Short Story Improv: Bears Wear Pants

A few weeks ago, when one of my professors was 30 minutes late for lecture, I doodled a random stretch of story.

Here’s What Happened

I started with the idea of adult friends meeting up (do I want it to be “modern?”). Two guys walk to the Main Guy’s new home which is one of five mansions on a lonely lane (I don’t want cars, so not modern) but along the way they get separated, innocently enough, and one of them never arrives (we’ll call him “Lost Guy” for now).

Main Guy, a private man himself, hasn’t even seen his secretive neighbors, with exception of a peculiar old groundskeeper. It’s the groundskeeper who tells Second Guy that Lost Guy had been eaten by the bears that live in the white mansion on the corner. Confused and dubious on account that Lost Guy is inherently a prankster, Second Guy investigates and indeed finds bears (wearing 3-piece suits and gowns) after which he runs to fetch Main Guy (moral support, voice of reason?).

When they return to the white mansion, the bears are gone and there is no sign of Lost Guy. Together Main Guy and Second Guy go knocking on doors to figure out what the heck is going on and that’s when the Ridiculosity Meter goes crazy.

The Neighbors

I based the mansions’ occupants (and their professions) on the first three quotes that came to mind:

  • “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
  • “No man is an island.”
  • “Plants know everything.” (<-No clue where I found it or who said it, but I like it.)

(I wanted an adventure that was unpredictable and yet linear, resembling something I’d make up to entertain my sister’s kids. Anyway, I scribbled the notes in class weeks ago and have written it out in full since.)

A Summary:

“Bears wear trousers, housekeepers give out lifejackets, and botanists read minds. As the newest resident on Pemberton Lane, Robert must put his disbelief on hold to enlist an eclectic smattering of reclusive neighbors who may be capable of pointing him towards a lost friend.”

Yay, Random Adventures!!!

[I’ve gotta do this more often. Planning a story to death can be exhausting. This little thing here felt like getting off the bus during a cross-country trip to stretch my legs.]

4 thoughts on “Short Story Improv: Bears Wear Pants

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