On Writing Silly Short Stories

I Tweeted this morning that “I woke up with the feeling that I dreamt a short story, but the feeling doesn’t tell me what it was or anything about it, just that it was.”

What that story was came to me, somewhere around 11:30. Unsurprisingly, my immediate thought was, “Wait, I dreamt that?‽!” Clearly, Sunday’s post on The Rutles: LUNCH touched unsuspecting parts of the subconscious.

Without further ado, “Ouch!”…

A Doctor Who Flash Fiction

“Liverpool, Pond! The twenty-sixth century,” the Doctor announced, positively exuberant. “As promised, a cultural landmark! The Beatles Museum…”

Amy punched him in the shoulder. “Rutles, you mean. The Rutles Museum!” She skipped up the museum’s marble steps, leaving the Doctor to stare at the psychedelically-painted facade.

The Doctor’s mood deflated, and his eyes narrowed. “Rutles? That’s not right…” His voice trailed away.


“Just listen, Doctor! ‘A Hard Day’s Rut’!” Vicki positively beamed.

“Oh, certainly not, child!” The Doctor grasped his coat and pulled it tighter, as if to ward off the raucous music. Secretly, however, the Doctor found the song catchy.

It’s a hard day’s rut
And I’m pissed like a drunk
It’s a hard day’s rut
And I’m stinky like a skunk

“But it’s classical music, Doctor! Just like Mozart!”

“Mozart!” The Doctor harrumphed. “Let me tell you a story…”


Pen in hand, Ron Nasty scribbled out lyrics on a napkin.

“Beautiful Zelda, from galaxy five.”

He appraised his work, then scratched out the last word, writing “four” in its place. “Beautiful Zelda, from galaxy four.” Yes, a good choice, that. “Four” is an easier word to rhyme than “five.”

Dirk would have no idea what this song was about. Of course, Dirk had no idea about much of anything, except that blasted tea.


No one had heard of the Beatles. Liverpool’s most famous citizens, and they were totally unknown. The Rutles, on the other hand…

The Rutles, as best the Doctor could tell, filled completely the cultural niche that was the Beatles. Whatever he remembered the Beatles doing, the Rutles had done it instead — if “instead” meant “as if viewed through a funhouse mirror.”

He would have to investigate this. The cracks that had destroyed the Angels and erased Rory — that was the only thing that made sense. If the Beatles didn’t exist, the universe would simply have to invent them.

“La-de-doo, oh la-de-dah, here we are in Shangri-La!”

“Amy, please stop singing. Or sing something good. But not that. Anything but that.”

“You don’t like ‘Shangri-La’?”

The Doctor frowned. “I like it well enough. I happen to like ‘Hey Jude’ more.”

Amy shot him a puzzled look. “‘Hey Jude’? Is that some of your weird ‘space music’?”

Yes, the Doctor would definitely have to fix this. That John still owed him money was beside the point. The world needed “Hey Jude.”

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On Writing Silly Short Stories

  1. Now that’s a DW episode I’d watch!

    Don’t really rate Archaeology though. IMO Joe Public is the only pastiche on a par with the originals.

  2. Thanks, Jerry!

    I like to write drabbles (stories of exactly 100 words), and I thought I could fit the idea into that frame. It didn’t fit, though, I didn’t feel like forcing it. 🙂 I wrote it out longhand, pretty much exactly as it’s here, on the train home that night.

    Archaeology isn’t as focused as The Rutles, but I still like the album a lot. I think some of Innes’ Bonzo Dogs work (including Pour L’Amour des Chiens from 2007) is more Beatle-esque than some of what’s on Archaeology, which is kind of a weird thing to say. (Which is why I had Ron Nasty write the lyric that I did; the Bonzo Dogs’ “Beautiful Zelda” is clearly about the Doctor Who story “Galaxy Four.”)

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