I’ve Been At This Awhile

11 Feb

While rummaging through my closet trying to find old tax information, I ran across a folder containing old stories and things from elementary school. Since I can’t quite recall what kind of material I was writing back then I decided to read a few of them. After all, I had to see how I wrote back then. Just maybe – maybe – I’ve improved since back in the day.

Well, upon reading some of these, they’re hard to explain.

The material is a bit…weird?

Okay, I guess that would make sense. If you’ve ever read anything that I currently write or cartoons, you can see not much has changed.

So, never-before seen stories and poems are fun to feature, right? Here is a glimpse of my works from when I was – if I had to guess – in 3rd grade (at least this first story is because it says it on the paper).

This first one is called Blue Danube.

BLUE DANUBE

If I were a swan, I would swim to Africa. I would look to see what lions look like. After I was done, I would swim to China. I would look at bamboo sticks and panda bears. After all of that, I would go back to my home in South America. Then: Next year I would go to the north pole.

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I’m not too sure why there’s a Toledo Symphony Orchestra ribbon on this and don’t even get me started on what a Blue Danube is (I honestly have no clue), but hey, this is an award-winning story (I don’t care what the ribbon says – it’s a ribbon at least).

And just for the record, I do not currently live in South America.

Moving on…

The next story is a rather long one. I’ll write it out for you. It’s called The Horseshoe Shop. I hope you don’t lose any sleep over it.

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THE HORSESHOE SHOP

By Nate Fakes

In a town in Nevada, a man named Ben was at his job working on making horseshoes. He worked all day all the time. He rarely got company, and he usually got lonely. When he would go to bed, all he could hear in his mind was the clanging and hammering of his anvil.

One morning, when he got up, he was sick. He had spots on his arms and his eyes were very red. He didn’t know what was happening to him. He thought to himself, “Am I going to die?”

When he thought this he passed out. His heart stopped beating, and he died.

Later that week was his funeral. He had no family, so he was buried in a wooden charred up box. His horseshoe shop closed also. No one ever really knew him. All they knew of him were the sounds from his shop. No one would ever miss him.

That week after the funeral, a man walked by his grave. His tombstone was just a rock with his initials on it. “Poor soul,” the man said. “Never had a friend, a wife, a family or anything special. He was just alive, and now gone.” The man left, and Ben’s grave was left alone again.

Later that night, in the Roberson household, everyone had gone to bed.

“Goodnight, mom,” said the youngest one.

Everyone was asleep, but the littlest one couldn’t sleep. He then started to hear a noise. A noise like of a man beating on something steel with a hammer. The little boy then looked out his window. Through the trees, he could see Ben’s closed horseshoe shop. He adjusted his eyes, and saw a glowing light in the shop. He was still hearing the noise, too. “Someone must be vandalizing that old shop. I’d better get dad,” the little boy said to himself.

“Dad! Dad! Wake up! the little boy said.

“Huh? What is it?”

“Someone is at the old horseshoe shop.”

“Why do you say that? It’s boarded up!” the boy’s dad yelled.

The little boy took his dad to his window, and they both looked out.

“There’s nothing out there! It’s boarded up! Go back to bed!” the boy’s dad said.

“But dad, it was there! I’m not lying!” the boy cried. The boy’s dad sent him back to bed, and the boy fell asleep.

Later that night, the boy heard clanging noises again. He knew that it was coming from outside. His dad wouldn’t believe him if he told him again. Besides hearing the noise, he saw the glowing light. It was a faint green light, unlike a lantern. “I’m going to check this out for myself,” the boy said.

He got on his shoes and went outside, sneaking around trying not to make a sound. He started walking to the shop. “Click, clang, click, clang….” the sound was making. As he got closer, the noise got louder. The boy went up to the shack and looked in.

That next morning, the boy’s dad found him dead next to the shack. The boy’s eyes were wide and his mouth was open. They say he died of fright.

What happened in the shack? No one knows, but some say it was haunted and some say a racoon jumped out in front of the boy and scared him. What do you think?

The End

And finally, a short…poem?

I’m guessing this inspired The Horseshoe Shop. I’ll let you read this one on its actual paper. It’s legible.

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Anyhow, those are my stories.

I suppose these help explain a lot about my cartooning career in terms of off-the-wall material that I produce. It seems I’ve been going strong since, well, at least 3rd grade.

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