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[i]The following text was uncovered in the middle of a Nevada desert, and appears to be dated 1887. The text itself seems to be a diary, but it follows the theme and pattern of a Western novel, although the events described therein are so fanciful and ridiculously extreme that it can hardly be described as even remotely realistic.

We have reason to suspect aliens left it here.[/i]

It was a dark and stormy night...

No, scratch that, it was the middle of the day. It?s always the middle of the day around here. I don?t know why, but it sure helps me write, cause I don?t really have money to buy candles. I figured I would start writing today, as today I ?embark on mine quest?...although I don?t know quite what that means, just that my pappy told me that this was what I was doing. My pappy says a lot of things, a lot of which I can?t quite make sense of. In fact, he has a habit of saying things like ?thou art? or ?prithee? a lot, so if you talk to him, make sure you know what all that stuff means first. In fact, he also said that I should be named Alexander. I still have to thank him for that, because every time someone hears the name Alexander they assume some tough guy, and get all their expectations all built up, and then I have to make an effort to surpass them. Hasn?t been easy for me in the least, but I thank my pappy for giving me the name, because it?s been preparing me for this day.

In fact, today wouldn?t quite be so special if I didn?t figure that Lady Luck herself was smiling on me, because no sooner did I start writing this down then I heard a voice coming from the saloon across the street, and damned if it wasn?t the very man I was looking for. Not only was I about to ?embark on mine quest?, just like my pappy told me, but I was about to complete it that very same day. Not bad for someone who doesn?t even know what a ?quest? is.

The voice that emerged from the darkened saloon spoke as follows.

?Now bartender, you are going to listen to what I am about to say very carefully, because many a bartender has tried to make what I am asking and few have succeeded.?

Loud, obnoxious, with a hint of southern drawl. That?s the man I was looking for. I decided to listen a little more to make sure. Although I doubted that I would be disappointed.

?One shot glass, if you please, the cleanest you got, with the following ingredients mixed in.?

I approached the saloon cautiously...as cautiously as I could fully armed, mind, but still cautiously. I could start to make the man out from his place at the bar.

?One part, milk, one part, tequila, one part, salt, two part, milk...?

The man was young, surprisingly so, but I was told to expect something strange like that. From my position, I could see that the man was wearing a large overcoat and cowboy hat, not very conspicuous in these parts. At least, these would not have been conspicuous were the coat not lime green and the hat purple. As it were, the man stood out like a sore thumb, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

?Finally, all of the juice you can get out of this one chiltepin pepper that has started growing in my hat...without spilling a drop.?

I burst into the saloon as loudly as I could without saying a word...you know...to maintain the tough guy image. Evidently, this was not loudly enough, as the man ignored me and remained transfixed on his drink. Finally, and with much ceremony, he held the glass high.

?Very, very well done, my good man. This is a fine one...although I must always credit myself with its creation. In fact, I made a point of naming it after myself. It?s a...?

Tired of this story, I made my voice heard.

?William Hastings Brown!?

The man stopped, and turned his head, mouth still open from the words he was about to utter, to look at me. He straightened his hat with his other hand and walked up to me, his arm holding the shot glass still crookedly held in the same stance as before.

?Lucky guess, boy. In fact, just a little bit too lucky, which prompts me to venture that it wasn?t a guess at all.?

His eyes traveled downwards to my feet, then upwards, right over my head to the ceiling, then back to my face.

?You are absolutely right, the name, as was given to me by my dear sweet momma, is William Hastings Brown. However, some of you denizens of this little frontier town probably better know me as...and you better pay attention, bartender, because what I am about to say also concludes the sentence that I was unable to complete a moment ago.?

The man swiveled around and looked at all the saloon?s patrons, danger in his eyes.

?Wet Willy.?

He then downed his drink, shot glass and all, and awaited the reaction.

Women screamed, men screamed louder, babies cried, but, again, not as much as most of the men, people dove out of windows, under chairs and tables, the bartender remained stiff as a board for a moment before his legs failed him, those who were able to put as much distance between Wet Willy and themselves as their legs would allow them. His voice carried, too, so I could make out people across the street vacating their homes and running into the desert. Wet Willy looked around the bar, genuine astonishment clouding his face.

?You mean it was a SURPRISE? Unbelievable, you people act like you?ve never met a living legend before! They?re always the ones who arrive, stirring up trouble, dressed in strange clothes, ordering strange drinks, growing peppers in their hats. You people don?t know a daggone thing about the world, you hear??

?They can?t hear, sir, they?re running away. ?Cept for him.?

I pointed at the unconscious bartender. Wet Willy spun a whole three hundred and sixty degrees on his cowboy boots, so that he remained facing me when he was done.

?Well, son, exactly what purpose drives you to come in here and expose my identity to these fine patrons of this establishment, at this time??

