Furious Fiction – April 2019

The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—April 2019 short story competition was as follows:

To celebrate the launch of the new Fiction Essentials: Dialogue course, we (the AWC) thought this month we’d have fun with some. What we’ve done is pluck actual lines of dialogue from three famous books, and you need to use ALL OF THEM in YOUR story:

  • “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
  • “He’s never done anything like this before.”
  • “What’s it going to be then, eh?”

(These lines of dialogue are from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Big Little Lies, and A Clockwork Orange, respectively.)

***

The Trees Behind the Books

“He’s never done anything like this before.”

Simon was always a cautious boy, a good boy. He always did what he was told by his parents, relatives, teachers, any authority figure. He had good friends, the same friends for years. Although he had experienced fun in his life, he never set off on his own adventures…until now.

He found the science fiction forest behind his bookshelf by accident. His pencil case fell out of his hand, when he bent down to pick it up, he noticed a glow out of the corner of his eye, behind the bookshelf. He moved the shelf as much as he could, he didn’t have the strength to move it all the way, but was able to move it far enough to give himself room to explore the bright light.

The bright light was blue rimmed and turned out to be a hole with the forest inside—it was a portal. He was curious, but a little scared. Excited but a little uncertain, what to do?

“What’s going to be then, eh?” He asked himself.

He stepped, bare foot through the portal and into the forest. The forest was filled with a variety of trees—eucalyptus, weeping willows, oaks, gum, even fruit trees. He couldn’t figure out what type of forest it was supposed to be, why it was there and how it got there. He could hear birds but couldn’t see them. It was chilly, eerie. No-one else was around.

He walked around for a while, taking a look at his surroundings before finding his way out and back into his room. He pushed the bookshelf back into place. He was excited to explore more of the forest, but he was smart enough to know that something so mysterious and magical would be dangerous.

“It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution,” he told himself.

Even so, he finally found his own adventure and doesn’t plan to stop exploring. Cautious boy no more.

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