Okay, I’m ready. Are you ready? Push “record”.
No, no, no, that one ejects the tape. Red button, see?
Hang on. . . Okay, press it now.
*the screen comes to life in a spell of static*
G’day, mates, welcome to the third and final part of Blast From the Past!
I am standing in front of perhaps the most feared place in the history of creative writing after Writer’s Block Mount: The Cave of Forbidden Words. It’s thousands of years old, and it stretches miles underground.
And it’s no wonder why this cave system has been menacing writers brave enough to venture into its mouth for centuries; it is crawling with bloodthirsty monsters that will assault you with sheer disgust at your terrible plotting skills back in the day. Writers have tragically lost their lives deep in the ghastly cavern, but most escape alive, screaming and moaning things like, “Why was my writing so horrible back then?!” or “Did this really have to happen?!!” or “Whyyyy, unrealistic characters, WHYYYYYY. . .”
And today, we are going to get up close and personal with these terrors of the deep. Follow me!!
. . . I said follow me!
. . .
It’s all right, Mister Cameraman, the monsters won’t hurt you. They only attack writers! All you have to be afraid of is nippy, kitten-sized school essays. Harmless!!
Roight, let’s head inside and see ’em, shall we? Onward!
. . . Okay, so far so good. As we aren’t but a couple dozen feet into the cave we shouldn’t find much besides the odd snippet or paragraph. Mind that school essay!
. . . You all right, Cameraman? Wonderful, let’s proceed.
We are now deep enough in the cave where we will need lanterns to see where we take our steps. At this point, monsters can come out at any time, although they prefer to lurk a bit deeper than this. Still, we need to stay alert. You never know what might sneak up on–
What th–!! What was that?!!
She was confused. “W-who are you?” she breathed.
Instead the voice whispered,“II havvve finnally ffound youu, TTime Lorrd.”
Ohhh my clockwork. . . My old Doctor Who fanfic. . .
“What is that supposed to mean?” asked the Doctor.
“It meansss,” replied the voice, “that I hhave ffound yyou.”
A smirk played at her face despite her fear and fatigue, wondering whether or not it was a complete coincidence that she had had almost the same conversation with Alfred in the TARDIS. The TARDIS! Where was it? Where was she? Were Alfred and Kris still there?
“Yourr fffriends aressafe,” reassured the voice as if it knew what she was thinking.
*pained sobbing* Y-Yeah, as if!
“What do you want?”
“I am capppturing you annnd yourrr shhip. There isss no esscape for youuu! Unlesss you solvve my rriddle.”
“A riddle? What’s going on? Are you a troll? Am I crossing the bridge that you live under?”
At least the Doctor is somewhat aware of the cliches that infest this story. Roight, let’s get out of here, shall we?
Whew, that was a mighty one!! Never did finish that story — I couldn’t get around the plot holes. Still, something good came out of it: Without Thirteen Plus Five (the title of the fanfic) you wouldn’t have me, Dekreel! My name, the chasm beasts and the land of Taranar all originated from it. Maybe I’ll write a different Taranar story someday. . .
Let’s carry on. . .We’re getting still deeper. Only the Maker knows how deep this system goes.
I think we should run into something pretty s– oop. . .
“Emily Tenant, just look at you! Have you been in the horse stables again? You know you’re not supposed to be there without my permission!”
Ahh, the typical disgusted mother.
“I just can’t believe how disgraceful you are. I have tried everything to raise you, and my heart is beginning to grow despondent in trying. “
Mrs. Hannah Tenant, I am shocked! Shocked!! That is no way to speak to your eleven-year-old daughter!
Fast forward: Emily is in the other room busy on a chore when she overhears her parents. . .
“Is he really?” Mrs. Tenant sounded nervous.
“Yes, and I have to stop him,” said Mr. Tenant gravely.
“You’ll get hurt!”
“I’m willing to risk that. Not only for you but for our entire Univ– um… family, and our loving servants.”
*SNORT* They’re worse than Nia and Podo.
“Where is he doing this terrible scandal?”
A moment of silence hung in the air. “Farley,” came Mr. Tenant’s perturbed response.
“Oh, your home place! How terrible!” Mrs. Tenant’s voice was of sheer horror.
“How does he plan to do it all the way from there?”
“It’s fitting, I suppose,” came the voice of John Moffett, the Tenants’ new servant and good friend, “and he probably has all the supplies there.”
Farley. Emily had heard her parents talk about this mysterious place multiple times in those past few weeks. She had asked before what this “Farley” was and where it was, but they simply said it was a small city several miles from their mansion. She had a multiplicity of ideas of what kind of place Farley may be. Maybe it was a secret, underground city which would explain why it wasn’t on any known maps. Or maybe it was invisible. All the citizens, animals, houses, and foliage of the trees; all invisible to other observers.
Uh-huh, yeah, sure, invisible. That’s real likely, Emily.
Well, this one wasn’t as aggressive as the last one. It’s more poorly-written though. It was called Cheshire Estate, by the way. It was another Doctor Who fanfic, although the Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey stuff wouldn’t come until later. “Farley” was actually code for “Gallifrey”, and Emily’s dad was a Time Lord, as was their butler and one of their servants (Ainley’s Master and Davison’s Doctor respectively).
Right, let’s move on. I don’t care to see how it ends.
Oyyy, this cave’s hauntingly beautiful, isn’t it? Stalagmites and stalactites sculpted by tears of laughter and agony, insurmountable slopes and peaks of frustration, low and winding passages of self-doubt. . . So intricate. . . so human.
Let’s head down this tunnel. My senses are telling me we’ll find something down here. . . Hello, what’s that?!
Once about twelve of us were imprisoned, one Crimson guard, a young woman, spoke up and challenged us. “Why do you believe in this imaginary friend of yours?” she questioned with mocking curiosity in her voice.
