Tag Archives: plot development

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Sound


For two years, Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny had been in quest to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. For nearly all of that time, they had no idea whatsoever how to find it or where to start looking. They’d endured attack and legal proceeding, dragon and Scottsman. But now they knew exactly who knew the Meaning, and had a time machine to get to him.

But of course, complications.

“What is the meaning of this?” a thin man in a dark green cloak asked them. He must have heard them in the hallway.

“Well, see,” Sylvester Denny pointed to his eyes nervously, “we’re search – looking for the True Meaning stove Feeling; and Wayne Rubblefish – or some of his goons, I guess, stole our time machine. That’s what this is.” He banged on the side of Felipe’s time machine a few times, causing it to shed lavender-scented dust.

“I gave Wayne Rubblefish direct orders not to waste his time meddling in your affairs.”

“I suppose we can leave, then?” Dawson Filter said.

“No, I think it’s best if we call Rubblefish down here now to sort this out.”

The man pulled a pager from his satchel and pressed several buttons on it. After several awkward minutes, Wayne Rubblefish emerged.

“You wanted to speak with me, Xavier X?”

“Yes. I would like you to explain to me what this time machine is doing in this room against my direct orders.”

“Well, you see,” said Wayne, shuffling a deck of cards, “this is a time machine. You only gave me orders to leave these folks alone a month ago; but I brought them here a year before that. It’s just that they’re arriving now.”

“They say they’re leaving.”

“Umbel-”

“I don’t think you kidnapped these individuals. I think you brought them here to conspire against the Illuminati for the Blind.”

Xavier X pulled back his hood, revealing his glassy eyes and bald spot. Wayne Rubblefish pushed Sylvester, Dawson, and Felipe into the time machine and jumped in after them.

“The moon, 1932?” Felipe asked. Dawson Filter nodded, and the machine twitched.

When the door opened, Twelve-Anne Stradivari and Babe Listowel rushed over to greet the time travellers.

“How did it go?” Twelve-Anne asked, “Did you find the Meaning?”

“No, we picked the wrong Sherlock Dracula. We need to find his twin, Sherlock Dracula,” answered Dawson Filter.

Wayne Rubblefish had run out of the machine, and had set to work knocking items off of the Quest Committee’s tables, making sure to pick items at irregular intervals to maximize unsightliness.

“Where is this Sherlock Dracula?” Babe Listowel inquired inquisitively.

“Franell. It’s a dwarf planet, largely uncharted.”

“Oh! That Sherlock Dracula.” Felipe said, “Nice man, bit eccentric. I have Franell’s coordinates for June 27, 2096. That’s when he likes me to visit. Hey, they’re even on the floor. How convenient.”

Twelve-Anne picked up the octagonal piece of paper to which Felipe pointed. 1889127, 1782. June 27, 2096. She tossed the paper to Felipe, who caught it in the back of his hand. Without skipping a beat or skipping, Felipe typed the coordinates into his time machine. The time machine had the habit of making sounds without any regularity, ranging from loud clanking to rhythmic whistling. It gave the impression that the machine was in need of maintenance, although Felipe was never able to stop the sounds with any repairs. This time it purred.

The Quest Committee and Wayne Rubblefish boarded the time machine. Wayne stuck his foot in the door to try to keep it from closing, but only lost his shoe in the attempt. Felipe pressed the button to travel, and the machine gave a sound very much like chuckling.

Advertisements

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Iron


Trapped in Saskatchewan, Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny saw no option but to build a time machine. The main problem with this was that they didn’t know how. They remembered from spending time in Felipe’s time machine that it had a boxy sort of structure, with some sciency bits in the middle. Dawson Filter used the skills he’d gained studying origami to build a few model boxes on Sherlock Dracula’s porch, but it looked unlikely that they’d get much further than that. To make Dawson Filter feel better about his work, Sylvester Denny took a pen from the curb and wrote “Time Machine” on one of the boxes.

Just as Sylvester finished dotting his i’s, a portal opened by Sherlock’s mailbox. Out ran three visually impaired hoodlums, who kicked Sylvester’s shins, took the box, and ran back into the vortex.

