30 Stories in 30 Days #24 – “Rambling with Purpose”

Rambling with Purpose

Out of desperation – after staring at his computer for an hour – Malcolm picked up his dictionary and opened it at random.  With his eyes closed he pointed at a word.  He opened his eyes to see he had picked “merciful.”

“All right,” he said.  Turning back to his computer he wrote “Merciful” on the top of the page and began writing whatever came to mind without bothering to correct any mistakes:

mercy Ming the Merciless some alien overlord someone asking for mercy from some alein overlord Why would the aliens come here?  What was the reason, other than the stupid they’re here for our water or women?  What purpose was it how why did they become overlords?  Actually I guess that’s easy they are so advanced we didn’t stand a chance going up against them.  So they come, take over easily.  So who would ask mercy from them?  Why would someone ask mercy from them?  Would they show mercy?  If they’re merciful than they probably should what if they don’t?  Benign alien overloards some one who is normally nice but for some reason has to do something rather unpleasant.  Somone asking to forgo that unpleasantness?  A tribute to some alien gladiator game?  These aliens arrive, they take over the planet, but they’re kind dictators who don’t slaughter people.  They bring medicine and education and advanced technology.  All they ask is that once a year, once an alien cycle, say 2.3 Earth years, they send a tribute of, say, 42 humans to fight in some alien gladiator games.  Interesting, interesting.  What does that have to do with merciful?

Malcolm sat back from his computer and half-closed his eyes.  It was just his luck that he had been trying to come up with a short story idea, something he could bang out before the writing group meeting next week, and he had to come up with an idea that could conceivably be for a novel.

After a moment, he sighed and saved what he had typed.  After opening a new document, he opened his dictionary and picked the word “stump.” He typed it at the top of the page and began typing again, seeing where the words would take him this time.

2 Responses to “30 Stories in 30 Days #24 – “Rambling with Purpose””

  1. I’ve often heard the advice to writers to write without thinking. Just, fill a page with words and see what comes out. I’m not that good at that. It’s not really my style. But, as I’m trying to write these last few stories for my challenge, I need to do whatever I can.

  2. This sounds like a familiar technique. And a good example of free-writing.

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