Donnerstag, 9. Februar 2012

The joys of using a medieval bathroom

When I read my Indie Ink Challenge and this week's prompt on Story Dam I had to think of my WIP, a children's book where through mysterious circumstances a boy from our time ends up in a medieval romance. I'm writing it in German so I had to translate the excerpt. Find the challenges/prompts at the bottom of this post: 

As it would turn out not only getting dressed was a lot more difficult than Barnabas had expected.

As always before taking a trip he desperately “needed to go”. It was the excitement.

He was sure there would be no real toilet. More like a wooden outhouse with a carved heart in the door like they used to have on Great-Aunt Martha’s farm. Of course books never provided that kind of essential information. None of his heroes had ever needed a loo.

He was a bit surprised when Sir Cuthbert didn’t point him towards the courtyard but upstairs. Well, perhaps they did have indoor bathrooms after all.

The narrow wooden door could hardly be missed as a horrible smell let you know unmistakably what had to be concealed behind it. Barnabas retched and held his nose. But things got worse.

The toilet was something like a balcony. A balcony with the floor missing. Barnabas would have loved to just turn and leave but he really needed a bathroom badly so he didn’t have much of a choice. Shaking with fear Barnabas clung to the wooden beams while doing his business and tried not to think about the drop below.

What he wouldn’t have given for a big fat roll of super soft four-ply toilet paper. Truth be told he’d even have been happy with the sandpapery recycling tissue they had at school.

Barnabas sighed and reached for the basket filled with big linden leaves. He definitely needed to find a way home as soon as possible.

Home – where there was a real toilet you could flush and toilet paper, where mum would make him some hot chocolate and he could snuggle up in bad. In this world he would not survive longer than a week! How on earth was he supposed to cope in this world where even simple things like getting dressed were awfully complicated. Why only had he agreed to come along on a quest with the knight? He thought it would be better to run away while he still could. But where to? He didn’t even have the slightest idea where he was. So there was probably not much else to do but stick with Sir Cuthbert. After all, so far the knight was the only person here he knew.

Dam Burst: In the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, write a piece in which your character gets whisked away to an alternate reality. Obviously be creative, but think outside the box: this can be a fictional piece or you can use a crazy dream that involved you. The weirder the better—remember, you aren’t in Kansas anymore!

Satu Gustafson:

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, trencher challenged me with "Write about an outsider looking in. It can be depressing shoegazer fiction or an upbeat fish out of water story. Whatever!" and I challenged SAM with "Write something (600 words max) in which your character experiences something like a déjà vu. "

Rejected on IndieInk because it's not a new text. Kind of a philosophical question  whether a new translation of an old piece is something new or not...anyway, sorry about that. Maybe next time. 


  1. What an interesting premise for a story. I love the thought of time travel, you can have so much fun with it :)

  2. A little reminiscent of Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee, I like that your hero is a kid. Makes it all the more interesting.

  3. None of his heroes had ever needed a loo.

    Interesting thought, great wordsmithing, keep up the good work!