Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Tragedy of Doctor Foster, Part I

Well, I feel much better now. I learned the secret to enjoying writing: don't think too much. Once I learned to stop criticizing my own work and just wrap myself into the story, I've been able to write well again.

That said, I've started a prose writing journal, where I try to write nonstop for at least twenty minutes daily. I'll post some of the material here.

Thus, with further ado, I present a new piece of prose, which I hope to turn into a serial story. This was written off-the-cuff in twenty minutes, so it may be a little awkward. Still, it has promise- once it goes through a good editor, it'll be better. It's basically a retelling of the Faust legend (specifically, Marlowe's play). Enjoy!

The Tragedy of Doctor Foster, Part I
Doctor John Foster paced back and forth in his study. “What am I going to do with my life?” he thought to himself. “I was top of my class back at Yale, and now I’m one of the most highly-paid physicians in Los Angeles. But, damn it all, I want more. I want something else out of my life. I’m sick of treating anorexic movie stars and drug-addled singers.”

He looked over the stack of books that he had checked out from the library. One by one, he pored over each volume, trying to determine what they had to offer him. “Physics? There’s no point in pursuing such a field. After all, no matter what I discover, in a few generations, it will be proven wrong anyway.” He reached for the next book. “Psychology? I’ve spent enough time hearing about other people’s problems.” He went for the third volume. “Theology? Don’t make me laugh.”

And so he went, subject by subject, dismissing each in turn. Finally, he reached the end of the pile, to a small book that he didn’t even remember checking out in the first place. “An Introduction to the Arts of Magick by Joseph Mandrake? What silliness is this?” He chuckled to himself. “Well, I have nothing better to do. I might as well read this for shits and grins.”

But his smile soon faded. As he read, he began to grow genuinely interested, despite himself. Could this be it? Could this be his true calling?

At the end of the book, there was a brief plug for further materials by the same author, available to order from Mandrake’s website. Wasting no time, Foster booted up his laptop and began browsing Mandrake’s catalogue. “Why, there are so many choices!” he exclaimed aloud. “Where should I start?”

And then his eye caught something. For one week only, a book entitled Daemonology was available at 50% off. Without a second’s hesitation, Foster purchased the book and sealed his doom.

A few days later, Foster returned home from a particularly stressful day at work. Carmen Electra had needed an extremely time-consuming surgery, and, as the best doctor in town, Foster had been the one to lead the operation. His mind consumed with thoughts of magic, he went through the procedure in a trance, nearly killing the patient. Thankfully, he was able to salvage the operation, but he still lost the trust of his colleagues, who recommended that he take some time off.

Cursing his co-workers under his breath, he returned home to find a large package. Instantly forgetting his troubles, he ripped the box apart and gazed longingly at the grimoire within.

“At last!” he cried, clutching the tome to his chest, his mind racing with thoughts of his new life that lay before him.

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