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His New Body

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I posted this little piece on the excellent Six Sentence social network the other day, one of the places I occasionally hang out at :

He scavenged the parts for his new body from all around the alleys and back streets. A discarded umbrella pulled from a bin made for an arm, its crook a hand. A length of rusting drainpipe and a rotting timber almost the same length made a workable pair of legs. A black plastic rubbish sack, its soiled cartons and rotting fruit for internal organs, would be his torso. A crumpled orange traffic-cone would do for his other arm and a punctured football his head. It all made for a poor, broken body but at least, when it was dark, he could walk the streets again and imagine he was still alive.

It was just a little throw-away piece that came to me as I walked through the city myself the other day. It's rather staying with me, though. Who is this person? Why have they ended up like that? What do they want?

Perhaps I'll work on it some more, develop it into a short story proper. What do you think? Worth pursuing?


  1. It makes a perfect story at just that length but if you have ideas to take it further, why not go with them and see what you get?

  2. fairyhedgehog,

    Thanks for that. Perhaps I'll go for another walk and see if the rest of it comes to me!

  3. Yes!!! Of course it's worth pursuing - are you crazy?!?! Go with it - it sort of reminds me of a twisted Scarecrow/Tinman type creature... looking for a brain and a heart to make itself human...!! And human blood. Ooooh!!!! I like that!!

    Take care

  4. Old Kitty,

    Crazy? Oh, quite possibly! Thanks for your great encouragement. Perhaps I shall see if I can make something more out of it.

  5. I like this a lot. You're opening sentence had me asking a whole lot of questions. Who is he? Why does he need a new body? Is it for himself or for his creation? It's definitely worth pursuing, imho.

  6. Suzie,

    Thanks for that, it's appreciated!

  7. I like this, Simon, but I wonder what the starting point was? This bothers me more than what happens next. How could he pick up the first part without a first part already being in place? Did he have help? A trusty servant?

    Ever practical...


  8. Sue,

    Thanks for the input. I have to admit that doesn't seem to me a big problem, really. It's a fantastical story and "getting started" seems no more unlikely than the fact he/it can walk or exist at all ...

  9. This little piece is quite intriguing, and, yes, those questions you pondered are quite good ones.

    It would be good if you could expand this into a longer piece.The desire hinted at in the last sentence is so poignant.

    So, go on now - take another walk around!

  10. I would definitely read more about "his new body" --particularly if hilarious hijinks were to ensue!

    You frequent 6S occasionally too? I guess we run in some of the same virtual circles. =]

  11. I guess it's down to my basic lack of patience with Fantasy. I'm more interested in where a story is coming from than where it goes next. Sue

  12. Sue,

    Yep, I get that fantasy doesn't do it for you

    You're more interested in where a story has been than where it's going? Really? How intriguing. I can't begin to understand how that might work.

  13. I mean that it's everything that has made the characters what they are that carries the story forward for me. The plot comes solely from them. Perhaps that's why I rarely include much in the way of settings, for example. Unless they're essential to the understanding of the characters they're just a distraction. That obviously isn't the case with fantasy as you also have to create a credible landscape in which they have to function. It's just different.

  14. This one's creepy. Imagine meeting that football's gaze when it's just to dark to be sure.

  15. Thomas,

    Absolutely! I think I'm going to have fun working on this one ...


I'd love to know what you think.