaimed, "Good grief, man! Do just tell me." 
In his familiar older brother tone, Emory began. "Well brother, here are my deductions thus far. This maple here," Emory gestured to an old photograph of an ancient maple tree sitting on the table, "is the same as that sketch you're looking at."
"And how brother, pray tell, did you deduce that? Perhaps the very coincidence that they both happen to be the same kind of tree?"
And I've got to end there. I'm plumb out of ideas as to where to go from there, and I haven't really thought of how this particular piece will fit in with my novel.

So there's my simple fiction portion to add to the Chatterbox. Perhaps you enjoyed it, perhaps not. Either way, I had a blast concocting it. 

If you happen to take part in Rachel's Chatterbox, do let me know! I'd love to read whatever you write.

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography
*All characters used in this post are completely fictional; likeness to an individual in real life is purely coincidental.
**The character of Emory had originally been called Brandt Arbuthnot. But upon further analysis and development of my story (as well as the meaning of both names), I felt the name Emory fit the role better. 


  1. I want to read more! Nothing short of blustery, my friend.

  2. This is my first time on your blog -- I came over in anticipation of your interview with Rachel Heffington. However, I stumbled upon this...which was absolutely fabulous. And I can't wait to hear the solving of this mysterious set of documents!


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