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Iron Quill Beta; Teddy's big night out.


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So a quick explanation on the writing style, I purposefully wanted to try something very, very different to what I normally do, and whilst writing tried to have all the non-speaking parts could have come from a children's story. When reading it back in my head, I read it as though it was an old man reading to a group of young kids, that sort of playful style.

I know the style will seem very simplistic, but hey, that's what I was aiming for!


...And so the little girl drifted off to sleep, to dream of rainbows, unicorns and other wonderful things whilst snuggled up in her bed with her beloved teddy.

Teddy awoke midway through the night, he was too warm and Tessa had left the window shut. Silly Tessa. He clambered out of bed, making sure Tessa was tucked in nice and tight, to stop the bed bugs getting in and crept out of the room. He didn't like stairs, they always took him ages to climb up, going down however was great fun. He tumbled over and over down the stairs, bouncing faster and faster, and reached the bottom in no time at all.

The front door was locked, but teddy made a stack of books and reached the key with ease. Clever teddy he thought to himself. He opened the door, and wandered out onto the streets, excited by what he would see tonite. Teddy wondered whether that odd man with the mechanical arm would be about tonite, or that delightful young boy with his much larger teddy, or any of the other wonderful people he had seen before!

Striding down the street came two rotund figures, with the familiar insignia of the guild on it. Teddy knew they were guild from all the leaflets he had read in Tessa's house, they didn't seem nice. Behind them a silent flying machine perched on the rooftops, with a light where it's eye should have been.Teddy wondered how it could see. As they neared teddy, he dropped to the ground, playing dead in the hope they wouldn't see him.

“Did you hear about Jim's 'accident'?”, chortled the larger of the two figures.

“Huh? No? Was it another of your 'classic' pranks?”, replied the other, seemingly disinterested.

Teddy decided he was in charge, as he had a hat. Teddy got kicked. That hurt.

“What do we have here?”, the one with the hat said. Teddy was picked up, held firmly in the grasp of the burly man.

“Awwww, do you have an ickle teddy bear?”, asked the other sarcastically. Teddy didn't like him, he was annoying, the man with the hat was OK though. A rattle and a crash came from down the nearby alleyway, Teddy wondered what it was. The two men turned swiftly, as did the robot up above. The light from the construct illuminated the alleyway, but all that was there was the lid of a bin rolling in the grime of the side street. Teddy liked bins.

The two guild members advanced into the alleyway, the one with the hat seemingly oblivious that he was still holding onto the teddy. Teddy was nervous.

“Nothing here.”, said the one with the hat. Teddy knew that was wrong. Out of the dark a deep chuckle came, and the construct above quickly fixed it's light from the direction the sound had come from. Nothing. The chuckle came again, echoing, and louder. The construct once again was trying desperately to find where it came from. Teddy was scared.

Out of the light stepped a large figureof a man, with a silly top hat. Teddy liked his hat.

“Good evening gentlemen”, said the new man, grinning madly. Teddy smiled back.

“Seamus.” spat the guardsman that Teddy disliked.

“Congratulations. Your mum must be so proud of your powers of deduction”, replied Seamus, “Fancy a bit of fun gentlemen?” Seamus snapped his fingers and out of the dark stepped 3 showgirls, dressed provocatively. It was at that moment that Seamus spotted teddy in the guardsman's hand. “Still need your teddy keeping you safe at night?” he said, his grin getting ever larger. Teddy liked showgirls, he hoped to do the can-can with them one day.

The guardsman with the hat dropped Teddy swiftly, Teddy landing on his head. Ow. Teddy now disliked both of the guardsman. His head would hurt in the morning. “Your undead whores are nothing more than a disgrace to humanity, and as for you Seamus, well, you're under arrest for crimes of Necromancy and disrupting the peace of Malifaux”. The guardsman sounded scared Teddy thought to himself.

Two of the showgirls stepped further into the light, and Teddy could now clearly see the bullet holes through both of the girls' forehead, poor girls. They beckoned in tandem with their forefinger at the guardsmen, one each. Both guardsman stumbled, torn between their duties, and their desires. Teddy could see they were tempted, silly men.

The guardsman with the hat snapped out of it, “Offer yourself up now, and we can go peacefully”, he declared, his voice wavering. “We have the power of the guild constructs behind us, resistance is futile.”

Again, Seamus chuckled. “Oh really? Where is your beloved little watcher”. The guardsman span on the spot, looking to where the watcher was last, but all that was atop the rooftop was a little chihuahua, head loped to one side, wagging it's tail that seemed to be half hanging off. Teddy liked dogs. “Good boy!”, shouted Seamus. “Now, do you really want to die here?”, he pulled his flintlock pistol out, “Or do you want a night of fun with my girls, and back to your families tomorrow”. Teddy wanted to play with the dog.

The showgirls advanced, in total synchronisation, both placing their hands on the guardsmen's chests. You could see them both giving into temptation. The third showgirl stroked Seamus' face, longing for his embrace. The two guardsmen were now totally out of control of themselves. The two showgirls were puppeteers of the men, manipulating their every action. Teddy was intrigued.

They slowly reached for the guardsmen's hand, reaching into the holster, and bringing out the peacebringer of each guardsman. The two men's eyes were fixated on the bosom of their respective girls, and they didn't even seem to notice them levelling their guns at the other guardsman's foot, one of the barrels briefly aimed at Teddy, scaring him.

