1.17.2011 Story idea of the day

Horse Tale by Fred Schiller Ⓒ 2011

Fresh out of college with a degree in psychiatry and the promise of a job in a medical clinic, Bobby Quinn learns that his grandfather in Michigan has died and left him a house. This comes as a shock to Bobby whose parents died during his first year in college. He believed that he didn't have any living relatives, with the exception of maybe a third cousin or the the widow of one of his great aunt's several nephews.

Bobby meets with the lawyer and learns that it was his father's father who has died. Bobby tells the lawyer that his father told him that his grandfather had died during wartime. Bobby learns that his father and grandfather had been estranged for nearly fifty years, but Bobby's grandfather was aware of Bobby's existence.

The house that Bobby has inherited is in a tiny speck of a town surrounded by a lot of farmland. There are signs that some of the land is being bought up by developers and signs boast housing communities coming soon. As he drives him to the house, the lawyer explains that the grandfather had been the town's veterinarian, working almost up to the day he died. The house is a big white affair. Very plain and with an ancient barn behind it. The grandfather had transformed the back half of the house into a clinic, with a separate entrance. There's also a stone stairwell leading to a basement door.

The interior of the house is as plain as the outside. It's modestly furnished but it's clear his grandfather lived for his work with animal. The lawyer hems and haws a bit before he delivers a weird piece of information about the house. He leads Bobby down the steps to the basement. The doorway is so low Bobby has to duck to avoid hitting his head. The basement runs the full length of the house up above it. The walls are whitewashed concrete blocks and the floor is dirt. In one corner is a giant pile of hay and an open wooden barrel filled with water, and standing in the middle of the room is a giant horse. After he gets over the shock of seeing the horse Bobby notices that the there's a slight dip in the dirt floor that forms an oval that fills the room. The horse perks up when he sees the two men and prances over for attention. Bobby steps back in shock but the lawyer rubs the horse's nose and pulls an apple out of his jacket pocket. The horse gently takes the apple from his hand and happily begins to trot around the basement in the oval.

Long story short, the horse, named Buzby, was the product of a troubled delivery at a nearby farm. This was five years ago. The sickly colt wasn't expected to live so the farmer asked the Grandfather if he would put him down. The Grandfather took the colt who would come to be known as Buzby home and nursed him like a sick child. It took a lot of care and long nights but eventually his strength grew and he was walking. It was the middle of a fierce winter so the Grandfather had led him down to the basement to keep him out of the elements. With his wife passed on years ago, the Grandfather got accustomed to the companionship of Buzby, so he kept him in the basement another winter. By the time the Grandfather had decided that enough was enough, Buzby had grown too large to exit through the door he entered through. Grandfather brought in contractors to consult, but was told that dig out enough of the weakened foundation to widen the doorway would probably result in the back of the house collapsing. Instead he had the contractor dig the basement down a foot or two more to help accommodate the horse's considerable height.

Bobby can't believe what's been dropped into his lap. The house can't be sold with a horse in the basement and the horse can't be removed without either destroying the house or the horse. Bobby has a few days to make up his mind. The job offer won't stay open indefinitely. The nearest motel is miles away so he winds up staying in his Grandfather's house. It takes a while for him to make another trip down to the basement but when he shows up Buzby is happy to see him. Bobby has a lot of resentment toward this horse, which is screwing up his plans and his life. Not to mention the piles of crap that he figures out have to be shoveled up and dumped out in the garden twice a day.

In the end Bobby doesn't know what he should do.


1.16.2011 Story idea of the day

The Adventures of Rubber Girl and Sticky Ⓒ Fred Schiller

A mysterious meteor shower gives thousands of people around the earth extraordinary powers. Two of these people are Rubber Girl and Sticky. Rubber Girl looks normal enough except that her skin is a little pinker than before. Anything that comes anywhere near her instantly bounces off. Be it a kiss from her mother or a high-caliber bullet. You can't hold her hand or touch her anywhere without getting thrown across the room. Sticky's powers are pretty much the opposite of Rubber Girl's. Anything that comes in contact with him stays in contact with him for up to a week. Flies land on him and are stuck like glue. If someone rushes up to him and shakes his hand, they're going to remain shaking hands with him for a long time. The items stuck to him usually eventually fall off when he's in a deep sleep, but the next morning it's the same thing all over again.

Because they're only marginally in control of their powers they're ostracized by the other super groups and leagues. Happenstance brings them together and they discover they work well together but their personalities are total opposites. They hate each other from the start and these ill feelings only increase once they realize that the fates have brought them together against their will. Things get even worse when Rubber Girl develops appendicitis and conventional doctors can't operate on her. After they finally strap her down on the operating table their needles and scalpels keep bouncing off her. It's up to Sticky, working under a surgeon's instructions, who can finally save her in the nick of time.

Can these two opposites, thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, overcome their rage over being stuck with each other for the rest of their lives? And if they can control their anger, can they forge a friendship?