Reddit Writing Prompt #9: The Adventures of Stilt Man and Short Boy

A failed science experiment superheats the Earth’s core, which in turn starts melting the crust in some areas. The floor is now, quite literally, lava. How do you survive? – RaysAndLazors

“You know what I’d like right now?”

“John, don’t you dare.”

“I mean, what I’d really like from you? An apology.”

“Okay, yes, I’m sorry I made fun of your stupid fireproof stilts! Now help me off this telephone pole before it melts!”

“I don’t know, Jack,” John said, checking his fingernails for dirt. The glow of the lava from below made him look like a demonic idiot. A demonic idiot with his shoes ten feet above the molten lava below. “That didn’t sound very sincere to me.”

“Okay! Okay, okay, okay! Okay,” Jack said, gathering up all the sincerity he had. “John. Buddy. Friend. I am sorry that I ever made fun of your decision to buy fireproof stilts.” The words grated against his soul. “You were right. They are actually very useful.”

John grinned like the smug moron he was.

“Now will you get me off this telephone pole?” Jack asked.

“You have convinced me,” John decided. He picked his way closer to the telephone pole that Jack had clambered up when the ground suddenly turned molten hot, and plucked his friend and roommate off the metal tree, holding him like a princess. “It’s so much fun being right.”

“I hate you,” Jack grumbled.

“I know,” John said, crossing the burning remains of the city with his long strides. “So, I’m going to drop you off on top of some fireproof building and start looking for other people to save.”

“Don’t tell me,” Jack almost cried. “You’re not seriously…

“Yep! I’m actually doing it!” John sang. “I’m going to be Stilt Man, defender of the innocent, rescuer of cats in trees!”

“Don’t sing the song.”

“Stilt Man, Stilt Man, does whatever a man on stilts can!”

“Please just drop me.”


Upon entering the city, Stilt Man’s dreams of saving the day were thoroughly crushed. “No way,” John said, staring at the sight before him. “You can’t be fucking serious.”

“This isn’t happening,” Jack said, covering his eyes. “This is a dream. I’m dreaming and I’m going to wake up any second now.”

The red-hot molten streets were packed with people. And every single one of them stood ten feet above the magma on specially made fireproof stilts. “Did everybody buy the stilts?” John wondered.

“Everybody but me,” Jack said. “Because I’m the only person in this city who’s sane!

“Hey, they were on sale!” somebody in the stilted crowd called out.

“Yeah, ninety percent off! It was a steal!” somebody else agreed.

“And so useful!”

“Does,” Jack gulped, swallowing his pride. “Does anybody have an extra pair?”

There were murmurs in the crowd. “Um, no,” said an old woman who had bought the stilts to help her get her cat out of a tree after the fire department started blocking her calls. “It seems there’s no more fireproof stilts in the city. Isn’t that right, Duke Fluffball?”

“Mrow,” agreed her cat, carefully tottering on two pairs of fireproof stilts glued to his paws.

“Looks like we’re stuck together until we can find another option, Short Boy,” said John.

“Seriously, just drop me. Right now. I won’t even be angry.”

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