Friday, July 20, 2012
Release Day Contest - Jack Gorman Got Cut By A Girl
Today is the release day for Jack Gorman Got Cut By A Girl. You can find it here on the Musa site, and here on Amazon. I'll update the link for Barnes and Nobles once it goes live.
When Celina Summers gave us the task of writing a story about a drunk who gets cut by a girl, and a deadline for submission, the question became "what to write?" As I've said in other posts, the only limitations on the story were that Jack must be cut by a girl, could not get laid, and could not be killed (although one story does stretch this restriction). I figured if one girl with a sword was Jack's nightmare, a bunch of chicks in chainmail with very large swords would be his seventh level of hell. My idea was a hapless Jack would stumble into an all female Society for Creative Anachronisms ("SCA") group while they were practicing. I even had the first few lines.
This was not the story I wrote.
As I thought it through, there wasn't any real "there" there. The storyline would be predictable and staid. So, that idea was out. But the initial kernel - Jack having to deal with a trained women warrior stuck. If I couldn't drop him into an SCA meeting, where else could I dump him with a lot of women who just happened to have swords (or daggers, knifes, you get the point)? None of the restrictions said I had to stay contemporary?
What about a post-apocalyptic Earth where the men were mostly wiped out? A start. How about we take this off world too? Better? An off-world matriarchal society where Jack should be prized for his maleness and still can't cut a break or get laid? Ohh, I liked that.
I needed magic. After all, how was Jack going to get to this world and then get out to the next story since I wouldn't know where my story fit in the anthology until after it was written? The post-apocalyptic world crept back in and mixed with Stonehenge. Magic became a fusion of technology, long forgotten by most, and traditional magic. So my wizard has electric lights but also alchemical paraphernalia. She also became a minor antagonist and the Raven's, main character's, relationship character. Jack's own inept attempts to get himself home and interact in this brave new world made him the primary antagonist.
The result was Through the Stone Circle, and I hope you enjoy it.
Now for the reason you've scrolled down, the Contest.
In honor of Jack's and his inherent talent to behave badly, I want your best "boys behaving badly" or drunken story. Leave them in the comments. The funniest, in my opinion, will win a copy of Jack Gorman Got Cut By A Girl and Shots at Redemption. The contest will remain open until July 28th and I'll announce the winner on this site on July 30.
Excerpt - Jack Gorman Got Cut By A Girl:
Two days later, the Sheriff’s Deputy came by our house. He is a big man, not easily flustered.
“I’ve got a few questions about the report you sent in,” he said, holding up a printout of my email.
“Yes sir,” I said, all cooperation, and launched into a recount of my misadventure. I had barely got to the part where I encountered the unfriendly drunk when he stopped me with a wave of his hand.
“Wait, wait, wait,” he said, shaking his head. “You mean to say this happened here?”
“And… it was you with the sword?”
The deputy slapped the email printout against his thigh in frustration. Shaking his head, he said: “That Jack Gorman, I’m just sick of him. He came to me, you know, saying he was attacked by a gay guy with a sword outside the Waterwheel!”
I remained silent. The Waterwheel is a bar almost a mile away. And I am most definitely not a guy.
My mother, who had been listening from the front door, came out and stood behind me. “Um, no,” she said. “It happened here, on our front porch. I heard it.”
“Yeah, yeah, I believe you,” said the deputy, rubbing his face. “Look, clearly you did nothing wrong, but the fact that he filed a report—even if it’s a false one—means I may have to confiscate that sword as evidence. You’ll get it back,” he assured me, “don’t worry.”
“That’s okay,” I said, grinning. “I have two more as back up!”
Ultimately, even though my sword was confiscated, I had the last laugh. Walking the dog a few days later I was stopped by my neighbor and asked what the commotion was last Saturday night. I told them.
“Aw man, Gorman messed up bad.” he said. “He’s been going around bragging about how he got attacked by a man with a sword. I’ll never let him hear the end of this: he got cut by a girl!”
What I didn’t tell him, what got left out of the email and my official statement, is what I did after I wrote that original report.
Before I went to sleep that night (and it was a difficult thing to do), I cast a little spell. I had never tried to cast a spell before. I have a friend who is a witch and she tells me I am probably a witch too, just untrained.
So that night I cast a spell. A spell to make sure that if this Jack Gorman was ever going to cause trouble again, anywhere, any time, there would be a girl with a sword (or something similar) to stop him. I also imagined him going away—preferably far away. I imagined him, very clearly, walking away down a dark and deserted road, toward a door made of light, and a sound like a sword being wiped clean with a cloth.
It probably won’t work, I thought as I went to sleep. But one can hope, right?