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#274572 - 03/29/17 09:21 PM So Bad It's Good?
CLeuch Offline
Freelance Reporter

Registered: 01/24/16
Posts: 78
Loc: Iowa
In going through some of the old stuff on my hard drive, I came across a story that I developed for a few pages before realizing that maaaaaybe it wasn't something that anyone would really want to read. Not that the writing is bad, necessarily, it's just that the idea is a little... out there. This got me to thinking: what other stories have the authors out there followed down the wormhole only to decide that it's odd or out there or otherwise possibly so bad it's good?

I think that the readers of these boards are good for honest opinions, or at least some good-natured discussion. Maybe it's a real diamond in the rough, maybe it's a story that the masses really do want to read. In honor of the return of MST3K to Netflix, post snippets for your story to this thread for discussion (and gentle ribbing?).

To prove I'm a good sport, I'll start. Without further ado, here is:

Quote:

The Protégé
By: C. Leuch

A solitary oak towered above a mass of tombstones and metal markers, its green leaves shielding the sun from the drab canvas tent that sat underneath. A gust of wind caused its ancient branches to sway, twisting and distorting the dark spot it cast on the ground. The leaves rustled ever so gently as the wood groaned with stress, providing the only sound that would reach the ears of the human inhabitants nearby. In the distance, a puffy white thunderhead reached upward into infinity, the top of the cloud fanning out into an anvil as it hit the top of the stratosphere. Its sides expanded and contracted at the whim of the currents, providing beauty to what was most certainly a dangerous storm.

“It’s time to go, son.” The teenager standing under the tent drew his eyes away from the natural beauty around him, focusing on the man in black in front of him. Concerned, he looked around, noticing for the first time that everyone else who’d been there earlier had left already. It was hard to believe that he had been so lost in thought that he had totally missed the end of the services, but it appeared that he had, after all.

Turning back to the pastor, he gave a sad smile and shook his head. “You go ahead. I still have to say goodbye,” he said. The pastor’s expression was sympathetic as he nodded one, placing his hand on the young man’s shoulder.

“I understand,” he said. “Just remember, I’ll always be available if you need someone to talk to.” With that, he walked away. The teenager watched as the pastor left the comfort provided by the oak for the blazing sun, his form growing smaller as he continued out toward the road. With a sigh, the young man turned back again, finally confronting the flower-covered coffin that sat in front of him.

A solitary tear slid down his cheek as he struggled to find the proper words to say. With his unkempt hair, ill-fitting suit, and worn tennis shoes, he knew that he wasn’t the picture of an eloquent young man, but inside, he had the heart of a poet. He had seen many things in his young life, and he’d felt all of them deeply, but never like this. The pain inside was almost too much to take sometimes, especially knowing that the person who had given him life, who’d been his one and only friend as they moved around the country, was laying dead in front of him. The future looked so hazy and uncertain without her there.

He fought back a sob as his eyes moved to the homemade plaque amongst the flowers. “Leanne Stepanovich,” it read. “Beloved mother, former beauty queen, and all-around good person. Your life was stolen away in a tragic faxing accident. Wherever we roamed, you made every place seem like home. Love, Jesse.” The words were hard to read due to the mist in his eyes, but he knew them all by heart. He had written them, after all.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, drawing him out of his introspection. It had happened again, he realized as he looked up at the now darkened sky. He had lost himself in thought, and some unknown period of time had passed. What had once been a hot, sunny summer day had now become very threatening, and as he watched the low clouds swirl above him, he suddenly got the feeling that it might not be wise to remain under what was ultimately a very flimsy tent in the middle of a large, open field. Suddenly decisive, he stood up straighter and adjusted his clip-on tie, regarding the coffin thoughtfully for a moment.

“Well, Mom,” he said finally, his voice choked, but stronger than he had thought it would be. “I love you and I’ll miss you. Thanks for everything.” He paused, searching for words, but then nodded, knowing that he had said what he had wanted to say. Ever the poet, he thought proudly before turning away. Shakespeare himself couldn’t have said it any better. With that, he started across the long expanse of lawn, walking faster as the thunder grew more persistent. His battered pickup was in sight as the large drops of rain began to fall, hitting the ground around him with an unusually large splat. Not wanting to ruin his good suit, he began to jog, gaining speed as the rain came down harder and harder.

He was almost there when he felt the hairs on the back of his neck begin to stand up. It was an odd sensation, one that could easily invoke the image of the spirits that inhabited the graveyard around him. Maybe they were mad at him for running across their gravesites, but it wasn’t his fault that they happened to lie in the route to his truck. There were no trees to duck under, no monuments or anything else that could be considered shelter, either. It was his pickup truck or bust, and the spirits would just have to understand that.

His hand had just been thrust into his pants pocket, rooting around for the keys, when he felt a pain more intense than anything he had ever known. A white light flashed around him, bringing unbearable heat, and then, as he felt himself collapsing to the ground, the world went dark.

---

As he came to, he became aware of intermittent drops of water falling on his already damp body. Opening his eyes, he could see the silvery underside of clouds above, the sun hanging low in the sky to the west bathing the area in an amber hue. A spectrum of light reached toward the ground from the sky above him, an awesome sight, to be sure. Normally he would feel the need to sit up and gawk at the rainbow, taking in its rare beauty and pondering the mysteries of the universe, but at the moment, his mind seemed unable to process something so simple where he was, leaving the mysteries of mother nature a distant second or third on his list of concerns. He wiggled his fingers, noting the unpleasant squish of the ground in response to his movements. It was pretty safe to assume that he was outside on the grass, but what was he doing here, and how did he get there? Images of a church sprung to mind, then a long procession of automobiles, then a tent and...his mother. She was dead. And he had been leaving when he was...he was...struck by lightning?

