Pure, white snow crunched under his foot as Ilyasha stepped out of his wooden house on the edge of the village. His breath cascaded out of his mouth as his eyes adjusted to the sun’s last rays on the edge of the woods bordering his home. He had risen too late to do anything of value—the previous night of drinking in the center of the village with the rest of his friends from the Black Hundreds had seen to that. He was up now because his wife kicked him awake with a curse and told him that if he didn’t leave the house to gather firewood, she would rip out his liver before they froze to death. The threat was enough (barely, the cold really was unbearable this time of year) to make Ilyasha Dubrovin stagger to his feet, put on his black-dyed wool coat and cap and walked through the front door.
He made a semi-circle in the snow with his foot and stamped on the ground a few times. The cold, relentless, came at him in a gust. Ilyasha rubbed his hands togehter. Maybe if he went back in and said he couldn’t find an axe, Anna would forgive him and the two could relive their earlier married days. But no, drinking last night left his chances of that happening slim to none. Anna had become religious and, since talking to the old, waxy-skinned, soft-voiced priest recently arrived from St. Petersburg, had looked down on Ilyasha’s companions. Whenever he returned from associating with anyone from the organization, in any context, he slept on the floor.
Ilyasha coughed and decided that it would be better if he got the job done fast. They only needed a little wood for the fire, just enough to keep it going for a few hours. He walked further out to the chopping stump and pulled out the axe. He rested it on his shoulder and trudged through the snow to the woods, squinting his eyes against the wind and flakes falling from the sky.
From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:46 AM
Subject: Organizational Day Care
It’s come to my attention over the past ten months that several of you have procreated.
Admittedly, I have absolutely no idea why. The world is filled with pain and suffering on a night-unimaginable scale, and bringing more humans into the world to experience it is, in my mind, a form of sadism. Reprehensible to an extreme extent, I think.
But obviously, I am in the minority.
So MTV and Stan Lee have a contest going on. The ultimate prize is to work on a script for a series with The Generalissimo himself. Now, as you may have been able to pick up, I care about comics. More so, if you’ve known me for more than a day, you’ve probably heard me shout “Excelsior!” at least once. So, it goes without saying that I’m going to be entering the contest.
In fact, I plan on working on my script entry in moments.
It’s an interesting learning process, though. I’ve only tried to write a treatment once, for the Justice Trio comic I pitched to Dark Horse and never heard back about. [Shakes fist in generic rage.] I know, it’s basically a summary, but it’s all professional-sounding and whatnot. A bit daunting, that: thinking of myself as trying to be a professional writer. Sure, I’ve sold stories in the past, but the pay’s been just enough to splurge at Wendy’s. Then again, I suppose it’s all relative.
Anyway, I’m putting the treatment after the break. It’s based on Lee’s own treatment, and I think I’m going to have some fun working on the script for the contest, which you can view at the link above.
Whaddya think? Good stuff? Bad stuff? Will my writing always be destined to lurk in sub-obscurity?