Wilbur Shakespeare

Submitted into Contest #119 in response to: Start your story with a character saying “Listen, …”... view prompt



‘Listen, don’t get narky, I was just asking if you’ve read the rules, that’s all.’

‘Have I read the rules? What kind of a man do you think I am, of course I’ve read the rules.’

‘I know exactly what kind of man you are, I say again, have you read the rules?’

‘Oh rules my arse, you’re interfering with the creative process, us creative types don’t follow rules. We make our own rules in this world. You wouldn’t ask Wilbur Shakespeare if he followed the rules, of course not, you would just let him get on with it.’



‘Oh god, never mind. So you know that it has to be at least a thousand words then?’


‘A thousand words, here in the rules it states a thousand words.’

‘If I hear the word rules once more, I’ll do my pieces. Now please, pray tell, what page of the rul… instructions is that on?’

‘Do you mean what page of this single sided A4 document.’

‘Oh I don’t know, I sped read them, I must have missed it somewhere amongst all the other waffle.’

‘I see, you sped read past bullet point number one, that states in big bold capitals, all entries must be in at least a thousand words. Yes, I can see how you missed it, especially as it was also highlighted in red.’

‘A thousand you say, that seems like a lot to me. Are you sure it’s that many?’

‘Lord, give me strength. Come on then Wilbur get on with it. Let those creative juices start flowing.’

‘Right, let’s think, we need some kind of theme, ooh I know, I’ll set it in space, everybody loves a good space yarn. I’ve got it, a story of good versus evil, yes, yes, yes. Yuck my tea’s gone cold, be a love and pop the kettle on.’

‘Blimey you’ve done well, look at you go, here’s your tea. Go on then, what’s it about?’

‘Oh it’s a work of literary genius, I’ve set the story around a family conflict, a long lost son comes up against a mighty foe, who turns out to be his evil father. It’s a masterpiece, I should have taken up this writing lark years ago. Love, are you okay, you seemed to have dribbled tea down your chin.’

‘I don’t suppose this son also has an unknown twin sister by any chance?’

‘Hey, that’s not a bad idea, not a bad idea at all, yes I like it.’

‘You berk that’s Star Wars, you’ve just described bloody Star Wars.’

‘Have I. So what are you saying?’

‘What am I saying? It’s obvious isn’t it, you can’t steal somebody else’s idea, it’s plagiarism.’

‘Is it? I thought you said it was Star Wars. Look never mind, it just shows what a genius I am, now then what else, what else. Any chance of a biscuit?’

‘Thanks love, hey how come yours is chocolate?’

‘Last one, sorry.’

‘Well they soon disappeared, didn’t they?’

‘Did they, I never noticed.’

‘Right let’s crack on, what do you think of this then, it’s a romance, I’m still formulating it, but I’ve come up with a cracking line, it’s a disgruntled woman talking to the man she fancies, you know playing hard to get, ‘Frankie my dear, I don’t give a damn’ not bad eh. Oh for crying out loud you’ve spat tea all over the keyboard, you seem to have a drinking problem today, are you all right?’

‘Sorry about that Wilbur, don’t tell me, let me guess, it’s set in the American civil war.’

‘Well no, I was thinking of a post office in Delaware, but that’s not bad, I like it, yes the American civil war, not bad, not bad.’

‘Are you pulling my chain?’

‘No, I think it’s a great idea.’

‘It’s bloody gone with the bloody wind, you idiot.’

‘Bit rude. Gone with the bloody wind, never heard of it. Maybe we should stick to the post office in Delaware.’

‘Let me fetch a cloth for the keyboard.’

‘Careful, careful, let’s not delete these little gems.’

‘Erm, it might be better if I pull the plug out.’

‘Very funny, well how about this then, picture the scene if you will, it’s a love story set in the early twentieth century about a rich married girl who finds herself romantically drawn to a penniless boy.’

‘Yes, I’m liking it so far, you may have something at last, go on.’

‘They meet by chance, it’s love at first sight, but she can’t breakaway from her ruthless domineering husband.’

‘Nice Jack, very nice, it’s coming along.’

‘She’s an American socialite with aristocracy running through her veins and he’s a young lad on skid row who relies on his wits to get by.’

‘Yeah, I’m getting it, tell me more.’

‘Here’s the good bit, it’s set on a luxury liner sailing across the vast Atlantic, what do you think?… are you ok love, you seem to be grimacing.’

‘No, I’m all right. It’s beautiful, just beautiful. Here’s an idea: why not set the story on the Titanic and you could say, let one of them die, you know a tragic love story.’

‘Well, that’s a bit extreme, I was going to set it on the Queen Mary and have them live happily ever after, running a post office in Delaware. Ow you’re hurting my hand.’

‘I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go. I promise.’

‘What do you mean, why have you let go? Where are you going? Don’t go, you might be onto something. All right I’ll make it a Titanic tragedy if it will make you happy, Rose can you hear me?’

She’s in a strange mood, right keep going, where the hell is Delaware anyway? Hold on, what’s this thingy in the bottom of the screen, it keeps going up as I’m typing, I thought it was the date or something, oh it’s a word count, I’m up to 998.

The End.

November 10, 2021 17:32

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