I was recently introduced to a wondrous thing called the Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator. It’s fairly self-explanatory – at the touch of a button you get a name almost as unwieldy as that of the man himself.* I like this because unusual character names tend to be a good story starting point for me, and in fact I’ve written some shorts based around names thrown up by the generator. If you’re feeling uninspired, why not have a go? Meanwhile, in lieu of having anything more helpful to blog about, I thought I would post some of them here. This is the first one.
Not long after I started writing this I realised it was not going to be a traditional horror story. But on the plus side, it’s quite short.
Nobody ever had anything nice to say about Batty McShay. But there again, Batty McShay didn’t have anything nice to say about anyone either, and they do say that you ought to lead by example.
The example Batty set was not a great one. She ate her food in an obnoxious sort of a way, chewing with her mouth wide open and never cleaning her teeth after. She sat and pleated her leg hair when you were trying to tell her something, or sometimes she just fell asleep then and there and would claim later on it was your fault for having such a monotonous voice. She had a necklace made out of garlic and onions which she wore only when visiting quiet places full of people too polite to tell her to go away – mainly libraries and monasteries. And she always took a pad of post-it notes wherever she went so that she could make ‘kick me’ signs to plant on people’s backs.
There were several reasons why Batty was the way she was, but the main one was probably the fact that her dead father lived in the attic and sang her jingoistic songs of the old times at the top of his voice. That sort of thing will drive anyone to distraction if it goes on for long enough, and the old duffer had been dead for twenty years.
Short story the first. On Sunday I went to St Andrews to convene with my family on the grounds that birthdays were had by my dad and my brother and it was a good middle ground on which to meet. After lunch we went for a drink at the Whey Pat, whereon I was entranced by the mad design skills of the Real Ale Society (there’s a university society for everything you can imagine at St Andrews because it’s not the most happening of places, so one’s own entertainment must be made). This story was inspired by their poster. Oh, and the word ‘nephrop’ means lobster in Latin.