#FSS: Fandango’s Story Starter #2


Oh my, the memories this brings back! In a good way. While I worked at Doubleday, we had a big office in which worked 12 writers, probably six editors, and at least nine or ten artists. There were also “uber” editors who were the final authority before material went to the web press.

Periodically, someone would write a page to start a story, then pass it to the nearest writer or editor. The next party would type the next page (or more) and pass it along. At one point, we had almost a whole book about the mud child, born during one of the months we got endless rain. The poor child never saw sunshine until one day, sometime during his adolescence, the sun came up and (gasp) IT DIDN’T RAIN.

Thereafter, Mud Child worshipped Burning Orb. It was pretty funny.

So here we are, almost 50 years later (yikes!) — and we are doing something like it, only from computers and you don’t have to be sitting in the same office. Wow! How cool is THAT?

Sorry I missed the beginning of this. I really am not getting all my email. Or maybe I’m getting so much email I’m losing things. Anything is possible.


“So,” I said. “To be clear. What you are saying is the world is flat, but it’s also hollow and weird creatures live there. Forgive me if I sound didactic, but if the world is flat, where is the middle in which these creatures live? Or perhaps Earth isn’t exactly flat but more oblong? Rectangular? Square? Maybe conical, like an outer space ice cream cone?”

The twinkling stars overhead are like the twinkling stars in old movie houses? The Valencia in Jamaica had twinkling stars and I was very impressed by them. But I was only five at the time. This mess was designed by…

Wait a minute. You’re a fundamentalist Christian? So God the movie-house designer also designed this central core. Who are these strange creatures?

Not meaning to seem dense, but I’m just not clear on this whole business of shapes and forms and weird humanoids in the middle of — what are they in the middle of? How did they get there? Do they come out at night? Are we the ones in that hole in the middle of whatever this thing on which we live is located?

Or, we can go with Terry Pratchett’s earth. At least his flat earth was funny. And anyway, there was a round earth, but it only existed in the Wizard’s Tower. It was an experiment to see if “round” could work. A wizardly experiment, no cats required but you did need four really huge elephants and a gigantic space-flying tortoise. There was, as I recall, also a fifth elephant that fell from the sky at some indeterminate time in the future. Like, maybe the 15th century since this all happened in the 14th century.

Earth according to Terry Pratchett. Can you see the elephants?

If reality is something you make up as you go along, my five-year-old perception was probably as true as anything else since there is no truth. To be clear, we exist in a test-tube in the Wizard’s Castle. Have I got it right yet?

Categories: Anecdote, Earth, Fiction, Humor, truth

Tags: , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I disagree…. We live in a petri disk in the wizards castle 😉


  2. I think you must be right that we exist in a test-tube in the Wizard’s Castle. Isn’t that essentially what Trump World is?


  3. Bravo, Marilyn. This is such a fun read. What an imagination you have. A great way to start a freezing cold wintery day.


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