This is the ﬁrst draft of a storytelling exercise I am subjecting myself to. Just sharing:
When Timberton Shiplap’s mother first laid dreary and weary eyes on her newborn son she proceeded to vomit right onto his little gargoyle face. All babies look like gargoyles. No one in town ever learned what caused Magdelene to lose her lunch. She had not even eaten lunch due to the imminent arrival of Timberton. It seems that inauspicious beginning was some kind of sign. Good or bad depends on one’s point of view I suppose.
Aren’t all signs good and bad? What did it mean for Julius Bernstaub when the eagle landed on his cow? His wife died of shock (she was milking the cow at the moment), but the cow won top honors at the county fair for four years straight.
When Timberton was seven he had still not spoken a single word. But he was big enough to be confused for a medium sized bear. And no one could catch a salmon or a trout ﬁsh as fast as he could. Which is how he came about his nickname.
At sixteen Timberton couldn’t stop talking. But hardly anyone understood a word. It was as if a dam had burst and words were decades of frustrated water waiting to gush forth. Though incomprehensible his ﬂood of verbiage was considered quite refreshing by housewives made apathetic by the tedium of housewifery and banker, businessman, lawyer, salesman, car dealer, tradesman husbands.
At twenty-one Timberton suddenly felt nauseous. He was living in a hovel in Bangkok at the time. He had been there an indeﬁnite period and wasn’t exactly sure how he had gotten there in the ﬁrst place. He needed a drink. He panhandled long enough to earn the money for a drunken night in a dive. He found his favorite place. He drank. But the nausea did not ascend. Timberton vomited on the bar. The bartender threw him into the street.
“Who are you?”
Timberton lay crumpled. The lights and sounds of the city overwhelmed. His nausea was not appeased.
“Who are you?”
Timberton began to pick himself up, but it was too much effort.
”I said who are you!!!!?”
Timberton was suddenly standing and an eerily familiar face was glowering (and perhaps glowing) into his own. “Who are you and where did you get that smell?”
“What smell?” Timberton gurgled confusedly.
“I would recognize that smell anywhere. And anytime for that matter. Who gave it to you?”
“I don’t have a clue what you are talking about.”
“Of course. You whites never could distinguish anything of any importance,” then the face said, “Let’s go.”
When Timberton woke up he was surrounded by monsters. At least they appeared to be monsters. He was beside a ﬂickering ﬁre. Shadows danced around the room. He was terriﬁed.
“The chosen one has awoken!” The monster men burst into celebratory song and dance.
“What is going on?”
“You are the chosen one.” Whispered a shadow shrouded creature he had not noticed next to him.
“You are the chosen one. The great mysterious friend. The emancipator. You are destined to free our people.”
The shadowed creature stood and commanded the attention of the rest. ”The great mysterious friend has awoken! Let the sacriﬁce commence!”
You decide. Is it a good sign or a bad sign to be marked with bile as a saviour and a martyr?