Writing Every Day in March: Day 4

An exercise in repetition. Also, Nolan getting hurt…

So, I actually had a really hard time getting this one to 500 words, which has become my self-imposed goal for these daily writing scenes — for some reason. Even after copying a twenty-word section four times.

I decided to run with the concept of “repeating the same joke often enough that it goes from annoying to funny.” So, basically, it’s Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes — which lasts a full thirty seconds, happens nine times and was included only because the writers needed to pad out the episode to fill its runtime.

And is one the most brilliant jokes in the series.

It’s actually a real challenge to hit that perfect balance of “annoying” and “funny.” Mostly, though, it’s also a glorious example of poor Nolan getting hurt in novel new ways

Once again, the Lyte Brigade has been hired by a team from the Ministry of Antiquities to help with the survey and excavation of an ancient ruin. And, once again, that team consists of Melisa Grevling and Annie Darkstone.

The group descends the broad stone stairs leading into depths of the ruins down from an archway that Annie happily noted is an example of cyclopean masonry.

“I wonder how deep these ruins are,” Pela muses.

“Ruins from his period are rarely just one level deep,” Annie explains, riding on the back of Melisa’s badger form. “So be careful. These ruins haven’t been properly surveyed yet. We don’t know if they’re structurally stable.”

“So, what,” Matilda asks, “the floors might collapse on us?”

“Technically,” Annie answers, “they’d collapse under us.”

“I don’t know,” Nolan says. “That sounds like the kind of thing that only happens in books and when you’re playing Coat of Plates.”

He takes a step forward.

“Uh oh,” he mutters, feeling the ancient tiles give away beneath his feet.


“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” Nolan cries, his voice receding into the distance.


“I’m okay,” Nolan calls from the next level down. “I think I can see the way back—”


“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” Nolan cries, his voice receding into the distance.


“I’m okay,” Nolan calls from the next level down.

Amara slowly approaches the edge of the hole in the floor and peers down into the darkness.

“Nolan,” she calls. “Are you still with us, Captain?”

“Y-yeah,” Nolan calls weakly from several levels down in the ruins. “I’m going to try to —”


“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” Nolan cries, his voice receding into the distance.


“I’m okay,” Nolan calls from the next level down.

“How can we help, Captain?” Tancred calls down the hole in the floor. “Shall we throw you a rope?”

“Maybe throw Tancred down on a rope?” Matilda offers.

“Wait. How would that help?” Tancred asks.

“You’d be on a rope. We could pull you back up. Duh.”

“I’m afraid to try moving again,” Nolan calls back.

“Actually,” Annie calls down. “If the ruins are really this unstable, you probably shouldn’t be yelling like that, either. Sudden loud noises might upset the structural integrity.”

“Like an avalanche?” Nolan calls back.


“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” Nolan cries, his voice receding into the distance.


“I’m okay,” Nolan calls from the next level down.

“Yeah,” Annie mutters. “Like an avalanche.”

“Good news,” Nolan calls weakly. “I think I’m finally at the bedrock.”

“You’re a real pathfinder, Nolan,” Matilda says. “You’re probably the first person ever to get down there.”

“Please come get me,” Nolan calls up. “And bring some healing potions, too, please. I think I broke my, um… self.”

“We are on our way,” Falcata calls down. “Can we do anything else to help you, Captain?”

“No,” he answers. “I think I’m okay now. Except, you know, for the grievous injuries.”

“We are on our way,” Falcata says again. “Stay there.”

“I don’t think I could move if I tried. And watch out for the floors when you’re coming down,” Nolan calls. “I think they might collapse on us.”

Wow,” Pela mutters as the group moves out. “These ruins are deep.”

Nolan be like:

Mr. Plow, Homer space, Sideshow Bob steps on rakes
Lisa’s future, Selma’s hubby, Marge not proud, Homer chubby
The Simpsons: 20th Television Animation and Gracie Films.

Note to self: get Nolan to step on rakes…

Also, I can’t decide if that “pathfinder” is a Pathfinder reference or not. It’s not necessarily a reference, but it’s also not-not a reference because I’ve leafing through the Pathfinder rulebooks lately.

So, I guess it’s not a reference, but it is a deliberate word choice.

More daily writing all March long, new story chapter on Friday.

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