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An Unfortunate Event · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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A Deal You Can't Refuse
So I goes and telling Mister Applegate that you means business, Mister Elm, just like you says. You means business. Then Mister Applegate, he says what kind'a business. Now you never says t'me what kind, but I remembers, see, I remembers you says you says you wanting t'get your hands on the gold in Mister Applegate's coffers, and I tells him that you means it.

Now Mister Applegate, sir, he tells me that's he's got the perfect deal for you! He says t'me, Mister Elm, he says he gonna give you that gold a'his in a honest business deal for the warehouse by the docks, he does. Makin' sure he knowing what he gonna get, I tells him, you mean the smugglin' shack? an he says the smugglin' shack exactly, he says. He says he gonna put up so much gold you can't refuse.

Times've been tough, you says before, times've been tough and we need'a change, an' here now, Mister Elm, Mister Applegate gonna buy your shack! Seems t'me a right smart deal t'me an I tells him so.

Then Mister Applegate, sir, he has me waiting while he writing a 'purchace posting' for me t'take down to the city hall t'get approved. I tells him, Mister Elm, I tells him I can't be making no deals for you, and he says he understands and the 'purchase posting' is just t'get the ball rolling, so to speak, he says t'me. He telling me no one in their right minds gonna turn down a deal so sweet, he says, so better to starting make things official right away.

So he finish writing and he coming with me to taking the 'purchase posting' t'city hall on my way back to telling you the good news. He says he just so eager t'see his soon-t'be-new property, he just can't wait, so he coming with t'seeing you at the smuggling shack after. We gets there and sees the deeds clerk and I shows the clerk the 'purchace posting', and he tells me that Mister Applegate must be out'a his mind, offerin' that much for a dock warehouse, but I tells him that you, sir, must be out'a your own mind to refuse, I does! The clerk says that don't make much sense to him, but iff'n it gonna change hands, he says, there gonna haft'a being a inspection, t'making sure everything up to code and all. I tells him there won't be no problem there, Mister Elm. I tells him you always keeping it in good shape, can't let robbers or mold get in the goods, like you always saying. Now the clerk says that's all well and good, but official is official, he says, and he gonna have to seeing for himself.

I tells him, Mister Elm, I tells him I coming there now and can bring him with. I know you be here, so's you can telling him yourself and accepting Mister Applegate's deal all at once! The clerk says that's a fine idea, and he has me waiting just a moment to collect a copper for security before we coming to seeing you. He says t'me he bringing a few coppers for extra-good care, and I says that sounding right thoughtful a'him.

So we makes our way t'the docks, and you knows what happens then, but what you doesn't see is, Mister Elm, after you being chained up and all, Mister Applegate, sir, he offers me t'working for him! Now I tells him right straight, I tells him that you always being good t'me, and there's more t'loyalty than just a bit a'coin, I tells him straight. Mister Applegates says he understanding and he going t'wait 'til you and I talking it over.

With you being all locked up, Mister Elm, it's berng hard t'get t'talking to you, but here now I gets to talking t'you that I been thinking lots about the situation and I gonna take his offer. There's more t'loyalty than just a bit a'coin, Mister Elm, but I gots t'eat, and you having a hard time paying me these days, you does, being locked up and all. So's I'm sorry, Mister Elm, but I gonna work for Mister Applegate for a spell. No hard feelings, Mister Elm, sir. When you getting out, I'm being happy t'work for you again.

Oh, also, I hears you gonna get a bunch of your business friends t'join you in a bit, Mister Elm, sir. Must be nice.
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#1 · 1
The story itself:

Is fun, but I'm having trouble with the the dialect. I can't figure out how it should sound: stereotypical Cockney kind of worked as did stereotypical Irish, Scots, U.S. Southern and U.S. New England, but none of them worked completely. There's things like "bunch of" in the last line, but "bit a'coin" two paragraphs above, or "gonna haft'a being a inspection" in one line and "gonna have to seeing for himself" two sentences later. Another sweep would get the inconsistencies ironed out, but I'd still recommend pulling back on it a little. With dialect, too much can make a piece harder to read, and this one's edging right up to that line.

#2 ·
On the one hand, I like that you've made a very distinctive voicing for this character. On the other, it's so full of imitative spellings and intentionally bad grammar that at best it's kind of slow to read and at worst it's really annoying to read. Some of them don't quite make sense either, like using "a" before a word that starts with a vowel. That forces what's called a glottal stop, and such informal speech is usually expressly engineered to avoid that kind of thing.

I also feel like I'm missing out on a lot of the plot. I don't understand the particulars of why this property changing hands would be on the table, why the narrator would be authorized to make it happen, why the person being addressed never responds, or whether it was the business partner or the official who double crossed them. It's basically just "dumb henchman remains doggedly loyal, but switches sides once he doesn't get paid anymore." If there was a hint that he's not as dumb as he seems and he was behind it all, then it might make more of an interesting character study, but I don't see any indication of that. The how, at least, made for a nice story, but I would have liked more of the why.
#3 ·
I agree with the others that the use and abuse of dialectal spelling makes the thing hard to read in some places, and overall I can’t really relate that form of dialect to anything I know. Cockney wouldn't sound like that, because Cockney has no 'h' ('ome', not 'home'). That -s appended to all verbal forms seems strange to me, I expected the other way round.

I wonder if the use of tree names for surnames is deliberate, and what it means.

Besides these mere remarks about the form, I can’t really figure out what the plot is. Guy is hired to smuggle gold on behalf on someone, but then turns his coat and decide to side with the former-to-be gull? Is that it?

While I agree the overall feeling is one of humour, most of it comes from the use of that strange English. It’s like serving pasta with a super tasty sauce. The dish can taste good, but, in the core, it’s just pasta soaked in a sauce that could go with many other dishes. I’m not sure the metaphor works. Sigh.