Tuesday, November 20, 2012

outlaws of nothingness

a conceptual novel by jeremy witherington

illustrations by konrad kraus and roy dismas

preliminary: write down, or record, as quickly as possible (taking no more than 2 minutes) the names of the 20 most famous people you can think of. this will be the "list"

a dark night

an empty road

an automobile (suggestions - a 1935 duesenberg, a 1939 packard, a 1927 pierce arrow, a 1928 rolls royce phantom )

4 people in the automobile (the first 4 people from the list - number 1 is the driver, number 2 is in the front passenger seat)

they drive along.

there is silence or conversation

it is or is not raining or snowing

a hitchhiker appears (number 5 on the list)

the auto stops and picks up the hitchhiker

or, passes him/her by

or, stops, but declines to pick him/her up

if the hitchhiker gets in the car,

the driver engages the hitchhiker in conversation

or, silence ensues

or, the hitchhiker makes an improper suggestion to one of the passengers

or, a passenger makes a disparaging remark to the hitchhiker

in which case, the hitchhiker ignores the disparaging remark

or, a brief scuffle ensues

if the hitchhiker is left behind,

the hitchhiker laughs, weeps, shouts curses at the disappearing auto,

or shrugs

the auto proceeds with its 4 or 5 passengers

if it's raining or snowing, the rain or snow increases

if it is not snowing or raining, the temperature drops

the 3 or 4 passengers either

pass a bottle around and have a jolly time

or curse the driver for losing his/her way

things proceed in this way

the road gets narrower and the night gets darker

someone says "i think i see something ahead"

someone else replies - "at last!" or "we were just starting to have fun"

suddenly a building appears - an old dark house, an abandoned barn, an abandoned hotel, or an abandoned roadside diner

the driver says "i think we should push on" and is or is not shouted down and overruled by the passengers

a fight/heated argument does or does not break out

they stop and enter the building

or move on into the night

fade out


further down the same road

same conditions apply (dark, cold/rain/snow)

another vehicle approaches from the opposite direction. suggestions - a 1930 packard roadster, a 1932 dodge club victoria , a 1932 desoto sedan, a 1934 chrysler sedan.

there are 5 passengers - numbers 6 through 10 on the list. number 6 is the driver

the passengers are college students on their way to the big game

or communist organizers

or high school teachers on a bird watching vacation

or bank robbers

the driver is clearly the boss of the others , or a despised and abused tool

the other 4 passengers are quiet, or giving the driver a hard time, or passing a bottle around and making merry, or singing to keep their spirits up

if the passengers are making noise, the driver demands/asks that they pipe down,

and they do or do not

at this point they approach the other vehicle (if it did not stop at the abandoned building)

or approach the abandoned building (if the other passengers are already there)

end of chapter 1

chapter 2-a (if the two vehicles approach each other)

vehicle 1 honks horn, waves to vehicle 2 to stop

vehicle 2 stops or passes by

if vehicle 2 stops

driver of vehicle 1 says "say, we saw an abandoned building a mile back"

and driver of vehicle 2 says "dang it, we better all take shelter there"

or, passenger in vehicle 2 whispers in driver's ear, and he says "we think

we'll just keep on, thank you folks very much"

in which case the river of vehicle 1 says "you may be right - there is nothing good to be had back there" and continues on

or, vehicle 1 reverses and both head back in the direction of the abandoned building

and all 9 or 10 passengers get out and look at the building

which is or is not obscured in the snow or rain and fog

or, the 4 or 5 passengers of vehicle 1 get out, and vehicle 2 keeps going

in which case the occupants of vehicle 1 speculate on the motives of vehicle 2

and the occupants of vehicle 2 express relief or regret at leaving vehicle 1 behind

or, the passengers of vehicle 2, having left vehicle1 behind, get out

the passengers ( numbering 4,5, 9 or 10) who remain advance toward the building

one of them says, "i think i see something"

and another says "yes, i think i see something too"

or "i don't see anything'"

or "maybe we better get out of here"

the driver of vehicle 1 (or 2) says "we don't have any choice"

and advances toward the building, followed by

all, some, or none of the other passengers

if all follow , somebody says, "i think i heard something"

and they all stop, or some stop and some continue, or all continue

if all stop, the noise from the building is now heard distinctly

and they listen intently, and one of them says "what's that? it's unearthly"

or some or all of them panic, and raise a hideous commotion

or one of them says, "we can get as drunk in the car as in the building"

and they all agree,

or another one of them says, "there might be something in there to build a fire with"

if some stop and some enter the building,

those who stop return to the vehicle or vehicles and

all drink and sing, or all weep and pray

or some combination thereof

while those who enter the building hear another sound, louder now.....

if both vehicles continue on their original paths and neither stops at the building

or if vehicle 2 stops and vehicle 1 continues

if there is snow or rain it becomes impossible for vehicle 1 to go on....

to be continued

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