Many of you probably saw the challenge issued by Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi, for an original story describing the picture here: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/05/30/fanfic-contest/

I had not planned to enter. It seemed ridiculous with as busy as I have been, getting behind with the Word of the Day, all of that.

And then, I had an idea. And I couldn’t ignore it.

So, I worked up an entry and sent it in.

The deadline to enter the contest has elapsed, and they received about 350 entries. The organizers of the contest are encouraging participants to use the stories as they like, and so, I’m re-purposing the thing for the Word of the Day. I’ve broken it up into parts, and added obscure words as unobtrusively as possible.

Today’s Word:

feuilleton

As in:

We used to be friends. We saved the world in the adventure of a lifetime, and they betrayed our sacred trust.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

To tell the story properly, I should probably do it in installments, you know, make it a feuilleton. And, I need to take you back many years, before the accursed “Tell-all” tour which conveniently left me out of the picture and out of the profits.

Bitter? You could say that. In fact, please do. I’ll just tell the story.

I was safely dwelling with the Oracle of Lorupchin, who is a really swell gal, you should go see her sometime. She loves visitors. Don’t let her reputation of insanity and poor hygiene keep you from saying “hi.” Unless you really don’t like the smell of unwashed crazy people.

Anyway, one day this guy came to seek the Oracle’s help. He tells her that his village has been facing an unknown menace. He says the creature comes in the darkness just before dawn and that the only evidence it leaves is the sound of screaming victims. Hunters have spied unusual tracks, almost like a wolf, but also like hooves. They have found no other traces.

The Oracle did her smelly herbs routine, and learned that the creature
responsible was a monster known as Lupus Lupine, a creature that is
invisible, but can manifest in many painful forms. Its preferred victims are females.

“The only thing that can defeat this evil creature is the Catalypse. This creature is as elusive as the Lupus Lupine, and they are mortal enemies. The Catalypse can track the Lupine by scent.”

“To capture a Catalypse, you must use this.” She holds me up, offering me to this barbarian. “This is the sacred vestment of Bozorebo, the
frightening Master of the Catalypse. It has many powers. It can end
careers and cause blindness. It gives the wearer +2 to attacks, damage and all defenses.”

“You must travel to the Land of the Misfit Mutants, wearing this vestment. The Catalypse recognizes that he who wears such a garment is not afraid of anything, and will respect the authority it signifies. Remember, he who controls the shirt controls the creature.”

The visitor cringed at the mere sight of me. It was that all-too-familiar mix of horror, disbelief and amusement.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said, with barely contained mirth. “Come out of hiding, Allen Funt!”

The Oracle scowled. “If you don’t like my advice, you can figure out how to conquer the Lupine yourself. It is perilous to question or mock an Oracle. We’ve been known to add irrelevant tasks to a quest, just for laughs.”

At this point, I needed to protest. I was not interested in leaving my
cushy curio cabinet to go off on some damn fool idealistic crusade. I
shouted, “Do not, for the love of Bozorebo, let me go with that
barbarian!”

The Oracle rolled her eyes. “Oh yes. Did I mention it talks? It is quite loud and obnoxious. Its screams have pierced dimensional boundaries.”

*************************
That seems a good place to leave it for today.

feuilleton / figh – yeah – TOn / a work of fictions printed in installments.