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Omar’s novella-in-progress

Opening Sentence (Round 1):


Once upon a time,
(’twas the year 1284 to be exact),
the Hamelin hamlet suffered;
its easy days attacked;
the victims were the children,
and hence the elders too,
Pied Piper the offender,
revenge for payment due;
just two returned, one blind, one dumb,
they both had lagged behind;
of the blind boy’s life I now shall tell:
his tale deserves our time.

Opening paragraph about interactions on the Web – 300 words (Round 2)


Before I start this period piece,
There’s something you should know;
The form I use is dated,
Just like the minstrel show.
But modern is the medium;
The page is now the screen;
I do not rhyme by quill or stub
Or pencil, but machine.
You do not hold me in your hands
But conjure me online;
Best not to read me in a bath
Of freshwater or brine.
I shall not whine or groan,
Nor carp or moan of bygone times;
Technology is here to stay
So I’ll adapt my rhymes.
Now and then I may surprise
By offering a link;
Click on it and ah, voila!
You can’t do that in ink.
I think I’ll stop, I know I’ve not
Used up three hundred words;
But better to make one clean break
Than drop a mess of turds.
I hope you feel that you and I
Have formed a kindly bond.
Leave a comment if you’d like;
If I’d like I’ll respond.
It’s time to end this prologue,
Return to myth and lore,
Assuming that our host does not
Derail our plot once more.

Incorporate the death of a dog – 400 words (Round 3):


For years gloom swallowed Hamelin,
Which could not yet believe
That Pied Piper had ambled in
And snatched their progeny.
They cursed his name at every meal,
Burnt effigies at night,
Wished upon his lineage,
Famine, drought and blight.
As mentioned prior, two survived,
The first, the mute boy Hans;
Deaf to Piper’s music,
He fell not in its trance.
But the other one, the blind boy Claus,
Heard Piper’s siren song;
The music how it haunted him;
To hear more he did long.
The townsmen called him lucky;
The cruder ones, they said:
“In five years all the lasses will
Line up to give you head.”
But Claus ignored their crass remarks
All turmoil was his heart;
The music that he heard that night
Possessed him like black art.
His parents tried to lift his mood,
They hired skilled musicians
Who played in private for their son
For outrageous commissions.
But Claus remained subdued, unmoved,
Politely sent them off;
He’d rather thirst for beauty
Than drink from their vile trough.
Tortured with the memory,
Claus wandered off alone,
Hoping he might stumble on
A piper’s song, wind-blown.
Soon he found some company,
Or company found him:
A jaunty young stray mutt
Unnamed, let’s call him Jim.
(We’d like to call him Fido
But we must preserve the rhyme
“Then change the words around” you say
Alas, we’re short on time.)
Jim led Claus into a cave
And rested at his feet
As if to say, “Come on, my boy,
It’s time for us to sleep.”
They slept, first Claus, then Jim,
A touching scene inside that cave,
Until a poisonous adder
Thought it would misbehave.
The snake slithered up to them,
Wondering who to strike;
You’re probably guessing it’s the dog,
Whose death you expect tonight.
You’re wrong, the snake reared for the boy
(Not that Jim won’t die.)
Jim woke, he leapt, he yelped,
He blocked the strike with his own thigh.
The snake was torn to pieces
But the damage had been done;
The poison coursed throughout Jim’s veins;
His end had now begun.
Claus wept as he cradled Jim:
He’d known him just one day.
But when one saves your life
By giving his, tears are okay.
Jim let out a mournful howl;
Such sound Claus hadn’t heard
Since that day in Hamelin
When the kidnapping occurred.
Claus then made a vow
Before the limp body of Jim:
Since he could not find Piper
He’d make Piper come find him.

Weave an element of Fyor’s story into your passage – 450 words (Round 4)


