Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cartoon Survival Guide

This month's writing prompt comes from Reddit, and it goes like this:
A real human living in a cartoon world creates a How-To guide on staying alive
Seems like an interesting concept, right? I mean, I loved Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the story about Eddie Valiant, the private eye who investigates the murder of Roger Rabbit's wife, and subsequent framing of Roger for the deed. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I strongly recommend that you give it a watch.

Anyway, that's not what this story is about, but I thought it would be fun to imagine what advice someone would give, who's been stuck on an island full of cartoon characters for years. Well, that man has written a book, and here's an excerpt:

DON'T PANIC

So, you've been marooned on Toon Island, have you? Things seem without hope? Well, don't despair, Freddy's here! Oh, make no mistake, son. I've been on this island since before you were born, just look at my beard! Stick with me, and you'll be fine.

But you didn't come here to learn all about me; you came here to learn how to survive in this zany unforgiving place. So let's get to it. Before we begi-WATCH OUT FOR THAT ANVIL!

Phew! That was a close one! Okay, so I guess we should talk about falling objects. Lots of things fall out of the sky in this place, all the time. It could be anything really, but anvils—like that one—and pianos seem to be the most common. Sometimes Toons throw them or drop them off cliffs, but other times they just appear out of thin air. And they're always falling on Toon's heads. Sometimes they knock teeth out, or their eyeballs pop out of their heads, but they just shake themselves off like wet dogs, and everything's right as rain again.

That's another important thing to remember, son: Toons can't die. And they think you can't, either, so they'll drop a great big piano on your head just for kicks or to play some kind of "innocent" practical joke. The idea that someone could actually die and never come back is completely beyond their reckoning.

It's this inability for Toons to die, that's the biggest problem on this whole damn island. You might get shot with a hunting rifle or have one of those ridiculous big black bombs thrown at you. Some particularly violent Toons (mostly cats and mice) will literally hack off each others' limbs with swords and knives. If you're a Toon, you'll end up with a big gaping hole in your chest, or covered in soot, or squirting blood from your shoulder, and one of those quick dog-shakes will put you right back together again. But if that happens to you or I, son, we're deader than a doornail, and we ain't never coming back!

Okay, okay, whoa. Yes, I've made my point. I'll stop scaring you now. Just don't forget, okay? This stuff is important!

So what's next? Oh, right, food. What can you eat? Well, first of all, Toons don't need to eat, near as I can tell. They're immortal, as I say, so that seems to make sense. I know of this rabbit, lives over the rise there, who likes to munch on carrots all day, but it doesn't seem to affect him much if he doesn't eat them. He's always chastising this other Toon, who walks around with a big old fashioned musket gun and claims to eat rabbits, but I've never seem him eat any.

Fruits and vegetables seem to be fine to eat. They look much the same as they do where we're from, just much more brightly coloured, with this same glossy sheen that everything has in this world. Don't eat anything with eyes, mouths, arms, or legs, though. And don't eat any Toon animals. They can't die, remember? They'll burst through your stomach, and you'll be a goner!

Sleep? Hah! What's sleep? Sleeping characters are the most favourite characters for Toons to play their practical jokes on, and don't forget, they don't know that you can die. I haven't slept in years. not properly. Which is one of the reasons I'm so glad you're here, kiddo; one of us can sleep while the other keeps watch.

Well, I can see that I've really got you shaking in your boots, now! He he he. No, really, it's not so bad, once you get used to it. Can be kind of fun, actually. Hey, we're not going anywhere, right? I mean, nobody knows how to get off this blasted island, after all. We may as well make the most of it. Just stick with me, remember everything I've told you, and let me know if you're ever unsure of anything!

Now, let's go find something to eat. I'm starving!

Did you like this little story? If you did, I'd appreciate it if you'd use the social sharing links below to share this post far and wide. You can also tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Oh, and if you want to read a bit more of my writing, click on the All Books link, to find out where you can buy one of my stories.

Until next month, happy reading!

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