“Seems like the thugs who got us stuck here are unsupportive of us leaving,” Dawson Filter remarked.

“Might as well give up now and never try to leave again,” Sylvester Denny added.

Dawson Filter began to recreate a diagram he thought he remembered from Felipe’s bulletin board, but before his 34th mark on the paper, the portal opened again, and a dentist with severe astigmatism lit the diagram on fire.

“Go to the iron store and get some iron,” Dawson Filter said to Sylvester, having an idea.

Paper was light, and easily disposable. Quickly disposable. If Dawson and Sylvester could force Wayne Rubblefish’s agents of destruction to stay longer, they should be able to run through the vortex themselves, quite likely removing them from Saskatchewan. Iron was reportedly heavy, and consequently difficult to lift. Difficult tasks take greater amounts of time than facile tasks.

When Sylvester Denny returned from the iron store, Dawson Filter took out the fire the dentist had left on his diagram; and began to weld the iron into a cube. Sylvester took out his pen to label the cube a time machine, and once again the vortex swirled at the end of Sherlock’s driveway.

“Ack! Terror because the people have come to take our time machine!” Sylvester Denny winked at Dawson to let him know that he was acting.

As four men struggled with the box, Dawson and Sylvester ran through the portal.

On the other side was a shockingly empty room. It had no furniture or dust. It did have air, but it wasn’t all that visible. It didn’t even have doors. After a few minutes of nothing, the portal closed behind them, revealing that the room was the end of a hallway. Walking down the hallway, they passed a door marked “Dry Storage,” and another marked “Moist Storage.” They stopped at one marked “Prisoners,” hoping to ask for directions. Behind the door was one Felipe, an intern of sorts, strapped to the bottom of a chair.

“Felipe!” Dawson Filter exclaimed, “You look very upside down today.”

“They hid inside m’time machine, Dawson. They took me here and now I am here, Dawson.”

Dawson Filter surveyed the room; and after seeing that Felipe’s time machine was not present, made an oral note of this. Sylvester Denny unstrapped Felipe, who, in his freedom, stood up.

“My time machine is dry;” Felipe said, “Now where would a dry thing be stored in a place like this?”

Sylvester suddenly remembered a door that he used to walk by as he was looking for Felipe.

“Inside of a room that says dry storage on the door!”

The trio ran into the hallway and kicked down the door Sylvester Denny mentioned. Indeed, there was a room behind it. Indeed, there was a time machine in the room. And not only in word but also in deed, the trio entered said time machine.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Visually Impaired Gangs


“Give a man a time machine, and he’ll embark on a quest. Teach a man to catch a time machine, and the first man’s day gets distinctly worse,” Wayne Rubblefish said to his pupils. He’d grown bored of meeting up with Dawson Filter and his band of merry travellers to intimidate them directly, in favour of training others to take action.

Wayne Rubblefish was Director of Human Relations for the Illuminati for the Blind, a secret and largely evil society. Until recently, he had been wholly obedient to the Head of the group, Xavier X. But Xavier and Wayne’s values differed. Xavier X felt that the society’s mission would be best fulfilled by establishing a totalitarian government to the far reaches of the galaxy, with himself as Emperor. Conversely, Wayne said that the group should focus its efforts more on the torment of individuals. In fact, Wayne Rubblefish did support the idea of a totalitarian government; but felt that he would be a better leader for it, and also wanted to be its leader. He felt a duty to thwart Dawson Filter from discovering the True Meaning of Feelings before establishing the new order, though; because that was what an older version of himself had told him one day in April. Besides, devoting the Illuminati for the Blind’s activities to this insignificant mission would give him time to plan his government. But Xavier X became impatient and told Wayne to discontinue the anti-Filter (Contamination, as it was sometimes called) project. Officially, he did; but he was secretly training a small team to find the Quest Committee’s time machine and thwart Dawson Filter and co. indefinitely.

Dawson Filter and co. also had a plan. Using the power of reading, Dawson Filter had determined that the author of the crossword puzzle that started his quest was named Sherlock Dracula.