In tandem the two guns went off, bloody holes appearing in the feet of the men. Teddy didn't like blood. The two men didn't even flinch, unblinking, staring at the bosom of the showgirls. The blood trickled down the street toward Teddy, but he dare not move. The peacebringers slowly levelled on the men's heads,the once colleagues now ready to shoot one another, obvlious to what was happening. Teddy didn't want to watch.

Again the guns went off, and both men slumped to the ground, the hat bounced along the floor and landed, covering teddy. It went dark. Teddy didn't like the dark. It scared him.

He heard Seamus muttering something, but couldn't tell what through the hat. Teddy decided Seamus was another of his new friends, he seemed funny. And he liked the showgirls. Teddy would like to see Seamus again. The voices got quieter and quiter, and so Teddy started to walk in the direction he thought his house was in. He couldn't see because of the silly hat. To any onlooker it would look like a hat moving along on it's own, but underneath it was a frustrated teddy bear, wanting to return home.

Teddy heard a muffled bark and stopped, dropping the hat down to the floor again. He heard the sniffing of a dog. He hoped it was a friendly dog. The hat started shuffling around, obviously being nudged at by the mutt on the outside, and eventually the hat was turned over, teddy just lying on the floor. Above him stood the chihuahua from the roof, wagging it's tail emphatically. What a nice dog, thought Teddy.

Teddy was happy he was out from underneath the hat. The dog seemed happy too judging by the speed of it's tail. They were obviously friends. Teddy liked friends. A whistle came from the distance, and the dog's ragged ears perked up. He gave teddy one quick lick and bounded off in search of Seamus. Goodbye doggy, thought Teddy, hoping to see his new friend again soon.

Teddy stayed there for a moment longer, ensuring noone else was around. He picked himself off, and dusted himself down, hoping he wasn't too dirty, else he'd be given a bath when he got home! He didn't like baths. He looked around, and realised he was only a short distance from home. He wandered off, as the sun began to rise behind him.

Upon arriving at home, he relocked the door, as to not worry Tessa and the others, and took his time climbing the stairs, one at a time. By the time he got to the top he was very tired. He'd had a busy night! He clambered into bed, and back into Tessa's arms, ready for a snooze. Tessa rolled over, grasping teddy tightly, still dreaming, and muttered something under her breath about a tea party in the morning.

Teddy smiled. Teddy liked tea parties...

Edited by ukrocky
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Very cute and creative! The choice of narrator totally works, and it adds a touch of gruesome horror to the story that really makes it stand out. I am reminded of the Teddy story in Twisting Fates, and the nice juxtaposition between Teddy's blinkered worldview and what's happening in the real world. This was a fun read. I was a little confused, though; I thought Teddies were supposed to be huge. But I guess this is a little Teddy. Nothing saying they can't be smaller, I suppose.

One persistent mechanical error that I spotted was in your dialogue. You persistently used superfluous commas after the quotation marks, like so:

“Good evening gentlemen”, said the new man, grinning madly. Teddy smiled back.

The comma should be inside the quotation marks:

“Good evening gentlemen,” said the new man, grinning madly. Teddy smiled back.

For quotes that don't end in commas, like this one:

“What do we have here?”, the one with the hat said.

You can completely dispense with the comma, leaving just the question:

“What do we have here?” the one with the hat said.

The same goes for exclamation points, too. For periods, you must either follow up the quote with a discrete action, or use a comma instead to indicate that the action is actually an attribution. So:

“Seamus.” spat the guardsman that Teddy disliked.

Either the guardsman is figuratively spitting out Seamus's name, or he is literally spitting on the ground after saying his name. So, it should be either this:

“Seamus,” spat the guardsman that Teddy disliked.

Or something like this:

“Seamus.” The guardsman that Teddy disliked spat.

But that is a relatively minor quibble. Overall, this was a light, amusing piece with a lot of imagination. Well done!

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A nice story, invokes the classic Teddy story from book 3.

There are a few bits with a little bit of inconsistency which break my immersion.

First is the some of the language and observations used by your narrator, the Teddy. The most obvious one is this:

"Your undead whores are nothing more than a disgrace to humanity"

In the context of the story, these words don't really fit, but if you want to keep them in, maybe you could have a little joke about it with something like "Teddy didn't understand the big words. Silly Guildsmen."

The second bit was there was a lot of telling and not showing. With the style chosen, you can sometimes get away with telling and not showing because of the simplicity. Sometimes it works well, like this:

"Above him stood the chihuahua from the roof, wagging it's tail emphatically. What a nice dog, thought Teddy."

This works because we have a shown reason why Teddy lists the dog - its tail wags emphatically, and we can see the scene in our heads.

But there are times when we are just old what Teddy is thinking or feeling without context, for example:

"The two guild members advanced into the alleyway, the one with the hat seemingly oblivious that he was still holding onto the teddy. Teddy was nervous."

You have told us that Teddy was nervous, but we don't really know why. Maybe something like:

"The two guild members advanced into the alleyway, the one with the hat seemingly oblivious that he was still holding onto the teddy. The alley was dark and narrow, and the other guardsman fumbled for the gun at his belt. Teddy was nervous."

Lastly, there are some oddly quick decisions for Teddy. Particularly the sudden nature that he decides he likes Seamus, even though Seamus has just caused the gun to be aimed at him, which scares Teddy, and the blood splashes that he doesn't like.

Good fun and nice style!

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I very much enjoyed your story, I was able to see it just as you told it. I love the aspect of the little teddy. I make up stories for my daughter involving animated teddy bears and dolls. You have inspired me to repurpose some of those stories for Malifaux. Thank you sir, and please continue writing

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