View Full Version : Short story contest: O.L.A.F.

7th November 10, 07:02 AM
I wanna grow up to be a writer, but one has to start somewhere - dissect and critique this little thing, if you care:


Well, you already know the term „down and out“, don't you, I can tell by just looking at you. Now you'll learn a new one, a local tradition: „out and down“...
This drink came with Central European immigrants, who drank a bastardized version of it at home – I mean, some consider this a bastard as well, but here at least it is a mixture of noble drinks and not some cheap ass commie pseudo-alcohols. Did you know years ago European legislature forced eastern makers of shitty spirits to abandon using the name “rum” for whatever they were cooking up in their shags, instead of proper sugarcane spirit? Brown-colored sweet pee they kept on drinking, all right, but they had to name it “um” or “rrum”, you know, play with letters around the word rum.
Anyway, you make Out and down by dropping a shot of rum into a glass of beer. In this pub, you do it by holding out your hand with the shot glass above the beer glass for a second and then let it fall. It splashes, but not as hard as its name giver did...
The drink came from the East, but it got its new name just outside this pub. See that large red brick building across the street? That's the penitentiary.
See, there was this guy, nicknamed Olaf, sentenced to life for several murders of black people. He was a huge, muscular madman when he arrived, full of rage and regretting only he couldn't kill more of the scum he hated so much. He fit right in, nothing special about him in this regard. Over the years, he had his troubles all right, fights and all with the darker skinned inmates, grouping with other white power people for protection, still nothing special.
That went on for years. Olaf survived and changed, like you always do, when doing so much time. He gradually stopped pumping iron, spending more time at the library instead. He took courses via correspondence, became a walking encyclopedia. His former buddies either died, shied him or served their time and left and he did not seek new bonds. He respectfully greeted the librarians, as they came and went over the decades, but never really debated with them either, save for discussing what volumes he'd like to read next.
No, he didn't find God. Many folks inside do, repenting and getting reborn and all. Olaf did not. Instead, he found meditation. He studied every source available and tested every method of mind-honing known to him. He even mastered levitation, they say, like no one before.
Olaf would be seen floating inches above his bed, sitting in lotus flower position for hours. Some claim he emitted some kind of strange, soft light – I don't know about that, but I've seen pictures that my buddy, one of the prison guards took and he darn right is floating in his cell. Now some folks claim you can fake anything with computers these days, and I guess it's so, but these were honest paper photographs, taken years ago and I trust this buddy of mine, you know. He'd swear Olaf was floating, regularly. The guards tried to keep it a secret, and in front of the management, they succeeded, until the end. They knew you don't want to have a penitentiary on the front pages and TV headline, for whatever reason. If there's a place where you can always find something to chew on as a journalist, it's the prison. Out of sight, out of mind. With the inmates on the other hand, there are no secrets – everybody knew. You can keep a fart unnoticed in the park, but in an elevator – hardly.
By the time he became known behind the red brick wall as O.L.A.F., Oh Look A Floater, if you'd put Olaf the newcomer and Olaf the floater side by side, they'd look like Dolph Lundgren and Mahathma Gandhi. He was skin and bones, barely eating. He spent most of his time meditating, although levitation was reportedly becoming more rare to be seen.
Then one day he spoke to the guard who brought him his meal.
I want to go home, for one last time – he said. The guard spilled his beans on the cell floor, and cursed. Dayummm. Hasn't heard you speak in years, Olaf! Go home? Well, that's a pretty unusual wish for a life time convict, now isn't it? But you know what? Why don't you just GO home? If you can float, sure you can go home, too!
Nobody ever heard Olaf utter another word again. He returned to his reading-meditating-sleeping routine. He stopped being the topic of discussion, anything becomes boring by time, even in prison. Beans for dinner and Olaf floating, tell me something new, they said.
One of the guards mentioned some strange noises from Olaf's cell, like cast iron being pulled on or hitting the concrete, but upon control, everything was seemingly untouched. Even Olaf was not in the air but on the mattress, like any other inmate. But the noises continued. Until the day Olaf got out.
You'll likely find dozens of people who'll swear upon their mothers grave to have seen it, but I believe nobody saw the thing happening. Hear it – oh yes, many of us did. And we still do, you don't forget that sound, ever.
Olaf got out of the prison the way he was in it – sitting on his mattress on the cast iron prison bed, he simply transcended the brick walls and appeared on the outside. As I've said, I doubt anybody has seen him come through the wall, as it was during a cold, moonless, cloudy night. But I heard him, too, and I think I can imagine what his face looked like in that moment. Not while getting out - the moment his mind began to realize that what his skin is feeling is actual breeze. When he realized that he truly managed to transcend matter with the force of his mind, that was the moment when his mind backed off a little, got scared, uncertain and that was the moment when Olaf's concentration dropped. Instead his brain got into a cramp of fear as he looked down from the height of seven stories.
He was out. And in the next moment he was down, with the most horrible scream this town remembers. He fell with such force, that there was blood and pieces of him both on the penitentiary's and this pubs walls and windows. Out and down it was... Now cheers, drink up, to Olaf's memory!

7th November 10, 07:18 AM
I like it. Reflective, surprising.

7th November 10, 07:32 AM
too ethnic.
why does it have to involve black people?

Fairy XXXmas
7th November 10, 11:21 AM
I liked it.

Fix up the formatting and I'd call it a winner.

7th November 10, 11:28 AM
Thank you.

Apparently the new site system doesn't like me/requires some competence so I fail in linking as well as trying to change format... Oh, well...

7th November 10, 11:37 AM
Completely not what I was expecting. Pretty cool, man.

Angry Mandrill
7th November 10, 01:28 PM
I liked it.

Fix up the formatting and I'd call it a winner.

i'ma hafta agree. nice work, tonu.

7th November 10, 01:30 PM
Indeed, I am almost finished with mine. But I doubt it will be as well received as yours. Nice work.

7th November 10, 02:22 PM
It fits the short story imperative very well. You did an excellent job with this bud.

7th November 10, 02:25 PM
How strict are we gonna be with the 1,000 word limit thing here?

7th November 10, 02:30 PM
too ethnic.
why does it have to involve black people?
It's just me and my little basterd fixation, nevermind... I visualized Olaf as a huge skinhead upon arrival to prison, although agreeably this is not the most important thing about him.

Does this particular thing make the story worse, you think?

I was unable to do anything with the format of the text in editing mode, btw, and now I can't even edit the OP anymore...

I'm glad you guys like it, it feels good. :-)

But in my search to get better I'd also very much welcome thoughts about anything that spoils the story, that is redundant, etc... Thanks again.

7th November 10, 02:49 PM
well, by making him a skinhead and mentionning he killed black people, why not make it a dude who killed people he hated for no reason?
makes it more universal.
we all know that the political; left in europe is much more violent then those few neo nazis.

Fairy XXXmas
7th November 10, 05:22 PM
I think it's better with a racist finding enlightenment because most racists are stupid.

7th November 10, 05:49 PM
shut up helmut.

Fairy XXXmas
7th November 10, 05:51 PM
shut up helmut.

Shut up, Rubell.

7th November 10, 11:05 PM

8th November 10, 04:02 AM
Loved it Tonu. Sorry, my email didn't send my reply so it was in my drafts for a few days.

1st place of all the stories so far. More!

8th November 10, 04:38 AM
Thank you! It really means a lot to me to be told people enjoy it.

30th November 10, 03:31 PM
Bump for winning entry!

Toby Christensen
1st December 10, 05:15 AM
Inventive, subtle and yet shocking.

I'm voting for this one, Tonuzaba.