No relation. source

Felipe, an intern of sorts, had kept and index of everyone in the world when he saved them from a pancontinental fire. There were two people named Sherlock Dracula. Twins. One had an unlisted address, the other’s was listed as “351 Watson Dr. Fallacy, SK.” Felipe, Dawson Filter, and Sylvester Denny boarded Felipe’s time machine. Sylvester set the coordinates for Fallacy, Saskatchewan, 12 October 2026. Felipe pressed a button and travelled.

In 2026, after walking out of the machine, the trio was surrounded by a gang of visually impaired thugs.

“It’s them,” said an elderly woman with one eye.

“We’re here to entrap you,” a legally blind former undercover police officer snarled.

Sylvester Denny darted between two hooligans who appeared to be fully blind. Now that the society members were all on guard, Dawson Filter and Felipe dashed between the two most feeble-looking ones. The thinner one grabbed Felipe’s leg, but in doing so, broke his own arm and relented. On the ground, the thug, blind and broken, called out:

“Go on! Go to Mr. Dracula’s house! We have your time machine. Good luck getting out of Saskatchewan without a time machine.”

The trio looked at one another. The woman with one eye slid into the machine. They were so close to Sherlock Dracula, and it would really spoil the moment to have to come back to Fallacy some other time.

“I can stay with the time machine,” Felipe said, “you go on, I’ll come back for you.”

So sooner had Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny turned around to walk to Watson Drive than Felipe sprinted through the crowd and hopped back in the time machine, hardly closing the door before the machine shuddered and disappeared.

. . .

Dawson Filter rang the doorbell.

“Dracula residence, Sherlock speaking,” a voice called through the door.

“Hello, we’re Dawson Filter and Sylv-“

“Excellent name, come in.”

Sherlock’s house smelled exactly like the sort of house that would belong to someone in his late 80’s, although Sherlock was clearly 59.63. Potpourri lined the windowsills, and aloe vera plants were strewn across the floor.

“Did you ever write crossword puzzles?” asked Dawson Filter.

“No, you must be thinking of my brother. He lives on Franell, now. It’s a dwarf planet he discovered in the mid-reaches of the galaxy. But don’t tell him it’s a dwarf planet.”

“Okay, thanks for your time.”

Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny stepped out onto Sherlock’s porch to wait for Felipe. After a week, it became clear that problems had happened

Dawson Filter as He Relates to the Elderly


Dawson Filter looked around the room that he’d just entered. The first place he looked was at a calendar, since he’d come to the room by time machine, and had an imperfect biological clock.

“October 14, 1932,” the calendar said. Dawson Filter initially thought it was lying; talking calendar technology was only invented in 2021, after all. Then he remembered time travel, and it made sense for the calendar to be then.

The second place he looked was at the person in the room, whom he identified as his friend Felipe, an intern of sorts.

“Hello,” he said to the aforementioned person, “where are we?”

“On the Earth Moon, Dawson,” Felipe replied, “on the Earth Moon.”

Felipe had aged. Grey hair grew from his scalp, and his nose had turned downward slightly. Seeing Dawson Filter’s eyes move along the edge of his hairline, Felipe decided to answer as many of the questions in Dawson’s head as possible.

“Do you remember the apocalypse, Dawson? When that arsonist Makayla Pundit burned down that forest and every single fire hazard in the world burst into flames as a result? I saved everyone. Did it in four seconds, by some counts. I counted twelve years. That’s still over 400 people a second, so it was a productive twelve years. Then I went on a series of adventures for thirty-five. I set up this place as my base. As a result of these things, I am old.”

Dawson Filter thought about what Felipe said. He thought about his own mission, to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. He’d given Felipe the time machine as part of an internship program; so Felipe could help out around the quest. Felipe had shown great initiative, and Dawson Filter would be more than willing to offer him a full-time position. But Felipe was over qualified.