If your fears are many
As you amble through your life,
Imagine how you’d cope
If each bright day were one dark night.
That is how it was for Claus,
Though this is not quite true;
The blind do not see blackness:
Sight’s a sense that they’re deaf to.
Just like we can’t hear radio waves
That warble through the air;
We do not hear their absence,
They simply are not there.
The same for the unseeing ones:
The world goes by unseen,
Without darkness, without light,
No red nor blue nor green.
The unseeing see with other eyes,
Not ones above their nose,
But ones with lobes, canals and drums
For which our bards compose.
Hearing’s the most primal sense,
Most sensitive perception,
The first one to develop
Just twelve weeks from conception
“How can that be!” you huff and puff
And screech and hoot and jeer.
“A fetus does not yet have ears
So how then can it hear?”
Please calm down and I’ll explain
If you’d just let me speak;
Unlike a fetus without ears
Your hearing’s rather bleak.
In our mother’s belly
Her heartbeat we do hear,
Not through ears but through our cells
That cover our veneer.
If you’re in a coma,
In deep unconsciousness,
Your hearing will return first
When at last you convalesce.
One more fact that we should share
Before we carry on
(And then we shall return
To Claus’ tale agreed upon):
When you are deprived a sense
Your others compensate;
Claus may lack his vision
But his nose and ears work great.
This is why, against all odds,
Claus could become a shepherd
As efficient and adept
As Mac OS Snow Leopard.
He didn’t have to see his herd
To know where they had went;
He only had to hear their baahs
And sniff their woolly scent.
Truly Claus did love his sheep
But not in a lewd way
(I know what you are thinking,
This your sniggers do betray).
Yet his duties as a herdsman
Were nothing but a ploy
For solitude in nature
To sing his sad heart’s joy.
The memory of Piper’s song
And Jim’s death-howl did haunt him;
He sang from dawn to dusk
Ballads, folk songs, Goth hymns.
Soon his song controlled his flock;
No longer would they flee.
Why would they when instead they could
Munch to his harmony?
Soon birds and bees and cats and mice
Gathered for his songs;
And then one day, a rodent
Came along and joined the throngs.
“I have not heard such music,”
The rat to Claus did say,
“Since the day Piper Piper came
And snatched my friends away.”

Fourth Fiction Challenge 5Incorporate this image into your next passage – 500 words (Round 5)


Quick, before the rat returns
To whence it was he came;
Indeed that was bad grammar;
Too bad we have no shame.
Stop this silly prattle now;
There’s business to do;
Quick, go ask that whiskered rat,
“Piper? When? Where? Who?”
Don’t be dim, the “who” we know,
Pied Piper is his name;
If we don’t stop goofing off,
Claus’ quest will be in vain.
Claus is way ahead of us,
His listening cap is on;
He’s talking to the rodent,
Who says his name is Don.
Here is what rat Don did say,
A transcript word for word;
With omniscient narrators
All’s seen and all is heard.
“Twas a dark and stormy night,”
Don Don so did begin;
The repeat was deliberate:
Don is a Spanish king.
“A rat a Spanish king?” you cry,
“What nonsense you do speak!”
You’re so anthropocentric:
A king can also squeak.
“Then why a Spaniard?” you demand
We are in Germany;
A rodent émigré from Spain
Is hardly that likely!”
(We hope that you did accent
Not on the first vowel “i”
But on the “y” of “likely”
To help the rhyme scrape by).
Why don’t you just keep quiet?
What’s your beef today?
Did someone dump you? Did the wind
Blow off your cheap toupee?
How likely, tell me, is it
That the Arctic tern does fly
Not once but twice a year
‘Tween the North and South Pole sky?
So kindly do please shut your trap,
We’ve lost half our word count;
Chime in no more, let’s now return
To hear Don Don’s account.
“Twas a dark and stormy night,
When Piper played his flute;
The rats of Hamelin followed him
Down that fatal route.
I had some pals among that bunch;
I was there on vacation;
I always did find German trash
The best of any nation.
While feasting with my merry lads,
His song pierced through the thunder;
I’d never heard such melody;
A spell it put us under.
He played on as he left the town;
We scuffled, scrabbled, scurried;
The feast could wait, we could not miss
Such music, how we hurried!
I cramped from overeating,
As if stuck by a knife;
Marooned, I cursed my gluttony,
Though greed would save my life.
Piper led the others
To the swollen riverbank;
He waded in and in they plunged,
Blind to his cruel prank.
By the time I found my friends,
All of them had drowned.
Only Piper did remain,
A homicidal clown.”
Don Don then did pause,
For a moment he looked human,
Tortured by a memory
In deed and dead inhuman.
“I never did return to Spain;
My eldest took the throne;
I could not bear to leave this place;
I chose to live alone.
Till now only Pied Piper
Possessed my every dream;
But now I know on hearing you,
He’s not alone supreme.
Mind if I do tag along
And join your company?
I may be just a rat, but still,
My blood is royalty.”

Incorporate a White Russian and the words “over the line” into your next passage – 500 words (Round 6)