I take a few steps back, straighten my straw hat, dust off my jeans and poncho, and flip back to the page in my notebook featuring the lines I had written earlier. I point an accusing finger at Wet Willy.

?You, William Hastings Brown, are hereby asked to present yourself before the district judge of this county, one Hamilton MacArthur, so that you may stand trial for your crimes of arson, grand larceny, assault with a weapon, kidnapping, vandalism, and possession of an unlicensed firearm. If you fail to comply to this task that has been set before you, I, one Alexander MacArthur, will be forced to escort you to the courthouse myself so that you might be present for your trial.?

Wet Willy reeled, tears began to well up in his eyes.

?Oh, son, that, that was just the most beautiful performance I have ever witnessed. I have to sit down...It was so...passionate, so real! I was really under the impression that you were placing me under arrest. You should really just go down to your local theater company, where I am sure you work, and tell them that Wet Willy says that you are just the best daggone actor he has ever seen and that they should pay you double what they are currently paying you just for having you around. You?re an inspiration, son, you really are.?

I stashed the notebook back under my poncho and eyed Wet Willy curiously.

?That wasn?t an act, sir. My pappy wrote me the lines, and he did ask you to come down to the courthouse right away.?

Wet Willy turned his head, his ear now pointed in my direction.

?How?s that, son??

?Really, my pappy and his courthouse are just a couple of buildings down, he told me to go with you, said it was my ?quest?.?

?Okay, now you?re starting to lose me, boy, you had my attention at the start of it, but if you really want to act then you have to keep up that energy for the whole performance.?

I stamped a boot angrily.

?I?m not acting, sir! My pappy really got me to write this! He really said he wanted you at the courthouse! He really said that I had to come take you in!?

Wet Willy approached me, eyes burning.

?Son, I think we should take this outside.?

He kept on approaching, and eventually, he had backed me right outside. He walked down the street, and looked back at me.

?Now then, your pappy seriously wants me to stand trial, and sends you to come get me if I say no. Okay, that?s simple enough. The question is, though, are you really not an actor? Cause you should try it if you aren?t, you?re really something else.?

I looked over in his direction, attempting my best tough-guy expression.

?No sir, I haven?t. Now, as for the court thing, my pappy said that I shouldn?t use it if I can avoid it, but I he also said that I should let you know that he gave me his gun and that I should pull it on you if you try anything, and that I should shoot you with it if you run away.?

Wet Willy smiled.

?Well boy, let me assure you that you will have a bright future with any theater company you find your way into, but as for the rest of it, forget it, there?s no way I?m coming with you to that trial. Sorry, and I?m sure your pappy will be very disappointed, but just show him that great acting ability of yours and he?ll forgive you in no time.?

?Sir, I mean it now, I can?t let you go anywhere without going to the courthouse first.?

I drew the gun, and cocked it, sort of like Wet Willy did his eyebrow.

?Now son, all those people from before ran away cause they knew better than to get on my bad side...and because I just swallowed a shot glass. Now, before we begin, is there anything you want me to tell your pappy once he finds what?s left of his boy??

?Ask him what a quest is.?

?Fair enough.?

The wind howled ominously, and the vacant streets tunneled all the air towards Wet Willy and myself, removing our hats for us. Awful nice of the wind to do that. Anyway, the tumbleweed rolled by, and I knew that he was serious, because the tumbleweed only appears when there?s going to be a gunfight. It rolled up against his leg, and he kicked it away. It recognized the hostile gesture, and pounced. The two of them struggled for a few moments before he finally picked it up and hurled it into the great unknown. Upon regaining his composure, we resumed the stances of two men about to shoot at each other.

When a cell phone rang.

It was playing ?Rawhide?.

?Sorry boy, this?ll be just a minute.?

Wet Willy reached into the pocket of his green overcoat and produced a cell phone, one of the latest models, probably stolen. He flipped it open and began speaking a mile a minute, face contorting with every sentence.

?Yes, momma?...No, I?m not comin? home yet, I got business...Well of course it?s really important I...Momma, I?m getting into a gun fight....Well of course I?m going to win, Momma, I always do, and he?s just a boy...I?m not going to get hurt...Yes, I?m comin? home right after...Yes, I was at the saloon a minute ago...Yes, they want to take me to court for all that stuff I did...No, I?m not going to get hurt, momma....No...Yes...No, No, Yes, NoYesNoNoYesYes....Yes momma, I?m coming home right after, now get off the phone ?cause I got a daggone gunfight to get into...Yes, momma, I do have to use that language...Because it?s part of the image, momma, now your boy has really got to go, because he?s gettin? himself into a gunfight...All right, then, I love you too, momma, goodbye.?

He hung up the phone in one lightning motion and pointed a threatening finger at me...except the finger wasn?t quite as threatening as he was.

