Author Topic: All the Joy That's Left in the World  (Read 963 times)

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Offline TakeWalker

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All the Joy That's Left in the World
« on: March 16, 2004, 01:41:05 am »
I'm thinking this is where I put stories for others to read. If not, please move my topic.

I just began writing this story on a whim a few days ago, and I've decided I want to use it for a contest that I need to submit to sometime this week. That having been said, there are some real hangups with it and I need some advice. There are 3 numbered items that I'll ask questions about after the story, so please, let me know what you think will work best. Other comments and suggestions about the rest of the story are quite welcome, too.

Oh yeah, and a bit of a warning: this is meant to be a real downer.

---

I'd been there three hours straight.  The (1) weren't selling, and I was damn hot; my suit didn't smell too good, either.

"I'm takin' five, Todd," called Steve from the stall.  "Hold tight -- I don't think these are goin' anywhere soon.  Half an hour, we're gone."

I nodded, my red felt (2) tongue flopping up and down.

The news was caffeine to me; suddenly the heat and weight of my Siberian Husky costume were lifted from me.  I rolled onto my back in the middle of the walkway, and passers-by stopped to laugh or 'aww' at me before going on their way.  I sat up and begged for an elderly couple; the man laughed and got me to shake.  Others exchanged concerned glances, skirting away from my presence, but that sort of thing is to be expected.  I was having such a good time, reinvigorated, that I didn't really care.

A hand pressed against the back of my leg.  Looking down, I saw a little five-year-old... well, something, it might have been a girl.  Either way, she was petting my leg, her face a picture of unadulterated joy.

"Fuzzy!  You're fuzzy and soft!"

I knelt and started to pet her head gently in return.  A giggle burbled out of her mouth, the kind usually reserved for exultant infants.  If only my smile hadn't been covered by goofy eyes and shaggy grey fur.

"Silly doggie!"

I couldn't help it.  I rolled onto my back and began kicking my left leg as she scritched my belly, laughing all the while.  Steve came back from his break with a snide, "Looks like you've made a friend."  He leaned down next to the kid, smiling his entrepreneur's I'm-gonna-sell-you-stuff smile and asked, "Where's your mom, honey?  Wouldn't she like to buy a (1)?"

"Mommy!"

The girl didn't stop rubbing me, but I did stop kicking as a statuesque woman in a (3) came over and demanded, "What are you two doing to my daughter?"

"Look, mommy, he's a big doggie!  He's cute!"

"Ma'am," Steve began, "we're out here today selling (1)..."

"Angelina!" she shouted, and the girl immediately tensed up, sitting back on her heels.  "Get away from him right now!  And you!  How dare you attempt to use my daughter to peddle your wares to me!"

My friend was rightly taken aback, and could only stand there with his mouth open, a hand raised limply in a half-gesture.

Angelina stood and walked over to her mother's side, eyes lowered.  "Mommy, what about the doggy?" she murmured.

"Angelina, I want you to stay away from people like him.  I'm certain he's a child molester."

"He'll molester me?"

Why does this child understand that word?

I wanted to scream, to stand up and take this child away from her horrible mother to a place where she could play and be happy and just be a little girl...

"That's right.  You stay away from my daughter, do you hear?  You ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

The girl sniffed.  Steve moved wordlessly back behind his stall.  I lay there like a furry rug as the woman shook her finger at me.  The pendulous motion held me immobile, invisible fishing lines spreading through the air from its tip, pinning me to the ground and tearing my skin with their hooks.  Sweat rolled down my face; it was getting in my eyes.

"Come, Angelina.  We're going home now."

And they turned and left.  The girl looked back as they strolled out of sight.  It might have been me she was looking after, but I couldn't be sure.  I was very certain that I saw something glint on her cheek as the sun began to set.

"Hey," Steve said hesitantly after a long pause, "I-I'm sorry, man..."

I just shook my head, still unable to speak so long as I was in character.  I stood up and brushed the dirt from my suit.

And all the joy that was left in the world crawled into my heart and died.

---

Okay, so now that you're suitably depressed (I'd like to think), here's what's been bugging me.

(1)- What would a young entrepreneur be trying unsuccessfully to sell in a park on a warm spring day, using his fursuiting friend as a mascot? I've been pondering this, and I can't come up with anything suitable.

(2)- I'll admit, I know nothing about fursuiting. What the heck would the tongue be made of?

(3)- What do you think this woman would be wearing? I visualize a business suit, but that really wouldn't make sense if she's taking her daughter to the park, I don't think. Or would it?

Thanks in advance for anything you can tell me.





Offline Kale

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All the Joy That's Left in the World
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2004, 06:19:18 am »
1) Maybe some kind of pet product, if hes using a dog as a mascot

2) I dont know anything about fursuiting either

3)something eiter very drab or severe. try looking at what nannies wore during the victorian era to get the idea.

Just my two cents.

Oh, and kundos on a good story
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