Blake Writes A Story #7

We, Trumpeted (fantasy, historical fantasy, experimental)

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Remember when I used to post bi-weekly short stories?

Yeah, so do I.

Here’s what’s been going on with me lately:

1) I started working on a new novel-sized project that demands a lot of research and self-education. That took up a sizable portion of my time.

2) While doing said research, I started to feel the writing itch again, so I’ll also be working on some new short stories in the interim.

3) I decided to host a big barbecue for friends new and old, for which I’ve been doing a lot of planning and scheduling and brainwork.

4) Finally, I’ve gotten down to my last two stories in the queue, notwithstanding the two (“Post Terminus” and “The Magic Men of Dunsdale County”) that I still need to finish editing some day. (For those curious, each finished story in my hopper has approximately 60 days to find a potential buyer before they end up on here; one story’s on its second strike, while the other’s on its fourth or fifth, which means there might be a somewhat longer delay before I post them online.)

Once my last two finished stories are on here (or get bought–whichever happens), that’ll probably be the end of short story posts while I work on my new big project and some new short stories.

In the interim, I might do some flash fiction shorts, but probably not. I will be trying out some new methods of writing, new approaches to the work to improve my storytelling.

I’ve got a TON of content regarding my Year of Walden that I’ve been sitting on (uncomfortably, guiltily) for months. I might do well to just post it all as a series write up over the course of winter, looking back at the year’s progress and setbacks. I’d hoped, originally, to have updates every Monday, but the time spent doing research for some of the posts as well as the effort required to DO the things I’m researching kinda killed that for me. My biggest problem is going into the Year of Walden was having preconceptions about what the posts needed to be–pre-filtering is a fine way of killing the art in a person.

Until that inevitable end comes, however, I’ve got this new short story to entertain. “We, Trumpeted” started off as an experiment in narration, similar to “A Man of Questionable Character” (which may never see the light of day). I wanted to tell a story entirely using pronouns, establishing some nameless characters solely through dialog (one of my weakest skills) and action.  As I wrote more, the cloaked the identities of the characters allowed for a self-indulgent (in retrospect) twist ending, and the experiment ended up being, in the end, just a gimmick.

That’s not to say there weren’t some gems here and there. My favorite part of the story (the part that surprised me while I was writing it) was the introduction of “you” into the narrative, which I hadn’t planned on and, at which point, I realized just who these characters were and just how very, very bad things were going for them. “He” and “she” were pretty weak characters from the start, bickering and arguing as they did without much ambition driving them. I enjoyed being in the narrator’s head. I even felt melancholic at “my” loss of “you” which, in later revisions, was more fully explored as I came to realize just how much losing “you” had wounded each of the characters in some very personal ways.

In the end, “We, Trumpeted” didn’t sell, but like the three characters (and “you”, wherever “you” are), one must keep soldiering on, and so I’m off to new stories, new worlds, and new narratives. I hope that this imperfect work entertains someone out there or at least offers them an example of what not to do while writing.


We, Trumpeted

While she sits on the couch, looking down at her hands, he stands opposite her, smug and superior.

“I gave Peoli the cocaine; all of it! I don’t know what went wrong,” she says.

“You said he could make it all go away, but he didn’t, did he?” He taunts.

“Shut up! Just shut up and let me think.”

In my head, I can already hear D.S.E. boots pounding up the stairwell. Every car that passes outside is another military vehicle added to a growing motor pool…

©2013 by Blake Vaughn. The text of this story may be redistributed freely in its original form with attribution to the author, Blake Vaughn, and his website,, as under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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