I quite enjoy writing drabbles, short stories of exactly 100 words, and a month ago I walked through my creative process in writing a Merlin drabble.
This morning, for no particular reason except that I had a computer microphone handy, I decided to do an audio recording of a different Merlin drabble.
It’s a story that some of you may not have seen. It’s called “The Twain in Camelot,” and it’s the (very short) tale of a visit by Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (of Fritz Leiber’s heroic fantasy fiction) making a visit to Uther Pendragon’s Camelot. It’s really a misnomer to say that it’s a Merlin drabble, as the tale isn’t about the world of Merlin; it only happens to be set there.
The idea came to me, as many ideas do, on the morning train — Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser travel the world (and to other worlds) and have all sorts of adventures, and what if one of their adventures brought them to Camelot? I wrote it out longhand, letting the sentences grow, letting the words determine the direction very much as you see it above. I truly didn’t know where it was going until it was done; I was more interested in the words themselves than with any sort of sensible narrative.
I’ve long been a fan of Leiber’s work — “Lean Times in Lankhmar” is my all-time favorite short story — and I especially love his style where entire books could be written just from a throwaway line in some of the stories. That was the kind of feel that I wanted with this little tale; it may not work on its own, as it’s a little removed from the characters and the situation, but if you know the source material it makes sense and I think it works. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed writing this little tale.
This morning, after listening to Weekend Edition on NPR, I decided to record an audiobook of this two sentence drabble. After denoising the track, I then tracked it to “Traveling to Rivendell,” a track from Vivendi’s score for The Hobbit video game of about seven years ago. The final result worked out nicely, I think.
Even if it is only one minute long.
Without further ado, for those who want to hear my melodious voice…
And you can read “The Twain in Camelot” and other Merlin drabbles that I’ve written here.