As Don Don spoke a star shot by
Across the moonless night;
So what, it’s dark, don’t be surprised;
It’s not like it’s first light.
The birds and beasts did long ago
Depart when Claus stopped singing;
They went alone, one by one;
They hadn’t come for swinging.
“No, rat Don, don’t tag along,
Just join me at my side;
I neither lead nor follow;
That’s how the Claus abides.”
The rat Don Don looked up at Claus:
“Dude, man, don’t go freaking;
All I meant was let’s chill out,
It’s just a way of speaking.”
“Sorry, Don, I’m all strung out,
I’ve got this song to write;
I’ve got to post by midnight
On this website called Fourth Night.”
Don Don he did stare at him;
Not quite, his eyes were rolling.
“What the fuck you talking about?
Fuck it, let’s go bowling.”
But Claus he was still hesitant:
“I have to write my tune,
And finish it by midnight;
I wish I had till noon.”
Don Don then rolled up a spliff
Of sweet dank chronic goo:
“They call this bud ‘White Russian’;
Just try it, you’ll breeze through.”
Claus began to worry
About his rat-faced chum,
Who claimed a royal lineage
But acted like a bum.
“The bums will always lose” is what
His dad did always say.
But Don Don passed the spliff to him,
“Go on, dude, puff away.”
So Claus he took a monster drag;
He sputtered, coughed and hacked,
Then giggled, laughed, chiggled, chaffed,
His mind was totalled, wacked.
“Let’s go bowl,” Claus told Don Don,
His eyeballs veiny slits;
So much for his task at hand:
He’s shotgunning a Schlitz.
Don’t ask where they went to bowl,
These stoners: boy and rat;
Stranger things have happened;
Just ask the Cheshire Cat.
First they had to get their shoes;
Osama manned the desk;
Saddam was fired from that job;
How very Kafkaesque.
(Actually they hung him;
You probably saw the clip;
But no need to get into that;
Let’s not go jumping ship.)
“Over the line!” Claus did scream out
At rat Don as he bowled.
“This aggression will not stand, man,”
Said Don Don as he rolled.
Claus had really lost his wits:
The herb was much too strong;
No surprise that on his turn
Events turned badly wrong.
Claus held up the bowling ball;
He licked it for good luck;
But on the backswing it did slip
His grip, oh, what a schmuck.
Alas, Don Don behind him
Was itching at a gnat
When the backflung ball did land
Upon him with a splat.
No moral to this passage;
No message that we bring,
Except one thing we’d like to say:
Good night, sweet prince, sweet king.
So what of Claus, what shall he do?
Again he is alone;
Again he lost a friend of his,
Alone, he must atone.
Leave him to his world of pain
In hopes that he does draw
Some music from the well of grief
To end this hem and haw.


Omar’s Farewell Statement

“Omar, he did ask me
To share some words with you:
His final ones, alas,
For this is his toodle-oo.”
That is what young Claus did say
To friends the world around,
From Down Under to England
Where one still pays with the pound.
Is Omar on death row due to
A mass murder conviction?
“Don’t play dumb. You know that he was
Voted off Fourth Fiction.”
We know that Omar’s not in
Any penitentiary.
But no blind boy could know this
In the 13th century.
“If there’s something I have learned
From writing on Fourth Night;
It is that all is possible,
So don’t be so uptight.”
Aha! You just confessed yourself
To writing on Fourth Fiction;
Red-handed we have caught you
In a glaring contradiction!
“Excuse me, would you please shut up?
I’m trying to say farewell;
So stuff it, stop pretending
That you have just one brain cell.”
Blame me not, I’m just another
Voice inside your head.
By yelling at me you’re just cussing
Out yourself instead.
“Dear head-voice, you’ve got that right:
Omar is upset;
Like Eros said, he lacks a focus;
It’s his one regret.”
Don’t get down upon yourself
And start the doom and gloom;
You’re more the light and sunny type;
Just go and sing a tune.
“True, my friend, I’m glad to always
Have you by my side;
Even if I sometimes feel
Like Jekyll with his Hyde.
I should not ramble on again;
I’ll try to keep this short,
Unlike my tale of Claus, which my
Digressive thoughts did thwart.
But still I want to tell you
What did happen to young Claus,
Upon dropping that bowling ball
That killed both rat and louse.
Beneath the night sky Claus did lay,
Weeping in his grief,
When a little star called out,
‘Hey boy, what’s the beef?’
‘I’ve lost my friends,’
Young Claus did say, as he wiped his nose;
‘I do not want to live alone:
Loneliness, it blows.’
‘Then rhapsodize and rhyme, my friend,
That’s all you need in life.
You’ll never be alone like that;
You’ll sing your way through strife.’
‘Thank you, goodly little star,
For lifting up my mood;’
‘You’re welcome, little Claus,’
Said little star, ‘I’ll miss you, dude.’
‘Alas, goodbye,’ cried little Claus
As the sun did rise
To steal away his latest friend
From his searching eyes.
‘Never mind Pied Piper:
Of him I now am free;
I now shall go and sing my song
Unto the laurel tree.’
And so it is with Omar;
Like Claus he too did say,
‘Though sad to lose my Fourth Fic friends,
‘Tis time to go my way.’”

Farewell my friends, farewell my foes,
Farewell O littlestar;
In silence I put down my pen,
And pick up my guitar.