Thursday, June 18, 2009


Snacking on the neighbor's dog gave me a chance to
escape, but I didn't get much of a head start before
the monster was right behind me again.
I ran blindly into the woods, which may not have been
the smartest thing to do.

"Stand aside boy, I'll tjake cyare of dis!" called a voice.
It was the local woodsman, who my Grandma just
called "The Swede."
The Swede raised his pointy axe and prepared to do
battle with the beast. It looked like an even chance
for either.

But the monster basically chomped the Swede to
pieces in a couple of gulps, axe and all. I was cornered
and paralyzed with fear.
The creature bore down on me with his dripping fangs
and putrid breath. I prepared for the worst. For moment,
time seemed to stand still.... Then,

Suddenly a shrill, weird whistle pierced the chill night air.
The monster froze and went pale. I turned to see
my Grandma. Somehow she had found me.
My Grandma had a glass eye which some kids said
was an "evil eye." I don't know how evil it was, but
it seemed to hold some power over the monster. She
fixed her gaze on him and snapped her fingers. The beast
immediately released me and I scrambled away from
him. From that point he became docile and
compliant as a well-trained puppy.

Then I heard her say something that sounded like:
"Koffa prombola!"
The monster responded by puking up chunks of the
devoured dog and woodsman. At this point I passed out,
I am not proud to admit.

When I came to, my Grandma had restored both the
dog and the Swede to their normal selves, although
perhaps they could have used a bit more fine tuning.
She sent them both on their respective ways and then
turned to me.
I gulped. "Are you going to punish me?"

My Grandma merely sighed and shook her head,
although I don't know if that was an answer or
just resignation. I heard her mutter to herself,
"Coulda been worse. Coulda gone in the attic."

I picked up her groceries and we walked back to her
house under cover of darkness. My Grandma kept the
beast in her spell the whole time. When we got home,
she locked him back in the closet and she sent me to
bed. I heard her watch the first few minutes of "The
Tonight Show" and then she turned off the T.V.
Soon, apart from her snoring the whole world
seemed filled with peace and silence.

For a while anyway.....


Weirdo said...

Awesome story. I loved your design of the Swede.

Do I sense a sequel in the air?

Larry Levine said...

Will, This is awesome...had a lot of fun reading the story & enjoying your beautiful artwork!!!

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

We enjoy your work...especially the stuff you just showed us! Your pals in all things fairies, B&R

Stephen Worth said...

100% pure unadulterated fun. Thanks!

Will Finn said...

Thanks for the nice comments all.

This was kind of an experiment to just do a beginning, middle and end of a short story and not worry about it as I went. As anybody who has worked in story for animated features knows, there is a lot to learn and understand about making a movie story work correctly and it's no small thing. I continue to learn things on the job, from life, from reading fiction and even from my punishing addiction to reading "how to write" books (I'm reading 2 at the moment.)

When it's all said and done, though, sometimes I think we can over-think our work too much. The idea here was simply to have a beginning, middle and end and to make drawings to amuse myself as I went along. In every case, I thought about the general sense of the story for each third, then drew the pictures and then wrote the actual text last. In doing that, I found myself being far more sparse with the text than I would have been if I wrote first.

Of course, it's pretty simple as story goes, and it doesn't deliver on many of the classic principal theories (grandma ex-machina being a case in point). But I decided not to worry about it too much and just let it be what it is. I can't remember the last time I did that...