Concoct a story that uses some overused cliches, but make it good.
It was the beginning of our third week in the jungle when we found the town. Mitchell went first (he always went first) down the empty space between the huts, peering into each of them as he passed until he finally turned and gave me the all clear signal.
Not quite believing him (I remembered his previous guarantees of safety, and had the piranha bites to prove it) I cautiously made my way through the deserted village. Once I was past all the houses there really wasn’t anything to see except the path that disappeared into the jungle as it continued up the hill.
In whispers we discussed our theories as to what had happened to the villagers. The place obviously hadn’t been abandoned for long, and there were no signs of foul play. If they had decided to leave, the path only went two directions and we hadn’t passed them on the way in …
Mitchell took the lead as we continued up the hill.
We stood in the trees watching the two huts. The one that faced us had smoke coming from a hole in the roof, someone was in there. The other could be abandoned for all we knew, there was no indication from either that the inhabitants knew we were out here. Mitchell was the one who finally went in, but when he hadn’t come out in 10 minutes, I decided to investigate the other hut. Knocking politely, and making my presence known, I pushed into the small cramped place.
“Are you from the East or the West?” The man sitting in the corner had essentially become a part of the wall, even after I managed to get my heart back into my chest and looked in the direction of the voice, I had trouble seeing him.
“The East, I guess.”
“That is good, were you not I would have shrunk you to the size of a salamander and kept you in that jar.” The wall gestured to something that may well have been a jar.
“Is that what happened to my friend?”
“Your friend went into the wrong hut. Nothing but savages in there.”
“Excuse me.” I ran out of the hut, charged around the back and barged my way into the first hut.
“Are you from the East or the West?” The man sitting in the corner had essentially become a part of the wall, even after I looked in the direction of the voice, I had trouble seeing him.
Thinking quickly, I decided on my answer, “The West.”
“You lie. If that were true you would have followed my orders to destroy the Eastern village.”
“Where is Mitchell?”
The wall gestured to something that may well have been a jar. From inside came a tiny voice, crying indecipherably.
“Excuse me.” I ran out of the hut, charged around the back and barged my way back into the second hut.
“There’s another village on the East side of the hill that you command, isn’t there?”
“Yes, and they have moved to strike against the West tonight.”
“The other one said the same thing.”
“Then tonight, they will all die, and it will only be the two of us who remain.”
“You have to help me, that bastard shrunk my friend.”
“No one speaks of my brother that way!”
The hut began to grow in size, the man in the corner growing with it to unimaginable size. It was only when he reached to pick me up that I realized I would spend the rest of my days in that jar, with only the wall for company.
K: I adore it. Many of these made the cliches work, but this one actually made the cliches a positive. The keepers are twin brothers? I didn’t see that coming. Considering that this was the last one, it’s amazing how much the cliches kept surprising me when they showed up. Whip-smart.
5 points out of 5
B: Not sure how to review this other than I don’t always like surrealism but this one nails it. You guys are so darn creative that I usually I am glad I am a judge and not a contestant. This is beautiful.