The story idea process

(This is the second part, be sure to read the intro to this project in this blog).

This blog is a mess – because this part of my process is a mess. Here is a brain dump of the ideas that have triggered this project. They can be random, weird, incoherent, etc. But taking it for what it is, this is how my stories start. I have no rules for this stage, take everything that comes to mind and jot it down. Not too worried about it being a constructed plot, but often it becomes one as I write it out – as it happened in this case.

So here it is – I’d never publish something like this, it’s too raw – but our project is to explore creating a story from the start – and this is my start. I’m writing this just a day after having the first ideas on it, so it’s as raw as it gets:

Boneeaters - ideas

Aliens… aquamarine/green… extremely tall, extremely thin… frolicking in packs… playful… beautiful… naked… primitive… we would call them “fairies” (if they weren’t so big)… all female… clustering as a tight communal society… on their own planet.

Humans come to colonize the planet. How should we deal with the indigenous life? How have we dealt with it before… extermination by force or by accident or … both. But these aliens are so beautiful... has beauty ever stopped progress? Never. Can’t happen.

Humans bring a small team of 20, half is military, half is science. One science lead, man (Nate) tasked with making the decision on indigenous life. A lot of responsibility. Military hates his team – just slows them down, extermination is the only solution. Nate is experienced, but young. Smart, respected in his field, but this assignment is the hardest he has had to face, by far. Not just cows or bugs, the fairies look more advanced.

Nate studies the fairies… and grows very fond of their beauty and playfulness. It’s infectious – fun – like small children, but with no fighting, no crying… it’s … amazing. They feed in one area for a while, play, relax… then move to another area. They feed right from the ground, somehow harnessing life from the very dirt of the planet. The dirt is unusual for sure, like plants and soil as one. The science team is already making amazing discoveries on how to grow so much food in such an efficient way.

Months go by, the military team is bored, mad, pent-up… but they stay in line. Nate says it will take months more to know the best way to colonize the planet. The science team is working the land and atmosphere with tests anyway. There are very unusual disruptions in electronics on the planet – sometimes basic things like recordings fail. And life is too interesting to dismiss just yet.

Nate discovers that the fairies are actually eating in a pattern – it’s a crop planting pattern. They aren’t randomly harvesting the planet, they have a plan! The system lets the land recover in perfect harmony. They are smarter than we think? Or just evolutionary perfect for the planet? They have to be studied longer, there is more to this than expected.

The direction of the fairies eating cycle will intersect with the human base camp. Nate frets over what to do – relocate? But they have already damaged the area, the aliens will know and possibly not even be able to feed in the area. It’s time to make contact, there isn’t much choice.

Sally, on the science team, pitches to Nate to capture one and dissect it, to learn their body composition, brain size, and more. Nate can’t accept this yet, what if the aliens are more intelligent than other animals? They argue vigorously but Nate has final say and says no, for now. Sally grouses that they have a philosopher, not a scientist, in charge of science.

Nate and his team greets the fairies as they approach base camp, they look at the team with curiosity, but keep their distance. After a few minutes, the aliens divert their path to go around the camp. The humans all get to watch the aliens feed, play and frolic for a few days.

A guy on the military team (Doven) gets enamored with the fairies’ beauty, masturbating while watching many times… he broods about doing more, but doesn’t… for now. But they are sexy fucking creatures, aren’t they?

Nate continues his study and sees something he couldn’t believe. The fairies circled a pig like creature – more like a hippo – huge. Then they opened their small mouths and reveal fifty sharp needle teeth – impossibly long – and they shred the creature in seconds.

Like a vicious pack of animals, they tear the creature to shreds… then … they EAT THE BONES! The fairies are so impossibly strong they can break apart and digest BONES? And they do it like they are inhaling French fries – swift, unbelievable. The horror is extreme with the fairies covered in blood as they group kill and fast.

Nate is flabbergasted. And, of course, his recording equipment fails… After the kill and feeding, the fairies move on and there is not a trace – not a single trace – of the creature. It vanished from reality.

His team cannot believe Nate’s news – Sally even blurts out that this might be some misguided ruse to delay Nate making a decision? There is much argument on the team – Nate orders more people to help him observe the fairies.

Observations with a larger team go on for weeks, no sign of what Nate saw happens. Nate gets very frustrated – but not as frustrated as the science team being diverted from their work – and the military team is livid at the length of time it is taking Nate to make the call.

Sally conspires with Doven, in a plea to get help to force Nate’s hand. Sally says Nate thinks the creatures are vicious killers, Doven and Sally both can’t believe it – they have only seen playful, simple creatures. Doven resolves to make a move.

Doven takes a team of 4 out on an expedition and goes to the nearest camp of fairies. They capture and rape a fairy in the field, recording it – a nasty gang rape. The other fairies all just watch, calmly, as if they aren’t in danger. The fairy being abused complies with the humans, never fights.

After the team is done, one is going to shoot the fairy but Doven stops him – there is no need, the video will do their work for them. They leave. This time, the recording equipment works – and the military team shares the video on a cam for the whole human base to see.

Most of the camp is horrified at the behavior, including Sally – but she composes herself and makes the argument that there is no way the creatures would have allowed this if they were as powerful as Nate says. Nate freaks out and rushed back to the fairy camp.

Nate stands there, watching the fairies attending to the one that was raped with compassion, cleaning, soothing her. Nate can barely stop crying – his emotions taking over. He feels intense guilt he couldn’t protect these fairies from this. Some of the fairies look at Nate with curiosity. After several hours, Nate composes himself and returns to camp.

Days later Nate makes an announcement, his decision has been reached. He decides that they will not exterminate, but learn to co-exist with the indigenous fairies. Of the 20 humans in the camp, only 2 are on Nate’s side, most of the scientists and all of the military are furious at wasting so much time on what is obviously a bleeding-heart cause that will end up with extermination.

Doven approaches Nate in his office. He puts a beat down on Nate and pulls a gun and says he is authorized to remove him and achieve the results the military wants. This was not a real job for Nate, he was just a patsy. And he was too much of an idiot to understand that. Now he will die and they will blame it on the fairies and get the extermination result they want anyway.

The human camp suddenly gets invaded by the fairies – this time showing their teeth and killing humans left and right. Along with the females, there are before unseen males – strong, brutal, killers. They make short work of all the military and some of the scientists.

In the end just Nate and the 2 humans on his side are left – everyone else is dead and erased from reality, bones eaten, gone. A group of fairies approaches Nate and they communicate – telepathically. Almost emotional instead of language.

Intentions, wrong. Leadership, wrong. You lead. You direct. Next group, be better.

They leave and Nate and the two left are stunned. The other 2 humans did not hear the alien’s communication. Nate is scared to death. He goes to the communications station with a decision. He puts out a quarantine warning, a detailed message of the carnage on the planet and to avoid it at all costs. After he is done recording, he finds the equipment has failed.

Message, wrong. Better message. Bring more, but be better.

Nate realizes the equipment malfunctions are not malfunctions, they are part of the fairies telepathic abilities. He also realizes, he is the one caged, he is the pet now. It wasn’t the humans deciding on the aliens, it was the other way around.

Finish – drop curtain

OK that’s it for the first dump. I’ll let this sit a bit and revisit later and try to see if this has the bones for a real story or not… what do you think? As Hemingway said, the first draft of anything is SHIT. This is pre-draft, so it’s stinky shit, haha. But it’s my start.

It is possible I will revisit and stop the project at this stage, I do that a lot. But for now, I think I’ll try to flesh this out into a story, even a short story, so we can explore the writing process together.

Andrew Zar
July 7, 2017

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