“I was thinking that maybe we could work together on the feelings quest,” Felipe continued, cutting off Dawson mid-thought, “You and the rest of the Quest Committee can stay at my base. The Luna programme doesn’t start until 1959, so no one’s going to find us. It’ll be just like the good old days, but I’ll have a few more quests under my belt this time. I told some people in the future about your quest, too. And how to build time machines. Theirs aren’t as nice as ours, though; and they haven’t made much progress with the quest, either, except to establish that it has something to do with the way people feel. I can bring your troop here now if you like. It’ll be even easier if they like.”

Dawson Filter nodded, and saw Felipe come back with Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne, and Babe Listowel a few seconds before Felipe left.

“Hello, all,” he said.

“Hello, one,” they replied in unison.

“What can I do for you?”

“Not much, what can we do for you?”

“Equally little. Let’s do the quest things.”

Babe Listowel set down a table he’d been carrying to lay out everything the group had gathered. The crossword puzzle, the IFTB’s Guide to Being, Twelve-Anne’s memoirs. Dawson Filter suddenly realized why Felipe had brought them 1932: because 1932 is a leap year, and it’s symbolic of all the leaps the Quest Committee was sure to make. Felipe sure was good at symbolism.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Music


“My, a philosophy shop,” thought Dawson Filter, “I’d better enter that shop.”

He found a door, and walked through the hole he created when he opened it. The walls of the shop were covered with old newspaper articles, most of them from 1999 and 2016. They were mainly missing person articles, with a few human interest stories about alchemy and time travel. A leaf fell from a potted tree as the proprietor stood.

“So,” he said, “do you fancy some philosophy?”

Dawson Filter recognised the voice from when he’d been stuffed in a burlap sack, held prisoner on Ganymede, framed for tax evasion, and trapped inside the universe with a large steel orb; but he couldn’t quite place who the voice belonged to.

“Some philosophy sounds delightful,” Dawson Filter replied.

“Let’s end the charade, Filter!” the proprietor said, ripping off his mask to reveal his true identity as Wayne Rubblefish. He knocked over a stack of books and pointed at Dawson. “We both know that I tend to run around making your life worse, and that’s probably my goal now!”

Dawson Filter remembered the door and how bad he was at conflict.

Wayne Rubblefish ran after him to kick his shins.

“Wait,” he said, “remember those people I stole in 2016 and 1999? I only took them to save them from the fire and Y2K. So that’s quite a reason to keep talking to me.”

Dawson Filter turned around. Wayne Rubblefish was gone, challenging Dawson Filter’s ideas about reality and space, thereby ruining his day.

He found his old cohort Babe Listowel, with whom he decided to talk.

“Hello, Babe Listowel. I recently became sad. Would you like to help me quest for this feeling’s true meaning?”

Babe Listowel nodded his head in confirmation, “Maybe first we should find the meaning of meaning first, though.”

After sitting in deep thought for a few hours, Babe Listowel remembered that the power of music helped him think more clearly. He pulled a guitar from his pocket and began to strum.

“Thinking, thinking,” he sang, “that’s what I’m doing / The thing that I’m doing is thoughtful and in my mind / Look at my mind / Can you see the thinking?”

A small crowd had gathered around him and Dawson Filter. The people of Murderville had forgotten about music. Someone tossed a head of wheat into the guitar.

“Golden, golden,” the admirers said amongst themselves.

Babe Listowel reached the climax of his song.

“All of the other things / That exist that I’m not doing / Must not be thinking / Man, I must be free”

The crowd cheered as the music faded out.

“I sure appreciated THAT music.”

“Woah, how did my mind get so blown?”

“You must agree to be the town’s official rockstar!”

Babe Listowel raised his hand to silence the mob. Someone handed him a microphone; and he cleared throat to speak.

“You will have your king.”

Dawson Filter followed the crowd as it carried his friend to the town hall. It set Babe Listowel on a heavy wooden chair, draping fine silks over the back of the seat. It found a nearby laurel to hang around his neck, after which it hung the laurel around his neck. A tophat was found, and covered with tinfoil. A lady tore a string of rubies from her neck to embed in the crown, which she set atop Babe Listowel’s head. A single cheer, to which all in the room contributed, roared through the halls.

Dawson Filter smiled. Babe Listowel had got them a bit off track from their original goal, but Dawson was positive they could get back on course by nightfall.