“Because He is real. He is a living, super-natural being, and He loves us all,” I announced after a moment of silence.
Yoikes, I remember this. . .
“Loves us?! I’ve never heard of such a thing! How do you know of this ‘love’?”
“It’s why we’re here,” said a man beside me, “It’s why we’re on Earth, and why I’m speaking right now.”
Then, like a brilliant light beaming through the dark, he burst out into song. His voice echoed through the forest, and joined the soft breeze in rustling the needles of the great conifer trees above.
For a story with zero character development, not too bad. . .
The Crimsons didn’t move, they just stood there with their mouths gawking open. They had seen many Blancs rise against them, but they’ve never seen or heard of this kind of stand.
A girl sitting several feet away from the singing man stood up, and joined him in harmony, encouraging two others.
Something flipped inside my heart. I felt it forcing the breath out of my lungs. It came out in song as I joined the voices teeming with hope, joy and love.
One of the Crimson guards awoke from his shock and started bellowing, “Be quiet! I command you to be quiet!”
We didn’t flinch. Our shield of Love couldn’t break.
Other guards began joined the first in shouting, threatening and waving their guns and knives about.
One guard leaned his large hands over the top of the prison wall, lurched forward until his face was a foot in front of the nearest singer, and screamed, “Shut up! Stop singing, all of you! Or your deaths will be far from brief and dignified!”
We stopped singing just long enough for me to blurt, “What’s death if we can live forever in Christ?”
Our singing resumed. The guards continued to yell and curse, but nothing could stop us. We finally ended our song and began to laugh and cheer as if we’d been at a party. Nothing could keep us from smiling.
I love this in spite of myself. I resonate with it. It’s beautiful. . .
As a matter of fact, this is based off a true story from my own life. Was I kidnapped and threatened by actual terrorists? No. However at summer camp we would play a night game called “Underground Church” in which we trek through the woods in pitch darkness in search of “churches”, and avoid getting imprisoned by counselors posing as Anti-Christians. By the end we were often drenched in sweat and covered in twigs and scratches from thorns. It was the best game I have ever played in my life.
And yes, campers often burst into song while they’re trapped in the gaga pit prison. They sang a nice assortment of songs like “Pharoah Pharoah”, “Father Abraham” and even “Jesus Loves Me” or “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. It was a blast.
Ahhh, memories. One of the most wonderful things about this cave is the possibility of finding a monster that, while still a monster, is also a real beauty. Really, I suppose all the monsters here are beauties! Without them, how will be become better writers?
But enough with the deep, philosophical talk, let’s venture deeper into this–
Twelve-year-old Julia Parkers finished packing her toothbrush into her suitcase. She was going on a field trip with her school to the Snowpine mountains, a group of mountains whose peaks are always covered in snow.
This. . . this is. . . my very first official writing project. . .
As Julia proceeded to her school, her heart fluttered as she thought of all the wonderful things she might do. How wonderful it sounded! She might roll around in the soft powdery snow, and look at the amazing view, and have snowball fights and sled races with her friends all day! Her pace quickened; she knew she didn’t want to be late for the buses to leave.
This was my life five years ago: FUN FUN FUN!!! (Not that it isn’t still, but it’s also more practical.)
“Hey, you!” She felt someone tug her braid. She whirled around in surprise and sure enough, her two best friends, Jason and Victor, were standing right behind her.
“Oh sorry,” she apologized, “I didn’t see you, I’m just too excited.”
“No big whoop, I’m excited too,” Victor said with a beaming smile and his brown eyes sparkling.
“Let’s go,” Jason said in his low-pitched, bold voice as he pressed his glasses into place.
I kid you not, I was in love with these two boys. Especially Victor.
Ohhh, Victor. . . o.o
“I wonder what we’ll be doing,” Julia wondered out loud as they set off for their school.
“I’m not sure,” replied Jason, “But one thing’s for sure, we’re going to have a blast!”
I’m sorry, kids, but the world ain’t all sparkles and snow angels and dreams come true.
When they were ready everyone climbed on to their assigned bus and they drove off to the heliport to take a helicopter to the mountains.
Also, it isn’t as easy as Rent Three Helicopters And Take A Random Middle School Overseas To The Himalayas In The Middle Of Nowhere Like It’s Absolutely Nothing.
(. . . Unless you’re Ms. Frizzle.)
Julia gazed outside the window of her bus, thinking about the mountains a little more. She was very excited, but she was also a little nervous; what if she lost the path from everyone else, or froze to death, or got buried in an avalanche? Then she remembered her mother’s words the day before, “If you get lost, stay right where you are, if you do that, it’s more likely somebody will find you.” Julia swore never to forget these words while she was on her trip.
Ladies and gentlemen, the only sign of a pathetic nanometer-long third dimension. Gaahh, the characters are so flat it’s giving me paper cuts. Let’s hop out of here. I think the exit’s that way.
Let’s go let’s go let’s go. . . Careful, there’s a low passageway. Watch your step for stalagmites and humps. DUCK!! You good? Great. Up that slope. See the other low passageway? That should be where we– CAREFUL THERE’S A DROP!! . . . That was close. We’re almost there; it’s just past this room. . . Ahhhh, warm, welcoming sunlight! And we’re out!!
Why, unrealistic characters, WHYYYY. . .
Well. . . I hope you enjoyed this. . . thrilling adventure into the Cave of Forbidden Words! Tune in next time as we. . . err. . . you’ll have to wait and see for yourself.
Do Tell! Did you relate to any of this at all? Did you enjoy this Blast From the Past series? How did you like the Steve Irwin-esque atmosphere? (I have never seen Steve Irwin so don’t judge hahah)
See ye next week!!