With a groan, he pulled himself up to a sitting position, his hand immediately flying up to clutch his head. His whole body felt like he had just been microwaved, and there was a strange tingly sensation all over his skin which was unpleasant, to say the least. But he was alive, and he appeared to be pretty much okay, so the next question was whether or not he could get himself home without needed to call an ambulance. His temples throbbed, reminding him of what happened just a moment ago and promising more should he be so foolish as to stand up. The last thing he needed to do was to black out again, but at the same time, he couldn’t sit around forever in his soaked clothes. A cold on top of fried skin just wasn’t an appealing thought. So, he needed to leave but he couldn’t stand, so there was only one thing left to do.

Fortunately, the pickup was only a short crawl away. It was a foregone conclusion that his suit was beyond salvage, especially now that his crawling across the gravel drive to the door of his truck had worn small holes in the knees. He had to stop about halfway through his trek, as a strange sound reached his ears. He couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was, but it sure sounded like the distant sound of a passing train, even though he was sure there were no lines within several miles of this secluded spot. It had to be traffic on the highway, he concluded before starting again, even though the distinctive clacking that the train wheels made as they passed over the rails seemed pretty clear.

Yes, this was going to be the harrowing tale of a newly recharged Jesse Stepanovich as he searched for the man he vaguely remembered was his real father: Superman. It's a potential goldmine for dry humor...but also way out there. Comments? Contributions? Fire away!

_________________________
"No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space."

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#274573 - 03/29/17 09:25 PM Re: So Bad It's Good? [Re: CLeuch]
folc4evernaday Online   content
Kerth

Registered: 01/14/09
Posts: 2245
Loc: Birmingham, AL
I like the idea. It's started out well. Would be interested to see where you take this. smile
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~ Folc4evernaday

John Cleese - “Creativity is not a talent. It's a way of operating.”
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#274575 - 03/29/17 10:01 PM Re: So Bad It's Good? [Re: CLeuch]
mrsMxyzptlk Offline
Columnist

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 557
Loc: US
The concept has merit, but the language was a bit flowery for my taste. I do like Jesse's self-image as a poet.

I had an idea for a story that I can't really see myself fleshing out properly, so I don't think I'll actually write it, and I think it would be hard to do without it falling flat: Dan is actually Mr. Mxyzptlk, and his whole goal is to annoy Superman, which is why he keeps interrupting Clark and Lois.
_________________________
"It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then...he shoots fire from the skies, and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him." -Batman (in Superman/Batman #3 by Jeph Loeb)

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#274576 - 03/29/17 10:16 PM Re: So Bad It's Good? [Re: CLeuch]
CLeuch Offline
Freelance Reporter

Registered: 01/24/16
Posts: 78
Loc: Iowa
I could buy Dan as Mxy - wasn't there a story in the comics where Mxy pranks / annoys Clark by basically having Lois fall head over heels in love with him? Getting Myx / Dan to go away in your story could be an interesting feat in and of itself. That might be fun to read.

The flowery language in my snippet was on purpose - it was Jesse thinking he was the world's greatest poet. Like I said, so bad it's...well, maybe just bad. wink
_________________________
"No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space."

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#274579 - 03/29/17 11:10 PM Re: So Bad It's Good? [Re: CLeuch]
groobie Offline
Kerth

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2031
Loc: Riverside, California
Quote:
I came across a story that I developed for a few pages before realizing that maaaaaybe it wasn't something that anyone would really want to read. Not that the writing is bad, necessarily, it's just that the idea is a little... out there.


I have this story on my hard drive right now. Here is about all I can post of it:

Quote:
Title: Master and Creature
By: Groobie

Warning: It’s not pretty.

* * * * *
* * * * *

“I am the master in this relationship. You are the creature.”
-Lex Luthor, “Double Jeopardy”


It's a Clois story from her POV which explains in graphic detail (XXX for sexual content and language) how Lex treated her as he trained her to replace Lois. Much of it is based on my authentic experiences as a rape survivor. Writing it was actually cathartic for me, and I don't mind sharing it, but it is so vivid in a painfully ugly way that I doubt anyone would actually want to read it.
_________________________
You can find my stories as Groobie on the nfic archives and Susan Young on the gfic archives. In other words, you know me as Groobie. wink

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#274605 - 03/30/17 09:00 PM Re: So Bad It's Good? [Re: CLeuch]
CLeuch Offline
Freelance Reporter

Registered: 01/24/16
Posts: 78
Loc: Iowa
Sounds like a story that was certainly worthwhile to write, and had a lot of value even if it doesn't end up being read by anyone. Writing can cure a lot of ills - stimulate the mind, give our imaginations room to roam, and work through issues or questions we might have.

Tom Servo says, "Yeah, and posting a story about Jesse Stepanovich will stimulate my mouse button to click on something else."
_________________________
"No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space."

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#274610 - 03/30/17 10:44 PM Re: So Bad It's Good? [Re: CLeuch]
groobie Offline
Kerth

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2031
Loc: Riverside, California
Quote:
Tom Servo says, "Yeah, and posting a story about Jesse Stepanovich will stimulate my mouse button to click on something else."

Bwaaahaaahaaaa!!!! rotflol
_________________________
You can find my stories as Groobie on the nfic archives and Susan Young on the gfic archives. In other words, you know me as Groobie. wink

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