Shelved Stories - Odds and Ends
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Over the years, I had plenty of ideas for stories that didn't really go anywhere. Either I lost interest, or another project took precedent. Sometimes the idea was just too vague to really work with. I'm going to write about four of them today. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of drawings or notes to share about them.
Sometime in grade 7, while Priya and I started Captured, I started to work on a couple projects of my own. The first of these projects was about wolves. Everything I ever did for this story was handwritten and kept in a folder that I carried around at school. I had a very vague plot lined up for a series of seven books, the first of which was going to be called "A Cry for Help".
The plot involved two wolf packs, and some sort of long lasting war between them. There was a set of siblings (I believe two sisters and a brother) who had powers and were split between the two packs. I think the leaders of the two packs were also supposed to be related somehow, but I don't remember if they were related to the three with powers.
Unfortunately I don't remember much more of the plot. What I've written out is probably about two chapters worth of story, and I apparently never made notes about the rest of the story. I did however, have a list of characters. So I know one of the main characters was a wolf named Aleu, and there was an escaped half wolf, half husky named Silver. The "evil" pack was lead by Shadow, and a handful of other evil wolves like Cove and Jappen.
The second personal project I started in grade 7 was based on a short story I had written in grade 5 (for that duotang labelled "stories" I mentioned in an earlier post). The book was going to be called "The Mystery of the Golden Horseshoes". It was about twin sisters, Lisa and Corry, who had just moved to an island. The girls get their own horses and make a new friends named Zach and Ethan who live on a nearby farm. Together, the four of them learn about an old legend and follow riddles to somehow solve the mystery of the horseshoes. I'm not entirely sure what the ending was supposed to be.
This was the legend I wrote out at the beginning of the first chapter:
"A long time ago, on Coventry Island there was a terrible battle. Many people died. Everybody was injured except the horse Gold-Sunlight. He had one four golden horseshoes, and somehow, the horseshoes saved him. Two years later Gold-Sunlight died, and the day of his death, the four horseshoes went missing. Many people are looking for them. If they fall into the wrong hands who knows what will happen?"
Recently I started wondering if I could do something with this idea. A series about kids solving mysteries could be fun to work on. And I already have a somewhat spooky island where mysterious things could happen (check out The Memory of Simon Battle). Cassidy and Simon could even make cameos once in awhile!
The Gang Story was something I started sometime in highschool. I got the idea from a dream where two kids found a jacket in an alleyway that ended up being from a gang. In the book, I made the dream a prologue had the gang "adopt" the main character, Jonathan, while chasing away his friend Vincent. Chapter one took place ten or so years late, where John ran into Vincent again.
Aside for that I didn't have much of a plot in mind. John was going to end up leaving the gang to rejoin Vincent and his new friends, which would then lead to the gang's boss (originally simply called Python, and in a slightly later version called Marlon Desrochers) hunting him down. I had a couple different scenes floating around in my head. Such as one were John gets caught because he pushes Vincent out of the way of an oncoming car driven by one of the gang members, and a chase scene in a giant parking lot of school buses.
I revisited the gang story and it's characters a couple times in university, as bits and pieces of scenes came to me that didn't fit into the Greatest Thief Series. This little prologue was written in 2014, probably inspired by the writer's craft class I was taking at the time.
As far as most of the city was aware, Marlon Desrochers was a ghost, killed eight years ago in a gun fight with police. He had been pinned down inside a burning building with about five of his men – the numbers always changed – and not one of them survived. The problem was that none of the bodies had ever been positively identified as Marlon himself. The police work was shoddy, they were eager to forget what the press had been calling the “Desrochers Debacle”. Marlon’s reign of terror was violent but short, or so they believed.
