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October 23rd, 2006, 03:08 AM
hey guys, i'm new here, but wanted to get the opinions of knowledgable persons on this start of a story i am conjuring. basically the idea is about the planet pluto commiting planetary suicide and sending a suicide note down to earth for us to decipher. any/all thoughts are much appreciated!


Death of a Dwarf Planet
by Ryan Dunn

2,000 A.D. -- Earth

When the asteroid nailed the swing set in Abraham's back yard he freaked. The dog barked, his wife gasped, and a baby cried (he didn't even have a baby). Of course he was the first to inspect the intruder from outer space, he was a cryptologist after all. If someone can crack a cipher, they can most certainly determine the nature of space rubble. Right?

"What is it, Abe?" his wife asked from the safety of their screen porch.

He looked back and scowled. Her thinly veiled sarcasm showed made an appearance even in this potential disaster situation. The nerve of that woman. But he swallowed the anger, and turned back to the buckled aluminum that once was his son's swing-set. The kid hadn't swung on it in years. Abraham silently thanked space for the favor of breaking the thing down. It would fit in the trash bin just right.

A deep inhale, filling his lungs with false bravado, and then he grabbed the crumpled metal to move it aside.

"God Dammit!" he howled. The dog, wife, and baby howled back, each in their own way. A squirrel even joined the concerto. He cursed them all, but his hand cursed him even louder. Throbbing, burning flesh raged in protest. He gagged at the smell of singed hair (his ape-like knuckles bordered on orangutan-ian).

When the tears from his eyes cleared his vision enough, Abraham leaned down to inspect. The swing set laughed at him to his right, the squirrel to his left. Hackles in stereo, but he was oblivious. He could see it now, the thing that fell from space. Not a meteor at all. _Holy ****!_ he thought. Out loud?

Abraham remembered watching "The Ten Commandments," (the man loved Charlton Heston) when he was in college. He remembered the wardrobe choices mostly, but there was that scene. The scene where Moses carries the tablets up to Mount Sinai, one under each arm. Not a strange connotation when you consider the thing lodged more than four feet underground in his backyard. _Holy ****!_ he thought again. Then he remembered to move.

He picked up the stone tablet, forgetting the throb in his right hand, and found it icy cold to the touch. Though the size of a small window opening (the kinds you find in bathrooms, or prisons), this tablet was hardly heavier than a happy meal. Raised formations brushed against his good hand.

This alien tablet has words on it.

"Honey, I think you need to see this," no answer. "Honey?"

But his wife didn't hear him. Nobody did. Except for the squirrel, who gave Abraham a great big smile. He swore the chitter was a laugh. Nobody saw this thing crash either. He thought about that while running back into the safety of his home, like Moses on his way to Sinai. Only Abraham held a styrofoam tablet from outer space. Probably dropped off by some aluminum foil UFO.

Inside, on the television mounted to the cupboard in the kitchen (don't ask), Abraham heard a newscaster talking. Usually he just hears jibberish and gobbledy gook coming from that thing, but something caught his attention, and he listened.

"...now has eight planets. That's right folks. Pluto has been downgraded to what astronomists are now calling a 'Dwarf Planet'. All eyes are currently on the spherical body named 'Xena', and whether Xena might replace Pluto as our ninth planet. One can only 'wonder'." (Get it?) "Back to you Steve...In other news..."

Abraham looked down. Then gulped. Then ran out the front door--keys in hand--and flew down the cul-de-sac, straight for the lab (which fortunately were closed on Sundays).


_Ok, so it wouldn't make much sense to recite true Plutonian here in this story, no not for you, little Earthling. I couldn't do that to you, as you are no cryptographer (even if you are). Therefore, all of the dialogue henceforth and hitherto dealing with life on Pluto shall be translated courtesy of yours truly (thank me later)._


T-Minus 04 Y.T.D. -- Pluto

"It is done, master," said the five-legged page.

"Good," replied the seven-legged king. And the two butted heads, as is the way when conversing within White Circle of Really Important Matters (a poor translation of what is actually just an ancient circle some two-legged schmuck traced into the ground on a hill with his third arm many, many, many years ago).

The page walked away from the king in a perfectly straight line. The king wrote the letter himself, and his fifth hand still trembled from the ordeal. He wrote it in the privacy of his own quarters, but is there really such a thing as private? Not when the planet itself channels emotions through its inhabitants. Fortunately for the king it was the planet who requested the tablet be written and sent off, not the king.

The creatures of Pluto lacked the gadgets and trinkets--enjoyed and abused by you Earthlings--to send interplanetary messages. But fortunately they had what you might call a mage (only sorta' different) who worked with the elements and specialized in inter/intraplanetary messaging. Their neighbors on Neptune wrote and visited quite often, always in the presence of Nart the Mage. Nart looked very like what you on Earth would call a squirrel. Only much larger and with six arms.

October 28th, 2006, 11:03 AM
This a really interesting story.

In Abraham's scene, I think you can cut out or change the comments aimed at the reader. Here are a couple examples of what I mean.

and a baby cried (he didn't even have a baby).
Maybe say 'and the neighbor's baby cried.'

He gagged at the smell of singed hair (his ape-like knuckles bordered on orangutan-ian).

Maybe write that as 'He gagged at the smell of singed hair coming from his ape-like knuckles that bordered on orangutan-ian.

Inside, on the television mounted to the cupboard in the kitchen (don't ask),

Just remove (don't ask)

Also, that tiny bit about plutonian interpretation, take it right out of there.

In your plutonian scene, do the same thing as in Abraham's scene, incorporate the statements into the narration or delete them. Also, are Nart and the king the one and the same? Is Nart the squirrel in the first scene? You need to clarify these characters and their actions more and show more progression from the king writing the tablet and its arrival in Abraham's yard.

October 28th, 2006, 01:46 PM

thanks for taking the time to read the story-in-progress. i was wondering about the conversational narrator and whether it is gratuitous. i can sense how you feel on the matter but i'm still not 100% sure. i think the best i can do is to craft the whole tale and see how it fits. but i'm tending to agree with you the more i write (i've written several more scenes).

nart is a different entity. i actually split him into a separate scene that, and given him a leg-count change (which will bear significance by the end).

thanks for reading. i'll be posting around (once i get this story laid out hehh).