Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tobias Fulner and the Art of Persuasion

(Disclaimer: this is a farce, and a poorly written one at that. Do you think I can save it in any form? This was written for my self-imposed Tobias Fulner writing challenge. Ladies, I'm waiting for your entries!)

Tobias Fulner was a very young man who believed in the power of the art of persuasion. Every day he would lift his head off of the pillow, stretch, yawn, and persuade himself that the world needed him to get up. And so he did.

Tobias was not a good student in the classical sense of things. He did not like to do homework or yardwork or woodwork or anything he deemed "immoral", a word he used so often it appeared to have less to do with morals than the principle of the thing. His parents deemed him an unruly child and made up their minds to send him to military school.

Little to their knowledge, Tobias, being a believer in the power of the art of persuasion, soon surpassed their wildest dreams and had quickly become an integral part of the Premier's inner circle of military advisors. Unfortunately for his country, Tobias knew nothing of military strategy. All he had was a gift for persuasion and a spunky, lopsided sort of charm.

Therefore, to the chagrin of all the other advisors, the country entered a war in a far corner of the globe. However, this war did not last very long, as Mr. Fulner quickly persuaded the other side to simply give up.

The next day, there was a ticker-tape parade in celebration of the heroic Tobias Fulner. All the children stood outside of their gloomy apartments and cheered for this bemused, funny-looking man who had a way with children and convincing adults to do things.

Later, spurred by the attentions of the local media, Tobias grew interested in the prospect of power, based on things other than persuasion. He had grown tired of continuously having to convince other people to do things. So, he decided one morning as he persuaded himself to get out of bed, he would do his last big job of persuasion. He would persuade the country to replace him as their leader.

So he got in front of the television cameras and the bloggers' screens and made his case. It was quite persuasive, and soon people began to question why he wasn't their leader in the first place. So the whole country mutinied and installed Premier Fulner. Actually, it wasn't a real mutiny per se, as the original premier was persuaded to give up his post too.

Satisfied, Tobias sank into a deep slumber in the cushy bed of the Premier's Palace, which had been built for him by an especially sympathetic crew of architects and construction workers. He woke up automatically the next morning when rays of sunshine tickled his retinas. But, having given up persuasion forever, he could not convince himself to get out of bed.

Days passed, with no signs of Premier Fulner reaching the outside world. Tobias was bedridden. The population became uneasy. They were unused to functioning without a leader for such a long period of time. On the twelfth day of the Premier's self-imposed exile, the people revolted. They installed a new Premier in his place.

The men from the moving company moved Fulner's bed out of the palace, into a small clearing in the nearby woods. Still Tobias would not stir. As it was, Tobias Fulner could not convince himself to do anything anymore. As is usual with these sorts of things, Tobias Fulner died.

At his funeral, no one quite knew what to say. He was buried under a large statue of a charging horse, in a plot he had persuaded the cemetery owner to give to him for free.

11 comments:

Gina said...

For those of you who do not know about the contest but would like to participate in it, you just have to write a story about "Tobias Fulner" (a fictitious character) and post it on the blog. Feel free to drop a story!

Maddie said...

heyy gina! okayy so i liked the story... but i feel as if it is almost too conventional for you. too simple, almost too expected. maybe you could have a plot twist, where maybe he finds out he has a daughter, convinces the mom that he is not the father, and then meets this girl and realizes he cant persuade people if it'll hurt their kids or something. idk... maybe you could a more serious subject... and dismiss the farce. or maybe you could just work on it more. i mean the ideas are there... but maybe if you added more depth, it would have more substantial of a meeting... does that make sense? and does that help!?!

Maddie said...

*meaning... not meeting.

Gina said...

No and no.




Just kidding. So you want the story to be longer than it currently is? It's just shy of 600 words. I don't know if anyone else is going to read it.

Haha, I read meaning instead of meeting anyway.

Gina said...

Oh wait, you wanted my story to have a MORAL and to make actual SENSE! Wow, Maddie...you can be so demanding sometimes.

Maddie said...

haha well... we can get maria possibly, and bela, and noodle to read it! and i guess if it was *longer* then that would add the needed substance. so, you don't have to. that was just my own. personal advice.

and i know... i did too. i just proofread after i hit publish comment tho :)

Maddie said...

and yes... both would be nice :) well... i know i am demanding. ask my family! today i used my "nice voice" to talk to my friend who just got dumped by his girlfriend of 9 months... and to my dad a few times today... my brother and dad were in hysterics... they didnt know it was possible :)

Maria said...

Cute! Very Dr. Boli. I like the last bit at the end about the funeral plot--nice twist.

Gotta say, I disagree with Maddie. This story obviously requires no morals--in fact, much of the point of it is ignoring moral values altogether.

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Word Ver: Peare. Hmmm....

Kenzie/Noodle said...

umm well idk i like it...especially the funeral part at the end and how he was buried under a charging horse.

Gina said...

Thanks for the support, Noodle :) D'you think it'd be funnier if it was a charging ram instead, or would that be too distracting?

Gina said...

Yeah well I showed this to somewhere around 15+ people today during our hour-long fire drill (funny story-- a transformer blew on our street, causing partial power outages in the school) and some of them seemed to like it a lot, where as others totally didn't get it. Interesting...