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Challenge # 33 The Storyteller

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:45 PM
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Default Challenge # 33 The Storyteller




The wizened figure in the corner was motionless as the three men filed into the room and seated themselves on a large settee. The figure didn’t even seem to notice the men as they sat and looked upon him patiently. Under their scrutiny he may have adjusted his position, he may have tensed, but he may also have been experiencing the twinges of his aged body. Gnarled hands clutching the arm rests were almost indistinguishable from the pattern of knotted and ancient wood. His head lolled listlessly on his shoulder, gazing at something, or nothing, on the wall.


He took a breath, which may have been a gasp or a sigh. The three men aimed glances at each other, but none had anything more than shrugs to reply with. They waited.


“Once upon a time…” the old men began, his voice soft, but clear in the confines of a small room. A loud whisper, with the brittleness of labored lungs “…There was a wicked prince. This prince fell victim to the most horrible pride, for with the king as his father, how could anyone dare to defy him. He abused his position and flaunted his protection. The king loved his only son but he feared for his empire and what might befall it, were the prince to inherit the throne before he was deserving or able. Woe followed woe when those trusted by the king discovered traces of treachery and treason. It was discovered that the vain prince was not content to be a wise king in the future; he sought to be a young king in the present. When he was made aware of the prince’s plot, the king was held hostage by his conscience. He was warred upon from the inside by the worst kind of civil war, as the portion of his heart that loved his people was constantly besieged by the portion that loved his son. The poor king was dragged viciously into the mire of madness. But the brave king emerged triumphantly through the other side, finally safe at the shores on the ocean of clarity. And he asked the humble horizon, the illuminating sun and the unrelentingly truthful tide, ‘what must be done?’ And so they told him”.


Another silence as the head bobbed until it was now on the shoulder closest to the men, and appeared to be seeing them for the first time. “Are you interested in the ending of the story?”


“Yes” said each of them in unison without any conferral. They knew the answer before they heard the question, though they had never heard in this manner before.


The old man made some sort of gesture or signal, or at least he must have because the door they had entered was now being opened at a respectable pace. No one appeared and so the door hung ajar like an unanswered question, with the cessation of conversation as its companion.


The member of the trio closest to the door stood up, followed quickly by his companions when they realized their alternative was to remain with the storyteller, who was now giving every impression of nodding off. They left and were greeted by the man who had originally led them to the room, and presumably opened the door just now.


“Thank you for your time gentlemen. I shall escort you out momentarily but first if you will allow me to recommend desirable accommodation or destinations in the area, your business schedule permitting of course. Please come with me.”




Daily times

Heir to the Crown loses life.


Notorious playboy, Rickie Pryce (29), lost his life by drowning while

vacationing with his father, Philip Pryce (54), the multimillionaire
owner
of the ‘Crown’ hotel franchise. In an exclusive interview with
a times
correspondent, Mr. Pryce made the following statement:
“I will blame
myself forever for my son’s death. He’s always been
a late riser so I
assumed he was still in bed while I prepared my own breakfast.
Now I
know that while I was eating cereal, he was being drowned by the tide just

because he felt like a morning swim. I should never have suggested we come

here but his personal projects keep him so busy, and I just wanted to give
him a break from it all."
After the interview, Mr. Pryce understandably
requested he have the utmost
of privacy, so he may have the time he
needs to grieve: Continued on page five.

End






Allo, thanks for reading. Was supposed to be concise and pungent (like 'short and sweet' but less calories) but it kinda went off in it's own direction. One of these days I'm sure I'll get hold of a story that does what it's told


B

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Last edited by Bel; 08-13-2009 at 03:34 AM..
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:44 AM
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I think I understand this . . . The story is about Pryces, but told in an old fashion? So does that mean that Philip whacked his kid because he wanted to inherit the hotel chain sooner than he should have? But why would he sell it then?
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:15 PM
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Drat! I forgot that it takes less time to read than it does to write, so the mentions of resorts right beside hotels wasn't really a good idea. Hes just planning on selling the their private holiday place, the scene of the accident. He certainly plans on keeping the hotels.

As for old story telling dude and the trio: it's my belief that when a man arranges a hit, he goes to methods so elaborate and convoluted, that nobody knows what the hell is going on or who is who. If I hired hit men I would certainly insist on full anonymity and some drama. Perhaps I wouldn't say "Get an old man to tell a story to some killers and then see if there up for it." But I would say "Make it fantastically confusing!"