The truth was a very different story. Marlon had not been in the burning building, but he had used the event to his advantage. Laying low for years, he ran a small operation of petty crimes until the memory of what he’d done had faded from people’s minds. The death of his right-hand man in a bar fight was possibly the trigger that pushed him out into the open again. The day after the fight, three bodies were found matching Marlon’s modus operandi. The police hoped it was a copy-cat, a crazy fan or one of his old henchmen. They didn’t want to believe that he might be back, or that he’d never even left.
Marlon quietly re-established his kingdom, albeit smaller than it had been the first round. He was going to be more careful. He’d spent the eight years making connections, gaining followers and collecting money. While his first reign had been filled with unnecessary murders, he decided that his second would be more profitable. He’d take precautions. He’d make it last.
Grim Reapers Story
Sometime in my first year of university I had an idea involving grim reapers. This was definitely inspired by the show Dead Like Me, but I was trying to change up the way in worked. My idea involved select people becoming reapers after dying, but the exact lore behind it I never figured out. My main character was named Karter Ashenfelter, who had very recently been killed in a fight. He then met the group of other reapers he would work with, who came from different time periods. There was Prince Alexey, from some vague medieval time. Benjamin Cooke, a pirate. Abby, a slave who was killed for stealing food. Devyn, a farmer from Ireland. And then Jerret Barclay, a doctor who died in World War I. My idea was that each reaper would have a unique "scythe" which was actually just whatever weapon killed them.
I never got any further than writing about Karter meeting the others, but I did have an idea that Karter would be sent to collect the soul of a girl who was being attacked, but then he would break the rules and take the attacker's soul, instead. Somehow this was going to mess with the balance of the world, and he would have to hide the girl or help disguise her. Like I said, I never figured out the lore behind this idea.
I still think this idea is interesting, and I might try to do something with it someday. Maybe just a novella or something short. For now, here's a bit of a scene between Karter and Benjamin Cook.
“Don’t people wonder about what you’re wearing?” I asked. I felt fine, my black clothing made me look like a robber, maybe, but at least I didn’t look like a pirate.
Cooke grinned at me and carelessly swung his sword at his side. “Nope. Can’t see me, can they? People’ll see you for awhile, since you’re recent, but after awhile you’ll just fade.”
“Yeah, go all see-through and stuff. That time’s great for scarin’ people. Or gettin’ revenge on those who put you in your current predicament.”
“No, not like Death. Can’t take on Death. Like the one who ran you through with his knife.”
“Didn’t really run me through. More like poked me in a vital area.”
“Yeah, well, that’s what you get with wimpy blades like that. You get poked. The Prince and me, we got run-through.”
“Sounds absolutely delightful.”
“Wasn’t all bad, mate. The initial jab hurt, to be sure, but then I was just bleedin’ on the deck’n starin’ up at the sky’n thinkin’ “Almost had you, you good for nothing piece of…”
He kept talking, but I missed what he said. A young woman had just walked through him, and it startled me. Cooke, on the other hand, didn’t seem to care. I tuned back into his speech in time to hear:
“And then everythin’ went black’n then came back all fuzzy, and I realized I was bein’ tossed into the ocean. Don’t know how long I floated ‘round, but Death showed up in a little sailin’ ship’n dragged me up into the boat. Told me his bit, I fit the criteria’n whatnot. Dropped me off on the mainland, where I was met by a very gracious’n kind Prince.”
“I hope you don’t mean… oh.” I stopped because I had noticed the cause of Cooke’s praise. Alex was striding toward us down the sidewalk. He did look quite impressive, with his chain mail and crown, if not very out of place.
“You two claimed yet?” Alex asked.
“Aye, Sir,” Cooke replied, with his usual sarcastic respect.
“Good. The girls were looking for you two. Have you seen Barclay?”
“No, Sir. I’d check ‘round the hospital, Sir.”
Alex nodded and walked off. I could never tell if he missed Cooke’s sarcasm, or if he chose to ignore it.
Cooke smiled at me. “Well, mate, we’ve got our orders. Find the lovely ladies and see what they want.”