Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Unpredictable Tale - Round Two

Here is my second attempt at the Unpredictable Tale - Explained here are The Rules. The process was the same as before, only this time with no word limit, so apologies for the length! See if you can work out the options, I'll post them the end anyway! Enjoy!

Jacques scurried through the trees, as the bobby blew his whistle shrilly, and a flock of nesting blackbirds flew into the overcast sky. He had torn his rough trousers clambering over the sharp iron gates, and he felt the unpleasant warmth of blood trickling down his leg. Yet it was a mere scrape, and he shrugged it off as he darted into the shadows. This time he would escape that horrible cage, they couldn’t shut him bedlam forever, or the screams would really drive him to the insanity he was supposed to possess. The whites of Jacque’s eyes flashed in the darkness, and he grinned as the sound of pursuit grew distant. He was in a thick forest, surrounded by imposing shadowy trees, the image of a sinister captor at every turn. Jacque ran a rough hand through his long and untamed hair, and wondered if the paranoia eating at his mind really was a case of madness.
Jacque had slipped into a feverish sleep on a bed of fallen leaves; he was running from pursuers in an inescapable maze, turning and twisting in an agony of indecision.  He sat up, crying out in fear, having been at the brink of capture in his twisted imagination, to find himself looking up at a collection of whispering servants. There were several ladies’ maids, judging by their uniform, a butler, and a serving girl, who seemed incapable of keeping to a whisper. Indeed the girl squawked in excitement, a merry blush covering her cheeks, as she saw him awaken. “Maam! ‘e’s up ‘maam! An’ don’t he have lovely eyes” she giggled furiously, shouting through the trees. A path seemed to be clearing over to him, and soon enough a thin faced woman squinted at him through gold rimmed glasses. She was holding an ornate caved walking stick and had thick heavy skirts, adorned with a seemingly astonishing amount of decoration and jewellery. He merely gawped at her extravagance, having seen nothing of the whims of the rich in his pitiful life. She raised a delicately painted eyebrow in her humour. “It seems they have lost another one at bedlam” she observed, a wry sarcasm in her voice. She turned on her heel before Jacque could protest and ordered for him to be brought inside. Her eccentricity was quite clear in the exchanged glances of her servants. Jacque inwardly groaned, it was back to the madhouse.
When he had supposed to be sent back to the madhouse, it was not this that he had expected. Jacque found himself in a canary yellow parlour, staring about at his setting in astonishment and gripping a delicate saucer in his trembling hands. He had been led to a large estate, with an imposing façade, down the dark corridors of the servant’s quarters, and into a light, airy and otherworldly room. Covering the patterned canary coloured walls, there were sentimental paintings of cats and dogs, of birds and flowers, even a few depicting children, although Jacque rather doubted the eccentric woman to be married. There were knick knacks everywhere covering tables and the mantelpiece, exotic items from far away colonies. He vaguely remembered talk of a huge beast with a long nose to the floor in a tavern once. That was before they had taken him, a lifetime ago. He had been trapped all his life, firstly by poverty, then in the workhouse. That’s when they had taken him away from his family. That’s when they said he went mad. The truth of it was he couldn’t remember, it seemed to be a blur, a blip in his memory, and he couldn’t even remember their faces. Something had ended him up in the madhouse, and he didn’t even know what. He jumped from his memories abruptly as he heard the door slam shut, turning to see the woman watching him with beady eyes. She seemed to be a like the canary itself, surrounded by its toys, surrounded by an ornate cage. If the woman was a bird, Jacque was beginning to feel very much like a worm, by the hungry look she had in her eyes. He gulped and looked down uncomfortably, feeling her ravenous stare prickle on the back of his head. He heard a bolt being slowly drawn across the door, before that same voice asked the innocent question “How do you like your tea?” He shivered, overcome with dread; he was trapped in yet another madhouse.
The woman came and sat down in a wooden rocking chair, draped with an uneven and moth eaten blanket. There was a quiet squeak and groan from the chair as she rocked through the silence. The noise caused Jacque’s blood to boil and his teeth to grind. “Paranoia, Memory Loss, Extreme… Anger” She cackled watching his face with an ecstatic look of interest. She knew she was right. “You’ll fit in very nicely with the rest of us” she taunted. The ranks of servants, some of whom he recognised from the forest earlier, seemed to merge from the darkness; it was as if their presence was made visible only when she called them out. It was as if she was a dark and insane puppet master, controlling them for her own amusement, making them dance for her. Jacque stood and began to back to the door, feeling himself grow cold with fear; this was a dream, a concoction of his own misery, his own madness. The door was bolted, he knew before he even reached it, and still he banged on the door, screaming for sanity. He stared around him at the advancing minions. He was white eyed and clammy, the room was spinning. He felt a surge of all the anger and pain and fear in his life, before the canary yellow faded to an unseeing blackness. Jacque never remembered who he was, or the life he once led, only somewhere in the deepest black holes of his mind he knew:
He would always be trapped in a madhouse.

Hope you enjoyed the story and are not too worried about my sanity.  Upon attending a talk from William Nicholson, I learnt that every character we write is a reflection of our own personality. I'm not sure what that says about me! 

The dice dictated:
1] Poor Person
2] Male
3] Forest
4] Victorian
5] Rich Person
6] Woman
7] You are Trapped
8] Your Fate Confirmed

Give it a go, you never know what might happen!


  1. Poor Jacques! I loved the image when He sat up, crying out in fear, having been at the brink of capture in his twisted imagination, to find himself looking up at a collection of whispering servants. Another great piece. I've taken the liberty of creating a logo for this challenge over at mine, (My entry is scheduled to post tomorrow) ;O)

  2. Wow thanks! (: I'll be sure to have read!
    Em x

  3. You are welcome to use the logo yourself if you wanted to. People on my blog have been asking where to participate for this challeneg, so it would help them locate your blog and join in. It's a great idea :O)

  4. Ah cool! Well Dad (Dom to everyone else!) was thinking about it as an idea for a blogfest.. in a little while, so I might have to go ahead and pinch it then!

  5. Great BTW Can't wait to see your Through the Keyhole piece :O)