Thankie kindly for reading. Sorry for any muddle ups. I must make keener my editorial eye.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:49 PM
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Okay, I get it now! Once you give the explanation, it actually takes to the story to a different level, in my opinion! I still think that it was mean of the father to send a hit out on his son Lol.
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:34 AM
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As do I! You can rest assured that he is no longer invited to afternoon brunch.

Thanks alot for the specific advice, very few stories can't be improved by new eyes. I am going to remove the sentence about him selling the holiday place, clarity being more essential than small details.

Thanks again.

B
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:51 AM
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Default Upon the shores of the ocean of clarity

Bel,
Treacherous, backstabbing, tragic and oh so clever. I read this through and the pieces didn't seem to fit. Then I read your explanation and it all fell together. I arrived safely on the shores of the ocean of clarity.
The young son wants to have control of the hotel empire so he plots to kill his father. That's the backstabbing part. His father loves him and is torn with the knowledge of his son's treachery. That' the tragedy. Once he gets through the awfulness of it all, he hires a story teller. The storyteller tells his tale to three assassins. They, through veiled references, understand what must be done and take care of the matter.
Wow, what a ride. I enjoyed that I had to puzzle it out and didn't come to a good answer. It made it all the more enjoyable. Then, the answer revealed, it all made sense. Brilliant.
I enjoyed the description of the old man and how his arms were indistinguishable from the wooden chair.

Originally Posted by Bel View Post
But the brave king emerged triumphantly through the other side, finally safe at the shores on the ocean of clarity. And he asked the humble horizon, the illuminating sun and the unrelentingly truthful tide, ‘what must be done?’ And so they told him”.

Originally Posted by Bel View Post
Now I know that while I was eating cereal, he was being drowned by the tide just because he felt like a morning swim.

The horizon, sun and tide, the infamous killers of the young prince. As it was told and as it was done.

Bel, this was masterfully told, and wickedly divulged. I can only suggest that you leave another clue or two for slow witted readers like me that need help coming to the correct conclusion. Reminds me of the saying that you laugh once when you hear the joke, once when it's explained and once when you get it. Well, I read the story a few times and it was a very different read after the explanation. It was worth it when it all came together for me.
My one critique would be the Kings quote at the end would never make it to print. The reporter would have edited it, and only put in a snippet or two. No biggie.

You've given me an epiphany for my next challenge. I hold you completely responsible.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:31 AM
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Thank you sir. If you found it oh so clever though, you must give yourself most of the credit. With my own attempts to be tremendously clever,I left a lot of loose ends In my wake. Apologies and thanks to you two for being confused and still hanging around to hear the explanation

Your synopsis was perfect,(and flattering, it sounded like an actual plot when you said it) though just remember; considering who the storyteller was hired by, it may have been a bit biased in Pryce Seniors favor.

Aye, I took massive liberties with usual reporting format, I would fire my editor but he is I. I really needed to let Mr Pryce speak for himself, let him say the things that would make the links. Don't you try suppress my creative license! I shall sue you as soon as you are kind enough to inform me of your real name and address. For millions!

I'm glad to hear of your epiphany, though I shall wait and see if I like it, before I take any credit. The gauntlet is thrown.

Really appreciate the help making sense of the nonsense.

B
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:33 AM
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I thought it was a good piece, Bel! Good descriptions, definitely, though the first bit of the story got just a little bit tedious. Maybe you could throw a few juicy hints in there Before I read some comments, I thought it was something showing how times haven't changed--assassination puts on a new coat but keeps the same face throughout history. But the other thing works too Very nice!
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:40 PM
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Winterbite,
That's what I thought at first, too.

Teancor
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:38 AM
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There must be an equation or graph out there which shows the increased risk of confusion and contradiction, as one tries to raise the level of intelligent complexity. Simpler said, I tried too had to be clever when I shouldn't.

Thanks for the reply and opinion Winterbite. Delighted to hear you didn't dislike.

B
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:03 PM
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Bel,
I am glad to hear that you have to try to be clever. Your comments and stories are always just that, clever! Your keen observations seem effortless. I struggle to be witty and fail most of the time, so it is good to hear that you are--at times-- human too.

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