Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #198

Tricksy
by Curtis C. Chen


"It's still fighting me," Coyote said.

"Level out!" said Crow.

"You should be happy it's still in the air."

They watched from the large, flat rock as the mechanical bird circled the clearing. Coyote used both front paws to manipulate the unwieldy remote while Crow hopped excitedly from side to side.

A sudden gust of wind pushed the bird sideways. Coyote shoved one joystick forward and realized too late that he had overcompensated. The bird angled down and crashed into a tree.

"Well," Crow said, "I'm not happy any more."

"Stupid levers," Coyote growled. He swatted the remote to one side. It skittered off the rock.

"Careful!" Crow squawked. "Those things are expensive!"

"Waste of time," Coyote said. "Why are we messing with machines anyway?"

Crow dipped his beak. "I told you. Our magic doesn't work anymore."

"Maybe your charms have failed--"

"You're not listening," Crow said. "The power's fading. The humans can explain away just about any strange sight or occurrence these days: it's hallucination, or fatigue, or stress.

"They call it psychology." Crow pronounced the word as if it tasted sour. "The only thing they believe now is technology. That's the only trick we have left."

Coyote lay down on the rock. "Fine. But this remote-control-box thing isn't working. What now?"

"We can fix it." Crow began hopping again. "I'll get the bird down. You get on the cell phone and call tech support."

Coyote groaned. Crow said, "What?"

"I hate talking to Ganesh."

31 comments:

Laurel said...

This reads like the beginning of a really fun middle grade novel. I love that they are using a remote control bird and Coyote' frustration with the joystick reminds me of my five year old!

Witty and fun.

Tara said...

Ha! This was fun. I agree with Laurel about the beginning of a novel :)

Bernita said...

Oh, fun!

Lily Childs said...

Great last line.

really good fun.

Deb Smythe said...

Yes, this was fun. Thanks for lightening the mood. There are a lot of dead bodies around this joint.

Preeti said...

"I hate talking to Ganesh...???"
I'm sorry I didnt get this line...

BUT...
i liked the way the dialogue ensued. since i was visualizing a coyote and a crow, it seemed freakishly cool to hear them discussing about technology and psychology...

lena said...

I liked it. That is sure a great take on the prompt!
And ya, I did not get the last line either.

Aniket said...

This is hilarious. They are such a hoot.
The character look they jumped straight out of a comic book. :P

I just have to push into my top ten somehow. I know I have to. :)


@ Preeti: Its an inside joke that most of the call centres are managed by Asians. And well, there is the obvious problem of the accents being different. ;) Its all in good humour.

kashers said...

I laughed throughout, and yes I did get the last line.

As with the best comedy though, it has a message too. At what cost do we drown ourselves with gadgets? Is genuine social interaction being sacrificed? Should we desire a virtual or a real life? Do we wish press a button to direct Lara Croft to jump this way and shoot that way, or dance with a real girl... and have them dance with us?

CKL said...

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

I had some trouble finding the last line. Ganesh is the Hindu deity who removes obstacles, usually depicted as an elephant; it was supposed to be a dig at outsourced call centers. I probably should have punched that detail a little more.

Antriksh Satyarthi said...

hiilarious mate...the charcterization n d conversation wasvextremely witty..great job..

McKoala said...

Really neat little story, great characters, very witty.

lahosken said...

Those darned ACME remote-controlled birds never work.

Preeti said...

@Aniket...

aah...theek hai! hmmn
:-)

laughingwolf said...

lol... perfect, curtis!

Kartik said...

Ahahahaaa! This was really funny :)

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

Oh, Curtis, I think I have to gush. GUSH. I loved this. Fun, but I hate that people might overlook how really well written it is. The dialogue is snappy, there's movement and conflict and characterization. You're the first person to whom I've said this, but you definitely get a Top Ten vote from me.

Something I Might Tweak

Um. Let me think.

Aerin said...

Still thinking

James R. Tomlinson said...

I absolutely loved these lines: "They call it psychology." Crow pronounced the word as if it tasted sour.

Is there a specific reason why you chose the name Coyote? I realize from the dialogue tags that these are animals, but I'm wondering why the Coyote didn't eat the Crow. Should I call tech support?

truevoid said...

funny :)

Aerin said...

still thinking

MHPayne said...

I'm thinking this might be my favorite of the whole batch--just a lovely piece of prose!

Mike

Sarah Laurenson said...

LOL

What fun. Your characterizations are spot on. And poking fun at so many different things. I loved imagining the coyote working the controls without opposable thumbs. Too funny.

Craig said...

Loved it.

Aimee Laine said...

So we need to believe to keep magic? I believe! I believe! ;)

JaneyV said...

Curtis.

I think..

this is...

BRILLIANT!!!!!!

I love every single bit of this.

I know I should feed back to you on every technical detail you got just right, tell you how funny and clever it is, how perfect the dialogue is, what an imaginative, original premise it is and how expertly you pulled it all together with that killer finish. But I'm afraid of looking like a gushy girly fan so we'll just leave it at BRILLIANT!!!!!. OK?

pjd said...

Really clever with the world-building thrown in. Laurel's right. I hope you consider finding a plot around these two and the tech support line and turning the whole thing into a middle grade book.

Wavemancali said...

This one rocks my socks off.

catvibe said...

It really is that good. The last line is actually brilliant, even if I didn't get it until I read Aniket's comment and then it was a bang on the forehead kind of getting it. Duh! Loved it.

Lynn Kinsey said...

This was really fun. It hearkened back to Potter and the wonderful animal characters she invented. I especially like the message. The characters came alive.

CKL said...

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I really appreciate your thoughts.

James: "Coyote" is a reference to the Native American trickster god. The raven is also a significant animal in that mythology.