lindenharp (lindenharp) wrote,

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Fic: The Mechanic's Tale (Valiant Tales)

Title: The Mechanic's Tale
Series: Valiant Tales.  Read them in order here.
Rating: G
The Master (Simm), other characters
Genre: drabble
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords.
Summary: A series of drabbles about the people who lived, worked, and suffered on the Valiant during the Year That Never Was. 100 words according to MS Word.
Disclaimer: The sandbox belongs to RTD and the BBC. I'm just playing here, in the corner, making little sand-TARDISs.

A/N: People keep asking how I cram so much into 100 words.  I don't know if I can explain the process, but here's an example for those who are curious: the finished drabble, followed by the original 204-word draft.  Usually, first drafts are about 120-160 words.


My job is about little things.  Even here somebody has to change lightbulbs, tighten valves.  It keeps me from thinking about stuff I miss, like mowing the grass – my least favorite childhood chore.  Now I’d do anything to feel the sun, smell that sweetness. 

The guards know I’m the go-to guy for problems like a rattling ventilator in your bunkroom.  I get favors in return.  Coffee.  New socks.  The best was from a shuttle guard:  a square foot of turf from the runway median.  I water it regularly.  Saturdays, I trim it with scissors. 

My life is about little things.

And now the first draft:

My job is all about little things.  This ship is like something out of “Star Wars”, but someone still has to change the lightbulbs, tighten loose valves, and lubricate moving parts.  It keeps me busy.  Keeps me from thinking about the stuff I miss.  Not what you’d expect, like pizza and bowling.  Weird things.  Like riding the subway or mowing the grass.  That was my least favorite chore when I was a kid.  Now I think I’d give a million bucks to feel the sun on the back of my neck, and inhale that sweet smell. 

The guards all know me.  I’m the go-to guy for problems that would otherwise be low priority, like that rattling ventilator that keeps you awake all night.  I get small favors in return.  Chocolate.  New socks.  The last thing I scored was from a guard on a cargo run.  He thought I was crazy, but I got what I wanted.  An 8-inch square of turf from the runway median.  I keep it in a pie-pan under a fluorescent light, and water it religiously.  Once a week, I trim it with a pair of nail scissors.  It’s a little thing, but my life is all about the little things.


Tags: drabble, fic, the master (simm), valiant tales
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