My Writing Journey

The Notebook of the Miscellanarian

March 2023 #BlogBattle Entry

The Notebook of the Miscellanarian

Guest BlogBattle Story by Bror Orgenthorp

I scrambled through my desk drawers looking for anything to write on as the battering ram pounded on my door. I had to quickly come up with something to protect me and jot it down before my door falls flat. I should have expected this to happen. After all, I am The Miscellanarian.

1 Hour Earlier

“Today is the day. I’ll finally leave my workshop and sell off some of this enormous collection of miscellanies I’ve racked up over the years.” I spoke out loud as I grabbed my cloak and sword. I opened up the door and walked out onto the street. The afternoon sun burned on my pale, frankly unhealthy skin. The fresh air filled my lungs as I breathed in, and as I breathed out, my pocket jingled. Instinctively, I reached in and pulled out a miniature treasure chest, like something you would find deep in a high-level dungeon. Slowly, I opened the chest and found it filled with gold coins and rubies. I must have written this into existence a long time ago, seeing as I don’t remember it.

“Hey, whatchu got there?” A sly, squeaky voice asked from behind me. “Looks valuable, maybe a B-class or even A-class item.”

“What’s it to you?” I swirled around and looked the man in the face. He was hunched over but looked like he would be around five foot nine. He was wearing a bowler hat and a brown trench coat full of holes. His rotted teeth jutted out of his mouth, and he seemed the type you’d avoid in the nighttime. “Well? Answer me,” I said, looking down at him.

“Ack. Nothin’ a rich folk like yourself would understand,” he replied, looking as pitiful as possible.

“Alright, then go scurry off and torment someone else.” I spoke as if I was some high-class noble that was to be respected at all costs. This prideful attitude is what will be my ruin.

The tattered man turned and walked away from me and into some decrepit alley. I decided to forget him and continue on my mission to sell as many of my miscellanies as I could. I walked for maybe five minutes when I received a tap on my shoulder. “I already told you, scurry off!” I said angrily as I twisted around. The face I now looked at was not the face of the tattered man, but of an imperial officer.

“Scurry off, eh?” He stared at me directly in the eyes as he spoke.

“My dearest apologies officer, I thought you were a peasant I met earlier that harassed me violently,” I let out as confidently as possible. “What can I do for you?”

“My name is Barnabas. You’d best get acquainted, outsider. I command the IOC (Imperial Officer Corps) of this town, and I’ve received report that you were talking down to a highly respected citizen.”

“Highly respected? You couldn’t possibly be referencing a tattered man, could you?”

“I very well could. He claims you stole a small treasure box off him. Kindly submit to a full-body search.”

“I will not! How dare you try to publicly defile me!”

“I wasn’t asking,” he said as he knocked me down to my knees and pulled off my cloak. The treasure box fell out and spilled its contents on the street. “Well, lookie here. Just how he described it.”

“Return that this instant!” I shouted, rising to my feet. “It belongs to ME, not some lower-class peasant.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, thief,” he said with a grin as wide as the horizon. “I have no evidence this belongs to you.”

“If you won’t return it peacefully, I challenge you to a duel,” I said, eyes transfixed on the box.

“I accept. We will do a stop-short duel.”

“No. To the death.” I moved my gaze toward him as I drew my sword.

“Fine, blood will be shed in these streets today.” He backed up a few steps and drew his sword.

The battle commenced. I made the first offense, swinging my sword at his neck at a wild speed. Still, he parried and moved in for a jab. I had seen this move many times, and it has an easy counter. I knocked his sword downward and went for an upward slanted slash across his chest. My blade sliced through his plated armor as if it were butter, and it cut deep into his flesh. He dropped his sword and looked up at me, shocked at the power of my blade. I pulled my sword out of him and finished him in a respectable way. Picking up the treasure box, I decided I’d better get back to the workshop as the people in the streets shouted at the sight of their dead IOC commander.

I sheathed my sword and picked up my cloak. As I ran toward the workshop, the shouts faded but not all the way. As I opened the door and entered, I hung up my cloak and sword. I sat down at my desk and sighed. It’s not like I want to be a prideful jerk, it’s just whenever I leave the workshop that’s how I end up. Almost like I’m a different person inside the workshop and out. BANG! My door rattled and the whole building shook. BANG! Again, the room felt unstable. I scrambled through my desk drawers looking for anything to write on as the battering ram pounded on my door. I had to quickly come up with something to protect me and jot it down before my door falls flat. I pulled out a small leather notebook, but my mind was empty. BANG, BANG, BANG. It felt like the ceiling would fall down any minute. An idea popped into my head.

The door fell down and a swarm of officers flooded in. They looked around at the sand-covered floor. Suddenly, the sand grouped together into some kind of humanoid monster. The sand-man grabbed an officer and tore his shirt to shreds. The sand-man threw the shirtless officer at the others and knocked them down like bowling pins. As the officers scrambled to their feet, the sand-man roared wildly. The frightened officers ran as fast as they could away from the workshop. The sand-man put the door back up and dispersed all over the ground. I came out from under the desk, grabbed a jar, and started sweeping the sand into it. I put the jar on a shelf with many miscellanies and marked it “sand-man.” After all, I am the Miscellanarian.

Check out BBPROMPT.COM for more on the March word prompt!

6 thoughts on “The Notebook of the Miscellanarian”

  1. The colorful characters are a big part of what makes this story entertaining! There is something magical about writing, and having the prose become as real to everybody else as it is to the writer is a charming way to illustrate that. I can’t help but wonder if the sand man might be used again if that tattered, highly respected citizen comes back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, AE. Totally agree. I thought was a clever way to use the old definition of miscellanarian. It hints in my mind at Inkheart, but written instead of spoken and created not pulled from an already written story, so enough its own things to not be the same. My young guest writer will appreciate your comment. 🙂 I like the idea of reusing the captured written creations. There must be a reason they need to be contained instead of left to roam. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bror! Great use of the future and present meeting each other as bookends to this story. It’s a version of in media res and doesn’t get too far into the important action before getting us to what started all the hullabaloo. That gave a taste and added a question that then was answered satisfactorily. Nice work! I did enjoy the story, too, and love how you told us the “magic” element of how writing down miscellanies actually creates things in real life for the writer. Now, I wonder if that magic is in the pen, notebook, or person. I’d be happy to have more of this, but you did an excellent job of making this short fiction feel like a complete story. 😀


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