?Now, I don?t want you to get any sort of mistaken impression about me, boy. I love my momma very, very much, but there are simply not enough hours in the day...to allay every suspicion and worry she might be having about my activities and whereabouts. Now, where were we??

In a motion that I am hard pressed to describe, on account of it being so fast, and on account of the fact that I was in the middle of a gunfight at the exact moment I was writing it, he drew his guns and fired wildly, striking me in the chest with two furious blasts of water that blew me five feet down the street and knocked me unconscious all at the same time. I can?t say how I still wrote this part down, on account of me being unconscious and all, but Wet Willy walked up to me and smiled before lifting up my lifeless body...

Next thing I knew, I was outside the courthouse, clothes missing, and in a barrel of ice water. My pappy was standing in front of me, foot stamping angrily on the wooden steps. Again, the foot itself wasn?t quite so angry as the rest of him.

?Son, how could you fail me in such a simple task so quickly??

I considered stepping out of the barrel, what with it being cold inside and all, but I had a feeling that my pappy?s foot would be stamping on my behind next if I tried that, so I stayed where I was to respond.

?He beat me, pappy, he?s really tough.?

?But you are meant to be strong, young Alexander. You have already seen fifteen years on this earth and you still have not embarked on a quest to save a lady trapped in a castle, or recover an ancient artifact for the glory of your country!?

?I don?t know what you just said, pappy, but I really am sorry that I couldn?t catch Wet Willy for you.?

My pappy sighed and sat down on the courthouse steps.

?T?is but a small disappointment, I?m sure you will succeed in some quest one of these days. You are, after all, my son.?

I looked around the barrel at the floor, attempting to find my clothes, when I ended up failing at that too, I looked back up.

?Pappy, did Wet Willy leave my things behind somewhere??

?Yes, I?ll go get them.?

My pappy, with a heavy sigh, walked up into the courthouse and returned a moment later with all my clothes under his arm. Jeans, boots, poncho, straw hat, everything was there...

Not really.

?Pappy, where?s my notebook and pen??

My pappy looked at me, puzzled.

?He didn?t leave them, I just assumed that you had memorized the notes I had given you, rather than take the notebook.?

A white blur, I jumped out of the barrel and started throwing clothes on. I was off to a terrible start as I had already put my jeans on backwards.

?He took them? Pappy, I got to get my pen and notebook back!?

Pappy, far from seeming angry, clapped his hands as though he was really happy.

?Oh, joyous day! My son finally finds himself embarking on a quest, a quest most grave to restore his honor and retrieve his pen and notebook! His *********!?

Now, the reason I didn?t write that last part down (and it?s a wonder how I wrote any of this down, seeing as how my notebook was missing), was because my pappy said something that I couldn?t even begin to understand, let alone spell. It sounded like Extra Scale, or Exhaling Bird, or something like that. Once I figure out what he said I?ll write it down for real.

Anyway, I had finally gotten all my clothes on straight and was running down the street after Wet Willy, although I wasn?t sure if he was headed in that direction. My pappy called after me.

?The best of fortune on your quest, son! And if you do not return alive, I will tell the villagers that you died honorably!?

I didn?t see how that was going to happen, seeing as how Wet Willy and I were using water pistols, but I figured my pappy was just playing.

?Also, you should be sure to have some knights join you on your quest!?

Knights? It?s always the daytime around here. I figured my pappy was talking about friends, so I figured that since Wet Willy had a lot of enemies, I would probably find someone who was looking for him who would also help me get my pen and notebook back.

?Finally, son, I should tell you that he went in the direction opposite the one you are going now!?

This is Round Barrel, a western-themed story that is meant to be completely playful and absurd. The story, as you have now gathered, is full of genre mash-ups, surreal imagery, and anachronisms. Therefore, I feel that there is significant room for creativity and humor.

Here?s how it works: Rather than a classic sign-up with name/age/gender/whatever in list form, I would prefer that you write a story segment, however long, about your character, which should include, within the story itself, their full name, age, and details about their appearance and personality. The above story is an example, as it tells you what Alexander?s name is, his age, what he wears, and a bit about what he is like as a person. What the story segment should also feature is your character?s reason for pursuing Wet Willy, so feel free to look at his list of criminal charges for inspiration.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I want to see your take on absurdity and playfulness in your story segment. Be as weird as you can. As I mentioned, the story is western-themed, but your characters need not be. If you can pull off a ninja/pirate/stereotype/modern character/what have you successfully, they are welcome here. However, you should still demonstrate the ability to write effectively, so I do reserve the right to make cuts to the story?s cast. Also, as in the case of weapons and abilities, they are meant to be cartoon-ish jokes (such as Wet Willy fighting with water pistols that do arguably equivalent damage to the real thing), but again, I leave it to you to decide what would be most entertaining or humorous. Anachronisms are fair game as well.

With that in mind, let the madness begin.
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1]Sounds fun Wondershot! ^_^ I had an idea for a character for this as soon as I was finsihed reading your post. And this is a great way to weed out those who can't RP good and those who can, no offense to those who get cut. -_- So, here is mine:

[SIZE=2]A deranged man ran down the quite night street of old Kenbourbon, sweat rolling off of his face out of exhaustion and fear. He was a marked man, and he knew it. Although this man, Krouzer Hughes, was notorious for escaping every single bounty hunter that he came across, there was one he feared, and that was whom he was fleeing from. The news that he was being hunted by this bounty hunter was clear as the night sky, fresh in is mind from earlier that night...[/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT]


[FONT=Arial]"Theres someone after you Hughes...some bounty hunter by the name of Blank, or somethin' like that.!"[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]"You don't think I know that?" Krouzer replied, seemingly uneffected by the name that was said. "I've heard stuff 'bout 'im. Say he's the best shot in the world. Can shoot ya a thousand yards away as if he was point blank range..."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]"Really? Then you better be ready for him. You're the best six shooter I've seen."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]"Well...you leave 'im to me. I've gotten rid of many bounty hunters, Jameson."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]With that, Krouzer jumped up, pulling out a 6-barrel magnum revolver as he stood. Aiming it at a nearby spittoon, Krouzer adjusted his aim slightly to the left and fired. The bullet flew, ricocheting off of the spittoon, hitting off a iron lamp covering, and then finally bouncing off of an old iron coin that was flipped in the air. The bullet flew out the window and hit a small barrel of gasoline across the street, causing it to explode and send a small shockwave through the night.[/FONT]
[SIZE=2]The bartender, from behind the bar, withdrew a short-barrel shotgun and aimed it in the near vicinity of Krouzer.

[SIZE=2][FONT=Arial]"Ya pull a stunt like that again and it's off to the circus, or it's off teh Hell with yeh."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Krouzer then put his hands up, acting as if he was an innocent angel and slowly slinked outside with Jameson. Still on topic about this 'Blank', Krouzer had to ask. "How tall is this supposed deadly bounty hunter?"[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]"Oh, he's pretty much a midget, by what I hear. No more than five feet and five inches or so, I'd say."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Not obvious to them, a seemingly child sized man twitched at the comment made by Jameson as he left. A large, long box was propped up against the table next to the child sized man, an obvious hint that it hidden more than anything anyone could imagine.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial]Krouzer stooped into a low alley, hoping to catch his breath. His dark brown eyes reflected off of one of the dimly lit street lamps, causing him to squint. Sitting down with his back against one of the buildings, Krouzer took a few deep breaths and relaxed.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]'Keep your wits about ya Hughes. That boy can't get you from here. The only thing that can see you from this alley is that street and the tip of that mountan...and you know he won't come out to face you like a man...ha, he isn't even as tall as a man!'[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Krouzer let out a muffled laugh as a fresh breeze blew across him. With the breeze came a small card. The hunted man caught it and froze dead at what he read. And as he drew his breath in, a loud crack echoed through the night sky and everything went white in Krouzers eyes. He awoke to find himself in a meadow of flowers, birds chirping, and gentle woodland creatures frolicking about.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]'Is this heaven?' He asked himself.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]His answer came soon as one after another from some unknown source, Cher songs began playing in his head...a true hell...[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]A young boy at atop a mountain top, a good distance from Kenbourbon, smiling. A gust of wind blew at him the same card that was blown to Krouzer. [/FONT][FONT=Arial]It read:[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]"Just because you can't see me, doesn't mean I can't see you...and I'm NOT a midget you donkey smelling buffoon!"[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial]The boy, no more than 17 years old, stood up from his half kneeling position, his Denel NTW-14.5 sniper rifle smoking at the barrel. He held up rifle up at its stock and slung it over his shoulder and chest like sheathing a sword. The leather belt that strapped to the boy made sure that the rifle did not slide across the ground, seeing as how the rifle was a good 6 inches longer than he was. And the boy stood at 5' 4''! With his rifle slung, the boy pulled out a small white Nintendo DS and flipped it open. He pulled out a small white stylus from the side and drew a line across the name 'Krouzer Hughes'.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]"Sorry Hughes, but a bounty hunter has to do what a bounty hunter has to do. My name isn't Blank because of nothin'."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]After his words, Blank looked down at the next name on the list. "...Wet Willy, eh? This outta be good..." He backed out of the writing list and into his Pokemon Pearl game, seeing as how he spent the last hour waiting for Krouzer to get into view. Blank then continued to play as the wind blew his short black hair around, his emerald green eyes shining in the light of the DS. The morning sun slowly rose as the young Pokemon playing bounty hunter walked off in search of his next target...Wet Willy.[/FONT][/SIZE]

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1]Edited like you asked WS. Anymore problems, just tell me.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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